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Creative Soundblaster Live Value

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      24.01.2005 13:31
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      • "It's the BORG !!"

      This is a negative review, I have had a SoundBlaster Live in my system for too long and now it is gone. Forever. The software that comes from the card is mainly junk. LOTS of it, The drivers fought with the VIA chipset on the motherboard, it fought with the mouse causing zipper-noise if moved. It dictates is own simple conversion on all incoming audio which is hard-coded in the chipset. It contributed to ground loop noise when connecting a TV card with an electrical cable. The noise figures on the spec were not realised no matter how it was connected. Now it’s not all that bad, when the card was bought there was not much competition and the sample-rate remix fiasco wasn’t generally known. However, I now have a TRUST 514DX which has replaced this card for £20. It’s quieter by far, no hum, mouse noise, and what I put in is what gets written to the hard disk. No 70Meg junk install and pup-up / down bars, latency 10 times quicker than the creative just seals the door. If you are tied to Soundfounts or 3D gaming then fine, carry on, but audio use, nah, it’s in the drawer.

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        29.10.2001 21:31
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        Probably (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) best consumer sound cards on (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) market, (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)y are (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) result of several innovations down at Creative Labs(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)it's NOT perfect, as some seem to make out, but (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)se are mostly only noticeable with professional audio gear, so it would maybe be unfair to criticise it for that(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) For what (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)y are, (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)y can clean (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) floor with o(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)r components at a similar price(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) I got (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Value card, I thought I'd share my experiences of it as an example(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) INSTALLATION… …was easy enough(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) card fits into a standard expansion slot, you connect (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) CD-ROM audio cable to (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) CD drive’s SPDIF (Digital audio) output and connect it to (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) CD SPDIF connector on (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) card(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Easy(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)n you connect (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) powered speakers or headphones and away you go! (If you are a novice at this kind of thing, remember to switch (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) computer off first!)(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) I switched my machine back on, and Windows ME detected it fine(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) instructions in (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) manual are as clear as (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)y could be, with diagrams to help (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) uninitiated(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)n (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) computer installed (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) SB Live! software…this gives you (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) choice of five pieces of software – Creative SB Live! Experience, Creative Keytar, Creative Rhythmania, Creative Sound Blaster Live! Value and Prody Parrot(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) My advice – ignore (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)m and install just (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) first and (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) fourth ((LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) o(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)rs are really pointless, trust me!)(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)n you follow a few instructions and you’re ready to play! Unfortunately, that’s where (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) 9 page printed manual, er, stops(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) manual is half an inch thick, only by virtue of (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) fact that it`s written in no less than 12 languages(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Ikea, anyone? IN USE – MUSICAL APPLICATIONS Well, let’s start with (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) MIDI side of things first(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) I hooked up a keyboard via a standard midi cable, played a few notes into my sequencer, only to discover that it only seemed to allow notes out! It wouldn’t accept midi input at all! After a little head-scratching (10 years in midi and I’ve never seen that before!) I rang Creative(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)y told me that it ‘was a problem with optoisolators(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)’ In layman’s terms, (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)se are little devices that consist basically of a light bulb and a solar panel, just in miniature(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) When (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) light comes on (a bit of midi data coming into it, for example) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) bulb lights, (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) solar panel generates a current, and (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) bit it recreated and sent on its merry way(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Why all this? Simply to avoid direct electrical connections between devices(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Suffice it to say that (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)y are standard, and part of (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) MIDI spec, so I was baffled(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Eventually I discovered (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) truth…you had to buy a CREATIVE midi cable (or just a cable with newer optoisolators but (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)y didn’t say that though!)