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Audio in PSX

Started by Phil Bunch, Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:37

GodAtum

#20
Just re-reading this thread. Will PSX benefit from having 2.1 speakers and soundcard with lime, orange and black outputs?

Hardy Heinlin

PSX audio on one computer is stereo.

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

Lime green = Analog line level audio output for the main stereo signal (front speakers or headphones)
Orange = Analog line level audio output for center channel speaker and subwoofer
Black = Analog line level audio output for surround speakers, typically rear stereo

You probably could get two PSX instances to both use this card as if it were two cards, but I can practically guarantee it isn't worth the effort... likely you have more success using a software layer, that typically comes with the card, to mix up the stereo signal into some more surround-like, but artificially split, sounds.

The environmental sounds that originate outside the flight deck should be quite well dispersable this way.


Hoppie

torrence

Hardy and Hoppie are a couple of the real audiophiles on the Forum - I defer to them on details of various set ups etc.  But as a user of flight sim stuff going back to the IBM PC (or HAL 001), I do remember the struggle with the multiple sound cards and compatibility issues over the years.  On this scale I give PSX 11.0 on a scale of 1-10. The first time I loaded up the released version on my (pretty powerful) laptop with PSX extended to my home 50" class monitor and Home theater sound system I got: realistic engine sounds, button clicks, alarms etc., and First Officer on my right speaker.  Audio only has been getting better with refinements from Hardy and line pilots (Thanks!) with later versions. Amazing. You still obviously have to set up for specific audio/computer environments, but generally super.  I'm still working on a visit to one of the crew with a full cockpit layout ...

Cheers,
Torrence
Cheers
Torrence

GodAtum

Quote from: Hardy Heinlin on Sun, 11 Mar 2018 16:27
PSX audio on one computer is stereo.

So it would not be worth putting in a sub there as no sound will come out?

Hardy Heinlin

I don't know what your soundcard will generate at its subwoofer output when it gets a stereo input.

It may use a mono mix of the ultra-low end of the frequency bandwidth.

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

I agree with Hardy -- there is quite some chance that a normal stereo input will actually drive the subwoofer fine. No other way to know this than to test it. Much cheaper systems come with two mid/high tone speakers and one "sub"woofer so I am pretty sure that the software layer that comes with the sound card can low-filter-drive the subwoofer output, too.


Hoppie

Phil Bunch

Quote from: Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers on Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:44
I agree with Hardy -- there is quite some chance that a normal stereo input will actually drive the subwoofer fine. No other way to know this than to test it. Much cheaper systems come with two mid/high tone speakers and one "sub"woofer so I am pretty sure that the software layer that comes with the sound card can low-filter-drive the subwoofer output, too.


Hoppie

FWIW, my PC has SPDIF as well as HDMI video+sound outputs.  It also has traditional PC sound card outputs and inputs, color-coded as Hoppie describes above.  My home theater receiver takes the SPDIF or HDMI digital signals and manages audio outputs to my 7 speaker system according to whatever processing system and options the user prefers - this is usually 100% done by the receiver but one's PC may have options, too.  My (Onkyo) receiver has various THX modes, stereo, mono, or just unprocessed multi-channel audio.  It recognizes if the audio source is merely mono or stereo and provides various options for audio output (with or without various enhancements and algorithms).  It can also accept analog audio inputs (2-channel by default), but I seldom use these inputs.

AFAIK, most newer home theater receivers will do something like this with digital sound inputs.  It can become mentally stressful to decide which processing mode(s) you want to use for a given situation.   As far as the deep bass goes, the receiver will automatically distribute low-frequencies to one's subwoofers based on setup testing one does with a vendor-supplied microphone that listens to test sounds through one's speaker system.  It also optionally suppresses room resonances (typically occurring at about 50 Hz), as revealed by this setup testing.

I hope my (limited) understanding of these now common options is helpful. 

Perhaps we need to somehow commission one of the remaining 747-400s to install some (calibrated) microphones strategically placed around the pilot's seat?  This approach might be ideal but would no doubt be technically challenging as well as requiring a semi-infinite amount of official FAA approvals and negotiations before anyone would install non-certified electronic equipment in a cockpit...  It would probably be challenging to make use of such a recorded multichannel soundfield. 
--------------------

Regardless, Hardy has already done a great job with the audio as well as the other aspects of PSX...I continue having trouble comprehending how one person could possibly create PSX - even with a large team of experts, PSX would be a daunting task to say the least.  I personally guess that Boeing and other vendors needed something like many tens to several hundred people on the real 747-400 controls/displays/navigation/simulation/etc teams.  PSX is *impossible* - we must all be experiencing some sort of delusion!!! <grins>
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

GodAtum

Quote from: Phil Bunch on Wed, 14 Mar 2018 19:14
Quote from: Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers on Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:44
I agree with Hardy -- there is quite some chance that a normal stereo input will actually drive the subwoofer fine. No other way to know this than to test it. Much cheaper systems come with two mid/high tone speakers and one "sub"woofer so I am pretty sure that the software layer that comes with the sound card can low-filter-drive the subwoofer output, too.


