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Encyclopedia > Sound Blaster Audigy 4

The Sound Blaster family of sound cards was for many years the de facto standard for audio on the IBM PC compatible system platform, before PC audio became commoditized, and backward-compatibility became less of a feature. The creator of Sound Blaster is the Singapore-based firm Creative Technology, also known by the name of its United States subsidiary, Creative Labs. Image File history File links Sound_Blaster_Logo. ... A Sound Blaster Live! Value card, a typical present-day PCI sound card. ... De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... One of the first PCs from IBM - the IBM PC model 5150. ... In computing, a platform describes some sort of framework, either in hardware or software, which allows software to run. ... In technology, especially computing, a product is said to be backward compatible (or downward compatible) when it is able to take the place of an older product, by interoperating with other products that were designed for the older product. ... Creative Technology Limited (SGX: C76, NASDAQ: CREAF) is a listed manufacturer of computer multimedia products based in Singapore where the firm was initially founded by Sim Wong Hoo (born 1955) on July 1, 1981. ...

Contents


The pre-Sound Blaster years

The history of Creative sound boards started with the release of the Creative Music System ("C/MS") board in August 1987. It contained two Philips SAA 1099 circuits, which, together, provided 12 voices of square-wave bee-in-a-box stereo sound plus some noise channels. 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Philips SAA 1099 sound generator was a 6-voice sound chip used by some 1980s devices, notably: The SAM Coupé British-made computer The Creative Music System (C/MS) and Game Blaster cards by Creative Labs, which were apparently the same hardware. ...


It is interesting to note that these circuits were featured earlier in various popular electronics magazines around the world. For many years Creative tended to use off-the-shelf components and manufacturers' reference designs for their early products. The various integrated circuits had white or black paper sheets fully covering their top thus hiding their identity... On the C/MS board in particular, the Philips chips had white pieces of paper with a fantasy CMS-301 inscription on them; real Creative parts usually had consistent CT number references.


Surprisingly, the board also contained a large 40-pin integrated circuit, bearing a CT 1302A CTPL 8708 serigraphed inscription and looking exactly like the DSP of the later Sound Blaster. Presumably, it could be used to automate some of the sound operations, like envelope control.


A year later, in 1988, Creative marketed the C/MS via Radio Shack under the name Game Blaster. This card was identical in every way to the precursor C/MS hardware. Creative did not even bother to change any of the labeling or program names on the disks that came with the Game Blaster. 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... RadioShack Corporation (formerly Radio Shack) (NYSE: RSH) runs a chain of electronics retail stores in the United States, as well as parts of Europe. ...


First Sound Blasters: the right bundle

The first board bearing the Sound Blaster name appeared in November 1989. In addition to Game Blaster features, it had a 11-voice FM synthesizer using the Yamaha YM3812 chip, also known as OPL2. It provided perfect compatibility with the competing Adlib sound card, which had gained support in PC games in the preceding years. Creative used the "DSP" acronym to designate the digital audio part of the Sound Blaster. This actually stood for Digital SOUND Processor, rather than for the more common digital signal processor meaning, and was really a simple microcontroller from the Intel MCS-51 family (supplied by Intel and Matra MHS, among others). It could play back monaural sampled sound at up to 23 kHz sampling frequency (AM radio quality) and record at up to 12 kHz (slightly better than telephone quality). The sole DSP-like feature of the circuit was ADPCM compression and decompression. The card probably lacked an anti-aliasing filter, as it had a characteristic "metal junk" sound. Finally, it featured a joystick port and a proprietary MIDI interface. This interface lacked simultaneous input and output capabilities, so music software had to use the FM synthesizer in order to play the input received from a MIDI keyboard. 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Frequency modulation synthesis (or FM synthesis) is a form of audio synthesis where the timbre of a simple waveform is changed by frequency modulating it with a modulating frequency that is also in the audio range, resulting in a more complex waveform and a different-sounding tone. ... Yamaha YM3812 The Yamaha YM3812 also known as the OPL2 (OPL is an acronym for FM Operator Type-L) is a sound chip (i. ... AdLib, Inc. ... A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor designed specifically for digital signal processing, generally in real-time. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Pin diagram of 40 pin Intel 8051 Microcontroller The Intel 8051 was a Harvard architecture single chip microcontroller (µC) developed by Intel in 1980 for use in embedded systems. ... Mécanique Avion TRAction or Matra is a French company covering a wide range of activities mainly related to aeronautics and weaponry which today operates as the Lagardère Group. ... In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion of one sound recording, the sample, and reusing it as an instrument or element of a new recording. ... Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a modulation technique. ... Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is a system designed to transmit information between electronic musical instruments. ...


