Portal 2 Released! #portal2

20 04 2011

Oh cool. They’ve given me Portal 2. I’m finalising my Steam install as I type this. VALVe seem to taken on-board my major criticism and updated the game to include hats from Team Fortress 2. I suspect they were kidding when they first said “No hats”. Then again, I thought the cross-platform gaming part was a joke. However it is true PC gamers can play Portal 2 with their PS3 and Xbox 360 owning buddies. Is that a gaming first? I think so…

Anyway, Portal 2 is a Thinking-Person’s-First-Person-Shooter. I should be getting a trademark on that new genre, but no. Instead I’m going to persuade you that Portal 2 is worth a look. For the visually stimulated ones present, here’s a convincing video.

Why don’t you download the game and we’ll race to see who is playing first!

Please visit the Portal 2 official website for more information.

Hmm how is that download getting on? Oh Portal 2 – 100% complete.

.

End of newsflash.





Mission MV8 Floorstanding Speaker Review

15 11 2010

I’ve been in the market for a new pair of Hi-Fi speakers for a while. My neighbours have a tendency to slam doors late at night, and I’ve decided the best way to cope – is to drown them out with loud TV, games, movies and music. I needed something affordable, yet monstrous on volume.

While researching my next purchase, I decided I quite liked the look of the Mission MV8. Not many people realise, that Mission, Wharfedale, Audiolab, Castle, Luxman and Quad are all owned by the International Audio Group (IAG). You can usually expect good products from most of these manufacturers.

My first impressions of the Mission MV8 was that they looked the part. I googled a bit more and I found a couple of reasonable reviews on shopping comparison sites. The frequency responses seemed good for a speaker of it’s £200-£300 price range. This was looking like an interesting pair of speakers.

Frustratingly, I couldn’t find much information available anywhere on the internet. I visited a local retailer, and sampled the delights on offer. The first thing I noticed about the Mission MV8 was the size. They weren’t huge ugly boxes, like the cheaper but powerful Wharfedale XARUS 5000. They didn’t cost £600 like some weaker “posh audio” products. Yet, the Mission MV8 didn’t look cheap at all. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the build quality was better than some speakers that cost twice its price. I was quite impressed with this quality pair of entry-level Hi-Fi speakers. I reached in to the wallet, and arranged delivery.

Quite a few online retailers are selling this product, but a few list the specifications incorrectly. I’m here to correct these oversights, take a few photos – and reveal my opinion on the MV8. Don’t expect any graphs -I’m going to try and keep the audiophile jargon to a minimum.

First, let’s have a look at the true specifications taken from the Mission MV series data sheet.

MISSION MV8
Recommended amp power: 25 – 200w
Sensitivity: 91dB
Nominal impedance: 8Ω (4.6Ω minimum)
Magnetically shielded Yes
W x H x D: 188mm x 915mm (940mm with spikes) x 290mm
Frequency response: 35 – 20,000 Hz
Biwireable No
Connections: Binding posts (Pop-off caps reveal banana plug sockets)
Bass port Rear bass port
Drivers: LF/MF: 2 x 150mm Mission ‘Pyramid’ aramid polymer fibre/paper pulp woofer
HF: 25mm Viscous laminated dome tweeter
Inverted driver geometry for time alignment and Neodymium magnets
Supplied accessories: Removable front grilles, spike feet
Finish Available: Black or silver
Extras: Ferro-fluid cooled voice coils.

Here’s some photos of the speakers and packaging.



Testing

Everything else here in the test setup is relatively cheap. I’ve done this for two reasons; If the setup sounds good – the speakers are managing well with minimum requirements. The second reason? I’m not made of money – I’m a cheapskate.

I’m sure QE2 speaker cables, a more powerful amplifier and a £500 CD player would sound better. …but not everyone here is going to be using those types of components. I’m aiming for average, if not minimum capability test. Let’s face it, the speakers only cost £250. The speakers aren’t broken-in yet either, which I believe takes two hundred hours to achieve. Think of this review as a worst case scenario, with plenty of room for improvements.

All tests will be conducted in a 22’² room with wooden flooring. I’ll be sitting 4m away from the units, and testing with the amplifier set to -10dB. I’ll test PC audio formats, DAB and CD audio on the following components.

