VOGONS


Reply 40 of 104, by brassicGamer

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awgamer wrote on 2020-02-09, 18:10:
carlostex wrote on 2020-02-05, 10:56:
dionb wrote on 2020-02-04, 23:18:

Sort of interesting interview, but totally uncritical interviewer. AdLib is mentioned only in passing, the PAS (almost certainly the driver behind SBPro and SB16) not at all. Still, the 'our customers didn't give a shit about feature X so it wasn't a priority to us' rings depressingly true.

Well ironically, believe it or not, both AdLib and Media Vision's demise owe a lot to Sim Wong Hoo.

It is probably something he doesn't want to talk about openly.

Also sued Aureal/a3d out of business with a frivolous lawsuit as well as pissing off ID to dump EAX support. He/Creative killed audio as a gaming feature. The bad guys, Creative, won, everyone else lost.

This is what needs to be remembered.

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Reply 41 of 104, by The Serpent Rider

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Well, the end for all those sound cards oriented companies would be the same really. AC97 standard was the first warning bell and the Windows 7 was the last nail in the coffin lid for hardware accelerated sound.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 42 of 104, by ZanQuance

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What I remember is Creative constantly "bending the truth" to make their products look much better in advertising than the competitions, then litigating their competitors any time they spoke the truth about them.
Aureal countersues Creative, as mentioned in the article Aureal printed the specs of their Vortex 2 and how it compared with other cards at the time.
Creative took offense that they "claimed" their Live! cards only supported 32 3D channels and no reflections. So they entered the courts again over "misrepresenting" specs, even though they hypocritically were doing the EXACT same thing in their own advertisement of the Live! cards abilities.
They claim 131 channels
Mixed in hardware!
Only 32 channels?
Actually 64-channels? and 1000+ MIPS of power!
Only 32! from their own dev team!
1000 mips!
A perfect card!

These are just a few I could dig up again, more articles are around that show that they use the term mips in an ad hominen fashion to discredit the competitions audio processors and make theirs look much more powerful than they really are.

1000 mips!
I saw this advertised sooooo much back in the day with review sites quoting this figure and then comparing the other competitors cards and their listed mips, Live! 1000 mips, Vortex 2 600 mips, CS4630 400+ mips.
It gave readers the strong impression that Creatives EMU10k1 was one awesome and powerful DSP.

@introduction "At the heart of Sound Blaster Live! is EMU10K1TM, a new processor from E-mu Systems that is based on E-mu’s highly acclaimed Emulator IV sound module and Darwin hard disk recorder. Leveraging over 25 years of expertise, the EMU10K1 with more than 2 million transistors and 1,000 MIPs of audio processing power"

They compare "somewhere" (need to find it again) that a Pentium cpu would need >1000 mips if it processed what their DSP does, so therefore their DSP is >=1000 mips. That's where the figure comes from, not from an actual calculation of the real mips power in the DSP, but in an equivalent comparison. Toms hardware has a listing of the soundcards and their data path mips, to give a real representation of the DSP's processing power, and Creatives claimed mips next to it.

real vs advertised mips Live! (10k1) [335], [1,000+] Audigy (10k2) [424], [1,250+] Creative X-Fi [103 […]
Show full quote

real vs advertised mips
Live! (10k1) [335], [1,000+]
Audigy (10k2) [424], [1,250+]
Creative X-Fi [10340], [30,000+]

The X-FI is claimed to have 10,340 mips of performance (7,000mips of those are from the Sample Rate Converter (SRC)), and at 24 times the power of the predecessor...
This means that the Audigy2 ZS only had 430 mips of power, yet the live! was "claimed" to have over 1,000 mips to compete with the "paltry" 600 mips of the Vortex 2 (which derived the claim of 600 mips from the 16-channel SRC).
Would it have sold their cards if they told the truth and advertised their new "competitive DSP" with only 335 mips when the competition had a real DSP figure of over 400+ mips already?
Probably not which explains why they resorted to false claims and marketing to sell the cards, then sued when competitors told the truth.

131 audio Channels!?
DSP Pentium mips power aside, having more audio channels means more samples playing at once in games, the more the merrier.
Aureal was claiming before the AU8830 was shipping that they had 96 audio channels and Live! had only 32. This sparked a lawsuit against Aureal for this claim.
Creative sues Aureal again...

