Talk:Sound Blaster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Computing (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Brands (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Brands, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Brands on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

ASIC in AWE64[edit]

It would be helpful to define ASIC in the AWE64 section

Dr. Sbaitso[edit]

Does anybody know the first Sound Blaster kit which included Dr. Sbaitso? --Fastfission 06:11, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I can tell you it was included with the Sound Blaster 2.0, but I have no idea about 1.0 or 1.5
I checked my disks the other week that came with my 1.5, and it was there (entire 5.25" disk dedicated to it, actually). I can't verify the original 1.0 release at this time.--Trixter 16:26, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
It was included with my Sound Blaster 16 (early model, bought in 1993), on a 3.5" floppy called "Text to speech disk" --Keelhaul 19:31, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Sound Blaster X-Fi[edit]

This badly looks like a sales pitch:

It has 10,340 MIPS of processing power (for reference, a 3.6 GHz Pentium 4 has 10,224 MIPS). This is 24 times more power than offered by the Audigy. [...] X-Fi will also bring about 24 bit 3D MIDI. For more information, see Creative's website.

That content and wording sounds like it was directly ripped from one of Creative's Web pages. As the MIPS article which is linked to describes, it is a number only really quotable for marketing purposes. You don't see Pentium 4 even mention MIPS, for example.

I'm going to scrub it. Leedar 06:55, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

"Sound fonts"[edit]

They might be worth mentioning, they were important to me.

Mini Din[edit]

I am trying to decide if I should add a separate entry for the "Mini Din" or just add info to this entry.

The original Live! had a proprietary digital output that Creative refered to as the "Mini Din." The "Mini Din" was a 9-pin mini din connector, much like the mini dins used on S-Video cable, on PS2 mice and keyboard with small connectors, etc. but with a different pin configuration. One advantage of this soundcard was a user could use a microphone and digital speakers at the same time, an impossible task with the base model of all subsequent Creative sound cards which share a port for S/PDIF digital in/output and microphone connectivity. "Platinum" and high models have additional digital outputs, as well as microphone inputs which applications may not be able to select (many software creaters assume a computer has only one microphone input).

When the Live! was introduced, Creative-owned Cambridge Soundworks (and maybe others) sold expensive speaker systems (FPS2000, etc) that used the mini din connector as the only digital input. When Creative dropped support for this proprietary connection in the very next upgrade to the Soundblaster Live! series, speaker owners were left out in the cold. However, adapters can now be purchased from Creative.

Techincal information here:

Sound Blaster 32 missing![edit]

Someone forgot this card from 1996! The name is Sound Blaster 32

  • I have one. It's basically an AWE32. They even have the 30-pin RAM slots. Completely compatible with AWE32. I will put a paragraph about it in. --Swaaye 20:00, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I have a SB AWE32 CT3780 which has no SIMM slots and no ASP. It does have 3 different CD drive connectors. IIRC it was either some sort of OEM card or a value card Nil Einne 14:26, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Sound Blaster PCI64, PCI128 does support Soundfonts[edit]

I have one. These are rebranded ensoniq chips, but this doesn't mean they don't support soundfonts. Though they are in Ensoniq format, typically named *.ecw. At least they are included on the install cd. It seems that due to lack of format information there are no selfmade .ecw soundfonts around?!? 11:05, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

The .ecw files aren't Soundfonts. They are "Ensoniq Concert Wavetable" sound sets and are in a completely different, and unknown, format. Ensoniq never bothered to release information on them so no one was ever able to make a custom set, to my knowledge. No board with an ES137x chip can use Soundfonts. You can not load a Soundfont in DOS on an Audigy->SBLive due to the use of this Ensoniq driver, btw. SoundFonts are an E-mu technology and are only supported in Windows, never in DOS. Even on a ISA SBAWE32 you had to load them in Windows if you wanted to use them with a DOS game. Tricky. --Swaaye 18:58, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Are you sure? I distinctly remember loading soundfonts in DOS on some card, possibly an AWE32 or an AWE64... Indeed I seem to remember one or two DOS games even came with soundfonts an autoloaded them (not as common as with Gus patches tho IIRC) Nil Einne 14:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

sound card/sound blaster[edit] 18:39, 29 January 2006 (UTC) Can you pls tell in details how a sound card works and please include the circuit diagram of the sound card itself

