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X-Fi functionality on any Realtek HDA Codec

SabreWulf69

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Well been good talking not too many people enjoy talking bout audio, I'm off to FLAC-r-ise some new CD's I got, then listen to my new Foo Fighter Greatest hits on Vinyl album :)
 

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That's my next step, A good turntable. Well, it's been nice completely hijacking this thread with you. lol. :toast:
 
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Ket is not exactly an expert in audio. Hell, he doesn't even qualify as an audiophile. No offense intended to him, but take his suggestions with a grain of salt.

Creative cleared up most issues, especially on the Titanium line. Not perfect, but not horrible either. Xonar is good too, but also has driver issues. There are also Auzentech X-Fi cards to consider. Slightly better drivers than creative, a hell of a lot better hardware. Some models even have built in headphone amps. As far as sound quality, ALC889 competes with none of them, not even the bottom of the line X-fi.

But meh, if you can't afford one, you can't afford one. lol.

PS: Can I ask what Shure earbuds you have?

Holy crap did the forum's drop the ball on alerting me to new posts! There is like a dozen new posts haha

Anyways I originally had Shure e2c that I bought a few years ago when I got my Creative Muvo n200 MP3 player, and with it being so small it couldn't power my (old and not very good) around-ear headphones. Since I couldn't stand the standard earbuds you get with most MP3 players which are the rounded-hard plastic and hurt your ears, I asked on another forum where a few of us 3Dfx people still lurk. One guy recommended Shure and so I got the e2c. Loved them to death! Then the little Husky puppy that wandered in and adopted us as her family chewed the cables :( (I still have them if I wanted to try fixing em) Mom had pity on me and said she'd get me some new ones so I looked to see what Shure had for new ones since mine were at least 5 years old :) Now I have the SE210, which I believe I got off NewEGG for much cheaper than their MSRP ($99 I think). They are equally as nice, but I think the e2c might have offered a slight bit more bass, but these SE210s are much more comfortable and the memory-foam ear pieces I like much more as they don't have that oil to expand the yellow foam which will go bye-bye if you wash them :S The most surprising about the e2c and SE210 is their sound isolating ability, which surprised the hell out of me. We fly to Alaska every year and it's a 5+hr flight, but with these in the flight noise is killed by about 80%! Also when I have them in around the house, if someone walks in my room or talks to me and I'm not seeing them, I have noooo clue they are since I can't hear a sound outside of whatever I'm listening too (even if it's a quite TV show). So I recommend Shure to anyone who loves listening to music through earbuds, or has a cheaper set of over-ear headphones :)

I don't mean to imply Ket is a god when it comes to things, but he does know a fair bit in the way of coding, which is why I trust his opinion on some things. :\ I've been out of the soundcard scene for a long time though so I just haven't bothered checking things out at all, and the only research I've done recently is just to see how good the onboard's compare now (when I was looking at a 790GX with ALC889A) and my friend was thinking about an X-Fi Fatality Champ and I read the one review that pitted it against the top end XONAR and included the ALC889, but the X-Fi just couldn't compare. Yea, it did beat the XONAR in 2 or 3 tests, but there was something like a dozen so ... heh I can't remember exactly but I though I read another one where they had the XONAR, Creative's X-Fi and then Auzentech's, where clearly the latter did much better than Creative's but only put it on par with the XONAR. Again, that is just going off what I can remember and could easily be wrong :p If I ever were to get an X-Fi it would ONLY be by Auzentech! I mean if you hadn't read any reviews on them and just simply went off looks, you would think the Auzen is just leaps better heh Then there are the mods you can do to cards, which I haven't seen for the X-Fis but figure they exist, where you replace the OpAmps & power caps on the Audigy 2s. Which my friend has 2 of and plans to do that at some point :p Though the BlackGates are :eek: expensive haha So I figured some of the low ESR standard Rubycon would still be much better than Creative's factory cap/s. But my last sound card (which I don't know where it is ATM) was the Hercules Digi-Fire 7, which is not exactly anything good anyways so I wouldn't substitute my onboard for it heh