It is difficult to tell what microcontroller was used as "DSP" on the first Sound Blaster models, since not only did Creative stick a black label with a fantasy (C) COPYRIGHT 1989 CREATIVE LABS, INC. DSP-1321 inscription on the top, but also carefully scratched two thirds of the plastic surface underneath. Analysis of the device pinout suggests that it was an Intel 8051 microcontroller with a custom mask ROM. The labels on the FM synthesizer circuit and on the companion Yamaha 3014B digital-to-analog converter said FM1312 and FM1314 respectively, but luckily the manufacturer references remained intact below. Later models do away with the obfuscation, and the manufacturer's identity (and, usually, an Intel mask copyright notice) is retained on the DSP. Pin diagram of 40 pin Intel 8051 Microcontroller The Intel 8051 was a Harvard architecture single chip microcontroller (µC) developed by Intel in 1980 for use in embedded systems. ...


In spite of these limitations, in less than a year, the Sound Blaster became the top-selling expansion card for the PC.


The premature usage of the DSP word backfired at Creative when they finally included some real digital signal processing features in later Sound Blaster models and were obliged to coin a new term for them, ASP, for Advanced Signal Processing.


Sound Blaster 1.5 released in 1990 dropped the "C/MS chips". They could be purchased separately from Creative and inserted into two sockets on the board. This change was probably related to Philips having discontinued the design, and to the lack of enthusiasm among users; the chips could be bought mail-order from Creative until 1993. 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ...


Sound Blaster 2.0 added support for auto-init DMA, which assisted in producing a continuous loop of double-buffered sound output. A later revision, 2.01, increased the maximum playback rate to 45KHz (the same maximum as the Sound Blaster Pro, released around the same time).


Sound Blaster MCV was a version created for IBM PS/2 model 50 and higher, which had a MicroChannel bus instead of the more traditional ISA one. It was little used. For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation). ... PS/2 can refer to: IBM Personal System/2, a series of post-PC computers sold by IBM starting in 1987. ... Micro Channel architecture (in practice almost always shortened to MCA) was a proprietary 16 or 32-bit parallel computer bus created by IBM in the 1980s for use on their new PS/2 computers. ... Industry Standard Architecture (in practice almost always shortened to ISA) is a computer bus standard for IBM compatible computers. ...


Improved quality: stereo and 16 bits

Sound Blaster Pro

The Sound Blaster Pro (May 1991) was the first significant redesign of the card's core features: It could record and play back digitized sound at faster sampling rates (recording up to 22KHz, playback up to 45KHz), could do so in stereo (up to 22KHz), and added a "mixer" which allowed independent volume control of the various subsystems on the card as well as enable a crude highpass or lowpass filter. The first version of the Pro also used two YM3812 chips (one for left audio channel and the other one for the right one; both chips had to be programmed identically to get mono sound if not using the AdLib compatible interface). Version 2.0 switched to the improved Yamaha YMF262 chip, also known as OPL3. MIDI support became full-duplex and offered time stamping features, but was not yet industry-standard MPU-401 compatible. 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Yamaha YM3812 The Yamaha YM3812 also known as the OPL2 (OPL is an acronym for FM Operator Type-L) is a sound chip (i. ... The Yamaha YMF262 also known as the OPL3 (OPL is an acronym for FM Operator Type-L), is an improved version of the sound chip Yamaha YM3812 (OPL2). ... The MPU-401, where MPU stands for MIDI Processing Unit, is an important but now obsolescent standard for MIDI interfaces on the PC platform. ...


The Sound Blaster Pro was the first Creative sound card to have a built-in CD-ROM interface. Most had an interface for a Panasonic (Matsushita MKE) drive, prior to the popularity of IDE CD-ROM drives. After the release of the Sound Blaster Pro, Creative also began to sell Multimedia Upgrade Kits, typically including a sound card, Panasonic CD-ROM drive (model 531 for single-speed, or 562 for the later 2x drives), and a large selection of multimedia software titles on the revolutionary CD-ROM media.