SoundBlaster 16 truly 12-Bit?[edit]

According to Crossfire Design the SB 16, at least the original version, is actually a 12-Bit card that can accept 16-Bit data. Does anyone know if this truly is the case? Anss123 16:39, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, this is correct. The Adlib Gold used 12-bit DACs and marketed itself as a 12-bit card... Creative, in their shrewd sneaky ways, did exactly the same thing but marketed the card as a 16-bit card and propogated the myth by having the card only accept 16-bit data, which the DSP would truncate before feeding to the D/A converters. So this was yet another stab in the heart for AdLib (poor little guy :-) --Trixter 16:24, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

No mention of Audigy 4 family?[edit]

The article makes absolutely no mention that I could see of the Audigy 4 ([1])... is it possible someone could include some information? --DK 04:44, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Strange, let me check the history log... ahh, here:
===Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro=== +
- The Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro 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. It also allows for simultaneous recording of up to six audio channels in 96 kHz/24 bit. Its output is the same as the audigy 2. 7.1 up to 96 kHz/24bit and stereo at 192 kHz/24bit.
is that it? Someone deleted it some days ago.--Anss123 05:15, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Intro statement[edit]

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.

This seems rather wrong to me. IMHO, the reason backward compatibility and Sound Blaster lost it's de facto standard was primarily because of Windows. Windows basically removed the need for backward compatibility, yuo only need a Windows driver. It was with Windows that Creative's dominance really began to crumble. Up to then, you SB was what you needed for games (which was what you generally needed audio for, baring the odd CD). Sure Gus and Roland MIDI boards had some support but SB was the defacto standard. No credible game didn't support SB. 14:41, 16 June 2006 (UTC)


I'm surprised neither this article or Creative article really mentions the common criticism of Creative's driver and software design mentality, their support for non Windows OSes and opensource drivers in general etc. IMHO, this should be touches on in both article and the kXdriver project should also be mentioned. Nil Einne 14:54, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Feel free to dive into it. But honestly, as someone who's used many sound cards over the years (including Creative's since Sound Blaster Pro), I think most of the driver complaints are urban legend. Most of it is word of mouth spread by people on the web with zero real evidence behind it. I truly have few complaints with Creative's cards, especially once you get into the PCI era. Their ISA cards were more trouble, but that was more due to the cutbacks on hardware design than drivers (i.e. no hardware MPU-401 and awful output quality).
For example, I've used Sound Blaster Live! on many VIA MVP3 and KTxxx boards with no problems. I did have problems with a VIA Apollo Pro-based board, however. There are issues between the VIA PCI implementation and the Live! that can crop up for some. This however is mainly caused by VIA's negligence in designing their PCI bus. On pre-KT266 boards, the PCI bus had just horrible bandwidth and latency problems. It showed up with RAID cards as well, in that their performance was very sub-par. There is actually a user-made patch out there, made by George Breese [2], that improves the performance for both RAID cards and sound cards by tweaking chipset registers set poorly by the BIOS. Most people just jumped on Creative for these problems when in fact there was much more to it.
Some people really whine about the "bloat" in Creative's driver suites. However, one can easily get rid of everything other than the driver in the install program. Every applet and app is optional. And, even if you install everything, the memory usage from running applets is less than say ATI's Catalyst Control Center.
Let me also mention that Creative was very quick in supporting x64 for their Audigy cards. I was impressed with that.
The kX project is useful only for non-gamers. The drivers offer unprecedented flexibility if you really want to delve into their complexity, but they are not for the casual user at all. They can be truly wonderful for musicians. The totally programmable DSP is something else.--Swaaye 18:10, 16 June 2006 (UTC)


I have an AWE64 here (CT4380, made early 1997), and the EMU8011 has an interesting piece of information in its markings. The originals used an Asahi Kasei Microelectronics (AKM)-made EMU8011 with an AKM-specific part number, but this one was apparently made by UMC, and has a standard part number: UM23C8100. Googling "23C8100" turns up an 8-megabit mask ROM, capable of operating in either 8-bit (1M x 8) or 16-bit (512k x 16) mode; the AWE cards would be using it in 16-bit mode. Since the AWE32 has always had ROM patches, and the part number and package haven't changed since the first AWE32/SB32, I would say the theory of this being an effects CPU is dead in the water. -lee 17:10, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