Anyways excessive rambling aside... :laugh:
 
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Well been good talking not too many people enjoy talking bout audio, I'm off to FLAC-r-ise some new CD's I got, then listen to my new Foo Fighter Greatest hits on Vinyl album :)

That's my next step, A good turntable. Well, it's been nice completely hijacking this thread with you. lol. :toast:

Funny you both mention that! My friend and I love how the old Vortex 2 sounds compared to the Live/Audigy 1 & 2, and we were trying to think of a way to compare them and I figured he could use their recording/playing abilities to do that. So I said since he was likes listening to vinyls, hook the turntable up to the computer and "rip" a record to FLAC lol Then run the files through RMAA and listen to them and see which does better. While I don't think he's gotten around to it yet, another interesting test would be to play the recorded file through the opposing sound card :p

Also don't know how well these are, but I had gotten a weekly Buy.com 'flyer' in my email and it had a USB turntable to let you rip records :) I figure since it was only like $40 that it would be not the best.

I like talking tech (hasn't it shown? :laugh:) even if I don't quite know enough about the audio side of it to really be of much interest to talk it with heh
 

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Holy crap did the forum's drop the ball on alerting me to new posts! There is like a dozen new posts haha

Anyways I originally had Shure e2c that I bought a few years ago when I got my Creative Muvo n200 MP3 player, and with it being so small it couldn't power my (old and not very good) around-ear headphones. Since I couldn't stand the standard earbuds you get with most MP3 players which are the rounded-hard plastic and hurt your ears, I asked on another forum where a few of us 3Dfx people still lurk. One guy recommended Shure and so I got the e2c. Loved them to death! Then the little Husky puppy that wandered in and adopted us as her family chewed the cables :( (I still have them if I wanted to try fixing em) Mom had pity on me and said she'd get me some new ones so I looked to see what Shure had for new ones since mine were at least 5 years old :) Now I have the SE210, which I believe I got off NewEGG for much cheaper than their MSRP ($99 I think). They are equally as nice, but I think the e2c might have offered a slight bit more bass, but these SE210s are much more comfortable and the memory-foam ear pieces I like much more as they don't have that oil to expand the yellow foam which will go bye-bye if you wash them :S The most surprising about the e2c and SE210 is their sound isolating ability, which surprised the hell out of me. We fly to Alaska every year and it's a 5+hr flight, but with these in the flight noise is killed by about 80%! Also when I have them in around the house, if someone walks in my room or talks to me and I'm not seeing them, I have noooo clue they are since I can't hear a sound outside of whatever I'm listening too (even if it's a quite TV show). So I recommend Shure to anyone who loves listening to music through earbuds, or has a cheaper set of over-ear headphones :)

I don't mean to imply Ket is a god when it comes to things, but he does know a fair bit in the way of coding, which is why I trust his opinion on some things. :\ I've been out of the soundcard scene for a long time though so I just haven't bothered checking things out at all, and the only research I've done recently is just to see how good the onboard's compare now (when I was looking at a 790GX with ALC889A) and my friend was thinking about an X-Fi Fatality Champ and I read the one review that pitted it against the top end XONAR and included the ALC889, but the X-Fi just couldn't compare. Yea, it did beat the XONAR in 2 or 3 tests, but there was something like a dozen so ... heh I can't remember exactly but I though I read another one where they had the XONAR, Creative's X-Fi and then Auzentech's, where clearly the latter did much better than Creative's but only put it on par with the XONAR. Again, that is just going off what I can remember and could easily be wrong :p If I ever were to get an X-Fi it would ONLY be by Auzentech! I mean if you hadn't read any reviews on them and just simply went off looks, you would think the Auzen is just leaps better heh Then there are the mods you can do to cards, which I haven't seen for the X-Fis but figure they exist, where you replace the OpAmps & power caps on the Audigy 2s. Which my friend has 2 of and plans to do that at some point :p Though the BlackGates are :eek: expensive haha So I figured some of the low ESR standard Rubycon would still be much better than Creative's factory cap/s. But my last sound card (which I don't know where it is ATM) was the Hercules Digi-Fire 7, which is not exactly anything good anyways so I wouldn't substitute my onboard for it heh

Anyways excessive rambling aside... :laugh:

I have a pair of HiFiMan (formerly Head Direct) RE0's. If you can afford a sound card, I strongly recommend an Auzentech X-Fi Forte. It's built in headphone amp really helps my headphones shine. Much better than a standard headphone hookup. Blows even my Audigy 2ZS away.

Guru3d has very good sound card reviews, btw. Always check them out if you plan to buy a sound card.

Funny you both mention that! My friend and I love how the old Vortex 2 sounds compared to the Live/Audigy 1 & 2, and we were trying to think of a way to compare them and I figured he could use their recording/playing abilities to do that. So I said since he was likes listening to vinyls, hook the turntable up to the computer and "rip" a record to FLAC lol Then run the files through RMAA and listen to them and see which does better. While I don't think he's gotten around to it yet, another interesting test would be to play the recorded file through the opposing sound card :p

Also don't know how well these are, but I had gotten a weekly Buy.com 'flyer' in my email and it had a USB turntable to let you rip records :) I figure since it was only like $40 that it would be not the best.

I like talking tech (hasn't it shown? :laugh:) even if I don't quite know enough about the audio side of it to really be of much interest to talk it with heh
Well, that won't necessarily work, as the input stages are different than the output stages. It could very well be that the card with the better, higher quality sound output actually has shitty recording abilities and vice-versa. But it would still be a fun experiment. lol.
 
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I have a pair of HiFiMan (formerly Head Direct) RE0's. If you can afford a sound card, I strongly recommend an Auzentech X-Fi Forte. It's built in headphone amp really helps my headphones shine. Much better than a standard headphone hookup. Blows even my Audigy 2ZS away.

Guru3d has very good sound card reviews, btw. Always check them out if you plan to buy a sound card.

Well I haven't heard of your headphones, but that is of no surprise to me :p Similarly any sound reproducing device can drive my Shure earbuds :laugh: Even that Muvo with it's single AAA battery, which runs the rest of the thing as well and still manages to get ~8-14hrs of audio playback :rockout: That depends on a few factors though, like if it's short bursts of use (like an hour at a time), the brand of battery and I only can only assume the volume level. Won't deny though, that something with more power produces much better audio in the full spectrum, like my Smartphone, a computer or portable DVD player. If the time ever does come and I'm in the market for a true sound card (which I don't see being anytime soon), I'll give Guru a look. I always make sure to research the hell out of stuff before I go for it though, and if I can't find enough info I make sure to pester you folks who know things regarding the matter :laugh: :respect: I suspect going from my Realtek model 850 onboard chip, to an HDA ALC892A will be quite a change, even if I haven't listened to audio through my old setup in coming up on exactly a year.


Well, that won't necessarily work, as the input stages are different than the output stages. It could very well be that the card with the better, higher quality sound output actually has shitty recording abilities and vice-versa. But it would still be a fun experiment. lol.

True. But now that you metion that, I think the reason why I brought up doing that was because he was going to record a record, but it's been a month now and the specifics as to what spawned my insane idea are vague haha
 

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As long as the output from the turntable is at line level and not source level (ie has a preamp) then you should be fine in recording it. The quality will vary on many things for example the quality of the outputs and inputs as mentioned, quality of the turntable and quality of the cabling.
 
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Just wanted to bump this up and say thanks again to Ketxxx! These drivers just gave my laptop's sound a new lease on life! Anybody with an ASUS U30Jc give these a shot!
 
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Are they gonna be updated though? Looks pretty old.
 
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Don't need to be updated!
 
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Are they gonna be updated though? Looks pretty old.

Sort of can't be. Things seem to have changed a bit since this time, due to Creative being a bit (understatement) ticked at Ket lol

I've actually been trying to do basically the same thing as what he did, but on a different level. Mind you I really don't know exactly what I'm doing since all I do know is from just reading the install INF files, comparing the differences, and then changing/adding those in another INF.

