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M-Audo Revolution 7.1 Feedback Thread, Part Deux!


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#21 Momonari kun

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 02:11 PM

I appreciate your feedback, and am looking forward to what the future holds. Truth be told, my main interests in the card lie in its ability to pass through DD and hopefully DTS signals. I have a few questions regarding those things.

1. Will DTS ever be available through VLC?

2. Have you approached Apple about getting them to rewrite their DVD player to passthrough AC3 and DTS? If so, what have they said? If not, there is definitely a market for it, and it is something that needs to be explored. We finally have a decent consumer level surround sound card for OS X, and we need to show Apple there's a demand for such things.

Thanks for your time.

#22 ThePsychoChiaPet

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 05:22 PM

I've installed the new drivers and still get no sound over 48000 hz 24 bit. The new drivers did fix that nasty bug that caused kernal panics when outputting digital. And momonari fan, I wouldn't hold your breath for a DD/DTS enabled apple dvd player, even though it would nice, espically if it supported DD 6.1 ex.

#23 ShadowMan87

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 05:22 PM

You say that there are no current Mac games that support EAX.  There is one game that supports it: Jedi Knight II.  But still, that's only one game.  If you added support for EAX on the Mac, more developers may be inclined to include support for positional audio in their ports. Currently if developers spend time to support positional audio on the Mac, there is no hardware that supports it, making the time spent a waste.

Maybe hardware support can spur software support.  There's only one way to find out :)

#24 Cruel Atrocity

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 06:33 PM

Hello fellow macers. I purchased my Revolution card about a month back now. I am pleased with it and found it to be worth the $99 I paid for it. I'm also glad to see that M-Audio releases periodic updates to their card. Even if the updates didn't fix a few problems that I've experianced, it's at least a comfort to know that someone is working on it, seeing how Creative Labs screwed me over on that PCI space-taker they called a soundcard.
    I have the Altec Lansing 641 Ultimate 4.1 Speakers. I can tell the sound quality is a lot better then the on-board sound, but I don't have any surround sound with anything I do. I-Tunes, Apple's DVD player, and every game that I have... no surround sound. Altec Lansing has that funky Tri selector control thing, and even though I know that the only mode that uses surround sound if it would work would be the game mode, I've tried all the modes. If I'm right the Stereo mode has no rear speaker support, and in the Stereo x2 mode the left rear copies the left front channel and likewise with the right side. I turned up the rear speakers on the manual speaker controls to the max yet I don't hear a thing no matter what I do. The funny thing is the M-Audio control panel says there is sound going through the back two speakers. So if I'm doing things right the surround soung not working with my speakers is a bug, but I could also have something set wrong. So if anyone has any suggestions, please by all means HELP!!! I've also noticed that my computer does crash more frequently since I've put in the card, still pretty rare though (Good 'ol Mac OSX). The only other thing is I do get a crackling noise if I switch songs really fast on I-Tunes (doesn't really bother me though.) Thanks for reading guys and M-Audio, thanks for a mac soundcard that actually does something!! Keep up the good work =)

#25 Malice

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 08:43 PM

Thanks for the response! The card was well worth the $100 and the sound quality is excellent. I'm just glad to have a half decent sound card and actual programmers working on it! The only problem is now I have the sudden urge to go spend several hundred dollars and upgrade my sound system (Currently running FPS2000 Digital speakers that came with a free SBLive, POS Edition).

Quote

- Some items out of our control: We look forward to a digital-out enabled version of Apple's DVD Player like everyone else. We've tried working with the necessary parties to make sure QIII works with non-built in sound, but it sounds like something we can't control if this is an issue with ANY 3rd party sound card.
Just replace "ANY" with "any that use >2 channels". I've seen people using USB audio output devices (ie: external sound processors) with only 2 channels and QIII has worked fine for them. It's less of an issue with the Revolution and more an issue with the fact that (judging from the crash output and the preconditions with which it works) id assumes that where it's a Mac it only has 2 sound channels and when there are more than that, it has no idea what to do.

#26 Irish

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 04:38 AM

First, let me say how nice it is that m-audio are obviously taking their Macintosh customers so seriously. The fact that your company has posted 4 updates since release to the Revolution software (for OS X) is proof enought that you are not just taking the money and running, but it is still nice to have this more personal feedback.

Also, thanks for this:

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- Note for Irish: There is no non-proprietary way to send multichannel audio over a digital cable. You have to use one of the encoded surround formats (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.). Even if we made up our own format, how would your decoder figure out what to do with it? Creative sometimes does proprietary "links" that connect their sound cards and speakers, but then you're locked into buying their speakers. Ahem.

Now that you have explained this so well I can understand what is going on. I didn't realise that Creative's solution with the digital din output was so closely connected to the Cambridge Soundworks speaker set so I t hought that it would be possible with other sound cards with digital connections as well.  I now know that it is not supposed to work so I won't keep banging my head against the wall trying to make it do something it can't do. If I want multi-chanel output I can either use the analogue connection or the digital connection with Pro Logic switched on (which sounds a bit funny but I suppose I could get used to it!). So at least I have two ways in which I can make my five speaker set work (3 counting the Dolby 5.1 output throught VLC). Not bad for a triffeling 100 bucks or so!

