3D sound is a new hot area. You can create a very powerful illusion of 3D sound coming from just loudspeaker. This is done using new 3D processors on the sound card, which work with some very complex mathematical models. The sound comes from behind, from the front, from side to side - completely realistic.
The idea of 3D sound has to come from games, which especially are designed for it. The sound systems often include 4 or 6 loudspeakers. But they work fine with headphones too.
Sound Blaster Live is such a high-end, high fidelity 3D card coming from Creative Labs. It is a PCI-based card, and the best performance comes with the Four Point Surround sound system. Diamond MX300 is another.
It includes a lot of fine and powerful features:
The EMU10K1 is as powerful as a Pentium 166 MHz CPU. It is an accelerator chip which relieves the PC’s CPU when executing sound, such as DirectX activities that require a lot of processor power.
Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live is a phenomenal piece of hardware:
This is possible. Only using two speakers you can create an illusion of "room". Many new sound cards are capable of giving 3D sound effects (i.e. Virtual Dolby). This way games can achieve even more realistic sound.
Diamond MX300 is a 3D sound card. It is constructed using accelerator chips from Aureal (Vortex 2 and A3D ver. 2.0). The first sound chip from Aureal was very revolutionary to 3D sound performance. It has been used by many vendors (such as Compaq). In 1999 the next generation chip was shipping.
The Diamond card was very well received. It should be just as good as the SoundBlaster Live! product, which has been in a class by itself since the introduction in 1998.
SoundBlaster Live works with an open standard for 3D sound called EAX (Environmental Audio Extensions). The MX300 card is compatible with this as well as with the Microsoft's standard for 3D sound.
The illusion is best when you use a four-set speaker system as SoundBlaster PC Works, which gives a very high quality at a modest price.
3D sound is also possible using only two speakers. The MX300 should be very good at this. The spacious sound is created using advanced mathematical manipulations, which need a good portion of CPU power. Hence the accelerator chip. This is called 3D Positional Sound. The best result should be achieved using headphones.
Another 3D effect is called Environmental Sound. Here the sound from a game is changed corresponding to the physical situation of the characters. If a person enters a tunnel, there may be an echo. In a big empty hall the sound is completely different. This way the games can send commands to the sound card, which adjust the feeling of the sound to the environment.
Read Module 6a about file systems
Read about chip sets on the motherboard in module 2d
Read Module 4d about super diskette and MO drives
Read module 5a about expansion cards, where we evaluate the I/O buses from the port side
Read module 5b about AGP
Also see: Module 7d - about digital music: MP3s, MODs etc.
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