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KVELLER

[GZDoom] Will FMOD Ex ever come back?

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I'm still sticking with GZDoom 2.4.0 because of the horrible sound of OpenAL on not-too-good sound cards. FMOD Ex allowed to have decent sound on most sound cards, and I really miss it.

 

I understand that this isn't fault of the developers, but is it possible that the GPL thing will change over time?

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No. The GPL move is final. If you have problems, what is your sound hardware? OpenAL Soft uses DirectSound, just like FMod did, so unless you access the original OpenAL and not the packaged OpenAL Soft for some reason this is hard to explain.

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7 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

No. The GPL move is final. If you have problems, what is your sound hardware? OpenAL Soft uses DirectSound, just like FMod did, so unless you access the original OpenAL and not the packaged OpenAL Soft for some reason this is hard to explain.

In the GZDoom startup it says that it's using Software OpenAL, so I guess it's working.

 

Also, it's not like it sounds too terrible. It just sounds worse in comparison, that's all. I guess I'll just have to get used to it.

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There's two things that need to be noted.

 

1. FMod is louder than OpenAL. You have to increase the volume a bit to even that out.

2. FMod boosts the bass frequencies a bit. This can also give the impression of better sound.

26 minutes ago, Gez said:

The people from Firelight were friendly enough, but they'd still prioritize their paying customers from AAA development studios over the needs of some hobbyists making a non-commercial source port for an old game, so you can't compare.

 

Which is fully understandable, considering they make a living off FMod. The issue here is not that FMod is a bad product, but that it is simply not tailored towards long lived projects. With ZDoom this can be seen in that old ZDooms are often hard to compile because the then-current version of FMod is hard to get (if it can be found somewhere, that is...) and that FMod 3.75 from very old ZDooms has problems with the modern audio stack on some hardware.

All things considered it's simply not future proof to depend on such a library. And you can be very certain that FMod will drop Windows XP long before GZDoom.

 

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What if the code inside the source for GZDoom left the detection of fmodex.dll but you just don't package the DLL? So users can place their own DLL into the same folder and FMOD will show up? I notice if you remove the OpenAL DLL GZDoom still launches and plays fine but the options menu for it disappears, at least in old versions still using FMOD. I tried putting fmodex.dll into the folder of a version of GZDoom where FMOD was gone but the FMOD menu didn't come up or let me change to FMOD.

 

Like @KVELLER said, for me OpenAL just doesn't sound as good as FMOD did, probably because of what Graf said that FMOD is louder and boosts the bass frequencies. Or better yet, why can't OpenAL do these same things? Why not increase the volume output of OpenAL and boost the bass to make it sound identical to FMOD, or even better again make all this stuff into options of some sort? OpenAL should have its own volume slider as well as a bass slider.

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That cannot be done because it'd allow users of commercial derivatives to use FMod without paying, causing potential problems for such mod makers. Even including fmod.h is a violation of the GPL.

 

It'd also cause slow-moving rot because with this code being unmaintained it'd only be a matter of time until it breaks beyond repair.

Let's be clear here: I wanted FMod gone because it's a development hassle. The GPL thing was just a nice side effect because there wasn't much left standing in the way.

 

 

 

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Well if GZDoom was always free then how was FMOD used? Was someone paying a license fee?

 

How hard would it be to get the necessary source code for FMOD detection and re-integrate it into new GZDoom versions and compile ourselves?

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13 minutes ago, Nevander said:

What if the code inside the source for GZDoom left the detection of fmodex.dll but you just don't package the DLL? So users can place their own DLL into the same folder and FMOD will show up?

Did you miss the part where both Gez and Graf said that it has to be carefully lined up with the right versions or it won't work at all? Not to mention, adding hooks to use FMOD might still violate the GPL even if you don't include the DLL, but I'm not a lawyer so I wouldn't know.

 

EDIT: Ninja'd.

 

13 minutes ago, Nevander said:

Why not increase the volume output of OpenAL and boost the bass to make it sound identical to FMOD, or even better again make all this stuff into options of some sort?

These things would be nice as options, but I'd prefer that the default stay where it is. Quieter sound is better because it gives you a wider range (just turn your speakers up), having it louder reduces that useful range (see: the loudness wars in album releases). Also, I hate the idea of playing with the EQ, flat EQ is objectively correct and anything else is adulteration of the sound.

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16 minutes ago, Nevander said:

What if the code inside the source for GZDoom left the detection of fmodex.dll but you just don't package the DLL?

