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Microsoft DirectX 10.1 to have new Audio API

Microsoft DirectX 10.1 to have new Audio API

Future Xbox 360 games could be ported to the PC (or visa versa) far easier with DirectX 10.1

Direct X 10 might just be a little over six months old, but 10.1 is already in the works and supporting, among other things, an updated Shader Model (4.1) and a new audio API called XAudio2.

Currently in beta, XAudio2 will replace DirectSound with a new cross-platform audio API between Windows and Xbox 360 that is based on the Xbox 360 model of XAudio. In addition to extra features, it should also make porting games far easier with the “write once, compile twice” approach. I know, I know, game ports = bane of a PC gamer's life; but cheaper, faster development can lead to better games and it's very rare these days to have a game "PC Only".

XAudio2 should sit alongside OpenAL, which is also native to Windows Vista, but will offer a lower level functionality foundation.

"XAudio2 is a low-level audio signal processing library for Windows XP and Windows Vista providing a fully modern audio pipeline, including:
  • Multi-channel and surround-sound support with full per-channel volume and mapping control.
  • Programmable, cross-platform DSP effects framework.
  • Per-voice filtering, arbitrary submixing, and multi-rate processing.
  • Multicore optimized, non-blocking API design.
  • Pluggable and generalized 3D spatialization support, with a full-featured implementation provided by the independent X3DAudio math library."
It's only taken seven years for Microsoft to get around to updating its audio interface on PCs, and finally we get inherent multi-channel surround sound support. It's not going to be Dolby or DTS because this is foundation level DSP (digital signal processing), but there is cool features like specific adjustments on individual channels: so if you want your rear speakers louder than your front ones, there will be it will be possible in the future.

Multicore optimisation is certainly needed and might even put a dampener on Creative's X-Fi processor. However, there's only generalised 3D spatialisation support; unlike EAX 5.0 HD which is quite a bit more in depth, but again, an effects engine.

Is this a long time coming and still falling short or just what's needed? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

20 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
wafflesomd 1st August 2007, 18:26 Quote
Meh.

Surround sound = annoying.
Ramble 1st August 2007, 18:35 Quote
What the hell is wrong with OpenAL? It works well on Vista (and my X-Fi supports it, I'm not buying another damn X-Fi again).
Hells_Bliss 1st August 2007, 18:41 Quote
Quote:
"XAudio2 is a low-level audio signal processing library for Windows XP and Windows Vista providing a fully modern audio pipeline, including:

:o :D :D :D
DXR_13KE 1st August 2007, 20:37 Quote
i know i am not getting a creative audio card.....
DougEdey 1st August 2007, 20:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramble
What the hell is wrong with OpenAL? It works well on Vista (and my X-Fi supports it, I'm not buying another damn X-Fi again).


It's open source
TomH 1st August 2007, 21:20 Quote
So this works in XP? Oh I WONDER how much more of DX10.x works in XP, Bill?
completemadness 1st August 2007, 21:22 Quote
so how many people have a PC capable of DX10 ? (looks around the room with the odd hand or two up)
(P.S. that means vista and a 8 series gfx card)

So how many people are going to upgrade their PC to DX10.1 ? (looks around room, blank stares)

So how many of you have actually played a game with DX10 ?
So how many of you thought it was worth dropping £500 into you rig to do it ? (£350 gfx and £120 windows and £30 game)
Hells_Bliss 1st August 2007, 21:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
so how many people have a PC capable of DX10 ? (looks around the room with the odd hand or two up)
(P.S. that means vista and a 8 series gfx card)

So how many people are going to upgrade their PC to DX10.1 ? (looks around room, blank stares) Me.

So how many of you have actually played a game with DX10 ? Not Me.
So how many of you thought it was worth dropping £500 into you rig to do it ? (£350 gfx and £120 windows and £30 game) Me.

