With the Environmental Audio Extensions API, Creative is focused on delivering a powerful sound design tool that allows developers to truly explore the art of creating compelling, immersive audio environments in games, Internet audio applications and interactive entertainment titles. The new features in EAX 3.0 leverage the power of the EMU10K1 processor in the Sound Blaster Live! family of audio accelerators to deliver a new level of intensity to the Environmental Audio entertainment experience. There are currently over seventy Environmental Audio titles, of which thirty-six are available today. For a complete list of titles available to date and titles in development, please visit Creative's Web site at www.soundblaster.com.
Creative's Approach to Sound Design in Interactive Audio
Creative's EAX leverages its industry-leading expertise and audio expertise from wholly-owned subsidiary, E-mu Systems, which has been delivering powerful audio production solutions for professional musicians and Hollywood sound designers for more than twenty-five years. With Environmental Audio Extensions (EAX), Creative's goal is to continue building on the base API by offering developers a full palette of sound design parameters for interactive audio applications. The programming and sound design concepts of EAX are specifically designed for a broad range of applications including games, education titles, simulations, Internet audio programs, Internet music and music creation. Creative has taken a phased approach to delivering these concepts through its popular EAX API by offering the ability to produce the most perceptually important effects first, giving them higher priority in a flexible application development and sound design process.
Phase 1: Providing a Sense of Environment with EAX 1.0
EAX builds on DirectSound 3D's positional audio capabilities with property set extensions. EAX 1.0 was designed to provide developers with the ability to create a convincing sense of environment in entertainment titles and a realistic sense of distance between the player and audio events. EAX 1.0 provides a variety of environments with different characteristics of reflections and reverberation, different room types and/or room size. The API also allows for customizing late reverberation parameters (decay time, damping, level) and automatic level management according to distance. EAX 1.0 provides for enhancement of distance cues on a per source basis. Many developers have been using this API to add interactive audio environments to 3D games.
Phase 2: Building on the Environment with EAX 2.0
EAX 2.0 builds on the ability of EAX 1.0 to create a more compelling and realistic environment with tools that allow simulating the audio effect of partitions between environments and obstacles within environments. These features include occlusion and obstruction and can be applied on each individual audio source. In addition, EAX 2.0 provides adjustable reflections with a more complete reverb interface, a tunable air absorption model and an improved source directivity model. Creative will be providing a driver update supporting the features of this new standard through its Live!Ware program.
Phase 3: Adding More Realism, More Flexibility with EAX 3.0 Features
EAX 3.0 builds on EAX 2.0 with powerful, easy to use sound design tools. EAX 3.0 introduces new levels of realism to interactive audio applications. The new tools include the ability to use and tune localized reflection clusters or isolated individual reflections, to continuously "morph" between environments, and to further improve distance rendering and naturalness with Creative's proprietary statistical reverberation model. These features allow the developer to create dynamic reverberant environments with superior, more robust distance cues and enhanced control over each audio event in the virtual sound scene. Creative plans to debut the EAX 3.0 SDK at its annual developer's conference, Creativity, taking place on May 17 and 18 in Universal City, CA.
Creative's Environmental Audio Platform
Creative's new audio standard, Environmental Audio, takes a systems approach to delivering the Environmental Audio experience - from the processor and Environmental Modeling algorithms, to the speaker systems and the API for developers - Creative provides a complete experience with systems for its Environmental Audio Platform. Based on the new Sound Blaster Live! family of audio accelerators, Environmental Audio delivers a completely new way to experience games, music and entertainment on the desktop.
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