Read Gez's post again. Graf has more important things to do than maintaining a dead end.

 

As for boosting bass, there are many external, easier solutions for that. I've used DFX Audio Enhancer in the past, dunno how well it has kept itself up since the Windows XP days. Alternatively, use the first solution here and you don't even have to install anything: http://www.wikihow.com/Adjust-Bass-on-Computer

 

6 minutes ago, Nevander said:

Well if GZDoom was always free then how was FMOD used? Was someone paying a license fee?


It's free if you're a very small time developer, or you're not getting money out of what you're making.

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8 minutes ago, Nevander said:

Well if GZDoom was always free then how was FMOD used? Was someone paying a license fee?

Again, I don't think you're quite getting what's being said. FMOD is fine to use gratis in noncommercial settings, the issue is that GZDoom is now GPL which opens up the option to use GZDoom commercially, meaning that the door on supporting FMOD in any way is closed. The only way would be to revert GZDoom to its old license, which requires the permission of everyone involved, which is not going to happen.

 

It's a dead end, no need to discuss it further, IMO.

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8 minutes ago, Blastfrog said:

Quieter sound is better because it gives you a wider range (just turn your speakers up), having it louder reduces that useful range (see: the loudness wars in album releases). Also, I hate the idea of playing with the EQ, flat EQ is objectively correct and anything else is adulteration of the sound.

Thing is with quieter sound I can't hear anything as clearly as I did before. Volume settings are identical when using FMOD or OpenAL, and yet OpenAL is always weaker sound. If OpenAL can sound like FMOD does with options or by default, then I won't have any reason to complain.

 

6 minutes ago, Albertoni said:

Alternatively, use the first solution here and you don't even have to install anything: http://www.wikihow.com/Adjust-Bass-on-Computer

I already have my volume set to 100% on my headphones slider, the speaker properties, and in GZDoom itself. In my speaker properties, I even already have the equalizer under enhancements set to Powerful which is the best sounding one IMO. Needless to say, volume is 100% maxed across my system and yet OpenAL is clearly quieter than FMOD and for someone who's used FMOD for years since first using ZDoom I can tell the difference and it's substantial.

 

So this means if FMOD is gone for good and OpenAL is to stay, then OpenAL is going to need more options to make it sound like FMOD on the user's end as a choice. If this can't or won't be done, then well that's a shame. Don't know what else to say.

 

And no, I'm not deaf or hard of hearing. I don't know why I have to max everything for the volume to be just right. I wouldn't know why.

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6 minutes ago, Nevander said:

So this means if FMOD is gone for good and OpenAL is to stay, then OpenAL is going to need more options to make it sound like FMOD on the user's end as a choice.

>going to need

>need

 

Seriously?

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4 minutes ago, Nevander said:

I don't know why I have to max everything for the volume to be just right. I wouldn't know why.

Would bet a beer that it's because your headphone is a bit high-quality and your soundcard is recognizing it as line-out instead of headphones. That, or the jack isn't properly seated. Do your phones work well when plugged into your phone? If they do, it's Windows or the drivers' fault.

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Considering that almost all other ports do not even use an advanced sound backend this comes across a little strange...

 

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Fmod ex has just been dumped? Interesting. How is the new system? Did you get rid of the awful sound limit that was plaguing ZDoom and making the experience feel tame?

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What sound limit? Do you by any chance mean $limit?

If so, no. The last time this was attempted it backfired miserably.

 

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I mean the one where multiple bursts of the same sound are limited to only two or three instances. Like when six projectiles hit the wall, but you only hear two swishes, the others are muted. It's just not fitting for Doom, which is a game of big numbers and hardcore combat. It reminds me of non-game use cases such as Windows desktop sounds, which are designed not to overlap. But this is a real-time action game. Vanilla Doom and Eternity can manage it just fine, why can't ZDoom? And I know vanilla Doom has sound channels limited to 8, but it's still higher for the situation that I mentioned.

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Yes, that's the same. It's also not an absolute limit but a distance limit, i.e. only a limited amount of a sound can play close to each other.

All stock sounds affected by this have proper limits set, so this is nearly always a mod-side problem.

 

And no, this cannot be lifted. The problem is not with some isolated projectile explosion sounds but with activesounds or ambient sounds. The high number of available sound channels can easily cause this to drown the entire sound system. When ZDoom transitioned to FMod 4 this feature was removed and the results were horrible.

 

The worst I experienced was in the last map of Neodoom which ends in a climactic battle against several 100 of monsters. Not having the limit caused actual sound clipping in that map. A few things were attempted - they all failed.

