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Community => The Lounge => Hardware/Software => Topic started by: Spanky on Wednesday, December 02, 2009, 23:35:22 PM

Title: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Wednesday, December 02, 2009, 23:35:22 PM
Alternative & New Drivers:
ASIO4ALL (http://www.asio4all.com/)
Explanation of ASIO4ALL (http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/asio4all-explanation-221237/)
WASAPI (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=62653) (Vista & Windows 7 Only)
kX Audio Driver (http://kxproject.lugosoft.com/) (last updated in September 2009)
DanielK Drivers (http://forums.creative.com/t5/Sound-Blaster/SB-X-Fi-Series-AuzenUAA-Pack-1-0-09-30-2009/m-p/539450) (Just an example of his drivers, click the "Sound Blaster (http://forums.creative.com/t5/Sound-Blaster/bd-p/soundblaster)" forum category to see different drivers for different models)
PAX Driver (http://www.driverheaven.net/youp-pax-drivers/)

Media Players:
Foobar2000 (http://www.foobar2000.org/)
Winamp (http://www.winamp.com/)

Sadly on 11-9-09 Daniel K said that he would not contribute anymore to the community:
http://forums.creative.com/t5/Sound-Blaster/SB-Audigy-Series-Support-Pack-3-6-11-09-2009/m-p/540967#M148151
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Jared on Friday, December 04, 2009, 17:33:27 PM
I use the PAX drivers, they are great for vista if you can't get alchemy to work.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Friday, December 04, 2009, 17:42:07 PM
Good to see you on these forums :) I cleaned up the original post. Feel free to recommend anything I might have missed (this goes for everyone).
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Sunday, December 20, 2009, 18:34:45 PM
Added sad post from Daniel K.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Possessed on Wednesday, December 19, 2012, 20:17:47 PM
BUMP
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: teddy_grizzly_bear on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 03:27:09 AM
This thread is from 3 years ago, is all the information still up to date?
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Koden on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 03:51:06 AM
This thread is from 3 years ago, is all the information still up to date?

All of the links are still valid and drivers seems to be up to date (the xK drivers were last updated in september 2009 but the forums are still active).
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Cheaters on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 08:23:23 AM
http://en.store.creative.com/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-recon3d-omega-wireless/1-20880.aspx i have this and i can hear shit in AA :( anyone can help with some other drivers? or does the alchemy help on win 7? i can not hear any difrence.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: [Majestic]tidididi on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 08:30:37 AM
Soundcard + settings > headphones

Sound card without good settings = shit
Good headphones without good soundcard with good settings = shit

Headphones for gamers are worthless shit. You paid 300 euro (LOL) for nothing worth shit.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: BiG_SerGiO on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 08:57:57 AM
Tididididididididididi

Settings are different from tweaks. Decent settings everyone has.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Cheaters on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 09:25:50 AM
Tidi in other games i hear good, but in AA nothing.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 14:18:36 PM
The funny thing is, you don't need any settings to get the best sound. You're not supposed to hear across the map. I don't have a "sound card" and I run Windows 7 yet I hear everything I need to in AA. The only things lost are some of the EAX effects but AA didn't fully utilize those and they're not that great anyway.

This thread isn't about tweaking your sound to hear enemies better. It's about better sound quality.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: 1m50ry on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 15:51:54 PM
The funny thing is, you don't need any settings to get the best sound. You're not supposed to hear across the map. I don't have a "sound card" and I run Windows 7 yet I hear everything I need to in AA. The only things lost are some of the EAX effects but AA didn't fully utilize those and they're not that great anyway.

This thread isn't about tweaking your sound to hear enemies better. It's about better sound quality.

but in this game is hearing enemy better more important than sound quality
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 17:02:34 PM
but in this game is hearing enemy better more important than sound quality

That is an opinion and not one shared by the developers. Why would the devs go to such great length to record accurate sounds just to have some random person with no experience in audio engineering come along and play with a crossover that just mangles their hard work?

