I bought my one of my PC 's 4 years ago. The Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Platinum was the best sound card on the market back then. It cost 134$ and nobody wanted to buy one because they did not see the point in spending more money on an audio card. Anyway I spent 2500$ on the PC and another 134$ did not seem that bad. I had no idea what good it was. After installing it and plugging in a few speakers I felt reborn. There was no better sound card on the market. It produced crystal clear sound and the filters it had were superb! It even had a remote control so I could lay down in the other end of the room and change my music or videos! Even technicians that came to do something with the computer did not know what the front panel was used for.
I recommend the Creative products to any person looking for a sound card. And knowing what the new ones can do make me want to buy creative products for all of my future computers.
I've never had a problem with it and have been able to do whatever I want and how I wanted it. Creative audio cards are a must have!
The Sound Blaster Live! Platinum 5.1 is the newest and greatest edition to the excellent line of sound cards Creative Labs produces. The SB Live! Platinum 5.1 has all the features you could ever need.
Whether you download and listen to music, play games, make midis, or plug in keyboards and microphones to sing this sound card has it all. Sound Blaster Live! Platinum provides the combination of digital-quality audio, a full-featured software bundle, and connectivity to external devices from the front of your PC instead of the back!
The featured Live! Drive offers front panel connection to home stereo receivers, MIDI instruments, digital devices, headphones, and more.
The SoundBlaster Live Platinum will give you audio signals processed by the full 32-bit, 48 kHz, EMU10K1 Digital Audio Processor (DSP).
If you are planning on using this card for gaming mainly you will be pleased to know that this card has Hardware Acceleration for Environmental Audio (EAX), DirectSound 3D and DirectSound so you can get the best in gaming performance.
The Platinum's patented 8-point interpolation infidelity produces precise audio fidelity and can utilize up to 32 3D hardware accelerated channels, 64 accelerated channels or 1024 voices.
I know so much about sound cards because i am studying a music course and im creating sound with the software package Reason 2.5!!!!!!!!!
· Creative Live Drive II with IR The Live Drive II is a panel, that slots into a spare 5"1/4 slot. Its main feature is to allow connection to your system with a variety of different I/O connectors. It's also got the ir sensor, to use the remote control with. The connectors on it include PCM S/PDIF In and Out (RCA/Coaxial Jack) Headphone Out (1/4" Stereo Jack with Volume control) Line In (1/4" Stereo Jack, shared with Microphone In) Microphone In (1/4" Jack with Gain control) MIDI In (mini DIN) MIDI Out (mini DIN) Optical S/PDIF In and Out, Stereo Auxiliary In (2 x RCA/Coaxial Jack) and the Infra-Red Receiver for use with the remote control. It only comes in white, which doesnt go with black system, so it didnt go well with mine. Bottom Line: If u use home theatre definatey get this card as it rocks. And the remote control is cool.
