Glossary talk:Sound

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Mirh (talkcontribs)
  • Dolby Atmos works only after app download (unlocking headphones requires purchase). HDMI is instead free (and contrarily to the past non-exclusive)
  • Turn on 7.1 virtual surround sound tries to 'port' the sound output of conventional 5.1/7.1 programs to 3D, object-based, space. All of this should be available since some January 2017 insider build (Creators Update for stable).

Both the latest two main points (aside maybe atmos on spakers? assuming that's a thing?), suffers from similar problems when shoddy-coded games just assume that if Windows reports X channels, then they ought not to output more, and user shouldn't have the slightest say on it.

SirYodaJedi (talkcontribs)

Go ahead and put this on the main page. It is useful.

Reply to "Windows enhancements info"
Mirh (talkcontribs)

Despite other claims, 16-bit depth is still state of the art for consumer applications.
44.1 and 48 kHz sampling rates in turn should be more than enough. Later is usually preferred
The first should be preferred when listening to music, while the second is used by movies (and I think even the majority of games)

Sure, accurate resampling would be performance irrelevant even on single core computers (and it's now the standard), though it always introduces subtle audio aliasing

Reply to "16 bit is just good"
Mirh (talkcontribs)
NeoChaos (talkcontribs)

It's true for Creative cards as well. I have a Sound Blaster Omni 5.1 and there's an option to route DDL-encoded audio through the Speaker output as well - the Omni Control Panel by Creative says it's necessary "in order to have optimum surround audio effects."

Mirh (talkcontribs)

Tbh the plan was to expand the post above someday with the second part of this.
That was the "hardware part". I still miss the software one.

Reply to "Windows really does not love S/PDIF"
Mirh (talkcontribs)

Some hours ago I remembered a phrase which I had read many months ago somewhere occult in the net about earlier builds of Windows Vista still supporting the good old Hardware Abstraction Layer of the windows XP days.
At the beginning I tried to focus on the Release to Manufacturer edition.. but then I realized the fateful audio stack change must have happened before [build 5209] (before even beta2 then).

Thanks to italian wikipedia (I really don't know why it's not there on the english one) I could go backwards in time with code revisions.
I may have possibly pinpointed the right one here (build 5112). Luckily some versions around that were leaked (or distributed to msdn subscribers)

They'll all be hopefully available on BetaArchive or WinWorld eventually, for a test someday

EDIT: or perhaps the breakage was even earlier. Not surprisingly I guess, considering the thing was hinted at WinHEC 2004

Reply to "HAL in Vista (testing puropses)"

Switch between different audio devices (without closing all programs?)

2
Mirh (talkcontribs)

Some months ago I remember Andytizer questioned for something like this

After some search, it seems this may do the trick.
Hopefully next time Spotify, Skype, Telegram and Firefox (+Flash) decide not to cooperate this will avoid to close them all

EDIT: seems like you can't get around the programs themselves at least cooperating requirement

Reply to "Switch between different audio devices (without closing all programs?)"

Multichannel audio over digital optical connection

1
Mirh (talkcontribs)

First of all: consumer-grade S/PDIF can not carry more than 2 regular channels
Therefore it's necessary to compress audio.

The 2 de facto standards to squeeze sound are Dolby digital and DTS.
They were initially meant to be used in cinemas in an era where DVD wasn't even a thing, but what was previously high-end is now practically even in the worst of the receivers
Indeed movies almost always come with already encoded tracks that are usually straightforwardly passed-through (bitstream) to the amplifier, where they are decoded.
Though, the same is not true for games, that 99% (100%?) of times just output uncompressed LPCM audio

This is why Dolby Digital Live and DTS Interactive were created.
In short their task is to convert this raw bulky format to the aforementioned codecs.

Quality-wise they should actually sound similar, even though DTS is generally considered to sound louder (..or it's DD that sounds quieter)
Technically-wise Dolby Digital Live operates at 16-bit/48 kHz @640 kbps, while DTS Interactive rely on a 24-bit/48 kHz @1.5 Mbps stream.
Although the latter has more than 2 times the same bitrate, much of this advantage is lost in the not-so-useful 24 bits resolution and in the so-claimed-by-dolby less efficient compression.

Furthermore, both support additional tricks to "derive" up to 7.1 surround from stereo or 5.1 sources, with some of the channels "mixed" together to fit (aka matrixing)
They are respectively Dolby Pro Logic II(x) and DTS Neo:PC (take note that both had different revisions during the years)

Eventually... how to access these technologies?
A dedicated soundcard is definitively the best choice, though custom drivers for onboard chips and generic workarounds can also work.

This was the theory. Now let's see how things get messy.
trivia: did you know LFE channel is called .1 since it uses ⅒ of the bandwidth of the other channels?

EDIT: DTS is possibly more error resistant than DD

Reply to "Multichannel audio over digital optical connection"
Mirh (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Interactive Around-Sound"
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