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P&G Sounds - Creative X-Fi Driver Settings / Suggestions


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#1 DucFreak

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Posted Mar 21 2009 - 11:05 AM

The Creative X-Fi soundcard products are very popular these days, and they are among the best choices for those willing to have a good soundcard for games.

Still, there's plenty people around complaining about a static background noise (distorting/clipping sounds) in inumerous racing-games, P&G v2.0 has been affected too (I've received inumerous PM's reporting this problem, with positive feedback after these suggestions).
...the culprits here are, most likely, the settings on the Creative XFI drivers, not the sound samples!

I have a Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer myself (vanilla, not Fatality) and it's pretty damn good once the driver settings are "tweaked", so I presume this will work for you with same or different Creative X-Fi soundcards as well. :thumbup:

I lost countless hours to find the best settings for it, as I was initially cursing the damn soundcard and blaming myself for its purchase for too much "coloring" in the sound (I already had a Focusrite Saffire-LE professional soundcard, completely different ballgame) and then... *BLING* ...found it's because too much crapp is ON (and wrongly so!) by default in Creative drivers, messing with the sound reproduction.

Ok, so starting on the Creative X-FI driver settings, I presume yours will use similar drivers (be it for Win 7, Vista or XP) compared to those that I have for my soundcard, so here's something that might help you there, and note, using X-FI panel control in "Game Mode"...


(click the thumbnail pics to enlarge to full size, beware it may take a while to load)


GENERAL SETTINGS (ones that I use no matter the speakers/headphones settings used):


Crystalizer:
Posted Image

(NOTE: I like to use Crystalizer "OFF", as it enhances the high-frequencies too much for me (this setting, when on, makes the sounds "brighter", with plenty more treble). If for any reason you decide to use it "ON", I would definitely not recommend going over 50%).


Equalizer:
Posted Image

(NOTE: I use "flat" equalization -same as not used/unchecked- because that's how I prefer it for being "true" to the sound to be reproducted. Try that one first, before changing anything there).


Mixer:
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(NOTE: two settings found here, SVM and EAX, are, perhaps, the biggest culprits of crappy sounds...  SVM and EAX should be "OFF" (unticked), SVM and EAX forces effects, colloring sound, when and where it shouldn't be used).


BassBoost (set for headphones):
Posted Image

(NOTE: this option is very usefull to adjust amount of "bass" if using headphones (therefore if placed "ON", adjust to suit tastes) but, if you're using a speakers+subwoofer system, definitely better to leave this always "OFF". In this last case, and instead of using this setting, adjust the bass-level within your speakers+sub system (usually there's a knob for that in the back of the subwoofer)



SPEAKER SETTINGS


Headphones:
Posted Image

5.1 (true) Surround Speakers
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(NOTE: same settings used in any speakers system, 2.1, 5.1, 7.1, etc)



Finally, two things that are VERY important...

First, no matter what speakers/headphones settings used, never, ever, go over 80% in the "Master Volume" (3/4 turn in the chrome knob adjuster, as you see in screenshots) as this seems to be the max limit of sound quality volume in Creative cards (at least on mine it definitly is), from there on the signal gets distorted/clipping, and crappy sound reproduction is almost garanteed.

Second, you should have your subwoofer connected directly to its respective plug-hole on the soundcard (check the soundcard manual, if not sure) and the bass intensity at about 50% (there's usually a button/knob in the back of subwoofer), so if we imagine that knob as a clock, it should be set at 12'o clock. Adjust only to suit taste from there on (quality of subwoofer/speakers is obviously important too)...

Last suggestion, just in case you use headphones AND speakers, and if you really have to connect more than one jack (one for left/right speakers, another for headphones) to the same plug-hole (the left/right one, green one usually) in the soundcard, then use a (stereo) jack-splitter instead.

Alright... try P&G or other racing-games again and tell us later if it's any better!  :thumbup:

Cheers! :wave:

Edited by DucFreak, Mar 03 2012 - 06:55 AM.


#2 aSa

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    Denny Hulme

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Posted Mar 25 2009 - 08:01 AM

Dear frustrated but proud owners of the oldest X-FI Fatality version with Asus M2R32-MVP motherboards (fix may work also for others with similar symptoms), hear this: if you are experiencing random X-FI lockups (sounds stops suddenly) or sudden constant high tone screeching, the next solution might very well save your day.

The problem seems to be a timing error between build-in USB ports and the old X-FI's pci bus timing.  You need to disable ALL the build-in USB ports from your computer's bios setup.  An external (pci or pci express) USB card should be used to replace those needed ports.  Cards are quite cheap, so the replacement is not a big money issue.

Using pci timing modification tools like "PCI Latency Tool" will not fix it for good (nor does the bios based equivalent adjustments).  I tried couple of months to find proper timing, but with no luck.  It got a little better, but still locking up and screeching occurred annoyingly enough.

After disabling my build-in USB ports not a single sound lock-up or screeching has occurred since.

Edited by aSa, Mar 25 2009 - 08:03 AM.
typos


#3 Tappi

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Posted Apr 25 2009 - 06:11 AM

Just a little explanation to the suggested Mixer settings:

SVM - Smart Volume Management - comes in very handy if you want too view your favourite movies at 2 o'clock in the morning and don't want too wake up the whole house. It's just a dynamics compressor which equals the volume levels so you dont have too high peaks when ie. listening to a very dynamic source such as Dolby or DTS tracks.

EAX - enables EAX effects for the microphone. This button can enable EAX effects for the microphone for games such as battlefield which supports it. These effects are applied to your VOICE when communicationg over VOIP ie. if your sitting in a tunnel and speak a typical delay will be applied to your voice.

Has anyone a diver suggestion for Xfi + WinXP x64 with >4GB RAM? I've no problems with games and windows audio. But as soon a I need to work with the ASIO driver in audio apps or strangley if I have Skype calls with less than 2 people my sounds get distored.

#4 weldmetal12

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Posted Sep 25 2016 - 03:07 PM

Hi Duc,
   I wonder if you could repost your mixer settings (eq) and or suggestions, as I've transfered the card to new pc.

Your settings I found were quite satisfactory before.

Thanks.
Weld

Edited by weldmetal12, Sep 25 2016 - 03:08 PM.





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