(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)y had changed a normally defunct pin connection just to make older cables obsolete and make people buy a newer one! Ridiculous(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) So once I had it working, it worked ra(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)r well(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) general midi soundbank is OK, some of (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) sounds being ra(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)r realistic, especially (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) percussion – but (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) real strength of (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) card was what I was about to discover(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Soundfonts were invented by EMU as (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) sampler format for (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)ir early hardware samplers, but (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)y became obsolete(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Some bright spark decided to integrate (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)m to make a standard soundcard into a sampler using (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) RAM as memory(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) This is very helpful indeed…sampling allows you to have instruments that sound very close to being (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) real thing(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Combined with (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) card’s ability to run real-time digital signal processing as a multi-effects unit, you have a great card for (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) aspiring computer musician(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) As (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) MIDI is fine, you can run a sequencer such as Cubase, use (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) ‘Creative Recorder’ which records to wav (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) output of (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) soundcard, and burn (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) wav to CD – an entire production studio at your fingertips(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) If you are looking to get into computer music, or even if you are doing an A-level in music technology, this is a serious contender for your soundcard slot(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Audio quality is good, so long as you are using solely internal sound sources(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) When I connected a microphone, (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) quality was not fabulous despite (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) microphone being a professional one(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) However, if you want just to burn (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) finished product to CD without having to bring an external input into (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) equation, you’ll find (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) card a treat(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) NON-MUSICAL APPLICATIONS This card is fabulous as a general sound-card, as (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) audio quality is faithful when sent to a decent pair of speakers(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) Even as (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) budget version, it sounds quite warm with plenty of low-end and not much discernible distortion on a pair of Yamaha NS10s(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) If you are a gamer, for example, this is probably a great choice if you want to upgrade(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) It has a rear out, so you can use surround sound quite happily(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) I had a Cambridge soundworks surround system on it, and Quake 3 suddenly became ra(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)r intense! (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) environmental audio is quite handy, but I didn’t see it as anything utterly fabulous…it just glosses (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) sound a little(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) If you’ve got a game with (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) capability, (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)n use it, but don’t be too concerned about it unless you have surround capabilities(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) If you have (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) old 4 speaker job, (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)n do turn it on during supported games as it will liven up (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) sound quite a lot in surround(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) GENERAL (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) software is a little intrusive to start with, with a drop down menu appearing whenever your mouse approaches (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) top of (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) screen, but you can turn it off(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) All (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) settings are fairly obvious, although you may find hardware conflicts when changing things if you didn’t uninstall your previous card completely(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) jack sockets are sturdy, although you won’t be plugging in and out too often so that isn’t an issue(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) I’ve had no problems with (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) card whatsoever in normal use, aside a conflict problem when I didn’t realise that certain components from my previous sound car d were still kicking around(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) CONCLUSION This is an excellent budget card(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) If you can afford a much more expensive card, get one, especially for professional use…but if you’re after a card at a reasonable price (under £50) that’ll make Quake shake…(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)n this is a jolly good choice(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN) (BORING PHYSICAL INFO IN CASE YOU CARE :-)) (Connectors – on back of card: Line in (Blue), Mic in (Red), Line out (green), Rear out (Black) – Joystick/MIDI connector On card itself, (LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN)re is a modem connector, aux, telephone answering device (never used!), CD SPDIF, PC Speaker connector, and a CD audio connector if your CD drive has no digital out(LETS ALL GO AND BUM BIN LADEN))