  • Receiver: Yamaha RX-V461DAB (6Ω optimal, 100w per channel)
  • CD Player: Cheap non descriptive model, via optical TosLink from eBay China.
  • Speaker Wires: Cheap bell wire, from Wilkinsons.
  • PC Audio: Creative X-Fi

First Test: CD Audio

Mr Ti2bs – My Love Hurts

I’ve heard this tune thousands of times. It’s one of my favourite Ti2bs tracks. Some fair bass, record pops and both male and female vocals. FDS, Mr. Ti2bs!

With the MV8 attached, I have a serious bass thumps. The vocals sound way more natural than before. Serena’s chorus sounds heavenly. The MV8 like this track too. OMG I love this tune.

Baby J feat. Rukus, Ty, Klashnekoff & Yogi – Let It Go

Another laid-back track here. Lots of varied vocals to be sampled on this track. There’s a bit of bass, hands clapping but not a great deal of instruments going on.

Wow. The bass is really intense now. Every time I’ve previously listened to this tune, it sounded quite heavy. Now the bass is punching out the windows. The vocals aren’t obscured and sound crisper than ever. The finger clicking sounds do sound a little raspy though. In general, very nice bass and vocal tone.

Janet Jackson – Got Til It’s Gone (Mellow Mix)

I’m not a fan of Janet Jackson, but this track is mellow. A very musical piece of music. There’s super high “fairy dust” sounds, bells and a wide range of percussion.

Now the MV8 really deliver here too. The bass is quite fantastic for starters. It’s quite a complex bass line, but it doesn’t distort or vibrate. My last set of speakers sounded too flimsy when confronted by bass this rich. Janet’s vocals are very clear too. The “fairy dust” sounds are a lot more high-pitched now. The speakers do a nice job of reproduction here – especially with the bell sounds. Again the fingers clicking and hands clapping sound a little too sharp.

Guild Wars Factions Soundtrack

Factions soundtrack is a classical symphony by top UK composer Jeremy Soule. It’s got a huge variety of instruments. Lots of strings, bells and some mighty deep bass.

Now playing this album through the Mission MV8 is quite a pleasant experience. The music sounds so rich, you could almost imagine the orchestra are in the same room as yourself. This has to be one of the best CD to show off the MV8’s soundstage potential. I’ve heard the Luxon Theme thousands of times, but never have I heard it with such a wide spectrum of sounds. It’s truly enthralling to listen to. Even the softer, calmer instruments delivered a stunning audio sensation. There was no blending of instruments – everything sounded clear and separate.

Second Test: DAB

Classic FM – I’m not a huge fan of most classical music, but the MV8 sound more like a live performance. The pure digital music was crystal clear both at low and high volume levels. The violins sounded perfect, don’t get me started on how good the woodwind sounded. I might have to listen to classical more often.

BBC 1Xtra – This broadcast provided loud bass, crystal clear vocals. Sadly Chipmunk was on at the time of testing. I promptly turned the radio off.

Third Test: PC

PC audio was quite lovely. Lossless and FLAC really did sound high quality. MP3 sounded fairly clean, with a bit of loss around the high-end of the sound spectrum. All this was to be expected from compressed music, but was still worth a play.

I couldn’t notice any difference between lossless and CD audio. Though I do have to say, “Crooked” sounded especially louder and more musical. The cowbells really stood out, compared to before. Midas Touch’s “Hold Back The Monster” provided more punch than the last time I heard it. I don’t remember half the instruments being so clear. Around 19 minutes in to the mix, the African drums really sounded authentic.

Fourth Test:

After 24 hours of loud music, I can conclude that the Mission MV8 were a terrific buy. They drown out everything, from the doorbell to the telephone. They’d be a good choice for social venues too if it weren’t for the flimsy grills. They could easily drown out a crowd of people in a bar or pub.

Some mid-range  audio really odd though. I played “Hell Yea” by Dead Prez. The “clapping” sounds were way too sharp at high volume. If you don’t mind tweaking  your graphic equalizer – these speakers are for you. I’ve found these speakers too sharp for the Hip-Hop I listen too, and I suspect that’s the problem. Perhaps it’s the recordings.

