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I started a similar post asking for help in understanding the new forms of audio. I'm coming off an old system that was put together when DD 5.1 was relatively new.


Anyway, I have neglected my PS3 as a gaming machine and just recently have been playing through MGS4. The sound is freaking incredible.


I've read a little about PCM 5.1 support and do I understand correctly that only a few first party games use it? To be honest, if all games sound this much more "alive" on the PS3 than the 360, then the PS3 is gonna become my sole platform. Unfortunately, what I'm reading indicates that third-parties aren't taking advantage of PCM. Why on Earth not? To me, it sounds light years ahead.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dulaney22 /forum/post/15417139


Why on Earth not? To me, it sounds light years ahead.

Currently, LPCM is not multiplatform friendly, it requires more disc space, it assumes a greater amount of time and money spent on sound design, it assumes a consumer base who cares enough for it to be a profitable feature, and so on.


It's fantastic, but it'll be a while before it spreads very far beyond Sony's own pet projects.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by confidenceman /forum/post/15420951


Currently, LPCM is not multiplatform friendly, it requires more disc space, it assumes a greater amount of time and money spent on sound design, it assumes a consumer base who cares enough for it to be a profitable feature, and so on.


It's fantastic, but it'll be a while before it spreads very far beyond Sony's own pet projects.


I agree 100% PCM audio while as in depth and more "realistic" it makes the gaming. The average person playing using the TV speakers wont notice or miss the difference between DD/DTS vs LPCM. It's a niche thing. Seeing as how it does take up more disc space. More than likely it will be something only seen on first party console exclusive titles. (Sony pet projects)

To the OP if you are enjoying PCM (and it seems you are) You have to give Uncharted a shot. Just as in depth audio experience as MGS4 with some very good game play.
 

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I don't understand the disc space argument. This isn't like a movie where the soundtrack is prepared ahead of time. Isn't it just a matter of how the sound is played back?


Even if some sounds are compressed to save disc space, the mix of those sounds could still be played back as PCM without taking up more space. It may not sound as good as it would if nothing was compressed, but it would still sound better than if it's compressed to DD for output (because in that case it's compressing the sounds a second time).
 

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The "disc space" deal is where we get into the whole difference between uncompressed and lossless audio. Not just that, but neither compression nor lossiness in themselves say anything about the real AQ, just about fidelity to the source. Moreover, game sound is a totally different beast from movie sound since there isn't a simple A-to-B(-to-C-to-...) correspondence in game audio.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by confidenceman /forum/post/15420951


Currently, LPCM is not multiplatform friendly, it requires more disc space, it assumes a greater amount of time and money spent on sound design, it assumes a consumer base who cares enough for it to be a profitable feature, and so on.


It's fantastic, but it'll be a while before it spreads very far beyond Sony's own pet projects.

Not to be rude, but nearly all video game consoles support PCM audio output. And as mentioned earlier in the thread most PS3 games output multichannel PCM.


It's actually less processor intensive than outputting DD or DTS surround, hence why it's ideal for game consoles. Even if the audio is compressed on dis outputting it as uncompressed PCM is easier as it all has to be uncompressed at "run time" and mixed together.


The xbox and xbox 360 are inherently different, as they were originally released before HDMI was widely accepted, so using SPDIF was the only low cost method for them to output multichannel sound. Hence they have built in hardware Dolby Digital encoding.


Metal Gear Solid 4 sounds good because it's a very well produced game from an music/effects perspective.
 

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Most games that output as "multichannel PCM" sound no better than they would as DD. And even then, many PS3 games outputting as DD sound worse on PS3 than on 360 (like GTAIV). As I said in my last post, you can't judge quality solely by what your receiver says is being output. Ultimately, you have to trust your ears when it comes to games.
 

