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X-Fi Fatality sound issues on my Z-5500 System for Gaming.

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December 2, 2010 6:32:29 AM

Hello, I have a X-Fi Fatality series sound card I just got for my Windows 7 system, I also have a Logitech Z-5500 5.1 sound system. I have all the latest drivers installed; I'm wondering why Games I try to play do not work in the DTS or Dolby encoder option, no sound. Also MP3s, and even some videos; yet System sounds, and some videos online work. What am I doing wrong? I have a Optical cable going from my Control Pod to my Sound card, playback device is set on Default for SPDIF out (Creative X-Fi), there's also a speaker playback device which I use when it tells me to set it to that. The other issue is if I take Encoding off, and run my Control Pod's Dolby Digital Pro Logic II onboard encoding, or decoding? --I don't get surround sound, it plays the back left and right speakers on my front left and right. I don't even know if my EAX works because of it. There's also no way to tell if EAX works on games with dTS or Dolby because game sound doesn't work on them. What should I do? Emailed Creative, their support is trash.

TL;DR- Z-5500s Control Pod has sound via prologic II in the pod itself, it doesn't work if I select X-Fi's DTS or Dolby encoder for games, or Music. 5.1 surround does not work with onboard Prologic, only with XF-i's option to encode, however, No game sound with it selected.
December 2, 2010 5:10:31 PM

Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

What make is it exactly? Fatal1ty titanium, champion,

you need to understand that any audio card can;t decipher music signal to break them down into music and vocals thus you can;t achieve true 5.1 surround with music but there are some highly priced audio cards that can sample each layer and output any stream of music on a 5.1 channel setup but only though emulation.

There is an issue with the optical out of that card. Try using the analog connectors and note any changes.

To make sure it isn;t a driver software related issue - check this out - http://support.creative.com/kb/showarticle.aspx?sid=611...

EDIT : I found this as your solution
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December 2, 2010 5:35:25 PM

Thanks for the reply.

It is the Titanium, the one without the drive bay module. I just tested 6 channel direct sound (Analog I guess?) vs. The optical Stereo X2. There is a slight noticeable difference in the clarity of directional sound from the 6 channel direct mode vs. the optical stereoX2. I wasn't really worried about music so much as to figure out if I have true EAX for games or not, and how I could tell. I tested it on Counter Strike Source, not sure if that's a good test game or not. I threw some grenades around and it sounded a little better on the 6 channel, a little more real. I was curious about why my Creative Alchemy didn't work for Guild Wars, as it was listed in the Add menu, already there to select. Yet, when the game is run, it doesn't allow me to use EAX. I wasn't sure whether I had EAX or not because of that issue.

I guess I have some other questions then: With Dolby Digital Pro Logic II, it shows up on my "Direct" Input. How is this possible if I'm not using Coax or optical for digital? Would I miss out on it because of the lack of optical? Or am I just not understanding the terminology correctly. Also at the corner of my 5500 pod, it says "96-24" I figure that's the DTS, but how is it having DTS and Prologic at the same time? As you can tell, I'm completely unfamiliar with how sound technology works. I'd definitely appreciate any enlightenment.
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December 2, 2010 6:11:17 PM

Did you also read the edit i made in the end?

The optical out isn't the problem, the weakest link is the optical input of the Z-5500, or so what I've been reading after seeing your problem. I'd advise you to run the cables from the analog connectors.

control panel>hardware and sound>click on sound

select the device you want as default audio out...experiment with the optical as well this way

configure it to the desired channel. Its a 5.1 not a 6 channel audio system. The optical audio connector and you aren't going to miss anything.