It was a landmark birthday for me recently (I’m not telling you which landmark though) and some of my friends clubbed together and bought me this soundcard, mainly because it allows optical recording to minidisc (but more on that later). I’ve already used Creative soundcards – in fact I replaced one (a Live! 1024 Value 1024) with this new card. They’re very good pieces of computer equipment indeed, and if you’re thinking about replacing your own soundcard, I recommend Creative as a brand name to consider. OK, the Platinum 5.1 card is a serious piece of kit aimed at musicians and people who want their computers to be their home cinema set ups. The 5.1 refers to the surround sound capabilities of the sound card, but there is so much more to the card. When you first open the box, you find that it is jam packed full of cables, CDs, a big thing with knobs on (the Live! Drive being the proper name) and the soundcard itself. Being a bloke, I would usually scoff at such a bewildering array of components and go about installing the whole thing by using “The Force”. However, due to “The Force”, I’d only recently managed to fry one of these soundcards (handily replaced by my friend as he still had the receipt) as well as my motherboard and modem (obviously, the dark side of “The Force”) so, out came the manual. Now, this is my bugbear – the only thing the manual shows you is how to install the card and drive bay themselves. Other manuals for software etc. are on the many CDs that come with the package. I believe if you’re going to pay well over £100 for something, the least you can get is a paper copy of the manuals you’ll need. The manual for the soundcard, and associated Creative software packages alone is 90 A4 pages, and that’s without going into any detail. Want to print out 90 A4 pages? Thought not! Installation was easy, if time co
nsuming due to three pieces of hardware needing installed: the soundcard, the Live! Drive and digital DIN bracket (for connecting to surround sound speaker if you have any). Next up, is the installation of the software. The bundled software comes on six CDs, which is a fair amount of software. You get two games, Rage Rally and MDK2, two music packages, Steingberg Cubase VST and 3D Future Beat, and two Creative CDs containing drivers and a multitude of programs to fully exploit your soundcard. I can’t really comment on the two games or the two pieces of musical software as they’re not really my thing and I haven’t yet used them, but I have used a lot of the stuff that Creative give you, and by and large, a lot of it is very good quality indeed. As you might expect from a company with the reputation of Creative, there are lots of diagnostic utilities which range from testing for errors, to enabling and disabling certain features e.g. enabling digital CD audio while switching off analogue CD audio. Their surround mixer enables you to set up your sound system for 2 or 4 speakers, as well as headphones and other output options. You set these during installation, but can be changed any time at a later date through the software. The two pieces of “proper” software from Creative that I use most are the Playcentre2 (a media player for playing mp3s, WAVs etc.) and the Minidisc Centre which enables you to use the optical outputs to record to an external source digitally (in my case, a minidisc recorder). These two pieces of software are excellent and in the short time I’ve been using this card, I’ve found invaluable. Other, more fun pieces of software are thing like the Keytar (crummy name, eh?) that enables you to use your PC’s keyboard as a guitar. Recorder lets you record from an external source and MediaRing Talk lets you chat over the Internet, and alter your voice to ma
ke it sound different. Obviously, with a soundcard like this, you’re going to need a semi decent set of speakers. I use Labtec Spin 70 speakers and for the price I paid for them (£30) are excellent speakers that are going to be better than those free ones you got with your PC. Ok, onto the most important matter. Sound quality – is it any good? The answer is “Yes!”. Creative have always had a name for producing quality soundcards, and this one is no exception. Music is crisp and clear with a good bass sound. Sound in games is good without being exceptional, and sometimes I do get a crackling sound although, this might have something to do with DirectX 8, or the game I’m playing rather than the card. Admittedly, the card is not really any different from any other Live! Cards on the market, and if you are only looking for a soundcard without any of the added extras, then I suggest you get one of those and save yourself £100. However, if you want surround sound audio, and need an array of input and output options through MIDI, SPDIF or optical SPDIF, then I highly recommend this card. If you already have a Soundblaster Live! Card without the bells and whistles, it is possible to buy the added bits without going through the hassle of buying a totally new soundcard package, but I do feel their asking prices at a touch on the steep side. Driver updates are always regularly available on the website (www.soundblaster.com) as well as updated manuals, FAQs, extra pieces of software and numerous customer service options including phone numbers and postal/email addresses. Warning: If you do want to make use of this soundcard, you must have a spare external 5.25” bay on the front of your computer (that’s the same thing as your CD-ROM or DVD player is in) and a spare slot on the back of your PC (as well as the one for the card itself) for the connector for the 5.1 speakers. All
in all, a thoroughly recommended soundcard.
