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Reply 100 of 374, by MST

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I found, that Creative released a software-based implementation of OpenAL driver, which is compatible with ALchemy, and it is not hardware based. It comes with X-Fi software or some Audigy 2 drivers. It is called "Host OpenAL" (HOAL) and it is native OpenAL driver, with up to EAX 5.0 support. All effects are software processed, so it will work on every sound card. It resides in file "Sens_oal.dll" within system directory. All we have to do is install "Host OpenAL", then rename "Sens_oal.dll" to "ct_oal.dll" in system directory to make it accessible for ALchemy. After it, ALchemy writes glory message within it's dsoundlog.txt - "Using Native OpenAL Renderer". There is only one problem - this OpenAL driver is not free. You need licence for it. If not - driver will not be available. You can use one of keygen attached by mirth a few posts ago.

Where download "Host OpenAL" from? You can extract it for example from Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX driver:

http://support.creative.com/Products/ProductD … e=Sound+Blaster

Just extract installer, then install "HOAL\Setup.exe". It will also do a silent install required component "CTShared\CTRedist\AudELSvc".

As alternative google for "Sound Blaster X-Fi MB 2 or 3", download it, extract installer, then install "CTShared\CTRedist\HOAL\setup.exe". It will also do a silent install required component "CTShared\CTRedist\AudELSvc".

I hope someone will compare sound quality with "Host OpenAL" driver and without it, which generates poor quality sound using Creative software 3D library. I did not checked it.

Last edited by MST on 2016-01-31, 20:59. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 101 of 374, by mirh

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Actually, you can find sens_oal.dll in every post-X-fi card driver.
And I guess recon3D or Z ones could be newer than some random Audigy.

By the way, I found Sound Blaster EVO Wireless seems also to sport* something called "Host Audio Support Files"

[*]=(among the other things, like the newest HOAL dlls I could find)

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Reply 102 of 374, by UCyborg

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Thanks for the hint about HOAL, it seems crucial thing to have along with ALchemy. Without HOAL, I got zero special sound effects in The Suffering, plus 3D positioning was screwed in certain scenarios. Drakan also seems to sound better with it.

Arthur Schopenhauer wrote:

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.

Reply 103 of 374, by MST

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mirh wrote:

By the way, I found Sound Blaster EVO Wireless seems also to sport* something called "Host Audio Support Files"

"Host Audio Support Files" is not the same as "Host OpenAL". In HOAL there is always Bin.cab file contains "Sens_oal.dll" for x86 and x64 OS. Currently latest I found is v2.02.73. BTW. versions 1.x.x are not working with ALchemy. Only 2.x.x seems to be compatible with ALchemy.

UCyborg wrote:

Thanks for the hint about HOAL, it seems crucial thing to have along with ALchemy. Without HOAL, I got zero special sound effects in The Suffering, plus 3D positioning was screwed in certain scenarios. Drakan also seems to sound better with it.

You're welcome.

Reply 104 of 374, by mirh

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MST wrote:

"Host Audio Support Files" is not the same as "Host OpenAL". In HOAL there is always Bin.cab file contains "Sens_oal.dll" for x86 and x64 OS. Currently latest I found is v2.02.73. BTW. versions 1.x.x are not working with ALchemy. Only 2.x.x seems to be compatible with ALchemy.

The thing I linked has version 2.2.20.3085 for the records.
And I know "hosta" is not the same of "hoal", but I was wondering if something sounding this similar couldn't be related.

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Reply 105 of 374, by ZellSF

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MST wrote:

I found, that Creative released a software-based implementation of OpenAL driver, which is compatible with ALchemy, and it is not hardware based. It comes with X-Fi software or some Audigy 2 drivers. It is called "Host OpenAL" (HOAL) and it is native OpenAL driver, with up to EAX 5.0 support. All effects are software processed, so it will work on every sound card. It resides in file "Sens_oal.dll" within system directory. All we have to do is install "Host OpenAL", then rename "Sens_oal.dll" to "ct_oal.dll" in system directory to make it accessible for ALchemy. After it, ALchemy writes glory message within it's dsoundlog.txt - "Using Native OpenAL Renderer". There is only one problem - this OpenAL driver is not free. You need licence for it. If not - driver will not available. You can use one of keygen attached by mirth a few posts ago.

