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#438349 - 11/16/17 01:14 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card?
Brandon Offline
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Registered: 11/14/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Philadelphia, PA USA
I recently built a new computer and I didn't bother to install my old Sound Blaster Live card in my new system. Is there any point anymore to using such a card? I don't use midi very much except for EZDrummer within Sonar so I'm not up to speed on what everyone uses for midi sounds. I would, however, like decent midi sounds in BIAB. Does the old SB card with its midi soundfonts compare to the TTS-1 sounds?

-Brandon
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#438402 - 11/16/17 05:48 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: Brandon]
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18669
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
IMO,
You'll likely have more trouble keeping the SBLive working than it is worth.
There are software synths now that can play the same sound sets if needed.
SF2 sound sets (which is what drove the SBLive card synths) are easily adapted to other soft synths or VSTi's.

I'd suggest it is time to move on.
The hardware itself is just going to get harder and harder to support, and the other software solutions have gotten much less painful ... and better in some ways.

FWIW you can probably have both the TTS-1 and your old SBLive sounds co-exist pretty easily if you go the software route, and ditch the physical card.


Edited by rharv (11/16/17 05:52 PM)
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#438403 - 11/16/17 05:56 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: Brandon]
jford Offline
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Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10173
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
And the 2MB, 4MB, and 8MB soundfont sets that shipped with the Soundblaster are easily available to use in a VSTi such as Synthfont.
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HP Win10Pro-64, 8GB
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#438411 - 11/16/17 06:23 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: Brandon]
Matt Finley Online   content
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Registered: 07/12/00
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Forgetting sounds for a moment, are there even drivers for a Sound Blaster in Windows 10 (which I assume your new PC uses)?
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#438481 - 11/17/17 08:05 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: Brandon]
jford Offline
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Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10173
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
That's a good question, Matt. SB was always squirrelly about drivers. You could use a generic driver to get some sound, but if you wanted to use any features of the card (such as hardware MIDI soundfont support), you absolutely needed the correct drivers.

I haven't had a soundblaster in a while, but as I remember, it was a fairly easy check on the Creative web site to see if drivers were available. I also remember that the drivers that came in the box always seemed to be several versions behind, even with a brand new purchase.
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HP Win10Pro-64, 8GB
ASUS Win10Pro-64, 16GB
HP Win7Pro-64, 8GB

H/W-Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD, Casio Kbds
S/W-BB/RB2018/Sonar/Reaper/Studio One/Samplitude/MixBus/Notion/Finale/Noteworthy/NI Komplete/Halion/Garritan/IK
Web-http://www.sus4chord.com

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#438497 - 11/17/17 09:48 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: Brandon]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5415
remove the SB and toss it.

Sound quality has moved well past the quality you can get from the built in sounds. Even TTS is much better and when you get into samples, there's absolutely no comparison.

A functional driver with the newer OS's is also a factor. I had an old D-man card that I liked but an OS upgrade made it obsolete. The company would rather sell me a new card than write a new driver for the old hardware. And so it goes.
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#438554 - 11/17/17 04:54 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: Brandon]
Jim Fogle Online   content
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3455
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Hi Brandon. Welcome to the forum.

There are many reasons why Creative is no longer the leader in pc computer audio that it once was. Creative seems to have abandoned musicians all together while concentrating on retaining gamers.

Soundblaster cards use either ISA or PCI interface connections. Both connectors are difficult to find on current generation motherboards. Most current motherboards use PCI Express (PCI-E) connectors because the connectors are available in so many different sizes.

Creative appears to have abandoned MIDI and game controller port support. You have to go all the way back to the Creative Audigy series to find a board with the five-teen pin MIDI gameport connector.

That brings up another point. It seems that Creative has decided not to provide drivers for older hardware and boards. If your computer operating system is Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 then your hardware is no longer supported.

Now for some good news. Motherboard makers essentially have three audio systems to integrate into their motherboard; Realtek, Intel and Creative. Both Asus and Gigabyte have motherboards with Creative audio systems built-in.

Audio interfaces seem to be the best way to manage computer audio today. There are audio interfaces that offer MIDI ports as well as digital and analog audio connections while using just one USB port on your computer. Unfortunately no audio interface offers built-in MIDI instrument patches like the Soundblaster card.

Finally, my desktop computer that uses the XP operating system has a Creative Audigy2 card with a combined game and midi port. My laptop runs Windows 7 and has a Realtek audio chip.
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#438555 - 11/17/17 05:03 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: jford]
Brandon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/14/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Philadelphia, PA USA
Originally Posted By: jford
And the 2MB, 4MB, and 8MB soundfont sets that shipped with the Soundblaster are easily available to use in a VSTi such as Synthfont.


jford- That is exactly what I wanted to know. If I can just pull the soundfonts off of the disc and use them in another application I will be happy.

