Running Buttkicker with rFactor?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Andrew Nagy, Dec 10, 2021.

  1. Andrew Nagy

    Andrew Nagy Registered

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    Hello,

    As it says in the title, I've trying to get my Buttkicker transducer running with rFactor2, and am not having any luck. A very knowledgeable rep from the company sent me a file that is supposed to allow the transducer to work in conjunction with my audio headphones, but they don't have much experience with rFactor2, so he thinks there is probably some sort of setting in rFactor2 I need to set to get it working. He will download a copy of rFactor2 and try to figure it out, but I looked through the settings screens, and didn't see anything that looked like something that would interface with an external transducer like Buttkicker. Is anybody here running a Buttkicker, and if so, could you please share what you had to do to get it running? Thanks.
     
  2. Andrew Nagy

    Andrew Nagy Registered

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    I see I said rFactor in the title of this thread; of course I meant rFactor2.
     
  3. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    @Andrew Nagy I don't have one, but from what I've read I think SimHub is your friend.
     
  4. Petteri

    Petteri Registered

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    I run a buttkicker concert and couple of tactile exciters and as Lazza said Simhub is very good for setting the effects up.

    From your post I'm wondering are you trying to use the buttkicker for audio based feedback or telemetry driven?
     
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  5. Jirka Gillig

    Jirka Gillig Registered

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    I use Simvibe for my full satisfaction
     
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  6. Andrew Nagy

    Andrew Nagy Registered

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    Thanks for the replies. I've tried simhub, and got nowhere. I haven't treid simvibe.

    There's just something "off" - the Buttkicker never works when I also have the headphones connected (doens't make any difference if I use bluetooth wireless or simple wired USB headphones), and it works very erratically and intermittently, and it never responds accurately to actual curbing or bumps on the track, or to shifts, when the headphones are not connected. But most of the time, it's just dead. I've tested the Buttkicker by connecting my iPhone to it, and it rumbles in time with the music I play, so I'm confident there isn't anything fundamentally wrong with the Buttkicker itself. So I think the problem is with the communication between RF2 and the Buttkicker.
     
  7. GTClub_wajdi

    GTClub_wajdi Registered

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    Sim Hub is better.
     
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  8. GTClub_wajdi

    GTClub_wajdi Registered

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    DO you have a dedicated sound card?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
  9. trichens

    trichens Registered

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    OK... I'm not using a ButtKicker so my system setup will be different.
    Instead I have some Dayton Pucks powered by amplifiers and these are driven from a soundcard.
    This is all driven through SimHub

    Are you driving the ButtKicker through the same soundcard feed that the headphones are using?
    Without being able to check myself I'd guess that the ButtKicker is simply getting the normal racing audio from rFactor2 and that there's not going to be enough low frequency output. Most of what I hear through my headphones is much higher frequency stuff.
    I'm guessing that you want to "feel" the curbs, etc. through the seat?

    As @GTClub_wajdi has indicated, I'd suggest you try a separate sound card for the feed to the ButtKicker.
    This would separate out the two differing types of output you want.
    Try a simple USB sound card dongle ( if you only need a single output ), get a copy of SimHub and set that up to send the "road rumble" to the USB sound card and connect the ButtKicker to that.

    If you have multiple ButtKicker systems then a proper sound card that will give you several outputs would be the way to go.
    Neither sound card option need be very expensive.
     
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  10. Andrew Nagy

    Andrew Nagy Registered

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    Thanks again for the thoughtful inputs. I'm afraid I'm not very computer savvy, so I don't know if I have a separate sound card that the Buttkicker is connect to, but I'm going to say that I think the answer is no. It does make intuitive sense to have my headphones and Buttkicker connected to separate sound output devices, rather than trying to split the two from a single device, which is what I believe apps like Voicemeter try to do. The rep from Guitammer (the sellers and/or makers of Buttkicker) told me he downloaded a copy of RF2 at his facility, and was able to get Buttkicker working using a beta version of an in-house app they're developing that apparently does what Simhub does, but is geared specifically for the Buttkicker, so clearly it's possible. I just left a message for him, and if we can't replicate his results on my system, I'm going to suggest the separate sound card idea.
     
  11. GTClub_wajdi

    GTClub_wajdi Registered

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    You won’t get any game telemetry from rfactor2 or any other sim if you continue to use the same sound card for Audio output and Sim Hub.
     
  12. Andrew Nagy

    Andrew Nagy Registered

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    In the context of the sim, when you say telemetry, do you mean the information about my laps (speed, engine rpm, the gear I'm in, elapsed time, predictive time relative to my best lap, etc), or something more detailed, like communication between the car and the pit crew in a race? Sorry for the stupid question, but I've stepped into the vast and baffling world of sims in my 60s, never having so much as played a video game in my entire life, so there's a massive amount of stuff I'm still (and probably permanently) utterly ignorant about. If there was a book called 'Driving Simulators for Dummies', I'd devour it in a heartbeat. I'm using the sim as a practice/training tool for the actual racing I do (in a Radical SR1 at Atlanta Motorsports Park). Thanks for understanding, and for your patience.
     