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          27.06.2001 20:25

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          I'd never of thought a soundcard could make so much difference. I had an onboard sound card hooked up to my hi-fi system for a year before I bought this card. The only reason we bought this is because my dad wanted to record his LP's to MP3 and then put them on CD and the onboard soundcard kept corrupting the sound. So I went down to a friend who is into his music and he had a Sb Live Value spare since he had upgraded to a £300 card for mixing etc. He kindly gave me it for nothing so I went home installed it, updated the drivers, hooked it up to my stereo and booted up. The startup sound was pretty impressive as it is a creative sound it now uses (thunder) and the little computer room was shaking all over the place. So I quickly had to turn the volume down to half way between 0 and 1 on the amplifier to hear myself think. Music is vastly improved, MP3's no longer stutter if the computer is busy, recording is silky sounding and games are vastly more atmospheric (I can hear people coming now in Counter Strke). My only problem with this card is that the Live ware is very heavy on the system resources and usually has to be disabled unless you have some kind of super computer. I would recommend this card to anyone and considering you can pick them up for less than £50 now what are you waiting for?

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          11.06.2001 20:15
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          Probably the best consumer sound cards on the market, they are the result of several innovations down at Creative Labs...it's NOT perfect, as some seem to make out, but these are mostly only noticeable with professional audio gear, so it would maybe be unfair to criticise it for that. For what they are, they can clean the floor with other components at a similar price. I got the Value card, I thought I'd share my experiences of it as an example. INSTALLATION… …was easy enough. The card fits into a standard expansion slot, you connect the CD-ROM audio cable to the CD drive’s SPDIF (Digital audio) output and connect it to the CD SPDIF connector on the card. Easy. Then you connect the powered speakers or headphones and away you go! (If you are a novice at this kind of thing, remember to switch the computer off first!). I switched my machine back on, and Windows ME detected it fine. The instructions in the manual are as clear as they could be, with diagrams to help the uninitiated. Then the computer installed the SB Live! software…this gives you the choice of five pieces of software – Creative SB Live! Experience, Creative Keytar, Creative Rhythmania, Creative Sound Blaster Live! Value and Prody Parrot. My advice – ignore them and install just the first and the fourth (the others are really pointless, trust me!). Then you follow a few instructions and you’re ready to play! Unfortunately, that’s where the 9 page printed manual, er, stops. The manual is half an inch thick, only by virtue of the fact that it`s written in no less than 12 languages. Ikea, anyone? IN USE – MUSICAL APPLICATIONS Well, let’s start with the MIDI side of things first. I hooked up a keyboard via a standard midi cable, played a few notes into my sequencer, only to discover that it only seemed to allow notes out! It wouldn’t accept midi input at all! After a little head-scra tching (10 years in midi and I’ve never seen that before!) I rang Creative. They told me that it ‘was a problem with optoisolators.’ In layman’s terms, these are little devices that consist basically of a light bulb and a solar panel, just in miniature. When the light comes on (a bit of midi data coming into it, for example) the bulb lights, the solar panel generates a current, and the bit it recreated and sent on its merry way. Why all this? Simply to avoid direct electrical connections between devices. Suffice it to say that they are standard, and part of the MIDI spec, so I was baffled. Eventually I discovered the truth…you had to buy a CREATIVE midi cable (or just a cable with newer optoisolators but they didn’t say that though!). They had changed a normally defunct pin connection just to make older cables obsolete and make people buy a newer one! Ridiculous. So once I had it working, it worked rather well. The general midi soundbank is OK, some of the sounds being rather realistic, especially the percussion – but the real strength of the card was what I was about to discover. Soundfonts were invented by EMU as the sampler format for their early hardware samplers, but they became obsolete. Some bright spark decided to integrate them to make a standard soundcard into a sampler using the RAM as memory. This is very helpful indeed…sampling allows you to have instruments that sound very close to being the real thing. Combined with the card’s ability to run real-time digital signal processing as a multi-effects unit, you have a great card for the aspiring computer musician. As the MIDI is fine, you can run a sequencer such as Cubase, use the ‘Creative Recorder’ which records to wav the output of the soundcard, and burn the wav to CD – an entire production studio at your fingertips. If you are looking to get into computer music, or even if you are doing an A-level in music technolog y, this is a serious contender for your soundcard slot. Audio quality is good, so long as you are using solely internal sound sources. When I connected a microphone, the quality was not fabulous despite the microphone being a professional one. However, if you want just to burn the finished product to CD without having to bring an external input into the equation, you’ll find the card a treat. NON-MUSICAL APPLICATIONS This card is fabulous as a general sound-card, as the audio quality is faithful when sent to a decent pair of speakers. Even as the budget version, it sounds quite warm with plenty of low-end and not much discernible distortion on a pair of Yamaha NS10s. If you are a gamer, for example, this is probably a great choice if you want to upgrade. It has a rear out, so you can use surround sound quite happily. I had a Cambridge soundworks surround system on it, and Quake 3 suddenly became rather intense! The environmental audio is quite handy, but I didn’t see it as anything utterly fabulous…it just glosses the sound a little. If you’ve got a game with the capability, then use it, but don’t be too concerned about it unless you have surround capabilities. If you have the old 4 speaker job, then do turn it on during supported games as it will liven up the sound quite a lot in surround. GENERAL The software is a little intrusive to start with, with a drop down menu appearing whenever your mouse approaches the top of the screen, but you can turn it off. All the settings are fairly obvious, although you may find hardware conflicts when changing things if you didn’t uninstall your previous card completely. The jack sockets are sturdy, although you won’t be plugging in and out too often so that isn’t an issue. I’ve had no problems with the card whatsoever in normal use, aside a conflict problem when I didn’t realise that certain components from my previous sound car d were still kicking around. CONCLUSION This is an excellent budget card. If you can afford a much more expensive card, get one, especially for professional use…but if you’re after a card at a reasonable price (under £50) that’ll make Quake shake…then this is a jolly good choice. (BORING PHYSICAL INFO IN CASE YOU CARE :-)) (Connectors – on back of card: Line in (Blue), Mic in (Red), Line out (green), Rear out (Black) – Joystick/MIDI connector On card itself, there is a modem connector, aux, telephone answering device (never used!), CD SPDIF, PC Speaker connector, and a CD audio connector if your CD drive has no digital out.)