Sound Blaster cards were also sold to PC manufacturers and third-parties. Many of these so-called OEM cards have different types of CD-ROM interfaces or other unusual features.


Sound Blaster 16

Sound Blaster 16
Sound Blaster 16
main article: Sound Blaster 16

The next model, Sound Blaster 16 (June 1992) introduced 16-bit digital audio sampling to the Sound Blaster line. They also, like the older Sound Blasters, natively supported FM synthesis through a Yamaha OPL-3 chip. The cards also featured a connector for add-on daughterboards with wavetable synthesis (actually, sample-based synthesis) capabilities complying to the General MIDI standard. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (939x710, 222 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 WavEffects ISA. Scanned by me. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (939x710, 222 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 WavEffects ISA. Scanned by me. ... Sound Blaster 16 is an ISA sound card from Creative Technology. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Frequency modulation synthesis (or FM synthesis) is a form of audio synthesis where the timbre of a simple waveform is changed by frequency modulating it with a modulating frequency that is also in the audio range, resulting in a more complex waveform and a different-sounding tone. ... The Yamaha YMF262 also known as the OPL3 (OPL is an acronym for FM Operator Type-L), is an improved version of the sound chip Yamaha YM3812 (OPL2). ... A daughterboard or daughtercard is a circuit board meant to be an extension or daughter of a motherboard (or mainboard), or occasionally another card. ... Wavetable synthesis is used in digital musical instruments (synthesizers) to produce natural tone-like sounds. ... Sample-based synthesis is a form of audio synthesis that can be similar in structure to either subtractive synthesis or additive synthesis. ... General MIDI is a specification for synthesizers which imposes several requirements beyond the more abstract MIDI standard. ...


Creative offered such daughterboards in their Wave Blaster line. Finally, the MIDI support now included MPU-401 emulation (in dumb UART mode only, but this was sufficient for most MIDI applications). The Wave Blaster was simply a MIDI peripheral internally connected to the MIDI port, so any PC sequencer software could use it. A UART or universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter is a piece of computer hardware that translates between parallel bits of data and serial bits. ...


Sound Blasters with onboard wavetable synthesis

Sound Blaster AWE32

Sound Blaster AWE32
Sound Blaster AWE32
main article: Sound Blaster AWE32

The Sound Blaster AWE32, introduced in March 1994, was a full-length ISA card, measuring 14 inches (356 mm) in length. The AWE32 included two distinct audio sections; one being the Creative digital audio section with their audio codec and optional CSP/ASP chip socket, and the second being the E-mu MIDI synthesizer section. The synthesizer section consisted of several sound processors, the most notable being the EMU8000 synthesizer chip and the EMU8011 effects processor. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1280x463, 245 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE32 IDE. CT3990. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1280x463, 245 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE32 IDE. CT3990. ... Sound Blaster AWE32 is an ISA sound card from Creative Technology. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal. // Events January Bill Clinton January 1 : North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect. ... Industry Standard Architecture (in practice almost always shortened to ISA) is a computer bus standard for IBM compatible computers. ... A Codec is a device or program capable of performing encoding and decoding on a digital data stream or signal. ... E-mu Systems was a synthesizer maker and pioneer in the manufacture of low-cost digital sampling music workstations. ...


Sound Blaster 32

Sound Blaster 32 IDE
Sound Blaster 32 IDE

The Sound Blaster 32 (SB32) was a value-oriented offering from Creative, announced on June 6, 1995, designed to fit below the AWE32 Value in the lineup. The SB32 lacked onboard RAM, had no proprietary CD-ROM connections, no Wave Blaster header, and no CSP port. The boards also used the Vibra digital audio chip which lacked adjustments for bass, treble, and gain. The SB32 was fully equipped with the same MIDI capabilities (the same EMU8000/EMU8010 combination) as the AWE32, and in fact had the same 30-pin SIMM RAM expansion capability. The board was also fully compatible with the AWE32 option in software and even used the same Windows drivers. Once the SB32 was outfitted with 30-pin SIMMs, it was generally a transparent experience to the more expensive AWE32. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1280x596, 264 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster 32. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1280x596, 264 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster 32. ... Sharma Ram (disambiguation) Ram Sharma is an amazing, talented teenager that lives in Canada His talents include rapping, comedy, and cooking He is bound to success! ... The CD-ROM (an abbreviation for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory (ROM)) is a non-volatile optical data storage medium using the same physical format as audio compact discs, readable by a computer with a CD-ROM drive. ... Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is a system designed to transmit information between electronic musical instruments. ... 30- (top) and 72-pin (bottom) SIMMs. ...


