KX Drivers for Creative Soundcards

Hi,
I just read (thanks LearJeff) that a lot of creative soundcard owners are using “KX” drivers with good success. Any/all info about your experience with these drivers would be much appreciated. I’m using a Creative Audigy Platinum EX.
Lately I’ve been playing with downloaded midi fies so soundfonts are currently important to me. Is it the drivers or the card itself that allows me to use soundfonts? Are “KX” drivers better for use with my Audigy soundcard than the “Asio4All” drivers?
Audigy Soundcard Side question: I have a 5.1 speaker setup and notice that when I listen to a song in ntrack I only hear sound from my front speakers. I do a speaker test via the soundcards software and get the test sounds out of all 5 speakers and the subwoofer. When I listen to a song in windows media player I hear through all speakers. I go back to ntrack and still only hear sound out of the front speakers.
Anyone else notice this or do I just have something not set correctly with the soundcard or with ntrack?
Thanks,
James

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Anyone else notice this or do I just have something not set correctly with the soundcard or with ntrack


yes.

Personally, although I have never tried them, I wouldn’t mess around with non-creative drivers - the creative stuff works just fine (It did on my previous athlon 1.4, and does on my latest athlon64). Over at audiominds.com there is a sticky of mine with a few pointers to using audigy with n-track. The only criticism I guess is that it is bloatware and you end up with a load of stuff you don’t necessarily need.

On the 5:1 thing, you have to set n-track to have more than 2 output channels (under audio devices, preferences, adbvanced), and then you have to select the channels as you want. You will prob find that at the moment you have just 2 audio channels selected and these are asio channels 1&2 corresponding to outputs F L&R

Somewhere on your installation CD there should be a “music creation guide”. In there you will find all the information telling you which asio channels correspond to which input/output. This is where the audigy falls down for music creation - all the capability is there to do lots of clever stuff with asio, direct monitoring, onboard DSP, soundfonts etc, but the documentation is frankly s**t

Just be aware that KXdrivers has fallen in the “out of development” category. Even, they are great, but they have some limitations on Audigys, if i correctly remember, you can go to their forum and ask.
For work with soundfonts, most of guys use SFZ, a software solution that eats CPU. If you want to avoid that, your Audigy allow to load the soundfonts in your ram, but using it own dsp chip, so you have 0% cpu use. That is good in certain situation. If you are planning use soundfonts in that way, i recommend the standard Creative drivers, they work better with soundfonts than the KX ones, in my experience.

Like Marce and Maazsy said the default drivers should be fine unless you don’t use the SB hardware to play soundfonts.

If that’s the case I would go for Asio4all instead of KX for lower latency.

KX was excellent at the time, but I don’t like drivers that are a little behind the hardware (like the audigy is). Even if it has the same chipset, it might miss something else.

A 2nd reason for using A4A above KX is the unobtrusive way that it runs on the hardware layer portion of the wdm driver.

3rd vote is ease of use. (Installation, use and uninstall)

It just works.

my .2

W

Edit:/ It would be interesting to see a comparison of the a4all driver vs the Audigy’s own asio driver…

Thanks for your replies, all!

maaszy,
I actually deleted the output channels thinking they were just a duplication glitch of the software/hardware - my glitch!
I’ll reinstall them - thanks.

marce,
You mentioned “your Audigy allow to load the soundfonts in your ram, but using it own dsp chip, so you have 0% cpu use. That is good in certain situation.” Which situations would that not be good for? Thank you.

Wilhan,
Thanks for the A4A info. Can I use the A4A drivers and still use my audigy soundcard for soundfonts?

Thanks again all,
James

Another vote for Asio4all driver. I get better latency with it than I do with the Creative drivers.

KX project driver tries be be everything for everyone. It’s compatible with almost all SBLive and Audigy’s, but it doesn’t fully exploit the capabilities of the Audigy.

I don’t use soundfonts any more. I find a good sample engine like Kontact and a good synth like Hypersonic gives me everything I need for midi.

I have been using the kX drivers for several years and wouldn’t think of going back to the Creative drivers, there is no comparison. It is true that development of the kX drivers has slowed down because Eugene Gavrilov has to deal with family, jobs and such but where they are now is far ahead of where the Creative drivers are. I don’t see constant development of the Creative drivers going on.

It is not clear if Eugene will have time to address 24bit ASIO recording, (24 bit is only possible with kX & WDM at the moment), before major development runs out of steam but I am fine with where kX is at the moment.

Even the creator of ASIO4All suggest that anyone that has a kX compatible card should use kX over ASIO4All.

The kX drivers are more complex and there is a higher learning curve than other drivers but I think the payoff is worth it. Most of my recording is done with kX and nTrack 3.3 these days and I am happy with what I get.

There is a noise problem with kX and some model of “Audigy Platinum EX” with the external drive, not with the standalone card. That is worth investigating before thinking about kX.

Thanks Doug. I do have the platinum ex version so I have the breakout box and I may get that noise problem you mentioned but there’s only one way to find out…

Another question: What are WDM drivers? I thought I read somewhere that if you have the option, WDM are the best drivers to use. When I select these, and choose 48 sample freq / 24bits ntrack (and my computer) freezes and I have to reboot, delete the n track config files and start over.

James

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marce,
You mentioned “your Audigy allow to load the soundfonts in your ram, but using it own dsp chip, so you have 0% cpu use. That is good in certain situation.” Which situations would that not be good for? Thank you.


Hi James. If you have lots of RAM, and a powerfull CPU, use soundfonts trough VSTi`s is always the best choice, because you have a lot of editin easyness: Threat your midi track like an audio one (appling the fx you want, by ex), and also is very easy and quick to render that tracks, i mean convert them to a wav file. But, how i said, that eat, sometimes, lots of your computer resources.
By the other side, loading soundfonts in your soundblaster card eat 0%cpu (yes the ram) BUT for convert it to a wav file you need play that midi file in realtime, while recording that output in your sequencer. Also, even the soundblaster has builtin FX (that i really like, for realtime playing are great), for use your favorites VSt fx you need first do that realtime recording.
But, be aware that for realtime playing, load the soundfonts in the soundcard memory is great: stable and no latency or cpu issues, without glitches.

marce,

Thank you for your explanations and for answering my questions. I appreciate your time spent helping me.

James

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an I use the A4A drivers and still use my audigy soundcard for soundfonts?


Hi !

The a4a drivers leave the regular drivers as is - it won’t be a problem at all.

W.

Thanks Wilhan!
James