Matt- That is a good point about the drivers. I'd have to replace an existing USB expansion card with another just to free up the slot for the old SB card, and then who knows if it will even work with Windows 10.
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-Brandon

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#438591 - 11/17/17 10:07 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: Brandon]
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18669
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
Originally Posted By: Brandon

jford- That is exactly what I wanted to know. If I can just pull the soundfonts off of the disc and use them in another application I will be happy.


I wouldn't assume you can simply 'pull the soundfonts off the disk'.
More likely to find them online, in my experience.
However, I think you'll find a whole new world upgrading to using VSTi's instead.

FWIW there are better 12MB and even GB+ soundfonts available on the internet.
But once you start down the VSTi path, I suspect you'll soon realize those SF2 files were a minor worry.
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#438668 - 11/18/17 11:26 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: Brandon]
Larry Kehl Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: New Mexico
As everyone has said - no /not really

BUT if anyone NEEDS one let me know

I have an unopened/unused Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional(24bit/96K) PCIe

I bought it, like an idiot, in 2011 when I built my last (this) PC (next year it will be time for another "bleeding edge" build that will also be obsolete within a year - LOL). I could have/should have returned it to Newegg but never got around to it, so here it sits.

It was my first build since 2004 and I didn't even stop to think about the on-board chip (the ubiquitous Realtek) I don't use the Realtek for "audio" I use FW 410(which is getting long in the tooth) but I do use Realtek like most others for PC "sound."

In any case "good deal GI" (make an offer grin ) on a Creative PCIe

Larry
_________________________
Win7&10 Pro 64,i7-2600k,32GB,1OTBs HDD,RX480 8GB,FW-410,MIDIplus4x4,Montage7,Fusion 8HD,QS8,GR-50,Integra7, XV5080,Fantom-XR,QSR,SC-8850,Nanosynth,SPLAT,AD2,ST3,Kontakt 5,Amptube4,way too many other VSTi's - but I'm really a guitar player

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#438676 - 11/18/17 11:54 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: Larry Kehl]
JEL Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 82
Originally Posted By: Larry Kehl
I bought it, like an idiot, in 2011 when I built my last (this) PC (next year it will be time for another "bleeding edge" build that will also be obsolete within a year - LOL)


I think we've all done that lol smile

"This is the latest and greatest"... and you've barely come home with it and installed it, before you see an ad on TV talking about how obsolete it already is compared to the next 'latest and greatest'.

If only computers were like violins, but alas they're not smile

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#438683 - 11/18/17 12:29 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Anyone Still Use A Sound Blaster Card? [Re: JEL]
Larry Kehl Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: New Mexico
The real slap in the face is: I pick and individually buy all the components and slap them together, so when it's obsolete two months later it's my fault for not doing better "future proof" research (or having deeper pockets cry ), or both, not some manufacture who sold me a glossy bill of goods!

Larry
_________________________
Win7&10 Pro 64,i7-2600k,32GB,1OTBs HDD,RX480 8GB,FW-410,MIDIplus4x4,Montage7,Fusion 8HD,QS8,GR-50,Integra7, XV5080,Fantom-XR,QSR,SC-8850,Nanosynth,SPLAT,AD2,ST3,Kontakt 5,Amptube4,way too many other VSTi's - but I'm really a guitar player

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PG Music News
Introducing... RealTracks Artists David Wise & Shelly Justice!

For the first time ever Band-in-a-Box® can generate backing vocals with some amazing "oohs" and "aahs" vocal arrangements with RealTrack Set 278: Shiny Vocals Oohs and Aahs! Add male or female parts by renowned Nashville vocalists David Wise and Shelly Justice, and you'll LOVE the results!

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Learn more about Dave & Shelly when you visit their RealTracks Artist Bio page:
David Wise: http://www.pgmusic.com/realtracks.artists.php?a=150
Shelly Justice: http://www.pgmusic.com/realtracks.artists.php?a=151

#TechTipTuesday - Band-in-a-Box® Patch Updates

If you're ever experiencing an issue with your Band-in-a-Box program, make sure you have the most recent patch update for your version - this can be done at http://www.pgmusic.com/support.updates.win.htm.

Patch updates are released frequently, and are created by our development team to fix any reported bugs, tweak existing features within the program, update demos and other files as needed, and more!

To find out which version of the program you have, visit Help | About Band-in-a-Box within the program. You will see the full version number listing as:
Band-in-a-Box® for Windows
Version 2018 (512)

The number in parentheses is the build number. As you can see, my Band-in-a-Box is up to date and will continue to stay that way because I've selected "Automatically check for updates every 7 days" within the Help | Check for Updates.... option (you can set the number of days to a different number). This window will also look to see if you're version is up to date, so you don't technically have to visit http://www.pgmusic.com/support.updates.win.htm if you didn't want to!