Really having problems finding this keygen. And the installer doesn't ask for a key 😐

Reply 106 of 374, by MST

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ZellSF wrote:

Really having problems finding this keygen. And the installer doesn't ask for a key 😐

As I wrote above if you do not have valid licence, OpanAL driver just will not be available. There is nothing like enter licence or enter serial number prompt during setup.
Here is post with keygens

Reply 107 of 374, by ZellSF

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ok, so I installed Host OpenAL and the Creative Licensing thing from the MB3 drivers. I made sure I had a license (by checking ALCapsViewer) and I copied sens_oal.dll in system32 to ct_oal.dll in system32. I installed Creative Alchemy 1.45.03.

I still only get "Using Creative Software 3D Library", what am I doing wrong?

Edit: never mind, the rename needs to be done in SysWOW64 on 64-bit systems.

Reply 109 of 374, by ZellSF

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Maybe a bit off topic since it doesn't relate to ALchemy, but now that the last technical issue plaguing BioShock is fixed (physics unlocker) I decided to replay BioShock and tried getting it working with full surround and EAX.

First thing I notice is some very noticeable audio artifacts that shouldn't be there. Google it and I get recommended to place wrap_oal.dll in the game's directory as openal32.dll. Which looks to be working but under further inspection BioShock is outputting stereo sound.

So I just tested something that I thought BioShock was too new to mess up: changing the sampling rate. And what do you know, that works. BioShock sounds awful at 48khz, perfect at 44khz.

Reply 110 of 374, by Stiletto

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Keygens? What about "There is no material that is knowingly illegal here." *moderator blinks*

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 111 of 374, by mirh

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Stiletto wrote:

Keygens? What about "There is no material that is knowingly illegal here." *moderator blinks*

Mhh, that sounds a lot too murky.
It's not any more tinkering with driver than, say, Hybrid PhysX mod, or the good old ALchemy Universal.

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Reply 112 of 374, by ZellSF

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What are the options for A3D on a new computer? A3D-Live restores surround for Outlaws, but from what I gather there are a few other options, but I have no clue which of them work on a Win10 64-bit computer.

Newest version of ALchemy seems to have some severe audio issues on Heretic II, so I had to resort to using IndirectSound to at least restore surround sound, no idea if the game even uses EAX effects. From what I gather there's no reason to use A3D wrappers for this as they don't really restore much of A3D effects, just basic positional surround sound?

Reply 113 of 374, by mirh

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ZellSF wrote:

What are the options for A3D on a new computer? A3D-Live restores surround for Outlaws, but from what I gather there are a few other options, but I have no clue which of them work on a Win10 64-bit computer.

Newest version of ALchemy seems to have some severe audio issues on Heretic II, so I had to resort to using IndirectSound to at least restore surround sound, no idea if the game even uses EAX effects. From what I gather there's no reason to use A3D wrappers for this as they don't really restore much of A3D effects, just basic positional surround sound?

You can read a lot here.
TL;DR: a3d-live has broken wavetracing and it sound incredibly bad (there's a "priorities" list in the last posts).
You'd have better with official "A3D wrapper" and plain ds3d restored support.

Unless (this is a big one), you can't access a c-media based card.
In my lame subjective testings 2 years ago, it seemed like A3D-live + disabled wavetracing (so it doesn't ruin everything) + restored ds3d could have the edge on everything else (at least on my x64 Windows).
But only if I used Asus GX (Xear 3D should be fine too). I'd guess because it was the only thing "injecting earlier" than a3d initialization.