I recently purchased a Sound Blaster Live! Platinum 5.1 in an auction from the States and shipped it over to the UK where I live. This worked out cheaper after paying the import duty I found, as long as you can pick up the item at a good price. I paid £129 including import duty. On getting the product I installed it straight away, after I had repaired my power pack after a recent lightening strike. Installation was easy, you just plug in the card and fit the front panel and that’s it. Software for it, like the drivers, installed no problems and it all worked first time, a rare event indeed, once I got the outputs the right way round. The only problem I found was with my previous sound card, as it was a Viper Pro chipset and since it was not a card I could not remove it, this confused windows a little bit, and although it didn’t give any performance problems, it did create errors for a while, but removing it from all hardware profiles sorted it out and now it runs fine. The soundcard software is very good, and the capabilities of the card are above all else as far as I am concerned. Being a DJ I find it very useful for mixing music due to the 2 outputs it supports. So you can have a monitor for setting up your tracks playing through headphones, while your mix is playing through the speakers. This I found very nice and is the prime reason I got it in the first place. The Front control panel is a neat idea and makes adding external devices easy. You can plug in external mixers for example and mix on decks, and record your mix into wav form to burn onto CD, or edit at a later date. The package I got came with a large amount of software, including, Mixmiester (which I already had) MixMan Studio, which is a music editing package, Cubase VST which I have not installed as I already have it, but as far as I am aware it is the full version. Games including Unreal tournament, Thief. which are designed to run with the plat
inum card and makes for good gaming. And Creative Labs software, including things like, a wav recorder, mixers etc. All the software for the card is included and plugins are not needed to use certain features. The remote control is a neat trick. And although not essential, is nice to have as a luxury. The EAX effects are very good fun, and add good effects to your sounds, especially if you want that live appearence in your bedroom The set up I use on it is a 4 channel 300 watt amp powering 2 3way pioneer 120W speakers and a 10inch 200W sub, and 2 3-way PC speakers I use in the second output as monitors when mixing. I find external amps give the best quality as you can set them up how you like, whereas with the pre made setups, like the creative labs one, you are limited to what they give you, and although good for those who just want games, and to play MP3's, for me they are not what I need. The SB live supports this well, and is perfect for any setup you want. I also have a keyboard and a FM radio connected which I use to make tunes, and the FM radio is good for recording things off the radio straight into WAV to encode to MP3 or burn onto CD. I am yet to find a complaint with it, as so far it has done all I need, and has been worth the money and wait to get it, although a good processor and memory is better as although not needed, it aids in running the software sometimes. Anything under a 333 processor and 64MB RAM will probably cause you problems with some of the software. I only run a 333 but have 196MB RAM and it works fine with that setup. definitely worth the money if you want a top of the range soundcard for your pc, without going into industry hardware. ********UPDATE************* Well it was all going so well wasn't it? Unfortunately, I have now found a big problem with it, and thats it won't run in Windows XP. Creative do a driver pack which will make the software run, but
not the Live! Drive, and Microsoft do an upgrade which will make the Live! Drive work, but not the software, unfortunately you can't put them together. Creative don't seem to admit this is a problem, or is they do, are not rushing around frantically to sort it out, so be warned if you want to use any Creative SoundBlaster Live! products with Windows XP.
Having recently had my stereo blow up I decided to invest in a SBLive Platinum instead of forking out for a new stereo. It has by far exceeded my expectations. The LiveDrive is by far the most multifunctional piece of hardware on my system. It allows me to record to my portable MiniDisc player with optical output (Even supplying a new digital optical cable, £20 new). The software for doing so is very useful; freezing the system while it’s recording to prevent jumps. It also has high quality phono input for hooking up the MD player. The SPDIF output allows me to connect my Boston Acoustics Digital Media Theater that gives me spectacular sound, even through 2.1 speakers. All these features allow me to almost do without a stereo completely. Not only that but I can also plug my electric guitar into the 5.25” Line In jack without the need of an adaptor. The environmental audio combined with my guitar can achieve some incredible effects, without the need of expensive effects pedals. I can find no faults with this product.