Once you've installed your patch update (make sure the program is closed when you're doing this), give it another try - if you are still experiencing the same issue you can report it by contacting us directly, or you can post your result to the Forum thread that also announces the patch update, like our recent Band-in-a-Box 2018 Build 512 Update (Feb 15) post.

YouTube Find - How To Play SLOW A7 BLUES Guitar Solo With 4 NOTES

Check out one of EricBlackmonGuitar's latest videos, How To Play SLOW A7 BLUES Guitar Solo With 4 NOTES and you'll hear a great Band-in-a-Box backing track!

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...and you'll also learn how to play blues with just a few notes!

A Little Bit Of Me Music Video!

A great music video created by forum user Floyd Jane! https://youtu.be/qPrejgnwb4M?t=3600

This song was featured in a detailed "The Birth of a Song" video created by Floyd Jane - watch the complete video here:
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RealBand 2018 Build 5 Update Available!

RealBand 2018 customers can download the latest free patch update here: http://www.pgmusic.com/support.realband.htm#2018_5

Summary of Changes for Build 5
Added: When generating the input file for saving as an MGU/SGU SongMode128= is saved to the input file.
Added: Localization support for 2018.
Added: flyby hints to new dialogs.
Fixed: Save As with a filename greater than 128 chars could cause an error 123 plus access violation.
Fixed: Rebooting RealBand after a filename with 128 chars was saved could cause an access violation.
Fixed: Pressing the Change button in the Event List Window could result in an access violation if an event was not a Note event.
Fixed: When running in Win 10, and using BBW or PT to generate audio harmonies, an error would occur saying that you need BB 2011 or PT 12 to generate audio harmonies.
Fixed: Midi Thru Method was not being saved to the .INI file. It always reverting to Track-Specific when booting up RealBand, even if the user manually changed the setting to Global in the Midi Thru Settings dialog.
Fixed: Delete All Notes on This Peg menu item in notation window right-click menu was missing.
Fixed: Potential crash on exit (having to do with the DLL attempting to free up a dynamic array that was passed to it).

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Build 512 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows customers can download the latest free patch update here: www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm#512

Summary of changes for Build 512 since 510 (Feb 15 2018):
Fixed: "Load SoundTrack Song" and "Load song with RealDrums Audio" buttons in the Sound Track dialog were not working.
Fixed: After returning Band-in-a-Box to factory settings the File Open dialog would default to the bb\Data\Lib directory.
Fixed: Choosing a custom chord sheet font would ignore any color choice made in the font selection dialog.
Fixed: Drum names were sometimes truncated in the RealDrums MultiDrums and Quicklist dialogs.
Fixed: Exporting a MIDI file might cause the error, "MIDIConv.exe no found".
Fixed: Mixer changes were not undoable, and would not cause user to be prompted to save their song when exiting.
Fixed: Static in RT2438 and other various RealTracks fixes.
Fixed: StylePicker database various updates. Some styles were displaying the wrong feel (swing/even) in notation. A few styles incorrectly showed missing Drums.
Fixed: The audio latency setting would increase every time leaving the Windows Audio Devices dialog.
Fixed: The Download Manager folder name defaulted to 2016 instead of 2018.
Updated: Help file.

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is Here!

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is here! PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 includes many new features and enhancements:

Windows Audio (WASAPI) driver support. This allows for low latency audio recording/playback without requiring ASIO. Note that this supports 1 stereo input plus 1 stereo output at a time. For multiple inputs/outputs, you should continue to use either MME or ASIO.

ABC Notation format support. You can save a track of notation in a popular ASCII text format to import into other programs, or you can paste this format into a user forum as a way of sending the track (usually the melody and chord symbols) to other users without having to attach a file.

The built-in Audio Chord Wizard detection in the Chords window automatically detects the chords of the song, based on the audio data from all non-muted audio tracks. This works similar to the standalone Audio Chord Wizard, except that it uses the current bar lines of the existing song.

Notation Enhancements:
-X/8 time signature support. This is a special method of displaying 6/8, 9/8, or 12/8 time signatures in the Notation window.
-The Duplicate previous chord in notation right-click menu lets you quickly duplicate the previous chord (group of notes on same peg) without having to reenter it.
-Delete highlighted notes in notation right-click menu lets you delete all highlighted notes.
-Delete all notes on this peg in notation right-click menu lets you delete all notes on the nearest peg that was clicked on.
-You can now enter Section Numbers. Previously, you could enter letters (A-Z) only, but now you can also enter numbers (1-9).

...a full list of the new features in PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is available at http://www.pgmusic.com/powertracks.features.htm

http://www.pgmusic.com/powertracks.htm

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