I dunno if it's just an intrinsic problem with "dll hijacking" versus "process hook based" approach (in which case indirectsound wouldn't work either), or something else (like one of the many 3DSoundBack bugs or the relatively lengthy vendor/license check ALchemy does) but that was it.
3DSoundBack isn't changed and I'd bet it still doesn't work (RIP), but who knows? Perhaps newer ALchemy versions might.
And IndirectSound could too, but it's a very PITA to set up HL pre-revamp again.

You'd have better looking forward to ZanQuance A3D project though imo.

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Reply 114 of 374, by Sardoc

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Is there any chance we can control the EAX volume with Alchemy Universal?

While I do appreciate the fact that it works, it can be painfully loud and distorted at times. This video shows the volume of EAX in Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness on Windows XP compared to Alchemy, and as you can hear, while Alchemy does the job, sometimes you can hardly hear anything other than the reverb. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AQIt78Cfz8 (taken from this thread on TR Forums: http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=212300

Reply 115 of 374, by mirh

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Sardoc wrote:

Is there any chance we can control the EAX volume with Alchemy Universal?

While I do appreciate the fact that it works, it can be painfully loud and distorted at times. This video shows the volume of EAX in Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness on Windows XP compared to Alchemy, and as you can hear, while Alchemy does the job, sometimes you can hardly hear anything other than the reverb. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AQIt78Cfz8 (taken from this thread on TR Forums: http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=212300

If you want fine control I believe X-Fi MB3 may have that.

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Reply 116 of 374, by Click4dylan

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I have created an all-in-one ZIP containing everything you need to get Native AL working on any sound card, with full instructions.

Includes the latest versions of everything, including ALchemy 1.45.06, to my knowledge. Sens_oal.dll are the ones included with X-Fi MB3

Download:
<URL removed by moderator>

Instructions:
Step 1:
Rightclick Volume in taskbar and click Playback Devices.
For each playback device, rightclick and select Properties.
Under General tab, add X-Fi to the name of each device. For example, if yours says Speakers, change it to Speakers X-Fi

Step 2:
Install CTShared\CTRedist\HOAL\Setup.exe

Step 3:
Copy CT_OAL\System32\ct_oal.dll to C:\Windows\System32

Step 4:
Copy CT_OAL\SysWOW64\ct_oal.dll to C:\Windows\SysWOW64

Step 5:
Rightclick Keygen\GenKGA3.exe and select Run As Administrator
Press Windows Key and R at the same time, and enter %ProgramData%
Create a new folder called Creative if it does not exist.
Open the 'Creative' folder, then create a new folder called SoftwareLock if it does not exist.
Copy all .kga files from Keygen folder to the SoftwareLock Folder

Step 6:
Install ALchemy\Setup.exe
If step 6 fails, try Step 7.

Step 7 (optional):
Copy ALchemy_AnyOS\Support.cab to ALchemy and rerun ALchemy\Setup.exe

Step 8 (optional):
This fix removes the device restrictions in Alchemy and Dsound. If you can't get dsoundlog.txt to show Using Native OpenAL Renderer, try this:
Copy ALchemy_Fix\dsound.dll and ALchemy_Fix\ALchemy.exe to C:\Program Files (x86)\Creative\ALchemy


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
For a list of games that support EAX and to get their proper Alchemy settings, open Games.html

If certain games have insane amounts of reverb/echo or have audio glitches, edit the dsound.ini file located in the game folder
created by ALchemy and add this line to the end:

DisableNativeAL=true

Reply 117 of 374, by ZellSF

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mirh wrote:
You can read a lot here. TL;DR: a3d-live has broken wavetracing and it sound incredibly bad (there's a "priorities" list in the […]
Show full quote
ZellSF wrote:

What are the options for A3D on a new computer? A3D-Live restores surround for Outlaws, but from what I gather there are a few other options, but I have no clue which of them work on a Win10 64-bit computer.

