Print 60 comment(s) - last by Ihmemies.. on Jul 7 at 7:50 PM

Creative Labs makes ALchemy Audigy Edition available for $9.99

Creative Labs has officially released the Creative ALchemy Audigy Edition software package. The software package sells for $9.99 from the company’s online store. The Creative ALchemy Audigy Edition software package enables users of Sound Blaster Audigy sound cards to take advantage of hardware-accelerated DirectSound3D and EAX audio under Windows Vista operating systems.

Additionally, the ALchemy Audigy Edition enables sample rate conversion and hardware audio mixing. The software also features an update feature that downloads lists of the latest games supported by ALchemy. Creative Labs currently supports 104 legacy game titles with ALchemy. Supported titles include Command & Conquer 3, F.E.A.R., Far Cry, Guild Wars, Oblivion, World of Warcraft and others.

Creative Labs supports the following Audigy sound cards with ALchemy:
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 4
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS notebook
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 SE
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum Ex
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value
  • Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum Ex
  • Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum
  • Sound Blaster Audigy
Windows Vista Audigy users can purchase ALchemy Audigy Edition from the Creative Labs online store for Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit.

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Wait a minute.....
By fyahman on 7/4/2007 10:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
So....they give us crappy vista drivers (i cant enable EAX in any game no matter what I try...)and now I gotta pay for the solution???

RE: Wait a minute.....
By ultimaone on 7/4/2007 10:45:08 AM , Rating: 2
ya for any of the older games

newer ones won't have that issue

but really i agree, why do we need to pay ?
we already paid for the product....

RE: Wait a minute.....
By imaheadcase on 7/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Wait a minute.....
By omnicronx on 7/4/2007 3:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
and as people pointed out.. they did pay.. paid big, especially for their higher end cards with the front ports.
This is a scam, if you actually read into all they did is support old games through OpenAL, which was implemented in xp long before vista, amazingly creative owns part of that too.
Its not like they wrote a new set of drivers and software from scratch just because its vista, video card makers did though and i dont see any $10.99 drivers on the nvidia site and they actually did some work.

so all i have to say is.
"programming is free when its already been done"

also its not like vista has a new technology that older sound cards cant take advantage of, its infact the other way around, vista gets rid of hardware accelerated directsound support. this so called 'driver' is just a vista API workaround using openAL.

so i have no problem with reason and common sense, whats hard for me to grasp is "why should someone have to pay for a downgrade"

creative is just taking advantage of the many people that have bought an audigy 2/4 (which is most creative cards out there) knowing full well if they only get 20-30% of the people who own one to buy this, they will still make a killing. its people like you that allow them to keep doing what they are doing!

RE: Wait a minute.....
By Proteusza on 7/4/2007 4:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
Programming is so free in this in fact, that you can use the X Fi drivers by copying part of the audigy drivers over.

RE: Wait a minute.....
By nemrod on 7/4/2007 6:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's really a great surprise that video card maker who sell dx10 board give vista drivers for free

RE: Wait a minute.....
By nemrod on 7/4/2007 6:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's really a great surprise that video card maker who sell dx10 board give vista drivers for free

RE: Wait a minute.....
By Thalyn on 7/4/2007 8:42:10 PM , Rating: 1
You can't enable EAX in Vista because of Microsoft; not Creative. It was their decision to revamp the sound engine in Vista to such a point where they removed the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer - read: hardware acceleration) and run everything through their own software engine. Since MS' engine doesn't support EAX, you can't enable it - QED.

Piping the DS3D and EAX calls through OpenAL is the -only- way to restore hardware functionality in Vista, as well as EAX effects.

Blame MS for MS' problems - not Creative.


RE: Wait a minute.....
By PrinceGaz on 7/4/2007 9:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sending EAX but not OpenAL through Microsoft's interface does not explain the difference. Either they both should be forced through Vista's software emulation, or Creative should be able to send calls both EAX and OpenAL calls to its driver.

Why the need for a wrapper between the game's outputting EAX to convert it to OpenAL? And is there in any point in MS not allowing Creative to write an EAX driver for Vista, if Creative's coders are up to it? Seems to me that Creative took the easy route out, but that's okay as their hardware is all now obsolete. Dual- and soon quad-core processors make audio CPU utilisation irrelevant so all that will matter is the quality of the DACs and drivers. A good VIA Envy 24 based card would be as good in both aspects as most Creative cards.

RE: Wait a minute.....
By Thalyn on 7/4/2007 11:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
You missed the point by quite a long way there. OpenAL is as sepeate to EAX as OpenGL is to D3D.

EAX sits alongside DS3D - always has. It's never been an independant setup in the way that A3D was in order to retain as much compatability as possible (eg If you don't have EAX effects you still get full DS3D sound, where-as a separate sound engine is needed for A3D). The reason why OpenAL works under Vista is the same reason that OpenGL works - it's a completely independant interface which just happens to use the same hardware to achieve the same results. I'm not exaclty sure why it's still allowed direct access to the hardware while DS3D isn't, but that's the way MS decided to go and we have to live with it (for now).

Since MS has redesigned DS3D to be a purely sofware implementation, it doesn't matter whether they allow Creative to write Vista EAX drivers for it or not - it won't work since the final "processor" is a software engine written by MS. ALchemy itself doesn't just convert EAX requests into OpenAL - it converts every single DS3D request, as well as EAX. Without ALchemy you don't just lose EAX effects; you lose any surround sound channels you might know and love, since all the 3D effects are pure emulation with stereo output (though I'm certain I've heard my centre speaker helping in said emulation).

What you're basically asking is why you can't use LPG (or whatever it's called in your country) to power your petrol engine, since all they're both doing is the classic 4-stroke combustion cycle. There's a lot more to it than just what appears on the surface, and having multi-processor systems to deal with the audio won't make the situation any better since the limitations are in the main software, not the processing power behind it.


RE: Wait a minute.....
By RMSe17 on 7/5/2007 12:16:03 AM , Rating: 3
Bingo. Good job on explaining things to people, cause I am really tired of their wining at creative who went beyond what they had to in order to help people play older games on older hardware in the brand new Microsoft OS.. trying to fix Microsoft's idiotic decision (to remove Audio HAL, and have audio stuff reside in user-space instead of kernel space to make things more.. stable. cause apparently I had tons of blue screens from all those crashing audio drivers. not.)

RE: Wait a minute.....
By phusg on 7/5/2007 7:50:13 AM , Rating: 2
Sure you can blame Microsoft, but I don't think there decision was idiotic. Moving it to user-space isn't just about stability, it's also about security .

I can't say it bothers me that Creative had a lot of work to do to get their proprietary EAX to work and that people who bought into it have to cough up extra dough.

People please don't buy into this proprietary B.S.! Hit them where it hurts and don't buy Microsoft's Vista and don't buy anymore Creative EAX cards.

RE: Wait a minute.....
By FNG on 7/5/2007 1:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I for one did get the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL BSoD from my Audigy for quite a while. Besides, just because something resides in user-space does not mean it is bad. User-space can do pretty much all the things that kernel mode things can, albeit a bit slower.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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