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Thread: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio?

  1. #1
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    FSo, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio?j

    The question's pretty much in the title.

    I find a lot more games coming out with FMOD and other software-only solutions like Xaudio. I'd like to think Creative's doing something to address this.

    I'm wondering if the X-Fi can handle 3DPA from Xaudio 2, or FMOD, to the same great extent it could with DS3D Hardware and OpenAL.

  2. #2
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    Re: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio?a

    They aren't doing anything. It's dead and everything uses software audio now. What's 3DPA?

  3. #3
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    Re: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio?w

    3DPA = 3D Positional Audio. Rendering audio in a proper 3D space - distance, azimuth and elevation.

    Which is sad, because, apparently, we're going to 2D audio. And apparently this is - no joke, according to MS - an improvement. From a gamasutra article:

    "Instead, an application specifies individual volume levels for each speaker, typically 5.1 or 7.. A game can put a sound only in a specific speaker (for example, the center channel for dialogue), or it can calculate the appropriate volume level for each speaker given the x, y, z positions of sound source and camera."
    - http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3525/sponsored_feature_an_introduction_.php?page=4

    That's X3Daudio, the new positioning library for XAudio2, which is meant to replace Directsound. Apparently it's better to render 5 speakers than actually, y'know, render a proper, realistic soundscape. Better to simulate a movie theatre than reality, apparently. Notice, how there's no mention of height, only speaker positions.

    I don't know why everyone's going nuts for Dolby-esque surround; it was crap to begin with. And, of course, you can't have the PC being more capable at anything than the Xbox.
    Last edited by Loi; 11-07-2011 at 01:17 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio??

    If anyone from Creative wants to chime in, feel free.

    I really think Creative dropped the ball on the whole hardware acceleration and OpenAL thing.

  5. #5
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    Re: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio?y

    JI guess it's a combination of Microsoft encouraging developers to use software audio engines, game companies deciding to ignore OpenAL, and Creative not lobbying enough for OpenAL.

    I also find it sad to see "true" 3d audio disappear, 5.1 sound over cmss-3d headphone just does not sound as good as true DS3d/OpenAL surround sound.
    Last edited by Loi; 11-07-2011 at 01:17 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio?-

    Jnever understrood why Creative Labs not handed the OpenAL?over to Khronos ...

    imagine what Khronos did to OpenAL and OpenCL would happen to OpenAL ...

    guess they fear someone will steal some of the?old?EAX code eating dust for decade or so ...
    Last edited by Loi; 11-07-2011 at 01:17 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio??

    A free/open EAX 5.0 specification/implementation would indeed be great. I guess it would not hurt creative monetarily at all, since no new games are supporting it anyway.
    Last edited by Loi; 11-07-2011 at 01:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio??

    Exactly. I think it was a case of Creative wanting their cake and eating it too: wanted to make money on soundcards AND licencing for EAX 5.0/OpenAL . (stop calling it "OpenAL ." for starters; it's open-washing and that really ticks people off.)

    Instead, the devs just said "Well, fine, we just won't use it." Killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Think about what happened to PhysX after Nvidia tried to corner it. Most everyone just decided not to bother with it rather than alienate AMD users (especially since for a good while Nvidia didn't have cards worth buying.)

    AMD and Nvidia, for example, seem to be doing all right with basing their hardware off APIs they don't actually own. So did Creative, back in the days of DS3D HW. So open it up - maybe not the higher-level extensions, but put a heap of work into the basic OpenAL codec (or give it to Khronos, instead of going scorched earth.)

    I mean, open-source is nice and all, but it really, really needs adult leadership to survi've.

    One of the main criticisms is OpenAL is that it's a pain to design for, and that the reason that most people use FMOD or something else is that it's just easier (note: few of these people whose complaints I've read actually give a **bleep** about enviro effects or 3DPA - that comes later. Baby steps for now.) Work like MAD to get a easy-to-use design software out there. Release it for free, make all off the old EAX & 2 effects (the ones that were rolled into DS3D,) a piece of cake to implement. Get people started.

    The other phases of my plan will be outlined at a later time (I'm in Uni at the moment.)
    Last edited by Loi; 11-07-2011 at 01:18 PM.

  9. #9

    Re: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio?J

    OpenAL died about two summers ago. That's the last time we saw an update to the libraries, so it stands to reason that nothing significant has happened in the space since that time. Now, I wouldn't expect audio library updates like I expect graphic library updates, but how many games released in all of 200 and the first quarter of 20 included support for OpenALWhat about the year before thatAnd the year before that.

    Just like EAX, you will likely see a slow decline in its usage by developers until there is zero presence and the market moves on to something else. Well, it's already happening to OpenAL. It's not that you will?see it...you are seeing it. You want to know what Creative Labs is doing about OpenALYour answer lies in what they did for EAX.
    Last edited by Loi; 11-07-2011 at 01:18 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio??

    JFunny you guys saying OpenAL is dead... Bought a Titanium card three weeks ago, and it came with OpenAL drivers dated October 200, and ALL Unreal engine games (HomeFront and Bioshock 2, i.e.) use OpenAL AND EAX5, plus all Codemasters racing games and many others...

    There's a 03/20 version of Alchemy on the website, and I believe it's all good!

    M$ is a **bleep**, C-Media and Realtek must have payed them millions to ditch HAL on Vista/7...

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