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Author Topic: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10  (Read 4315 times)

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SAS~Storebror

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EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« on: June 09, 2017, 10:32:48 AM »

Hi folks,

Today I'd like to bring back a long lost and forgotten technology to IL-2 on modern Operating Systems: EAX
EAX?
That's Creative Technologies "Environmental Audio Extensions", read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Audio_Extensions
It's a technology to create 3D audio effects and more on "normal" speaker boxes or headphones.
IL-2 Supports EAX 1, 2 and 3 - however with Windows Vista Microsoft decided to cut off the deprecated hardware accellerated direct sound technology and left us with software sound renders where all EAX support was missing.

Fortunately Creative Labs stepped in and provided two tools to restore EAX for "old" games up to EAX 4, one tool called "EAX4 Unified" and the other simply called "ALchemy".
The latter is the most important part as it includes a dsound.dll which will restore the good old hardware accellerated direct sound routines, including EAX.
Only drawback is that it's only supporting certain (usually expensive) SoundBlaster Soundcards from Creative Labs.

But we're called "modders" for a reason, so this tool includes two files where this restriction has been removed - call it a "hack", but frankly Creative Labs didn't provide any EULA which would prevent us from doing so. The "unlocked" files are binary modifications, consisting of code check parts replaced by "NOP" OP codes and a few conditional jumps replaced by unconditional ones to skip the hardware checks.
If you are uncertain about the safety of those files, here are 0-day virus checks of them.
ALchemy.exe: https://www.virustotal.com/de/file/f2b29c55b6174ebbcc3496b8f71d32f8dc4a3ca707d89e60f83136ee40b1b021/analysis/1496990487/
dsound.dll: https://www.virustotal.com/de/file/4d459c6d1d01806a180f73729a30df6513b42ed14e5639142226978036fe6996/analysis/1496990509/

Long story short, here is all you need, including a readme guiding your through the installation and configuration process:

Download Link:
EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10


Attention UV3 ("Tiger Flyby") users: Tiger's UV3 mod is incompatible with Hardware 3D sound effects per definition.
If you use Tiger's UV3 mod, you can disable EAX in IL-2's sound setup menu, just disable the "Hardware effects" switch.

Best regards - Mike
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SAS~Bombsaway

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 02:33:52 PM »

So this would be great for modders like Victor and for the guys in BAT for our sound files. Thanks Mike. This " sounds great " pun intended :)
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Kopfdorfer

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 03:02:10 PM »

I'm no techie Storebror as you no doubt know , so be gentle in your response to this question.
Does this repair mean that an old ForceFeedback Joystick that has been rendered inoperable
by later versions of Windows can now be used ?

Kopfdorfer
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Gubi

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 03:31:23 PM »

Hmmm...  Downloaded.  Read readme.  Installed.  Applied to my DBW.  Ran DBW.  Wow.

Will apply to UP3 next.

Cheers, thanx and prost.

Gubi
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Dimlee

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 04:54:21 PM »

Thanks a lot. Forgotten tech for Forgotten Battles.
Can't wait to try.
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Kelso

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2017, 02:07:58 AM »

Storebror -for my Audigy 2 ZS I have unofficial drivers installed on:  http://danielkawakami.blogspot.com/2017/01/sb-audigy-series-support-pack-62.html  In which is the latest version of Alchemy 1.45.12. I have to set it up and install 1.45.03 from your package? Maybe you would also convert the files to the latest version 1.45.12? My system is Win7 64 bit.

Edit: I read and understood - nothing I have to do. My card supports EAX.
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SAS~Storebror

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2017, 12:08:53 PM »

So this would be great for modders like Victor and for the guys in BAT for our sound files.
Yes, basically it's worth a try for any sound modder not working on hard-coded custom effects like Tiger's UV3 sound mod did.

Does this repair mean that an old ForceFeedback Joystick that has been rendered inoperable by later versions of Windows can now be used ?
No, this is just for sounds, nothing else.
It won't do anything with your Joystick, your Graphics, your house, wife, animals, neighbours, the politics or global climate (the latter is TBD).

for my Audigy 2 ZS
As you already noticed, Audigy 2 ZS is officially supported by ALchemy Audigy Edition (see http://support.creative.com/kb/showarticle.aspx?sid=28967), so there's no need to customize the two files.
Basically you can run ALchemy as is.

Best regards - Mike
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Kelso

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2017, 04:31:27 PM »

Does anyone use Win7 64bit + Alchemy + IL-2 with good result? In my kit + Audigy 2 ZS card after using Alchemy are crackling, reverb, echo - the sound in the game is wrong. I have tried different versions of Alchemy, EAX settings - nothing helps.
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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2017, 01:44:35 AM »

I neither have Windows 7 anymore nor an Audigy soundcard.
My current setup is 10 64 Bit and Realtek onboard soundchips and a USB headset soundcard.
Works fine except for a number of sound dropouts inside the cockpit when I enter crowded "furball" situations.
This is annoying I must admit - according to Creative Labs the reason is high CPU load in such situations, this should be dealt with by modifying the Buffer/Duration/Voices settings either in ALchemy or by directly modifying the "dsound.ini" file copied to your IL-2 game folder.

I've had some success by raising the number of buffers, e.g. to "12".
Lowering or raising the duration setting didn't show much effect for me.
MaxVoiceCount can be set to 32 as this is the max. number of voices IL-2 can use.
DisableDirectMusic is set to "1" for me, IL-2 doesn't use DirectMusic at all.

I still have occasional sound dropouts inside the cockpit and won't recommend to use EAX when you fly online for that reason (somehow it more frequently seems to happen on- than offline) until you find a perfect dsound.ini setting for your hardware.

The sound effect you get by using EAX is rather subtle anyway, this is a comparison I've made:


If you get massive crackling, reverb and echo issues than it's not worth the hassle most probably.
I'll get a fresh Creative Soundblaster Z card tomorrow so I will be able to compare the results then.
Other than that, if you still want to fight your issues, showing your dsound.ini and a record snapshot of the reported issues (youtube is your friend) would be great!

Best regards - Mike
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Kelso

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2017, 04:47:24 AM »

Thanks to Storebror - you can rely on you as usual. I played the settings in dsound.ini. In my case, the Buffers <4 are worth the crack. It immediately reminds me how beautiful sound in the game was in WinXP. Unfortunately - after a minute of flight the external sound disappears which disqualifies me from using EAX / Alchemy.
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mikojan3

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2017, 03:25:24 PM »

mike i don t understand if i have just the flyby of tiger in my vpmedia  i must disable this or what ?
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SAS~Storebror

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Re: EAX for IL-2 1946 on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 01:37:50 AM »

Tiger flyby sounds are incompatible with EAX.
If you want to try EAX, disable Tiger flyby mod and/or vice versa.

Best regards - Mike
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