SB Live Line In

Hi all,

I'm having some confusion with Creative and am looking for a 2nd opinion to see if I'm nutz (in this one instance) or if Creative is snowing me.

I've got a SB Live XGamer 5.1 running on an ABIT BD7-II RAID, Celeron 1.8, 762 megs of RAM running WinXP Pro. I just got a Ti4200 with VIVO and decided to do some video capture.

I've hooked up the VCR to the line in on the card and I'm getting negligible levels out of it. Almost nothing. I've sampled a bit and have to boost the volume around 500% before I even hear it without turning my speakers all the way up. I've tried the same thing with my DVD and my CD players, same low level.

Creative is telling me that I need a preamp to go from any source to the Line In. This is where I lose it. I thought the point to the whole "line level" scheme was that everything is operating at the same voltage and no preamping is necessary such as in the microphone input. If I go from any of my gear line out to line in, I don't need a preamp. But if I go to this card I do.

What gives? Is Creative running a different line level scheme in this case? Any light on this subject would be really helpful. I'm tearing what's left of my hair out.
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  1. Save the rest of your hair, and get a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, the Creatives I own, have been a waste of money, PCI128,PCI512,SBLiveValue,SBAudigyGamer, and I've regretted purchasing each one of them, because each one of them has its own little quirky failures and inadequacies, I guess I was just hoping that eventually I'd get the one I needed, <b>NOT!</b>. I've never regretted switching to the Santa Cruz, it does everything I need it to do from Audio Capture, to 5.1 sound reproduction in games, and MP3 Audio playback, crystal clear. I honestly guarantee you if it blew up today, I would go out and purchase another. What a sales gimick, lets give true honor to a company like Turtle Beach that produces one card that does everything you need, over a company that produces a multitude of cards that only do certain things. <b>GO FIGURE!</b>You want your problems solved, get away from Creative.

    Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.
  2. Here's my "conversation" with Creative. It's just missing the first 2 or so back and forth because there's nothing interesting in there. Last post of theirs asks if I've tried using "an amplified source" which would negate the whole idea they have standard line level input on the card.

    Response from Customer: 1/27/2003 5:14:38 PM

    The sources I've tried are VCR, CD and DVD player's line out. I'm confused as to why the source needs to be amplified. Is the SB's Line In running on a completely different voltage level than standard consumer gear?

    Response from Creative: 1/29/2003 11:12:13 AM


    The line in on the sound card is a standard line level input. Which is +\- 0 to 1 volt peak to peak. Meaning that unless the source has a higher voltage level then the sound card the will be little to no volume. Most line out jacks have the same rating on them as the line input on the sound card. So unless you get a preamp or using an output which has some amplification to it you will only get little to no volume.


    Response from Customer: 2/1/2003 3:59:11 PM

    Um, so you're telling me that Line Out, is the same as Line In, but you need to amp it? How can they be the same, but not...? I take Line Out of my CD or VCR and go right to my Line In on another VCR and I need no preamping. How is it that your card with supposedly the same volt scheme needs to be preamped then? Something smells here. I come from a pro audio background. You're got consumer grade line level @ -10dBu and professional balanced line @ +4dBu. When going consumer to consumer gear, there's no need for any signal modification. When going pro to consumer or vice versa, then yes you need to boost or attenuate, but from what you're telling me this sounds like consumer level. I mean...What's the point if Line In on your card is not the same as Line In on my VCR? Isn't using the same scheme supposed to make it all work together? What am I supposed to put into your Line In then? You expect every person that buys your card to have a mixer???

    Response from Creative: 2/3/2003 12:04:06 PM


    The Line Input is a standard Line In. If the device you are coming from does not amplify the sound, you will need a pre amp. The sound card will not amplify the sound at all.

    Let us know if this helps.


    Response from Customer: 2/3/2003 12:48:02 PM

    Sorry that doesn't help. I need an explanation of why Line In on your card is not the same as any Line In on any other piece of consumer AV gear. You're trying to tell me it is, but that I need to preamp which none of any of my gear requires when using standard line level signal. Line level output, should match to line level input without any modification. If not, then one of them doesn't conform to the line level 'norm.' I've got 3 different devices, all of which feed each other just fine with no help, but your card seems to need it. I'm pointing at the card not conforming properly.

    Response from Creative: 2/4/2003 12:07:43 PM


    We have throughly explained the line in recording specification for our product and how this is most likely causing you low recording volume. You are expecting an answer that can't be supplied without knowledge of the line in recording specifications for your other hardware. I have a quick question that I need answered. Have you tested line in recording with an amplified source?

  3. Kinda like beating your head against a wall isn't it, their responses to you are pitiful confirming my feelings toward Creative, you shouldn't have so much trouble to accomplish such a simple thing like you're trying to do, but the hardware just won't cooperate, and neither will their support, it sounds like they're tap dancing around the subject, take my original advise, you won't regret it.

    Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.
  4. I have my tv tuner card connected to the line in of my SB Live Value and it works great.
  5. I've connected DVD and VCR players to the line in of my SB Live 5.1 and it sounds great. Sounds like you have a defective card.

    The aim of military training is not just to prepare men for battle, but to make them long for it. <A HREF="" target="_new"><b>MY SYSTEM</b></A>
  6. Ok here's one possibility... It could be your volume control settings.

    Bring up your volume control appy (double click the speaker in your toolbar), click on options, then properties, then RECORD... In the panel at the bottom check to see if the Line In is checked. If not check it... then click OK.

    This will leave you with a different set of sliders than you are probably used to seeing. Now check the box under Line In and set the slider about the middle...

    Does it work now?

    There is a simple trick you can do with windows volume controls to have both the Record and Playback sliders always available...

    1) Click start, slide up to programs, then accessories, then entertainment, hold your CTRL key down, click on the volume control Icon and drag it out to your desktop. This will create a desktop icon for the volume control.

    2) Rename this one "Playback".

    3) Right click the icon, select properties and in the command line bar add /s /p to the end of the command line.

    4) Repeat step 1

    5) rename this one "record"

    6) Right click the new icon, select properties and this time add /s /r to the command line.

    Now you have 2 desktop volume controls, one for the playback sliders and one for the record sliders. You can even have them both on the screen at the same time.

    Hope this helps.

    <b>(</b>It ain't better if it don't work.<b>)</b>
  7. It may be to your advantage to check the dates on the posts, unless you're just trying to build post count.

    Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.
  8. Sorry bout that... first time in this forum, everything was marked new...

    <b>(</b>It ain't better if it don't work.<b>)</b>
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