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Topic: Audio Channels (Read 3823 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Tall-Guy
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Audio Channels
Hey :-)

I'm currently playing a Video Games on the PC that let me choose the amount of 'Sound Channels' I want to use (16,32,64,128). If I recall correctly, it basically mean the amount of streams you can play simultaneously, where for example, 128 means 7.1.

Is there a way to know how much Sound Channels my Sound Card supports? I believe it's 32, as it's only Onboard. Also, should I still set it to 32 if I'm using headphones? can headphones even support that amount of channels? (I think I was reading somewhere most headphones supports up to 12 audio channels)

Thanks!

  • pdq
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Audio Channels
Reply #1
By any chance are you referring to MIDI channels?

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
Audio Channels
Reply #2
If I'm not mistaken, there are only 16 channels in MIDI, of course the definition of channel means something entirely  different than the number of simultaneous audio inputs and/or outputs there are (for lack of a better description of what describes an audio channel).

If we're talking about regular stereo analog headphones, they are 2-channel (left and right).  The number of simultaneous signals that can be mixed down to those two channels are essentially limitless.

Is this really only about how much CPU overhead is allowed by the game to process audio?
  • Last Edit: 15 May, 2012, 12:19:06 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • zima
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Audio Channels
Reply #3
From the info you've given, Tall-Guy, I'm guessing you relate two separate types of audio channels.

7.1 (or 2.0 of headphones) is the number of physical outputs & channels in your setup. "16,32,64,128" is most likely the amount of effect or music channels which the game can use inside of the game, so greater number gives headroom to more varied "sound landscape" (for example with 16, there could be in the simplest variant a channel for dramatic music, 2nd for footsteps or vehicle sound, 3rd available to the weapon maybe, 4th & 5th to weather effects, 6th & 7th to foliage and animal sounds, and there are only 9 left for screams of slaughtered enemies and explosions) at the cost of somewhat higher processing overhead (which shouldn't matter anyway, with todays' CPUs and software audio processing - your "only Onboard" soundcard probably isn't much of a limitation)

Just set it to maximum and leave it at that, if it won't bring any issues with performance.
  • Last Edit: 15 May, 2012, 12:25:05 PM by zima

  • Ron Jones
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Audio Channels
Reply #4
With software mixing, your sound card does not need to have support for simultaneous streams, as the mixing is all performed prior to anything hitting the sound card. The number of maximum streams is therefore contingent on either the capabilities of the API being used or the capabilities of the custom-designed mixer, if applicable.

  • Tall-Guy
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Audio Channels
Reply #5
Thanks for the information so far. I know that some people were complain about performance issues when settings the game to 128 Audio Channel - but from what your saying it seems like today CPU are well able to handle ever more channels. Have a look on that:

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r254/ma...3_41_02_476.png

Those are the options in-game. If the Audio Channels are only strict to the game API, any idea why is it labeled under 'Hardware'?
Thanks!

  • Dario
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Audio Channels
Reply #6
The “Sound Channels” option in Diablo III refers to, from what I've read, the number of sounds that the game will play simultaneously. That number is definitely (or at least I think so) not limited by your hardware (as long as you have the processing power).
  • Last Edit: 15 May, 2012, 05:31:42 PM by Dario

  • Tall-Guy
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Audio Channels
Reply #7
Great. Thanks for the help guys!