Getting EAX Audio Effects To Work In Windows Vista With Audigy Series

11 08 2007

Vista saw the end of Microsoft’s DirectSound API. This left myself and many other Creative users without EAX which means of course no multi-environmental in-game audio acoustics!

Creative rose to the challenge and developed an application called ALchemy. This program simply converts DirectSound calls into OpenAL.

“Fantastic!” I hear you cry, and in some ways I’d have to agree. Sadly Creative announced that ALchemy would be free to X-Fi owners, but Audigy series owners would have to pay a “small fee” as a “low-cost upgrade”. When asked why Audigy owners would have to pay, Creative reps responded that “Audigy requires seperate development costs”. This turned out to be another fruit of mistruth from the Creative apple cart.

A guy called Daniel Kawakami kindly dissected the program and revealed some interesting finds.

In response to ungrateful behavior of Creative, I decided to release a patched ALchemy for all models of Live! and Audigy soundcards.It was ready since its release in last March. I was just waiting the proper moment, when Creative would make a stupid move.

A simple check for EAX5 was removed to enable Audigy support as well as a check for EAX4, to enable support for Live! cards.

Some notes:
DirectSound3D may not work properly on Live! cards, while DS3D+EAX seem to work just fine.
DirectSound2D is a bonus for all cards, because is bypass the Audiodg service on Windows Vista, so no more memory/CPU cycles wasted. Just use ALchemy with your favorite player (VLC and Mplayer Classic does not work properly, while foobar does).
When using ALchemy, EAX effects tab will be disabled on AudioConsole, just like on X-Fi, on Live! it works, though.
Your soundcard is detected as X-Fi when ALchemy is used with Everest, Sandra or RightMark 3DSound, that is just a cosmetic issue.
Make sure you have the latest Creative drivers for Windows Vista installed.
Copy dsound.dll and dsound.ini to game folder or use ALchemy.exe to do so, if your game is officially supported.

The just released version 1.00.04 cannot be modified because it is protected with Macrovision’s Safecast highly secure software protecton system, but I suspect it is just the same as this version with protection added. Do not ask for it, unless you can provide me with a properly unprotected copy of dsound.dll.

The kind guy even hosted the “fixed” version for Audigy 1/2/4 owners everywhere. You can download it here. What can I say? Daniel Kawakami is the man.


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