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Open-Source EAX Emulation: DSOAL, better then Creative's ALchemy?

is OpenAL Soft better then ALchamy?   10 members have voted

  1. 1. Which sounds better to you?

    • Creative ALchamy
    • OpenAL Soft
    • Vanilla Halo CE

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

Recently i have been told about this new way to enable EAX in Halo CE called DSOAL(A DirectSound wrapper for OpenAL) when used with OpenAL Soft,  @Zetren said it's better then Creative's ALchemy, so i tried it & didn't notice anything other then it being less 'echoy'. until he said:"listen to the foot steps compared with each other, huge difference, also DSOAL properly reverberates bullet sounds" after i focused of those ALchemy now sounds loud & 'echoy' compared to the more precise sounds of OpenAL Soft. what do you think?  


it's available currently on his Ultimate Enhancement Guide under "Restore EAX effects"


OpenAL Soft  has been around sense at least 2013, & ALchemy sense 2007, why is this coming up now? OpenAL Soft is modified Creative code to boot, so did they make an open Source version of there own proprietary software? & when did OpenAL, a competitor to DirectSound3D,  start supporting the EAX Extension?  on the openal.org web site it says "Remember EAX and A3D? Forget them. OpenAL is vendor neutral." so i guess creative is trying to replace there coders with community coders, & there second rate EAX with OpenAL(the preferred standard), a lot like Microsoft actually. sorry for the questions i know you can't answer, i'm trying to rationalize how & why this is! if anyone can explain this to me please do! i'm clearly confused.  


although there are many solutions to emulate EAX support ALchemy is by far the contemporary, go to one, i'm glad to see better Open-Source Software replace proprietary software, but the lack of user oriented documentation/use cases is killing me right now, i bet you @Vaporeon & Anton know, so please enlighten me!  i see your hosting a custom binary package or is that just the way it comes after being build?  is this an original idea of yours or did you copy someones else's example? there are many other games that could use better sound from this. i tried the version linked on the PCGamengWiki but it just crashes Halo. @Zetren says it's a newer version & regressed compatibility, no wonder iv'e never used it be for! EDIT: ok after reading the Readme i think i know why it crashes halo"The DLL(OpenAL32.dll) is built with DirectSound support disabled" um i'm a dummy, although i quite understand why that would be, but i'll go read some more of those ReadMe's before i come here and waist you time...

some excerpts form the DSOAL read me 


This package contains a DirectSound DLL replacement. It implements the
necessary interfaces by making equivalent calls to OpenAL, and fools the
application into thinking it has hardware accelerated sound. EAX 2.0 is
implemented using OpenAL's EFX extension.


Also included is an OpanAL32.dll. This is a build of the Git version of OpenAL
Soft <http://kcat.strangesoft.net/openal.html>, a software-based alternative to
the drivers provided by Creative Labs. This DLL was built using MinGW32, and
requires a i686 CPU or better, with MMX and SSE. The DLL is built with
DirectSound support disabled (a cyclical dependency would occur otherwise),...

The end result is that applications load the replacement dsound.dll, which
creates compatible DirectSound interfaces. It sees that devices have hardware
buffers, whether or not they actually do, and will subsequently use
DirectSound3D interfaces thinking that they are hardware accelerated. The calls
are then translated to OpenAL, which mixes and outputs a proper surround sound
audio stream. With EFX supported by OpenAL, EAX 2.0 calls will also be
appropriately translated, allowing for environmental reverb support.

Ultimately, this enables DirectSound applications to enable their DirectSound3D
acceleration path, and turn on EAX. The actual processing is being done by
OpenAL in software, allowing it to work on systems where DSound acceleration is
not otherwise available.

Or more succinctly: it enables DirectSound3D surround sound and EAX 2.0 for
systems without the requisite hardware.


Edited by SomeFan
much to understand, i'll learn!
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ok i has thoroughly confused, OpenAL has Supported EAX(but not DirectSound3D) for a long time, in fact halo is one of about 20'ish games to use EAX 2 without OpenAL support, instead DirectSound3D(called Hardware Acceleration in game, uses your Sound Card to process commands) & user mode/software mode( that uses your CPU to process commands) sound. & sense Environmental sound is EAX based on Halo PC we want EAX support, so what we have here is a driver(in this case in the form of a .dll that halo uses) that pretends it's for a DirectSound3D EAX 2 compatible Sound Card, with the help of are CPU to do it. so really some one just made software that says it's a DirectSound3D Sound card with EAX support & answers all the instructions Halo gives it just right. Creative did this with ALchamy but locked it down to run only on there hardware or if you buy there SOUND BLASTER X-FI MB software, so it's not surprising some one made an Open Source version, i mean they even had Creative's own OpenAL code,which already supported all EAX functions though EFX, so all they had to do was add DirectSound3D support, use EFX to translate EAX 2 buffers & bam! we got it boys :) i bet Creative is not happy, maybe thats why they went closed source, so they could keep money going to there pockets. iv'e heard the Sound engine fmod supports DirectSound3D, but it's not open source, so harder or expensive to use for this.



sense this is mostly me having fun learning stuff come join me.( yes it's just me coming to grips with basic's, but thats fun :)

so it's looks like we have Chris Robinson mostly to thank, he seems to have added the first EAX 2 comment in 2012, he started it on 2011-07, but it seems it took an other 4 years before it's was usable, i guess i'd have to go compile some versions to see how long this has been possible, i fear we are slow & could of been doing this long ago. not sure where @Vaporeon got his files from & what the significance to the r294 is, maybe he will tell me? it's being actively developed so one might want to try a later version if he fixes Compatibility.

Edited by SomeFan
i still don't know what i'm talking about....
Tucker933, Skeezix the Cat and WaeV like this

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"r294" is the last build with working first person reverb effects in Halo, and I would suggest using this one until the remaining issues with later commits are ironed out.

The builds I posted are just compiled from source.

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apparently we are not the only one using this new system; https://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/65094 it works for Halo CE to. Mirrored here:  New Vegas DSOAL & Open AL Soft pack v1.2.7z (that way you don't have to get an account)

seems people want to call it DSOAL, but technically thats only half of the system, Open AL soft is the sound engine after all, the PCGamingWIKI call's it DSOAL, so i will to. EDIT:  DSOAL(A DirectSound wrapper for OpenAL) , i'm so wrong, should have read first.


it also seems the only real thing i could do is help by giving bug reports, else i'll have to just wait for others to develop this, should be fun watching. i think good times are coming for Halo CE's audio.

Edited by SomeFan
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To anyone else who ends up here wondering how to configure DSOAL, here ya go. Might be slightly outdated depending on when you find this. 
For most laymen purposes, the configs included in Vaporeon's builds will suffice with little or no modifications.





Oh, right. This is included with OpenAL-Soft-1.19.1-bin.zip (Windows Binaries) from OpenAL-Soft.org.

Edited by VoidsShadow

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Just registered so I could say... DSOAL is pretty friggin sweet. I've played halo before with EAX but always ended up having to turn it off due to sound clipping/stutters etc. However... using this the effects sound pretty good. And... i don't even have a super amazing sound device either. Just a plain generic USB headset from KOSS. Model CS-100, the one with ONLY the usb connection. heh just checked walmart and seems they sell for about $50. I got mine at a Goodwill for $3.

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