Originally Posted by NamelessPFG
I thought it was also an issue with the Live! cards and their EMU10k1. It was certainly a common complaint in reviews of the day. The Audigy 2 might have been the first to work around that whenever the DSP wasn't being used.
My understanding is that the Live! cards do not natively want to perform SRC, because their SRC engine is not very good and Creative worked around that (they can re-lock like other cards of the era). The Audigy 1 does hardware SRC, but the spec is like -90 dB (which is good not great, it isn't full theoretical for DVD or CD is the gripe) and because it can only apply DSP effects at 48khz (which I think is still true of X-Fi and Recon3D, another reason they preference 48khz), it has to SRC in and out of 48khz. The problem is, for whatever reason, the Audigy 1 ALWAYS has that enabled (I think it's a firmware fault, iirc) - so even if you have EQ, CMSS, EAX, etc all off, it's still pumping through that DSP path. The Audigy 2, ZS, etc will truly turn that OFF and re-lock, but if you turn the DSP on, they have to jump into 48khz. The X-Fi uses that "ring topology" and will apply the DSP at 48khz and do SRC in and out (with much higher fidelity) to eliminate the issue entirely. I've never actually heard anything naughty from my Live! or Audigy cards, the original "discovery" of the issue was that Audigy 1 boards won't live up to their ASIO/recording marketing because of the SRC (it doesn't let them clock right). The Live! has some other issue with it's clock that makes it a bad choice for recording, but I forget what it is - it will probably come to me while I'm going down the road to work or something. But that was originally why Creative started taking heat around 2003 because the Live! (especially the higher end ones) and the original Audigy were marketed for project studios and multimedia use as well as gaming and DVD playback, and they'll fall short of the M-Audio and Hercules boards for the recording side due to that. AFAIK the 2 ZS and beyond are absolutely AOK for this though, and I've never had issues with ASIO drivers on the 2 ZS locking where they should or applications working with the Creative ASIO thing.
Also, the whole notion of switching to Audio Creation Mode just for ASIO and bit-matched playback is more hassle than I'd like when I spend most of my time in Game Mode, so instead I just stick to Game Mode and use Winamp with an OpenAL plugin in an attempt to bypass the Windows mixer. (Unfortunately, foobar2000 doesn't have any sort of OpenAL output plugin I know of.) It may or may not be bit-perfect, but I don't hear any flaws in the music.
Do you use XP still?
When I had an X-Fi, I basically did what you're describing, or left it in Entertainment Mode, and lived with it (I game, but not often). Audio Creation can cause issues with some games (it won't let the card do the h/w EAX and other features), just as a note for other people. I don't have the table from Creative where I can snag it, but basically there is some validity to switching modes as the manual talks about. I find it annoying though.
Originally Posted by kn19h7
oo thanks.. Is the current playback bitdepth also reflected in the control panel (since foobar doesn't show current output bitdepth when using ASIO)?
...I'm just too lazy to install the console launcher = ="
In Windows 7 it should be, so if you set the output to 48khz for example, it should be 48khz. But with XP I'm less sure of that, because you're side-stepping kmixer and so on (and in general it's possible to "lie" to the XP audio stack and tell it you're doing something that you aren't, 7 seems not to do this and syncs with the audio drivers fairly well). I don't know as much about Vista, but I'm inclined to say it's similar to 7. If your DtoA has a display, that's the easiest way to check, it should show fs when it relocks at least. Sample depth is less relevant to worry about - if it's set to 24 it will just throw 0's on top to pad it up, and if it's set to 16 it will be cutting off 0's (for the most part). 16/48 should be what it wants to default to, so all you should have to do is change to 44.1 (and again, if your DtoA has a readout, it should tell you this at least when it relocks).