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            18.04.2001 18:20

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            From the very first time that i turned my computer on and listened to the windows welcome tune through to playing COunter Strike on it only days ago, I have loved this soundcard. As of yet i havent found a real problem with this card. If you've got the money for it then go out and buy it! I really believe that this has got to be the very best soundacard that you can get for your money. ITs great for music, games or just general noise, and the effects that you can use are truelly masterful

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            12.04.2001 16:53
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            First off, Creative Labs are very highly regarded in the sound card stakes. Their ground breaking cards way back in the murky past were fantastic products, and this card is no exception. It bristles with features and performs fantastically well. For the gamers out there, you just can't beat Creative Labs EAX technology which stands for Environmental Audio eXtensions (I think!) it doesn't matter what it stands for, what it means is that games are more immersive than ever before. Stick a second pair of speakers in the card, and hold on to your hat! Reverb and echo is handled in hardware on the card. So for instance, your gun-toting muscle bound hero is walking along a street and the footsteps you hear sound like you are on a street, however if he was walking in a sewer, you hear the harsh echo of the footsteps in the tunnel. May not sound much, but when you think that this is done in hardware, it means that you might just get a few more months out of that ageing CPU, as it has one less thing to worry about. As I said, the card supports four speakers, plug a second set in and get ready for some seriously creepy, involving, immersive gameplay. I say creepy, because if someone walks up behind you on your left, thats exactly where you hear them! Cool! Actually it gives you a little bit of an unfair advantage, especially in games such as Soldier of Fortune, as when you can't see the guy you want to shoot, but you can hear his guns blazing, you know where he is! Other features include superb connectivity, you have two stereo speaker out jack plugs (front and rear), a microphone in, line in, digital out and a midi port. Couple the card with a Creative Labs DVD kit, and it will down mix the Dolby 5.1 surround sound to the four channels. This is a really nice feature if you like watching movies on your PC, but for me I didn't use it. I couldn't think of any satisfactory way to pipe the four channels downstairs to my hi-fi. .. I digress. Ok, that is all of the praise. Now the bad side of the card. Actually it isn't anything to do with the card. It is Creative Labs themselves. I had a slight problem with the SB Live! and the DVD kit I bought, and so I needed to get in touch with tech support.... This is my main gripe with them. After hanging on the telephone for half an hour, I had to give them so much information before I could speak to someone. I should have expected it, because when you load the drivers and the software, you don't just get a reminder to register, no you get some fairly lengthy forms to fill out. If you finally discover the way to bypass these forms, the installer goes and plops a register icon on your desktop. Creative Labs support forum is a joke as well. I have a Matrox video card, and there forum is superb, prompt answers to your questions, and they follow through until they resolve your problem. Not so with Creative Labs. You will be lucky if you get a reply from them. The forums are full of people asking questions, but there are no answers. In conclusion, then, if you are fairly confident with upgrading your PC and have a good idea of how to solve hardware problems, buy the product. If you are a novice, then the card is really good, as long as it works straight out of the box. If you don't mind telling Creative Labs your dogs name just to speak to someone then go ahead and buy. I have to say though that the card worked for me straight out of the box, it was just something to do with the integration with the DVD kit that I needed support on... Buy it! Just pray you don't have to seek support!!! Now is that a positive or a negative opinion?! On the whole positive.