Can someone please rephrase the sentence that states about The Sound Blaster family of sound cards was for many years the de facto standard for audio [...] ? It is not really plain English; it assumes that a young technician with a basic knowledge of language (and that humbly ignores "rococò" expressions) is not allowed to read Wikipedia. Doktor Who 22:41, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

It seems plain to me. There's even a link to "de facto". Without that phrase, the sentence implies that the Sound Blaster family was a de jure standard, which it was not. --StuartBrady (Talk) 23:44, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I concur. de facto is common English phrasing and is perfectly valid. --Trixter 15:29, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Anyone who was gaming back then should be able to figure out the meaning. :) --Swaaye 18:19, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Gaming out out? I think that the use of "de facto" and "de jure" is appropriate in law contexts, not here, it is just stupid here, you all Wikipedians are outdated snobs. Doktor Who 14:40, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, I remember magazines literally referring to Sound Blaster as the de facto standard. Here's some proof from a 2 second Google search: [3][4] [5][6] The reasoning is that every sound card back than absolutely had to have Sound Blaster compatibility to have any chance in the market.As a result of the total support SB got in games, reviews and users saw support as absolutely critical for the product to have the value they were looking for. However, Sound Blaster is the name of a product. It is not in any way an official standard. This isn't VESA VBE here. It is simply a product that came out at the right time and got complete dedication from game developers. If you want to actually read a sound card roundup from back then, check out this link [7] Read the post I made a year ago with scans from two of my old CGW mags. Note how they tell you whether each card has decent SB support or not. They even start the articles off explaining how critical SB support is. I guess you either weren't around back then, or didn't really read much, eh? --Swaaye 21:24, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
I am only complaining about the abuse of Latin words and sentences in English, becouse I realize that Brits, Americans and English spekers seem unable to understand and use properly in their correct contexts such terms. I forgot to mention that Sounblaster AWE 64 is my favorite soundcard.Doktor Who 23:45, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
In this instance, the phase is being used correctly. Could you please take your mission elsewhere? --StuartBrady (Talk) 15:08, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Though it is not completely wrong, the sentence sounds so bad and inappropriate; this shitty platform is just a game in the hands of a few stupid people that work with the best idiots in the CIA, if someone offends and harrass me, nothing happens, on the contrary, maybe I will get banned, after admitting that I hate at least 40 % of Wikipedia and Wikipedians, that most of you are f... pretentious stupid ignorant.Doktor Who 15:21, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you're a native English speaker or not, but I am, and many others here are, and we use the term "de facto" in everyday speech, so just let the matter drop, ok? You've gone after other latin phrases in normal parlance (per capita) just because they don't sound like they do in the country you live in, so you're not establishing a decent track record... --Trixter 15:52, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
God thanksgiving, most of English speakers do not use "de facto" in their daily life, unless they are from/at London, "Oxbridge", Washington (?), London (oh yeah, just snobbish-stinky Londoners, not common ppl, of course). I do not really care of my records here, I do not really care about Wikipedia, though I admit that most of articles regarding Computers, and also Science and Technology in general, are very good, I'd say excellent. Wikipedia is also useful in my daily work. BUT, as I move my "focus" towards something related to music, ... SHIT!!!! I see only pretentious crazy ppl around. That's all. Doktor Who 17:38, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Whatever. I'm an American and I use the phrase at least once a week, and I'm just a regular educated person.
I think your tone of voice, accusations, and rambling shows where the real prejudice is. --Trixter 19:28, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
As a Londoner I take offence, or would if it was possible to take this guy seriously. I cannot understand how anyone who didn't aleady know the phrase "de facto" could be anything other than simply happy to have learned a new phrase. I know I was the first time I read it in an encyclopaedia article and then looked it up in my dictionary. Anyway, the point here is that when you call something "standard" you have to distinguish in what sense you mean the word. Since "standard" has two meanings (du jure, de facto) but only one word in English. This is similar to the word "free" (meaning gratis or libre) see free beer. Any English speaker who wanted to get a clear message across would use "de facto" every day where there was the need to distinguish the sense in which they meant it. --JamesTheNumberless 11:47, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I received all of my pre-tertiary education in Malaysia. I did have a New Zealand parent but no London, Washington or anywhere else on your original list. I would use de facto in the same way. In any case, this is a wikipedia wide issue and if you are really convinced you're right, try taking it to the village pump or somewhere Nil Einne 11:43, 6 April 2007 (UTC)[edit] has largely the same text as the wikipedia, including an annoying error I corrected here ("The SB32 lacked onboard RAM no Wave Blaster header, and no CSP port."). Who copied who? Jalwikip 15:05, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

