Audio Problem 2.0

Ok, I mentioned this earlier but it’s growing worse. After having no problems for over a year, suddenly I’m having an audio problem. It started with Rise of Nations and now affects every game. I posted about this earlier but misinterpretted it as a CD-ROM/sound card problem. I now think it’s a Processor/sound card or a Hard Drive problem.

Basically whenever the computer does something: Begins downloading a file, opens a folder, sends something to the printer, etc., the sound stutters and slows down until the computer finishes. Here are the specs:

Pentium IV 1.9
728MB RAM
plenty of hard drive space
SB Live Value!
Windows XP

I upgraded the SB drivers already.

Any ideas on how a non-techy person should approach this problem? Do you think I should get a new sound card?

Sounds like a DMA conflict of some sort. Grab the latest SB drivers, uninstall your sound card drivers, swap some cards into different slots around to try to get rid of the conflict, and install the new ones. If you have your motherboard manual, try to find a slot for the SB that’s not sharing an IRQ with something else.

(728MB RAM? Do you mean 768MB? Otherwise, I’d think memory problem… Or you’re posting from an alternate universe where 216MB DIMMs are available. :-) )

Thanks Denny. I’ll swap them around. I usually sit down and do the math when I write about RAM, because I’m too stupid to memorize the sequence.

If all else fails, ditch the SBlive and get an Audigy. It was the only way I could get proper sound in some games. I am still not sure why I couldn’t get the Live to work properly, but my problem wasn’t as big as yours sounds.

Keep in mind that “Audigy” is not usually synonymous with “ooh, no more audio problems.” Getting my Audigy 2 to work reliably was… challenging.

I don’t want more problems…

Say Denny, why would this DMA conflict crop up suddenly? I mean seriously, the only new thing I can think of was Direct X 9.0. Before early May I didn’t have this problem at all.

Oh wait. Could it actually have been caused by stress? I printed out about 200 digital pages for a massive photoalbum in early May. I mean, I was sending hundreds of megabytes to the printer continuously and each time I did it it caused this stutter. The stutter has been here ever since.

Hmmm. Have you defragged your hard driver recently?

Come to think of it… not since before the massive printing job. I’ll do it tonight, just in case.

SB Live + Win XP = Excedrin headache #146.

Dunno why, but the Creative guys couldn’t write an XP driver to save the company. Got onboard audio on that mobo of yours? Might want to give it a go. Personally, my mobo has C-media audio onboard, and I’ve never been happier with computer audio.

Bub,

Didn’t realize that nothing had changed on your system before this cropped up.

I’d try swapping cards around first. Could be that DX9 did something wonky to the drivers and that the card is going goofy when there’s too much chatter on the PCI bus. (Pardon my technical terminology :) )

If that doesn’t work, hey, an excuse to buy an Audigy 2! And after all, it’s a tax deductible business expense for you, so you get it half-price by the time next April rolls around!

If your Creative-based sound problems turn out to be insurmountable, I’d recommend a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. I own a Live I’ve never had any problems with, but other people swear by the TBSC after banging their heads against the wall trying to get their Audigys and such to work.

On a side note I’ve been thinking of trying my hand at video editing. I have a Gainward VIVO GeForce 4 and plenty of HD space. I can figure out how to get a picture, but how do you connect audio? I run my Xbox through the VIVO, but MS included a cord that lets audio into the SBLive. My GameCube doesn’t have this cord.

Tell me. Is there something I can buy to do this? Or is there a better card for this purpose?

I haven’t bought a Sound Blaster in years. Before my brother’s computer self-destructed and I went to a Nforce w/onboard audio, I had a TBSC and it was very cool. No problems with it.

Get a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. Install the XP drivers and then never worry again.

– Xaroc

I’m confused. What does video editing have to do with Xbox and Gamecube?

That is what I thought when I tried to replace my Live. As it turns out, the TB performed just as poorly. An Audigy ended up being the solution. These days I am using on-board sound on my Nforce2 board and it’s pretty solid. I am glad to be rid of a PCI sound card and hope I never have those hassles again. I hate creative products.

Both require you to connect both video and audio to your computer Tim. I already have a video card that lets me connect the video cables, I need a sound card, or attachment, that lets me plug in the audio cable. I’m not fancy, I don’t require digital connections here. Anyway, my Xbox came with a cord that let the audio connect to the SBLive card. The trouble is, it’s an Xbox cord only. It won’t work with the GameCube, or the camcorder. Since I have VIVO already, I’m not interested in getting a All In Wonder or whatever. I just want to plug the Red and White cables into my sound card.

Ok, I get it. Did you try to just purchase a generic cable with a jack that would fit into the camcorder and the VIVO? I am just guessing here. It sounds like it’s completely possible if the Xbox can do it wiht a propritary cable.

If by “VIVO” you mean “sound card” then no. I tried to explain it to a Radio Shack guy once, but the guy really over-explained things and I vowed to never enter Radio Shack again. I’m just asking. What do those of you who video edit use? How do you connect the camcorder to the sound card?

Yes, I’m clueless about audio and Entertainment System setup. I don’t even know what the cords are called. I have a Digital 8 Sony camera and I have a VIVO video card. What more do I need?

You don’t even need the VIVO card, nor do you want to use it for this. With a digital 8 camera, you want to use Firewire (IEEE1394, or i.Link on your Sony since they insist on rebranding everything…). That will bring a digital signal – complete with audio – into your PC.

Using your VIVO card to bring in video off a Digital8 camera is like using stone knives and bearskins to modify a tricorder so you can see alternate futures with it. :) You’d be digitizing analog video, and adding noise every time you came off or went back to tape. Your camera’s digital connection brings the video and audio over – and sends it back – exactly as it was originally, except for whatever modifications you make. The digital firewire connection also lets the software control your camera.

If your motherboard already has a Firewire port, all you need is the appropriate cable and software. (I recommend Pinnacle Studio 8 for the combo of ease of use and quality results.)

If you don’t have a Firewire card already, get this. It has a Firewire card and the Studio 8 software for just $75 total.