Posted by Thomas
McGuire on October 03, 2001
Manufacturer: Hercules Product:
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this section you can enable/disable Hardware acceleration
for DirectSound 2D/3D as well as Sensaura 3D sound
effects (Which offers support for EAX, A3D 1 &
I3DL2). Disabling DirectSound 3D will also disable Sensaura
3D sound effects (EAX & others, e.g. MacroFX, which are
DirectSound 3D Extensions). Personally I think these options
should be removed from the Control Panel as inexperienced
Users may disable them accidentally for some reason.
can be used to provide a spatial enhancement effect to
digital Stereo Audio playback. Essentially this gives a
greater 3D feel to audio output. Unticking this
setting disables this feature. This is most useful for 2
Speaker or Headphone Output modes; with 4 Speaker Output the
audio field should already be great enough.
options are available for the Digital output
configuration mode. Main outputs enables audio to
be outputted via the Optical S/PDIF Output of the Soundcard.
PowerDVD software player enables you to send an
AC-3/DTS stream to your Hardware decoder via the Optical S/PDIF
Output (Or Passthru mode as some of you may better know it
as) – this works with other Software DVD decoders as well
though too. Digital audio source enables you to send
a digital audio stream from the Optical S/PDIF Input to the
Optical S/PDIF Output (Or a Bypass mode as some of you may
better know of it as).
Fortissimo 2 supports EAX 1/2, A3D 1, I3DL2, Sensaura's
EnvironmentFX, MacroFX, MultiDrive & ZoomFX. The latter
3 are Sensaura’s DirectSound 3D extensions. As per usual
with modern Soundcards, A3D 1.x support is provided by via
conversion of A3D 1.x to DirectSound3D.
is Sensaura’s 3D positional audio multi-speaker
technology. MultiDrive supports up to 4 Speakers on the
Fortissimo 2 & generally provides better-integrated
front/rear hemispheres, although this will be examined in
more detail later in the review.
allows for more accurate positioning of near-field proximity
effects (1 meter or less from your virtual self), which
gives the perception of sound sources being very close to
you, a common example being that of bullets whizzing past
your head or perhaps wind blowing in your face/ears in some
sports games. For greater positioning accuracy MacroFX uses
several zones depending on where the source is located.
is used to simulate the acoustic energy from large sound
emitting objects. Essentially this provides a way to
virtually realise that a large object can consist of
multiple Audio emitting sources, e.g. from a Train there
will be noise from the engine, wheels, track, etc. It also
realises that as such objects get closer that their volume
can increase rather significantly, e.g. a Train passing
beside you is far louder than one some distance away.
is Sensaura’s own 3D Audio Environment modelling
technology. It supports EAX 1.0, EAX 2.0 & I3DL2.
Supporting EnvironmentFX is rather transparent. To put it
simply, if you support EAX 1/2 or I3DL2 you support
EnvironmentFX – Support for EnvironmentFX need not be
coded in separately by a Developer.
on I’ll go into whether or not all these actually provide
any benefits over other Soundcards at my disposal, i.e.
Philips Acoustic Edge, SoundBlaster Live! Platinum,
Videologic SonicFury & Hercules Game Theater XP.
Although for the most part you can ignore the SonicFury
& Game Theater XP as both these Soundcards use Sensaura
technology & similar Sensaura Driver builds.
Fortissimo 2 also features full Hardware support for
Microsoft’s DirectMusic format. This was tested using the dxdiag
you can see, the test for DirectMusic support was
successful. The benefit of Hardware DirectMusic support, as
you can probably guess, is that it offers reduced CPU usage
than were the Microsoft Software Synthesizer to be used
instead. I’d test out the benefit of this in a Game, but
I’m not actually aware of owning any DirectMusic
the Fortissimo 2 supports a fairly versatile range of APIs,
with Sensaura’s own DirectSound 3D extensions offering
something extra over the Live! Series.
you want to check out Fortissimo's Tech Specs go to next
page, if not, jump to this page.