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            06.03.2001 08:43

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            The soundblaster live is probably the best value for money sound card on the market. it comes in various packages from the value to the 5.1 surround platinum which has more imputs and outputs than you can shake a stick at. Some of the main features i like about these cards is there ability to process more than one sample at a time, what i mean by this is if you have say an mp3 music track playing whilst on the internet and you recieve a mail notification that plays a sampled sound while talking too your buddy on netmeeting with ordinary 16 bit sound cards (sb16 or simillar) you will only hear one of the sounds (which ever has priority) but with the live card you will hear them all. I know this is a bit of an extreme but unlike a lot of other cards this is possible. there is the surround sound feature that all live cards produce that enhances games something rotten especially if eax is used at the same time. they also process digital audio directly from your cd rom drive (you do not need a connection from the cd rom to the sound card) although the one of the only bits of software i have come accross that uses this feature is meadia playe v7 i could go on all day about these cards they do a lot but these are some of the main features i like about them.

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            24.01.2001 23:05

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            I would never buy any other sound card than one by Creative Labs. I have this thing for em, the fact that they are always so damn good. Starting with the Soundblaster 16 all the way though to the Soundblaster Live, I have admired the raw quality of these cards, and thankful, with the Live series, they do have not let me down. To start off with, 4 speakers ! If you have ever played a game with surround sound you will understand how good it can be, and yes, the Live card supports it. Also the software on the card is flashable, in otherwords it can be updated. And it is already on its 3rd update, LiveUpdate 3.0. If your looking for a new sound card don`t look any further that this card, its all you`ll every need... and its cheap to !

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            16.01.2001 02:50
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            Connected to my brillient sound blaster live sound card I have a Videologic sirocco crossfire surround system. The sound card gives me great sound quality and I have no need for a seperate music system. I have had fun with all my freinds using all the cool effects the card and supplied programs can create. This was definatly one of the best buys I have made for my computer and I would recommend the sound card to anyone. The only problem I have with it is it's anoying tendancy to disable different inputs, so I have to click on 'CD' if I have been listening to midi files. Also I cannot listen to music on a interactive CD.

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            13.12.2000 17:44

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            The SoundBlaster Live! Value gives some of the sweetest sounds I've ever heard out of a computer The Environmental Audio (EAX) is such a delight to have. When I play games like Half-Life or Starcraft, you can actually tell where the enemies are attacking from. I actually get scared sometimes because the sound it so amazing. One time, in Half-Life, there was an explosion I wasn't expecting and I got freaked out(I ducked =). When a person plays, the sounds are pretty accurate from the direction they are supposed to come from. For example, if your units are getting attacked to your right, the sounds are mainly focused at your right speaker. This is a big help, sometimes I don't know where I'm being attacked from. If you want to "feel" your games, get this card. The CD playing of this card is quite good too. When I play CDs, the sounds are comparable to high-end systems that cost £600 . I mean, the sound is incredible. The sound is better than my 3 year old £300 loaded sound system by Sony. And if you compare it to sound systems by price, it's a bargain. Whether it's playing mp3s or CDs it's the same quality. A good speaker setup also enhances the card and they bring out the best in each other. This is a great card that deserves good speakers. This card sounds well with CDs and mp3s, so if you play lots of songs, this is the card for you. From gaming to music SoundBlaster Live! Value is one of the best cards in the game. Get it if you want to stay in the game!

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            09.12.2000 00:51
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            Now whilst described as a value card, the only value thingy that I can find to do with it when compared to the full version, is the fact that it don't come with the extra daughter board with the SDIF and other such connections. Unless you are a 'professional' user or interested in 'audio' I can really recommend this card, as it will connect to four speakers to give you great surround sound effects for games and the such like. It also features a digital out, but I haven't found this to be too useful ! Compared to other cheap sound cards, this one features Creative's EMU10K sound processor, which is said to have the same processing power as a Pentium 166. This enables it to provide wonderful 3D sound effects, which make games, sound superb. Combine this with a decent quality set of MIDI sounds and the sound fonts feature, which lets you map your own sounds to the card (useful for audio work) I can really recommend it. The PCB its self has enough connections for you to plug in at least 3 CD type devices, I have a CDROM, DVD and CDRW all running through it with no problems. I paid £40 and consider it a bargain.

