Interview with Skip McIlvaine
Does Aureal follow the progress of the BeOS and Linx drivers ?
The extent of our involvement with BeOS Vortex drivers
is to answer their questions once in awhile. They ask rarely but seem to
have everything under control. It is also for this reason that I know
very little other than that about the Be drivers. Aureal has about the
same level of involvement with 4Front technologies: they ask a couple
questions, and we answer them. Everything these folks need has been
provided to them up front so there is very little interaction with us.
Be claims that Vortex drivers are on Aureal's plate
not Be's. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but why would we
see two sides to a simple driver issue ?
Be has a group working on the Vortex drivers. We put up a link on our
drivers page to be's site becasue so many people were asking us about
them. If someone at Be said we were developing the drivers, they were
wrong. As soon as Be release the drivers, we'll make them available on
our site as well.
Whats happening with linux support ? Six months
ago we were told there would be source and developer support soon ,
whats going on ?
Aureal is about to release BETA Linux drivers of their own and much
sooner than you think. And shortly after that we will release some
source code to allow others to augment the functionality and stability
of these drivers. All those people who requested such documentation in
the past from Aureal will be receiving an email soon enough..
What is the estimated release date of Aureal A3D 3.0 ?
November / December 1999
Will Aureal A3D 3.0 support the DSP functionality of the AMD Athlon
for MP3 decoding?
Not specifically, no.
Will A3D 3.0 render my Vortex 2 based sound card useless ? Will the
Vortex 2 be able to do all the funcionality of the new API ? Since the
Vortex 1 can only do A3D 2.0 with obstructions but not wavetracing.
On the contrary, it will add more functionality to your Vortex 2.
Yes, it will be able to perform all of the functionality of A3D 3.0.
A3D 3.0 is based 100% on A3D 2.0 and is mainly an addition of new
features. A3D 3.0 was designed to perform just as A3D 2.0 did: it
will scale itself to perform to the optimum capabilities of the sound
card in use.
Will Vortex 2 based sound cards be able to fully support Aureal A3D
3.0 in hardware? or some in software ?
To re-use my previous answer and elaborate a bit: A3D 3.0 was designed
to perform just as A3D 2.0 did: it will scale itself to perform to the
optimum capabilities of the sound card in use. There are some new
features of A3D 3.0 that will run in hardware on some cards, but will
scale down to the available resources. Just like A3D 2.0, the new
features will be done in hardware on the high-end cards and in software
on the lower-end. This is the natural progression of the
API, engine and hardware.
When will the new Control Panel Interface for the Vortex 2 reference
drivers be ready ?
I don't know. :)
Would EAX/2 support on Vortex 1 based sound cards cause much of a
Not much, but some. We'll release EAX support for Vortex 2 first, and
then Vortex Advantage. It will scale like other functionality.
Do Aureal have any plans for a patch editor ? when will DLS 2.0 be
No current plans for a patch editor, but it still gets discussed. Yes,
DLS 2.0 will be supported.
What are the plan for the Vortex 3 and when will the first Vortex 3
based sound card be released ?
Sorry, no comment, except that it's in the works.
Which game with Aureal A3D 2.x and wavetracing support produces the
best sound results ?
The best sounding piece of software with A3D 2.0 right now is the Unreal
Tournament demo. I have heard games that sound better but haven't been
What about more uses and tools for the more serious users, ie:
musicians, etc ?
That's a very broad area that Aureal is covering but I'd need more
specifics to answer properly.
Does the Vortex 2 support Pro Logic through a stereo output?
It can downsample to two-speaker, yes. You need the right software.
I have a pair of Klipsch speakers that are THX certified, will Aureal
A3D 3.0 be THX certified as well as Dolby certified ?
We may seek such a certifcation for our future products, but it doesn't
really relate to A3D 3.0. THX is more of an hardware equipment
certification, and has very little to do with the things A3D does and
Is Aureal planning support for audio compression formats that are
more advanced than MP3 ? Like VQF and MP4 ?
Do you feel the soundcard market is getting crowded ? with the ESS
Canyon3D and the Hoontech SoundTrack Digital XG
Nope. The more the merrier. Innovation happens with
3D Sound Software
Sound Card Reviews