  13. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    Neither of those things, though the first is closer.

    I've read this thread and googled for 2 mins so strap yourself in: I'm a certified expert :D

    The simple and earliest use case for buttkickers is simply using the sounds you hear when playing the game and transferring the low frequencies to a shaker under your seat. So low engine rumble and thuds will come through, just like putting simple shakers under your couch and watching movies with it - you 'feel' low frequencies because they're literally just being amped up and thrown at you from the seat.

    That's probably an improvement on nothing, but not great for feedback (you can't hear all things that a car is doing, and all those things aren't low frequency either - plus anything else around you might get included that doesn't make a lot of sense as part of your car. A helicopter flying overhead is a perfect example I'll shamelessly lift from my feverish googling).

    What a more specialised software solution will do is use some of the telemetry available from games, like gear and engine rpm as you mention, plus suspension position/speed, g-force potentially, to then generate audio to send to the buttkicker. I believe SimHub uses a plugin to access the game's telemetry for that purpose.


    The two methods do not mix - you either just use the game audio, split it so you can have your headphones and buttkicker both being driven by it, and job done. OR, you have your normal audio and then a separate solution like SimHub accessing telemetry data and feeding the buttkicker via a dedicated sound card.


    I shall stop here and let any and all corrections begin. But hopefully in the end this helps in some way :cool:
     
  14. Andrew Nagy

    Andrew Nagy Registered

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    Thanks, Lazza - that actually makes a lot of sense - I almost understand it :D. I will pass it along to the rep from Guitammer who's been helping me get this running.
     
  15. trichens

    trichens Registered

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    Let's try to work out what your system configuration is - with regards to hardware.
    From previous posts you have tried using SimHub without sucess?

    You are using headphones which I think you have said are wireless bluetooth or USB connection?
    Both of these options would indicate that you don't have any output supplied from you soundcard - nothing is plugged into either the green, orange or black 3.5mm sockets on the rear of the PC - and that you are just using a USB connector for the headphones/bluetooth adaptor?

    How is the ButtKicker connected to the PC?
    I've had a look at the ButtKicker manuals and it seems that they would use a splitter cable to drive both headphones - or speakers - plus the ButtKicker from the same connection. This would probably be connected into the green socket.

    If you do have SimHub installed have a look at the ShakeIt Bass Shakers section; and the Sound Output tab. This will - should! - list all the sound devices available.
    I'd expect to see a sound card and probably your headphones if they are a separate device.
    Can you confirm this please?

    I've just installed SimHub on my laptop and it shows this

    Pic02.jpg

    You can see two devices.
    Turn on the the output to use - the one your ButtKicker is connected to - and click on the channels button - I've outlined this in red.
    It will show what's available.

    Pic03.jpg

    Also note the text in red - it mentions using a separate dedicated sound card
    Then you need to select the Effects Profile and pick what effects you want.
    I've picked some road effects

    Pic04.jpg

    Now fire up rFactor2
    If all is well SimHub should show the game connected and you can see if the effects can be felt.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
  16. Andrew Nagy

    Andrew Nagy Registered

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    Thanks, and sorry for the slow reply, but the rep from Guitammer managed to get the Buttkicker working with my sim using their in-house beta signal splitting software. I have no idea what he did (this stuff is all magic to me...), but it's finally working. I had tried Simhub in the past, and it was just a mess, maybe because I'm not using a dedicated sound card (at least I don't think I am - no idea how to determine that). The rep said that with their software, a separate sound card isn't necessary, and since it's finally working, I'm going to leave well enough alone and just let it do its thing.
     
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  17. GTClub_wajdi

    GTClub_wajdi Registered

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    Their software uses the sound then convert it to vibration but it isn’t accurate at all.
     
  18. Andrew Nagy

    Andrew Nagy Registered

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    @GTClub_wajdi: Well, I wouldn't exactly describe it as inaccurate - it replicates the vibrations from the track textures reasonably well - I would use the work "incomplete" - it doesn't include, for example, the significant jolt the very raw real-life Radical SR1 delivers with each shift.

    @trichens: Thanks for your very detailed post - I'll have a look at how my system is connected, and include some pictures, to answer your questions. I hope to have some time to do this tomorrow night, but I can't promise. I'm reasonably happy with the current performance of my Buttkicker with Guitammer's in-house splitter (if that's the correct term) software, but if it could be improved upon, and especially if I could utilize the telemetry signals (if I'm using the term correctly) to enable things like shifts, I would welcome it. I did spend a few hours with Simhub, with the help of the Simhub forum, trying to get it working, but was never able to. I found Simhub confusing, with its baffling assortment of redundant-sounding selections (what the heck is the different between road impacts, road vibrations, and road rumble?). But I would welcome your assistance with giving it another try, if it could produce a more realistic experience.
     
  19. Comante

    Comante Registered

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    Maybe their software is able to create a virtual soundcard and feed the appropriate output to the shaker? Maybe with some limitations.
     
  20. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    It will still only use audio, because there's no rF2 plugin involved.

    This distinction is what I tried to explain earlier, for Andrew's benefit.
     

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