Ironically, although the Vibra chip was designed to be lower cost and less functional, it actually has higher quality output than the chips on many of the older and more expensive AWE cards.


Sound Blaster AWE64

Sound Blaster AWE64
Sound Blaster AWE64
main article: Sound Blaster AWE64

The AWE32's successor, the Sound Blaster AWE64 (November 1996), was significantly smaller, being a half-length ISA card (meaning it was only half the length of the AWE32). It offered similar features to the AWE32, but also has a few notable improvements, including support for greater polyphony. The 30-pin SIMM slots from AWE32/SB32 were replaced with a proprietary memory format which could be (expensively) purchased from Creative. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1280x809, 379 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1280x809, 379 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold. ... Sound Blaster AWE64 is an ISA sound card from Creative Technology. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... Industry Standard Architecture (in practice almost always shortened to ISA) is a computer bus standard for IBM compatible computers. ... Polyphony is a musical texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony). ... 30- (top) and 72-pin (bottom) SIMMs. ...


The main improvements were better compatibility with older SB models, and an improved signal-to-noise ratio. The AWE64 came in 3 versions: A Value version (with 512KB of RAM), a Standard version (with 1 MB of RAM), and a Gold version (with 4 MB of RAM and a separate SPDIF output). Signal-to-noise ratio (often abbreviated SNR or S/N) is meaningful both in the context of Electrical engineering and, informally, for Usenet or other newsgroup-like services. ... Sharma Ram (disambiguation) Ram Sharma is an amazing, talented teenager that lives in Canada His talents include rapping, comedy, and cooking He is bound to success! ...


Multi-channel sound and F/X

Ensoniq AudioPCI-based cards

Ensoniq AudioPCI
Ensoniq AudioPCI

In 1998, Creative acquired Ensoniq Corporation, manufacturer of the AudioPCI, a card extremely popular with OEMs at the time. AudioPCI offered a full-featured solution, being a PCI sound card with wavetable MIDI, and offering 4-speaker DirectSound3D surround sound, A3D emulation, and full DOS legacy support. Creative's acquisition filled a market segment where Live! was too expensive, and it gave them excellent DOS support, a feature that was proving difficult for companies to get working with PCI cards (typically early PCI audio cards are limited to DOS boxes within Windows 9x.) Image File history File links Download high resolution version (832x759, 261 KB) Summary Ensoniq AudioPCI. Scanned. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (832x759, 261 KB) Summary Ensoniq AudioPCI. Scanned. ... Ensoniq Corp. ... Ensoniq AudioPCI 1000 Ensoniq AudioPCI Towards the end of the 1990s, Ensoniq was struggling financially. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... DirectSound3D is an addition to Microsofts DirectX system which is intended to standardize 3D audio under Microsoft Windows. ... A3D (Aureal 3-Dimensional) is a technology developed by Aureal that delivers sound with a three-dimensional effect through headphones, two or even four speakers. ... Microsoft Windows is a range of commercial operating environments for personal computers. ...


Creative released many cards using the original AudioPCI chip, Ensoniq ES1370, and several boards using revised versions of this chip (ES1371 and ES1373), and some with relabeled AudioPCI chips (they say Creative on them.) Boards using AudioPCI tech are usually easily identifiable by the board design and the chip size because they all look quite similar. Such boards include Sound Blaster PCI64 (April 1998), PCI128 (July 1998), Creative Ensoniq AudioPCI, and Sound Blaster 16 PCI. PCI Bus Digital Audio and Music Controller Ensoniqs AudioPCI ES1370 sound chip was the next-generation in sound technology from the company. ...


These cards were full-featured, but the features were limited in capability. MIDI, for example, was rather poor in quality and there was no ability to customize the sample sets beyond the 3 pre-made sets (2, 4, and 8 MB) included with the cards. The chips do not support hardware acceleration of any kind as they are entirely software-driven.


