we donít see new Soundcards coming out as fast as we do Graphics cards
they have made several advancements in recent times, such as commonplace
5.1 output & better 3D positioning algorithms.
guide will take you through everything from basic troubleshooting of
playback problems, to Speaker positioning, Soundcard specific settings
& more. Thanks
to Toby & Mikael from 3D SoundSurge for answering
a few questions I had, or pointing out errors.
essential to have the latest drivers for you Soundcard. You can find links
to the relevant hardware manufacturers on our Drivers
page (Such as Creative, Turtle Beach
& Philips). These can solve many audio problems you may have
encountered or generally include other optimizations/fixes over earlier
should also have the latest Chipset drivers for your Motherboard, &
perhaps even the latest BIOS too. This is highly recommended for (Although
not limited too) those with VIA Chipset based motherboards. Once more, you
can find the relevant links on our Drivers page & also in our OS
Updates - Chipset Updates section.
8.1 on your system if not already
While this is required by some Games already, it also features numerous
other updated components, of main concern for Soundcards being the
DirectSound & DirectMusic components.
Windows 2000 & 98/98 Second Edition have some problems with non-PCM
wave formats, which youíll most likely experience when it comes to
AC-3/DTS pass-through. To fix this youíll need to install the latest
Windows 2000 Service Pack, or in the case of Windows 98 Second Edition Ė
(No update is available for Windows 98 original).
should also update your Application/Games where possible. Similar to
updating your drivers this can also fix audio playback problems or other
irregularities. Check the Developerís Website for the latest
experience static noise or irregular audio playback, try the following
(assuming that installing the latest drivers donít fix the problems):
on Start, Settings, then Control Panel. If you have
Windows 2000/Millennium Edition or XP installed note the icon names as
shown in brackets below.
the Multimedia (Sounds & Multimedia or Sounds &
Audio Devices) icon.
the Audio tab, select the Advanced Properties (Advanced)
button, then the Performance tab.
the Hardware acceleration slider to the 2nd notch to the Left
procedure does however disable 3D Audio, e.g. DirectSound3D & all
reliant extensions, such as EAX. As such this should only be considered a
temporary solution to your problems.
of which Soundcard you have installed there are some settings available
which are common to all of them. I'll cover these first before moving onto
Soundcard specific settings.
Via the Windows
Setup tab in the Add/Remove programs applet in the Control
Panel, ensure sure that you have Audio compression installed in
control. You'll need to install some form of
volume control on your machine. If your Soundcardís drivers donít come
with one then install Volume control via Add/Remove Windows
Components (Windows Setup) in Add/Remove programs.
Start, Settings, then Control Panel. If you have
Windows 2000/Millennium Edition or XP installed note the different names
as listed in brackets. Open the Multimedia (Sounds &
Multimedia or Sounds & Audio Devices) icon & select the
Recording & Midi (In Windows 98 or earlier check the
seperate Midi tab). From the drop down menus here select the
preferred Audio device that you wish to be used for Recording, Playback
of Audio & the MIDI Synth engine. You should only need to
change the devices here should you have multiple Soundcards installed, or
different Midi engines available to use for Midi playback.
only preferred (default) devices.
When Ticked the Audio devices you have selected previously will be
the only devices used for the specific functions selected. Should your
system contain only a single capable device for this then you may leave
this setting Unticked (As this will be the only device available
for use anyway), although should you have multiple devices available you
should Tick this setting to limit the Audio function to the
selected device only. Otherwise any available device may be used for the
the Sound Playback section select the Advanced Properties (Advanced)
button, then the Speakers tab.
drop-down menu here select your Audio output mode here as appropriate.
NOTE Ė Some of the options shown here may not be available with certain
Operating Systems & selecting some of the choices available here may
also interfere with the selections available in your Soundcardís
select the Performance tab.
acceleration. Moving this slider to the 4th
notch to the Right will enable Full Acceleration for your
Soundcard. This enables complete use of your Soundcards Drivers &
features, e.g. 3D Audio.
rate conversion quality. This option
shouldnít effect playback quality at all on most systems (Thanks Mark),
nor as a result will it affect performance either. To ensure best sampling
rate conversion quality set this placebo to Best sample rate converter.