Hoppie

FWIW, my PC has SPDIF as well as HDMI video+sound outputs.  It also has traditional PC sound card outputs and inputs, color-coded as Hoppie describes above.  My home theater receiver takes the SPDIF or HDMI digital signals and manages audio outputs to my 7 speaker system according to whatever processing system and options the user prefers - this is usually 100% done by the receiver but one's PC may have options, too.  My (Onkyo) receiver has various THX modes, stereo, mono, or just unprocessed multi-channel audio.  It recognizes if the audio source is merely mono or stereo and provides various options for audio output (with or without various enhancements and algorithms).  It can also accept analog audio inputs (2-channel by default), but I seldom use these inputs.

AFAIK, most newer home theater receivers will do something like this with digital sound inputs.  It can become mentally stressful to decide which processing mode(s) you want to use for a given situation.   As far as the deep bass goes, the receiver will automatically distribute low-frequencies to one's subwoofers based on setup testing one does with a vendor-supplied microphone that listens to test sounds through one's speaker system.  It also optionally suppresses room resonances (typically occurring at about 50 Hz), as revealed by this setup testing.

I hope my (limited) understanding of these now common options is helpful. 

Perhaps we need to somehow commission one of the remaining 747-400s to install some (calibrated) microphones strategically placed around the pilot's seat?  This approach might be ideal but would no doubt be technically challenging as well as requiring a semi-infinite amount of official FAA approvals and negotiations before anyone would install non-certified electronic equipment in a cockpit...  It would probably be challenging to make use of such a recorded multichannel soundfield. 
--------------------

Regardless, Hardy has already done a great job with the audio as well as the other aspects of PSX...I continue having trouble comprehending how one person could possibly create PSX - even with a large team of experts, PSX would be a daunting task to say the least.  I personally guess that Boeing and other vendors needed something like many tens to several hundred people on the real 747-400 controls/displays/navigation/simulation/etc teams.  PSX is *impossible* - we must all be experiencing some sort of delusion!!! <grins>

Thank you that's very very interesting. I might move my home theater (a 5.1 Monitor Audio system with a Pioneer AV receiver) into my sim and see how it performs. I could connect a optical SDIF cable from my PC into the receiver.

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

... first carry a notebook into your living room and connect PSX flat stereo and play with the various 'environment' buttons of the sound system ... much easier!


Hoppie

torrence

Hmmm, Jeroen

Aren't you the guy who told us back in (mostly audio free days) with PS1 to take a vacuum cleaner to the next room and turn it on if you wanted engine, ambient noise etc. ...  :)

cheers,
Torrence
Cheers
Torrence

asboyd

Just remember that HDMI out will carry up to 7.1/2 whereas SPDIF only gives 5.1 max...
I have a 7.2 system with a 66" LG 3D tv in my living room and tested PSX on it. In 3d and with surround sound it is awesome, however not with the wife mixed in....... :)
I do have a 5.1 surround system in my sim room but I use an audio mixer and several PC's to produce the sounds which I can then output to various speakers around the room. So the Laptop that works the PFD's and Eicas also produce the clicks and sounds associated. The laptop driving the CDU's also provides the engine sounds (via rear/surround speakers) and other sounds come via headsets and side speakers from the main PC...
Sounds like a bit of a mess but I also have audio engineering in my background (mainly theatre, TV and concerts, with a little studio time).

If you can split the frequencies out you can get some pretty good vibrations from dual 200W subs sitting on the raised platform behind the MIP (downward firing of course :) )
Alex Boyd... Sydney, Australia

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

Quote from: torrence on Wed, 14 Mar 2018 23:51
Aren't you the guy who told us back in (mostly audio free days) with PS1 to take a vacuum cleaner to the next room and turn it on if you wanted engine, ambient noise etc. ...  :)

I still do. After 4 hours of drone, it does not matter any more whether there are high tones or not... you numb out...


Hoppie

torrence

"Mouse on Mars at MIT" - Dimensional People
See article in NYT:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/arts/music/mouse-on-mars-dimensional-people-mit.html

Hold on - it's actually related to this discussion through the developing technology of 'spatialized sound' - but Hardy can put this in the Pit if it gets too far from PSX etc.

Here's the link to YouTube describing the making of the album referred to in the NYT article.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbZHVaqLeBA

Some of our engineers at JPL got together with acoustic artists to create an exhibit along similar lines - now at Huntington Library and Gardens here in Pasadena - allowing 'acoustic' positioning of satellites flying overhead.

http://www.huntington.org/orbit/

See?  It's all related to Hardy getting the FO's voice coming from the right place  :)

Cheers,
Torrence
Cheers
Torrence

Hardy Heinlin

This Orbit Pavilion ... have you been there, Torrence?

Looks interesting indeed ...


Cheers,

|-|ardy

torrence

Hi Hardy,

Yes, I've visited several times since they installed the Orbit Pavilion at the Huntington.  It's a fascinating exhibit.  Inside the 'spiral' they have some displays explaining what's going on and a digital screen showing what Earth orbital satellites are currently in 'view' or 'sound' and what they do.  There are frequently docents or someone from JPL to explain things, particularly when there is an event at the Huntington.  It only too bad they can't staff it all the time – I've fielded questions from visitors myself sometimes when visiting.