Thanks again for your input here, it is really appreciated by all interested parties, I am sure.

#27 Lucian

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 05:10 AM

VLC Player 0.5.2 has been posted to VLC's site so if you are feeling brave, please test it out and report back here.  Thanks.
I live in Mexifornia.

#28 Irish

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 05:05 PM

Quote

VLC Player 0.5.2 has been posted to VLC's site so if you are feeling brave, please test it out and report back here.  Thanks.

Got it about an hour ago. I have played about 30 minutes of my Lord of the Rings DVD and it worked flawlessly on my set-up.

G4 867/1.2GB RAM (Quicksilver)
Digital connection from Revolution to Cambridge Soundworks DT3500 Digital Decoder/5.1 speaker system using coax.

#29 Eugene

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:22 PM

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VLC Player 0.5.2 has been posted to VLC's site so if you are feeling brave, please test it out and report back here.  Thanks.

The options for 2-8 channel sound in VLC seem to have disappeared in this test version.  I can only find one device setting and there ise a lot of missing audio when I use my headphones...

#30 a2daj

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:14 PM

The only noticeable difference is that the warning box doesn't pop up when switching sound sources, otherwise, the same issues I mentioned before are still affecting my 5.1 analog speaker setup.

#31 Eugene

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 12:15 AM

Doh.  I switched between my old Soundsticks, built-in audio and Revo and now I can't switch the main sound output device to the Revo.  I can select it, but all I get is sound coming from the built-in speaker.  Alert sounds still seem to play in via the Revo, but nothing else does.  I can use the speaker test in the control panel and that works too.

The only problem seems to be switching the output device back.  It thinks the Revo is the built-in sound...

#32 Eugene

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 12:56 AM

Hmm, this seems to happen when I set my line-in/mic sampling rate to 192 or 96 KHz...Switching back to 48 KHz or below solves the problem.  Is this supposed to happen?

Like, I'll play something in iTunes, stop, switch to 96 KHz (hear a pop noise), then start playing again and the output goes to the built-in speaker.  If I switch back to 48 KHz or below, stop and restart the audio, then it comes back...

#33 Lucian

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 03:12 AM

VLC player 0.5.2 test 3 is up.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  Greg and I should be getting our eval cards soon so we'll be able to join in the fun!  Now to get a 4.1 or 5.1 system...
I live in Mexifornia.

#34 jasonivan

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 06:00 PM

Hope you don't mind my replying to a handful of items in one note.

1. Will DTS ever be available through VLC?

I canÕt really answer that one. We can pass DTS info out our drivers on the PC side with most DVD players, so I donÕt see a problem with driver support on the Mac for this. The VLC guys will probably have to answer this one (theyÕve posted here before).

2. Have you approached Apple about getting them to rewrite their DVD player to passthrough AC3 and DTS? If so, what have they said? If not, there is definitely a market for it, and it is something that needs to be explored. We finally have a decent consumer level surround sound card for OS X, and we need to show Apple there's a demand for such things.

To answer your question, yes we have talked to them and requested this feature. And if I posted an answer to that question, we'd never be allowed to talk to them again :-) Actually, I don't have a definitive answer to give even if I WERE crazy enough to publicly post it. I think they're aware of the consumer demand for this feature and also that M-Audio hardware/drivers enable passthrough. Now we just need a player. Note that Apple's support of multichannel audio is SOOO much better in OS X than in 9, so I think they're already going the right direction. Being able use VLC to output DD is a big leap forward.

3. EAX.

The problem with EAX (and even OpenAL to a large extent) is that theyÕre primarily Creative technologies and are subject to their control. CreativeÕs latest EAX technologies on the PC (Advanced HD and a newer version just announced at GDC) are proprietary, so they canÕt be supported by other hardware manufacturers. On the PC side, we support EAX 1.0 and 2.0 via Sensaura technology, but even there we can't provide compatibility with "EAX Advanced HD" due to this being proprietary technology. This is even more of a dead end on the Mac where they have no platform support.

4. Quake III and Sound cards (>2 channels)

YouÕre correct. BTW, weÕve tried contacting both Activision and id, but havenÕt gotten a response back on this one.

5. Surround sound and gaming on Mac.

This isn't a response, but a note. Warcraft III's "Miles Positional Audio" generates Pro Logic  (or Pro Logic 2...not sure) audio. Turn on CSII's "Cinema Mode" in the Revolution CP and you can decode this to get positional audio out of Warcraft III. It sounds really good! Please drop me a line if you're aware of any other games supporting Miles positional audio...

Thanks,

Jason

#35 Momonari kun

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 07:20 PM

Thank you very much for responding. Let's hope Apple listens.

#36 a2daj

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 07:27 PM

MoH:AA uses Miles, but I'm not sure if it uses any positional stuff.  Duane would know best.

