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jnd3
11-11-02, 03:06 PM
Hey all,

Well, I got tired of the screeching in Medieval Total War with the Sound Blaster Live, so I'm now the proud owner of a Hercules Gamesurround Fortissimo III 7.1. It seems like a decent card so far, but I'm having some problems getting the speakers to sound right.

I've got a cheap pair of Altec Lansing ACS33 2.1 speakers (two small satellites and a subwoofer). The problem is that I'm not feeling the bass down in the sub. The sucker used to shake like mad with the SBLive, but it's sitting there nice and quiet-like with the new card.

In the driver control panel, I've tried 2 speakers, 2.1 speakers, and 2.1 (small) speakers. They all sound about the same ... little to no bass from the sub. I'm using the latest 5.02 drivers from the Hercules web page. Anyone else run into something similar?

Cheers,
JND

--

AMD TBird 700 / Abit KT7
384 MB PC133
Windows 2000 (SP3) / DirectX 8.1
GeForce 2 GTS (41.03)
Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1

FastM
11-11-02, 03:56 PM
Welcome to the Club, i assume your talking about certain games? UT2k3 possibly?

It is an issue and i dont know of any fix yet, apart from getting an Audigy.

jnd3
11-11-02, 04:28 PM
Drat. Guess I should have done my research better!

On the upside, I found that my sounds are a little bit better when I use the 2 speaker setup instead of 2.1. So it goes.

Thanks,
JND

Starscream
11-11-02, 07:27 PM
Try this:

Double click on the volume control on your taskbar, then go to advanced controls (if it's not there click properties and put a checkmark beside advanced controls and then click the advanced controls button after it appears) and crank up the bass slider.

FastM
11-11-02, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by Starscream
Try this:

Double click on the volume control on your taskbar, then go to advanced controls (if it's not there click properties and put a checkmark beside advanced controls and then click the advanced controls button after it appears) and crank up the bass slider.

That slider only exists with Creative Cards... (so im told)

thcdru2k
11-11-02, 09:38 PM
yeah its only avail with creative. strange.

budd_wm
11-11-02, 09:45 PM
I think the reason that a 5.1 Soundblaster or Audigy sounds better is because those cards are 6 channel cards. The other cards, such as the Fortissimo, are 4 channel cards. That extra bass channel on the Creative cards probably helps out a lot whereas the other cards have to emulate 5.1 sound and there is no direct path that bass can go to the sub. The only way to verify that this where the problem is is to test out the new Revolution card from M-Audio when it is released.

SavagePaladin
11-11-02, 10:21 PM
Originally posted by budd_wm
I think the reason that a 5.1 Soundblaster or Audigy sounds better is because those cards are 6 channel cards. The other cards, such as the Fortissimo, are 4 channel cards. That extra bass channel on the Creative cards probably helps out a lot whereas the other cards have to emulate 5.1 sound and there is no direct path that bass can go to the sub. The only way to verify that this where the problem is is to test out the new Revolution card from M-Audio when it is released.

can I have what yer smoking?

budd_wm
11-11-02, 10:51 PM
Well, it's that or just the fact that it's EAX vs. DirectSound3D. :D

Does UT2k3 even use EAX?

SavagePaladin
11-11-02, 10:54 PM
Yes.

The Baron
11-11-02, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by budd_wm
Well, it's that or just the fact that it's EAX vs. DirectSound3D. :D

Does UT2k3 even use EAX?

Yeah, but you get about a 50% performance hit... ;)

thcdru2k
11-11-02, 11:56 PM
not with my ac97..i do get it with my sb live mp3+ though.

FastM
11-12-02, 12:30 AM
How does the nForce audio fall in all this? Does it have to Bass/Trebal sliders?

Is it a true 6 channel card?

SavagePaladin
11-12-02, 12:48 AM
nForce is a true 6 channel motherboard chip, it has an equalizer...
it has the best directx 8 audio support, as well as the only dolby digital encoding consumer chip...

It does EAX 2.0 pretty decently, though currently only in a certain config (if you have 5.1, you don't want 'create LFE channel' on for it.) It's a little strange, maybe the next drivers will fix it up even better. Every driver release has been a big jump (I started at 1.05, then 1.13, now i'm on a beta that very few have...)

Currently there's a black screen issue that people are pretty pissed about, but these drivers I have are going to be finalized fairly soon I believe, once they're WHQLed...and will fix it.

___
I can't really say if they're still adding new features, I wasn't told, but these new ones do have OpenAL support, looks like.

FastM
11-12-02, 12:52 AM
Originally posted by SavagePaladin
nForce is a true 6 channel motherboard chip, it has an equalizer...
it has the best directx 8 audio support, as well as the only dolby digital encoding consumer chip...

It does EAX 2.0 pretty decently, though currently only in a certain config (if you have 5.1, you don't want 'create LFE channel' on for it.) It's a little strange, maybe the next drivers will fix it up even better. Every driver release has been a big jump (I started at 1.05, then 1.13, now i'm on a beta that very few have...)

Currently there's a black screen issue that people are pretty pissed about, but these drivers I have are going to be finalized fairly soon I believe, once they're WHQLed...and will fix it.

___
I can't really say if they're still adding new features, I wasn't told, but these new ones do have OpenAL support, looks like.


So in a nutshell your not missing any Bass at all in UT2k3 AND you DO have a Bass/Trebal slider? (not an EQ)

SavagePaladin
11-12-02, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by FastM
So in a nutshell your not missing any Bass at all in UT2k3 AND you DO have a Bass/Trebal slider? (not an EQ)
I don't have the slider, no, just the equalizer....good enough for me, I set it to the Full Bass and Treble setting and be off. As to the sliders, I heard of a way to enable them, but I don't recall what it is. Nor do I honestly care, but thats just me.

Maybe I'll look for ya.

SavagePaladin
11-12-02, 01:03 AM
Looks like the driver has to support it...so yeah. You could still use the EQ.

jnd3
11-12-02, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by Starscream
Try this:

Double click on the volume control on your taskbar, then go to advanced controls (if it's not there click properties and put a checkmark beside advanced controls and then click the advanced controls button after it appears) and crank up the bass slider.

Yup, tried that (and I was actually able to get one of the bass sliders through some clickable alchemy). No change, though. All the way up, all the way down, muted ... it all sounded the same.

As I mentioned, it seems like the speakers are handling the redirection much better if I use a 2 speaker setup instead of a 2.1 speaker setup.

I briefly tried UT2k3 (demo), but for some reason the sound only worked in software mode, not in hardware or hardware+eax. Oh, well.

Cheers,
JND

FastM
11-12-02, 08:51 AM
The 2.1 option is meant for a seperate subwoofer that connects on its own to the SoundCard, not for a 2.1 system (i think anyways). So choosing 2.1 might take away even more bass because its redirecting those frequency's to just that output.

As for the nforce... Well im about 99.9% sure im going to buy myself a nForce2 this christmas season, im just looking for some feeback on what i should expect.

SavagePaladin
11-12-02, 11:26 AM
Expect....a hellishly fast system.
I can't say much more than that!

If you use win2k, use APIC 1.1 and make sure to actually change the PIC driver....in XP, you can use 1.4 and I dunno if you need to change it, never used XP (this win2k bit from my experience anyvey)

The sound is crystal clear if you get dolby digital...(Consider me a virtual newbie to stuff in general, if only because I have no money to upgrade a lot)

the drivers keep improving every release...BIG time...

BIOS updates, well, there are too many of em on my nforce, but that seems to be the way of things these days. Maybe not with nforce2...

Everything in it installs with one driver! That freaking rocks.

Cept my 56k modem. Maybe I can ditch that someday, but not now.

I've come across one significant bug in the entire time I've had it, which unfortunately...they haven't fixed yet, but are about to. I just started getting it three weeks ago or so...not too bad. Sucks though. (The now sort of famous blackscreen bug.)

(...ok, so I could say much more...)

DaveW
11-12-02, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by budd_wm
I think the reason that a 5.1 Soundblaster or Audigy sounds better is because those cards are 6 channel cards. The other cards, such as the Fortissimo, are 4 channel cards. That extra bass channel on the Creative cards probably helps out a lot whereas the other cards have to emulate 5.1 sound and there is no direct path that bass can go to the sub. The only way to verify that this where the problem is is to test out the new Revolution card from M-Audio when it is released.

The Forti 3 has 4 ports on the back: front left/right, surround left/right, rear left/right, and center/sub. Its chip is a 4 channel chip, Hercules added extra codecs to make it 8 channel, but it can recreate true 5.1 audio.

The subwoofer and center channels are independent of the other speakers. If you switch off the center channel you can't here voices in DVDs, if you toggle large/small speaker modes you can hear a difference in the usage of the subwoofer. If the Forti did the emulation you describe neither of these things would be true.

The base problems on the Hercules cards are due to a driver issue on some games. UT2003 sounds terrible unless you run it in software audio, BF1942 has a chipmunk effect, and Hitman 2 just crashes at random. Hopefully we will see some new drivers soon. I think UT2003 has its own issues though, most soundblaster owners run the game in software audio too.

SavagePaladin
11-12-02, 11:46 AM
Thats a Audigy driver issue, or a SB Live! sucking issue, take your pick.
The Audigy drivers at release didn't actually support openal correctly
(iirc?)
I remember reading that, and a lot of people were pissed about it because it was doing ther same in Jedi Knight 2 and stuff

DaveW
11-12-02, 11:56 AM
The Audigy drivers at release didn't actually support openal correctly

If even the Audigy didn't initially support OpenAl (which Creative owns) properly there is no chance for my Hercules card then.

SavagePaladin
11-12-02, 12:04 PM
how does Creative own openAL?

creative owns EAX...

They didn't work at the time of UT2003s release....they did work when the CARD was released. Something like that. It was all fairly amusing to see.

DaveW
11-12-02, 12:23 PM
Loki did most of the work on Open AL. Loki filed for chapter 11 and my understand is that Creative brought them out. Plus, if you go to www.openal.org and click on downloads, the only available binaries are from creatives website.