A3D 3.0 Overview
A3D 3.0 is truly the only audio engine of its kind. Building on the success of the popular A3D 2.0, Aureal is introducing A3D 3.0 as the next generation of its positional 3D audio standard. Designed to take full advantage of the latest generation audio hardware (including Aureal’s award-winning Vortex 2 chipset), A3D 3.0 is backward compatible with previous versions of A3D while introducing and improving upon the following features:
• Aureal Wavetracing: real-time acoustic reflection, reverb and occlusion rendering
• Dolby Digital support: integrate pre-rendered multichannel music and audio
• Streaming audio support: stream audio files direct from disk automatically with no overhead
• MP3 support: License-free usage of MP3 audio for both 2D and 3D playback (includes software decoder)
• A3D API: all-in-one interface to support all A3D features, including fallback solutions
• DS3D, EAX, and I3DL2 support (for those cards that support them)
• Advanced resource management features
Aureal Wavetracing Technology
Developed over many years in conjunction with clients such as NASA, Matsushita and Disney, this new technology is enhanced further in A3D 3.0. Aureal Wavetracing parses the 3D geometry description of a space to trace sound waves in real-time as they are reflected and occluded by acoustic objects in the 3D environment. This means that sounds can be heard as emanating from a sound source in 3D space (as in A3D), but also as they reflect off of walls, leak through doors from the next room, get occluded as they disappear around a corner, or suddenly appear overhead as you step into the open from inside a room. Room acoustics are rendered as individually-imaged early reflections and then automatically generated as late reflections (reverb). The result is yet another quantum leap in audio rendering realism!
Dolby Digital Support
For the first time, developers can easily and seamlessly harness the power of Dolby’s studio quality AC-3 standard, bringing multi-channel audio to the PC environment. Finally, games can have breathtaking musical scores that match or surpass those of Hollywood’s finest films.
A2D = A3D
Support for Every Sound Card Applications written to the A3D API will automatically use Aureal Vortex or generic DirectSound3D hardware resources (including EAX and I3DL2) if available, to avoid using host processing whenever possible. In the absence of hardware resources, A2D, based on a heavily speed-optimized, feature-reduced version of A3D, will run stand-alone on any host CPU to emulate A3D in a software only environment. As a result, A2D allows A3D 3.0 applications to run on any PC platform, including systems without A3D hardware support. A2D extends A3D 3.0 to offer developers a true all-in-one audio solution and a single API to code to. Written in tightly optimized x86 assembly code, A2D offers great speed and great audio quality. The combination of native Vortex chipset support, DS3D support, EAX and I3DL2 support, and A2D guarantees that the A3D 3.0 engine delivers the best, and most complete, audio experience for all your users