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Modder Unlocks Vista Driver Features on Creative Sound Cards

Creative has received much criticism for charging owners of Audigy sound cards for its ALchemy software, which offers improved audio support for certain games under Windows Vista. However, a modder by the name of Daniel Kawakami has managed to build hybrid drivers using a combination of XP and Vista files as well bypassing certain driver checks to enable several features including:
  • Dolby/DTS decoding
  • CMSS, CMSS2 and Stereo Surround (originally only CMSS was available, but this setting also affects ALchemy/OpenAL and Kawakami notes that it’s thus particularly useful)
  • Advanced EQ and Special FX presets
  • DVD Audio
  • Hardware MIDI synthesizer (Kawakami says he wrote a small utility that automatically detects and changes the default Vista MIDI Synth during driver install or can change it later using its GUI. Some media players let you choose the MIDI synthesizer)
  • Equalizer
  • WaveRT
You can read some more complete details of his work at Custom PC and download the files from here. The modded driver was originally uploaded to Creative’s forums, although the company responded in a somewhat heavy handed manner, as you can see in this thread.Source: Custom PC

Creative: ASUS Misleading Customers on EAX Drivers

PC sound card maker Creative Labs said in a e-mail message today that rival hardware manufacturer ASUS is misleading its customers by claiming that new drivers for ASUS sound cards support EAX 3,4 and 5, a set of environmental enhancements for sound in games. Responding to an announcement by ASUS that newly released drivers for its Xonar line of sound cards support EAX, Creative communications VP Phil O'Shaughnessy said that the drivers effectively trick games into outputting EAX-capable sound, but they don't actually fully support it. "There are a small number of PC game titles that specifically query the audio device on the system to see if EAX 5 is available before they will attempt to render more than 64 3D simultaneous audio voices," O'Shaughnessy said. "The new ASUS drivers are falsely reporting EAX 5 capabilities in order to get these games to output 3D audio on ASUS sound cards. ASUS customers are not getting a genuine EAX Advanced HD experience with this driver update. Furthermore, the several hundred games that support EAX 3 or EAX 4 for delivering in-game effects will not provide those effects from ASUS sound cards." he added. ASUS representatives are still awaited to comment on the story.Source: Shacknews, Boot Daily

New Creative ALchemy X-Fi Drivers for Windows Vista Released

Recommended for all Creative X-Fi owners who use Windows Vista OS, a new ALchemy driver has been released on Christmas Eve. This download is an application for Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi series of audio devices that restores 3D audio and EAX effects for certain DirectSound3D games in Windows Vista. Without this, most DirectSound3D games will be reduced to stereo output without any EAX effects.

DOWNLOADSource: Creative

New Creative X-Fi Vista 32/64-bit Drivers Released

Creative has released some new X-Fi drivers for Windows Vista 32/64-bit. This download supports the following audio devices only: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic, X-Fi XtremeGamer, X-Fi Platinum, X-Fi Fatal1ty, X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro, X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series and X-Fi Elite Pro. Do not install this driver for Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi series Vista Driver 2.15.0004 fixes:
  • Resolves an issue for Windows Vista 64-bit systems with 4GB RAM
  • Resolves loud speaker noise when restarting your computer
  • Resolves an issue that causes OpenAL games not to respond
DOWNLOADSource: Creative

Creative Announces Three New 2.0 Speaker Systems

Creative has introduced three new 2.0 systems to its line-up. The leader of the pack is the GigaWorks HD50 which, besides featuring BasXPort technology, boasts titanium super tweeters for smooth playback. Standing at only 14.1cm, Creative GigaWorks HD50 claims to offer both power and incredible sound like no other 2.0 system. Next in the line is the already known GigaWorks T40, which features glass fibre cone drivers and a cloth design that provides better resistance to humidity and temperature changes. Last but not least, is the Inspire T10 for perfectly balanced audio performance. All three systems are set to be soon available in Singapore and on Creative's online store. The GigaWorks HD50 and GigaWorks T40 systems are priced at $149.99 while the Inspire T10 will cost $49.99.

Source: TechConnect Magazine

Creative Releases PCIe X-Fi Xtreme Audio

Creative Technology today announced the PCI Express (PCIe) Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio card that is designed to make music and movies sound way better. It features the award-winning X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio technologies which enhance audio playback and deliver virtual surround sound effects. The Creative PCIe Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio will be available in late November at a suggested retail price of US$69.99.

Creative Unveils its Newest ZEN Player

Creative unveiled today details for its latest player, the Creative ZEN. Here are some of the main ZEN features:
  • Capacity: 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB
  • 2.5" display with 16.7 million colors (320 x 240)
  • SD Expansion Slot (possible support for SDHC)
  • Audio: MP3, WMA (and WMA-DRM), AAC (supports iTunes Plus tracks) and Audible
  • Video: WMV, Divx, Xvid, MJPEG, and TIVO to Go
  • FM tuner and Voice Recorder
  • Battery Life: 25 hours of Audio, 5 hours for Video
  • Dimensions: 55 x 83 x 11.3mm (65g)
  • Pricing: $149, $199, $299 respectively
The ZEN will officially debut at IFA starting August 31st, and should be released sometime in September. You can pre-order them right now from Amazon.com. Special thanks to our reader DanielF50 for this news story.

Source: epiZENter

Creative Sells ALchemy Audigy Edition at $9.99

It seems that Creative Labs is now selling ALchemy Audigy Edition for $9.99 (USD). As you may know the ALchemy project enables DirectSound3D audio to be processed by your Sound Blaster Audigy and deliver EAX effects in Microsoft Windows Vista. Without Creative ALchemy, most DirectSound games running in Vista will be reduced to stereo output without any EAX effects. This project is available freely for Creative X-Fi owners. For unknown reasons Creative Labs has decided to sell this wrapper to Audigy owners. Here's the link where you have to buy the software in order to use EAX effects in Vista with your "old" Creative Audigy Series/Audigy 2/Audigy 2 ZS/Audigy 2 ZS notebook or Audigy 4 sound blaster.

Source: NGOHQ

Value Creative Sound Cards Get Full Vista Drivers

Creative has finally released full Vista-compatible drivers for some of its low-end sound cards. The new 1.04.0076 drivers are available for both 32-bit (63.39 MB) and 64-bit (63.39 MB) versions of Windows Vista, with support for Audigy Value, Audigy SE, Audigy LS, and Live! 24-bit sound cards. The new 1.04.0076 driver pack includes Creative's audio console, device control, EAX console and speaker settings control panels. Users can also adjust speaker configurations, audio output quality, S/PDIF sampling rate, sound effects, and Creative multi-speaker surround settings.Source: The Tech Report
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