Sound Cards

So I restart my pc cause it's been on for a week and is starting to get a bit sluggish... when lo and behold when it comes back up... no sound... so I figure huh, must be some crappy windows not loading the driver right.... I restart again. Still no good. I re-install the driver, do a full shut down, bring the pc back up, and still no sound. So I've decided I'm tired of this sound card, it's been a bitch since day one and I want to buy a new one.

Here's what I'm looking for, I need something fairly high end, since I'll be switching from an audigy platinum and I want something fairly comparable. My favorite features of the audigy is the front panel and remote... I can live without the remote, but that front panel is just so damn handy. In any case, I'm sure with some work I could build a front panel with most of that same stuff on there (not the optical though T.T).

So I guess what I'm looking for is a nice sound card, and possibly a front panel to replace this one. Any suggestions would be welcome, and anyone suggesting another creative product will be ignored ^_^. Creative may have been where it was at for sound cards back in the day... but they sure as hell aren't anymore.
 

Grifter

New Member
Honestly, you don't have much of an option besides Hercules sound cards. Philips aren't that great or high-end as they are sorta budget based, M-Audio has a good card but pricy...and with less support and a front panel.

Your best bet is be the Hercules Game Theator XP 7.1.

Goodluck with your sound card choice
 
Yeah that's what it's sounding like from me looking around. I'll be going to fry's electronics tonite to pick up a sound card, if they have it then I'll get it... if not then I'll probably end up with one of those turtle beach santa cruz cards or something.
 

Alexvrb

Member
Actually I believe the gametheater XP, digifire 7.1 and Fortissimo III all use the same DSP. So it comes down to features. Unless you need that breakout box, I'd just get the Fortissimo III. Unless you want to shell out money for an Audigy II, hurray.
 
The breakout box is fairly important, though I'm not about to buy another product from creative labs. I'm tired of their horrible drivers. I'm thinking I can recreate most of the stuff I need for either a front panel or a breakout box myself, but I've got another question, has anyone ever had 2 sound cards running at the same time before? can you get 1 audio source (say winamp) to output to both at the same time? If I use mic in on one will audio come out both of them? Just need some info like that. Also I'm thinking about playing around with linux again soon, so it'd be good if there was support for the sound card under xfree86 or something.
 

Grifter

New Member
I have personally never done that, but I heard some people have, I wouldn't know how you would exactly setup the sourcing the audio along two cards, but it is possible to from what I've heard.

And i understand your issue with Creative Labs, they really screw most of their costumers over in the support area, I'm using an Audigy, but luckily I have the better Audigy 2 drivers installed, so I get all the features of that card minus the crystal DACs and the DVD-Audio playback..but it saved me a few hundred.

I would look into the newsgroups or something, I know I've seen one about how to connect two SB live cards together through some of their daughter card interface, but not sure that would apply to whatever cards your going to use.
 
Yeah that's what I was sort of afraid of, I don't want to deal with a hardware line between them, just wanted to know if it was possible, hopefully in software. More sound cards need to have a headphone jack in addition to all the output jacks, and the mic in jacks and stuff.

I switch between my 5.1 setup and my headphones a lot.
 

Grifter

New Member
I know what you mean exactly. I don't think there will be any real way within software, I guess the best thing to do is when you install your cards, make sure they are away from the video card as much as possible and using different IRQs, and see if whatever apps you plan on using allow for you to select different audio cards...I don't think many do this.

Sounds like a cool experiment, I would say go for the high end setup you want, and then just spend a few dollars on a cheap philips or the cheap Fortissmo III sound card and you can try experimenting. But would suck if it doesn't work out well, but you shouldn't waste more $40 on a cheap card like that..or if you want to find a cheap and older audio card, as you do plan to swap your headphones so its not like your gonna even need a new retail one.
 

Curtis

Member
I don't think you'll have much luck with running two sound cards side by side especially if they are different brands. You'll have too many driver conflicts, as neither card will be aware of the other. Maybe, you could get two of the same running together, but it would be flaky at best. It's only pro audio cards (with multiple inputs, usually) that are really designed to work together (i.e 2x8 track sound card of the same type).

Also, it is generally the rule that a piece of software needs to be specifically written to take advantage of multiple outputs - the standard Winamp drivers cant do this, though I'm not sure you can't get one that can. Assuming you are successful running the two cards, you'd have to manually switch between outputs in Winamp.
 
Upon looking at the hercules game surround fortissimo 7.1, it has exactly what I needed. It's port for speakers 6/7 can be told to act as a headphones port, and it's got 2 inputs (mic and line in). I'll probably create a box for the top of my pc with cables running to those ports on the back. I actually like the sound coming out of it better than the audigy... and it's less bulky.
 
The real icing on the cake is that apparently the log file used to uninstall the drivers and software has been corrupted... oh well... need to format soon anyway.
 

Alexvrb

Member
Originally posted by Scared0o0Rabbit@Aug 16, 2003 @ 06:43 PM

Upon looking at the hercules game surround fortissimo 7.1, it has exactly what I needed. It's port for speakers 6/7 can be told to act as a headphones port, and it's got 2 inputs (mic and line in). I'll probably create a box for the top of my pc with cables running to those ports on the back. I actually like the sound coming out of it better than the audigy... and it's less bulky.
Yes, its a very nice card. You'll like the drivers, they allow you to quickly switch between speakers and headphones. They also don't give your computer indigestion.
 
Yeah, so far I'm liking it. I almost went with that santa cruz board over this one... but anyone who's been to a fry's... in particular the one in san jose california knows that 90% of their product is returned items that are defective. I got this one cause all teh santa cruz cards had been returned or opened... except for one box, where I think someone stole the sound card lol. So, if I tell the software that I am using a 5.1 setup, does that mean that the port for 6/7 is automatically treated as the headphones port? or do I need to tell it to make that the headphones port elsewhere?
 

antime

Extra Hard Mid Boss
Originally posted by Scared0o0Rabbit@Aug 16, 2003 @ 12:13 AM

Also I'm thinking about playing around with linux again soon, so it'd be good if there was support for the sound card under xfree86 or something.
What on earth would XFree86 have to do with sound support?

Anyway, I have a Game Theater and I'm satisfied with it. The external box is very nice and really saves you some trouble. The Crystal chips are also supported in Linux (at least in OSS-Free, but I assume ALSA as well).
 
I thought xfree86 did a bunch of drivers? wouldn't they do the sound drivers then for sound cards, if you'd read my original post more closely, you'd have seen that I was going to play around with linux again, I don't run linux as a primary operating system and I've never done more than played with it, don't assume that other people know as much about linux as you do.
 

Curtis

Member
XFree86 are the group who implement the Xwindow system for Linux. This has nothing to do with sound drivers, though they are the ones who deal with graphics drivers.

Sound is provided by OSS or ALSA, neither of which has anything to do with XFree86, or XWindow for that mater.
 
Well one of my friends convinced me to take the plunge last night... and everything worked except the network card *grumble* I dun really feel like sticking another network card in there... and it sounds like I have to build drivers or something weird like that to get this to work (according to a few search results on google), so I think I'm just going to forget it for now.
 

Alexvrb

Member
Hercules recently released new drivers for the CS4624 based cards, I think 6.09. The one with DLS soundbank support is 14.7MB, but its worth it.
 
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