Another funny thing, if you have a good audio setup, you don't need to tweak. With a quality system, sounds are replicated as they should be. But, if you want to go ahead and blast your ears with bloated treble and your 128kbps MP3's be my guest. I'm just saying, that's not what this thread is about.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: dapand on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 17:38:06 PM
Recon3d ? A friend of mine has one but inside his computer. However the drivers should be the same, at least settings-wise. If I'm not wrong then all you have to do is change frequencies' volume. Like raising mid-high and high frequencies to something high (+ vol) and low frequencies to something low (- vol) - basically ^^ if you can't change these then I don't think you can do much. I'm of course talking about having a nice sound to spot your enemies easier...
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 17:50:39 PM
I'm of course talking about having a nice sound to spot your enemies easier...

Of course :) You're talking about a Creative product (I didn't know they finally retired X-Fi). They've never been known for quality. Just gimmicks for people that don't know any better. They're trying hard to gain back the market from most all developers moving to CPU-based audio rendering.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: eKC0mm on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 18:20:01 PM
I have an X-Fi. All ill say is that everything sounds great. I have no complaints. (maybe this is just because i haven't heard anything better than an X-Fi)

To hear all in AA, just get a decent headset with a wide frequency. Then change some equalizer settings so that your mids are up. BOOM you can hear stuff.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Possessed on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 18:54:44 PM
last time I tried equalizer to play AA it was rly annoying, not to mention that a simple smoke fuked up everything lol.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 18:55:56 PM
I have an X-Fi. All ill say is that everything sounds great. I have no complaints. (maybe this is just because i haven't heard anything better than an X-Fi)

To hear all in AA, just get a decent headset with a wide frequency. Then change some equalizer settings so that your mids are up. BOOM you can hear stuff.

We've been over this in other threads before :) For those that haven't seen those threads, I will agree that in some circumstances an X-Fi or other dedicated sound card can be better than onboard audio. The reason behind this is that just like onboard graphics, onboard audio improves with time. If you have an older motherboard then getting a X-Fi, you will hear improvements. That's generally due to the DAC, opamps and other chips. That's not because it's an uber gamer 1337 card with led's and a quad core audio processor. That's all marketing hype. The fact is, audio semiconductors get better with time just like other semiconductors. Faster, smaller, lower voltage, better performance.

My second point is that there are no quality headsets unless you start looking at aviation equipment. There are fantastic quality headphones to be had anywhere between $100 and $150. ekcomm, didn't you get a pair of those Audio-Technica headphones? I know a few people here have and that's pretty much one of the best ways you can get more quality. In laymens terms, you need 2 things to have a real kick-ass beginner setup:
- Drivers (in speakers or headphones) that do a good job of replicating signals. The major differences are in smaller steps. When you go from a $15 store-bought headset to a $150 pair of headphones, the differences will blow your mind. But going from a $150 pair of headphones to a $500 pair, it will be better but it's not as big of a leap.
- Power, this is where the sound card comes in. You need to supply your drivers with adequate power so they can replicate signals properly. Think of a light bulb on a dimmer switch. Low power, you can't see jack shit. Crank the power up and all the details start coming out.

When your equipment starts replicating audio properly, your ears will no longer be fatigued and you can hear details that were muddled before. No equalizer needed.

I also want to point out that no equalizer can compensate for shitty headphones/headsets. If they could, recording studios and sound engineers would buy their equipment at Walmart.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Alex on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 19:19:30 PM
For Christmas I'm thinking about getting a DAC and either a pair of Audio Technica AD700's or Grado SR80i's.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: eKC0mm on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 19:26:03 PM
Audio-Technicas indeed. Noticed a big difference. I mean there good for the game and stuff. BUT i see what people are saying when they say the bass isnt too great. You can tell when you watch movies and play music that they just dont pump the bass well.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 20:03:06 PM
Audio-Technicas indeed. Noticed a big difference. I mean there good for the game and stuff. BUT i see what people are saying when they say the bass isnt too great. You can tell when you watch movies and play music that they just dont pump the bass well.

