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Topic: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else? (Read 60147 times) previous topic - next topic

Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Hi I used NWC composer on my old NEC PII 333 mhz dinosaur with great results. Now that I have a new computer with Windows Vista, my Choir oohs sound like half ooh - half xylophone. What the heck? Is anyone familiar with this problem? Am I blaming too much on MS Vista?

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #1
It's not so much Vista's fault (although I'm NOT happy with Vista so far...) as it is the sound card you were given.  I told my sales guy that I have to have the best sound because I'm a musician, but my music sounds less good than on my previous system.  I had a SBLive! before - don't know what I have now (he just put all of the boxes directly from the shelves to the cart).  Gonna have to get the Geek Squad over here to put in a better soundcard...

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #2
I find that it is best to go to reputable music retailer when dealing in PC Sound espesially those dealing with audio studios professional or otherwise.The normal
PC dealers in my country anyway I think don't see the recording and sequencing
market as a lucrative market and 9 out of 10 times the salesman gives you a lot
of "cool jargon" to put you on the back foot in order to sell you a new PC because
he knows the games market and your sound card will always  be out of date.The
music retailers might be more expensive than the bulk discount stores but they
generally target specific needs of musicians in order to survive.
PS ,I am not a music retailer only a well seasoned ex sucker.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #3
<snip>...my Choir oohs sound like half ooh - half xylophone. What the heck? Is anyone familiar with this problem? Am I blaming too much on MS Vista?

Depends...  What MIDI output are you using?

Check by looking in NWC: |Tools|Options|Midi (Tab)|"Devices used by play back"|

If it's the "Microsoft MIDI Mapper" also check |"Control Panel"|Sounds and Audio Devices|Audio (Tab)|MIDI music playback| - What is the default device.

Lastly, what sound card(s) do you have and which is the default?

|"Control Panel"|Sounds and Audio Devices|Audio (Tab)|Sound playback|Default device| - list the available devices in the list box.

This assumes that vista has a control panel interface remotely like XP - if it doesn't it will be harder for me to assist as I haven't bothered to install it yet.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #4
I installed Vista and I must admit, I liked the general look.
I have Creative Labs Audigy 2 installed and 1.5 gig RAM. However, the sound was dreadful. I even down-loaded the latest Creative Labs Vista driver, but it made no difference.
I went back to Windows XP and now my soundcard behaves beautifully as before.
I will not be returning to Vista for quite a while.
I suggest anyone with Vista to do the same and go to XP until MicroSoft sort out the bugs in Vista.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #5
This problem seems to arise with each MicroSoft OS release.
You should start by trying each of your available MIDI devices, one at a time, from Tools | Options.

If this does not help, you lost access to one of your soundcard's MIDI synths during the upgrade. You should check the card manufacture's web site for Windows ME drivers, and then update your system with them.
Go to Tools | Options | Midi tab and, one by one, select from the available devices in the left pane, moving it to the right pane (there should be only one device in the right pane at any given time). This should help you find the device that you formerly used before volunteering as a microsoft beta tester. :-p

Alternately, select Midi Mapper as your "device" (making this the only entry) and select the different available devices one by one in the Midi Mapper dialog (Control Panel | Multimedia | Midi tab | Single Instrument button).
<snip>
-> In NWC, only select one driver for use by play back. DO not bother selecting the MIDI Mapper until you have successfully found which real device is the one you want. Once you find it, you can setup your system's MIDI Mapper to use that device as well (so the Windows Media Player will also sound good).
Registered user since 1996

  • C.E.G
  • NWC2 User
Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #6
i can still remember the midi sounds of the windows 95. one piece that i had written for a whole orchestra came thru sounding as though there were only a synth bass flutes and clarinets (there were none of theses).
definently the best set of sounds out there is yahmaha's stuff

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #7
Yamaha?  I used to think so -- until I bought a Roland Super JV-1080 Synth module.  WOW!  And it's basically an older one.  It works beautifully with the NWC2 interface and midi windows, and it's very configurable.  I also use the Orchestral 1 and 2, and the voice expansion modules.  Man, what a difference, and I have an Audigy platinum 2 with the Aux faceplate!  An advantage with a separate midi engine is that it is no longer dependent on the PC platform to perform.

Mark
Nothing ruins a good hobby like doing it for a living...

