Lag Issues with Sound Blaster X-FI

Currently I am using a SB X-FI; I am experiencing lag issues that seem to get worse as I record. Basically everything is in sync for the first minute and then the tracks go out of sync and continue to get worse. Is there a direct issue with this sound card and lag or is there a setting that I need to toy with on N-track?
Thanks in Advance.

What type of drivers are you using? ASIO or WDM? Do you hear clicks and pops? Lag problems, and clicks and pops can all be symptoms of having incorrect buffer settings. If you are using a WDM drivers, you can increase the buffer size in ntrack’s preferences control panel. If you are using an ASIO driver then try increasing the latency setting in your driver’s control panel. Then do some more recording and see if the lag issues are solved. There are other possible causes, so don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t solve the problem.


Whilst that card apparently has better sample rate conversion than the older generation Creative cards, I understand that it still operates internally at 48kHz. If so it may still suffer from the issues that the older cards had… namely having to convert on the fly and thus having sync issues.

Try recording all your tracks at 48kHz. This was the standard solution on the old Live! cards and it worked like a dream.


last week i tested my AUDIGY NX2 USB for sync accuracy - soundcard the Audigy was sat to 48000 hz using WDM drivers, and N was set to 41000 hz, i used a QUIK TIME high accuracy metronome as the recording medium because it has a socket on the side for a headphone which i fed to the Audigys mic input -

had ‘draw wave file while recoeding’ option set to ON -

i recorded 1 track at HIGH buffering for 15 minutes, i then altered the buffering to NORMALand recorded another 15 minutes, the second track was 10 seconds slow compared to the first, i reset the buffering back to HIGH and recorded a third track, the third track was 1 second slow compared to the first track (it should have been the same length) -

having found a measurable difference between tracks, i set N to 48000 hz and and did as above again but only for 10 minutes per track, first track at HIGH buffering 10 minutes, second track at NORMAL buffering was 2 seconds slow, third track at HIGH buffering was 1 second slow -

redone test using a Roland SP606 USB using WDM drivers as a soundcard, with no difference between track timimg at all -

it looks like the advice about setting N to 48000 hz sample rate for recording and playback is accurate -

it you can repeat, or make up your own repeatable test you will see that the timeline behaves in the most eratic way while recording - time was lost whilst recording with the AUDIGY during Windows activity - the higher the buffering is set for recording the less chance Windows cutting in has to corrupt your tracks -

Dr J

All the SoundBlaster cards, except the X-Fi do sample rate conversions for record frequencies other than 48K and have issues.

However, the X-Fi was developed to fix this problem and can be set to record at a specific rate without resampling. Just go to Audio Creation Mode, open the main mixer dialog box and click Settings (bottom left corner of window) and set the Master Sampling Rate to your recording rate. Also select Enable Bit-matched Playback. Click Okay to return to the main mixer and click the second line under the word “Recorder” on the bottom right of the mixer window. This will open the Change Record Format dialog box. Select WAV, and your sampling rate and bit depth, then click Okay. Do this and see if you still have problems.

I have an X-Fi and record at 16-bit, 44.1K all the time with no issues.

go to the creative website - - click on support, autoupdate, and follow instructions, if creative have improved their drivers etc then it will load them in for you -

BEWARE that some creative drivers are nearly 40meg in size so OK for broadband, NOTso OK if you are on dialup - dialup = approx 1meg download per 10 minutes online.

Dr J