Who Killed PC Audio

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by Davros, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. Davros

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  2. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    the golden era for me was the era of MIDI capable cards like the AWE and SB Live! days, plus technologies like EAX. NFS3 Hot Pursuit can be played these days using EAX, and it sounds amazing.
     
  3. BRiT

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    Didn't watch the video yet, but I find it hard to imagine the answer being anything other than Creative. They have killed a lot on the PC between their plentiful lawsuits and craptastic drivers.

    @Cyan EAX should never be viewed as the golden days or great technology considering how substantially inferior it is to A3D. As for MIDI, Creative was also inferior to Gravis UltraSound. The AWE64 came close to similar functionality as to the GUS but never exceeded it.
     
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  4. rcf

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    In my opinion Microsoft and Creative Labs killed PC audio.
    Did Half-Life + A3D 2.0 + Vortex2 soundcard running on Win98 offer better positional audio through headphones in 1999 than what is available in modern games?
     
  5. Davros

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    inferior it was to A3D.

    Havnt watched it all but one of the reasons eax died was creative's greed.
    When it launched creative wanted it to be widely adopted by hardware manufactures and game developers so they allowed anyone to make a card supporting eax
    and of course because all the cards supported eax developers supported it.
    Once eax became widely supported creative decided to make version 3.0 propriety and charge ihv's money for supporting it, they declined and since it was now only creative making eax 3.0 compatible cards developers cared less about supporting it because only a small percentage of users
    had supporting hardware, and because fewer games supported eax people were less likely to buy an eax 3.0 compatible card ext, ext, ect.
     
  6. BRiT

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    Do you mean to include the HRTF and Dolby Atmos support MS is introducing on the Xbox One? That will likely make its way to the latest Windows 10 Creators Update and future games.
     
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  7. Davros

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    yes and no. a3d 2.0 is fantastic and superior to a lot of modern games, but if the game supports eax 5.0 (very rare) i'd say no

    Edit:
    if you have any games that use openal and you are not happy with the positional audio
    con can download htrf files created for different head sizes and ear canal shapes decide which one
    best matches your ears and get openal to use that hrtf table instead of the default
    instructions here :
    http://www.bitoutsidethebox.com/shabda/hrtf-info/#3
     
    #7 Davros, Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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  8. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I like A3D. I think it's a bit overrated really but it's pretty cool what it can do with headphones or stereo speakers. I also like what EAX can do. These things made game audio more interesting than it would've otherwise been back then. Audio went from mono 8-bit FM synthesized to full digital 16-bit positional multichannel in less than 10 years.

    I don't think I'd call PC audio "dead" or whatever though just because we don't have any obvious gimmicks around lately.
     
    #8 swaaye, Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  9. rcf

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    Well, I'm a PC person but not a gamer anymore, so I wasn't aware of what is happening on consoles.
    I'm aware there's more to PC Audio than positional sound via headphones in games, it's just that playing some past FPS games and not knowing where the gunfire was coming from was such a disappointment.
     
  10. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    I just think onboard sound just became more than good enough to make buying a separate sound card kind of an indulgence rather than a necessity.
     
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  11. Malo

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    I finally retired my Xfi Gamer recently due to bugs that just never get fixed, basically no support for Windows 10. Considering how old the card is I really can't complain too much.

    Since I'll finally be upgrading this year from my 3570k setup, I started researching audio offerings on motherboards but overall it seemed that the latest Realtek ALC1150 on board chips offer a high quality experience and that any special audio implementations was support software for the chips.
     
  12. Davros

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    What do you mean no support for windows 10 ?
    I have an xfi gamer and I have win10 drivers and all the modes and functions that I had under xp
    with the exception that I now have to use alchemy to enable eax in games. one of the things I use it for is some people change the pitch of the audio of youtube videos to circumvent the content id. I use the xfi's pitch shifter to restore it to the correct pitch.

    ps: amd truaudio
    it would be good if amd just sold or licensed the truaudio asic to mboard and soundcard ihv's
     
    #12 Davros, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  13. Malo

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    Sorry not very accurate wording. No support as in lacking driver updates or fixes. I had issues with insanely loud screeching occasionally, problems with media player cpu usage, and occasional game oroblems.
     
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  14. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    theres unofficial xfi drivers right?
     
  15. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I have a X-Fi Titanium in my desktop. I was using the Daniel_K pack but with Win10 it seems like the drivers Creative has for download are best. Daniel_K hasn't done anything new in a long time now. I haven't had any problems with the PCIe card, but when I was using a PCI X-Fi sometimes I would get the loud screeching when waking from sleep.

    I keep it around for the EQ, the headphone upmix, the fact that the signal quality tends to be better than integrated stuff.
     
  16. xz321zx

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    Haha it was not Creative Labs/ Singapore , by far.

    And it's not dead, but "buzzwords" are not as easy to "come by" like for example "Virtual Reality" ,which spawned several others .

    Looks like they can't find a suitable one for audio that would spawn others , and hopefully those with the manager/salesman vein , eager to cash-in , won't even find it, so this is both a blessing and a curse. Saw AMD-s attempts, not really convincing either.
     
  17. Silent_Buddha

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    The thing is that since EAX 1.0 was an open standard with no licensing fees, it was eventually supported on MB audio as well. I can't remember exactly, but I think EAX 2.0 made it into some onboard MB audio as well.

    Creative Labs effectively killed EAX with version 3.0, as Davros pointed out. Once it became proprietary and required hefty licensing fees to use (only one other sound card maker licensed EAX 3.0, IIRC) on other hardware, it was basically dead in the water. Then they shot themselves in the foot with the whole incident involving trying to force iD Software to use it in a game, and having that blow up in their face.

    Up until then I rather liked it. EAX 1.0 was certainly slightly inferior to A3D, however, it being an open standard meant that an EAX 1.0 sound card was significantly more affordable than an A3D sound card. Which then boosted it's install base. Which then meant that developers were far more likely to want to use it. EAX 2.0 brought it roughly on par with A3D, IMO.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  18. sebbbi

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    That was a funny incident indeed. Creative Labs filed a patent for technique known as "Carmack's Reverse" and tried to make id-Software pay for it. id-Software has been quite influential regarding to graphics APIs as well. They were a big force in making OpenGL viable in gaming. IHVs introduced special OpenGL gaming drivers just for Quake. Their engine was used in Half Life and Team Fortress and many other influential games, pushing OpenGL forward. Now id-Software is again pushing Vulkan heavily. Doom is the first high profile AAA game using Vulkan. id-Software clearly dislikes closed software APIs. id-Software could have been a key enabler for Creative's future tech, but Creative tried to push them to wrong direction using the worst possible means.
     
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  19. Malo

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    Non-signed non-native drivers for w10 are loaded in a wrapper and cause high cpu load.
     
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  20. ToTTenTranz

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    Microsoft killed Creative's monopoly with the Windows Vista's rejection of proprietary hardware-accelerated audio and OpenAL came too late.
    (EDIT: it's exactly what the Creative Labs' guy says at ~14:30 BTW, but there's quite a bit more interesting detail in his story).
    After Creative soundcards ceased to be interesting, PC gamers somehow stopped buying 5.1/7.1 speaker systems.
     
    #20 ToTTenTranz, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
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