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    Creative Sound Blaster Live! Value Review
    August 1999
    Introduction

    When people think of Creative Labs, they think of Video Cards, DVD-ROM drives, as well as other peripherals geared for mostly gaming. But where Creative dominates in is the sound card market. This was proven many years back when Creative released the Sound Blaster series of sound cards. And along with this domination of the sound card market by Creative, meant for us, a new standard called "Sound Blaster Compatibility". Creative carries on this tradition with the Sound Blaster Live! Value. This is the same card as the Sound Blaster Live! With only two differences between the two, the Live! includes the I/O daughter board which basically allows for an 8 speaker setup, and also has extra connections such as a Midi In/Out port and SPDIF In/Out port. The Live! Value doesn't include the daughter board and is $100 less in price. But the Live! Value does include a whole slew of features, as well as the best sound on the market, when paired with a good four speaker setup of course. Let's take a more in-depth look at what this latest offering by Creative has to distinguish it from it's competitors.

    Features

    Wavetable Synthesis:

    E-mu Systems EMU10K1 music synthesis engine

    Sound Font technology with user-definable Wavetable sets that includes 2MB, 4MB, and 8MB sets

    64-voice polyphony with E-mu's patented 8-point interpolation technology

    48 MIDI channels that includes 128 GM & GS-compatible instruments and 10 drum kits

    192-voice polyphony PCI Wavetable synthesis

    Load up to 32MB of samples into host memory

    Effects Engine:

    E-mu Systems EMU10K1 patented effects processor

    Capable of processing, mixing and positioning audio streams using up to 131 available hardware channels

    Supports digital effects like reverb, chorus, flanger, pitch shifter, or distortion across any audio source

    Customizable effects architecture allows audio effects and channel control

    Full bass, treble and effects controls available for all audio sources

    Environmental 3D Positional Audio Technology

    Support for Environmental Audio property set extensions (EAX)

    Selectable settings are optimized for headphones and two or four speakers

    Creative Multi Speaker Surround technology places any mono or stereo sound source in a 360 deg. audio space

    Accelerates Microsoft DirectSound and DirectSound3D

    32-Bit Digital Audio Engine

    Sound sources handled with 32-bit precision

    Selectable bit rates from 8 to 16 bit

    Analog and Digital I/O modes supported

    Utilizes AC97 audio codec

    Selectable sample rates from 8kHz to 48kHz

    Technical Features

    Line In to Line Out Rated Line Output:

    Line Output Dynamic -- 1.0 Vrms

    Frequency Response at -1dB -- 10Hz to 44kHz

    Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-weighted) -- 96 dB

    THD + Noise (A-weighted) -- 0.002%

    Line In to Line Out Full Scales Output:

    Line Output Dynamic -- 1.40 Vrms

    Frequency Response at -1dB -- 10Hz to 44kHz

    Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-weighted) -- 100dB

    THD + Noise (A-weighted) -- 0.002%

    Noise Floor with all inputs ON at rated power:

    Front Channel -- 115dB

    Rear Channel -- -130dB

    Other Features

    Supports MPU-401 UART mode

    IBM compatible 15-pin joystick port with analog support

    Support for digital and DirectInput game devices

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    Article Navigation
    Article Navigation
    1. Intro/Features
    2. The Card/Installation
    3. Test/Software/ Environmental Audio
    4. Conclusion
    Article Info
    Author: Tommy Thomas
    Company: Creative
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