  • C.E.G
  • NWC2 User
Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #8
how did that cost? i might try it out but i am on a very constrained budget

  • Bob
Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #9
I think it's all a conspiracy...it is Vista, but it's not the limitations of Vista.

Here's how it works.

You have just bought a nice computer.  12 months ago, that is.  It's great.  Top-of-the-line.  And even the sound card has that perfect timbre for every instrument.

Vista comes out.  Everyone is forced to upgrade if they want to use the latest version of anything.

So you buy a new computer.  It's absolutely crappy, but it runs Vista.

The monitor is 15" and has little lines going across it like an old TV (and it's supposed to...not sure why...).  The memory needs upgrading.  Maybe the hard drive is too tiny.  But the sound card...oh, the sound card...it's the worst you've ever heard.

Eventually, people will make a driver for those really good sound cards when their business begins to wish they had a better one that would work in Vista, but for now, everyone can sell cheap sound cards in their computers as long as there's not a better computer out there with Vista.

I felt cheated, too.  I feel your pain.

It's all a whacked out conspiracy.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #10
I have a small update folks,
Depends...  What MIDI output are you using?

Check by looking in NWC: |Tools|Options|Midi (Tab)|"Devices used by play back"|

If it's the "Microsoft MIDI Mapper" also check |"Control Panel"|Sounds and Audio Devices|Audio (Tab)|MIDI music playback| - What is the default device.


You can forget trying that suggestion - vista has no access to change the default device used by MIDI mapper - the MIDI mapper control panel applet has been removed!  You are stuck with the dreadful low end Roland DLS module m$ licenced from Roland about a thousand years ago...

The ONLY way (without a registry hack) to get vista using a MIDI device other than the Roland thing is if your application can access a MIDI device directly and not via MIDI mapper - with NWC you are in luck, but you have to go into setup and select your MIDI synth - and don't use either MIDI mapper OR the m$ software synth - it'll be the same thing.

Sadly the Noteworthy Viewer doesn't have this option - maybe time for a change to allow MIDI synth choice in the viewer..?

If you have a SB Audigy or the like you'll also need to load a suitable soundfont but SB owners will already know 'bout that.

It you do have an "ordinary" sound card - most likely without a hardware synth OR its' own softsynth then you need to spend some money.

Fortunately, any SB card that has vista drivers available (all the Audigy's I think, not sure 'bout the Live!'s) can be a relatively budget way in - 'specially the lower end ones - the big difference between these cards is signal to noise ratios and "bells and whistles" - they will all use the same soundfonts so if basic MIDI reproduction is all you need then these are a reasonable choice.

If you're really fussy, you would've already picked some fancy, schmancy sound card I would think.

One thing that is really annoying me is that my beloved Yamaha S-YXG50 softsynth won't work in vista - yet another reason for me to NOT downgrade...

I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #11
My Audigy 7 sound card cost less than £20   and  is very satisfactory with my NWC 2 running on XP   I have installed an improved general MIDI sound font and a number of Pipe Organ sound fonts on to the Audigy card.  They are not the  same as the sound of a high-fi system, but within the limits of my PC speakers they are mopre than adequate. It should run at least as well on Vista

Tony

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #12
G'day Tony,
...It should run at least as well on Vista

I hope so - just make sure that you can get suitable drivers for your sound card before you consider moving to vista - just in case...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #13
Lawrie,

I see no reason as yet for me to change to Vista; the problems reported in various forums make me  agree with the concept of not using any new system until it has been out for a year or so and all the gremlins fixed..

Tony

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #14
G'day Tony,
very wise IMHO
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #15
In Microsoft's zeal to protect users from themselves (or maybe just to make money by ensuring every new user has to call them for support), they have actually ended up protecting computers from the users.  Because, as we all know, the real purpose of computers is to just sit there and look pretty with some nice Microsoft wallpaper display.  We don't need to use it to get real work done.  If we did that, we might make a mistake and mess something up.  Or change a configuration.  Or use up some of the hard disk space saving our files.  Or try to install a non-Microsoft application on it, and we just can't guarantee that it will work anymore, now can we.  Everything you need to do should be able to be done with a locked down account from just the operating system utilities.  Hey, browse the web (don't forget to get an MSN email account), and play Freecell, and your life and computing experience will be complete.  We'll just keep everything neat and clean and pristine by locking out all those silly users.  That way your computer is always just like it was out of the box, ready to be sold on eBay for a premium in near mint condition.


