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Volcano

Read this if you have Windows and an X-Fi sound card

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If you have Windows and a Creative X-Fi family sound card then you are not experiencing some sound related features in Steel Beasts. The X-Fi sound card drivers have a problem with DirectSound and Windows but full functionality can be restored with the use of Creative's ALchemy software that comes with the sound card.

ALchemy's description says:

"Creative ALchemy restores hardware accelerated audio so that you can enjoy EAX effects and 3D Audio when playing DirectSound3D games in Microsoft Windows Vista" (although the same issue is still present in Windows 7 and Windows 8)

In Steel Beasts, this means that you will not be hearing positional audio as well as the distance filtering (low frequency filtering for long range sounds), nor are your sounds hardware accelerated (and you probably have buffer issues too). Chances are, you also experience the same problem with all your other games and you are just not aware of it.

What you should do:

In order to restore full functionality to your games, look in your START > Creative folder for "ALchemy". If it is not there then you should update your sound card drivers from www.creative.com and you should see something there to download the ALchemy program (it is relatively new and FREE of course).

After opening ALchemy, you should see an "Installed Games" list on the left (which may or may not be empty) and an "ALchemy-enabled Games" list on the right seperated by a row of buttons. If you see games in the left side list, then you need to select the game and click the ">>" arrow to add it to the ALchemey enabled list (I had to add Medieval II: Total War and four other games to ALchemy enabled Games list on my PC). Problem solved, the selected game(s) will now have full audio functionality.

Unfortunately though, Steel Beasts does NOT show up in the list of "Installed Games" on the left. You must add SB to this list manually, but this is simple:

1. Click "Add"

2. In the next window, click the bubble "Use Game Path"

3. Type in the path to the SBProPEcm.exe file on your HDD without "SBProPEcm.exe" on the end (you are just pointing ALchemy to the path of the exe file). The easiest way to do this is to just use the explorer to go to SB's ...\Release folder on your HDD, then in the address bar at the top, right click it and select "Copy Address as Text". Then paste this into the "Use Game Path" bar in ALchemy.

4. Type "Steel Beasts Pro PE" in the Game Title bar.

5. Click OK. You should now see "Steel Beasts Pro PE" in the ALchemy-enabled Games list on the right.

6. Voila, full audio functionality is now restored to SB Pro PE (ALchemy creates a .dll and .ini file in your ...SB Pro PE\Release folder -- it needs them to function properly).

Edited by Volcano

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Good info, thanks. Do you happen to know if this is an issue with Windows 7 as well?

I Run the Win 7 RC at the moment and installed the ALchemy anyway, as Win 7 seems to share a lot from Vista.

cheers Porphyr

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Yes, I think it might be an issue with Windows 7 as well. Well, I do not know that for certain, but I think it is better to assume that the issue is present in both (I haven't heard anything to prove otherwise just yet).

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Made things worse for me, actually. Will continue via email, V, and report back here once we have details. I'm currently using Win7 RC (64 bit) with ALchemy 1.25.10 and SB Pro PE 2.483.

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To be honest Volcano i havent noticed any problems with my sound in SB, never used alchemy, but i will try it to see what happens

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I am running Win 7 64-bit and a SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro. I can't hear any difference in sound processing when using Alchemy or without.

Is this still an issue with the current SteelBeasts version at all?

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I am running Win 7 64-bit and a SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro. I can't hear any difference in sound processing when using Alchemy or without.

Is this still an issue with the current SteelBeasts version at all?

Yes, still an issue AFAIK. You won't notice a real different between the two except for sounds over distance. Eventually when we move away from the old directsound it will make this unnecessary.

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HI all,

For those of you reporting you are not hearing a difference in sound after setting up Alchemy, You must ALSO go into the Creative Audio Control Panel and select 'Games Mode' and even more important let it auto detect your speaker configuration.

For some reason, the Creative drivers and tools seem to 'lose' configuration settings once in a while for no apparent reason. If after you setup alchemy you are not hearing a difference then either you are not using the right speaker setup or the config for the Creative drivers is not set for your specific speaker layout.

Many times, especially after a reboot or software install I have gone into that tool to find that my speaker config and THX config had rest to basic surround sound or to 2 speaker when I actually have a full 7.1 surround system. Once I clicked the autodetect button.. WHOA!!

BIG difference trust me...

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I always thought that Steel Beasts was just in stereo only, but figured I'd give the solutions Volcano and the other guys suggested above a try, but it's not working for me.

I'm using Windows 7 64 bit updated to latest patches.

Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Pro (latest drivers for Win 7 64bit from January)

Cambridge Soundworks 7.1 speakers

Alchemy version 1.43 for Windows 7 64bit

SBPro PE 2.654

When I put my Creative Console in Game Mode and run SB, my sim only comes through the two front speakers of my system.

When I try in Entertainment mode, all speakers are used, but it's just 2 channel stereo, nothing like true surround positional audio. I also used the Auto Detect speakers feature but got the same results. In Game mode my other games use all 7.1 channels of audio.

I'd love to get this working, as I've noticed it would help to better be able to tell where the firing was coming from. :)

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Try it out withoiut it. If everything's fine, no action necessary. If it doesn't sound right, maybe this old thread still offers a clue.

 

I mean, what made you search for "XFi" or "Soundblaster" (I presume you weren't browsing a thread from 2009 with the last message from more than three years ago just to catch up on old messages)...?

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Well, the "fix" is still recommended, simply because we are still using DirectSound.

 

That said, you could just ignore the information above and just put the .dll in the attached zip file into the "release" folder. The DLL is essentially what is created in the long drawn out process mentioned above.

 

(removed, since it doesn't work with 64 bit EXE)

 

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Unless there's a new version of that which includes a 64 bit dsound.dll, it won't work with 64 bit SB. I tried the one attached to Volcano's post and SB didn't use it (I used Process Explorer to see which dsound.dll it was using.)

Edited by Rotareneg

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19 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I mean, what made you search for "XFi" or "Soundblaster" (I presume you weren't browsing a thread from 2009 with the last message from more than three years ago just to catch up on old messages)...?

 

Good question. I remember i was looking for some good sound mods in the download area. I found a really good one (Leo Sound) and somehow i landed on this thread. Weird. And i though maybe i missed something cause i ve an old creative titanium Xfi-soundcard and the ols alchemy...

 

PS. I couldn't give the sound mod my kudos. It wasn't possible system-side

Edited by Haferja

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On 10/27/2016 at 10:40 PM, Rotareneg said:

Unless there's a new version of that which includes a 64 bit dsound.dll, it won't work with 64 bit SB. I tried the one attached to Volcano's post and SB didn't use it (I used Process Explorer to see which dsound.dll it was using.)

 

Ah, you are right. There must be a different dll file for 64 bit applications, or maybe one was never made. :(

 

I guess the actual/only solution is still always going to be that we need to replace the sound engine in SB with something modern...

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