I don't have Vista, and won't buy it until at least the 1st service pack. My 350 quid graphics card is still an amazing card on dx9, so i'm happy with the investment, even if dx10 didn't exist. I don't know why M$ is being so bitchy about saying dx10 can only be on vista, we all know that it could run on XP if they wanted it to. Thats why I was so happy when they said the 10.1 audio api was compatible with XP, hopefully that means they're going to port dx10 to xp...which would be smart imo.
Bursar 1st August 2007, 22:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
so how many people have a PC capable of DX10 ? (looks around the room with the odd hand or two up)
(P.S. that means vista and a 8 series gfx card)
*raises hand*
Quote:
So how many of you have actually played a game with DX10 ?
*raises hand again*
Quote:
So how many of you thought it was worth dropping £500 into you rig to do it ? (£350 gfx and £120 windows and £30 game)
*half raises hand* The game was rubbish (Call of Juarez), but I didn't spend anywhere near that much to play it. Most of the cost was heavily subsidised, and the game came bundled free.

Besides, you could have easily said the same when DX9 came out, and undoutedly DX11 will have the same criticisms levelled against it.
WildTangent 2nd August 2007, 02:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
It's open source

I fail to see the problem here...
Goty 2nd August 2007, 03:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildTangent
I fail to see the problem here...

It's only a problem for Microsoft.
DougEdey 2nd August 2007, 08:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildTangent
I fail to see the problem here...

It's called sarcasm, Microsoft have only just accepted an Open Office Document XML standard because they were threatened internally with Monopoly laws.
Bindibadgi 2nd August 2007, 08:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramble
What the hell is wrong with OpenAL? It works well on Vista (and my X-Fi supports it, I'm not buying another damn X-Fi again).

OpenAL is a high language whereas XAudio2 is a low language. OpenAL sits on top of XAudio2 from what I can gather.

It'll be "XP compatible" rather than enabling for games that will be DX9/10 compliant for XP or Vista, but wanting to use a single XAudio2 based audio.
WildTangent 2nd August 2007, 16:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildTangent
I fail to see the problem here...

It's called sarcasm, Microsoft have only just accepted an Open Office Document XML standard because they were threatened internally with Monopoly laws.

Sorry mate, misunderstood your stance on the issue.
completemadness 2nd August 2007, 17:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bursar
Besides, you could have easily said the same when DX9 came out, and undoutedly DX11 will have the same criticisms levelled against it.
the difference with DX10 is now they are forcing a new OS on you, with all the previous DX's - they were all backwards compatible for a few versions of windows

DX10 is a nice step forwards, but from the reviews Ive seen of things using it, its not a huge step forwards
And the fact its vista only will slow down adaption of it because games companies are not going to rule out DX9 until they know there is a sufficient userbase for DX10

Making it Vista only is just another hurdle people have to get over to use DX10, and it will slow down adoption
Max Spain 2nd August 2007, 19:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
the difference with DX10 is now they are forcing a new OS on you, with all the previous DX's - they were all backwards compatible for a few versions of windows

DX10 is a nice step forwards, but from the reviews Ive seen of things using it, its not a huge step forwards
And the fact its vista only will slow down adaption of it because games companies are not going to rule out DX9 until they know there is a sufficient userbase for DX10

Making it Vista only is just another hurdle people have to get over to use DX10, and it will slow down adoption

This will also make OpenGL a lot more attractive since it isn't tied to one platform. Every user regardless of their OS will be able to experience the game to the extent that their hw and drivers will allow.
revlob 13th August 2007, 09:44 Quote
DirectX 10.1 makes DirectX 10 hardware obsolete:

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/11/0524250

It also requires Vista SP1, but adds very little to the DirectX feature set, according to the article.
Hells_Bliss 13th August 2007, 14:15 Quote
yeah i saw that. Yay for OpenGL :D

way to go microsoft, make my 8800gtx obsolete, no that doesn't piss me off, no not at all.
yakyb 13th August 2007, 14:22 Quote
well tbh im glad i waited until now to buy my new comp. not only can i get a qc for £170 i can also wait for the 9800 or 8900 (whichever way round they decide to do it) in November :-) surely this would be 10.1 compliant
Delphium 13th August 2007, 14:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hells_Bliss
yeah i saw that. Yay for OpenGL :D

way to go microsoft, make my 8800gtx obsolete, no that doesn't piss me off, no not at all.

From what I understand some of the requirements for 10.1 such as the 32bit floating point, or the 4x AA, are features already supported on the 8800gtx cards and many below them, so technicaly the 8800gtx would surely be DX10.1 complient?
TBH I dont know of any DX10 cards that dont support 4x AA, and 32bit floating point, with most supporting at least a minimum of 128bit floating point.
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