 

People complained left and right and the end result was that the limiting code was reinstated with a few sounds' limits increased.

 

 

 

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It used to be that if you played the first level of BTSX with Brutal DOOM, then the sound would be fine with FMOD Ex, but you would hear the torches all the time if you played with OpenAL. My understanding is that that was due to the OpenAL backend not properly setting the volume of the torches  in relation to your distance from them.

 

Has that been fixed?

Edited by dugan

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Yes, a long while ago.

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If you're worried , don't be. The developer of OpenAL-Soft worked on the OpenAL GZDoom sound code, and is still working on it.

 

Plus, OpenAL in my experience is faster than FMOD at this point. 

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On 16.05.2017 at 11:06 PM, printz said:

I mean the one where multiple bursts of the same sound are limited to only two or three instances.

I don't think it's all that bad.

 

I made an unfunny jokewad in the past, where at some point a couple hundreds of monsters teleport at once. The resulting sound was ear-blasting everywhere except ZDoom. It made me seek for alternative means to teleport everyone, but nothing worked quite as well.

 

A bit of an extreme example, I know.

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5 minutes ago, Da Werecat said:

A bit of an extreme example, I know.

True, but a good example for why the feature is there. Let's not forget that IIRC Doom.exe had 8 active sound channels. ZDoom has at least 64 and many users set it to 256 or more. You cannot play anything that comes along indiscriminately, there have to be measures to keep the sound field under control.

 

A more realistic example is the sound of rain falling. Normally people do that by setting a square pattern of ambient sounds in the area where it is raining. If all of those were to play at the same time it'd no longer be rain, but unbearable noise. I have seen variations of this in various mods.

 

And for the case where the limit is not desired it can be disabled on a per-sound basis.

 

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Well then limit the sound channels to 8, 16 or 32 and don't allow users anything more. Problem solved better than nerfing the bombastic teleport noise (which really deserves to be heard that way in that crazy scenario). Same goes when an awful lot of doors open at the same time (CHWEAAAAAAAK).

 

Obviously rain effects should use a different propagation of ambient sounds, than multiple point speakers.

 

This is similar to other (off-topic) nerfings like ZDoom reducing the item pick-up daze when getting an awful lot in short time, which is just lame and weak.

Edited by printz

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ZDoom remains the way it is. The sound system is well designed and works to its users' satisfaction.

What you propose would not.

Why are you even complaining? Since you work on your own port of choice you have the chance to do it differently. We'll see what the users appreciate later then.

 

 

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On 05/20/2017 at 4:25 PM, printz said:

Well then limit the sound channels to 8, 16 or 32 and don't allow users anything more. Problem solved better than nerfing the bombastic teleport noise (which really deserves to be heard that way in that crazy scenario). Same goes when an awful lot of doors open at the same time (CHWEAAAAAAAK).

You've been doing fantastic work on Eternity as of late. Please don't ruin it by implementing anything as patently insane as this.

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On 5/20/2017 at 5:19 PM, Graf Zahl said:

ZDoom remains the way it is. The sound system is well designed and works to its users' satisfaction.

What you propose would not.

Why are you even complaining? Since you work on your own port of choice you have the chance to do it differently. We'll see what the users appreciate later then.

 

 

Given that I almost blew a subwoofer once due to a map like he mentions, I beg anyone wanting to implement this to please reconsider unless you want to add an extra no-warranty clause beyond the GPL about speaker damage.

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49 minutes ago, Csonicgo said:

an extra no-warranty clause beyond the GPL about speaker damage.

GPL already protects that, I believe:

 

In no event unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing will any copyright holder, or any other party who modifies and/or conveys the program as permitted above, be liable to you for damages, including any general, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability to use the program [...] even if such holder or other party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

 

I am not a lawyer, but this sounds like what you're describing.

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3 hours ago, Csonicgo said:

Given that I almost blew a subwoofer once due to a map like he mentions, I beg anyone wanting to implement this to please reconsider unless you want to add an extra no-warranty clause beyond the GPL about speaker damage.

Prevent too many sounds from playing at the same time (tic)? Acceptable, but still make it loud enough. Prevent too many sounds delayed from each other from playing? Hell no. They don't add up the volume the same way as playing at the same time, unless they're somehow synchronized or resonating.

 

You've been doing fantastic work on Eternity as of late. Please don't ruin it by implementing anything as patently insane as this.

Why do you call vanilla-like sound channels insane?

 

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