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So are there practical replacements for sound cards yet? - Page 2

post #11 of 20
So I just ordered an Asus DGX "gaming" sound card. Can I expect crappier sound in music than onboard then? How can that be possible lol?
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post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighwayStar View Post

So I just ordered an Asus DGX "gaming" sound card. Can I expect crappier sound in music than onboard then? How can that be possible lol?
It will be nowhere near as bad as onboard.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

That's fine and dandy, but still doesn't solve why certain cards are better than others for gaming.

If used for headphones, differences in output impedance / DC blocking cap causing changes in frequency response, phase response, distortion, and more. All it takes is something with a more output impedance, use something like modern Sennheiser HD 5xx series (or many other examples), and get more and muddier midbass, which would mean worse performance for gaming audio. Different lowpass filter (doubtful)? In the past, screwy behavior from forced resampling?

People not ever doing fast A/B switching for comparisons, never mind being level-matched and blinded? I mean, what you perceive and remember depends heavily on what you're listening for and expecting to hear, often more so than for any actual differences in hardware. Compromised / biased comparisons, first impressions being hard to dispel?
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighwayStar View Post

So I just ordered an Asus DGX "gaming" sound card. Can I expect crappier sound in music than onboard then? How can that be possible lol?

It'll be fine. The differences people here in quality of products depend on the user, the equipment, and the music.

I have a DG (same as you just bought except for PCI) and it's miles ahead of the VIA onboard audio chip on my motherboard.
    
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post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

That's fine and dandy, but still doesn't solve why certain cards are better than others for gaming.

If used for headphones, differences in output impedance / DC blocking cap causing changes in frequency response, phase response, distortion, and more. All it takes is something with a more output impedance, use something like modern Sennheiser HD 5xx series (or many other examples), and get more and muddier midbass, which would mean worse performance for gaming audio. Different lowpass filter (doubtful)? In the past, screwy behavior from forced resampling?

People not ever doing fast A/B switching for comparisons, never mind being level-matched and blinded? I mean, what you perceive and remember depends heavily on what you're listening for and expecting to hear, often more so than for any actual differences in hardware. Compromised / biased comparisons, first impressions being hard to dispel?

So you're saying no card is better than any other for gaming and that it's all in our head. We choose to believe one card is better than another simply because it's labeled a gaming card and we're expecting it to be good at gaming.

Why would output impedance be an issue for a soundcard and how would that effect gaming unless if all of that is basically what we were saying in that it causes changes in frequency response (better mids etc) than would normally have occurred on a more balanced soundcard.
Edited by Simca - 8/25/12 at 12:51pm
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post #16 of 20
About Sensaura's tech (that Creative bought out):

http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/gvj5w/3d_sound_no_really_watch_this/

Very top comment by a former Sensaura employee.

Section 3.7 of the Toneboosters Plugin Users Manual; provides a very basic rundown of what's involved (i.e.basic psychoacoustics):

http://www.toneboosters.com/manuals/TB_Plugins_Manual.pdf

Sensaura's Tech and Toneboosters Isone are both based on HRTF. Dolby is based on a multi-speaker room setup.


It's basically this:

Headphones, by design, do not provide correct sound localisation. As one ear is isolated from each other, you hear in two 'blobs' of audio, called 'lateralisation', which does not mimic what happens in real life. In real life, you hear a sound cue with both ears, with one ear hearing it sooner than the other. Also the pinnae (the fleshy outer part of the ear), size of the ear and the size of your head affects how you hear the sound as well.

Combine it with soundwaves being affected by objects in the environment as well. You must factor for all of this for accurate audio positioning. This is where surround sound DSPs come into play. However as they are not customisable (except for Tooneboosters Isone and proper HTRF calibration), the effect of this depends on how the surround DSP and how close it matches your HRTF (your head and ears).
The problem with Dolby tech is that it's develops for surround sound for music / movies purposes, where you don't have objects in the environment to contend with (nor early reflections off walls etc). Sensaura's tech, like factoring height of sound, such as in MarcoFX, allows for much more flexibility.
Creative held back gaming audio for years when they bought out Sensaura and Aureal3D.

