First post, by Joseph_Joestar
So why would anyone want to do this? Because it allows you to use soundfonts for General MIDI in DOS games. I know this is already possible with WDM drivers but those drivers limit DOS emulation to SBPro (instead of SB16) and they sometimes cause issues with Windows games that use EAX. This method allows you to run VxD drivers and still use soundfonts for DOS games. Note that this only works when DOS games are running from within Windows 98. If you choose "Restart in MS-DOS mode" then the soundfonts won't work and the card will use those crappy .ECW sets instead. To my knowledge, there is no way to use .SF2 based soundfonts in pure DOS with a Sound Blaster Live.
Anyway, you don't need to modify the drivers in any way for this to work. All you need is some way to unpack a single CAB file, and 7-Zip does that nicely. This guide assumes that you have a clean install of Windows 98SE and a Sound Blaster Live card. It will probably fail if you already have other versions of Creative's drivers installed, but it works 100% on a clean install.
EDIT - I have personally tested this method with a Sound Blaster Live 5.1 (model SB0100). Later on, different people have tested it with some other SBLive models as well, and all information about that has been summarized in this post
2.1 Download and install 7-Zip version 9.20 for 32-bit Windows (it works fine on Win98)
2.2 Download the Audigy2 ZS driver CD ISO
2.3 Use 7-Zip to extract the contents of the "Audigy_2_ZS_Install_CD.7z" to C:\AU1
2.4 After that, right click on "C:\AU1\Audigy 2 ZS Install CD.iso" > 7-Zip > Extract Here to unpack the contents of the ISO image (it may report some errors with CHM files but that's ok)
2.5 Download the Audigy DOS support package
2.6 Extract the contents of audigy2-dospack.rar to C:\AU2 (note: it appears that this archive was created with a newer version of WinRAR, you may need to unpack it on your modern computer)
3. Windows Driver Installation
3.1 Right click on My Computer > Properties > Device Manager > Sound, video and game controllers. If there is an "Ad Lib Compatible (OPL2)" device present there, right click on it > Remove > Ok
3.2 Run C:\AU1\CTShared\LaunchApp\SysInfo\Setup.exe which will install the Creative System Information utility and update the InstallShield Engine (important later)
3.3 Run C:\AU1\DirectX\dxsetup.exe which will install DirectX 9.0a and restart your computer (if you already have a newer version installed, skip this step)
3.4 Go to C:\AU1\Audio\Drivers\VxD > right click on VxD.cab > 7-Zip > Extract Files > C:\AU1\Audio\Drivers\ (this should populate the existing VxD folder with the files from the CAB)
3.5 Run C:\AU1\Audio\Drivers\CTZAPXX.exe and select "Driver Installation" and "VXD Drivers" then click Ok
3.6 Driver installation will take several minutes, don't interrupt the process until you are prompted to Restart then click Ok
3.7 After the restart, wait until the installer finishes, then go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Multimedia > Audio > Playback > Advanced Properties > Performance > Sample Rate Conversion Quality > move the slider to "Best"
3.8 Run C:\AU1\Audio\SFBMgr\Setup.exe and install the Sound Font Bank Manager (if you get an InstallShield Engine error here, repeat step 3.2)
Congrats on installing the Audigy VxD driver on a SBLive, now we'll tackle DOS compatibility.
4. DOS Driver Installation
4.1 Run C:\AU2\AUDIGY DOS DRIVER\Setup.exe and restart when prompted
4.2 Wait until the Creative SB16 Emulation drivers are fully installed (this may take a few minutes)
4.3 During the boot process you might see a "Config file incomplete" error. Restart your computer one more time and it should disappear
If the installation was successful, you should now have the following under Device Manager:
Congrats on being able to use soundfonts in DOS games while running VxD drivers. Currently, the SBLive is using Creative's default 2 MB soundfont. If you want something that sounds much better, see below.
5. SC-55 Sound Font Installation (optional)
5.1 Download Patch93's SC-55 soundfont and extract the archive contents to C:\AU3
5.2 Download SF Pack and extract the archive contents to C:\AU3
5.3 Run C:\AU3\SFPACK.EXE > Ok > File > Add Files > Files of type: SFPack Files > C:\AU3\SC-55.sfpack > Open
5.4 After that, click File > Go/Stop. Wait for about 30 seconds. Now, if everything worked ok, you should have a SC-55.sf2 file in C:\AU3 (file size should be 45.1 MB)
5.5 Start > Programs > Creative > SoundFont Bank Manager
5.6 Click on "Midi Devices" and use the slider to set SoundFont Cache to slightly more than 50 MB then click Ok
5.7 Click on "Bank" then click on the default soundfont (2GMGSMT) to select it, then click Replace, point to C:\AU3\Sc-55.sf2 wait a few seconds until it loads then click Ok
5.8 Run your favorite DOS game (like Duke3D for example) and in setup choose General MIDI for music
Listen to the MP3s attached above to check how Duke3D sounds on a SBLive using this soundfont. For comparison, here's Duke3D on a real SC-55.
6. Getting MT-32 compatibility in pure DOS (optional)
6.1 Start > Shutdown > Restart in MS-DOS mode
6.3 Make sure that the MT-32 option is checked, then click Save and press ESC to exit
6.4 Run your favorite DOS game that supports MT-32 (like Monkey Island for example)
Note that MT-32 emulation doesn't sound too great on this card, but I'm including it for completeness sake. That said, these drivers also allow your SBLive to emulate FM Synthesis, should you want that. Of course, this sounds different from a genuine OPL3 chip, but I'd still consider it tolerable. Sample MP3s are attached below.