Here's a word, as of windows7, the true EAX has been only on the package, due to creative's **** support with drivers the EAX (Environmental Audio Experience/Effects) has been disabled, a feature which was emulated by the soundcard via software that only worked if it detected a creative soundcard. Its only driver suport as far as creative are concerned, they never wen't through with writing up software for a new OS.

google DTS and Dolby pro logic II you'll learn alot that way :) 
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December 2, 2010 6:33:01 PM

Based off what you're saying, Creative's drivers are trash, and I need a software bundle to emulate EAX by the software detecting the card- meaning the software acts sort of as a missing driver for EAX support. I don't seem to have powerdvd as your link suggested. Also, would power DvD even work for game sound? -Creative does actually have a Windows 7 driver though, on their website, which I downloaded. I'm curious as to whether that has anything to do with EAX support though. He also mentions using the OEM version over the DLX upgrade. I don't think I have that. Wonder if it's available via torrent? Either way the most important thing is EAX for games. If powerdvd somehow enables that, great. It does seem though, that his issue was SPDIF not being "in use" Mine however, in playback devices seems to be working fine.
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December 2, 2010 6:53:59 PM

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would power DvD even work for game sound?
nope, its for movies he mentions it in the beginning

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Based off what you're saying, Creative's drivers are trash,
yes they are

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I need a software bundle to emulate EAX by the software detecting the card- meaning the software acts sort of as a missing driver for EAX support

its not a driver, its a software that works in conjunction with the card. like i said creative have stopped writing software for their aging components...asus had a better spell with the Xonar's and Auzentech's line up were spectacular!

that software won't work with other cards, so your out of luck.

but take a look at this - http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1077151

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December 2, 2010 7:17:33 PM

So return the Creative, grab an Azunentech? I think that's possible. Which should I get? I'm not really into recording or anything, I just want great music, great gaming. This all assuming I'd have no driver issues with the above. Or should I just stick with my Creative.
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December 2, 2010 7:36:58 PM

Well let me ask you this- I just looked up Asus' Xonar D2X, I like PCI-E cards- and it runs about the same price as my creative, price-wise. Would it be in my best interest to switch? Is Azunentech all that better? It doesn't bother me to spend an extra $50 or whatnot if my sound will work.

Actually that above link was the first one I looked at the other day. The issue was that DTS and Dolby wouldn't work on my games- as I tried setting it to Speaker Out instead. At this point after reinstalling everything, now DTS and Dolby encoders simply won't check-mark, as it tells me Creative services not running, or something. Further into fixing that issue, I went to their own site that addressed that "error" Fixed the "services" in Administrative tools, as everything is now "started" and still the same issue. So hence my wondering what other card to grab as I've just about had it with Creative. Wonder if I'd get the same issue with other cards though. That would be ironic.
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December 3, 2010 6:15:31 AM

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hence my wondering what other card to grab as I've just about had it with Creative.
you me and a whole lot of forum members feel the same way.

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Wonder if I'd get the same issue with other cards though.
as far as support/drivers/software goes, Asus, Auzentech and other high end manufacturers are brilliant.

You want optical connectivity on it? I posted some links before for the optical connectivity option in mind.

what are your other rig specs ? to know what slots you have free.

Read this thread
HT | Omega Striker 7.1 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $90 (I liked this)
HT | Omega Claro Plus+ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $175 (this)
HT | OMEGA Claro Halo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $200
theres also an eClaro out - dunno how much it costs

you can look up these models at their site : http://www.htomega.com

ASUS Xonar D2 7.1 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $180
ASUS Xonar Essence ST - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $200
ASUS Xonar Essence STX - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $200 (and this)
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December 3, 2010 11:26:24 AM

I'll point out a few things (and for the last time, I DO eventually plan to get a guide for all this up and running...)

1: EAX is essentially dead. Thanks to the removal of Directsound acceleration in Vista/7, its already been relegated down to software, needing a wrapper in order to work (Alchemy). Even then, a few games refuse to work properly.

2: Analog connections are superior to digital when it comes to sound. For you're Z-5500's, theres no reason to hook up using optical if you can connect via analog. Less headaches that way. (That being said, I am unsure WHY the Z-5500's weren't decoding Dolby/DTS audio, as they have the necessary decoders built in...either way, using analog, you don't need to worry about either format).