A lot of visitors think they are somehow hearing radio signals from the satellites (NASA tracking stations are doing this job but not with headphones anymore of course).  What's a little complicated to explain is that the audio 'imaging' is being driven by computers that have the detailed orbits of all the low altitude Earth observing satellites (US and other International agencies – lots of cooperative missions in the mix).  The computer triggers a sound image for a satellite (assigned by the sonic artists based on what they feel fits that satellite's mission) at the right correct azimuth and elevation when it comes over the horizon and then moves that sonic image across the space inside the 'spiral' until it sets.  In real time, there are always a few satellites in 'view' at any time.  In addition, every 15 min or so, the system switches to a time compression mode to run all the satellites going over in 24 hr period in just a minute or two.

When it's open for an evening event, you can even look outside and spot the brighter objects, like the International Space Station, as you listen to it going overhead.

Cheers,
Torrence
Cheers
Torrence

Phil Bunch

Based mostly on my favorite action movies that have what I subjectively judge to be effective audio (e.g., "Saving Private Ryan", some Star Wars movies, etc), I have tentatively settled on "Suspension of Disbelief" as an important goal for the sound track of movies and perhaps flight sims.

For "Saving Private Ryan", especially in the first 20 minutes when the D-Day invasion of Normandy is presented, it is interesting to try an experiment via one's home theater system and a DVD of this movie.  (1) listen to a few minutes with your eyes closed and compare this experience with (2) the sound muted during the same section of the movie.  What you're likely to find is that audio plays a much bigger role in convincing you to "suspend disbelief" than video.  Even though the video of D-Day is *very* intense and engaging, it doesn't begin to cause the viewer to "Suspend Disbelief" as much as audio.

However, this very engaging movie audio is not literally realistic in that one does *not* experience what it would really sound like to have a mortar shell explode nearby.  A *real* mortar shell explosion would not only blow out your windows but you would lose your hearing for some time, even if it did not kill you!

Switching to simulating the 747-400, most of my suspension of disbelief seems to be inside my head.  I really do begin thinking that I am flying an airliner and need to do the right things to avoid crashing.  As others have said, high-quality outside scenery is less effective than the audio Hardy has provided us even though *real* cockpit sounds may often be quantitatively (objectively) quite different in various ways.  Yet I feel very immersed in the experience of trying to fly an airliner and can easily "suspend disbelief".  In other words, Hoppie is correct - a vacuum cleaner in an adjacent room may be good enough!!

I greatly appreciate Hardy's talent and efforts for so skillfully providing the audio in PSX!  Muting the audio as I described for the DVD movie above, reduces the immersiveness of the PSX simulation experience.

Full-motion sims provide another dimension to immersiveness and suspension of disbelief, but I have such a bad reaction (nausea) to simulated motion that I can't comment meaningfully on this dimension.  For those who don't have such a bad reaction, I believe simulated motion would contribute substantially to their experience.

It might be interesting to ask a sensory psychologist (or a similar professional) to comment on some of these issues.
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

torrence

I agree completely, Phil

i.e. Hoppie's vacuum cleaner in the next room for ambient/engine sound falls into this category.  For me, it's one of the reasons I usually start with a cold and dark situ in PSX - when I apply power and hear the fans start up and various other systems come alive - that's when I 'feel' as if I'm actually in the cockpit.

Cheers,
Torrence
Cheers
Torrence

Hardy Heinlin

Aside from the immersive effect, there's another influence on the mind: The ram air sound and low engine rumble consists of continuous "brown noise"; for most people this has a very relaxing effect *. It may even help against sleep problems. The sound of a vacuum cleaner, however, is rather the opposite; it has the effect of a crying baby, i.e. it wakes me up and drives me crazy :-)

* Youtube is full of brown noise recordings in various qualities for relaxation. Also white noise, pink noise etc. -- it may help to mask out annoying real-world background sounds or even a tinnitus.


Cheers,

|-|ardy

Will

On the subject of audio in Saving Private Ryan... there's a scene that jolted me right out of the suspended disbelief and reminded me I was watching a movie.

It's when there's a lull in the action and the squad is traveling on foot by night. You can see flashes from explosions far in the distance, and the low thunder of the explosions is synchronized with the light. You hear the explosions as you see the flashes.

This is, of course, totally common in movies: thunder and lightning happen at the same time even when very distant, and no effort is made to acknowledge the fact that light travels faster than sound. (One exception was Poltergeist, which Steven Spielberg wrote, so he should know better.) But once you see this in a film, you can't un-see it, and in all subsequent films when you see a director syncing distant thunder/explosions with their sound, you think "here we go again."

So I guess there are two possibilities.

1. Filmmakers have just decided that audiences won't accept a flash now followed by a sound later. It would be so unlike what we're used to in a film that the audience wouldn't get it.

2. Filmmakers don't really understand that light travels faster than sound, and they think they're depicting the natural world accurately.

Or maybe it's both, I don't know.


Will /Chicago /USA