Classical music sounds fantastic though. The extreme sharpness really pays off with acoustic instrument reproduction. Drum & Bass generally sounds great too, due to serious bass driver power. The bass really shines from these units. Mine are situated too close to the wall, and near furniture. The deep sounds don’t suffer from distortion. I haven’t witnessed anything vibrate unnecessarily.

After 48 hours, the speakers are really portraying different versions of all my audio. The treble has calmed down. If I’m not mistaken, the audio seems to be getting better? I’m convinced it’s not placebo effect.

Even with G550 centre & surrounds, the MV8 boost my 5.1 audio. Oxygene sounds like a different album altogether. I can’t believe all the different sounds that I’ve never heard before. It’s stunning quality. HD video is a much nicer experience. I’ve been hearing so much that wasn’t there before. From just a two speaker upgrade is good work.

Oh shit. I want the centre & surround units now.

Conclusion

The MV8 are as good as I imagined them to be. I haven’t got the world’s best home cinema/Hi-Fi setup. Though, these speakers have improved the system by far. These tests demonstrated to me how much my amplifier was being bottlenecked by the previous 135W PMPO Gigaworks 500 speakers. They’re about twenty times larger, so this was to be expected. What I didn’t expect however, was the ability to surpass the 140w subwoofer too. If I had to sum up these speakers in one word, it would be bass.

The Mission MV8 haven’t got the mammoth capacity of the Wharfedale XARUS 5000. Yet the Mission MV8 still manage to punch out some good low-frequency sound. I imagine these speakers could easily be used without a subwoofer in a home theater environment. The bass drivers really deliver far more than I expected. Stick wet hands near the rear bass duct, and they will soon dry.

The midrange is crisp, perhaps a little on the light side. Nevertheless, the vocals are very pleasing in general. A little adjustment on the amplifier soon corrected the tone to my personal taste. Once the speakers have broken themselves in, I’m hoping this won’t be so much of an issue.

The tweeters are incredibly rich and are capable of reproducing some very high notes indeed. The classical music that I sampled revealed superb clarity of instruments. Bells and pipes especially sound fantastic.

If I had to find fault with the speakers, it would be the front plate design. The Mission MV8 used too much plastic for my personal liking. I’m not expecting them have the build quality of Bang & Olufsen for £250 – but less plastic would have been nice. It’s a very well made box, but I do prefer a solid wood cabinet. Vinyl coating isn’t usually very durable either. They might not be aesthetically appealing to everyone. You don’t need your eyes open to listen, though – do you?

Looks aside, the Mission MV8 really provided a higher quality soundstage than I expected for £250. They’re not the prettiest set of cans in the shop, but they’re possibly one of the best value. At the £200-£300 mark – they’re a winner. I can think of lots of reasons why.

I like the 150mm drivers, the speakers are able to fill most living rooms with ease. I also really enjoy hearing sounds on “old favourites” that were never there before. The clarity is simply spectacular and leaves me quite delighted with my purchase.

They’re growing on me more every day too.

Power:

Audio Reproduction:

Features:

Value for money:

Build Quality:

Pros

  • Stunning audio experience
  • Small footprint for a 200w unit
  • Sleek & modern design, that’s not ugly. IT’S NOT!
  • Good value for the £200-£300 price range.
  • Louder than a bomb
  • High-quality sound reproduction across all genres

Cons

  • Perhaps a little expensive for a floorstanding speaker of its size
  • Not aesthetically appealing to everyone.
  • Not biwirable
  • Grilles are flimsy

Goatie3Goatie1





Guru3D Driver Sweeper 2.5.0 Download Released

12 09 2010

An updated version of Guru3D Driver Sweeper is available for download. It offers many improvements on cleaning and removal. There’s also new documentation available. Great job Phyxion. Go grab it from Guru3D now!
Guru3D Driver Sweeper 2.5.0 Download Released

Driver Sweeper is very easy to use. You only have to select the drivers you want to clean up.
The best way to clean drivers is to first uninstall the drivers using the official uninstallers, reboot in Safe Mode and run Guru3D – Driver Sweeper. However, rebooting and not going into Safe Mode also works, but can cause some files not to be cleaned.

What can it be used for ?
The current supported drivers are NVIDIA (Display and Chipset), ATI (Display), Creative (Sound), Ageia (PhysX), MMouse and Realtek (Sound).