While CPU's and video cards lead the industry in publicized hardware, the sound your computer can deliver is also being realized as an essential component to the power a system can deliver. As sound becomes more and more important, several companies have joined the fight for the position of leader in the 3D Sound realm, Creative, the long time standard in audio, being one of these companies. With the introduction of the Live!, Creative Labs introduces many innovations that once again set it apart from the competition, which will be further discussed. What is EAX? Why do I need 3D Sound? What makes a powerful sound processor? Read on. The Live! and Live! Value and Platinum (as well as the PCI128 and PCI64) support Creative's open standard API known as Environmental Audio Extensions (EAX). These extensions allow game and application developers to enhance their products easily, by becoming a natural extension of the DirectSound 3D API. EAX is an audio platform designed to recreate real-world interactive audio experiences. Before the introduction to 3D audio, sounds would begin and end abruptly, which, doesn't seem like a problem to the average person. However, when you fire a gun in a cavern, does it sound like firing the same gun in a field? No, it doesn't. So, the goal of 3D audio is to re-create those environments. The Live! Platinum attempts to recreate these "original performances" by adding reverb effects to sound environments to make them more realistic, and, with the recently announced EAX 2.0 and EAX 3.0 extensions, the Live! series will be able to add more powerful 3D Sound features such as reflections, more complete reverb, environment morphing, isolated reflections, occlusions and obstructions. With these features, the Live! series will prove to be just as powerful as the Vortex2 on the gaming front, as well as maintaing it's leadership in the professional audio and sound clarity fronts.
Creative Labs has put together a very impressive hardware package that features the EMU10K1 audio processor, pumping out more then 1000 MIPS via 2 million transistors. You also get a digital CD SPDIF connector, which I love coupled with my DVD drive. The impressive 512 MIDI voices is also an attention getter. In a day-to-day Windows environment, the Live! Platinum shines brightly. I was first impressed with multiple sounds with my Vortex2 card, but the Live! Platinum goes one step further to allow tweaking of the number of sounds that can be played at the same time. Impressive, and nice for users with Pentium class systems who don't wanna bog down their CPU's (or their ears) with too many simultaneous sounds. The Live! Platinum also brought out frequencies I had never before heard on the Vortex2 or the previous Creative Labs PCI64. This results in louder music, better bass, and angrier roomates. I have read many reviews discounting EAX as a viable 3D audio solution, and although it lacks the advancement of A3D 2.0, it still impressed me more then I thought it would. The addition of EAX 2.0 and 3.0 will, in my opinion, level the Live! with the Vortex2 in the gaming scene. Here is where the EMU10K1 chip shows it's power. With such a powerful processor, upgrades can be made, unlike the hard-wired Vortex2. I played Unreal, Half-Life, and Quake 2 (with EAX patch) using the Live! Platinum, and, while I must maintain that A3D sounds more realistic, EAX is definately a contender, and if the new EAX's are as good as expected, it will take the lead for the gamers. As of now, the primary purpose of EAX is to add reverb to the environment. Playing Half-life really impressed me with this. The environments would change in hallways, under water, in open spaces, everywhere, and it was very interesting, as I was not used to a reverb algorithm, rather a wave-tracing one. Commonly overlooked by many is the Live!'s superior DA
C. This becomes evident in DVD for me, but can be noticed in all sound applications, even CD audio, where the CD SPDIF came in, improving quality even more. In this department, the Live! outshines the Vortex2 with crisper, more vibrant sound and less buzz. As a matter of fact, noise that I once thought was caused my speakers was virtually eliminated by the Live! Platinum. With the Live!'s superb DAC, and the fact that the CD-ROM's crummy DAC is being bypassed by the digital cable (included with the card), sound coming in during CD audio playback is awesome. Easily the most distinct hardware feature of the Sound Blaster Live! Platinum 5.1 is the improved LiveDrive, which adds a host of audio connectors to the front of your PC. The new version of the LiveDrive includes a infrared receiver on the front panel and a remote control. While most probably don't want to have a bunch of remotes for their PC as well as for the living room, it's convenient that the remote will not only control volume and sound card settings like EAX, but also CD and DVD playback. The installation isn't complicated, and just requires that you run a supplied ribbon cable from the card to the LiveDrive, which fits into a free 5 1/4" drive bay. Yet, the LiveDrive certainly isn't for everyone. While the design is as subtle as could be expected, the outcropping of 12 assorted connectors and knobs certainly does more for function than for your décor. Also, try to think through whether you're really going to put the range of MIDI, microphone, and SPDIF inputs and outputs to use. For gaming, the 1/4" headphone jack is a welcome addition, but the LiveDrive would be much more compelling if it served as a powered USB hub where you could quickly plug in game controllers. On the software side, the Platinum 5.1 is equally rich in features, and the software bundle is better than that for any other product you can think of. The bundle includes f
