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5.1 Surround not working right on new system

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August 9, 2010 3:43:49 PM

Hi All,
I just recently built a new system updating my old core2 duo with the new i7 930. I have the Creative Labs X-Fi 5.1 external and Logitech Z-5500 5.1 surround sound system. My issue is that with my new build and updating the drivers and so forth that my surround sound doesn't work properly in games or anything at all. For instance, playing Crysis Warhead and enemy are shooting at me I cannot hear that but yet I can hear my own gun firing. This happens in many other games as well. Even games that have surround sound enabling within their options menu it does not work. Also, when right clicking the speaker on the audio icon in the bottom right corner and selecting configure, I select test and all my sound options come out of only the front left and right speakers. I check all of the settings to make sure they are on 5.1 or surround and they are but yet I am still having serious sound issues. Any help at all would be welcome thank you all.
August 9, 2010 6:02:34 PM

Enable the option ' Speaker fill ' if you spot any, and make sure you have inserted the cables in the right jacks.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 9, 2010 6:34:47 PM

A coupe of things to check based on my experiences - your sound system may be different, though.

1. When you use the speaker icon to get to configuring the sound system, make sure within that that you select the 5.1 speaker configuration. Setting that within Windows Sound controls may not be sufficient.

2. On my system with some system for "universal audio jacks", there is a particular way that the sound chip decides what signals go where. The instruction manual does show you default assignments for which speakers plug into where, and that's a good way to do it. BUT my system make it possible to do otherwise. And here's how. You MUST have that sound configuration utility displayed. When you plug one speaker cord into one socket, a window pops up asking you to confirm exactly what you just plugged in, offering the default choice. (Maybe you plugged the front Left / Right speaker cord into the green socket, so it will highlight the green socket and show the front stereo speakers checked off.) You MUST either click yes or change it. If you dismiss the window, it will send NOTHING out of that port.

So, the cleanest way to do this IF your system operates like that is: disconnect ALL the sound cords from the output sockets and make sure the configuration is set to 5.1 sound. Then plug in ONE cord and confirm its speaker type. Then the next, and confirm. Then the next, and confirm. That way you can be sure that all are actually configured and sending out a signal.

Lastly, run the tests and demos it offers to verify performance and adjust things like balance and audio effects.
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August 9, 2010 6:49:18 PM

There is no speaker fill option for my speakers....there is one for the hd onboard audio however. I am using an external device for my soundcard though(soundblaster x-fi). I am also using optical cable for the connection from the soundcard and my 5.1 system so there is no confusion on which cable goes where. The soundcard connects to the pc with a usb connector. The instruction manual with the x-fi is no help and neither is their troubleshooting page. Really stumping me as to why the surround sound doesn't work. When i click test button on the remote the speakers themselves work and go through the static test for each speaker so i know its not the sound system hardware.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 9, 2010 8:20:13 PM

So your Soundblaster is not sending 5.1 signals to the speaker system, it appears. That should be something set in the Soundblaster configuration screens. I am presuming there is nothing to be set on the speakers themselves.

One other odd thought. Is the Soundblaster connected directly to one of the USB ports on the back of the mobo panel, or are you plugging it into an external USB hub? On some kinds of applications, the delay in using an external hub can be a problem. I don't know if 6-channel digital sound requires enough bandwidth to be affected by this, but you could try to plug into the back panel of the mobo if you have not already.

Are there any newer drivers for your Soundblaster that you should download and install?
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August 9, 2010 8:34:42 PM

The usb is plugged into the mobo. I have also downloaded the newest drivers possible for it. It's weird because the test button for the sound system sends the test static through all of the speakers but when i use the software on the pc to run the test on there it only sends sound through the left and the right speaker. I have check through the already existing sound options and the sound software that was installed with the x-fi device. Everything looks as it should look and yet my sound does not work properly. This stuff is driving me nuts. I dont think i have ever had this much trouble with anything when building a pc.
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