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On surround sound and hardware devices
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Luis Offline
Frictional Games

Posts: 255
Joined: Jun 2006
Reputation: 6
Post: #1
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago Information On surround sound and hardware devices

For those wanting to get the game to use surround sound, here are some tips.

First, for your information, the game is made to filter whatever hardware devices it finds on your system, thus making them not appear in the game options and launcher device selectors. This was made this way due to several incompatibilities and glitches detected when testing them. You can always force the game to use an unsupported device by manually editing the settings file and setting the sound device to the desired ID (reference on available devices should appear in a game output log). Note that we cannot provide much help with any problems arising from trying these.

Second, for those wondering where their Generic Hardware devices are, OpenAL Generic Hardware devices will not work on Windows versions from Vista or newer, due to Microsoft dropping support for DirectSound3D. More details in the following link:
http://connect.creativelabs.com/openal/O...84%A2.aspx

Now here is some trick that should work for everyone. There is a software implementation of OpenAL called OpenAL-soft that supports surround sound setups on pretty much any capable sound card. You can get it here: http://kcat.strangesoft.net/openal.html#download. Just download the Win32 binary package and look for a 'soft_oal.dll' (should be located in the openal-soft-<version_number>-bin/Win32 directory in the package). This 'soft_oal.dll' file should be copied to the game redist folder, i.e. where the game exe is located. After having done so, in the launcher and game options there should be a new selectable sound device. Make sure to configure your speakers properly in control panel, and select this device in the game options. And voilà.

EOF
(This post was last modified: 09-14-2010 02:16 PM by Luis.)
09-14-2010 12:53 PM
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thales100 Offline
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010
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Post: #2
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago RE: On surround sound and hardware devices

Thanks, the "soft_oal.dll" tip works perfectly fine.
09-20-2010 01:26 PM
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stgurgel Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
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Post: #3
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago RE: On surround sound and hardware devices

I tried all these tricks but stumbled upon the problem that I'm using digital output for my surround (reatek onboard HD) and thus, as far as I understand it, I have no speaker configuration settings.
I have no problem getting the right devices to show up, but no way to get Amnesia to realize it should output 5.1 (unless I'm missing something obvious)
Huh
Please help me
09-23-2010 07:17 PM
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AforAnonymous Offline
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Post: #4
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago RE: On surround sound and hardware devices

Could you please tell us which settings file needs to be edited for this to force the game to use a present OpenAL hardware device? I already know the right ID from the log file, but I can't find an option for setting it in the .cfg files in the config folder...

Edit:
Nvm, I found a quote from you frictional games guys on the steam forums:

Quote:We have removed the hardware options from the game as the sound can be quite unpredictable and cause bugs, everything from crashes to sounds simply not playing. However you can enable hardware sounds be editing the main_settings.cfg file found in My Documents/Amnesia/

First you open the hpl.log file that you also find in My Documents/Amnesia/
look for the section "Initializing Sound Module" and there is a list of OpenAL devices. See what number the hardware device has in the list then take that number, and in the main_settings.cfg file on the row starting <Sound change the number for Device="" accordingly.

thanks!
09-23-2010 11:40 PM
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jDk Offline
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Post: #5
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago RE: On surround sound and hardware devices

Is it possible to use alchemy with amnesia. I've tried the method posted above, but it's too buggy for me with audigy 2 zs. Please advice.
09-26-2010 12:28 PM
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MonkEsquire Offline
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Post: #6
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago RE: On surround sound and hardware devices

(09-26-2010 12:28 PM)jDk Wrote:  Is it possible to use alchemy with amnesia. I've tried the method posted above, but it's too buggy for me with audigy 2 zs. Please advice.

Yes, just click "use game path" then copy and paste the path where the game is installed to. for me it was:

E:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\amnesia the dark descent

Then just click the >> to enable it and your sound card should show up in the hpl log. After that just change the sound device in the main_settings file and you should have surround sound.
09-29-2010 07:38 PM
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derkaderka Offline
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Post: #7
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago RE: On surround sound and hardware devices

is the win32 binary package ok to use with windows 7 64 bit?
10-29-2010 09:30 PM
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NeatNit Offline
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Post: #8
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago RE: On surround sound and hardware devices

How do I get the game to actually output surround sound? (preferrably 7.1 but 5.1 is ok too)
Is this even possible?

I'm going to post a thread too...

From the log file:
Initializing Sound Module
--------------------------------------------------------
Initializing OpenAL
  Available OpenAL devices:
   0. DirectSound Software on Speakers (Logitech G930 Headset)
   1. DirectSound Software on Speakers (High Definition Audio Device)
   2. DirectSound Software on Digital Audio (HDMI) (High Definition Audio Device)
   3. DirectSound Software on Digital Audio (S/PDIF) (High Definition Audio Device)
   4. Generic Software on Speakers (Logitech G930 Headset)(OpenAL default)
   5. Generic Software on Speakers (High Definition Audio Device)
   6. Generic Software on Digital Audio (HDMI) (High Definition Audio Device)
   7. Generic Software on Digital Audio (S/PDIF) (High Definition Audio Device)
  Trying to open device 'Generic Software on Speakers (Logitech G930 Headset)'... Success!
  Number of mono sources: 32
  Streaming setup: 4 Buffers x 262144 bytes each
--------------------------------------------------------


From the G930 settings window, right after trying both modes from the above list:
[Image: surroundnone.png]

From the G930 settings window, after testing the G930 with something in the control panel:
[Image: surroundone.png]


I actually put off playing Amnesia till I got the headset... then when I found out the hard way that there's no surround, I played half of it... and here I am now, trying to triple my enjoyment of the rest of it Smile
10-31-2010 03:53 PM
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satsun Offline
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Joined: May 2011
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Post: #9
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago RE: On surround sound and hardware devices

I have a Creative PCI-E X-Fi Fatal1ty Titanium with WIN7 64bit and I'm using ALchemy with the OpenAL Soft DLL. Below are the steps I took to get 7.1 surround back into the game after having to use soft_oal.dll to keep from crashing.