ull versions of four games from the last year or so--Unreal Tournament, Deus Ex, Thief II, and MDK2--as well as music software such as Mixman Studio and "lite" versions of Cubasis VST, WaveLab, and ReCycle. While this bundle might duplicate some of what you already have, it does serve as a very functional sampler. The included Creative PlayCenter 2, which can be freely downloaded for older Sound Blaster Live! cards, introduces a MP3 encoder capable of high bitrate and 9x speeds. The computer market is very competitve and the sound card facet is no exception. There are many fine sound cards out there, and the Live! Platinum proves itself as the finest. With sound that surpasses all others, thanks to the EMU10K1 processor and a superior DAC, the Live! Platinum demonstrates its capabilities as a composers ideal card. With upgradability, low CPU usage, and EAX support, the Live! should round out to be a wonderful gaming card as well. The deal really can't be beat. The Live! Platinum takes best in class.
Creative done it again, with this unbeatable sound card. The sound is of exceptional quality and clarity, especially when used with one of the Creative 5.1 speaker systems. If you are wanting your DVD's or games to sound Cinematic then this is definately the card for you, and at such a budget price, you can't really go wrong. I have had this sound card for around six months and have never been happier with the sounds coming out of it. The installation was extremely quick and easy to do, even a novice could do it themselves, and to make life even easier - if you do encounter any problems the creative website offers FAQ's and support.
This is the ultimate in great sound for the home PC computer. Not only do you get a great sound, you also get a lot of software to keep you busy for a long time. This card can be set up for two speakers, four speakers and with the optional 5.1 decoder card it can be set up for 5 speakers and one subwoofer. With this card you can produce your own Mp3 files with the software included. Some of the Features There are plenty of connections for what ever you need, PCM S/PDIF In and out, Optical SPDIF In and Out, Midi in and out, Line In, Microphone In, Headphone Out and Stereo Auxiliary In. A full 32-bit, 48KHz, EMU10K1 Digital Audio Processor to give you 64 hardware accelerated channels or 1024 voices with 4 Speaker Support, Live! Drive, EAX, Full Duplex built-in. Live! Drive The Live! Drive comes with the sound card. You will need a 5¼" bay on the front of your computer case. This will give you easy access in the front of your computer for volume controls, headphone jacks, analogue and digital device connections, microphone line in sockets and MIDI in & out connections. This makes hookups for things like a musical instrument and the microphone easy to plug in and remove easily. System Requirements They recommend a Pentium 133MHz or faster processor, I would recommend at least a Pentium II 400MHz or greater. They recommend 16MB of system RAM and 32MB is strongly recommended. I would also recommend here with at least 64MB of RAM. (If you use the speech recognition the extra memory will be needed.) Windows 95/98 or Windows NT 4.0 is recommended, I also know it will run with Windows 2000 and ME. A CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive for the software installation. A PCI slot They recommend headphones or amplified speakers, I recommend a 5.1 speaker system to get the full use out of this card. I also recommend the 5.1 decoder card, it comes with thei
r DVD player or you can purchase one separately. With the DVD player, the decoder card and the 5.1 speaker system, you can watch DVD movies and get the "True" Dolby digital sound like a home theater system. Installation Installation is not very hard, first of all take off your old sound card drivers if you can. Then open up you computer and with a Philips screwdriver, you only have to remove one screw and take out your old sound card. If your old sound card was in a PCI slot then just place it in that slot, if not you will need an empty PCI slot to place it in. When starting up your computer, Windows will recognize the new sound card and then you will need to install the software for it provided. That is the basics for installation. The manual is very descriptive and will help you on all the speaker hookups that you may want to use. The