<Image Link>


Sheeesh!!
John

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #16
I see no reason as yet for me to change to Vista; the problems reported in various forums make me  agree with the concept of not using any new system until it has been out for a year or so and all the gremlins fixed..

Yeah. We upgraded to Win98 in 2000!
And to XP in 2006!
Vista is a good many years off, yet, and by then, all of home will be converted to Macs (and maybe we will be able to run NWC).
btw Macs for a long time had the very same reputation of keeping users away from the guts of the machine.

Personally, I've just "upgraded" my XP machine (which was a slow P4 1.6 - it seemed fast three years ago) to my son's Core2 Duo, which goes like stink. But it hasn't got an ISA bus for my original SB AWE64 card, and only has one PCI slot, which I must get round to moving my SB Live into. I'd completely forgotten about moving the SB card, and the midi sound is currently TERRIBLE. (M$'s standard soft MIDI device, I presume). Noisy, dull, poor samples, ... but it's the noise that annoys the most.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #17
Lawrie said:
"One thing that is really annoying me is that my beloved Yamaha S-YXG50 softsynth won't work in vista - yet another reason for me to NOT downgrade..."

"NOT downgrade..."  LOL!!!! sounds like the truth about Vista.

Mark E., I'm sure the Roland high-end synth module does sound fabulous, no argument there.  But as was pointed out, it's a lot of $, great if you can spare it.  To my ear, dollar for dollar, until you get to high-end high-$ synths, no one can match Yamaha hardware or software synths for depth and realism of sound in acoustic and electric instrument patches.


Could Vi$ta'$ MIDI sound limitations be gotten around by getting a USB MIDI interface ($30-40) and using a decent keyboard as the MIDI device by choosing the USB port in NWC as the MIDI playback device?

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #18
G'day Milton,
you can use any MIDI device you want in vista provided you have:
  • vista drivers for your synth/MIDI port
  • an application that can address the synth/MIDI port directly
  • you don't need to have MIDI mapper use said MIDI device

'tis that last one that irks me (aside from not being able to use my Yam, that is).  It means that no matter how good your synth is, NWC viewer won't use it - no way, no how!  Neither will any other MIDI player that doesn't allow you to select your preferred MIDI device internally.

(m$ - bring back MIDI mapper you "silly people")
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #19
'tis that last one that irks me (aside from not being able to use my Yam, that is).  It means that no matter how good your synth is, NWC viewer won't use it - no way, no how!  Neither will any other MIDI player that doesn't allow you to select your preferred MIDI device internally.
(m$ - bring back MIDI mapper you "silly people")
You might want to look at reply #5 <here>
I'd say that if this key exists in XP and the MIDI mapper in XP changes this key, then changing it in Vista might do the trick.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #20
G'day Rick,
I'm aware of registry hacks to do it (change default MIDI) but is absolutely should not be necessary.

m$ have deliberately disenfranchised users who do not have sufficient knowledge to "hack the registry" but do have sufficient familiarity with the user interface to use the appropriate applets correctly.

It isn't a problem for me personally, but my business is about service in IT and service is the last thing you get from m$ these days (if we ever really did...) - the missing MIDI mapper applet is just one example.

/rant :)
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #21
It means that no matter how good your synth is, NWC viewer won't use it - no way, no how!

NWC Viewer Beta 2.20 now includes support for user selection of play back device.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #22
G'day NoteWorthy Online
NWC Viewer Beta 2.20 now includes support for user selection of play back device.

I reckon you've just made a lot of people very happy - thank you!
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #23
One solution I haven't seen mentioned here is a standalone soundcard. My daughter got one a few weeks ago for her Vista laptop and reports that it works great. Plugs into the USB port. Hers is an SB Live!, but there are others available, most of them for very reasonable prices.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #24
G'day William,
Owyagoinmateorrite?

Actually, it isn't that a sound card doesn't work that's the problem, 'cos is ain't.  Sound cards work fine - provided you can get a vi$ta driver for 'em.  Synth selection is, however, a problem.  Or rather access to selecting a synth...

The real difficulty is how one uses it.  In NWC we're lucky, we can select a specific installed synth, hardware OR software.

Bu-ut, NWC defaults to MIDI mapper, a logical device that points, or maps, to a "real" synth.  This is more a user problem 'cos many don't seem to realise that within NWC you can change this and specify another synth if one is present.

