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Author Topic: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2  (Read 48126 times)

Seiishu

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Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« on: April 15, 2014, 12:52:18 am »
I've chosen ASIO as my "Audio Device Type:" but there is another drop down menu inside Setup/Audio Midi Settings menu in Spark 2 Beta.
It's called "Device:". I can chose between Creative Sound Blaster ASIO and ASIO4ALL v2.
Anyone has any insight on which device would be preferred? I'm guessing I should probably chose the one that's my actual sound card (SoundBlaster Z), but not sure.

More about my sound card here:
http://www.soundblaster.com/products/sound-blaster-z.aspx

Thanks in advance!

Kosmology

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 04:42:47 am »
Creative ASIO - - ASIO4ALL is really for laptops or soundcards that don't have a dedicated ASIO driver and will most likely not perform as well as the driver designed for your card, and may not use all the inputs and outputs of your hardware.

Seiishu

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 05:46:57 am »
Great info, thank you! I though the same. Somehow I believed SoundBlaster ASIO is being delivered hardware way, rather than emulating it through software. Something similar to how my video capturing device is doing H.264 encoding on the fly using hardware encoders, rather than wasting CPU's time and resources by doing it with some third party software encoders, with not even closely good results. Of course, this was just a comparison, in real life ASIO most likely works completely different way, but I was under impression there might be a possibility this is true.

Kosmology

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 01:36:18 pm »
You are welcome. I do use asio4all sometimes if I need low latency in 2 different applications at the same time (such as Cubase and Soundforge), but not very often these days. I think asio4all is a wrapper for the existing Windows driver, but at it's heart it's designed for realtec sound cards which are very common in laptops. It's definitely useful in that context!

Seiishu

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 02:03:44 pm »
Thank you. Another little question... I've noticed when I use ASIO with Spark software, none other applications have sound on my computer. For example, if Spark is just open, doesn't have to play anything, but if ASIO is being used, even if I open Google Chrome and try to watch some video, sound won't work until I turn Spark off. There must be something somewhere in settings to change this behavior. Familiar with this problem by any chance?

Kosmology

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 02:21:16 pm »
Unfortunately that will probably be a limitation with your soundcard/drivers, it must support using both asio and Windows sound at the same time to do this, most DAW class cards do allow both ASIO and windows sound at the same time.

Even though it contradicts everything I've said above, this is a situation where asio4all is very useful! If you use it in Spark, you should also have windows sound at the same time (because it wraps windows sound in the first place). Give it a try :)

Seiishu

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2014, 06:16:53 pm »
I will try it as soon as I am home from work. Until then, does it make any difference if my default format is 24-bit, 48000 Hz ? Should I switch it back to 16-bit. Here is a screenshot with this speaker settings panel and available options (I've done sloppy job since I had to connect to my home machine from work remotely). Also, I've copy/pasted same window but with other options visible, and placed it right next to the original one on the left hand side (second one is obviously pasted in PS). I've been told to disable these two options (see red arrows) in order to get better results and performance, so I disabled them.

P.S If my English doesn't make sense at some point, please do stop and correct me, I have no problems with that. I love learning from all those who are willing to help.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 06:19:33 pm by Seiishu »

Seiishu

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2014, 06:30:18 pm »
Wow, I just realized Creative Sound Blaster forums are full of angry customers crying and begging for driver updates. Apparently there was one update in January 2014 (and I am running those drivers) that are suppose to fix a lot of things... but it looks like while fixing those things for Windows 8.1, they screwed up a lot of other ones that actually worked in Windows 8. What's better option at the moment? I've tried some ASUS sound cards (Xonor) and I wasn't very happy with their performance, not even to mention ugly and randomly functional software. One word - Horror.\

There is one post in another forum, made by a guy with name Anarion:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/623079/creative-sound-blaster-new-series-z-zx-zxr/1695#post_10185072

Quote:
Quote
...Creative ASIO driver is multi-client. I can for example play stuff though Foobar and FL studio at the same time using ASIO (and Windows mixer would not notice any activity). My X-Fi Forte worked exactly like this too. Handy while gaming because the music volume stays constant (unlike if you use DS and game has loud explosions for example). Stereo direct is only option that doesn't obey volume control (but you can't playback normal CD quality stuff though it without upsampling).

