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Thread: [Official] Creative Sound Blaster Z, Zx & ZxR Series Club Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-08-2020 02:53 AM
umeng2002
Quote: Originally Posted by bwade065 View Post
Hi everyone,

I new to the idea of using a soundcard. I have a ZXr from a used computer I bought a few years ago. I recently purchased an ls41 headset for $120. I linked it below. How do I correctly configure a headset like this with the Zxr Pro studio. I checked the guide at the beginning of this thread but I couldn't tell much of a difference. Is the "surround" from the headphones and the Zxr pro studio interfering with each other? A friend of mine pointed me to the audio technica headphones also linked below. Would I have better luck with those, since the Zxr Pro studio has "surround sound". I am aware one is missing a mic. I could just rock a mod mic or similar.
From what I can tell, yes, the SBz surround will interfere with the surround modes on the headphone. From what I can tell with those headphones from reading the website, you need to use the SBz DTS or DD encoder and connect it to the headphones via optical out. The headphones then decode the DTS or DD surround signal and apply the DTS X Headphone surround.

So you essentially have two options for headphone surround now: Use the one in the SBz control panel and turn off the surround modes in the headphones; or use the DTS or DD encoder on the SBz and use the headphone's headphone surround modes.

Frankly, you are better off getting normal headphones and doing the headphone surround with the SBz or something like the Sound BlasterX G5 or G6 or something like the Sennheiser GSX.
02-07-2020 11:36 PM
bwade065 Hi everyone,

I new to the idea of using a soundcard. I have a ZXr from a used computer I bought a few years ago. I recently purchased an ls41 headset for $120. I linked it below. How do I correctly configure a headset like this with the Zxr Pro studio. I checked the guide at the beginning of this thread but I couldn't tell much of a difference. Is the "surround" from the headphones and the Zxr pro studio interfering with each other? A friend of mine pointed me to the audio technica headphones also linked below. Would I have better luck with those, since the Zxr Pro studio has "surround sound". I am aware one is missing a mic. I could just rock a mod mic or similar.

https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technic...s%2C207&sr=8-8
https://www.amazon.com/LucidSound-Wi...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
02-07-2020 04:08 AM
oRuin
Quote: Originally Posted by umeng2002 View Post
did you try the registry fix?
Yeah I did, same thing. I'm about to take this thing out and stick it on ebay. Tired of the problems since I upgraded. I'm guessing it could also be an AMD thing but who knows.

I've had a quick look through the thread but I can't see if anyone else is having a similar issue. I've seen some reports of it on others forums and reddit but not much in the way of replies.
02-06-2020 11:04 AM
umeng2002 did you try the registry fix?
02-06-2020 10:55 AM
oRuin I was wondering if anyone has had a similar problem to me with the Soundblaster Z.
I've had my card since release and it's been fine, up until a few months ago when I upgraded my ageing Asus motherboard and Sandybridge CPU to an AMD 3700x with a X570 motherboard.
I use the card exclusively in headphone mode without any SBX enabled.

Every now and then when I'm gaming, (4 different games so far) the sound channels get all messed up, like they drifted over to the right. Or things happening in front of me sound like they are behind me.
I'm having to open the creative control panel and switch from headphones to speakers, to headphones again to reset this behaviour.

I'm currently on the latest Sound Blaster Z drivers from the creative site.
Motherboard chipset is up to date.

Thanks!
02-01-2020 06:22 PM
umeng2002
Quote: Originally Posted by OCmember View Post
Thanks for the reply. I'm settling into think it's an analog output issue. I did pick up the card from Micro Center as an opened box so maybe the person before me knew there were issues before I did.

I don't think I've ever used Optical let alone see a connector for it. I'll look into it, but for now I'll just settle into using Stereo (2.0/2.1)
That's the thing with current sound cards, you need to use analog for surround sound unless you use DD and DTS encoding... which is lossy. HDMI output over the GPU is the best since it's uncompressed surround sound PCM.

Since I use headphones all the time, optical and headphone surround over optical is totally fine for me. Windows is still set up for surround, so the Headphone surround DSP in the card is given proper surround sound source to work with; but again, the output is stereo over optical for my DAC.

If you want to use DD or DTS encoding, you need to go into Windows 10 settings and make sure the "App" access to microphones is NOT turned off globally.

We need HDMI sound cards imho. Although... most A/V receivers have the same DSP functions as current sound cards like dynamic range compression, dialog enhance, etc. so it's almost moot at this point... for Headphone users, in my opinion, sound cards are essential simply for the DSP effects.
02-01-2020 07:52 AM
OCmember Thanks for the reply. I'm settling into think it's an analog output issue. I did pick up the card from Micro Center as an opened box so maybe the person before me knew there were issues before I did.