#37 Greg Grant

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Posted 08 March 2003 - 05:16 AM

The Miles SDK (by RAD Game tools) creates 3D sound for multiple technologies which can be handled by EAX 1,2, Dolby Prologic among several other technologies via a single API plug in scheme. MSSDolby.m3d is used for both WC3 and Medal of Honor, both games are capable.

Currently the only games that support this I know of that use 3D positional sounds are WC3 and Medal of Honor. I've e-mail RAD Game Tools asking if I can find a list of Mac products that use the Miles SDK. I also asked if they have any plans to support AC3 seeing the support EAX, 1, EAX 2, EAX 3, RSX 3D Audio. various degrees of DirectSound3D, QSound's QMixer and Aureal's A3D 1 & 2. If so, then its very possible that Mac games could find discrete multichannel gaming via RAD Game tools.
the IMG audio guy...

#38 Bigc

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Posted 08 March 2003 - 06:46 PM

Switched out my Klipsch 4.1 for 5.1 and the surround works good. Everytime you switch tabs in setup window you have to hit the main volume to bring it back. Still trying stuff.

Edit: Still has a volume drop when you turn Bass Management on/off. Thought that was suppose to be fixed in 1.2.4?

#39 Lucian

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Posted 09 March 2003 - 12:39 AM

I got my Revolution on Thursday and have been "testing" it for a few days.  I only have a 2.1 system (Altec Lansing 621), but I'll try to get of a 4.1 system.

There are a few  issues/comments I need to point out:

• Launching the M-Audio app sometimes switches the output back to the built-in sound.  The alert sounds will still play through the Revo, but everything else (MP3s, movies) will play through the built-in speaker.  Launching VLC, playing a movie, and manually selecting the Revo as the analog output device "solves" this.

• There is a lot of skipping and stuttering when using VLC player 0.5.1a to play AVIs and MPEGs.  VLC player 0.5.2 test 3 fixes this problem.

• VLC player 0.5.1a doesn't play audio tracks from DVD movies correctly at all (lots of noise when 4/6 channel PCM is selected, no audio with stereo PCM).  VLC player 0.5.2 test 3 only has an option for analog 8 channel PCM output, but the audio is very faint.  It is probably playing the wrong audio track.

• In VLC player 0.5.2 test 3, the preference window won't load after you select "show advanced prefs".

• When the CPU is under high load, there is lots of skipping.  I assume this is because the audio is being processed by the CPU.

• Audio in games, MP3s, and Apple's DVD Player play just fine.

• When you click on a quickswitch set in the M-Audio app, it reverts back to the "default set".  So for instance, my current sent is "Altec Lansing Ultimate 621", but when I click on "Stereo", the current set will change to Stereo.  The current set should "stick".

• Also, you shouldn't be allowed to modify the the pre-defined sets.  I had to delete the preferences file to reset them.  If the user tries to modify a pre-defined set, they should be asked if they want to create or save a new set.

• For those of you with Revos, do you notice a difference when changing the sample rate between 11 kHz and 192 kHz?  Maybe i need to clean my ears.  Or maybe it depends on the source material.

• Also, I changed the distance from 0 ft to 99 ft but I didn't notice a difference in sound.

Other than those issues, there don't seem to be any show stopping bugs (except for maybe the Q3 issues, but it's not M-Audio's fault).  I've had no random crashes or kernel panics, so the drivers seems stable.  I'm sure I would be utilizing this card better if I had a 4.1/5.1 system, but this will have to do for now.  I'll post more of my feedback once I use it more.

FYI, I have the Revo installed in a Sawtooth G4 with a Giga Designs 1 GHz upgrade card, Radeon 8500, 768 MB RAM, 1.2.4 Revo drivers.

All in all, a great job by the M-Audio team.
I live in Mexifornia.

#40 pfc_biohzrd

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Posted 09 March 2003 - 10:57 AM

I have searched through this forum looking for an answer to an issue I have been having and I do not believe it has been addressed. If it has, I apologize and please direct me to the answer.

I am using the Revo 7.1 card in a G4 933 with 1 gig of RAM using OS X.2.4. The Driver is version 1.2.4. I have the card installed in slot 3 (I have tried the others) and am using Logitech Z-680 speakers (the hiss, the hiss, make it stop!).

First, I have no right front channel. The sound comes out of both the right and left front speakers but if i choose Solo (for right front) in the control panel there is silence. Solo for left and all the other speakers works fine.  I have tried everything (I know of) short of reinstalling Jag to remedy this problem. Any suggesions would be great.

Second, I play Rogue Spear (RS) regularly but in the game there is silence. The internal speaker works but it would seem that this game is not compatible with the driver or card or something. All the other games I play (JK2, GhR, RTCW, SOF2) work fine. Since the main reason I bought this card was for RS I hope that somehow I can get it to work. Again, any suggestions would be great.

Finally, as a casual user, I have had very little trouble with this card. There is an occasional pop when the processor is stressed and a crash that kept occuring using driver v.1.2.3. 4 seemed to take care of that. Overall, I am glad I bought the card.

Thanks,

Bio