"This is not a case of a simple product spec that has been misstated or misunderstood," said Creative Labs VP and general counsel John Danforth. "This case arises because of a series of inexcusable misstatements through which Aureal attempts to compare its own not-yet-shipping product against a [Creative] shipping product... whose specifications... bear no resemblance to Aureal's repeated misstatements."

What was it Aureal actually said?

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This is an updated matrix of the original for A3D support they were being sued over. See how it falsely "claims" the EMU10k1 can only process 32-channels? but Creative had listed on their own website that it could do 131 "in hardware".

This is just a small blip of Creatives misleading statements in order to sell their products.

I don't feel well today, I'll try and get the rest of the false claims later.

[edit] typos

Last edited by ZanQuance on 2020-02-10, 06:18. Edited 4 times in total.

Reply 43 of 104, by Unknown_K

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-02-09, 18:43:

Well, the end for all those sound cards oriented companies would be the same really. AC97 standard was the first warning bell and the Windows 7 was the last nail in the coffin lid for hardware accelerated sound.

Aureal was the only one doing real 3d sound and once they died so did real 3d sound generation in games. Microsoft had no reason to allow CPU hogging sound API to continue since game developers didn't want to deal with them either.

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Reply 44 of 104, by RacoonRider

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brassicGamer wrote on 2020-02-09, 14:23:

I had to write an article to address the issue of AdLib being significant to Creative's success, even though he (Sim) practically denies it.

The Sound Blaster Fairytale

edit: detail

I'm sorry to say that, but your math is wrong.

1 Sound blaster every 4 minutes is 1/4 SBs per minute.
That's 15 SBs per hour.
That's 120 SBs per working day (8 hours)
That's 600 SBs in five days.

Reply 45 of 104, by ZanQuance

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Microsofts real reason for removing the DS3D HAL and replacing it with a software emulation were the amount of BSOD complaints due to poorly developed audio drivers, and their many proprietary low level kernel functions. Top of the list was none other than EAX and Creative audio cards...
there is an article reference to this, I will find it tomorrow.

Reply 46 of 104, by appiah4

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ZanQuance wrote on 2020-02-10, 06:12:

Microsofts real reason for removing the DS3D HAL and replacing it with a software emulation were the amount of BSOD complaints due to poorly developed audio drivers, and their many proprietary low level kernel functions. Top of the list was none other than EAX and Creative audio cards...
there is an article reference to this, I will find it tomorrow.

I remember this as well.

brassicGamer wrote on 2020-02-09, 14:23:

I had to write an article to address the issue of AdLib being significant to Creative's success, even though he (Sim) practically denies it.

The Sound Blaster Fairytale

edit: detail

I just read this and I can't say I could honestly say you are being fair to the interview. Your whole piece is a sandbox about how AdLib was the first, and deserves more credit and how the CEO of a competitor is disrespecting their history. Except, he's not. He does not at any point, this is all he had to say about it:

CPC: The first Sound Blaster used a Yamaha OPL2 FM synthesiser, making it AdLib compatible. If AdLib hadn’t done this first, do you think the first Sound Blaster cards have had different music synthesis system?
Sim Wong Hoo: The first Sound Blaster did have a different music synthesis system – that was already in our Cubic CT PC in 1986. In fact, the first generation of Sound Blaster supported both the Yamaha OPL2 FM synthesiser and our own 12-voice synthesiser, so by default, it automatically supported a wider range of software from the two standards, giving users the best of both worlds.

Everything he says is true.

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Reply 47 of 104, by brassicGamer

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RacoonRider wrote on 2020-02-10, 06:10:
I'm sorry to say that, but your math is wrong. […]
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I'm sorry to say that, but your math is wrong.

1 Sound blaster every 4 minutes is 1/4 SBs per minute.
That's 15 SBs per hour.
That's 120 SBs per working day (8 hours)
That's 600 SBs in five days.

Phew I wasn't too far off then. I should have just stuck with the cards per day figure and left it at that. I'll definitely add the clarification to the article, though, thanks.

appiah4 wrote:

Everything he says is true.

Really?