These cards do not support SoundFonts. SoundFont collectively refers to a file format and associated technology designed to bridge the gap between recorded and synthesized audio, especially for the purposes of computer music composition. ...


Sound Blaster PCI512

The Sound Blaster PCI512 was basically a lower-priced version of the Sound Blaster Live! Series, without the reprogramable ROM. Drivers are the same as the SB LIVE!.


Sound Blaster Live!

main article: Sound Blaster Live!
Sound Blaster Live!

Sound Blaster Live! (August 1998) saw the introduction of the EMU10K1 processor, a 2.44 million transistor DSP capable of 1000 MIPS for audio processing. The EMU10K1 featured DirectSound acceleration, EAX 1.0 and 2.0 (environmental audio extensions, which competed with A3D before the demise of the latter), a high-quality 64-voice sample-based synthesizer (a.k.a. wavetable), and integrated the FX8010 DSP chip for real-time digital audio effects processing. Sound Blaster Live! is a PCI sound card from Creative Technology. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1006x900, 324 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Value. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1006x900, 324 KB) Summary Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Value. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... Million instructions per second (MIPS) is a measure of a computers processor speed. ... DirectSound provides the interface between applications and the sound card on Windows platforms, enabling applications to produce sounds and music. ... The environmental audio extensions (or EAX) are a number of digital signal processing presets for audio, present in Creative Labs later Sound Blaster sound cards and the Creative NOMAD/Creative Zen product lines. ... A3D (Aureal 3-Dimensional) is a technology developed by Aureal that delivers sound with a three-dimensional effect through headphones, two or even four speakers. ... Sample-based synthesis is a form of audio synthesis that can be similar in structure to either subtractive synthesis or additive synthesis. ... A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor designed specifically for digital signal processing, generally in real-time. ...


The Sound Blaster Live! featured higher audio quality than previous Sound Blasters, as it processed the sound digitally at every stage, and because of its greater chip integration that reduced the analog signal losses of older, larger cards. Sound Blaster Live! supported multi-speaker output, initially up to a 4-speaker setup (4 satellites and a subwoofer). Later versions of the Live!, usually called Live! 5.1, offered 5.1-channel support which adds a center channel speaker and LFE subwoofer output, most useful for movie watching. LFE is an abbreviation that is commonly used in describing an audio track contained within a 5. ...


Sound Blaster Audigy

main article: Sound Blaster Audigy

The Sound Blaster Audigy (August 2001) featured the Audigy processor (EMU10K2), an improved version of the EMU10K1 processor that shipped with the Sound Blaster Live!. The Audigy could process up to 4 EAX environments simultaneously with its upgraded on-chip DSP and native EAX 3.0 ADVANCED HD support, and supported from stereo up to 5.1-channel output. Sound Blaster Audigy is a PCI sound card from Creative Technology. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... The environmental audio extensions (or EAX) are a number of digital signal processing presets for audio, present in Creative Labs later Sound Blaster sound cards and the Creative NOMAD/Creative Zen product lines. ...


The Audigy was advertised as a 24-bit sound card. However with some controversy, the Audigy's audio transport (DMA engine) was fixed to 16-bit sample precision at 48 kHz (like Live!), and all audio had to be resampled to 48 kHz in order to be rendered through its DSP, or recorded from its DSP.


Sound Blaster Audigy 2

main article: Sound Blaster Audigy 2

The Sound Blaster Audigy 2 (September 2002) featured an updated EMU10K2 processor, sometimes referred to as EMU10K2.5, and had an audio transport (DMA engine) that could support playback at 24-bit precision up to 192 kHz (2-channel only. 6.1 limited to 96 kHz) and recording at 24-bit precision up to 96 kHz, thereby overcoming the single biggest criticism of its predecessor. However, the DSP again was limited to 16-bit at 48 kHz, so all DSP effects had to be disabled to prevent harmful resampling. Sound Blaster Audigy 2 is a PCI sound card from Creative Technology. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ...


The Audigy 2 supported up to 6.1 speakers and had improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) over the Audigy (106 vs. 100 decibels (A)). It also featured built-in Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (which is technically 7.1) decoding for improved DVD play-back. Signal-to-noise ratio (often abbreviated SNR or S/N) is meaningful both in the context of Electrical engineering and, informally, for Usenet or other newsgroup-like services. ... The decibel is a dimensionless unit (like percent) that is a measure of ratios on a logarithmic scale. ... The A-weighting curve is one of a family of curves defined in IEC179 and various other standards for use in Sound level meters. ... Dolby Digital is the marketing name for a series of lossy audio compression technologies by Dolby Laboratories. ...


