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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
Newbie

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: 18495
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: 9845
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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#1-Win10Pro-64,8GB,7200RPM
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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
Posts: 16242
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
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: 9845
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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#1-Win10Pro-64,8GB,7200RPM
#2-Win10Pro-64,16GB,SSDBoot,7200RPM
#3-Win7Pro-64,8GB,7200RPM
H/W: Onboard audio, FastTrack Pro, Casio Kbds
S/W: BB/RB2017/Sonar/Reaper/Notion/Finale/Noteworthy/
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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: 5248
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 Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3181
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: 18495
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 Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 1898
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
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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 Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 1898
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
Announcing…The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)

We are excited to announce the release of a new project: The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)

Songwriter Floyd Jane shows the songwriting process from inspiration to performance and publication: http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=IYMMZVvQdCw

The idea for this project came about when many members on this forum and elsewhere were asking questions about the song writing process. There are many aspects, and many parts of it necessary to create a song, get it arranged, performed, and then published on the internet. So we asked the great songwriter Floyd Jane, who is a regular member on this forum, if he could help. Floyd agreed and was even able to collaborate with other forum members, Janice and Bud. The result is this video we put together that you can see on YouTube or Facebook, called "The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)".

We hope this video helps other songwriters with their songwriting process, and also shows them tools that are available to them along the way. Also, we mention this User Showcase Forum, and hope to see many new aspiring or accomplished songwriters join this community :blush:

A big Thank You to Floyd for sharing your knowledge with the community and making this possible. And to Janice and Bud for your great collaboration!

Here is Floyd's original forum post for his song "A Little Bit Of Me": http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=433190

Check out Floyd / Janice & Bud’s music here:
http://floydjane.com/
https://www.janiceandbud.com/

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows - 49 Requests Fulfilled!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows boasts more than 50 new features... and a lot of the new features fill the requests posted by program users!

Some of these include:

Q. I am learning guitar. The RealTracks are very helpful in that I can hear great guitar players, and most of the tracks have tab and notation as well. But there is much more to guitar, could you include some videos of some of the RealTracks Artists? Because I would learn much more from seeing a guitarist than just hearing them.

A. We have a major new feature called "Video RealTracks." These work and sound like RealTracks, but you get to see a video of the Guitarist (or whatever instrument) playing as well. The amazing thing is that this works with any chord progression you type in. So, if you want to learn to play like the great guitarist Brent Mason, for example, you can type in chords to any progression you are interested in, and then hear and see a video of Brent soloing over your progression. Now you can learn much quicker, as it helps to see how a musician is performing, as well as to hear.

Q. I love the Audio Chord Wizard, as it figures out chords from mp3 and other audio files. But it is a separate program from Band-in-a-Box, and I can’t go back and forth to change things easily.

A. We've solved that, as BiaB 2018 has integrated the Audio Chord Wizard directly into Band-in-a-Box. Now load an audio file into BiaB, open the Audio Edit Window – Audio Chord Wizard mode, and let it automatically figure out the bar lines and chords for the song.

Q. I like to save songs as MP3 files, and can't do this with BiaB, except a very low quality one, 64kbps.

A. We've improved this, by adding support for Windows Media Foundation. This allows you to save MP3 in your choice of resolutions, up to very high 320mpbs. Better still, it works on current versions of Windows (Windows 7,8,10) and also on older versions too (Vista, XP).

We've answered 49 questions - review all of these answers on our forum post "49 of your Problems solved? List of 49 Requests fulfilled in Band-in-a-Box 2018" here.

All of the new features in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows can be reviewed at http://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.new.htm

RealBand® 2018 for Windows Build 3 Update Available!

