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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: 18858
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: 10487
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 Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
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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: 10487
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
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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: 5691
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: 3849
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
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18858
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
Veteran

Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 2089
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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#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
Veteran

Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 2089
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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