Yea, at $100-$150, you have to kind of pick and choose what style you want. There's bright headphones, great movie headphones and open vs closed, just all kinds. It's up past $300-$400 where things even out and become a real good balance, or so I've heard. I loved my Beyerdynamic DT770's but the highs were pretty distorted and sibilant. Great bass though.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: 1m50ry on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 22:16:20 PM
spanky u look like u understand alot so please can u post here some cool eq settings which are shit for movies and music but good for aao?
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 22:28:46 PM
You probably want it like a bell curve, no lows or highs to blow your ears when you crank the volume. Aside from that, I can't really help. I never tweaked for AA so I don't know what sounds best and now, there's no way I can tweak or alter my audio with my setup now.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: krIz+ on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 23:29:57 PM
I realy dont see a point in buying a 300-400$ Headphones, for games or movies, for music creating, like cubase, abletone is legit.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 23:44:23 PM
By themselves, headphones that expensive are useless. You need an amp and a dedicated DAC at that point. But with that equipment, they're not pointless. Most music producers use studio monitors anyway, not headphones.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: eKC0mm on Thursday, December 20, 2012, 23:46:31 PM
spanky u look like u understand alot so please can u post here some cool eq settings which are shit for movies and music but good for aao?

Alot of people use different EQ's. There was a bunch on gotfrag a few years ago. a bell curve favoring the highs is what i use. but i have seen people use a straight diagonal line from low to high and love it. I also play with some guys who dont use EQ's at all and hear more than i do. EQ boils down to preference and what your comfortable hearing. Experiment for yourself to see. I believe raising the mids allows you to hear footsteps more distinctly. and of course bass doesn't help you hear anything. high treble helps you hear clicks and doors.

Be careful not to make your ears bleed. I wouldn't venture beyond 50% volume if you have an x-Fi and especially if you using a recon. If you have any form of SVM (sound volume management) that helps alot. You don't want any sharp loud noises.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: [email protected]^ on Thursday, December 27, 2012, 04:46:02 AM
I'm very interested in good sound quality while gaming. I mostly play with headphones, because the aao sounds can really be loud and i don't want to get on the nerves of my neighbours.
I've used for quite some time the 5.1 Speedlink Medusa Surround headset and variants of it and connected it with my creative x-fi extreme gamer soundcard. I was quite content with that configuration. A while ago, for a year or l a bit longer, i switched over to the arctic p531 headset which is connected via usb and has an integrated surround chip, up to 7.1 if i'm not wrong. I'm quite happy with that headset too. Positioning works well, but footsteps are a bit too quite and overall ambient and gunfire sounds too loud. I haven't played with the EQ settings yet, maybe i will give it a try. But, what headphones can you really suggest if you already own an x-fi card? I haven't heard fo these audio technica products yet. I'd appreciate it, if you can give me some tips on up-to-date gaming headphones wthin a price range of 50-150€. Either if it's from audio-technica or other companies
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: teddy_grizzly_bear on Thursday, December 27, 2012, 06:52:34 AM
I think the reason your new headphones' ambient and gunfire is too loud is because of the headphones' own integrated sound chip. While x-Fi has SVM (don't remember what it stands for) in the drivers, which pretty much cuts down the maximum noise when there's a lot of it, but I'm guessing your p531 doesn't have that option (or you haven't enabled it). Since the p531 has its own sound chip, it doesn't go through your x-Fi card and the options you use there don't make any difference.

And I don't know anything about modern/good headphones.

I used to have Medusas as well, but Spanky said they're crap (pretty much). I believe him, but I don't have money for an amp + good pair of headphones anyway.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Mixk on Thursday, December 27, 2012, 07:18:34 AM
Turtle beach use to sell a cheap $25 headset that did a great job of sound reproduction for what they were. Them along with my x-fi were all the sound equipment I ever needed, and didn't have the equalizer and volume set to ear bleed status, to hear all there is to hear. Only problem was turtle beach made swivel point at the ears so damn cheap they break constantly. Last time went to get a new set they had discontinued them and now offering a $75 pair that look to be made better but the sound reproduction is total crap.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: [email protected]^ on Thursday, December 27, 2012, 07:41:55 AM
I think the reason your new headphones' ambient and gunfire is too loud is because of the headphones' own integrated sound chip. While x-Fi has SVM (don't remember what it stands for) in the drivers, which pretty much cuts down the maximum noise when there's a lot of it, but I'm guessing your p531 doesn't have that option (or you haven't enabled it). Since the p531 has its own sound chip, it doesn't go through your x-Fi card and the options you use there don't make any difference.