1. Download the OpenAL Soft DLL from the initial post: http://kcat.strangesoft.net/openal.html#download

2. Put the soft_oal.dll file obtained from the above site in your Amnesia directory, the same place as Amnesia.exe and Launcher.exe

3. Add Amnesia to ALchemy:
Use Registry Path (64bit Windows):
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Valve\Steam\InstallPath
Install into sub-folder:
steamapps\common\amnesia the dark descent\

Buffers: 4
Duration: 5

The Duration value may vary depending on your system. I started at the default 25 and worked down because sounds, particularly when text was read out loud, would stutter. Setting Duration to 5 cleared this up for me.

*If you're not using a Steam version you can just select "Use Game Path" and copy/paste the installation path from your game in there. You could also use the registry path but that's up to you to figure out.

4. Run the launcher, launch Amnesia, and exit the game. This updates hpl.log and launcher.log with the changes we've made with soft_oal.dll and ALchemy.

5. Go to your Documents folder and find the Amnesia folder and open the hpl.log file. You'll be looking for the list of sound devices that the launcher sees, it'll look something like this:

--------------------------------------------------------

Initializing Sound Module
--------------------------------------------------------
Initializing OpenAL
  Available OpenAL devices:
   0. DirectSound Default
   1. Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi) via DirectSound
   2. WaveOut Default
   3. Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi) via WaveOut
   4. SPDIF Out (Creative SB X-Fi) via WaveOut
   5. No Output
   6. Generic Hardware on Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi)
   7. Generic Software on Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi)
   8. SB X-Fi Audio [0001](OpenAL default)
  Trying to open device 'Generic Hardware on Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi)'... Success!
  Number of mono sources: 63
  Streaming setup: 4 Buffers x 262144 bytes each

As a result of using ALchemy, we have "Generic Hardware on Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi)" as an option.

6. Open main_settings.cfg from your Documents\Amnesia folder and where you see "Sound Device=", put the number of your "Generic Hardware on Speakers". Mine is "6" so mine looks like: Sound Device="6". You can also change Max Channels to 128 but I don't know if that does anything. Save changes made to the config file.

Now run the Amnesia launcher and notice in the "Sound options" tab that the "(Unsupported)" hardware device is selected. You won't need to make any changes to that from there. Run the game and you should have proper 7.1 surround as you would have had with the now unsupported X-Fi OpenAL

I don't get any crashes with this so it should be fine for long-term use.

Edited for better/clearer instructions.
(This post was last modified: 03-04-2012 10:47 PM by satsun.)
05-19-2011 04:04 AM
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Voodooman Offline
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Joined: Oct 2011
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Post: #10
Solved: 8 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 12 Minutes, 17 Seconds ago RE: On surround sound and hardware devices

(09-14-2010 12:53 PM)Luis Wrote:  For those wanting to get the game to use surround sound, here are some tips.

First, for your information, the game is made to filter whatever hardware devices it finds on your system, thus making them not appear in the game options and launcher device selectors. This was made this way due to several incompatibilities and glitches detected when testing them. You can always force the game to use an unsupported device by manually editing the settings file and setting the sound device to the desired ID (reference on available devices should appear in a game output log). Note that we cannot provide much help with any problems arising from trying these.

Second, for those wondering where their Generic Hardware devices are, OpenAL Generic Hardware devices will not work on Windows versions from Vista or newer, due to Microsoft dropping support for DirectSound3D. More details in the following link:
http://connect.creativelabs.com/openal/O...84%A2.aspx

Now here is some trick that should work for everyone. There is a software implementation of OpenAL called OpenAL-soft that supports surround sound setups on pretty much any capable sound card. You can get it here: http://kcat.strangesoft.net/openal.html#download. Just download the Win32 binary package and look for a 'soft_oal.dll' (should be located in the openal-soft--bin/Win32 directory in the package). This 'soft_oal.dll' file should be copied to the game redist folder, i.e. where the game exe is located. After having done so, in the launcher and game options there should be a new selectable sound device. Make sure to configure your speakers properly in control panel, and select this device in the game options. And voilà.


Guys, you got it a little bit wrong, DS3D HAL was removed in Vista and 7 and this only affects games that uses DirectSound3D (dsound.dll) with EAX, games that natively uses OpenAL with EFX (OpenAL32.dll) are not affected and useses hardware acceleration (if proper soundcard available), or fallback to software SURROUND SOUND rendering (if hardware accelleration not available for device)!!!

And even DS3D games works perfectly fine (with few rare exceptions) with help of Creative Alchemy, which is simply Dsound.dll > OpenAL32.dll wrapper and have full surround sound and EAX on Vista and 7!!!

So this filtering of devices for software only was kinda dulll decision!

From creative site:
Quote:OpenAL on Windows Vista

As already stated above, Microsoft® will be removing DirectSound 3D Hardware support from Direct X with the launch of Windows Vista. DirectSound and DirectSound3D will still function; however, they will no longer use hardware acceleration.

The native OpenAL devices on Sound Blaster Audigy and Sound Blaster X-Fi™ soundcards do not use DirectSound or DirectSound 3D and so they will be completely unaffected. For games that use these devices, nothing will change. The game will continue to enjoy hardware based 3D audio and effects.

The Generic Hardware device will no longer be available, as it requires the use of hardware DirectSound 3D Buffers. Instead, this device will gracefully, and automatically, fallback to using the Generic Software device, which will continue to work as before.
10-29-2011 07:43 AM
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