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  • #16
    Show me where having a hardware mixer would equate to a lower cost...

    And dont put words in my mouth. What I have said and am continuing to say is that if you purchase a sound card with decent op amps and a decent DAC you can get just as good sound as anything with a hardware mixer, and a hell of alot more flexibility and support.

    Where is the inherent benefit to having a hardware mixer? You said latency, and I said it doesn't matter. In a sound test you wont notice a difference.

    Where is the inherent benefit to having a software mixer? And I said that you get more flexibility and support by having an upgradeable system in place, among many other benefits to boot.

    For that less then 1% of folks that can benefit from a hardware mixer there are solutions for them, but for the 99% of everyone else it just isn't needed.

    Like I said in the beginning as long as your card has decent op amps and a decent DAC, you will get just as good sound, and with a software mixer you can get alot more cooler effects and features right now, and the benefit of future effects and features later. That isn't possible using a legacy fixed function hardware mixer.
    Last edited by duby229; 04-18-2008, 05:19 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by duby229 View Post
      Where is the inherent benefit to having a hardware mixer? You said latency, and I said it doesn't matter. In a sound test you wont notice a difference.
      My ears detect a huge difference playing Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge in Wine on Linux between hardware and software mixing.

      With the SB Live (hardware mixing), sound effects play in sync with the visuals.

      With my motherboard's onboard sound (software mixing), I notice a lot of latency. That means the sound effects play too late. I see an explosion but I don't hear it until about a half second later. It's very irritating.

      Latency is even more a problem for audio professionals than for gamers:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latency_(audio)

      In general, latency refers to delays that have nothing to do with quality or speed. For example, suppose shipping companies had star trek style transporter beam technology. No waiting and no damaged merchandise. But it would still take just as long to pack and otherwise prepare a product for shipment - some initial latency would be unavoidable.

      To continue the analogy, you seem to think he is talking about how accurately rematerialized it would be - or you seem to think that is the only thing that should matter to anyone, when he is in fact talking about the initial delay before shipping.
      Last edited by StringCheesian; 04-19-2008, 04:43 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by StringCheesian View Post
        My ears detect a huge difference playing Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge in Wine on Linux between hardware and software mixing.

        With the SB Live (hardware mixing), sound effects play in sync with the visuals.

        With my motherboard's onboard sound (software mixing), I notice a lot of latency. That means the sound effects play too late. I see an explosion but I don't hear it until about a half second later. It's very irritating.

        Latency is even more a problem for audio professionals than for gamers:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latency_(audio)

        In general, latency refers to delays that have nothing to do with quality or speed. For example, suppose shipping companies had star trek style transporter beam technology. No waiting and no damaged merchandise. But it would still take just as long to pack and otherwise prepare a product for shipment - some initial latency would be unavoidable.

        To continue the analogy, you seem to think he is talking about how accurately rematerialized it would be - or you seem to think that is the only thing that should matter to anyone, when he is in fact talking about the initial delay before shipping.
        Your also talking about emulating a software with wine, which is soooo far from perfect that you cant say that it isnt wines fault.

        Take any --modern-- program, and any --modern-- processor, on it's --native-- OS and tell me that you notice the same thing.

        Your talking a special case that few others would experience...

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        • #19
          Originally posted by duby229 View Post
          Your also talking about emulating a software with wine, which is soooo far from perfect that you cant say that it isnt wines fault.

          Take any --modern-- program, and any --modern-- processor, on it's --native-- OS and tell me that you notice the same thing.

          Your talking a special case that few others would experience...
          It's also worth noting that Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge in Wine on Linux plays fine WITHOUT lag on other systems that are not using a hardware mixer. All my systems that I have, do not experience the same latency that StringCheesian is experiencing on that exact game.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            Show me where having a hardware mixer would equate to a lower cost...
            I did in my first post. but seeing that you are unable to comprehend simple english, this here card does not have a hardware mixer and costs 180. This here card does have a hardware mixer, comes with a headset, and costs 80 after promotions. Given your problem with understanding english, it might also extend to math, so I will also tell you that 179 is a bigger number than 80; and things that have costs that are the bigger number are more expensive. So conversely then, things that have costs that are the smaller (or not the larger) number would be cheaper.

            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            And dont put words in my mouth. What I have said and am continuing to say is that if you purchase a sound card with decent op amps and a decent DAC you can get just as good sound as anything with a hardware mixer, and a hell of alot more flexibility and support.
            you continue to equate hardware mixer = better quality. stop it. you're making a fool of yourself.

            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            Where is the inherent benefit to having a hardware mixer? You said latency, and I said it doesn't matter. In a sound test you wont notice a difference.
            record a mix of line-in stream at 24/96kHz, while looping back pcm output into asio for another 4 channels at 24/96kHz.

            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            Where is the inherent benefit to having a software mixer? And I said that you get more flexibility and support by having an upgradeable system in place, among many other benefits to boot.

            For that less then 1% of folks that can benefit from a hardware mixer there are solutions for them, but for the 99% of everyone else it just isn't needed.
            That doesn't change the fact that anything with a hardware mixer will also have access to the same software mixer. so you get everything that a card without hardware mixing does, plus more

            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            Like I said in the beginning as long as your card has decent op amps and a decent DAC, you will get just as good sound, and with a software mixer you can get alot more cooler effects and features right now, and the benefit of future effects and features later. That isn't possible using a legacy fixed function hardware mixer.
            mixing and sound output have little in common.
            Last edited by seeker010; 04-19-2008, 05:17 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by seeker010 View Post
              I did in my first post. but seeing that you are unable to comprehend simple english, this here card does not have a hardware mixer and costs 180. This here card does have a hardware mixer, comes with a headset, and costs 80 after promotions. Given your problem with understanding english, it might also extend to math, so I will also tell you that 179 is a bigger number than 80; and things that have costs that are the bigger number are more expensive. So conversely then, things that have costs that are the smaller (or not the larger) number would be cheaper.


              you continue to equate hardware mixer = better quality. stop it. you're making a fool of yourself.


              record a mix of line-in stream at 24/96kHz, while looping back pcm output into asio for another 4 channels at 24/96kHz.