In XP and prior versions of windows you could control what real synth was used when MIDI mapper was selected by running the MIDI mapper applet in control panel.  vi$ta removed this option and you could not change from the m$ GS wavetable supplied.

Thus, in the viewer you could not choose what synth was used 'cos it used to not give you a choice and the MIDI mapper applet is gone - this has been rectified in that the viewer now gives you the same synth selection ability as NWC  :)

A little more discussion is here: https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=6014.msg40909#msg40909
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #25
Thanks, Lawrie. Of course the right driver is necessary (as is a good soundfont bank). I guess what I was trying to get at was the same point you made - that people aren't limited to Microsoft's choices if they know how to change the MIDI settings in NWC. I suspect many users will do that more readily for a standalone card sitting out there in its little box than they will for a card mounted within the computer's frame, which they expect the computer to be able to handle by itself. This is true even for my daughter, who is an expert computer user (she has a small side business doing Web design) but couldn't figure out why the sound on her laptop was so lousy even when she plugged it into a decent set of speakers. After trying several other tacks, I convinced her to buy the SB standalone, and now she's happy as a clam (are clams happy?)

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #26
G'day William,
<snip>
This is true even for my daughter, who is an expert computer user (she has a small side business doing Web design) but couldn't figure out why the sound on her laptop was so lousy even when she plugged it into a decent set of speakers. After trying several other tacks, I convinced her to buy the SB standalone, and now she's happy as a clam (are clams happy?)

Ahh, I may be able to shed some light on this one...

With Windows '98, 2k, XP and now vi$ta m$ ships a software synthesizer (mentioned above) that uses a Roland Sound Canvas wavetable.  Now, being a Roland you'd think it would be pretty good, and it is certainly better than some I've heard, but in comparison to a decent product it is hopeless.  It is only a bit over 3 kb so you can imagine how good the sample really are... :(  m$ undoubtedly pay licence fees for it but you can bet it ain't much!  It is certailny not from the top of Rolands product range.

This synth is selected as the default in MIDI mapper (when present... vi$ta gives you no choice).  Pretty much all the on board sound systems we see (I own a company that does Network integration so we sell the odd PC here and there...) have NO hardware synth. and many do not ship with a software synth - Why bother, windows has got one... and the majority of people listening to music are playing mp3's etc.  It's only us silly muso's that want to use MIDI.  ;)

As a result, if a PC purchaser does not specify a sound card that has some decent features, they're stuck with the m$ synth.  This is what happened to your daughter (you don't get a choice of internal sound card with a notebook).  By installing the SB she got access to an alternative synth which obviously had a better wavetable, or maybe soundfonts (probable) or a decent softsynth other than the m$ one.

Personally, I have a pretty reasonable SB Audigy setup but I don't normally use the H/W synths - I usually use the Yamaha S-YXG50 softsynth that I've fallen in love with.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #27
OK - I did the foolish thing, but I seemingly had no choice. My pc died a couple of months ago and the new one has Vista installed and of course the sound is atrocious and completely unacceptable! The sound card is SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio (vista) (sounds like it should sound great right?). The available playback options in NWC are MS GS Wavetable Synth and MS MIDI Mapper. Both sound the same. So, if I install the soundcard from my old computer, will it sound like it used to? The old sound card was Santa Cruz by Turtle Beach. Not a bad sounding card for the most part.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #28
G'day Duncan,
Do you have the correct drivers installed for the card?  Checkout Creatives website and download the latest vista drivers from it.

http://193.95.171.84/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE/,/?St=931,E=0000000000291128284,K=6766,Sxi=9,VARSET=ws:http://au.creative.com:80,case=14186

You should have acess to the card's synths (2) in NWC...  Perhaps the new drivers will fix this.

Of course, you'd need to load some acceptable soundfonts - one I've found to be quite reasonable is the "Airfont 340" - only trouble is it has a percussive flute! - I have a copy where I've fixed this error - give me a yell if you want it and I'll email you the url...

Your old sound card is only useful if you can get vista drivers for it...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #29
Hey Lawrie, I just noticed your reply. Been rather too busy to mess with this issue of late. I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. Do you mean the latest drivers for the X-Fi soundcard? I went to the website and don't see the other card listed. Looks like I am going to have to look up the exact version of Vista operating system before I can download the drivers anyway, but it's too late to do it now. Is it possible to use the midi keyboard as the sound card using a midi/USB cable? (somehow I think that would be more involved than I am capable of comprehending - you know how I am!) If I don't go to bed now I may not wake up for work tomorrow. Thanks for the help. - D.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #30
G'day Duncan,
Yeah, I did mean drivers for the X-Fi.  From what you said earlier you aren't seing the Creative synth's in NWC - you should be able too. 

