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Max Power

OpenAL EFX support and alternatives

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I have started on an indy project several years ago, and I went with openAL (mostly because it is absolutely free...). I wrote a simple SoundManager-class and, so far, I didn't really need anything better.

But today I wanted to play around with environmental effects, which I never used before, and it seems that of all the possible effects only reverb is supported. That would be a bit of a deal-breaker I guess.

 

Maybe I am just doing something wrong? Or if I'm not, what free alternatives are there that people recommend?

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Thanks for replying, I will look into that article, but if I'm not mistaken openAL soft doesn't have any kind of hardware-acceleration, right?...

 

I also saw that fmod is now free for low budget projects, maybe I will give that a try, although it seems like overkill for the type of low-level api I need.

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Well, I just downloaded openAL soft and used it in my program. I could leave the code exactly the way it was, but still: when I try to create effects, reverb is the only one supported...

 

 

 

 

Is my onboard sound-chip just too crappy to do this sort of thing? But I guess 90+% of gamers don't have a fancy sound card either...

 

Unfortunately, the article doesn't say anything about environmental effects.

Edited by Max Power
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if I'm not mistaken openAL soft doesn't have any kind of hardware-acceleration, right?

 

Right, but the last sound card with hardware EFX/EAX acceleration was the X-Fi.  On Creative's newer SoundCore3D-based cards (Recon3D, Z) those effects are software-based.

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So I guess what I need then is a strong, free software-based audio library. If I switch to fmod now, will it still be the same single reverb effect that my sound-chip supports, or does fmod have a hardware-independent way of dealing with environmental effects?

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Nevermind, I didn't know I had to rename the oal_soft.dll to openAL32. Now effects are enabled and I will stick with it.

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Does it not have the hardware acceleration, or is working well enough that it doesn't matter?

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I can't really say. But the way I understand it, hardware acceleration for audio-effects is becoming much less important anyway, so I don't really mind. I didn't notice any performance loss and won't worry about it for the time being. Got to continue with my networking code ^^

Edited by Max Power
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Ok, this is weird. I changed all the include and linker paths to use soft openal, I put soft_oal.dll as OpenAL32.dll into the build directories, but when I compile for release, the program crashes trying to create the audio device. Debug works fine...

 

 

edit: I don't really get it, but everything is working fine now, after switching back to standard openal dependencies for the compiling, and only using the soft-dll to replace OpenAL32.dll. I can use either DLL with the program and effects are still enabled when using the soft one. I guess that's all I wanted :)

Edited by Max Power
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