              That doesn't change the fact that anything with a hardware mixer will also have access to the same software mixer. so you get everything that a card without hardware mixing does, plus more


              mixing and sound output have little in common.
              Clearly you have no clue what I said....

              And uumm how is that comparison fair? You take the one of the most expensive C-Media boards and compare it with one of the cheapest X-fi boards....

              Not to mention that the C-media board has --way-- better drivers and --way-- better op amps. Not to mention an entire of team of open source developers backing it.

              How about this for a better comparison...

              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829156001
              vs
              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829102018

              A fairer comparison though the Auzentech will sound better due to it's better op amps, and will work better due to its bettter drivers.. And will cost less due to it's lack of hardware mixer.... And to top it all off it even has better connectivity and is capable of decoding far more formats....
              Last edited by duby229; 04-19-2008, 06:15 PM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                It's also worth noting that Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge in Wine on Linux plays fine WITHOUT lag on other systems that are not using a hardware mixer. All my systems that I have, do not experience the same latency that StringCheesian is experiencing on that exact game.
                Thank you, and I guess I should retract my claim then. It was based on anecdotal evidence.

                I'll look into it. Maybe I misconfigured something.

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                • #23
                  One big question I don't see anyone asking:

                  Does the X-Fi even do hardware mixing under Linux? I had heard that it didn't, and hadn't heard otherwise from anyone else.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                    But then the question is what does the hardware mixer have that a software mixer cant do? And what is the benefit of having a fixed hardware mixer when a software mixer can be updated continuously even on older hardware?

                    It is my opinion that a hardware mixer has no value at all.
                    You probably dont understand what is hardware mixer. Its not responsible for volume control, or sth like this. Its mixing sound channels(not 5.1 to stereo, but from different applications). And its not only simple mixing i.e. 5 applications(like system sounds, winamp, game, communicator and sth else), but threre are specialized OpenAL implementations that use hardware mixer(or some emu10k1 sound processor) that mix in hardware many voices/sound/music channels in realtime(damny usable in fps games) saving alot of CPU power(including energy. If you are not running games, remember that most softfare mixer implementations(OSS/ALSA) are using fixed number of channels(channel != 5.1, stereo, in simplicity its number of applications using soundcard), and because its fixed number(in OSS you can change it manually, but theres no dynamic automats), it must big enough (i.e. 32 multiplied by number of speakers, so it will result in 64 channels, for 5.1 it will be 192 mixed in realtime !), otherwise next opened applications will fail to open soundcard. And remember about possibility of logging of multiple user in one time.
                    Its definitely better to have hardware mixer, because it saves CPU cycles, power(in laptops battery), it prevents from mixing buffer overrun/latencies in games under heavy CPU usage. And if hardware mixer doesnt have enough channels, we can always mix in software and use only one virtual device(or partially use software mixing in some implementations like ALSA that allow us to create virtual devices and configure them, like only we want). Sot theres no any advantage not having hardware mixer, because we always can not use them. And I dont undertand anything about "upgrading mixer, even on old hardware", because mixer has only one specified task, and you cant do it better, than old sound blasters(emu10k1) to audigy4(emu10k2) doest it.

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                    • #25
                      mixing doesent really take much cpu time.. its more resampling that does if it has to be super high quality.. and well.. most people wont care, and why should they? its not as if you need super high quality of TWO sound tracks playing same time.. or super high quality (maybe) resampling of some annoying IM buzz sound..

                      all in all, hardware mixing isnt really much help today, except for really low latency requirements, which isnt what gamers or audiophiles are gonna be demanding. everyone has plenty of cpu power either way, hell, most people could even dedicate an entire cpu core to the thing, if they need really low latency resampling and remixing.. fortunately this isnt necessary at all.

                      what hardware mixing has as a potential disadvantage though, is that you have no idea if they are still running it through some resampler or weird stuff in hardware, or if the dsp alters the bitstream, potentially degrading performance.

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                      • #26
                        No, using opensource driver on linux, we definitely have idea what it does with stream, and it doesnt affect sound at all, and most integrated cards today, accept stream mostly in one format, so its resampled in software. Even worse on Vista binary drivers affects very much sound, to be worser to avoid recording (fantastic DRM).

                        Maybe today CPUS are powerfull enough, but all arguments about disadvantages of hardware mixing are a bullshit (epsecially that only better cards has hwmixer, avoiding of hwmixer is cost-cutting, so cards w/o hwmixer are usually lowe-end). And price of old(but damny good) sblive with hwmixer is not so high.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by evil_core View Post
                          Maybe today CPUS are powerfull enough, but all arguments about disadvantages of hardware mixing are a bullshit (epsecially that only better cards has hwmixer, avoiding of hwmixer is cost-cutting, so cards w/o hwmixer are usually lowe-end). And price of old(but damny good) sblive with hwmixer is not so high.
                          Actually the on the creative emu10k series the DSP resamples everything to 16/48. So if your playing say a 24/96 stream it gets thrown into a funnel. 24/96 -->resampled in DSP to 16/48--->upsampled with padding to whatever output set at. Even native 16/48k signals get resampled and because of the src bug found in the emu10k all the audio that goes through the dsp contains a partially wrong 16th bit.

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