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First post, by DracoNihil

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Not sure if anyone's ever had this issue but, the SF synth on this device occasionally starts blasting LOUD clicking sounds for no apparent reason when certain patches are attempted to play. The problem goes away after another note on the patch that "crackled" is played again and will no long occur unless: I restart my machine. Or, I unload the SF2 and re-load it or load a different one.

It appears to happen with large SF2 files, and by large I mean greater than 1 MB.

I attached a wav file, can anyone tell me what's going on? Is this even fixable? Is it my motherboard's fault or a creative driver's fault? Or is it Windows 7 altogether? Or is this $140 card defective?

Here are my specs:

Sound: Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium HD PCIe 1x
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 810 2.60 GHz
RAM: 8.00 GB DDR2 Dual Channel Ganged (7.75 "Usable")
Mainboard: Gateway RS780 - Chipset AMD 780G Rev 00 - Southbridge AMD SB700 Rev 00 - LPCIO ITE IT8718 Rev 00
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. P01-A4 09/15/2009

I used CPU-Z to get that information, hopefully it's of some use here.

I really want a solution to this irritating problem, it's preventing me from using high quality soundfonts due to it "Clicking" and "Buzzing" like mad. And I refuse to install a software synth because I paid $140 for this card... There's no reason the soundfont synth on it is dysfunctional whilst the OpenAL EFX EAX 5.0 ,etc fully functions in every game I play.

Thanks for the help, if any.

Attachments

  • Filename
    soundfontclicking.ogg
    File size
    34.5 KiB
    Downloads
    266 downloads
    File comment
    Clickity clicky click click.
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

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Reply 1 of 12, by Gemini000

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In the past, my experience with Creative Labs tech support was pretty good. If you haven't already, I'd get in touch with them directly and ask what's going on.

As for the problem you're describing though, I have no idea. :/

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Reply 2 of 12, by DracoNihil

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I'm skeptical that Creative's support would offer any assistance. My card is refurbished and not only that, no matter which driver I use it results in the same popping sound.

It even happens on the CT2MGM.SF2 file which loads as default, the only time I NEVER experience the popping sound is with 1mgm.sf2 which took me quite awhile to track down, but I have no idea why people say this is the AWE32 instrument set when it sounds radically different. (Could be the x-fi filtering that I can't TURN OFF...)

Really odd how nobody seems to have this problem but me... I even think it's because I have a > 4.00 GB amount of RAM as silly as that might sound.

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Reply 3 of 12, by DonutKing

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I have the same sound card, Win 7 x64 and 8GB of RAM and haven't noticed this issue. Does this happen only with games or will it work with MIDI files too?

If you are squeamish, don't prod the beach rubble.

Reply 4 of 12, by DracoNihil

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Happens on anything that uses the synth, games and MIDI music in general. I'm not liking the signs of this seeing you apparently have virtually the same specs as me. Could my card be defective at this point?

Hell I can't even load the SF2 that Doom64 EX uses without it crackling once everytime something plays off of it.

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Reply 5 of 12, by BigBodZod

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I too have this card in my Gaming rig along with an X-Fi Platinum in my second machine.

My gaming rig has Windows 7 Pro, x64-bit Edition installed along with 8GB of RAM.

I can't say I've heard what you are describing but I will test further and confirm this to be the case or not.

No matter where you go, there you are...

Reply 6 of 12, by sklawz

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hi

i know nothing about the X-FI but that sounds like an
error you could find with a unserviced IRQ with sample
playback. this is all speculation.

it's possible though (as the linux driver has no hardware
assisted wavetable on X-FI from what i can see) that
soundfonts on the X-FI are a software wavetable with
DSP effects.

the memory limit you make reference to was/is AFAIK
only for older SBLIVE/AUDIGY parts which can only
address 512MB ram (2^29) and that's probably a non
issue with the X-FI.

there is a method to inspect the running IRQ count in
windows using a sysinternals application. you could
verify that midi playback depends on software assistance
by using that.

personally i would ensure i had the latest BIOS and
motherboard chipset drivers and if that doesn't help
test on another mainboard and perhaps a different
variant of windows.

bye

edit:spelling

Reply 7 of 12, by DracoNihil

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@sklawz I'm tempted to just try that should I find a replacement mainboard for my system. Thanks.

