Aureal A3D Central - Frequently Asked Questions - General


Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to Aureal Inc. ?
Where can I find information about Aureal A3D 2.0 ?
Where can I find some samples of Aureal A3D ?
What Aureal A3D 2.0 features will work on current sound card with Aureal A3D ?
What is the difference between Aureal A3D and DirectSound 3D ?
What is the difference between Aureal A3D emulation and certified hardware support ?
Was Aureal A3D ported to BeOS, Linux or MacOS ?
What are the new features of Aureal A3D 3.0 ?
What Aureal A3D 3.0 features will work in hardware on Vortex 2 based sound cards ?
What is I3DL2 ?

What is the advantage of PCI audio over ISA bus ?
How can find out if my soundcard uses an Aureal chipset ?
What is the difference between the original Diamond Monster Sound, M80,  MX200 and MX300 ?
General Problems
The Aureal A3D Demos or Minerva says sound card isn't Aureal A3D certified.
Every program I run with Aureal A3D support causes a blue screen error message. How can I fix this?
Why does the A3D 2.0 in Descent 3 sound poor and why does it use so much CPU ?
How can I get 3D Sound to work in Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance ?
How can I get Aureal A3D to work in Half Life ?
How can I get Aureal A3D to work in Unreal?
How can I stop Descent Freespace crashing when Aureal A3D is enabled ?

How can I stop Heavy Gear crashing when I enable 3D sound ?
How can I stop the choppy audio, clicking, crackling or static on my sound card ?
Where can I find the Aureal A3D console commands for Half-Life, Heretic II and SiN ?
Where can I find some MIDI patchsets in DLS format ?

How can I get sound in dos games under Windows NT4, 2000 or XP ?

What happened to Aureal Inc. ?
Aureal Inc. went backrupt and its technologies were sold to Creative Labs.

Where can I find information about Aureal A3D 2.0 ?
A technical brief about Aureal A3D 2.0 is available at Aureal Inc. Requires Acrobat Reader

Where can I find some samples of Aureal A3D ?
A free Aureal A3D demo CD -ROM is available from Aureal Inc
For the best possible demonstration, please listen to A3D in real-time with an A3D enabled game playing on A3D enabled hardware.

What Aureal A3D 2.0 features will work on current sound cards with Aureal A3D ?
Occlusions, advanced resource manager, A3D authentication, and reverb will work on current sound cards with Aureal A3D certified support. Reflections will only work on Vortex 2 based sound cards.

What is the difference between Aureal A3D and DirectSound 3D ?
The differences are explained in an article by Skip McIIvaine from Aureal Inc

What is the difference between Aureal A3D emulation and certified hardware support ?
The differences are explained in an article by Toni Schneider from Aureal Inc

Was Aureal A3D ported to BeOS, Linux or MacOS ?
No

What are the new features of Aureal A3D 3.0 ?
MP3 playback (including 3D positional MP3 files), Volumetric Sound Sources (for things like crowds, wind), which can be occluded/reflected too, Downloadable HRTF-support, so you can pick from a selection of heads for the 3D effect, reverb support, including EAX, I3DL2, and geometric reverb based on polygons, not presets and Dolby Digital playback support.

What Aureal A3D 3.0 features will work in hardware on Vortex 2 based sound cards ?
Volumetric sound sources and streaming audio are hardware accelerated but reverb, dolby digital decoding and mp3 decoding are software only

What is I3DL2 ?
I3DL2 stands for Interactive 3D Audio Level 2, a standard set of guidelines for 3D sound and reverb.

What is the advantage of PCI audio over ISA bus ?
From the Diamond Monster Sound MX100 Manual:
Using the PCI bus gives the Monster Sound increased data throughput, allowing it to process multiple streams of audio on the Monster Sound card. ISA-bus cards typically support only one hardware audio stream and must rely on the system CPU to process and mix all audio onto this hardware stream. This processing can consume precious CPU bandwidth and dramatically slow down game play.