So, it's my thinking that the Creative X-Fi drivers aren't actually installed OR you have a buggy or broken installation.  Either way, if you try the link in my previous message it will take you to a Creative site where you can download vista drivers for the X-Fi.  Installing these should update or repair your current driver install and hopefully the synths will appear in NWC's available list.

The other driver download mentioned was for your old sound card - you suggested you'd like to try to use it.  If you do want to, you'll need vista drivers for it.

Personally, I'd persevere with trying to get the X-Fi working properly.

I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #31
Well, an interesting thing happened. When I tried to download the driver update I got a message: Setup is unable to detect a supported product on your system. Please ensure that your product is properly installed before running this setup program. My question is: What is playing the sound on my machine if not the soundcard that is supposed to be installed? All of the software was pre-installed on the machine and it did not come with any seperate discs except for the monitor and printer.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #32
Lawrie, I just went to the Device manager and checked out the sound card and it says that it is working properly, I then had windows search for the driver update and a message came back saying that I had the latest drivers insatlled already, however I still only have MIDI mapper and GS wavetable synth available in NWC2 for playback devices. Very frustrating!

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #33
Sorry about all the messages. I just looked in the device manager again. Under "Sound Video and Game Controllers" is listed
1. Realteck High Definition Audio
2. Sound Blaster  X-Fi Extreme Audio (Vista)
3. ViXS Pure TV-U 48B0 (NTSC/ATSC combo)
Is it possible that NWC is somehow using one of the other sound generators and if so, how do I get it to use the SB?

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #34
G'day Duncan,
OK, m$ GS wavetable and MIDIMapper will be the exact same synth.  MIDIMapper defaults to the m$ wavetable and there is no applet in Vista to change it.

Out of curiosity, which connectors do you have your speakers plugged into?  This won't change the synth availability, but should help me figure out which sound source is actually in use...

I'm guessing you'll have a set of connectors near the printer port on the mother board, and you'll have a set of connectors on the X-Fi card.  I'm also guessing that you have your speakers plugged into the motherboard ones...

If you only have one set of audio connectors (the ones on the motherboard) I think I'd get my receipts, go back to the shop, and ask them where the X-Fi is...

Otherwise, if you are comfortable doing these things:
  • Note where all sound related connectors are so you can restore them
  • If your speakers are not connected to the X-Fi then move them there
  • Restart your computer and enter the BIOS setup
  • In the BIOS setup locate and disable the Realtek/onboard sound
  • Exit the BIOS setup and allow the PC to boot

Your "Realtek High Definition Audio" should be gone from "Device Mangler".  Do you have sound?  If not, check your volume/mixer controls - MAKE SURE you are selecting the X-Fi as the sound card to control (if you still have a choice)

If you cannot get sound, I would make sure you have the speaker connectors in the right places - it can be hard to tell sometimes with the newer Creative cards.

I'm not sure about the "ViXS Pure TV-U..." - I assume it's a TV card?  In which case it's a video controller, not an audio controller.

The fact that you do not have access to the X-Fi synth(s) is... disturbing.  I've just spent some time searching the Creative wbsite and while they don't specify the synth(s) in the X-Fi there is an oblique reference in troubleshooting and "Insufficient Soundfont Cache" - you don't need soundfont cache if you don't have synth's so there must be a synth on board.  The fact you can't see it indicates it is not working - and we're back to the driver issue.

Do you have ANY Creative software installed?  You should have access to sound font bank management.

<edit> fixed spelling error in Duncan's name - sorry mate.
  • Last Edit: 2007-12-07 02:06 am by Lawrie Pardy
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #35
Well the speakers are plugged into the back of the machine and all of the sound card ports are on the front, so I am assuming that I am plugged into the motherboard which uses a small headphone type jack. There are RCA ports on the front but I don't know if they are input or output. One of the problems is that they (HP) installed everything and there is no literature on the sound card or any of the installed software. The manual for the PC is strictly generic and doesn't get into anything that might be optional such as type of soundcard etc.
As you know, I am technically challanged and at least half of what you say is a foreign language me so there is no way that I am going to open up the PC and start messing with its innards. When I have a little time I will call HP support as I purchased the machine directly from them. They should be able to help me. Perhaps this problem has come up before. I am going to ask my nephew to have a look also. He is a computer tech but when I start talking MIDI he gets a little nervous. Like most, Mp3 is what they are familiar with, that is why I came to this forum where we understand what we need. It's kind of like having a software/hardware recognition problem only with people. I am sure it will all work out in the end. It always does. I thank you for your help and patience, I really do appreciate your efforts. Just wish I had a better head for this stuff. I'll keep you posted.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #36
Hmm...

