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Lex

Sound 5.1 setup and issue

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Hey all! I haven't properly played the Dark Mod since 2.05 or maybe even 2.04 until now and I've noticed that whatever I do in game the center and LFE channels of my 5.1 sound system remain silent. In other words, the output is actually 4.0 (2 front + 2 rear speakers) rather than 5.1. Now, I am not sure exactly but I recall no problems previously - until the EFX update 2.06, I think. I even found my older post about extremely loud LFE channel here: http://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?/topic/18741-really-loud-music/&tab=comments#comment-405277

As I understand, it is often made that the center and LFE channels are reserved for special sounds and not used often as the front speakers. For example, in Witcher3 center is mostly used for voices in the dialogs and the best way to check LFE is to use the aard sign magic. Or, in Skyrim it is known that LFE plays only when the dragon hits the ground. The first question is: do I have an issue with sound or not? Because maybe the sound output is ok and I've simply met no specific conditions utilizing the center and LFE channels? Minding my previous paragraph, I don't think it's EFX related but maybe the sound shaders simply changed since 2.05? This all brings me to another question: is there a way to check somehow in the Dark Mod wether the game outputs the sound correctly?

About my setup now. I output sound via HDMI to Pioneer receiver with 5.1 setup. Everything works fine in modern games that provide 5.1 output support like the Witcher3 or Mortal Kombat 10 and 11. The windows sound configuration in control panel allows me to check all the speakers and it's fine. I have win 7 64 bit, OpenAl installed. The Dark Mod allows me to set 5.1 sound in options with no warning (I know that in other cases it gives a message like "your system does not support this sound configuration"). Please, help me to find out if anything's wrong with my setup and why my center and LFE channels are silent.

Hate to start new threads but I didn't find anything related to my problem. Moreover, I feel the lack of sound-related discussions considering our community's interests.

 

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How we speak depends on how we keep silent.

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Did you try disabling EFX / OpenAL?

Did you try using maps that have EFX / OpenAL enabled (older ones do not support it and have not been updated)?

Make sure your drivers are up to date please!

I'm a big fan of sound reverberation in the Thief games and it is only recently that EFX / OpenAL was enabled in one of the updates.

Please check the wiki page to see more about 5.1 sound and HRTF:

http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=What's_new_in_TDM_2.07

Edited by Anderson
Wiki page added.

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Thanks for the reply!

Maybe I don't get it right but as I understand EFX reverberation concerns how the sound varies depending on the environment and isn't exactly charged with surround sound positioning. Still, I'll give a try to a mission that has EFX support and write about the results here. 

Also I read the HTRF related thread somewhere here, on the forum, and, as I understand, it's about emulating 3d positional audio for headphones. While I use 5.1 speaker system I don't think it's my case, isn't it?

 

Upd: tried EFX missions (Sir Talbot's Collateral and Marsh of Rahena) - no luck, it's still the same. Tried with EFX menu setting on and off. I also tried disabling HRTF in alsoft.ini since as i learned that in 2.07 HRTF is set on by the default - no luck. I'm beginning to think that the game's somehow fixed in quadrophonic sound for me. Is there anything worth tackling to look into the issue?

Edited by Lex
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How we speak depends on how we keep silent.

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3 hours ago, Lex said:

Thanks for the reply!

Maybe I don't get it right but as I understand EFX reverberation concerns how the sound varies depending on the environment and isn't exactly charged with surround sound positioning. Still, I'll give a try to a mission that has EFX support and write about the results here. 

Also I read the HTRF related thread somewhere here, on the forum, and, as I understand, it's about emulating 3d positional audio for headphones. While I use 5.1 speaker system I don't think it's my case, isn't it?

 

Upd: tried EFX missions (Sir Talbot's Collateral and Marsh of Rahena) - no luck, it's still the same. Tried with EFX menu setting on and off. I also tried disabling HRTF in alsoft.ini since as i learned that in 2.07 HRTF is set on by the default - no luck. I'm beginning to think that the game's somehow fixed in quadrophonic sound for me. Is there anything worth tackling to look into the issue?

This is just a shot in the dark but try messing with some settings located in the file called darkmod.cfg which is located in your main The Dark Mod folder where you've installed it.

Open the file in notepad and see if anything related to sound changes your situation.

Maybe other people in the forum here will show up to come up with something better later these days.


"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Here's what I've managed to dig up. The issue for me is split in two: about the center channel and about the LFE channel.

1. As for the center channel - I've had a success. I've downloaded the OpenAL soft package and managed to hook up a preset from there called "itu5.1.ambdec" via editing alsoft.ini in darkmod folder or it can also be done by alsoft-config app that came in the OpenAL package. The latter sets a global setting, as I understand.

It seems that OpenAL embedded in the Dark Mod simply didn't output sound to the center channel in 5.1 setting by default. I've noticed a no-center 5.1 preset in the downloaded OpenAL-soft package and I read about it somewhere on OA-soft related github brach - that they decided to sacrifice the center channel output for better sound positioning (which in my humble opinion isn't quite ideologically right). Maybe such a preset is used as default by the Dark Mod, I honestly dunno. Still, as I said, setting "itu5.1.ambdec" preset brought my center channel back to life.

2. As for the LFE channel I've found here and here that they simply didn't bother and left it without output unless OpenAL is commanded otherwise by the app, I think. And in our case The Dark Mod doesn't do so, obviously. One of the ways to do this nonetheless is to make a so-called bass redirection (when the low frequences are transferred from the front speakers to the LFE) but I have it switched off because it's like... not true, eh?

What's so strange to me is that no one with 5.1 sound system replied here to confirm or dispel the issues I'm having. Don't we really have anyone with 5.1 audio here? If confirmed I would suggest fixing the first issue and thinking about modifying soundshaders (or what?) to give some specific events ability to use LFE. The easiest way to deal with the second i think is at least give LFE the ambient music low frequences as it was up to 2.05.

Edited by Lex
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How we speak depends on how we keep silent.

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36 minutes ago, Lex said:

Don't we really have anyone with 5.1 audio here?

5.1 was a cool thing around high-school and uni for me, when I had just one small room for myself. When have an apartment or a house, these setups become rather impractical (too short cables, long cables going across the room) or too expensive (wireless setups). In the meantime both games (either PC or console) and TV manufacturers managed to introduce DSP effects passable enough, that they do give impression of spatial audio while coming from one or two TV speakers.

These days, I'd trade any 5.1 setup for any pair of good stereo speakers (preferably studio monitors).

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But setting up "5.1" in the Windows audio configuration is necessary (any game is developed with 5.1/7.1 support), only remember to uncheck the missing speakers.

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Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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On ‎9‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 2:23 PM, Lex said:

Here's what I've managed to dig up. 

What's so strange to me is that no one with 5.1 sound system replied here to confirm or dispel the issues I'm having. Don't we really have anyone with 5.1 audio here? If confirmed I would suggest fixing the first issue and thinking about modifying soundshaders (or what?) to give some specific events ability to use LFE. The easiest way to deal with the second i think is at least give LFE the ambient music low frequences as it was up to 2.05.

Does your 5.1 sound system work in Doom 3 (in the original game or a demo version of the game because its's the same engine that TDM runs on) ? 


"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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