Newest version of ALchemy seems to have some severe audio issues on Heretic II, so I had to resort to using IndirectSound to at least restore surround sound, no idea if the game even uses EAX effects. From what I gather there's no reason to use A3D wrappers for this as they don't really restore much of A3D effects, just basic positional surround sound?

You can read a lot here.
TL;DR: a3d-live has broken wavetracing and it sound incredibly bad (there's a "priorities" list in the last posts).
You'd have better with official "A3D wrapper" and plain ds3d restored support.

Unless (this is a big one), you can't access a c-media based card.
In my lame subjective testings 2 years ago, it seemed like A3D-live + disabled wavetracing (so it doesn't ruin everything) + restored ds3d could have the edge on everything else (at least on my x64 Windows).
But only if I used Asus GX (Xear 3D should be fine too). I'd guess because it was the only thing "injecting earlier" than a3d initialization.

I dunno if it's just an intrinsic problem with "dll hijacking" versus "process hook based" approach (in which case indirectsound wouldn't work either), or something else (like one of the many 3DSoundBack bugs or the relatively lengthy vendor/license check ALchemy does) but that was it.
3DSoundBack isn't changed and I'd bet it still doesn't work (RIP), but who knows? Perhaps newer ALchemy versions might.
And IndirectSound could too, but it's a very PITA to set up HL pre-revamp again.

You'd have better looking forward to ZanQuance A3D project though imo.

What and where is the "official A3D wrapper" though?

Reply 119 of 374, by MST

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Click4dylan wrote:
Instructions: Step 1: Rightclick Volume in taskbar and click Playback Devices. For each playback device, rightclick and select P […]
Show full quote

Instructions:
Step 1:
Rightclick Volume in taskbar and click Playback Devices.
For each playback device, rightclick and select Properties.
Under General tab, add X-Fi to the name of each device. For example, if yours says Speakers, change it to Speakers X-Fi

This is not needed as long you are gonna install HOAL in next step. HOAL OpenAL Driver name includes X-Fi string so you do not have to add it to your default playback device name.

Click4dylan wrote:

Step 2:
Install CTShared\CTRedist\HOAL\Setup.exe

You can remove following directories from package, as long they are not needed:
CTShared\LaunchEx
CTShared\MSRedist
CTShared\Shared
CTShared\CTRedistAPOIM
CTShared\CTRedist\CADI

Only CTShared\CTRedist\HOAL and CTShared\CTRedist\AudELSvc are required.

Click4dylan wrote:
Step 3: Copy CT_OAL\System32\ct_oal.dll to C:\Windows\System32 […]
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Step 3:
Copy CT_OAL\System32\ct_oal.dll to C:\Windows\System32

Step 4:
Copy CT_OAL\SysWOW64\ct_oal.dll to C:\Windows\SysWOW64

Probably a little bat file with two lines will be easier way to do this, as long Sens_oal.dll will land there after install HOAL:

@copy "%windir%\System32\Sens_oal.dll" "%windir%\System32\ct_oal.dll"
@copy "%windir%\SysWOW64\Sens_oal.dll" "%windir%\SysWOW64\ct_oal.dll"
Click4dylan wrote:
Step 5: Rightclick Keygen\GenKGA3.exe and select Run As Administrator Press Windows Key and R at the same time, and enter %Progr […]
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Step 5:
Rightclick Keygen\GenKGA3.exe and select Run As Administrator
Press Windows Key and R at the same time, and enter %ProgramData%
Create a new folder called Creative if it does not exist.
Open the 'Creative' folder, then create a new folder called SoftwareLock if it does not exist.
Copy all .kga files from Keygen folder to the SoftwareLock Folder

Instead of running Keygen\GenKGA3.exe as administrator run Keygen\RUN.BAT as admin, and it will do everything you described for you (will create Creative dir if not exists, will copy kga files)

But, yeap, good work!