Can you tell me which model of HP we're talking about here?  Then I can lookit up on the net and see what you have.

This will make it easier for me to tell you where to look for connections

Thanks mate
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #37
The Model is Pavillion d4995t
Processor R Core 2 Quad Cpu Q6600 2.4 GHz
Ram 3071 MB
Vista 32 bit Operating System

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #38
I do have Creative software installed however I cannot find anything about the sound font bank management. I have checked the  online manual and haven't found it to be much help.  -Gotta run for now.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #39
G'day Duncan,
mate, that's a serious box!

Now, there are input ports on the front that are connected to the integrated sound system.

There are also speaker outputs on the back.  Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture so I could describe exactly where, but I suspect they will be amongst a cluster of ports like USB, video (if it's on board), printer, ethernet, mouse and keyboard (if it still suports PS2 stuff).  The standard layout is for all these to be in a cluster in a panel the would be vertically oriented on a tower system.

Now, your X-Fi should be in a slot.  According to the specs it is a PCIe card.  The speaker connectors on this card will be on the card itself, away from the cluster mentioned previously.

You will notice several metal "slot" blanks where expansion cards have an external aspect when they are installed.  Your X-Fi should be located with these.  In a tower PC they will be horizontally oriented and will be about 4" by 1/2" (visible).  The X-Fi will have 5 coloured 3.5mm jacks in a row in the centre of this metal "bracket" as well as a pair of TOSLINK optical ports.

These are the connectors for your speakers to use.  Now, it is possible that I gave you the wrong link for your X-Fi.  According to HP the option is for a PCIe card, I think the link I gave you was for a PCI one.  So, try this link:
http://au.creative.com/support/downloads/welcome.asp?nRegionFK=&nCountryFK=&nLanguageFK=&action=next&MainCategory=209&SubCategory=669&Product_ID=16770&Product_Name=PCI+Express+Sound+Blaster+X-Fi+Xtreme+Audio&x=15&y=12
and see if the download is better...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #40
I do have Creative software installed however I cannot find anything about the sound font bank management. I have checked the  online manual and haven't found it to be much help.  -Gotta run for now.

Gotta be there somewhere - I haven't seen the X-Fi software so I can't tell you where to look... but for my Audigy there is a shortcut for "Soundfont Bank Manager" in |Start|Programs|Creative|Sound Blaster Audigy II ZS|

Hope this helps some...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #41
Hey Lawrie - The link you sent last time did not work at all so I went to Creativelabs.com and tried the download there. That's where I got the message about no hardware installed. The new link seems to be an application for gaming. It says: This download is an application for Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ series of audio devices. It restores 3D audio and EAX® effects for certain DirectSound®3D games in Microsoft® Windows Vista™. 

Fixes:
Enables the DirectSound3D game audio to be processed by your Sound Blaster X-Fi to deliver EAX effects, 3D audio spatialization, sample rate conversion and hardware audio mixing. Without this, most DirectSound3D games will be reduced to stereo output without any EAX effects.
Do not install this application if you do not play DirectSound3D games in Windows Vista.
Do not install this application if you already have Creative ALchemy version 1.00.04 or later installed.
The application called CreativeAlchemy is dated Oct 1, 07. My PC was built in Nov. Doesn't sound like this is the download for me but just want to make sure.
l Start l Programs l Creative l Sound l Sound Blaster X -Fi l brings me to sub folders:
Creative Audio console Brings up box with drop down menu for "Select Device" (X-Fi selected) - tabs for X-Fi Crystalizer, Headphone Detection, Restore Defaults, Speaker configuration, EAX effects, and X-Fi CMSS-3D
Creative Console Launcher There are supposed to be 3 Configuration modes here: Audio Creation Mode, Entertainment Mode and Game Mode. The on-screen instructions say to press the Mode button to change modes, however I do not see a mode button or tab and the Help file does not come up with Mode or Audio Creation Mode - So much for their idea of Help.
Creative Diagnostics - I have a feeling that the diagnostics will run and come back with no problems found because it won't look for what I am looking for.
Creatie Volume Panel - Self explanatory
Documentation (Online Manual) - Nothing in the index about sound font bank.