...it automatically supported a wider range of software from the two standards, giving users the best of both worlds.

This statement pretends that AdLib was the extra, unwanted compatibility and that Game Blaster compatibility was integral to its success. He doesn't get to do that.

And the sandbox thing? That would suggest I ignored evidence that Sim has given AdLib due credit in the past. I'd love it if someone could prove otherwise.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-02-14, 04:33. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 48 of 104, by appiah4

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brassicGamer wrote on 2020-02-10, 11:08:
Really? […]
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appiah4 wrote:

Everything he says is true.

Really?

...it automatically supported a wider range of software from the two standards, giving users the best of both worlds.

This statement pretends that AdLib was the extra, unwanted compatibility and that Game Blaster compatibility was integral to its success. He doesn't get to do that.

No, it says that by combining CMS and Adlib compatibility on one card they covered more games than either, which is true.

brassicGamer wrote on 2020-02-10, 11:08:

And the sandbox thing? That would suggest I ignored evidence that Sim has given AdLib due credit in the past. I'd love it if someone could prove otherwise.

He does not have to credit AdLib with anything, he is not lying about what his product did and when, that is all. He is the CEO of Creative, what did you expect him to do? Would Nadella come out today and applaud IBM for releasing the better multi-tasking 32-bit OS (OS/2 2.0/Warp) before Microsoft (Windows NT/95)?

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Reply 49 of 104, by brassicGamer

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-02-10, 11:40:

No, it says that by combining CMS and Adlib compatibility on one card they covered more games than either, which is true.

Give me some numbers and I'll start listening.

appiah4 wrote on 2020-02-10, 11:40:

He does not have to credit AdLib with anything, he is not lying about what his product did and when, that is all. He is the CEO of Creative, what did you expect him to do? Would Nadella come out today and applaud IBM for releasing the better multi-tasking 32-bit OS (OS/2 2.0/Warp) before Microsoft (Windows NT/95)?

I don't think he has to and I don't think he ever will. The point is that, every time he gives such an interview to a lazy journalist, new people learn an incomplete history, despite plenty of documented evidence to the contrary.

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Reply 50 of 104, by Benedikt

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brassicGamer wrote on 2020-02-10, 11:47:
appiah4 wrote on 2020-02-10, 11:40:

No, it says that by combining CMS and Adlib compatibility on one card they covered more games than either, which is true.

Give me some numbers and I'll start listening.

Didn't certain games have to be patched in order to support CMS sound on a Sound Blaster?
I believe I read somewhere that the auto-detection did not work properly.

EDIT: It must have been this blog post.

Reply 51 of 104, by brassicGamer

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Benedikt wrote on 2020-02-10, 11:57:

Didn't certain games have to be patched in order to support CMS sound on a Sound Blaster?
I believe I read somewhere that the auto-detection did not work properly.

EDIT: It must have been this blog post.

I'd be curious to hear the Great Hierophant's point of view on it.

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Reply 52 of 104, by ZanQuance

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Unrelated but funny to the incoherent ramblings of Mr. Hoo.

lol, was reading up on the Super X-FI stuff and saw this humorous bit: […]
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🤣, was reading up on the Super X-FI stuff and saw this humorous bit:

Why does the Super X-Fi feature automatically switches off when I turn on EQ?
Super X-Fi is an audio technology that naturally recreates the sound stage of a high-end, multi speaker system. So, users can enjoy the maximum capability of Super X-Fi.
When Super X-Fi is turned on, the EQ modes will be switched off. Similarly, when the EQ mode is switched on, Super X-Fi will be switched off.

Creatives answer: "Dunno, it just does!" count it as a feature.
Also...Did you know?
"Super X-Fi is an audio technology that naturally recreates the sound stage of a high-end, multi speaker system. So, users can enjoy the maximum capability of Super X-Fi."

HRTF+Crosstalk cancellation isn't dead, just grossly misused.

Creative has a long established history now, and their history has never been one of "Creativity" or designing something truly amazing.
When I was a kid, my dad owned an Adlib card, my Uncle had a Game Blaster, then we got a Sound Blaster 1.0, Pro Audio Spectrum 16, a SB Pro 2.0, skipped the SB16/Awe 32/64 stuff and went straight to a SB Live!
then got an offbrand yellow ThunderSound Vortex 2 (pos) and replaced it with the Xitel SoundStorm instead.
I wish I kept those cards, I gave them away later to a friend.

