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Thread: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?




  1. #21

    Default Re: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?

    I'm a broke power gamer, so the APU was something I really respected. It had very good quality, features, and alright (not perfect) support.

    I believed NV had enough clout to improve the sound market just like they do graphics. I also believed they'd do just that.

    Instead, they dropped it and have no plans to resurrect.
    I find this outright wrong, as they do so much to cater to enhusiasts at LAN parties and E3 and everywhere else....and now they're just going to drop an enthusiast feature instead of improving it???

    I respected NV...even after the FX thing....but this just takes the cake.

    Sound has a lot of problems which could be cleared up with a little help from Microsoft....Creative Labs owns the only standard worth mentioning (except OpenAL) and at least as far as game audio goes this makes CL the only real option. If MS were to step up with updated audio standards, a lot of the inconsistencies we see in game audio across various cards would be fixed.

    I'll probably still end up buying nforce next time I buy, but I can't say it won't be swallowing a bitter pill.

    Seawolf of NFHQ

  2. #22

    Default Re: The Bogosity, The Bogosity.....

    Quote Originally Posted by xiphmont
    You might not know it, but most of the games you mentioned in your review are using Ogg Vorbis compression internally. 'The Ultimate Solution' is a audio engine that takes audio that's already been lossily compressed (with Vorbis), re-compresses it with a lower-quality codec (AC3), and then sends it to a consumer grade audio decoder for surround?! Ye Gods. Dolby must be wetting themselves over the licensing fees this Rube Goldberg contraption will bring in.

    No, dear folks, the real 'ultimate solution' would be an audio engine with Vorbis and other decode in hardware (because the Sound Storm isn't doing a thing to help with that and the games are doing it anyway) and sends six clean analog or uncompressed digital outputs to your surround system. Or... any decent audio card that decodes to six outputs. Then you can feed them into *any* amplifier/speaker combo (avoiding a second generation of compression loss) and avoid having to borrow or buy a specialized Dolby six channel A/V decoder to play UT2004. You'll get better output for cheaper from eMagic, RME, Creative or M-Audio.

    Using AC3 for already compressed audio is like feeding your game sounds through a couple of cassette tape copies before listening to it. It's just unneccessary hype.

    Monty
    You've got some points, but you're ignoring others...
    For my 100 bucks I could have bought a $50 sound card and $50 speakers...the sound would've been pretty damn worthless.
    For my 100 bucks I got some Dolby Digital speakers instead. The sound was perfectly clear and though the speakers could've been better, the quality was still great.
    As for already compressed audio, since all digital audio is compressed I don't see your point. No, DD5.1 isn't perfect by any means...but it sounds very good anyway, and since this avoids all signal noise that you'll get inside a PC, it DOES improve the quality over analog in that direction.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?

    all right...well...my biggest complain so far..is that the marketing in regards to audio these days is just CRAP, total and utter CRAP. 5.1...6.1....7.1...whats the point??? there is no REAL media to date that supports ANY format over 5.1...so whats the point to the 6.1 and 7.1??? really?? other than to just have some poor sucker buy something they dont need, nor will really be utilized...we have enough problems now getting games that even support 5.1 properly...and the compression..blah..the compression...i wont even start on that...even cds you buy today...compressed...for those 4 songs :P blah...hmm..what else can i whine about here? the lack of games that support surround...i think thats pretty obvious...im just ranting at this point...but i do agree that games NEED surround...thats done PROPERLY. and if any game companies read this....IT NEEDS TO BE DONE. ive posted my system specs on this posting for the reason of audio. i would like to consider myself an audiophile..at least ive bought enough hardware for bragging rights..but still...even though its thru my pc and i use a coax from my A2ZS, im still hoping for vast improvements to sound quality...positioning..and basic usage even...Doom 3 was even a disappointment to me...it was a good attempt..but still..poorly done. esp with no replay value to Doom 3 :P all thats left now is HL2 and DNF*lol* so i will sit here and whine....rant...and complain about how the sounds in games are lacking...crap quality..and just basically overlooked. im sure those over at firingsquad have heard enough of my whinings about audio for the last 6mos, so its time to pop over here :) hehe

    Asus P4SE Intel P4-2.4 oc'd 2.7
    512 pc2100 GF4ti4200 128 8x Audigy 2 ZS
    Martin Logan Aerius i fronts
    Klipsch quintet surrounds
    PSB Image 8C center
    Paradigm 10" sub
    Denon 1801 Receiver
    Anthem MCA 2
    Gsnake RCA-Coax cable for analogue
    Monster Coax cable for digital
    very vanilla settings for the soundcard 'sound' to get the most pure sound possible without coloring.

    thats my rant, ty for yer time :)
    ASLayerAODsk

  4. #24
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    Default Re: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?

    It seems counterintuitive (if I'm allowed to use long words ;-) that in some of the tests the "sound disabled" setup is beaten by a "sound" setup. It's not the only example, but on p9 of the article, SB Audigy 2 produces 146.6 and disabled sound gives 137.5.