They copied Wikipedia, it says so in the article.--Anss123 22:27, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Game Blaster[edit]

I remember that Creative used to sell CD kits with a Sound Blaster, CD drive, and a bunch of games, and called it the Game Blaster... I think there's also a modchip for the PSX called GameBlaster. --Ttttttttttt 01:58, 28 March 2007 (UTC)


There has to be an own section for the Resampling issues! I think this a quite anoing "feature" and the articel should stress it in an obviouse way —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:17, 17 April 2007 (UTC).

Are you referring to the 48KHz resampeling done by the SB Live? You guys actually could hear that? W3ird.--Anss123 17:20, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

If programs just used 48 KHz audio instead of the odd 44.1 KHz CD standard, there wouldn't have been an issue. Making the DSP 44.1 KHz would've been a bad decision, especially for E-Mu's musical products based on EMU10K1. I'm no engineer, but I bet it's not trivial to make a DSP do both frequencies natively. Look at how complex X-Fi's resampling engine is, for an example. I've never been able to hear the distortion created by the resampling outside of specific test setups that target the weakness.--Swaaye 20:01, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Illogical MIPS specified for either Live! or X-Fi.[edit]

Live! is said to be 1000 MIPS. X-Fi is said to be x24 than Audigy and 10,000 MIPS. This doesn't fit. 12:56, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I was going to make the same comment - that claim is still in the article, 3 years 4 months after the above comment was made... (talk) 19:55, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Sound Blaster Org.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Sound Blaster Org.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 07:59, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Confirm the dates of C/MS and SB 1.0?[edit]

Can anyone confirm the dates for the C/MS (1987) and original Sound Blaster (1987?)

When I got a Radio Shack Game Blaster, I had heard the Sierra demo tape that came out in 1988, and nobody had heard of the Sound Blaster yet. I can't remember how I learned of it, but there must have been some next-big-thing-be-on-the-bleeding-edge announcement about it in some context in my life at the time. When I did get one, it was a very early example with hand solder bridges, and it must have been 1988 or later.

It troubles me to think that the Sound Blaster could have already existed at that time. I remember talking to Creative on the phone. They sproke vely bad Engrish, and had obviously just gotten their toes wet getting into the US market. In fact, I might have had to order the original Sound Blaster directly from them, come to think of it.

If anyone knows of a way to confirm the timeline, that would ease my mind, even if it turns out my memory is off. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dmmcintyre (talkcontribs) 01:51, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Date of Sound Blaster 1.0 seems wrong, see or . They are also speaking about founding Creative Labs in 1988. So, I do not know what to think about Game Blaster and C/MS. Who created them? PCJohn-2008-Jun-13 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pcjohn (talkcontribs) 14:39, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
The Adlib was out in '87, and it was the first PC sound card. Creative introed the CMS in '88. Putting the SB in '87 was probably just someone confusing the SoundBlaster with the Adlib.--Anss123 (talk) 15:21, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

List of model numbers gone?[edit]

I remember in the past there used to be a list or table of model numbers (CT4830, etc.) somewhere on Wikipedia, but it's nowhere to be found now. Was it removed for some reason? (talk) 23:58, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

"unclear" labeling for marketing purposes[edit]