Basically this is what I've been able to gleam from the multiple different INF files is that there is basically 3 main differences between all of them, with scattered small differences between pretty much every one of them.

  1. The first and obvious, is what I'd consider a small one, they obviously are for different chip models, even manufacturer's.

  2. The first big thing is some are including a fairly big difference in overall functionality, by including more and/or different APO files (Audio Processing Object I think). I'm not really sure how one take's advantage of these, but it is
    the main thing I've been experimenting with.

  3. The second big thing is it appears to me that since pretty much everything is done in software (meaning the CPU basically does all the work) and so almost all the Realtek Codecs are able to do what any other one can. It's pretty much limited to the number of output ports that really limits their full potential, like most laptops/netbooks use a 200-series codec (ALC268 is what I have in this laptop I'm typing on) and the 2 basically denotes that it is a 2-channel device (though I believe it technically can do 4 channels). Some have 600 series, and even 800 series, which I believe my friend's Asus X83 laptop is an ALC 882.

  4. The third big thing I notice is that there is a good number of Creative files in the standard driver pack and the difference between them and ones from motherboard makers which are for their models with X-Fi or THX is basically nothing :confused:

  5. The other little thing is one that confuses me, how to further trick software that your codec is one that is supported by it. Example is the ASRock 890GX Deluxe4 model which has the ALC892 codec and THX software (which ironically the THX driver files are by Creative), but when I add in my Gigabyte's ALC892 device info into the correct INF file the THX software doesn't recognize it as being supported. So there must be some other tidbit I'm missing.

  6. Then the last tidbit, is another small one, that while I've not yet found a way to get more recently released Creative things (or I guess even the older versions either) to work when I've installed the drivers that utilize all of the creative files, I still have gotten ALchemy (EAX to OpenAL wrapper) to appear to basically be working when I use it's DSOUND.dll file in a game supporting EAX; however, my issue is that I don't notice any audio change w/ or w/o it :( Unlike Realtek's own 3D SoundBack (which only had one release sadly) which in for example Oblivion, REALLY makes a difference. Only problem, which is the basis of my attempts at getting my 892 to function more as a Creative sanctioned product, is using 3D SoundBack crashes Oblivion when you try to load a game :ohwell: It's not just me either, it seems to be anyone trying it. *sigh*

    I suspect that it is mostly due to not gaining the full functionality out of the drivers, as in the Playback Devices properties page where the "Dolby" tab usually sits, resides a Sound Blaster tab which I assume has a bunch of software options. The only thing that shows up is the basic tab layout with a blank box, that I presume would list all the different audio effects, and a checkbox which I can select to disable all effects :\ I did just have an idea that I'll give a shot, but it sadly is unlikely to work.

Also been having trouble with the SRS configuration, but I really haven't focused much on it and I gather the issue it caused me is due to trying to implement EVERY single function from all the different INF files lol I just don't know enough about the INF structure to correctly add them all in together and coexist with each other. I'm pretty damn sure that is precisely the issue as well, the SRS APO is trying to take dominance over the audio while simultaneously so is the Creative APO. Also the Creative APO and how I have it implemented, seems to be overriding the Dolby feature and as a result is removing the Dolby audio tab, along with removing all EQ functions to boot :(

Ket doesn't have any reason to bother with these anymore though, since he uses a Xonar and only his laptop has a Realtek chip. Nor do I for that matter since my new motherboard will have a VIA audio chip and I'll as well only have the laptop with a Realtek :p But until the board arrives and while I still have my 890GX, I'll try and get SOMETHING to friggen work lol
[/ramble]

Anyways for anyone who is interested in trying to use a different INF on their system, it's quite easy to do. You just need to find the INF that your chip is in (HDART for 32bit or HDXRT for 64bit is an almost sure bet) and open it up, CTRL+F open Find... and search for: [AzaliaManufacturerID (with that first [ since it will come up with a different line first)

That is where it lists the supported devices, then copy the line with your model, which for example this would be for my ALC892:
"Realtek High Definition Audio" = IntcAzAudModel, HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0892

