After taking a quick look around the net and remembering what General Heed said, it looks like there is some functionality that would be quite useful in OpenAL. I also found out that it supports DSP effects too, but appears to be specific to certain Creative Sound Blaster cards (which I do not have). So later on, I'll be looking into OpenAL as an alternative to DirectSound (unless XAudio proves to be a better choice, but I doubt it now). So thanks for the suggestion General Heed. Listening to the people is a good idea!