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Creative Audigy 4 Pro: The Ultimate Consumer Sound Card?

Drivers And Software, Continued

There are several settings modules, but with a tendency to put all the basic adjustments in the Audio Console. For now, it's a good idea to avoid playing with an adjustment in the Audio Console if it exists elsewhere - such as the choice of the number of speakers or management of EAX effects.

The Audio Console has a plethora of tabs. You won't necessarily need to use all of them...

Among the interesting tabs are, first of all, the decoder settings. Following Creative's usual approach, the card's drivers decode the surround sound information. You'll need to set your software DVD player to "S/PDIF" to keep it from doing the job itself (if it has the capability). Decoding via the Audigy 4 will let you access more sophisticated decoding settings, like Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES. As on other recent cards, there's no more Dolby Pro Logic II, probably because Creative feels it's been replaced by its own CMSS upmix system. Dolby Pro Logic has been retained for decoding soundtracks that use MP Matrix encoding. Oddly, Creative includes the DTS Neo:6 system with the MediaSource player. It also lets you upmix to "surround" sound from a stereo source, and is separate from CMSS. So you'll have to choose between the two systems.

This tab is essential! The surround decoder settings determine how your Audigy 4 behaves with DVD Video.

The Dolby decoder settings let you manage specific modes like Dolby Digital EX, and also adjust dynamic-range compression to suit your listening conditions.

For DTS, the choice is limited to managing DTS-ES mode.