Any 3D sound aficionados here?

The place to sound off on all things related to audio, from sound cards to speakers.

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Any 3D sound aficionados here?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:50 pm

So my fascination with 3D sound began after reading this on TR. Sadly, I never had the chance to try it out due to financial reasons. Until now. Yes, almost 8 years later, I finally have the Philips Acoustic Edge in my grubby paws. Almost everyone who ever tried this card had good things to say about it. So naturally I was very excited. Popped it into a PCI slot into my P35-based Gigabyte mobo. Pressed the power button. And what did I experience? Something I have never seen happen before to a PC. A seemingly endless loop of the PC trying to start up and then shutting down and then trying to start up again, all by itself. The display stayed blank. No beeps. Nothing. Just the sound of fans powering up and powering down.

So I installed the sound card into the 2nd PCI slot. This time my PC booted normally. Installed drivers in Windows XP. Anddddd...NOTHING. Only horrible crackling sounds when trying to listen to any audio file. Directsound testing in Dxdiag resulted in the same. Weirdly, DirectMusic with Microsoft's synthesizer sounds fine. I am guessing it's some IRQ issue to blame. One last PCI slot left to test the sound card in but I am not too optimistic about it. Seems like the sound card is so old that it is refusing to play nice with modern hardware. Does anyone here have the Acoustic Edge working flawlessly in their spanking fast multicore rig?

On a sidenote, I also got the Tritton AX Pro headset. I can't connect any speakers to my PS3 because I don't want the sound disturbing the people around me. Had to suffer the awful stereo sound coming through the composite audio jacks. But the AX Pro connects through toslink and also supports Dolby Digital. I have to say that the experience has been quite refreshing so far. The sounds from the different channels also seem quite distinct now. Do any AX Pro owners agree with me?

I would also love to hear about any experiences you guys might have had with the Logitech G35 and the Psyko 5.1 headphones. The latter seems to be pretty badass since it purpotedly uses algorithms based on physics. I really gotta try that one out!
Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Any 3D sound aficionados here?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:34 pm

I imagine the drivers on an 8-year-old sound card aren't going to cut it in a modern OS with modern hardware.

3D audio used to be interesting to me, but Creative Labs killed it. It's also a real pain in the arse to setup surround speakers in any room that isn't specifically dedicated to entertainment. I did it for a while in my bedroom, but it wasn't optimal, and I always ended up tripping over the setup. Maybe if some company other than Creative Labs comes on the scene and actually makes a compelling surround standard, I'll try again. For now, I have an old Aureal card sitting here to remind of what could have been.
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FireGryphon
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Re: Any 3D sound aficionados here?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:04 pm

Vortex 2, I will always love thee. Weeps for Aureal. :*(
bdwilcox
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Re: Any 3D sound aficionados here?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:33 pm

If you do have a "spanking fast multicore rig" you might try a post-processor like Spatializer. Of all the soft 3D algorithms that I had to demo back in the day (QSound, Spatializer, Lake, etc), I found Spatializer to be the least offensive to general music listening. It was not the most dramatic, but it was still very effective for games while doing the least damage to the original signal quality.

Like all the 3D sound effects, it requires some tuning and some speaker/listener positioning. Link to the demo version. Spatializer is out of bidness, so a full version may hard to find. Or not.

EDIT: Erm, regarding Spatializer. Issues. It wouldn't install properly in Win 7, possibly due to the change to WDM what, eight years ago? Hideous UI. Really, really, really ugly. Please ignore my recommendation.
This problem was caused by Windows, which was created by Microsoft Corporation.
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