All the settings are saved in an ini file. Nothing is created in the registry, so it’s possible to use it as a portable program. Log files can be saved to the harddisk and viewed as well. You can find the logs under the Tools menu.

System requirements:
The Guru3D – Driver Sweeper is fully tested on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows & 7 RC. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported.

More info and revision history can be found here:

  • Official Guru3D – Driver Sweeper homepage click here.
  • Official Guru3D – Driver Sweeper forums click here.
  • Official Guru3D Download – Click here

New in this release:

  • Replaced cog icon with a new icon.
  • Character to seperate registry keys from registry values in the analyse list.
  • Some layout changes.
  • Increased default window size.
  • Update notifications, auto update has been removed.
  • Directory wildcard search for custom filters.
  • Added Norwegian translation. Thanks to Magnus Granås.
  • Added Arabic translation. Thanks to Awadh.

Updated:

  • Improved registry cleaning methods.
  • Improved directory cleaning methods.
  • Rewritten the readme file.
  • Rewritten the help file.
  • Internal libraries.
  • Improved Creative – Sound cleaning.
  • Thanks to Karol C. Improved ATi – Display cleaning.
  • Thanks to several people for supplying additional entries.
  • Improved NVIDIA – Display cleaning. Thanks to theGryphon.

Fixed:

  • Rare crash using backup.
  • %WinDir% variable not working properly.
  • Command Prompt after reboot in rare circumstances. Potential crash. Special thanks fly out to TwL for making this release possible.

DownloadClick here





Creative X-Fi Driver 2.18.0015 – Windows 7 Only

16 06 2010

Creative have released a new driver for X-Fi owners. This driver only supports Windows 7. It’s an official Creative driver, so use it at your own risk.

Release date : 16 Jun 10
This download is a driver providing Microsoft® Windows® 7 support for Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ series of audio devices. For more details, read the rest of this web release note.
File Name : SBXF_PCDRV_LB_2_18_0015.exe

This download is a driver providing Microsoft® Windows® 7 support for Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ series of audio devices. For more details, read the rest of this web release note.

Take note of the following:

  • This download currently supports Windows 7 only. Support for Windows Vista and Windows XP will be available at a later date.

This download supports the following audio devices only:

  • Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty® Professional Series
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi

Fixes:
Resolves the following issues:

  • System taking more than two minutes to shut down.
  • PowerDVD® DX 8.3 (Dell® version) not working properly.
  • Passthrough of Dolby®/DTS® audio to an external decoder not working with Windows Media Player 12.

Requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit or Windows 7 32-bit
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi audio devices listed above

Notes:

  • Do not install this driver for Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio.
  • To install this driver
    1. Download the SBXF_PCDRV_LB_2_18_0015.exe file onto your local hard disk.
    2. Double-click the downloaded file.
    3. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Download: Official Creative





Simple Fix For Dead Microsoft Wireless Receiver for Windows Fault

16 06 2010

Ok, over a year ago we purchased a Microsoft Wireless Receiver for Windows. This device allows you to use Xbox 360 wireless controllers on Windows PC. It’s a fantastic piece of kit, and has seen action on many Games For Windows titles.

It’s a great way to play games. Games For Windows titles contain preset gamepad profiles. The game will be configured as the developers intended. That makes things really simple compared to other HID, which usually require manual configuration to achieve the optimum ease of use.

Another bonus are the Microsoft button icons. Take Kung-Fu Panda for example; there’s several parts of the game that require you to press an ordered sequence of buttons at the correct moment. With a standard controller, it would just say “Button 9” or something. With a Xbox 360 controller, it would draw a simple button icon to indicate exactly where the button is. It’s far less complicated for small children – and much more console-like.

Anyway… ours died. The light no longer lit up, and Windows Device manager couldn’t find it in any USB socket. I was about to throw it away, when I thought I’d google the fault. I’m sure glad I did. A new one would have been expensive, and would have the same issue eventually.

It seems we’re not the first people to have this problem. It almost seems like it’s an intentional fault. A tiny under-rated fuse seems to blow when exposed to heat. If you leave it anywhere slightly warm – there’s a good chance the feeble fuse will break. I guess it wasn’t a good idea leaving it on the amplifier.

