Question about Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Sound Card
There is nothing wrong with the speakers.
There is nothing wrong with the sound card.
Your audio software has to support 5.1 playback. If you're using Winamp for instance, you have to figure out how to get it to play music back in 5.1 surround.
Otherwise, your audio player software will only play back in 2.1.
If you want your music to play back in 5.1, you'll most likely have to install a plugin for it.
Although I myself don't recommend that kind of sound because it seems to ruin the sound quality. Remember that the music is not recorded in 5.1. It's recorded in stereo. It wasn't designed to play in a center speaker. Your player software is doing exactly as it is designed to do.
A digital plugin for your audio player software may convert it into a streaming 5.1 signal, though. I'm sure that there are plenty for Winamp and you'll find them on Winamp's website.
Otherwise, you might find audio DVD's where they've remade the albums in 5.1. However, that'd require a DVD player application that is capable of decoding 5.1.
OR... If you have Logitech Z-5500's or other AWESOME speakers like them, you can switch the speakers themselves to use a Dolby ProLogic mode. My Z-5500's have a mode called "Dolby ProLogic II Music" where it does exactly what you're talking about. It converts the 2.1 stream into 5.1. (This is NOT true surround sound, mind you! It is EMULATED. The ONLY time you have TRUE surround sound is when the source itself is done in 5.1 or better.)
Also, you can use the Soundblaster card's EAX effects to produce a similar sound, but you may not like the results. Environmental Audio isn't meant for music.
I'm not sure... I can't recall, but the newer drivers for the Live! 5.1 may even have CMSS which also uses the center channel. My first-gen Audigy Platinum uses it. You can find out if the Live! 5.1 uses CMSS by finding the "Creative Audio Console" in your Start > All Program > Creative folder.
If you don't see it there, make sure that you have the most recent drivers for the 5.1 card.
But that's not easy, either. Creative Labs has decided that it doesn't like it's customers anymore and has cut ALL support for the Live! series except for the 24-bit Live! card. They no longer list drivers on their website for those cards. Here is what you get when you go to find drivers for the Live! 5.1:
" You have selected Live! 5.1.
To receive support for a different product, click here
Please note that the product you have selected has been classified as "End of Service Life"
The product you have selected has reached the end of its service life. Support for this product is limited to materials available on the Creative Customer Support website before its discontinuation. This may include Knowledge Base solutions, drivers, application updates and product documentation. Search archives now.
Customers are also welcome to participate in our user-to-user discussion forums to obtain further information about discontinued products.
For additional information regarding Creative's End of Service Life Policy, please review the list of frequently asked questions."
Yeah. Thanks a LOT, Creative Labs. Right?
But if you pal around online for drivers, you might find them somewhere. There are actually also alternate drivers NOT made by Creative Labs. You can find them at the following link...
Sorry for my rant. I'm kind of anti-creative after the way they've treated all of their customers - past and present - over the last few years.
If you need more information, please let me know. I've taken lots of time to help people with Sound Blaster products so that they don't have to deal with all of the frustration I have with that company.
Hope this answers your question. :)
Posted on Nov 07, 2007
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