And I don't know anything about modern/good headphones.

I used to have Medusas as well, but Spanky said they're crap (pretty much). I believe him, but I don't have money for an amp + good pair of headphones anyway.

I didn't make clear that i'm not using my x-fi card atm for gaming. An exception is when i listen to music or for watching movies with my creative 7.1 surround system. The Arctic P531 is connected via usb and that's what im using for gaming most of the time. I was refering to a headset/headphones which can be attached to my soundcard via cinch (or however it is called). From what i've read today in the other thread on that topic i think the best choice for a decent price are the AD700 from Audio Technica, but they still cost around 130€. That is pretty much but still okayish. Is there anything recommendable (50-100€) below this price in combo with my x-fi extreme gamer soundcard ?
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Thursday, December 27, 2012, 13:19:57 PM
I thought there were some good threads on this site already about headphones but I can't seem to find any...

There's 2 pairs of headphones that come to mind that are both very popular in games and movies:
Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 - http://www.head-fi.org/products/audio-technica-ath-ad700/reviews
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 - http://www.head-fi.org/products/beyerdynamic-dt-770-pro-80-closed-studio-headphones#reviews

Of course there are others but I haven't had the funds to experiment (audio can get very expensive!) and I've personally only owned the Beyers mentioned above. Here's some theads that will probably help you guys out:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-12-24-12-external-amp-section-added-w-3-amps
http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound
http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-buying-guide
http://www.head-fi.org/t/513393/guide-sonic-differences-between-dt770-dt990-models-more
http://www.head-fi.org/t/567149/my-200-and-under-bassheads-buyers-guide

Good luck :) Remember that there are no wrong choices and tons of different setups to go with.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Alex on Thursday, December 27, 2012, 13:45:42 PM
I bought a pair of AKG K240MKII's and a Fiio E10 DAC. They should be coming today but with the recent snow storms I'm not sure. I'm ready to ditch this lame headset.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: BiG_SerGiO on Friday, December 28, 2012, 06:56:20 AM
I thought there were some good threads on this site already about headphones but I can't seem to find any...

Search button ;)
http://aao25.com/computer-hardware/new-headphones/
http://aao25.com/computer-hardware/gaming-headsets-quality/
http://aao25.com/computer-hardware/beyerdynamic-dt770-re-cable/
http://aao25.com/computer-hardware/head-fi-org-community/
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: BiG_SerGiO on Friday, December 28, 2012, 07:09:00 AM
Btw: i was thinking in getting these for me:
http://reviews.cnet.com/headphones/audio-technica-ath-m35/4505-7877_7-35287029.html
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: [Majestic]tidididi on Friday, December 28, 2012, 07:15:53 AM
Sennheiser.
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: BiG_SerGiO on Friday, December 28, 2012, 09:33:04 AM
Mine HD555 are at end of life :/
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Spanky on Friday, December 28, 2012, 13:20:14 PM
Btw: i was thinking in getting these for me:
http://reviews.cnet.com/headphones/audio-technica-ath-m35/4505-7877_7-35287029.html

http://www.head-fi.org/t/563911/audio-technica-ath-m35

Sennheiser's can get expensive real quick. I want a nice pair but it'll be a while -_-
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: krIz+ on Saturday, December 29, 2012, 01:46:55 AM
Sennheiser HD202, cheap and decent!
Title: Re: Get the most out of your computer sound
Post by: Cloud on Thursday, January 10, 2013, 08:22:59 AM
My old HD555 lasted a good 5/6 years before breaking down. It survived my childhood raging years though. Moving in with my girlfriend soon so needed a headset because I'll have neighbours again.. :(
(Good excuse to buy a headset for my recent temporary comeback to AA)

Got the HD558 last week and have no regrets. Can't refer to HD555 sound wise as I used it last 2 years ago but what I do know for sure is that it sits even more comfortable on my head.