Multiple Soundcards


i just format my pc, and i have 2 more sound cards, i used to have an audigy 2 sz and a live! and now i have 2 live more… but i keep getting the dam blue screen of death, before i’d format my pc with 2 soundcards i’d do very well, but i want al lest one more to record snare, kick, and everything else at the same time (drum wise), the pc crashes whenever i try to use any other card that is not the primary. any ideas?? or some else had this same problem?

I think I understand your post.

The Creative drivers don’t usually support two of the same type of card in the same PC. That’s probably what is causing your crash.


For SB Live! cards, use the Kx drivers and connect the cards together with the SPDIF to provide synchronisation.
You will not find it easy, but it works. :)
See the Kx forum for more details.

Good luck.


This brought up a question for me that I’d tried some time ago, had no success, and gave it up. Has anyone had luck using an SBLive with KX in addition to a on-board sound card? If I remember right, either the BIOS or Windows automatically disabled the on-board card after I installed SB and wouldn’t let me reactivate it.

I have no idea what the quality of the on-board card is like, but if it is passable it would sure be a cheap way to record multiple simultaneous tracks.

I’ve used machines with the on-board sound and an add-in card so your problem must be something related to your machine and the way it works. Strange though.

As for the use of lots of two input cards as a way of getting cheap multi-track recording… the issue is always getting an accurate sync between the two cards as they both run off separate oscillators. Tests I’ve done in the past start getting into drift values of milliseconds over a few minutes between tracks recorded on the separate cards. Of course it does depend on the card and the accuracy of its clock.

The right way to do it is to sync the cards in some way. A hardware hack is one way - use two identical cards, hack the crystal off one of the cards and link it up to the crystal on the other card - YMMV as throwing high frequencies down any old piece of cable is not ideal.

Then there’s syncing via software like the Delta cards do. Or syncing via SPDIF as Steve suggests above (although with Creative cards this doesn’t actually sync the cards, it routes the analogue inputs of card 1 into the digital inputs of card 2. I also tried this sometime ago and measured a small, fixed, latency of way less than a millisecond. Things is though it’s such a PITA. Might as well just buy a 4 input card. They are relatively cheap - and 24 bit and probably got better converters than cheap SB type cards.

Creative’s own drivers do not support multiple cards in one machine. They will work on some machines, but it’s rare. Most machines will blue screen when one of the cards is put under even a little stress. You could go a while and not blue screen if all that was being played were system sounds or a single wave to one card at a time. The Kx drivers were fixed to support multiple cards. Kx and syncing via SPDIF is the only way to do it, with out physically altering the cards (and I don’t know how that’s done but someone on this board posted a how-to some months ago).

I recall getting the BSOD after formatting and trying to install XP with 2 Creative cards installed in the PCI slots. I removed one of the cards and the installation continued fine.

I then installed kX and after the card was recognized, installed another card, let kX recognize the card then I installed a third card.

The third card turned out to be a problem on my system and the computer became paranoid and depressed and responded by switching around IRQs on every reboot. Then I pulled one card out and things settled down.

Here is some info on how to get 4 inputs out of your Audigy:

This picture shows 3 possible SPDIF outs from an Audigy 2ZS to and Audigy 1.

I have 2 USB sound cards working great to get 4 seperate and simultanious tracks recorded. I’m having a problem monitoring though. The only sound card that is allowing me to monitor is the onboard Realtech ALC950 and that’s after recording.

I’m sure it’s super simple but how should I configure output settings.

thanks guys sorry i havent answer back. i upgraded to a firestudio i forgot about the multiple soundcards, however i found out the if you install the audigy first and let win xp use its onw drivers for the other ones, i works as a charm, 4 sound cards at the same time with no hearable latency, thanks for the help anyways. you guys rule