Earlier W8.1 upgrade broke ASIO multi client support on my system but now since fresh install it works again. EDIT: It looks like it's just dodgy in W8.1, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Same goes to earlier paragraph...
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 06:34:35 pm by Seiishu »

Kosmology

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 06:39:43 pm »
To be honest I don't think it will make any difference what bit-rate, but give it a try. I think it's probably at the hardware level that when the asio is in use it dedicates the cards resources to that. It's been a long time since I've used sound Blaster cards, I use to use the AWE 32 and later soundblaster Lives in gigging boxes as samplers, and as I remember it I think they behaved the same way.

Have you looked at the KX Project? I have no idea if it's still active/maintained but it used to be a project which turned Soundblasters into more professional audio cards, ie less multimedia more DAW friendly. It began back in the day by turning a SB Live into an EMU APS which was essentially the same hardware with gold plated connections. Might be worth a look for the sake of installing/uninstalling, but I would find a forum where people are discussing it to see how well it is maintained etc.. It could be dead. I used them for a few years but it was a long time ago.

Many cards used to behave like that in past, cards I've had that did it include the EWS 64XL and the Yamaha DSP Factory.

Here's the site:

http://kxproject.com/

Seiishu

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 06:47:15 pm »
I will definitely check into that and see if there is any development still going on.

Thank you so much for your assistance and for spending so much time trying to fix my problems here in this forum. If it's worth anything, I do appreciate it a lot. People like you make these forums worth spending time in and visiting them. By helping me as only one individual, you're also very likely helping others who are experiencing same issues too. That's what counts and I thank you for that. You're also making these forums look alive for a change :)

Kosmology

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 06:56:44 pm »
You are welcome :)

on a side note, I do have a lot of love/nostalgia for the AWE 32 and so I just need someone to listen to get me started, so be warned :) Before VST was developed (hard to imagine now) it was an essential piece of equipment for my music.


I will definitely check into that and see if there is any development still going on.

Thank you so much for your assistance and for spending so much time trying to fix my problems here in this forum. If it's worth anything, I do appreciate it a lot. People like you make these forums worth spending time in and visiting them. By helping me as only one individual, you're also very likely helping others who are experiencing same issues too. That's what counts and I thank you for that. You're also making these forums look alive for a change :)

Seiishu

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 07:04:57 pm »
Oh my God... I used to have that card too. That was a heaven for my ProTracker and FastTracker programs I so loved to create my music in. That difference I've heard for the first time when I stopped using some lousy on-board sound "card", and purchased my first Awe-32 on one of my trips to Germany... unbelievable! I thought, this is what real studio sounds like, lol.

Kosmology

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 11:21:40 pm »
Well the outs were quite noisy, but the sampler had a digital out pin on the board itself, so I hacked together a cable and fed it digitally into my EWS64 XL (which also had a Waldorf Microwave onboard) which was my main card for Cubase at the time :)

Seiishu

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2014, 12:03:36 am »
Back then, the noisiest the better... Before I finally found myself enjoying chill-out, trance type of music more than anything else, I was all about Dutch Hard-Core, Gabba, break-beat etc. The noisier outputs, the better :)

Seiishu

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Re: Creative SoundBlaster ASIO vs ASIO4ALL v2
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2014, 05:15:39 pm »
I finally solved it. Decided to take a look at the back of my PC case and the sound card outputs. I guessed it right... my 2 stereo speakers + sub were still connected to the second plug which is combined headphones/stereo speakers output, with auto-switching enabled.

Instead, I plugged my 2 speakers + sub into the third plug at the back of my card, which is dedicated line out for simple 2 stereo speakers + sub. Other 2 plugs I am not using since I don't have any 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup laying around.

Instantly after reconnecting everything, I realized audio coming from Spark using ASIO has much more definition, should I say clearer, plus all other Windows sounds (on the desktop as well as inside the browser, like for example YouTube videos), started working in perfect harmony. Finally I can watch some video tutorials online without having to shut down my Spark or any other program using ASIO.



My other question if I may... is... are there any cons to using 96000 Hz sample rate vs 48000 Hz? I've noticed a lot more organic sound when using 96000 Hz, but my question is, are there any restrictions when I am ready to record my sound to some outside source, or will this give me better sound anyway? ...or... should I simply stick with 48000 Hz?

Thanks in advance!

« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 05:18:45 pm by Seiishu »

 

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