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Old 27-09-15, 17:04   #1
nakamichi680
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Default Differences between EAX, ALchemy and basic audio engine in AoD

Hi everyone!
After trying the ALchemy Universal patch posted in another thread, I decided to make a comparison for all those that might be curious to know how the game sounded on windows xp and with an eax enabled card.
So I picked my old X-Fi Platinum, built the most horrible computer ever made and recorded EAX audio.


Definetely not an Alienware

Then I moved to my main computer and recorded ALchemy Universal and basic audio tracks (and video too).
Here's the comparison.



I hope you enjoy it and comment below what is your favourite audio.
Personally I like EAX and sometimes CoreAudio. ALchemy universal is too noisy for me.

Last edited by nakamichi680; 30-09-15 at 13:34.
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Old 27-09-15, 17:33   #2
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Amazing comparison video and a great reference for the future. I appreciate the amount of effort that went into this. I agree with the results, HW EAX has the best sound. Basic audio sounds so bland now

Also, you used the demo feature, much respect.
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Old 27-09-15, 19:27   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLAYER View Post
Amazing comparison video and a great reference for the future. I appreciate the amount of effort that went into this. I agree with the results, HW EAX has the best sound. Basic audio sounds so bland now
Thank you!
Recording video was tricky, since a 1920x1080@60 fps stream requires an extremely fast hard drive (and mine is not ). I solved with SuperCache and making small clips of 40 seconds.
A̶ ̶p̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶w̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶p̶l̶a̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶g̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶i̶t̶s̶ ̶o̶r̶i̶g̶i̶n̶a̶l̶ ̶E̶A̶X̶ ̶s̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶m̶o̶r̶e̶.̶ It's possible, I'll correct my final thoughs in the video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLAYER View Post
Also, you used the demo feature, much respect.
I've never used that function of SCU before. It has been really useful

Last edited by nakamichi680; 30-09-15 at 13:32.
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Old 29-09-15, 13:27   #4
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This is something I always wanted to inquiry. Very good job.

Speaking of ALchemy though, I had some reports that quality improves if used (on Vista/7/8/10) with x-fi boards.
Could you confirm?
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Old 29-09-15, 15:21   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirh View Post
This is something I always wanted to inquiry. Very good job.

Speaking of ALchemy though, I had some reports that quality improves if used (on Vista/7/8/10) with x-fi boards.
Could you confirm?
UPDATE!!!
After trying X-Fi Platinum on Windows 7, I changed my message accordingly to new discoveries.


Thanks!

T̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶I̶'̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶r̶y̶ ̶s̶o̶o̶n̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶l̶a̶t̶e̶r̶.̶ B̶u̶t̶ ̶I̶'̶m̶ ̶a̶l̶m̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶s̶u̶r̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶w̶o̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶.̶ A̶s̶ ̶I̶ ̶w̶r̶o̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶g̶i̶n̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶v̶i̶d̶e̶o̶,̶ ̶A̶L̶c̶h̶e̶m̶y̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶o̶f̶t̶w̶a̶r̶e̶-̶b̶a̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶s̶o̶l̶u̶t̶i̶o̶n̶,̶ ̶s̶o̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶s̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶ ̶m̶a̶t̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶a̶u̶d̶i̶o̶ ̶c̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶'̶r̶e̶ ̶u̶s̶i̶n̶g̶.̶
I just tried it and surprisingly the X-Fi Platinum on Windows 7 (and Alchemy installed) works just like on Windows XP.
So YES! if you have an EAX audio card you can play the game with the original effects on latest microsoft o.s.
I didn't make a deep analysis but my impression is that there are no differences between winXP+EAX and win7+ALchemy on a SB X-Fi Platinum.
Probably OpenAL uses some kind of hardware acceleration that is not available on other cards.


However, I've tried with an X-Fi HD and it sounds like Realtek or Asus Xonar DX.
If you check, X-Fi HD is claimed to have hardware EAX 5.0 support:
http://www.soundblaster.com/products....aspx#features

A̶n̶y̶w̶a̶y̶ ̶I̶'̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶r̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶X̶-̶F̶i̶ ̶P̶l̶a̶t̶i̶n̶u̶m̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶W̶i̶n̶d̶o̶w̶s̶ ̶7̶,̶ ̶b̶e̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶ I don't trust Creative when it says that X-Fi HD has hardware accelerated EAX. As you can see, EAX is never mentioned in CA0189 datasheet (the chip used on that card):
http://www.creative.com/oem/products/chips/ca0189.asp

On the opposite, EAX is mentioned on CA20K1 datasheet (the chip used on X-Fi XtremeMusic aka Platinum without front panel):
http://www.creative.com/oem/resources/Chips/CA20K1.pdf

Another proof is that, when I plugged the X-Fi HD on the old computer used for recording EAX track, it worked fine but the game didn't recognized an EAX enabled card.

S̶o̶,̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶c̶l̶u̶s̶i̶o̶n̶,̶ ̶a̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶d̶o̶w̶s̶ ̶v̶i̶s̶t̶a̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶'̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶ ̶w̶a̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶n̶a̶t̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶E̶A̶X̶ (nope, ALchemy works like a charm on windows 7) and all that is publicized as hardware accelerated EAX actually is not. (yes and no, it depends on the model)
I̶m̶a̶g̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶H̶W̶ ̶E̶A̶X̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶b̶e̶a̶u̶t̶i̶f̶u̶l̶ ̶w̶o̶m̶a̶n̶.̶ ̶
C̶r̶e̶a̶t̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶w̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶s̶e̶l̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶a̶n̶ ̶(̶O̶p̶e̶n̶A̶L̶)̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶l̶a̶d̶i̶e̶s̶'̶ ̶d̶r̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶m̶a̶k̶e̶-̶u̶p̶ ̶(̶A̶L̶c̶h̶e̶m̶y̶)̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶'̶r̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶c̶a̶l̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶E̶A̶X̶.̶

The situation is more confused than what I though before.
We have 3 scenarios:
1) ALchemy universal with a non-Creative audio card: the sound is what you can hear in the video, noisy and extremely exaggerated.
2) ALchemy with old X-Fi cards (and maybe new too? ): the sound is like original EAX on Windows XP.
3) ALchemy with X-Fi HD or other cards that claim to have native EAX support but they don't: bad sound like the first scenario.

Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by nakamichi680; 30-09-15 at 13:31.
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Old 18-10-15, 04:16   #6
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I can't believe I missed this thread! :O

Thank you, this comparison video is great!
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Old 12-02-16, 22:01   #7
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Is there any way to control the reverb volume of Alchemy? It's great that it does work, but it can be painfully loud at times.
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