I found this post, which contained several quality photos and instructions on how to fix. Sure enough Grandpa-Goat put a blob of solder on “Fuse F1” and it fixed it totally.

For your pleasure, here are some photos and a video. Enjoy!






daniel_k Audigy Series Support Pack 3.8

21 04 2010

daniel_k has released an updated service pack for Audigy owners. This update boasts several fixes including DTS Connect and improved performance. Another great contribution to the Audigy community!

SB Audigy Series Support Pack 3.8
(04/19/2010)

This software/driver pack is unofficial, not supported by Creative Labs.

Use it at your own risk.

Supports any model of the following Sound Blaster cards (based on Emu10kx DSP):

– Audigy

– Audigy 2

– Audigy 2 ZS

– Audigy 4

For Audigy SE/LS/Value and Live! 24-bit cards, click here for a compatible version.

Operating systems supported: 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7 RTM / Vista SP2 / XP SP3

Included in the pack:

– Audigy series driver 2.18.0017.7
– ALchemy 1.41.02

– Audio Console 1.33.01
– DDL and DTS Connect License Activation 2.00.03 (*)
– Dolby Digital Live Pack 3.00.06 (*)

– DTS Connect Pack 1.68.75 [modified 1.03.04] (*)
– EAX Console 3.00.56 (Windows XP only)
– Graphic Equalizer 2.00.65
– MediaSource DVD-Audio Player 2.00.78
– SoundFont Bank Manager 3.21.02
– Speaker Settings 2.00.60

– THX Setup Console 2.10.43 (Windows XP only)

(*) Purchase and activation required, more info at http://buy.soundblaster.com.

Does this driver improve sound quality or performance? Are there any tweaks?

No, this driver does not improve sound quality nor increase performance.

No, there are no tweaks.

If someone states that a driver improves sound quality and performance, you are being fooled, cheated.

It is even worse that the so called tweaks come from a person who is not EVEN technically acknowledged, does NOT know anything about Windows internals, software engineering and sound fidelity that all audiophiles always look for.

If you “feel” the sound better, that is the infamous placebo effect and there is no real proof that any tweaks work.

In fact, I have yet to see a driver that states in its release notes that it improves sound quality.

I’ve disassembled about every single .SYS driver, .DLL libraries and .EXE executables and found nothing.

There are some undocumented registry values, but nothing related to sound quality or performance.

Would the so called tweaks even exist, they would be in my Support Packs, you can bet that.

Audio Console: DTS  Interactive in Encoder tab

Fixes and improvements:

– Fixes Windows crash (BSOD) when you restart, shutdown or suspend Windows with Encoder activated.

– Fixes high CPU usage when DTS Interactive encoder is enabled on Windows XP/Server2003.

– Fix the EAX Console installation error on Windows XP/Server2003.

– Removes the Microsoft Audio Home Theater Effects to (try to) fix the static issue when playing audio using DirectSound interface.

– Adds WaveRT interfaces for Windows 7/Vista

– DTS Interactive encoder now works on Windows XP without any tricks.

– Fixes a cosmetic issue on Audio Console, encoder status now says DTS Interactive.

– Readds support for 64-bit OpenAL and 64-bit ASIO.

– Fixes Microphone not available on Audigy1 cards on Windows 7 / Vista.

– Enables support for WASAPI exclusive-mode event-driven playback, seems to be working just fine.

– Fixes the enhancements errors in Windows mixer and Windows Media Player.

– Adds Microsoft Audio Home Theather Effects for both Speakers and S/PDIF Out endpoints.

– Includes Encoder Switcher to enable DTS Interactive on Audigy cards.

– Fixes the Audio Console “Internal application error” when enabling the DDL Encoder on localized installs.

– Updates Audio Console to display DTS Interactive in the Encoder tab when Encoder switcher is used.

– Workarounds a bug that unexpectedly resets the speaker configuration.

– Prevents an issue during installation on Windows 7/Vista that may result in low volume when certain enhancements are enabled.

– Implements Hardware CMSS Headphone by using a workaround.