I don't think I've ever used Optical let alone see a connector for it. I'll look into it, but for now I'll just settle into using Stereo (2.0/2.1)
01-31-2020 03:44 PM
umeng2002 Mmmm... maybe try using the optical output with Stereo Direct if your equipment can support it - not that 192 kHz is officially supported by spdif, so that high of sample rate might not work... 24 bit 96 kHz should work on almost all optical spdif equipment.

I don't know if Stereo Direct simply turns off the DSP effects or somehow totally bypasses them so the real difference is the DAC used on the card to get the 192 KHz output is different than the normal ones... again an issue with routing and/ or buffering audio for a different analog output - it must also bypass the card/ drivers channel mixer because it forces Windows into Stereo full-range mode instead of 5.1 mode... but still, it's probably an analog output issue.

I have used Stereo Direct once or twice in Battlefield V earlier this year to try the game's Headphone Surround mode, and I didn't have any audio issues... again... I'm using optical output.

Exclusive mode bypasses audio processing effects and the Windows audio mixing. At 100% volume, it can provide bit perfect audio. Basically, it "takes control" of the audio device and audio from other programs isn't heard.

Windows 10 has implemented more "forgiving" versions of exclusive mode... like releasing control to other programs when there is no audio from the "exclusive moded" program...

MS keeps changing their audio stack here and there just enough to break drivers that haven't been updated in a few years.

Throughout all the divers and OSs my card has seen (used SBz OEM off ebay), I've never had issues... but I've always used optical output. Issues with channels changing locations and audio breaking up seem to stem from the cards analog output.

The new cards from Creative still use the same silicon chip as the Recon3D and SBz (as it's a somewhat generalized, programmable DSP)... they just changed the software and analog output section.

That's why I haven't updated... its the same silicon with slightly different processing. Since I only use digital out, analog improvements are pointless to me.
01-30-2020 08:04 PM
Madmaxneo
Quote: Originally Posted by OCmember View Post
I must not have said that it's worked before. It has worked before in the past, and it randomly still does now with all games. I thought this might have been a common occurrence and that there might be a solution to it, and if not then it might be the card is going bad. I understand all that crap is turned off, that's why I want to use Stereo Direct, but that brings up a good point. Maybe if I lower the kHz it might consistently work.

What's the difference between exclusive mode and non exclusive mode? I've seen it in the card properties.

EDIT: I've been using the default 24bit, 48000 Hz for both the speaker properties and microphone. Maybe the conflict has been with the speaker properties.

EDIT2: I tried setting the speaker properties to 24bit, 192,000Hz and it still would randomly break. Gonna try 16 bit, 96,000Hz without any of the exclusive mode checkboxes checked.
Maybe you didn't read the last sentence of the reply above "A lot of the SBX issues reported recently have to do with analog output." Which, to me, means that there is a recent issue with the analog output. He also mentioned using optical out which is what I use. But then again I also have a nice surround system and tend to use either Dolby Digital or DTS with my speakers in full range.

At this point I am not sure Creative is even thinking about updating the drivers for these old cards because they have some much newer really sweet cards and other audio devices. Other than that you could maybe try one of the registry patches found elsewhere on this thread. Otherwise you may have to upgrade to a different card.
01-29-2020 09:02 PM
OCmember
Quote: Originally Posted by umeng2002 View Post
I know exactly what it is. There is no fundamental difference between a game and say a web browser. Many different games use many different sound engines. So when you say "all games" don't work in Stereo Direct, depending on what games and programs don't work, it could be the card/ driver or a particular game.

The tl;dr on stereo direct is that the SBX junk is turned off and the card can operate at 192 kHz. That 192 kHz could cause issues with Windows audio mixing or with a particular game or program, especially if it's trying to use exclusive mode audio.

The only time I've used it, is with optical out... which is what I always use. A lot of the SBX issues reported recently have to do with analog output.

I must not have said that it's worked before. It has worked before in the past, and it randomly still does now with all games. I thought this might have been a common occurrence and that there might be a solution to it, and if not then it might be the card is going bad. I understand all that crap is turned off, that's why I want to use Stereo Direct, but that brings up a good point. Maybe if I lower the kHz it might consistently work.

What's the difference between exclusive mode and non exclusive mode? I've seen it in the card properties.

EDIT: I've been using the default 24bit, 48000 Hz for both the speaker properties and microphone. Maybe the conflict has been with the speaker properties.

EDIT2: I tried setting the speaker properties to 24bit, 192,000Hz and it still would randomly break. Gonna try 16 bit, 96,000Hz without any of the exclusive mode checkboxes checked.
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