RealBand 2018 users can update their version with the latest patch, Build 3. Download this patch here

Summary of Changes since 2018 Build 3:

Added: Section Numbers supported. All section letter menus now include numbers 1 through 9 in addition to letters A through Z.
Fixed: Section letters in Notation Window were not being resized if the notation was zoomed in/out
Fixed: RealBand might freeze when generating audio harmonies
Fixed: Loading in a BB song (MGU/SGU) or generating realtracks could freeze up the program.
Fixed: Chords in Notation/LeadSheet on 1st beat of a bar were being drawn too close to bar lines.
Fixed: Support for XP and Vista.

http://www.pgmusic.com/support.realband.htm#2018_3

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Build 505 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows users can update their version with the latest patch - Build 505.

This patch can be downloaded here.

Summary of changes for Build 505:

Added: You can now put Section Numbers in your song. Previously you could only use letters A-Z, but now you can use 1-9 as well.
Added:You can now filter styles in the StylePicker for styles that contain Video RealTracks.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box would crash with error "Procedure entry point MFTEnumEx could not be found in the Dynamic Link Library Mfplat.DLL" while starting up if using Windows Vista.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box would crash with error message "dwmapi.dll cannot be found" while starting up if using Windows XP.
Fixed: The Transcribe feature in the Audio Edit window was not always working.
Fixed: The Windows Audio Devices dialog might show garbage text for names of devices if not running Band-in-a-Box in English.
Fixed: There was no Quality selector in the Render to Audio File dialog if rendering MP3 on Windows 7 or earlier.
Fixed: There were visual artifacts in the leadsheet & notation windows when moving the cursor.
Fixed: Using the Transpose or stretching features in the Audio Edit window might cause an access violation if the audio track is mono.
Improved: Band-in-a-Box will start up faster.
Improved: Importing ABC Notation files has been improved.
Updated: Help file and manuals.
Updated: RealTracks Artist bio's.

http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm#505

New! Video RealTracks for Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

NEW with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows... Video RealTracks Sets!

Video RealTracks allow you to see the RealTracks artist playing that track - you can use them just like any other RealTrack, and you can generate a video which will display the musician playing your song exactly as you hear it. You can also include a chord sheet or notation in the video.
TIP: If you load one of the video RealTracks bands, you will have video RealTracks on 5 tracks, and you can make a video of 1-5 musicians!

We've added Video RealTracks Set 1: Pop Ballad Band to our Free Bonus PAK included in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows packages during our December special.
Video RealTracks Set 2: Country TrainBeat Band is included in the 2018 49-PAK, along with 40 Bonus UNRELEASED RealTracks, 22 MIDI SuperTracks, 101 Instrumental Studies, and Artist Performance Set 8: Traditional Songs Sung by Béatrix Méthé.

SPECIAL OFFER: During our Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Holiday Special, purchase our "Video RealTracks Set 3-6 Special Bundle Offer" to complete your purchase with the remaining Video RealTracks Sets for the low price of just $49! http://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.videorealtracks.htm

Learn more about the new Video RealTracks and see them in action: Video link - "Video RealTracks Sets 1-6 for Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows"

Video - 202 NEW RealTracks for Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

With the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows we also released 202 NEW RealTracks (in Sets 278-300)! Listen to all the individual demos here: www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.202newrealtracks.htm, or watch our Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows - 202 New RealTracks Overview Video: www.pgmusic.com/?vid=qDFYZMjrzAI

Get all 202 new RealTracks when you purchase any Band-in-a-Box® 2018 UltraPAK, Audiophile Edition, or the PlusPAK upgrade, on sale until December 31st!

NEW! Xtra Styles PAK 4 - Available for both Windows and Mac!

We've just released Xtra Styles PAK 4 with over 150 new RealStyles for Rock-Pop, Jazz, Country, and 'Folk and Beyond' styles! These new RealStyles will work with the RealTracks included in any Band-in-a-Box® version 2017 or higher UltraPAK or Audiophile Edition.

To add to the excitement of this release, we're putting all of our Xtra Styles PAKs on SALE! Until December 31st, purchase any Xtra Styles PAK (1 - 4) for just $29 each! (reg. $49) http://www.pgmusic.com/xtrastyles.php?os=win

Listen to all the demos of these new Xtra Styles here, or check out this video: www.pgmusic.com/?vid=Zl_wr47d2V0

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