Tag: "soundblaster"

Workaround for Audigy 2 ZS recording problems on Windows 7 64-bit

Those trying to record on systems with 4GB or more of RAM with an Audigy 2 ZS, possibly X-Fi and other models too, have probably come across the problem with distortion, noise, or choppy sound (like talking through a fan). This affects the microphone, line-in and also 'what u hear', important for capturing audio that is currently being played.

The trouble stems from Creative's drivers not being entirely 64-bit compatible, Creative have no date for any fix to be implemented, and haven't even announced if they're working on any such fix.

As it does require 4GB or more RAM for this problem to show up, it only affects 64-bit systems. For those with similar issues on 32-bit systems, this is not a workaround.

There's a few different options, none of which are particular pleasant. First up, you can pull RAM out of your system, or enable a memory hole feature if your BIOS supports one, enabling the memory hole in the BIOS will cause your RAM to max out at around 3GB.

However there is an easier solution, that doesn't require you to open your case like removing the RAM physically but it does still require a reboot. This involves setting the operating system itself to set the maximum amount of RAM.

Press Start, type in msconfig and press enter.

System Configuration tool

This will launch the System Configuration tool. You'll want to click on the Boot tab, then click on Advanced, and set the maximum memory to a number under 4096. Unfortunately setting it to a figure like 4095 in practice will probably limit you back down to about 3GB as it looks like it disables an entire channel on the RAM.

Then reboot, record what you need to, then when you want your RAM back, just undo the change and reboot again. Not the best workaround but it'll have to do until Creative fox their drivers.

Low volume with Audigy 2 ZS on Windows 7

Just a quick note for those blasting Windows 7 onto their machines this week. You may notice lower than usual volume with your SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS. I've had a few e-mails along these lines and it seems to be due to the drivers currently on Windows Update.

I'd recommend trying the latest Daniel K drivers, in the past these have resolved problems I've had with lower than normal volume compared to Windows XP/Vista. At the moment the latest ones are here, however there will be a new release soon to correct a few bugs in these. The latest official drivers are dated from July but I suspect also resolve this issue, although I haven't tested these since the release candidate days.

Updated Audigy and X-Fi drivers for Windows 7

Daniel_K has released an updated driver package for the Audigy and X-Fi Soundblasters. The one key fix I've come across is CMSS now works on the Audigy 2 ZS.

Update for RC: These are what I'm using at the moment with my Audigy 2 ZS with the 7100 release candidate build:

Forum post.
Rapidshare download.
Filefront download.

MD5 hash: 16BEC9D7C047EF46DDA4F40AF1D47B1C.

Older drivers:

Audigy forum post.
RapidShare download.
MegaUpload download.

If you're downloading from elsewhere here's the MD5 hash: 66DA82FC18E49F3B32172A61BEDD0164.

X-Fi post.
RapidShare download.
MegaUpload download.

And here's the MD5 hash: 76CBA45C9DF761FFBC8BD61D17B3D127.

From my testing over the last few days the Auidgy works as well on Windows 7 as it does on Windows Vista.

Audigy 2 ZS drivers for Windows 7

I've been getting truck loads of e-mail on which drivers I'm using with my Audigy 2 ZS on Windows 7. To try and stem the tide here's the quick findings:

1) The Audigy 2 ZS drivers that Windows installs from Windows Update for both 32-bit and 64-bit occationally produce garbled audio. These are dated 2006 and are probably identical to the original Windows Vista release.

2) Newer drivers resolve this, or at least it hasn't happened in the last week I've been using these drivers. I've been using the modified 'Danial_K' drivers on both Vista and 7. They fix the garbled audio issue on Windows 7. Creative’s own newer Vista release may fix it, but I haven't tested them.

3) They do have some problems however, CMSS doesn't work, and some of the Creative apps don't work on 64-bit.

4) Updated: Download the updated drivers from here.

For X-Fi people, I know the drivers from Creative's website will install if you run them in compatibility mode as they do a version check off the bat which would fail.

Due to the volume of e-mail I'm getting on this issue I won't be able to respond to all of them, don't take it personally.

Thank you Creative - Sound Blaster Audigy drivers on Windows (7) Update

Update: For the Audigy 2 ZS people with garbled sound I was having the same issue, I noticed the Creative driver is pretty old dated 2006. Since installing the 'Daniel_K' drivers he did for Vista I've not had anymore issues.

Update 2: Quick run through on what drivers I'm using and where I got them.

Update 3: New release, fix issues with CMSS that older drivers had.

Update 4: Resolving lower than normal volume compared to Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Audio and game fans will no doubt have many similar stories to tell over the last decade regarding Creative's Soundblaster drivers. Let's just say, not many of those stories will be positive.

It got to the point where I stopped recommending average computer users dedicated sound cards and just advised them to use any onboard sound instead. Why? Because if you get a Soundblaster you had to go to their website, try and navigate around it then try and find the right drivers, put up with the drivers in many cases wanting to install a bunch of other stuff with them. Back in the old Windows XP days Creative's early drivers wanted to even put a Creative splash screen on your machine - which would start with every boot.

Or you could just put up with slightly worse sound, yet a sound card that would just work. Every onboard sound card I've come across has drivers on Windows Update. Creative never wanted their drivers up on there (at least not since Windows XP pre-SP1 days). They'd rather you run through a load of hoops to get them instead and bundle a few additional surprises along with them.

However I just installed Windows 7 build 6801 on my machine again today and was getting ready to hit Creative’s website to get the drivers. As I was doing that Windows was installing all the drivers from Windows Update in the background, things like the display driver, and the TV Tuner drivers, and low and behold it also said it was installing Audigy drivers too.

Hopefully this won't just be for the pre-release versions and shows a new direction Creative is taking with their software and drivers. Thanks Creative you've just saved me 10 minutes of my time.