Sound Blaster Audigy 4

The Sound Blaster Audigy 4 improves on the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS by improving the SNR to 113 dB. It features much of the same core technology as the Audigy 2 ZS (it actually uses the same Audigy 2 chip), it however uses a new external I/O hub and has superior analog DACs offering higher audio digital-to-analog conversion quality. It also allows for simultaneous recording of up to six audio channels in 96 kHz/24 bit. It still supported a maximum of 7.1 channels up to 96 kHz/24bit, and stereo output at 192 kHz/24bit. [1]


Sound Blaster Audigy 4 SE

This board is extremely similar if not identical to the Audigy 2 Value. It has no firewire port, nor gold connectors. However it uses the same audio DSP and is functionally as capable as the Audigy 2 and 4 series (other than Audigy 2 SE). It does feature full hardware acceleration of DirectSound and EAX.


Sound Blaster X-Fi

main article: Sound Blaster X-Fi

The X-Fi (for "Extreme Fidelity") was released in August 2005 and comes in XtremeMusic, Platinum, Fatal1ty FPS and Elite Pro configurations. The 130 nm audio chip operates at 400 MHz and has 51 million transistors. The computational power of this processor, i.e. its performance, is estimated as 10,000 MIPS (million instructions per second), which is actually about 24 times higher than the estimated performance of its predecessor – the Audigy processor. It is interesting to note that the processor’s computational power is optimized for the work mode selected in the software. With the X-Fi's "Active Modal Architecture" (AMA), the user can choose one of three optimization modes: Gaming, Entertainment, and Creation; each enabling a combination of the features of the chipset. The X-Fi uses EAX 5.0 which supports up to 128 3D-positioned voices with up to four effects applied to each. The X-Fi, at its release, offered some of the most powerful mixing capabilities available, making it a powerful entry-level card for home musicians. Sound Blaster X-Fi is a PCI sound card from Creative Technology. ... A nanometre (American spelling: nanometer) is 1. ... MegaHertz (MHz) is the name given to one million (106) Hertz, a measure of frequency. ... Photo of transistor types (tape measure marked in centimeters) Transistor in the SMD form factor The transistor is a solid state semiconductor device used for amplification and switching. ... The environmental audio extensions (or EAX) are a number of digital signal processing presets for audio, present in Creative Labs later Sound Blaster sound cards and the Creative NOMAD/Creative Zen product lines. ...


Driver software modification (soft mod)

Some drivers from the Audigy 2 ZS have been soft-modded by enthusiasts. These can be installed on Creative's older cards, including Sound Blaster Live!, Audigy, and Audigy 2. It has been claimed to offer improved sound quality, hardware acceleration of higher EAX versions in games, 64-channel mixing for Audigy 1, and an overall improvement in the card's performance. Several forum posts across the web have reported favourable results with this technique, excepting Live! users where the drivers only add the ability to use the newer software applications (i.e. the newer mixer applet). Comments on forums from developers of the software mod have said that Live!'s hardware is not capable of EAX3 nor 64-channels of hardware sound mixing.


Later, in 2004, Creative released updated drivers top-to-bottom for the Audigy through Audigy 4 line that put these cards basically at feature parity on a software level. As of 2006, the entire Audigy lineup uses the same driver package. This effectively ends the need for the modified drivers.


See also

// Sound card model numbers Video card model numbers References Creative Labs Home ... A Sound Blaster Live! Value card, a typical present-day PCI sound card. ... AdLib, Inc. ... Turtle Beach is both a sound card and headphone manufacture and direct competitor with Creative Labs branded Sound Blaster. ... The GF1 chip Gravis Ultrasound or GUS is a sound card for the IBM PC compatible system platform, made by Canadian-based Advanced Gravis Computer Technology Ltd. ... A sound card based on VIA Envy24 HT-S chip The VIA Envy24 audio chipset series delivers some of the best sound quality available for personal computers. ... Realtek logo Realtek Semiconductor Corp. ... VDMSound is a modern program that allows Windows XP to have Sound Blaster support. ...

References

June 23 is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 191 days remaining. ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

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