EAX 5.0 sound blasters should be returned to games? I hope so!

Feb 2, 2020
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Games Comparison EAX no EAX

Comparison Bioshock original, EAX5.0 vs Bioshock (n EAX)

Call of Duty 1 EAX 3.0

Condemned EAX 5.0

Check with your ears how the EAX sound is impressive in these games that you post. WHEN IT DISAPPEARED BECAUSE MICROSOFT SAID THERE WERE PROBLEMS WITH DIRECTSOUND3D, I NEVER THOUGHT THAT TODAY’S GAMES WOULD HAVE A BETTER SOUND THAN WHEN THEY HAD EAX SUPPORT. Currently, Windows 10 supports OPEN AL, which is a library that supports up to EAX 5.0 and, if I remember correctly, the last game that came out with EAX 5.0 support was TRINE 1, whose remastering sounds worse than the original ... So. . Do EAX games sound better than current games, because Creative does not reconsider its position and once again supports EAX 5.0 and even gets an EAX 6.0? The evidence is unmistakable. What do you think?
 

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Last edited:
Jan 13, 2020
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To be honest, the problem is Creative killing superior sound solutions to push proprietary EAX in the first place. EAX are the reason why high quality 3D positional audio was kneecapped. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureal_Semiconductor


A3D was way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way better than EAX. So it's no surprise that Creative bought out the company and then killed the API immediately. The big difference is that (at the time, at least) A3D was true positional audio tech. EAX was "put the audio through a bunch of heavy-handed filters" tech. Creative were arrogant and complacent, and got blindsided by cheap onboard sound chips and Vista putting a stop to audio drivers accessing the kernel.

When EAX largely died due to Vista kernel protections, it never recovered. Thief from 1998 has better audio than many modern games. People mocked Thief 4 for its atrocious audio where you could hear people talking loudly through walls, but it was a symptom of an industry-wide problem. It was glaring because Thief kinda set the standard. But you pick any modern game at random, and it generally has poor sound quality. And this isn't necessarily because of software mixing. Software mixing is fine when done well. Everything EAX did can be done in software. But it's almost like once EAX stopped being a thing, sound in games nosedived because devs weren't trying anymore.

On a related note, there's a very interesting open source project seeking to make EAX emulation in older games much more straightforward. https://github.com/kcat/dsoal Creative were kind of spiteful, and their solutions to EAX backwards compatibility were intentionally designed not work on competitor hardware. And said solution was half baked anyway.
 
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Jan 13, 2020
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Nice, he basically used the same specs I had been playing Clive Barker’s Undying and Descent 3 with, except I used SoundBlaster Live!
 

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