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Audigy owners will get ALchemy, for a low cost, later this year

Microsoft Windows Vista features a new audio stack, which completely revamps how the operating system communicates with audio devices. The new audio stack, dubbed Universal Audio Architecture, or UAA, requires companies to develop new drivers. Hardware accelerated audio devices are treated as an independent device, separate from the audio output capabilities of a sound card under Windows Vista.

The way UAA handles hardware DSPs is a problem for Creative Labs when it comes to delivering hardware acceleration for DirectSound 3D and EAX algorithms. Earlier this year Creative Labs launched its ALchemy project that enabled hardware-accelerated audio on Sound Blaster X-Fi owners. ALchemy translates DirectSound 3D and EAX calls into OpenAL, which can still take advantage of the DSP hardware.

Creative Labs left Sound Blaster Audigy owners in the dark, in regards to hardware-accelerated audio in Windows Vista. However, Creative Labs stated ALchemy support for Sound Blaster Audigy 2 and 4-class products are to be determined depending on demand. Due to demand, Creative Labs has begun ALchemy development for Sound Blaster Audigy-series sound cards.

Creative Labs expects to have ALchemy for Audigy sound cards later this year. It does not appear as if ALchemy will be free to current Audigy owners. Nevertheless, when the cards are ready, Creative Labs “hopes to offer this product as a low-cost upgrade to interested Audigy owners.”

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To answer a few questions...
By jrb531 on 5/3/2007 10:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yes CL cards work under Vista now but only under two modes:

1. If the program/game supports openal (most newer games) then it works just fine... usually (you have to have an Audigy 2 or higher card)

2. All CL cards work in basic mode (no special features) and you get tw-channel stereo only.

I will NOT pay for this translation program which is all this is. I "will" take the money and put it aside for a non-CL sound card! The way I figure it, CL owes us this at the very least for keeping up in the dark and being so slow for drivers for the new OS. They did the very same for their Live cards with XP when it took over a year to get stable XP drivers.

Now we have to wait a year, and pay, for a translation program just to get full support.

Well screw CL... you know what they really want here don;t you?

They figure that people will pass on paying for this software and just buy one of their X-Fi cards and get the software for free.

Mind you most people will end up paying for that POS "cheap" version of the X-fi which is not a real sound card but simply a pass-through interface to your CPU... yup... nothing more than a $5 part that passes the work to your CPU. Only the expensive "gamer" and higher versions of the X-fi have a real DSP.

So that's for helping me make up my mind CL... now what Vista sound sounds are left to pick from?



By Anh Huynh on 5/3/2007 11:22:57 AM , Rating: 2
Onboard high-definition audio over S/PDIF is what I personally use. Then again, I don't game and just listen to music and watch YouTube videos.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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