The hardware was never the problem, it's the attitude of the company making said hardware and their extremely anti-competitive attitude. I read through some of Creatives annual financial reports, and more often than not they blamed an unstable market for their loss of revenue, it generally sounded like excuses to me, but were very happy to state they had income coming in from IP patent lawsuits 🙁
Creative Annual Reports

2013: "In addition, following on from the licensing agreement mentioned earlier, we will also be engaging in discussions to further monetize our valuable patent portfolio, particularly our formidable collection of over 100 patents in the field of 3D graphics and media processing"

2014: "The difficult and uncertain market conditions for the company’s products continued to adversely affect product sales and the financial performance of the Group."...
"On another front, I mentioned last year that we would be looking into steps to monetize our formidable collection of over 100 patents in the field of 3D graphics and media processing. Earlier this year, a subsidiary, ZiiLabs Inc., Ltd. commenced action for patent infringement in the United States against two major companies. That case is ongoing."

2015: "The difficult and uncertain market conditions for the Group’s products continued to adversely affect product sales and the financial performance of the Group"

2016: "The difficult and uncertain market conditions for the Group’s products continued to adversely affect product sales and the financial performance of the Group."...
"other gains of US$41.5 million in FY2016 were mainly due to US$33.5 million proceeds from settlements in patent lawsuit,"

2017: "the financial performance for the Group continued to be adversely affected by the difficult and uncertain market conditions for the Group’s products. Sales for the Group declined further as revenue contributions from new products during the year were not sufficient to offset the decline in sales resulting from the challenging market conditions. "..."Net results for the previous year was a profit as it included the contribution from higher other gains, comprising mainly US$34 million from settlements in a patent lawsuit. "

2018: "Dear Shareholders,In recap, fiscal year 2018 has been a very exciting year for the company, and for me personally. First of all, financially, we are back in the black, due mainly to the income contribution from various litigation matters."..."ther gains of US$64.5 million in FY2018 were due mainly to US$63.8 million gains from litigation settlements"

Creatives new slogan:
"Why innovate when you can litigate. 😉"

Reply 53 of 104, by 640K!enough

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-02-10, 11:40:

He does not have to credit AdLib with anything, he is not lying about what his product did and when, that is all. He is the CEO of Creative, what did you expect him to do? Would Nadella come out today and applaud IBM for releasing the better multi-tasking 32-bit OS (OS/2 2.0/Warp) before Microsoft (Windows NT/95)?

He doesn't have to give Ad Lib credit for anything, but it would have been nice if he had actually bothered to answer the question, which was whether they would have chosen the YM3812 for the Sound Blaster if Ad Lib hadn't decided on a synthesis technology, selected a specific chip and, crucially, garnered nearly universal developer support for their design. He effectively avoided the question entirely by bringing up the largely useless CMS, and acting like that was some sort of added, desirable feature that they offered to their customers. The fact that that "feature" was dropped very shortly thereafter is his admission that CMS was still a failure in the wider market.

Whether he admits it or not, there can be no denying that it was because they used the same chip as Ad Lib and designed their card to respond at the same port addresses that the Sound Blaster was ever able to gain any traction. There were other designs that provided more sophisticated sound than the Ad Lib MSC (IBM's Music Feature Card, for instance), but it was Ad Lib that managed the combination of decent sound, reasonable feature set and price and software support. Absent Ad Lib compatibility, the Sound Blaster may well have wallowed in obscurity, much like the CMS.

He'll likely go to the grave without ever admitting it, but he built his success only by adding things to the Ad Lib standard, despicable business antics and never doing more than they had to (driver quality, for instance). As a result of their efforts to obliterate anyone who dared to try delivering a superior product, and their refusal to actually innovate and deliver quality software, they have decimated the PC sound industry and single-handedly transformed themselves from a corporation generating $1 billion+ annual revenue to one that generates little more than losses (with a few exceptions).