– Updates all InstallShield setup scripts to support Windows 7.
– Fixes installation INI to properly install applications depending on the detected OS.
– Removes COM workaround for Equalizer, fixed by Creative.
– Adds workaround to a memory corruption issue preventing Equalizer from starting on Windows 7/Vista.
– Updates shared modules, responsiveness on certain applications is improved.
– Enables CMSS2 and Stereo Surround.
– Fixes 32-bit ASIO not working on Windows 7 x64.
– Fixes Encoder not available on Windows 7 x64 (related to fix above).
– Sets default speaker setting to 5.1 to properly reset configs to their defaults during install (fixes Bass and Treble leves not set to 50% on Windows 7 / Vista).

Undocumented fixes by Creative (not listed in the release notes):

– Fixes the 6.1 speaker configuration is incorrectly available on Windows 7 64-bit (documented).

– Fixes the Enable Dolby Digital Live checkbox not staying checked when Audio Console is closed.

– Fixes Equalizer Out of Memory error.
– Fixes Equalizer settings being lost on Windows 7 / Vista when speaker configuration is changed.
– Fixes low volume on Windows 7 / Vista when default format is set to anything higher than 16-bit, 48kHz.
– Fixes MIDI instruments in Melodic Pool not playing when speaker setting is higher than 2.1 speakers.
– Restores missing Microphone option in Surround Mixer (documented).
– Fixes Microphone mute, volume and +20db boost controls.

Release Notes:

Windows Security warning during driver installation

When prompted with: “Windows can’t verify the publisher of this driver software”, choose “Install this driver software anyway”.

OpenAL 2D benchmark in RightMark 3DSound crashes your system

Due to a driver bug, your system will crash if you run the OpenAL 2D benchmark using 63 buffers. No problem With 62 or fewer buffers. OpenAL 3D and OpenAL 3D + EAX benchmarks are not affected.

Details: DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (0x000000D1) – ctoss2k.sys

System crashes when shutting down or restarting Windows if Encoder is enabled

Due to a driver bug, your system will crash if you try to shutdown or restart Windows with Encoder enabled.

Details: SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION (0x0000003B) – ha10kx2k.sys

There is no DirectSound hardware acceleration on Windows XP 64-bit (x64)

The Audigy driver does not support 64-bit addressing, disabling the DirectSound hardware acceleration and causing multichannel sound to be played only in the stereo channels (front left/right).

Workarounds:

– install the 32-bit (x86) version of Windows XP.
– limit to less than 4GB the amount of RAM available to Windows.
– enable the “Memory Hole” setting in the BIOS Setup, if your motherboard supports it.

Microphone issues on Windows 7/Vista 64-bit (x64) with 4GB of RAM or more

Audigy driver does not support 64-bit addressing, resulting in random issues with the Microphone (static, robotic or distorted voice, white noise).

Workarounds:

– install the 32-bit (x86) version of Windows

– limit the RAM available to Windows to less than 4GB

– enable Memory Hole in BIOS Setup, if your motherboard supports the setting

MediaSource DVD-Audio Player system requirements

– 32-bit edition of Windows 7 / Vista / XP

– any Audigy 2, Audigy 2 ZS or Audigy 4 card

Built-in Decoder on Windows 7 / Vista (requires Service Pack 1)

To use the built-in decoder, make sure it is enabled in Audio Console.

Select “SPDIF Out (Creative SB Audigy (WDM))” as the output device of your player and then configure the AC3/DTS filter to send the stream through SPDIF.

When you restart your computer, the Tone settings (Bass and Treble) are not applied.

Just readjust one of the controls one time per boot.

Advanced EQ and Special FX not available on Windows 7 / Vista

These presets don’t work on Windows 7 / Vista.

There is no sound in games with OpenAL support on Windows XP

Disable Advanced EQ and Special FX selecting “No effect” before running the game or program.

Equalizer settings are lost

When you run a game with OpenAL support or using Creative ALchemy, the Equalizer settings are lost.

Just run Equalizer and the saved setting is loaded automatically.

Tone settings are reset when speaker configuration is changed

Bass and treble settings are reset when speaker configuration is changed.

DTS Encoder Switcher

The Encoder Switcher is now part of Audio Console.

A shortcut is created in the Programs -> Creative folder in Start Menu.

For additional info, read thoroughly the ReadMe.txt file included in the \EncSwitcher folder where you extracted the Support Pack.