3: 5.1 = 6 channel (5 speakers + 1 sub). Center+sub are consiered a speaker pair.

As for cards themselves, I'll list according to market segment:

Budget: ASUS Xonar DS

Mid-End: ASUS Xonar D1/DX, HT Omega Striker

High-End: ASUS Xonar D2/D2X, Auzentech Prelude

With powered headphone amp: Auzentech Forte, ASUS Xonar Essence ST/STX, HT Omega Claro Plus+/Halo

The sound market, is frankly, VERY competitive right now. Too bad the general consumer has only heard of Creative...
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December 3, 2010 6:49:09 PM

Rig Specs-

Intel i7 980X Extreme Edition X58 Chipset w/Liquid Cooling @ 4.01Ghz Semi-OC
Gigabyte X58A UD3R Mobo
1x EVGA nVidia GTX 580 SC Edition GPU
12GB A-Data Gamer Series RAM
Corsair 1000w PSU
1x 30GB SSD for Boot
1x 2TB HD for Storage
1x 120GB SSD for Games
D-Link Extreme Wireless N. Networking Card

I'm leaning towards the Asus now. For some reason on newegg the D2x is listed as deactivated (Is it outmoded by the STX now?), however the STX is still there. Im wondering which to choose. As for budget I'm well in the reach of $200-250. As mentioned earlier, I'd be happy to pay an extra 50-100 for a card that has great quality/compatibility and will last me a couple years or more. Seems this creative will last me all of one week before I sledgehammer it.

When you say EAX is dead, is there a new program/tech that provides that type of thing now? I might of course be under the wrong impression of the terminology to begin with. I like the whole "bullet past my head" sensation and footsteps behind me. I was under the influence that EAX was responsible for that. Why would Microsoft decide to remove something like that?
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December 3, 2010 7:17:58 PM

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When you say EAX is dead, is there a new program/tech that provides that type of thing now? I might of course be under the wrong impression of the terminology to begin with. I like the whole "bullet past my head" sensation and footsteps behind me. I was under the influence that EAX was responsible for that.
EAX 'USED' to do that until technology stepped up and came up with DTS encoding...

i thought you read the links i gave you... The HT | Omega's are good - nothing but good reviews, check it out. I'd say Asus myself but i tried the HT and i got what i paid for :D 

for your setup get the cards i suggested which have a Dolby decoder ^ gamerk has also stated the budgeted specs

if your leaning towards the Asus, the STX is awesome for 2.0 (L R channel) setups - after much research i told my brother-in-law to get it...he has his setup with a pair of Alessis M40 active studio monitors.
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December 4, 2010 12:05:23 AM

Gamerk answered all my questions perfectly, but brought out a couple. - having went analog, my card is now accepting 6 channel mode with a small 96-24 on the side of the hubs screen. I'm assuming that's the DTS. However, my cards encoder is not enabling DTS in it's menu. ..weird. I guess EAX being checkmarked isn't doing anything and it's the 96-24 that's giving me the effects. (I did slight research and I guess with newer games they use OpenAL or built in software to create effects vs. the card having to use the old EAX enhancement, and instead the card just makes it sound better because of Win7/Vista) I don't need optical or coax if analog is better. Have no issues with that. I guess that's what happens when you get the wrong recommendations. I can either keep my creative and have issues with the next OS or program from creative, or- get a different card with better quality and driver support. I'll lean toward the latter. I actually -need- to have a pci-e card for space on the mobo. Now it's figuring the best pci-e to go with.

I really want that HT Claro Plus, but I just can't do PCI. My GTX 580 just eats up all the space, it's a monster, and my only available PCI slot holds my D-link Networking card. I might have to get a new networking card just for that. Thing is, I also read they're phasing out PCI slots on motherboards, and PCI-e is the new way to go. So I have no idea. There's an e-Claro, but Idk if it's better than the Claro Plus.
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December 13, 2010 11:02:46 PM

Best answer selected by rspkers.
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December 14, 2010 8:11:39 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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