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              27.11.2000 05:18
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              Why? Why should you get a new sound card? Your current one plays music and sound effects right? Well fine that's all you need. That's all you NEED. But after installing a Soundblaster Live your old tinny 8bit card is certainly not going to be something you'll WANT. With this soundcard ( available in 3 different versions with varying prices ) you'll notice instantly an increase in clarity of music - but what really makes a difference are the effects. You can choose presets such as 'Quake 2', 'Play CD', 'Microphone' which tailor-make the sound to the chosen option. There are subtle echo effects, changes in bass etc all chosen specifically for whatever you want to use it for. A great function which I've had a huge amount of fun with are the voice-alteration presets - chipmunk, kidnapper, Zeus, male-to-female, etc etc. Just ring up a friend through your microphone and see how long it takes them to work out that it's your voice behind Darth Vader, or Jimmy Krankie. However, when I bought this card, I bought it with a Surround-Sound Creative Labs speaker set, so it's hard to tell how much the card is responsible for the great output I get. What is certain is that if you buy this card yet still have tinny speakers you may well be disappointed - the effects will still be there but you can't get the true impressive scope of functions until you get a 4-speaker set up. Unfortunately those can set you back more than the card itself. But all in all, if you use sounds on your computer regularly then you should seriously consider forking out for one of these. It's not the most vital piece of PC equipment, but it does make using your PC a lot more fun!

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                26.11.2000 23:01
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                I used to be of the opinion "if it makes a sound then thats all I need" but now since I discovered the soundblaster live! that has all changed. There are so many things you can do with it, and although I don't use all the features, at some point I think I may. My main reason for buying the card was for the digital output, since I thought I could connnect it to my mini disc digitally. Unfortunately I discovered that what I thought was an optical out was actually an dolby digital out for electrical connection to amps. So even though it turned out I bought the card for something it didn't even have, it became apparent that I had got something quite special. For starters there are outputs for Four speakers (+ that digital out) so I can have surround sound when I watch my dvd movies. The card is powered by a EMU10K1 chip which can add all lots of environmental and physical effects to the sound output. This is completely independant of and program so you could make James Bond sound like a chipmunk in a swimming pool (seriously!) I intend to buy a Soundblaster live Platinum at some point since it does have the optical outputs I want. The Value version is not upgradeable to the platinum version due to various unknow reasons from creative. But overall this is a very worthwhile card, which can do everything that the average home computer user wants, if you want to use it for composing music I recommend the Platinum version with the midi ports at the front of the computer (comes with a breakout box) For playing movies, music and games this card is perfect.

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                  25.11.2000 17:54

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                  I've just built my own PC from scratch, and bought the Creative Soundblaster Live Value, because I didn't want to use the onboard sound of my motherboard. The installation was easy and painless, with windows detecting a PCI multimedia device. Insert the driver cd, re-boot and away I went. I plugged in my speakers (Creative FPS100), browsed to my MP3 folder and fired up one of my MP3 files. I've never heard sound so beautiful on my PC before. The music was absolutely clear, better than on my stereo. This is a top quality sound card at a very reasonable price. It has outputs for front and rear speakers, CD Audio in and SP/Dif in. If, like me, you have a cd-writer and a seperate DVD drive, then you can connect your cd writer to the sound cards cd-audio in and the DVD drive to the sp-dif in. Music from cd's sound great and movies sound even better. With the ability to encode MP3's built into the card, you can store your cd's on your hard drive as MP3's and sell the stereo:)

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                  10.11.2000 03:16
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                  This has to be the best soundcard available at the moment along with the other variations of the Live range like this one and the Live Platinum. The good thing with this card is that it is pretty cheap and can be picked up for around £45-00 and yet it supports things like quad surround sound which providing you buy the 4 point surround sound Creative speakers can enhance your gaming experience more than anything before. The quality of the sound when coupled with their 4 point speakers is unbelieveable. Especially in games like Half Life where it enables you to hear people sneaking up behind you and to either side also. It isn't just this thats so good about it because with the 4 point speakers you get a nice sub woofer which enables to really crank out some music at good volume with no distortion. There is no doubt and it has been known for some time that Creative without a doubt offer the best in soundcards and this just continues that tradition. You can expect to pay £20-00 for a reasonable soundcard now anyway, say a SoundBlaster PCI 128, so why not spend that extra £20-00 and go for the Live 1024, I can assure you you'll be glad that you did.

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