On Windows 7/Vista, when using DTS Interactive encoder, you MUST use ANOTHER SPDIF Out device, otherwise the CTAudSvc (Creative Audio Service) won’t work properly (high CPU usage).

Hardware CMSS Headphone

To use the hardware CMSS you need to select “Disable all enhancements” in the “Enhancements” tab on:

Playback Devices -> Speaker Properties

Now check the Speaker configuration in “Playback devices”.

If it is Stereo, run Audio Console and change it to 4.1, 5.1 or 7.1 and only after that change it to Headphones.

This procedure ensures that CMSS(1) will work after a Windows restart, otherwise only CMSS2 will work.

MIDI Device Configuration Utility for Windows 7 / Vista

Use this utility to change the MIDI playback device for 32-bit and 64-bit applications.

Download:

Filename: Audigy_SupportPack_3_8.exe

File size: 64.3 MB

CRC32 hash: 48ED6316

SHA-1 hash: 7501A42BBEB600B57EF888F3E0F466E8A00E0653

To verify the file hashes, I recommend HashTab.

Remove all apps, driver then remove the Creative folders in the Program Files (x86) and Program Files folders.

Under the 64-bit edition of Windows 7/Vista, you might want to try the Win7Vista_4GB_MicFix.reg registry patch that might fix the issues with the Microphone when there are 4GB of RAM or more memory installed. Simply double click the registry file and restart Windows. It is not guaranteed to work on every system.

Mirrors: Hotfile (by daniel_k)

Sendspace (uploaded by NoMoreGoatSoup)

All files are property of Creative Technology Ltd, unless otherwise noted.





SBAX_PCDRV_LB_2_18_0017 Windows Driver

12 04 2010

Release date : 9 Apr 10
This download is a driver providing Microsoft® Windows® 7, Windows Vista® and Windows XP support for Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy® series of audio devices. For more details, read the rest of this web release note.
File Name : SBAX_PCDRV_LB_2_18_0017.exe

This download is a driver providing Microsoft® Windows® 7, Windows Vista® and Windows XP support for Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy® series of audio devices. For more details, read the rest of this web release note.

This download supports the following audio devices only:

  • Sound Blaster Audigy including Platinum and Platinum eX series
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 including Platinum, Platinum eX, and Value series
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS including Platinum and Platinum Pro series
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro and Sound Blaster Audigy 4
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Notebook PCMCIA

Fixes:
Resolves the following issues:

  • Audio device driver files are not removed completely when uninstalling from Windows Device Manager.
  • Sound Blaster Audigy audio device does not appear in the Encoder tab of Audio Control Panel.
  • Unable to run 64-bit version of ASIO software.
  • Device error caused by enabling audio enhancements.
  • Incorrect speaker configuration shown in Audio Control Panel.
  • System unable to shut down when Dolby® Digital Live is enabled in Windows 7.
  • Passthrough of Dolby/DTS® audio does not work with Windows Media Player 12 in Windows 7.
  • Speaker settings in Audio Control Panel are not in sync with Microsoft Speaker Setup in Windows 7 64-bit.
  • System becomes unstable when uninstalling the audio device driver in Windows 7 64-bit.

Known Issues:

  • Driver decoding of Dolby/DTS audio does not work with Windows Media Player 12 in Windows 7. As a workaround, use a 3rd party software media player to playback DVDs.
  • Applications from the original Sound Blaster Audigy CD will not work with this download on Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Click here to download the latest applications that are available for your product.
  • Users are advised to use Audio Console included in this download to change speaker configurations.
  • Gameport is not supported in Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
  • 6.1 speaker mode is not supported by Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
  • Vista / Windows 7 microphone issues still remain (undocumended by Creative Labs, typical – *Goat)

Requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 7 32-bit, Windows Vista 64-bit with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Vista 32-bit with SP1, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) 2005 or Windows XP MCE 2004
  • Sound Blaster Audigy audio devices listed above

Notes:

  • DO NOT install this driver for Sound Blaster Audigy LS, Sound Blaster Audigy SE, or Sound Blaster Audigy Value.
  • To install this driver
    1. Download the SBAX_PCDRV_LB_2_18_0017.exe file onto your local hard disk.
    2. Double-click the downloaded file.
    3. Follow the instructions on the screen.
Download: