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Old 09-29-07, 06:03 AM   #13
ATI_Dude
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Quote:
Originally Posted by jolle
Well, its removal of DirectSound3d.. its NOT removal of HW accelerated 3d sound afaik..
There are other APIs, like OpenAL, and FMOD (EX) that WOW and BIOSHOCK (EDIT: and Crysis apparantly) uses.
Dunno much about FMOD, but I know the programmers in my class use it alot.

With no DS3d in Vista, games will start using other APIs.
You're right. I should have made my point more clear:

Microsoft dropped the hardware abstract layer (HAL) from DirectSound in Vista. Eventually Blizzard had to do something once their costumer base migrate to Vista.
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Old 09-29-07, 08:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Quote:
Originally Posted by jolle
Well, its removal of DirectSound3d.. its NOT removal of HW accelerated 3d sound afaik..
There are other APIs, like OpenAL, and FMOD (EX) that WOW and BIOSHOCK (EDIT: and Crysis apparantly) uses.
Dunno much about FMOD, but I know the programmers in my class use it alot.

With no DS3d in Vista, games will start using other APIs.
DS3D is NOT removed from vista. The only thing that is removed from vista is the HAL. And audio HAL is removed for good reason too. Creative is the only company that is backwards enough to still want to use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glObalist
"The new sound engine allows so many additional and great sound features for all of our players, including the ability for us to do new and interesting sound alterations based on in-game queues and actions, that it would really be a step backwards to go back to the old system."

What a load of crap. I highly doubt the "additional and great" sound features will ever compensate for the many a missing or cut-out sound I'm (not) getting now. Can't they just make both HW and SW rendering available? So that both us with the high end cards and the 3rd world customer with his Soundmax card are kept satisfied?
From what I have read of FMOD, it is far less prone to crashing, much easier to program for, and has more features. It actually costs more for blizzard to move to FMOD, both in terms of the fact that FMOD costs money, and they have to spend time rewriting the engine to use it effectively, so they wouldn't have done so without good reason, and believe me they have good reason.
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Old 09-29-07, 06:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

i think that creative has actually been holding pc audio back.
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Old 09-30-07, 04:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightmare beta
i think that creative has actually been holding pc audio back.
I agree. The technical development in game audio has essentially been stagnant since Aureal folded. Now Creative no longer holds a monopoly postion on the market and game developers are not limited by the constraints of EAX and the old DirectSound HAL. Modern multi-core CPUs are more than capable of rendering multiple simultaneous 3D audio voices without hampering overall performance and I'm confident the more proficient game developers will be able to come up with audio engines which are superior to anything we've seen so far. It's just a matter of optimizing the game code in multiple threads. I hope some game developers will start implementing wavetracing algorithms (a la Aureal) for more realistic sound instead of the traditional flat reverb algorithms.
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Old 09-30-07, 07:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightmare beta
i think that creative has actually been holding pc audio back.
I actually agree with you here.

Creative is the worst. They bought up their closest competition and have since been releasing pure crap.
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Old 10-01-07, 01:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI_Dude
Modern multi-core CPUs are more than capable of rendering multiple simultaneous 3D audio voices without hampering overall performance
Even the faster single core CPU's can do this. Having a dual core just sweetens the deal because these are easily done in separate threads. Not only that, but these operations can be done with much lower latency in software than they can be done in hardware.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:36 AM   #19
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaWolf_HK
Even the faster single core CPU's can do this. Having a dual core just sweetens the deal because these are easily done in separate threads. Not only that, but these operations can be done with much lower latency in software than they can be done in hardware.
It depends on the type of audio processing. Multiple simultaneous 3D voices over speakers aren't problem even for single core processors. But 128 simultaneous 3D voices with HRTF is much more demanding and will reduce performance on a single CPU system.
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Old 10-01-07, 05:02 AM   #20
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

I'd really like to agree with you there ATI_dude, but I seriously think with these days of titles making their money on console releases, and the imminent death of the only thing that came close to Aureals wavetracing (Creative's CMSS3D) that we are going to see much in the way of innovation on the part of the developers with their own audio engines with regards to HRTF implementation.

I think the only saviour for those of us that prefer the *potential* superior positioning immersion of headphones will be developers using and implementing solutions such as the latest revision of Fmod Ex 4.08, which include the tools to correctly implement HRTF in a software mixer. I really have no idea what sort of impact this will have on CPU usage though.
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Old 10-01-07, 06:45 AM   #21
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Anyway, have any of you guys figured a way how to make the game sound at least as good as it sounded before the patch?

Mind you, the XP drivers for my E-MU (= branch of Creative) card have not been updated in 2.5 years now. I could try using Vista or my onboard Realtek card or a combination of thereof but I doubt this will bring back the sound I'm used to.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-01-07, 03:48 PM   #22
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Code:
DirectSound Hardware-Acceleration and SRC Sliders

Windows Me/98, and Windows 2000 and later, provide global slider controls for altering DirectSound performance on a system-wide basis. The sliders control the level of hardware acceleration and quality of sample-rate conversion (SRC) that are made available to DirectSound applications. Changes made to the hardware-acceleration and SRC sliders are persistent across boot-ups.

The hardware-acceleration and SRC settings can be changed only by direct end-user action. No API is available for changing the hardware-acceleration or SRC setting from an application program. This behavior improves stability and prevents software from placing the audio system in a state from which it cannot be removed without rebooting.

These settings affect only DirectSound applications. Note that the waveOut API always uses the best SRC quality regardless of the setting of the DirectSound SRC slider. Also, in all current versions of Windows, waveOut applications are unable to use hardware-accelerated pins on audio devices and are unaffected by the setting of the DirectSound hardware-acceleration slider. For more information about the Windows multimedia waveOut API, see the Microsoft Windows SDK documentation.

To locate the DirectSound hardware-acceleration and SRC sliders in Windows XP, for example, follow these steps:

   1. In Control Panel, double-click the Sounds and Audio Devices icon (or just run mmsys.cpl).
   2. On the Audio tab, select a device from the Sound Playback list.
   3. Click the Advanced button.
   4. Click the Performance tab.

At this point, you should see two sliders that are labeled Hardware acceleration and Sample rate conversion quality.

The hardware-acceleration slider has four settings that range from None (level 0) on the left to Full (level three) on the right. The following table shows the meaning of these settings.
Acceleration Level 	Setting Name 	Description
0 	Emulation 	Forces emulation.
1 	Basic 	Disables hardware acceleration of DirectSound secondary buffers.
2 	Standard 	Enables hardware acceleration of DirectSound secondary buffers but disables vendor-specific property-set extensions.
3 	Full 	Enables hardware acceleration of DirectSound secondary buffers and enables vendor-specific property-set extensions.

Emulation Setting
    The Emulation setting above forces DirectSound into emulation mode. In this mode, DirectSound applications run as though no DirectSound driver is present. All mixing is done by DirectSound in user mode, and the resulting audio data is played back through the waveOut API. The result is typically a large increase in latency. Note that after you select this setting, you might need to reboot if you are running a Windows version that is earlier than Windows XP and you want to change to one of the other three settings: Basic, Standard, or Full. This problem has been fixed in the version of DirectSound that ships with Windows XP and later.
Basic Setting
    The Basic setting disables hardware acceleration of DirectSound secondary buffers. Under this setting, all DirectSound applications run as though no hardware acceleration is available, regardless of the capabilities of the sound card that is being used. You can use this setting during testing to emulate a sound card that has no DirectSound acceleration. With an adapter such as the OPL, which has no acceleration of DirectSound secondary buffers, this setting has the same effect as the Standard setting. In Windows Server 2003, Basic is the default setting.
Standard Setting
    The Standard setting enables hardware acceleration of DirectSound secondary buffers but disables vendor-specific extensions such as EAX (Creative Technologies' environmental audio extensions) that are exposed as property sets through the IKsPropertySet interface (see Exposing Custom Audio Property Sets). In Windows 2000, the Standard setting is selected by default.
Full Setting
    The Full setting enables full acceleration of DirectSound secondary buffers. This setting also enables property sets for vendor-specific extensions that are exposed through the IKsPropertySet interface (see Exposing Custom Audio Property Sets). IKsPropertySet extensions include vendor-specific hardware enhancements such as EAX. This is the default setting in Windows Me/98 and Windows XP.

The following table summarizes the default settings for the hardware-acceleration and SRC sliders for the various Windows releases.
Windows Release 	Default Hardware-Acceleration Setting 	Default SRC Setting
Windows 98 	Full 	Good
Windows 2000 	Standard 	Good
Windows Me 	Full 	Good
Windows XP 	Full 	Best
Windows Server 2003 	Basic 	Best

If the user adjusts either the hardware-acceleration or SRC setting to a value other than the default, DirectSound uses the new setting instead of the default.

In Windows XP, the KMixer system driver uses an SRC algorithm that provides a signal-to-noise ratio of up to 85 decibels when the SRC slider is set to Best. For more information about KMixer's SRC algorithms, see KMixer Driver Sample Rate Conversion and Mixing Policy.

Helpful Info.
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Old 10-01-07, 04:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

I have added the following lines to my config.wtf and it seems to make a difference. My sounds are back again so it seems:

SET SoundOutputSystem "-1"
SET SoundDriver "1"
SET SoundUseHardware "-1"
SET SoundMixer "4"
SET Sound_ListenerAtCharacter "0"
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Old 10-01-07, 05:35 PM   #24
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tr1cK
I noticed the sound cutting out some on me today.
I've had the music cut out ocassionally, for a few patches now. As to this lattest patch, there are more then a few issues... The delay in getting moneys from the AH is one of those annoyances. Other then that, practically everyone in my guild has had lag related problems since the patch, increased DCs, and they seem realm wide.

Like yesterday when I was in shat when it happened, everyone in trade channel was commenting, all at once about it, etc. I couldn't even open a chat screen, and everything on screen but scrolling old text was frozen. A bunch of us were going to run heroic mech then, and I was like "eh, probably not with this lag, we'll die". Everyone getting game freeze just doesn't go well in heroics, kara, or what not. Same evening, logging in, I was stuck on "connected" loading char screen (with no chars displayed) for like 3 minutes.

There's other general things, that almost makes me think a bug fix 2.2.1 won't be far away.
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