Reply 54 of 104, by ZanQuance

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640K!enough wrote on 2020-02-10, 16:15:

As a result of their efforts to obliterate anyone who dared to try delivering a superior product, and their refusal to actually innovate and deliver quality software, they have decimated the PC sound industry and single-handedly transformed themselves from a corporation generating $1 billion+ annual revenue to one that generates little more than losses (with a few exceptions).

Yupp Creative Stock report
You stood on the shoulders of geniuses!

Reply 56 of 104, by brassicGamer

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AlaricD wrote on 2020-02-10, 17:29:

Mr. Sim didn't mention his BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)? They sure they talked to him?

He didn't mention NUTS (No U-Turn Syndrome) either...

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Reply 58 of 104, by ZanQuance

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awgamer wrote on 2020-02-10, 20:07:

Oh yeah, after suing Aureal out of business, buys the remains and buries the 3d surround tech. Everyone lost.

It's hard to properly set the record straight to everyone since this became such a wide spread misconception, myself included.

Creative cared so little about Aureals way of doing things 3D they only kept a few patents for their IP portfolio and destroyed everything else.
Aureal outsourced all development of the drivers, and the base code for the A3DAPI was provided at the time by Crystal River Engineering's (CRE) Bill Chapin and Scott Foster, now AUSIM3D, the original creators of WaveTracing, and still owners over that tech.
The AU8830 does HRTF with 56-tap FIR filters and 45-tap delay lines, piped into a CrossTalk filter for 3D output on stereo speakers, and bypassed on headphones. The HRTF tables came from custom designed measuring tools with in ear monitors on real peoples heads/ears, and not a dummy head/ears as is common.

The real magic for us though was in the A3DAPI which was designed by Bill Chapin(WaveTracing and HRTF) and Suneli Mishra(Coupling all 3D things into the A3DAPI), it setup and calculated everything to be processed in the games and passed the info through to the driver which interpolated the A3D HRTF tables and loaded coefficients into the AU8830 cards for final mixing and output.

Bill Chapin was smart and separated from Aureal when the lawsuits started with Creative, and negotiated all the rights to the advanced tech that Aureal used in the design of the Vortex 2 and A3DAPI.
His company AUSIM3D IS Aureal and still uses the tech today, just not in the consumer market as that was one of the things Creative negotiated with them in court, that he could retain the rights to the technology so long as it was only used for private sector use and not for consumer audio.
However GSOUND is around and was reverse engineered from AUSIM3D's hardware loaned to them for educational use and is the closest thing to an updated version of the original A3D WaveTracing engine, though it lacks HRTF and the Doppler features ect...which were done in the AU8830 silicon.

All in all, Creative acquired an even easier to implement 3D audio solution from Sensaura and used it with the X-FI. This was their only card which made use of the Sensaura tech before Creative canned the whole Sensaura team.
It was HRTF done in software, had a fully mature middleware, had every feature that A3D had with some even more advanced features like Chaotic Wavetracing and the Multidrive 4 speaker CrossTalk Cancellation (Aureal only did this for two channels). It was easier for them to go with this instead of reinventing the Aureal hardware (since Creative NEVER designs their own silicon chips) that accelerated and processed A3D features for realtime WaveTracing they so fervently disagreed with. They REALLY liked their prebaked echoplex that was EAX and didn't even make use of Sensauras reflection features.

Thus why A3D went *poof*

After Microsoft stuck it to Creative and removed the DS3D HAL killing everything hardware EAX, they resorted to using THX-ProStudio post processing of the 7.1 Channels. They eventually copied it and that's why you have SBX now, but it's the same software under the hood. CMSS-3D (used all the years before) was copied from Q-Sounds CMMS.

It would be a really interesting piece of journalism to recount the entire history of Creative and not just focus on the products they released, but how they treated and interacted with their competitors and consumers all these decades, exposing the truths behind their designs and software choices, where they copied them from ect... like what the OP article is about, Creative copied Adlib to get a leg up but Mr. Hoo reimagines history that he had created his own innovative design a decade before which was superior to adlib and THAT is what got him started. (smug)
Like when Creative wanted E-Mu because they saw a company that had the technology, they were still far behind tech wise.

[edit] link fixes:
The real Sim Wong Hoo success story

Last edited by ZanQuance on 2020-02-14, 04:25. Edited 1 time in total.