    Unless there is a good theory why this should be the case, I have to conclude that it is due the measurement error/uncertainty. Considering the size of the difference, that would render the whole series of tests meaningless.

    So, can anybody offer a theory?

    Philos

  5. #25
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    Default Re: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?

    I think Mr.Tweak and his article are representative of the reason why 'computer audio has not progressed'.

    There is simply no demand for high-quality computer audio at the consumer level - they are more interested in marketing gimmicks like EAX, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 than the actual quality of audio their transport allows. Similarly, the average gamer has no concern for quality in their headphones or dedicated-pc-speaker setup. Consumers are more interested in tacky stereo-separation effects which are are anaethema to fidelity.

    There is in fact an entire world of computer audio out there, albeit apparently not known to the article author, which can be of professional quality and comparable to any dedicated transport.

    However it is worth noting, to ignore the effects of jitter and so on, that where audio allows a bit-perfect digital out, computer audio has progressed as far as need be.


    ASLayerAODsk - An audiophile using an A2ZS?
    Last edited by katalyst^; 09-07-2004 at 10:11 AM.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?

    ASLayerAODsk has a slight point, however there is Media that does use 6.1 and its a big difference than 5.1 when you can experience it. Several big hollywood movies have used it and not much else thus far.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?

    yes...good point...creative drivers are crap....creative cards are lacklustre...but for gaming purposes..i cant think of another gaming card that i would take...i only use intel...so that rules me out for a soundstorm as much as i would like to have one...i just dont believe in AMD...so..i ended up getting an A2ZS...for gaming...would you say theres a better one?, its not TERRIBLE for movies either...as for music...i only use foobar2000...winblamp is crap....musiccrap crapbox...is crap....foobar is the only one thats kept me happy..and im waiting for the kx drivers project to support the ZS series of creative..then i will desert the creative drivers too....so..i do have my poop in order...to some degree :) hehe

  8. #28
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    Default Re: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?

    yes..there IS media that uses 6.1....BUT i think maybe 1% of the whole population of the world can use it...properly...anyway.....so...is that DEMANDED from consumers? i dont think so. home theatres in a box are 5.1 and those are DESIGNED to mass market....cheap...effective...and cheap :P ive never seen one thats 6.1 or 7.1 yet...im not saying they dont exist..but theres just no ECONOMICAL way to get a system that supports that at this time...its just totally unwarranted...in computers....in home theatre....anywhere really. and all 6.1/7.1 on a dvd would do anyway, would incur more compression to get the extra tracks onto the dvd :P so its a lose/lose situation anyway. sigh..i wish laser discs made it...instead of useless crap dvds :P but gaming audio barely supports 5.1..so its just a pointless debate...stereo is still the mainstream...and 5.1+ is still almost elite..but being brought down more and more, year by year..i think in 2-3 years maybe a lot of homes will have at least ONE 5.1 setup with the advent of HDTV and the full digital signal...but in regards to computers and that....it could be a while...they just dont take it seriously....for instance...i emailed Creative..because i was looking thru the drivers for the kx project..and i came up with the question, 'how much memory is onboard the ZS???' so i asked them..and i was told its a 'trade secret' :P as if!!! a trade secret???? i mean..come on....how sad and pathetic can you get??? when you buy a car, are the brake pads a trade secret??? :P creative has done nothing but drive me away...but unfortunately...there is no alternative BUT the Creative monopoly right now....so i sit and bide my time till something GOOD comes along that can do it all....
    ps. i thought monopolies were illegal in the USA??? *AT&T/Microsoft* yes/no?

  9. #29
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    Default Re: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?

    Very true. I happen to be one of the 1% with 6.1 =)
    Actually, it has become available for lower end equipment. But for the mass market 5.1 is king like u say. Really though, any movie with 6.1 can be done with the same 'normal' compression along-side 5.1, just without all the extra bonus features and languages. Oh, and 5.1 can be up-converted to 6.1 or you can have 6.1 stereo - while nothing really cool about being able to do that it does add something a lil different to the table.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: The forgotten component - What’s up with computer audio?

    yes..but then again..i ask....how is it practical given that the market is EXCLUSIVELY designed for a format that isnt even used properly??? nor efficiently??? dvds being the PRIMARY case..but then for pc's....in particular...games...barely use much above stereo as 'mainstream'...and even then...half the time its done as such an afterthought...that the quality is just crap...:P blah...i just wish i didnt have to debate all this over and over again....cause i know it wont change..cause overall...noone cares about sound....'stereo is good enough' or 'as long as theres some sound, im happy' is what i hear a lot of from my non-audiophile friends...but then you have to ask...when your playing your game...try turning off the sound..and see if you would even play it for 5 mins??? or a movie....THEN, and only then, do ppl realize how IMPORTANT sound is to a game/movie and then i ask, 'when will the quality be up to a decent standard of quality rather than just an afterthought???'

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