How can find out if my soundcard uses an Aureal chipset ?
If you are using Windows 95, 98 or ME download and run this utility to identify Aureal chipset based sound cards. Here is an explanation of chipset numbers:
Vortex AU8808 is a Vortex 1 chipset on a motherboard
Vortex AU8810 is a Vortex Advantage based sound card
Vortex AU8820 is a Vortex 1 based sound card
Vortex AU8830 is a Vortex 2 based sound card

If you are using Windows 2000 or XP, go to System in the Control Panel, select the Hardware tab, select Device Manager and look for the sound card name under the 'Sound, video and game controllers' section. Here is an explanation of the sound card descriptions:
Aureal Vortex 8810 Audio (WDM) is a Vortex Advantage based sound card
Aureal Vortex 8820 Audio (WDM) is a Vortex 1 based sound card
Aureal Vortex 8830 Audio (WDM) is a Vortex 2 based sound card

Also a good list of known sound cards that use Aureal's Vortex 1, Vortex 2 and Vortex Advantage chipsets is on the sound cards page

What is the difference between the original Diamond Monster Sound, M80,  MX200 and MX300 ?
An article explaining the differences is available here

General Problems

The Aureal A3D Demos or Minerva says sound card isn't Aureal A3D certified.
The problem is often caused if you had a previous sound card installed which used Aureal A3D emulation. Download and install the latest Aureal A3D drivers to fix this problem. Choose No if Windows 9x asks if you want to keep a newer file.

Every program I run with Aureal A3D support causes a blue screen error message. How can I fix this ?
This happens on Diamond Monster Sound M80/MX100/MX200 cards when the hardware acceleration is set to Min in the monster sound utility and Use Preferred Devices in enabled in Multimedia in the control panel.
And on Vortex 1 based sound cards when DirectSound hardware acceleration is disabled in the Aureal control panel and Use Preferred Devices in enabled in Multimedia in the control panel.
Download and install the latest Aureal A3D drivers to fix this problem.

Why does the A3D 2.0 in Descent 3 sound poor and why does it use so much CPU ?
The wavetracing part of Aureal A3D 2.0 support in Descent 3 is broken, it doesn't rendering reflections & occlusions properly and is eating CPU unnecessarily. Try updating to the 1.4 patch

How can I get 3D sound to work in Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance ?
The 3D sound problems are caused by bugs in the game. Try downloading the 2.02 patch and see if it helps.

How can I get Aureal A3D to work in Half Life ?
Check the Half Life Aureal A3D Fix page

How can I get Aureal A3D to work in Unreal ?
Install the Unreal 226 patch and reduce the number of sound channels to 8 unless you have a Vortex 2 based sound card. If you have a Diamond Monster Sound M80/MX100/MX200 card set the codec rate to 22K for the best performance.

How can I stop Descent Freespace crashing when Aureal A3D is enabled ?
This problem is caused by a bug in Descent Freespace, download this Aureal A3D 2.02 driver (130KB) and extract it to Descent Freespace game directory to stop the crashes. 

How can I stop Heavy Gear crashing when I enable 3D sound ?
Get the Heavy Gear 1.1 patch to fix this problem

How can I stop the choppy audio, clicking, crackling or static on my sound card ?
Make sure the sound card isn't sharing an IRQ with another device. Some system BIOS's allow you to assign an IRQ to each PCI slot or you can just move the sound card do a different PCI slot.
Some PCI video card can hog the PCI bus, check out this article for more infromation
If the motherboard uses a VIA chipset try the latest drivers and patches for the VIA chipset at VIA Technologies and if that fails try disabling DMA access in Windows 9x for all disk drives.
A few users have reported the dos drivers or the MPU-401/Sound Blaster Pro emulation in Windows 9x on Vortex 1/2/Advantage based sound cards cause sound problems, if you want to try disabling them check out this article

Where can I find the Aureal A3D console commands for Half-Life, Heretic II and SiN ?
The console commands for Half Life, Heretic 2 and SiN 1.0/1.01 are available here
The console commands for SiN 1.03 or later are available here

Where can I find some MIDI patchsets in DLS format ?
A Roland DLS MIDI patchset is included with DirectX 6.1 or later and is located at /windows/system32/drivers/gm.dls

How can I get sound in dos games under Windows NT4, 2000 or XP ?
Try using VDMSound which provides full sound support for dos games under Windows NT4, 2000 and XP
Windows XP also provide basic Sound Blaster/Pro and General MIDI support by default for dos games.


 

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