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Audigy 2 ZS and Logitech speakers.  All works, except "creative speaker settings" app.

Posted on 2004-10-15
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
I'm going to take a shot to see if anyone else HERE has run into this.   I've seen a few hints out there elsewhere, but zero answers.    

Here's the deal:

I just replaced my SoundBlaster Live! Value with a SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS.  (by the way- NICE card... and price reasonable.  Mostly).

I did a FULL deinstall of the old creative software and drivers.   Removed the card, installed new card, and speakers.  (The speakers are Logitech X-620's.   6.1 speakers which is 6 speakers and a subwoofer).   The speakers have a standard multimedia analog plug set to go into the speakers.   The first cable goes into the "front" socket, the second cable goes into the "rear" socket, and the last cable goes into the "center and sub" socket.   A kid could hook these up.   They're even color coded.  :-) :-)

Here's my problem.

One of the things I want to do is to PERFECTLY balanace the sound.   OK, so I have way too much time at home...  :-)     To do this, the creative audigy apps come with built-in tools.     The most common used tool is "Speaker Settings".   Here, you are shown a picture of your speaker setup (mine is a 6.1 setup).     Click "channels".   This works fine, but only tests the 6 primary channels.  That's by design, since it's a voice.   I *properly* hear the little woman's voice say "front left"...  "front right"... and so on, from each of the 6 speakers.  OK good.   This includes the front center.  Works great.  (this has importance, folks).

Next, I hit the "noise" button. (Same apps- variation on the testing)  Here, it's more or less the same thing as the woman's voice, but instead, white noise of sorts is generated.    And THIS test is also designed to test the subwoofer.    But when the diagram/graphic finally gets round to getting to the subwoofer ("showing" that is where the sound should be coming from) - I instead hear the noise coming out of the FRONT CENTER speaker.

The second related problem is the "speaker calibrate" function that's also part of the same Speaker settings tool.    In this one, you're shown a series of speakers (front left/right, rear left/right, etc) - and your job is the balance the slider around so it's nicely audibly centered.     Once again, when this application gets to the subwoofer-- the app misbehaves, and I then hear the "noise" coming from a BUNCH of speakers---  all of them in a random order, and then the app kinda freezes.

Before anyone gets into the "your speakers are wired wrong" and so on; the stupid CREATIVE software "speaker settings" (speaker calibration) software is the ONLY thing I am having issues with.    Their "THX settings" app works GREAT.   All my movies, games, audio, and so on work flawlessly- and the subwoofer works great, and the directional sound comes from where it is supposed to.  I have various other media files that take full advantage of my 6.1 setup.

I have the LATEST drivers and apps from creative's web site (U.S.).   Oh yeah- I've also verified XP's "view" of my speakers, and tried both the 5.1 speaker and 7.1 speaker settings (there is no "6.1").   Same behavior.

My conclusion to all of this is--  Creative's speaker setting/calibration software doesn't play well with analog speakers- and likely was designed primarily for their OWN 5.1/6.1/7.1 speakers which are digital.     And of course-- THEIR technical representatives ("can I get you a slushie, sir?") are of absolutely no help.   I've been emailing them back and forth for days.

I'm looking for maybe some insider tip, a registry tweak, insight of something I missed, or SOMETHING.    Is it impacting my ability to hear stuff?   Um, no.  But, I'm a type A person, and this is annoying the heck out of me.  I don't like it when the tools that shpped with my card don't work.

OK..  "go".  :-) :-)

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Question by:Caseybea
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by:nobus
ID: 12326462
I thought a subwoofer was not intended to reproduce  noise (hiss); that is probably why you don't hear it from them. correct me if i'm wrong...
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by:Caseybea
ID: 12343739
The "noise" generated is designed to cover the entire general audible specrtrum-- AND - the graphics of "where" the sound come from in the calibration tool clearly show where the noise is SUPPOSED to be comeing from...  :-)
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nobus earned 1500 total points
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by:Caseybea
ID: 12370898
Unfortunately not near the kind of answer I needed; I had seen most of those postings already.   Out of thanks for at least SOMEONE taking a look at the question, I'm closing it and awarding points as appropriate.  Thanks!
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by:nobus
ID: 12371048
Also, i read a post some time ago, where the default settings in the creative software were deleted, and got it working like that
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