Thursday, December 16, 2010

World of Warcraft - How to Enable Hardware Accelerated Sound (EAX)

Do you have hardware accelerated sound enabled in WoW? Are you sure it is enabled? If you're running WIndows 7 or Windows Vista you may think it is enabled, but a quick view of your sound.log located in your WoW directory probably has an entry like the one below which indicates you're missing hardware accelerated sound in WoW.

###########################################################################################
11/17 13:52:46.914 - # NOTICE: Insufficient Hardware Channels Available.
11/17 13:52:46.981 - # World of Warcraft Requires At Least 12 Hardware Channels to Function in Hardware Mode.
11/17 13:52:47.013 - ########################################################################################### 



The following instructions will show you how to enable hardware accelerated audio in World of Warcraft assuming that you are running Windows Vista/7 64bit with a Creative X-Fi sound card.

Step 1.
Download Creative Alchemy. (click the agree button)

Step 2.
Launch Alchemy. Alchemy will search for games that are using DirectSound for hardware accelerated audio. Select World of Warcraft and move it to the column on the right - "ALchemy-enabled Games."

Step 3.
Now that WoW is on the right side, highlight it and click "Edit". For a 64 bit version of Windows 7 the path should be:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Blizzard Entertainment\World of Warcraft\InstallPath

Step 4.
Now navigate to the directory where WoW is installed. Right click the WoW.exe and select properties. Click the compatibility tab and place a check mark in "Run this program in compatibility mode for" and select Windwows XP (Service Pack 2) and click OK. This is required because FMOD (the sound engine used in WoW) will disable directsound calls if it detects a Windows 7 or Windows Vista OS.

Step 5.
Launch WoW and select the super duper audio options in the audio menu. Alt Tab out and verify your sound.log file shows something similar to the following:


12/14 20:18:45.901  => SI3 Init
12/14 20:18:45.928  => WoW Version 4.0.3 (13329) Nov 17 2010
12/14 20:18:45.938
12/14 20:18:45.938  => User Settings Report:
12/14 20:18:45.961   - ========= PLAYBACK =========
12/14 20:18:45.980   - Enable All Sound         [1]
12/14 20:18:46.013   - Enable SFX               [1]
12/14 20:18:46.030   --- Enable Error Speech    [1]
12/14 20:18:46.038   --- Enable Emote Sounds    [1]
12/14 20:18:46.046   - Enable Music             [1]
12/14 20:18:46.046   --- Loop Music             [0]
12/14 20:18:46.096   - Enable Ambient Sounds    [1]
12/14 20:18:46.096   - Sound at Character       [1]
12/14 20:18:46.146   - Sound in Background      [0]
12/14 20:18:46.146   - Enable Reverb            [1]
12/14 20:18:46.163   - Enable Software HRTF     [0]
12/14 20:18:46.171   - Sound Quality            [2]
12/14 20:18:46.238   -
12/14 20:18:46.261   - ========== VOLUME ==========
12/14 20:18:46.271   - Master Volume         [1.00]
12/14 20:18:46.271   - SFX Volume            [1.00]
12/14 20:18:46.288   - Music Volume          [0.40]
12/14 20:18:46.296   - Ambience Volume       [0.60]
12/14 20:18:46.312   -
12/14 20:18:46.312   - =========== MISC ===========
12/14 20:18:46.330   - Sound Channels          [64]
12/14 20:18:46.330   - Use Hardware             [1]
12/14 20:18:46.346   - Mix Mode 2               [0]
12/14 20:18:46.346   - DSP Buffer Size       [AUTO]
12/14 20:18:46.363   - Armor Foley SFX (Self)   [1]
12/14 20:18:46.378   - Armor Foley SFX (Others) [1]
12/14 20:18:46.378  => End of User Settings Report
12/14 20:18:46.396
12/14 20:18:46.396   - SE3 Init...
12/14 20:18:46.413   - FMOD Memory Init
12/14 20:18:46.429   - FMOD System Create
12/14 20:18:46.445   - Setting Output Type
12/14 20:18:47.189   - 2 Output drivers detected
12/14 20:18:47.205   --- [0] System Default
12/14 20:18:47.220   --- [1] Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi)
12/14 20:18:47.239  ** Using User Specified Driver [1] Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi)
12/14 20:18:47.265   - DSPBufferSize = AUTO DETECT
12/14 20:18:47.265   - Setting DSP Buffer Size
12/14 20:18:47.288   - Using Control Panel Speaker Mode 5.1
12/14 20:18:47.303   - Setting Software Format (48000, 2, 1).
12/14 20:18:47.313   - Requested 64 channels.
12/14 20:18:47.330   - Sound Driver Reports: 121 Hardware Channels Available.
12/14 20:18:47.402   - Init FMOD Game System
12/14 20:18:47.409   - Ok
12/14 20:18:47.421   - Setting Rolloff Scale
12/14 20:18:47.437   - Setting Rolloff Callback
12/14 20:18:47.437   - Sound Bus Init
12/14 20:18:47.455   - Init Suppressors
12/14 20:18:47.507   - SE3 Init Success.
12/14 20:18:47.543   - Setting device callback
12/14 20:18:47.554  => SI3 Init Complete.
12/14 20:18:47.570
12/15 00:19:11.475
12/15 00:19:11.504  => Shutting Down SI3
12/15 00:19:11.525   - Shutting Down SE3
12/15 00:19:11.720   - Shutting Down SE3 COMPLETE.
12/15 00:19:11.720  => Shutting Down SI3 COMPLETE.
12/15 00:19:11.742

Step 6.
Enjoy greatly improved positional audio!

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