Gotta run again!



Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #42
G'day Duncan,
OK, THIS link is to the HP support site and is the original software for your card as supplied by HP:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=pv-54972-1&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=3629254&os=2093&lang=en
I have downloaded and extracted this file.  It contains a 2 meg soundfont.  If there's a soundfont then the must be a soundfont bank manager even though I couldn't identify it - I can't install this as I don't have the card OR vista...

There are also the original drivers here:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=pv-54974-1&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=3629254&os=2093&lang=en

There appear to be no updates from either HP OR Creative.

BTW, have you identified the X-Fi's connectors?

I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #43
Hi All,

Maybe I can shed some light on this...

I recently "migrated" over to my Vista PC as my main one, Shifting all of my dedicated hardware. (MIDI keyboard, Ergonomic keyboard, trackball, soundcard). Anyway, the driver released for Vista seem to be watered down from the driver that shipped on the CD. I have a Creative Audigy 2 ZS, and remember mucking about with soundfonts in Windows XP back in the days when Downloads were severely limited...

I just installed the drivers for Vista from creative's website, and to my surprise, there was no soundfont manager! I might be wrong, since there are quite a few apps in the creative folder (I have a creative PMP - Portable Music Player) but I don't think so. It seems to be that creative has not released a Vista compatible version of the sondfont bank manager. There is an option to restore default settings including soundfonts, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere where you can change the soundfont in the first place. The loaded soundfont is worse than the Default MS synth... (Solo Violin/Viola sounds like an electric instrument, which can be good, but is mostly bad)

Likewise, my new (web downloaded) Vista logitech mouse drivers have limited functionality compared to what was on the driver CD (but the do look better with a better interface and more eye candy)

Possibly in the rush to become the most "Vista-compatible" company (i.e. creative) functionality has been dropped in favor of quick release dates (I know that companies had a fair amount of time to get drivers ready before the launch, but how many companies actually did that? i.e. Nvidia - still no proper graphics drivers)

Anyway, maybe fitzclan cant find the soundfont bank manager because its actually not there (yet). I know I can't (and I have the same card as Lawrie)

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #44
Ahh, thanks Globbilink.

This is very enlightening - perhaps a call to Creative with a really big whinge about how do you manage your soundfonts in Vista is the go...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #45
Well I managed to get a workaround...

I attempted to install the stuff I had on my driver CD, and even though it complained about needing a operating system higher than Windows 98SE all the files were copied over. I now have four devices called B000. After getting a blue screen after being too enthusiastic in the testing of the software, I now have a functional way to select my on soundfonts... (but as the bluescreen shows, its not necessarily stable)

But I suppose that's not an option for you, fitzclan? You didn't receive the XP drivers along with your computer by any chance?

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #46
Well I don't like the sound of that at all! No Globbilink, there were no XP or any other drivers sent with the machine. Everything was preinstalled. I haven't had a chance to contact HP support yet as I know that will probably take a chunk of time, but I do intend to do that.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #47
Don't have any technical advice to offer. Sounds fine on my Sony Vaio laptop with Vista.

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #48
Hey Duncan,
I have an answer, but you ain't gonna like it...

It seems that the X-Fi Xtreme Audio does NOT have a hardware synth, hence no soundfont bank management...

The minimum card that supports soundfonts/music creation appears to be the Xtreme Gamer, thence the Xtreme Music and upwards...

Sorry mate - HP have sold you a pup :(
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
Reply #49
Thanks Lawrie! Just spent 30 min. on the phone with HP only to be disconected when they couldn't answer my questions. It was obvious from the start that the technician ( term used very loosly ) had no clue as to what I was trying to relate to her. When I purchased the PC, the difference in price between the audio and the gamer was $30.00 US. I certainly would have spent the extra dough if I was aware of this problem. I do not have any interest in gaming and thought that the X-Fi Audio would be the ticket. Really frustrating I have to say. At this point, will I run into lousy soundfonts if I get the gamer and still have problems? Do you know anyting about this Yamaha SW1000? I thought I had purchased top-of-the-line equipment this time. Wrong again! Thank you so much for all of your help here, you are one in a million.