The Sound Blaster Live! 24bit, Audigy SE and X-FI Xtreme Audio cards are basically the same soundcards. All are based on an upgrade of the old E-Mu-Chip from the SBLive and just feature better overall sound quality. You can especially easily verify that the extreme Audio is not a real X-Fi card by looking at the product pictures on Creatives website. All "real" X-Fi PCI chips are BGA chips, the one from the extreme Audio is a normal FPGA-chip. The model number is also almost the same as the one on the Audigy SE / Live! 24bit (just a newer revision). These cards can render less 3d voices in hardware than their "fully featured" counterparts and are also limited to EAX software emulation, whereas real Audigy/X-Fi cards render all voices in hardware. Creative themselves have a comparison chart on their website which also doesn´t mark the extreme Audio as EAX5 compatible. To top it off, no marketing blurb about the "X-Fi audio engine" or similar comments can be found on its page, so the careful reader should be aware that it is not a real X-Fi card (it was the same story back then with the Audigy SE). Joe Average will only hear from a friend that his X-Fi sounds really good in games and "boosts fps" when using 3D sound, so he buys the cheapest one he can find at the mall - and is bound to be disappointed as it sounds clearer than his onboard sound, but it surely doesn´t make his game run faster. (to top it off, the card will not be recognized by some games with EAX5-support as an X-Fi card) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:18, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:41, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

card summary is way too long/detailed/unfocused[edit]

The product-listing (starting from the SB Live) starts to deviate from the purpose of this article, which is to summarize concisely the MAJOR features and MAJOR products of Soundblaster line. I have no objection with including minor models for the sake of comprehensiveness/completeness, but some of the sections are line-for-line restatements of their linked articles.

If no one has objectinos, I will trim these down, the link to the main-article on 'SB Live', 'SB Audigy', 'SB X-Fi' gives interested readers more depth...while a short summary here keeps *this article* on track. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:18, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Is there a reason why all the cards are bunched up into one humangous page? Wouldn't it make more sense to separate the cards into their own pages? Then we could put all the relevant details onto their respective pages and it wouldn't seem so long/useless? Najob (talk) 10:41, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Price at launch[edit]

The article doesn't mention anything about the price tag the soundcards had at their launch. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Failure rate[edit]

No mention of the extremely high failure rate for XP users? Sound Blaster cards are notorious for randomly stopping working upon clean installs of Windows XP. Creative refuses to address this as well. Unfortunately, I can't find any reliable sources, so this will remain in the talk page. Makes me wish I was a Technology Journalist, because I've had 3 of these things fail on me. JEMdev (talk) 05:13, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

CT1310 model number[edit]

Is there any evidence this number was ever used? queststudios mentions different software packages for the 1.0/1.5 but all actual cards yield the ct1320(a/b/c) model number. Thread here: Also the "killer card" prototype found recently yields the model number "CTT 1320" Picture here: Therefore I suppose we can assume the CT1310 model number never was officially used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:04, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

USB and headset devices[edit]

Wouldn't it be worth mentioning the USB line of Sound Blaster products? Most interestingly the Tactic3D series which apparently uses a new technology rather than X-Fi. -- (talk) 11:50, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

missing CA20K2 and CA0106 in Audio DSP Circuits table[edit]

the Audio DSP Circuits table is missing a few chips, namely the CA20K2 and CA0106 which are both named in the Sound_Blaster_X-Fi article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:20, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

First to use stereo sound?[edit]

I recall a Sound Blaster Pro card to be among, if not the first to use stereo output, at least in proper gaming (wolf 3d). I'll try to look into it, but can't yet actually confirm this. (talk) 07:33, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Included Software Package info[edit]

I believe it would be very useful to many to include a section on the included software packages that came with each model, or at least with the first model, since that's what is dear to so many people. There is already a page for Dr. Sbaitso, which is great, but it doesn't have any screenshots! There was another program I remember getting which many are fond of, the Tetra Compositor by Bram Graveland v1.0 it was a non-interactive demo featuring a tracked module called Echoing. This song is originally a 1988 Amiga pieces from a cracktro Dugger by World of Wonders. There was a third application included with the original Sound Blaster of a talking parrot, you'd talk with a mic into it, and it would pitch-shift what you said and add it's own words into it's response. I can't find the name of that program though.  :( I think we could make a page called "Sound Blaster original software" and then have links from that page to Dr. Sbaitso page, and make a page for Tetra Compositor. I am new to Wikipedia and don't yet know how to do any of this! Najob (talk) 10:38, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Sound Blaster 32 memory upgrade[edit]

"The loss of onboard RAM is offset by the inclusion of 30-pin SIMM RAM sockets, which allow up to 8 MB RAM to be installed and used by the EMU engine."

Is it true that SB32 supports only 8 Mb of ram? Any source? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 21 March 2013 (UTC)