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[Expertreviews] Sound Blaster ZxR review - Page 11

post #101 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

CMSS-3D is based off Sensaura and Aureal tech. More of the story of the tech and how gaming audio was killed post 2003 due to it in THIS link (see top rated comment). CMSS-3D is much more realistic sounding as it's designed around Head Related Transfer Functions, in other words, how sound waves are influenced by objects in the environment and thus affects how you perceive the sound. Dolby Tech is based off a surround sound setup.
Anyway, Dolby Headphone (and Dolby Tech in general) is horrid and outdated tech with only Hollywood and wide adoption keeping it up. It really is like the mp3 codec. Heavily outdated but still widely used due to historic industry ties.
Easily perceivable really. And for the reasons above that I've stated.
Why is positional audio in gaming going backwards and backwards...
yeah, Dolby Headphone is crap and outdated. The only time Dolby tech is good is for movies that have AC3 sound data on them, i.e. mixed with Dolby tech in mind.

No offense but do you have any proof to back up those claims? How is CMSS3d (which is no longer being used) taking audio cues from audio engines without open al or eax? I have never seen evidence that it does. In fact the Recon3d review on HardOCP and his experience with tech support seems to indicate that it works much in the same way as dolby headphone which is what I have always heard. It seems to me like it also provides a virtual surround environment. That even seems to be the way that they advertise it.

Either way the card in question doesn't even use CMSS3d. From what I've heard with my titanium hd THX trustudio is different.

Here is a quote directly from Creative's website.
Quote:
With SBX Surround, an improved surround algorithm increases and expands the virtual surround spaciousness, allowing you to enjoy cinema-quality sound in the comfort of your home. Immerse yourself right in the middle of all the action.

Edited by BababooeyHTJ - 1/7/13 at 4:23pm
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post #102 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by BababooeyHTJ View Post

How is CMSS3d (which is no longer being used) taking audio cues from audio engines without open al or eax? I have never seen evidence that it does.

Both the 3D positional hardware audio (DirectSound3D/OpenAL/EAX) and the stereo surround (virtualized 5.1/7.1 over headphones) are called CMSS-3D Headphone. So it is still being used, but just the much diminished form that is similar to Dolby Headphone.
Quote:
If the application generating the audio uses a hardware-accelerated 3D audio API (i.e. DirectSound3D or OpenAL), the input for the binaural synthesis algorithms consists of up to 128 sound sources positioned arbitrarily in 3D space, this is the most accurate utilisation of CMSS-3D.
Quote:
If the application instead generates multi-channel sound directly (e.g. a media player app or a game with software-based audio processing), the input for the binaural synthesis algorithms consist of the 4 to 7 positional sound sources associated with the application's selected speaker configuration. Such applications may use the Speakers settings defined by Windows in which case it is possible to set the Windows Speakers configuration to a multichannel set-up, e.g 5.1, so that the application will output multi channel audio.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster_X-Fi#CMSS-3D

All modern games (past 4 years or so) use the latter method of taking a 5.1/7.1 mix from the game and panning it across virtual speakers through the use of HRTFs. HRTFs that are specifically for representing a 5.1 signal or 7.1 signal around the listener. Obviously it is nowhere near as involved or accurate as applying HRTFs to 128 different sources as was done with DirectSound3D/OpenAL/EAX.
Edited by zinfinion - 1/7/13 at 4:37pm
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post #103 of 150
Exactly what I thought, thank you.
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post #104 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoleras View Post

IMO, the ZXR matches it hardware wise (and also adds a headphone amp) and has a lot of neat software features as well which is why i'm really enjoying the ZX. My favorite being echo cancellation - I can talk on mumble while playing world of warcraft and use speakers - if you're familiar with mumble/vent you know that most users have to use headphones because talking on a mic with speakers isn't possible. The Z series allows you to talk and it cancels out the echo from your speakers, so if you have a good 5.1 system you don't have to for-go it for a headset if you don't want to. The 3d is also pretty impressive IMO. The recon3d used THX trustudio which honestly was garbage, but with SBX surround it seems to be as good as CMSS3D with 5.1. I haven't tried headphone gaming yet - i'd have to throw my old titanium HD back in for a proper comparison - but so far SBX surround is very convincing for 360 degree sound, and way better than THX trustudio. Also very good in games.
I guess it's just a judgement call - they both have similar hardware but the ZX/ZXR has a few cool software features that I really like. The audio control module is very handy, as well. Hopefully some websites will do a review shootout between the titanium HD, ZXR and essence STX.

So, from what i can understand, what you really like is the updated software, correct?
post #105 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by zulk View Post


The TiHD should have more bass compared to the older xfi lineup and should not sound as harsh, the older xfi cards were very harsh sounding and thin as well. A dac chip has very little to do with overall sound sig, there are converters out there with lower resolution which will outperform higher rated chips but that will be due to the overall circuit design.

HD is bassier yes, but my elite pro was in no way harsh. Very clear, slightly bass light. 

 

In comparison to both cards, my Z sounded less detailed and quite warm, but I repeat, I may have just got a faulty card.  

 

I kinda mentioned that (EE design) ^^


Edited by Skylit - 1/9/13 at 1:07am
post #106 of 150
Funny the few claiming how "bad" Dolby Headphone is. That is complete nonsense. Its actually very good for positional surround sound in a headset/headphone... as long as you choose Dolby Headphone and choose the 7.1 virtual speaker shifter.

Right now I'm trying out the SoundBlaster ZX, and my original card is an Asus Essence STX. The positional surround sound in both is very accurate and good.

I was thinking of replacing my STX due to Asus and their poor driver support, plus I like the volume knob the Creative ZX card comes with. But my STX card has better specifications, so I don't know what I'll do yet. The overall surround sound actually is a little better on my Essence STX card, to my ears anyways, in terms of how things sound.

The Creative SoundBlaster Z card has really bad preset settings for their equalizer. Its like almost all of the preset settings sound the same. I'm still trying to get the equalizer set to where it sounds best. The ZXR is way overpriced in my opinion.
post #107 of 150

I don't like Dolby headphone. Preference ^_^

 

 

Call of duty 1 with CMSS-3D + EAX was the greatest positional audio I've ever experienced. Sadly EAX is practically dead these days.

post #108 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylit View Post

I don't like Dolby headphone. Preference ^_^


Call of duty 1 with CMSS-3D + EAX was the greatest positional audio I've ever experienced. Sadly EAX is practically dead these days.

Why would they do this, kill EAX 3D positional audio? I have noticed the last few years that my games audio is becoming more and more stereo with my surrounds practically mute! mad.gif
post #109 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Systemlord View Post

Why would they do this, kill EAX 3D positional audio? I have noticed the last few years that my games audio is becoming more and more stereo with my surrounds practically mute! mad.gif

To "secure" rolleyes.gif Vista, direct hardware access was removed for the most part. Thus EAX being all but dead. OpenAL can get around that, but devs were dropping EAX for software sound at that point anyway, so as to give everyone the same sound mix without having to rely on (and code for and debug for) specific hardware.
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post #110 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfinion View Post

To "secure" rolleyes.gif Vista, direct hardware access was removed for the most part. Thus EAX being all but dead. OpenAL can get around that, but devs were dropping EAX for software sound at that point anyway, so as to give everyone the same sound mix without having to rely on (and code for and debug for) specific hardware.

Darn half of my online kills in GRAW I & II were because I could hear my enemy opponent long before I saw him, especially when running up behind me. I could track more than one at a time and could calculate which one I would have to engage first! sad-smiley-002.gif
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