The quality of game audio has improved a lot (see BF3), but gaming audio positioning has been held back for years now. 'Consolisation' of games doesn't help either.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

About Sensaura's tech (that Creative bought out):

http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/gvj5w/3d_sound_no_really_watch_this/

Very top comment by a former Sensaura employee.

Section 3.7 of the Toneboosters Plugin Users Manual; provides a very basic rundown of what's involved (i.e.basic psychoacoustics):

http://www.toneboosters.com/manuals/TB_Plugins_Manual.pdf

Sensaura's Tech and Toneboosters Isone are both based on HRTF. Dolby is based on a multi-speaker room setup.


It's basically this:

Headphones, by design, do not provide correct sound localisation. As one ear is isolated from each other, you hear in two 'blobs' of audio, called 'lateralisation', which does not mimic what happens in real life. In real life, you hear a sound cue with both ears, with one ear hearing it sooner than the other. Also the pinnae (the fleshy outer part of the ear), size of the ear and the size of your head affects how you hear the sound as well.

Combine it with soundwaves being affected by objects in the environment as well. You must factor for all of this for accurate audio positioning. This is where surround sound DSPs come into play. However as they are not customisable (except for Tooneboosters Isone and proper HTRF calibration), the effect of this depends on how the surround DSP and how close it matches your HRTF (your head and ears).
The problem with Dolby tech is that it's develops for surround sound for music / movies purposes, where you don't have objects in the environment to contend with (nor early reflections off walls etc). Sensaura's tech, like factoring height of sound, such as in MarcoFX, allows for much more flexibility.
Creative held back gaming audio for years when they bought out Sensaura and Aureal3D.

That's pretty cool stuff. Let me ask you this - do you think that you can still get one of those old cards, install it on a modern PC and produce what you could have in 1999? Or is the system locked down because of Vista/7 in the way that it is and you'd have to be based of 98/2000/XP to get the audio right? Or is there a workaround, and is it worth it?

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post #18 of 20
No Win 7 or Vista drivers. Ya screwed. it's purely a driver support issue (they aren't gonna provide driver support on a long discontinued product) or else I would of done it ages ago.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

No Win 7 or Vista drivers. Ya screwed. it's purely a driver support issue (they aren't gonna provide driver support on a long discontinued product) or else I would of done it ages ago.

What a disgrace from Creative, MS and IP *insert curse word of choice here* lobbyists who locked it all down. mad.gif
    
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post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

So you're saying no card is better than any other for gaming and that it's all in our head. We choose to believe one card is better than another simply because it's labeled a gaming card and we're expecting it to be good at gaming.
Why would output impedance be an issue for a soundcard and how would that effect gaming unless if all of that is basically what we were saying in that it causes changes in frequency response (better mids etc) than would normally have occurred on a more balanced soundcard.

Maybe I should have spelled it out explicitly. The first paragraph (of #13) was about differences in hardware (and there can be others) that would cause differences in sound. However, these types of differences would show up in music as well as games. And if differences are attributed to the types of things I pointed out, I would think it's a big stretch to conclude that it's an intentional result of being engineered in a certain way towards better game audio. They're either going after better sound in general or making some tweak that would be evidenced outside of games too (or doing something like HRTF compensation, but only for games?).

Other possible contributing factors and explanations are in the second paragraph. Those aren't the only possible explanations, and they aren't the only ones I gave.

Output impedance is only an issue if "used for headphones", as I originally wrote. Sorry, I meant "used to drive headphones". The meaning was not clear originally, since I suppose you could say you use sound cards for headphones by running the card into a headphone amp into the headphones. A lot of people plug their headphones directly into sound cards though.
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