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Dolby Surround games; primitive surround sound on SNES 
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Joined: Sun 17 Apr 2011, 18:59:21

Posts: 302
Location: Oita, Japan
Post Re: Dolby Surround games; primitive surround sound on SNES
JILost wrote:
King Arthur's World is another one with Surround in it, and it has a sound test for instant gratification.

Finally realized what you mean: there is actually "Surround Test" in the "Play Tune" menu.

Click to see animation:

I've been working with a new setup:

Digital 5.1 output + Stereo to 5.1 upmixer

Combining some suggestions from the arch wiki, I've added a pcm upmix plug into the mix and libsamplerate_best (overkill?). This does not interfere with AC3 passthrough and seems to have improved stereo stream to digital 5.1 spdif mapping (not sure how pulseadudio does this by default, but it sounds more "simulated surround" with the upmix than "stretched stereo" as without). The improvement is visible in pavumeter (the stereo-to-5.1 upmixed stream shows better channel separation of Left, Right, and Center/LFE; however, this is not the specified Dolby Surround Left, Right, Center and Surround (mono Rear) separation.)

Left and Right audio do pan from front to rear on either side, but I have not seen nor heard distinctive, monaural use of the Rear channels. Don't know if that's because the audio sample; incorrect information about the Dolby Surround specification, or alsa and pulseaudio making up their own (rather nice) surround mapping.

::UPDATE:: Need to find some games with ordinary stereo that have clear examples of far left/right panning for better testing. So far, most do not exhibit nearly as much panning from Front (L/R) to Rear (L/R) as with "Surround Test" in King Arthur's World (indicating either a noticeable difference in Dolby Surround and Stereo or just more extremely panned audio in King Aurthur's World). In all cases, Center and LFE output are much improved; perhaps the upmix is properly routing bass to the subwoofer and mid to the center, but I know of no documentation on the matter or means to test that empirically.

::UPDATE:: Star Ocean shows good separation of Left, Right, and Center/LFE with nice panning of Left and Right from Front to Rear. The game has compressed/enhanced audio, but I don't know the technical details of the VRSS or DUET technology.

Sun 20 Jul 2014, 19:43:40
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