Which sysinternals application are you referring to though? Also I don't think the Synth on my x-fi is software based, as everytime I try to record it "through windows audio, WSAPI" it does not capture anything, so I have to ultimately capture off my "What U Hear" recording input in order to capture the music. I also see no CPU usage either, and the MIDI itself is only partially affected by OpenAL EFX\EAX. (Thinking of which, I can't figure out how to make it's reverb function, only the chorus effect works.)

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Reply 8 of 12, by sklawz

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hi

i have no experience with the older emu chip nor
the newer x-fi chip but what i was referring to
before is that AFAIK with the SBLIVE! hardware
assisted playback was performed where it would
stream the sample from RAM (with a 32mb max
per sample limit?) without host intervention after
some setup. with this X-FI is possible that the
sample is streamed via host control as per regular
wave playback. IE, there could be a requirement
for IRQ servicing as each sample buffer is
expired and a new one required. if you do the
latter and and an IRQ is missed one side effect
could be as i suggested which is an infinite loop of the
last sample buffer presented to the chip.

i am not in windows right now but i will look later
for what sysinternals app does irq monitoring.
(it does disk i/o and other stuff).

as far as recording is concerned then i can't say
either way. i don't have an X-FI but bear in mind
it's a very complex DSP with nearly infinite internal
routing possibilities. how creative set that up is
anyone's guess.

cya

Reply 9 of 12, by DracoNihil

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I've read on various support topics that certain motherboards don't cope well with the PCIe x-fi cards. But everyone seems to point the finger at the motherboard manufactures or Microsoft while half of everyone else points the finger at Creative for shoddy drivers. I'm at a crossroads at who the actual culprit is, I just want the problem to be fixed already so the $140 I spent buying this thing isn't totally wasted.

As vague as this reply sounds, I'm really tired as of it's writing. When I get a different machine to try the card on, I'll see if the clicking happens on that machine than my current one. But chances are I might not try to even bother given how much of a pain in the ass it was to set it up in the first place. (Windows Vista\7 ready my ass...)

EDIT: Fun fact, if I try to raise the "SoundFont Cache" beyond 512 MB, it goes into a negative number... That can't be good now can it?

EDIT 2: Just loaded General User GS onto Synth B, click's galore until I basically "piano roll" EVERY instrument atleast once. This is getting ridiculous. Why would this clicking only happen when it attempts to play something ONCE and after it happening ONCE, goes away permanently?

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Reply 10 of 12, by sklawz

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hi.

with regard to creative then it's always in the
back of our minds that they are the culprits.
my own experience derives from the sblive
which i got in '98 or so (the one with the
i/o bracket) which initially worked with AC3
pass-through then it didn't with one or more
of their driver updates. it can become a bit
muddled as to whether their cards fails due to
a real hardware fault or whether it's just
creative's incompetence or even dishonesty.

i suspect many people have grown tired of them.
i haven't even bothered to look at the X-FI what
with their lack of initial aide with creating an
open source driver and their lack of openness
in general.

i also suspect that most people on this forum
who still enjoy midi tunes have scoured ebay and
music shops to acquire an external device. your
best advice may be to cut your losses with creative
and use the card for what works which may only
be wave play back and get a second hand sound
canvas (eg. sc-88) and a usb midi adapter.

to follow up the diagnostics advice earlier then i booted
my XP machine and the sysinternals tool is called
procexp which shows the irq running total on the column
called `context switches'. for more detailed per
device totals a tool called `kernrate viewer' is required.
this appears to be XP only and replaced by something
called XPERF for win7. i tried that in xp but had no
luck seeing anything in XP. ultimately you may
not see anything meaningful anyway so it may not be
worth the effort.

good luck, bye

Reply 11 of 12, by DracoNihil

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Yeah I've been wanting to get a Sound Canvas because there are some games that only sound GOOD on the Sound Canvas.

Thanks for the information, I'll try my best to track this down myself with the tools you just mentioned.

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