Copy it all and then paste into the INF that has functions you want to try (HDACR or HDXCR is the main Sound Blaster MB [motherboard I assume] INF), next to all of the others, or simply replace them all if you wish. Then either do one of two things; remove ALL the other INF files from the folder leaving just the one you added your ID to, OR to rename that "Realtek High Definition Audio" part to something you'll recognize as being your modified file. Otherwise you'll have a few choices pop up when you try to install them. Then copy the folder location where that INF resides and open up Device Manager, expand the Sound section then right-click on your chip and select Upgrade Drivers. Click the bottom "Browse" option, then the bottom "Let me pick", then (assuming you have the User Account Control settings already set to off (never notify)) you paste in that copied location and select your entry in the list. It'll pop up saying the driver isn't signed/certified, which is because you modified an INF changing it's MD5, but won't hurt anything. After that it's all done, and if you have more luck than I do, you'll have whatever features you were aiming for :laugh:

Good luck, god speed, have fun! And don't thank me because I'm sure that nothing will be gained, and I only have Ket to thank for inspiration haha (But I'm sure he doesn't want to be bugged, since I bug him mmmore than enough!)
 
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Alright, well I made a breakthrough today! ALchemy works (program loads, will inject a game with the files but crashes when I try to edit settings), which I'm very pleased about! I was able to play Oblivion and have a noticeable change in audio while playing Oblivion :D Unlike Realtek's 3D SoundBack which crashes when I try to load a save game. Haven't tried any other games though.

Also got the Creative software to recognize my ALC892 enough to let me register and install some software, but it still says my device isn't supported, but my main goal was ALchemy anyways!

Downside to this all: The Equalizer doens't work in my latest incarnation, and only allowed for presets to function in an older modded INF. Dolby's Surround Emulation and Bass Boost worked though.

Sadly though Daniel_K, who was really famous for his Audigy -> X-Fi driver mods, has already done all of this. Apparently all under the blessing of Creative (who he apparently irked quite a bit in the past), so I'll be giving these a go here shortly...
http://forums.creative.com/t5/Sound...ftware-1-1-for-Win7-Vista-XP-TRIAL/m-p/556350

I was going to include my INF, but I'm now not able to get the EQ and Dolby working as it had been earlier. Doesn't really matter since I found the above link heh I'll let you all know how it works :p

In 64bit, HDXGW was what I added my device into too, with it's "Realtek High Definition Audio" line renamed to "SB X-Fi MB High Definition Audio". I did change some things in the INF, but I honestly have no idea if they even matter :\ Only mentioning it all for anyone's learning purposes, since I was able to achieve all I have from not knowing really anything on how the INF is constructed to getting this stuff working in a manner of a few days.


EDIT: Well so far Daniel's drivers as they are "out of the box", broke ALchemy and the rest of the software suit doesn't work either. So I'll be trying to tweak them to work better :p Will be epically sad if I, as a person who doesn't even know how to code of hex edit, can improve them and increase their overall functionality >_>
 
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if your using the mod and everything is working fine, there's probably no need to
 

Mussels

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can i download the latest drivers from creative and use it on this mod

no, this mod is a software package that adds onto realteks drivers, NOT onto creatives drivers.
 
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whatever happened to this? is it still possible to get a realtek x-fi with latest drivers from realtek?
 

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whatever happened to this? is it still possible to get a realtek x-fi with latest drivers from realtek?

at a guess, creative and realtek didnt like it and took measures to prevent it happening again.
 
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whatever happened to this? is it still possible to get a realtek x-fi with latest drivers from realtek?

Yes, but you need a crack, and that isn't allowed by these forums. Even the original version was useless with out the X-Fi MB software for Crystalizer and CMSS-3D. MIGHT be able to run ALchemy, but I recall there being problems with that too.

Might as well lock the thread in light of that haha Aside from running the old version of driver, there's little point in keeping it open. IMO a least :\

EDIT: My post a few posts up points to Daniel_K, who creative was giving the OK to mod drivers to do this, might want to check my link. My ASRock 890FX board came with X-Fi MB, as did the E350M1, so I haven't any need to bother with mods :p
 
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