Toying With Aureal's Demos
I must say I'm terribly
impressed here. I first put the card through its paces with a pair of Sony headphones and
the demos really amazed me. 3D positional sounds were truly outstanding!
3D Positional Sound: The
first demo was a simple positional test which worked really well. You hear a drumer
encircling you convincingly as he played.
3D Positional Sound Demo
Reflections: Ok, the
'Corridor' demo was the one I liked best. Along a corridor (between 2 walls, duh!), you
hear a person speak as he walks pass your standing position from the left into the
distance and then back, passing your right. It was REALLY an ear-opener (pun intended!) if
positional sounds could get as real as this!
Reflections: Next was
the muti-wall demo in which you'll hear a saxophonist play his tune while he walked about
in an enclosed octagonal shape room. I couldn't catch the reflections here but I could
certainly pinpoint his position by listening.
Occlusions and Reflections: The next demo
I played with showcased occlusions and reflections. As a helicopter flew passed your
postion backed by a building, you'll hear the sounds of the heli shifting from your rear
right to the front right with the emphasis being that you actually hear 'echos' or
reflections of the rotor's sound waves bouncing back from the building on your left. Then
as the heli fly across your front, from right to left, and behind the building, you will
catch the sounds fading away, occluded by the building. Very impressive.
Occlusions and Reflections: Joining the
'Heli' demo was a FPS demo mimick where you'll catch a rampaging soldier sweeping bullets
from outside the room then into your room, running around you while he continued to empty
his cartridges. Well, yes the point of this particular demo was to showoff the occlusion
of sounds behind walls. It really worked well here.
Interactive Demos: In addition to the
pre-recorded demos, there were 4 other interactive demos included and while the same rules
and effects stucked, you are now free to move your onscreen character around to experience
the sounds transmitted from the sources. Interesting.
Pre-recorded game Demos
I fired up the pre-recorded gameclips on the
disc and watched some hot action captured from games like Jedi Knights, Incoming,
BattleZone and more - all replicated in a movie sequence. Jedi Knight and Incoming were
particularly good and you should be able to use the sound cues to advance your gameplay
quite a bit. The realism of 3D Positional audio must be heard to be believed.
All the above demos sounded
truly awesome on the headphones, but the effects and realism was much reduced when I
switched back to using 4 speaker audio. No longer were positions as distinct as before. I
tinkered with the front/rear speakers fading, but just couldn't get it to match the
But we also have to take into account the
difficulty proper speaker placement. It is hard to achieve an optimal listening position
which may have affected my experience with the card.