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I think part of the confusion here is that when people reffer to PCM (with reguards to the PS3) they tend to link it with Lossless audio recording. PCM is just digital representation of an analog signal. It could a be lossless or lossy or compressed or uncompressed signal. PCM is more of a method of transport from one machine to another before it gets converted back to analog. So not all PCM is good. But in the case of first party PS3 games the sound is better because it's a Lossless recording as compared to Lossy DTS/DD. I'm still trying to find out if MGS was done in lossless DD.


The bottom line is the first partty games that support 5.1 LPCM typically are uncompressed audio track (hence the disk space issue again) These tracks will always sound better reguardless if the transport is PCM or not.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndskyz /forum/post/15437435


I think part of the confusion here is that when people reffer to PCM (with reguards to the PS3) they tend to link it with Lossless audio recording. PCM is just digital representation of an analog signal. It could a be lossless or lossy or compressed or uncompressed signal. PCM is more of a method of transport from one machine to another before it gets converted back to analog. So not all PCM is good. But in the case of first party PS3 games the sound is better because it's a Lossless recording as compared to Lossy DTS/DD. I'm still trying to find out if MGS was done in lossless DD.


The bottom line is the first partty games that support 5.1 LPCM typically are uncompressed audio track (hence the disk space issue again) These tracks will always sound better reguardless if the transport is PCM or not.

Right, but what gooki (who may have said it better than me) and I said, is that they could still output the audio as PCM even if the sound elements are compressed on the disc. Game soundtracks have to be done on the fly, and compressing them to DD on the way out is going to reduce their quality, regardless of whether the sound elements are compressed on the disc or not.


Best case: uncompressed sound elements, uncompressed output (this is where disc space is a factor)

Second best case: compressed sound elements, uncompressed output (all games should at least do this if not the first option, and disc space is not a factor)

Third best case: compressed sound elements, compressed output
 

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"Ultimately, you have to trust your ears when it comes to games." There's no easy way to tell what's happening audio-wise with games.


For example, I'm still convinced that GT5P takes an audio quality hit in 5.1 down from 7.1. It sounds lossless/uncompressed at 7.1 and starts sounding lossy at 5.1. But that's only my (very fallible and untrustworthy) ears making that judgment.


Generally speaking, almost all games that the PS3 outputs as multichannel PCM sound identical to their DD counterparts. There are just a handful of exceptions, and they're all Sony-funded games.
 

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if MGS3 is DD, but gets output as PCM (as DD is decoded in the PS3), that does not make the game PCM.


In fact, it seems most people are thinking of games like they are thinking of movies. Movies are linear, and the sound never deviates, and PCM works great in that regard. Games are not so; they are totally different.


For a game to be PCM, every single sound effect must be stored on the disc as multichannel PCM. I don't think this is the case.


Also, games are not natively DD, either. Again, DD works for linear things, otherwise it is ENCODED to DD for multichannel transmission. That doesn't make a game dolby digital, though.
 

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Pretty sure (as its been explained to me here when I made the same errors) MGS4 is output as DD5.1
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven975 /forum/post/15443398


In fact, it seems most people are thinking of games like they are thinking of movies. Movies are linear, and the sound never deviates, and PCM works great in that regard. Games are not so; they are totally different.

As does DD, and DTS.

Quote:
For a game to be PCM, every single sound effect must be stored on the disc as multichannel PCM. I don't think this is the case.

Wrong. You'll actually find the sound effects are stored as mono sound samples and digitally panned in real-time as part of the mix process.

Quote:
Also, games are not natively DD, either.

Correct.

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Again, DD works for linear things, otherwise it is ENCODED to DD for multichannel transmission. That doesn't make a game dolby digital, though.

Yes it does, if the sound is being encoded to DD for output, then it is Dolby Digital.
 

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Also keep in mind that you need to have an AVR that will do HDMI audio to take advantage of LPCM. That may be part of the reason that more games don't have it, as your average gamer either runs the audio straight to the TV or maybe via optical to a HTIB (PS3 users are probably ahead of the curve on average thanks to Blu Ray, but still not very many overall).
 
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