Software Here is a listing of some of the software included to give you an idea of what they offer. There is a lot more than I have listed, all the software included would cost you several hundred dollars if purchased separately. Most of the software is the full retail version. Creative PlayCenter brings up your player for all your media files from Mp3 to .wav Files. You can also set your volume and your speaker setups. Creative Recorder is for making your own recordings. Creative Surround Mixer is for setting up the sounds the way you want them. Creative Launcher is a task bar that makes it easy to use your applications. Games Thief: The Dark Project is a nice game in where you are a thief. Descent 3 is a sci-fi game with 3D action, it utilizes the sound card to its fullest. Need For Speed 4 is a racing game where you pick the courses and the cars you wish to race. Music Software Creative Digital Audio Center, with this program you can create your own Mp3 files and more. This
is an MP3 Ripper and Encoder. Cakewalk Express Gold 8.0 this will let you do it all from a 4-track digital audio sequencer, you can play, record and edit. Mixman Technologies Mixman Studio is another program for creating your own music. Sonic Foundry Sound Forge XP 4.0 is a .wav file-editing program. (You can do some nice sound effects with this one.) Overall Creative Labs has done it again, this card sounds Great!!! The only gripe I have is having to buy the 5.1 decoder card to get the True Dolby 5.1 sound, it should be built in. Also they should consider DTS and Dolby 5.1 built in the next generation of sound cards. Prices have dropped and still very from place to place so shop around. I have found it for as low as $164 and over $200. This sound card is for the serious gamer and music lover. I highly recommend the Creative Sound Blaster Live! Platinum
I recently bought this card as i was looking for a good PC speaker system for playing games. This was my first choice as it had real 5.1 sound and it had eax extensions which make games much better. One of the main features was the price of what you get in the package which was extermly good value. You get a good high quality surround sound card for a desktop PC user which isnt industry standard but isnt a normal standard sound card. This is the middle ground i was looking for as i didnt want to pay too much but didnt want to get a cheap card either. Creative was the first place to look as they have been a standard in sound card technology for years and there products are always made to a high standard and produce a good end product. The Live 5.1 includes a PCI sound card, an 5 1/4 drive bay add in called the live drive, remote control and numerous sound editing software programs. This in my opinion is gteat value as the live drive provides an excelent way of connectind devices and mics in an easy and quick way. There is a also a variety of other live products with the same card but less extra features. This is a good range for other people who what a good sound card but do no wan to pay over £100. This card is one of the best on the market with lots of features and extra software but what lets it down is the software. More and more software writers seem to feel the need to make software better they have to add all sorts of rounded windows bright colors and big buttons. I think the software for sound cards is there to be set and then left to do its job. I cant see the need in dumbing down the software when it can just be left at the standard windows interface which I think is much clearer than alsorts of buttons an bright fancy colors. This may be to encourage new users to buy the product but the majority of people who buy expensive hardware like this card are experineced computer users who do not need and want this bl
oatware. death to the bloat buy the card it makes up for the bloatware
I needed a new sound card as my SB Vibra 16 had seen better days. I looked around at the different cards on the market, and initially wanted a Videologic Vertex 2. I then saw a very positive review for creative's new Live! 5.1 dolby card and took a short trip to Electronics Boutique in Oxford Street, London. A quick price match at an affordable £56; piss-easy installation and great sound even with my crappy stereo speaker system. I can't comment on the 5.1 functionality, but I've read it is very good and really adds to games / dvds. However, even with stereo speakers or my Sennheiser headphones, the card is very crisp, clear and a hella lot better than my SB Vibra 16. The EAX controls are great fun, playing some hip-hops cds I messed around with the different effects to great results. The software bundle is useful, drivers are available from Creative's website so no problems there. Highly recommended! UPDATE - May 2001 2 months after getting my Cambridge 5.1 speaker system, the rear right channel on the card blew out. I wasn't running the system at high volumes, so it might have been a manufacturing / quality control issue rather than a design flaw. It took EB a long 3 weeks to get me another card.