Help with kX Drivers and the new Audigy 5 (SB1550)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Fletch2, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Fletch2

    Fletch2 New Member

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    Any thoughts on the kX project running on updated hardware?

    I used to have an Audigy 2 ZS running on WinXP using the 3551 driver version. I greatly missed the kX project when I built a new computer with out PCI slots and had to "upgrade" to a X-Fi card.:mad: For reasons I won't go into, I found the need to look at getting a new sound card and found out about the Audigy 5. Based on the old EMU chip, I was elated to maybe have a chance to use the kx drivers again with a PCIe card.

    The problem...

    - no mention of the card here at all
    - not much mention of the card anywhere else either... but hey, it just came out a few months ago.
    I figured worse come to worse I could always use the Creative drivers.
    So I bought the card.:w00t::w00t:

    The good news...:hmm:

    Installed the card and went through the long and tiedious proccess of uninstalling the PAX drivers. (no offence intended but I never found much of a difference from the Creative set) Then installed the kX drivers... and it worked!!!!

    The bad news...:wtf:

    Seems it is only partially supported under the kx Generic driver.
    Sound seems to be output only on the front spkrs on a 5.1 surround system, mic didn't seem to work and I'm not sure if the controls match the ins and outs on the card.

    I haven't been able to extensively test things out yet as I just got the card, so I remain cautiously optimistic. Things seem to at least work... generally.
    I was hoping I could make myself available to help someone add support/test out/refine what support is there. I have no programming experience to try to mess around with the github source code, but I could help test and troubleshoot...

    From the research I did, the RX card uses a chip similar to the Audigy 4 Pro (I think) and should be supported by the kX drivers. All I need is to know what can I provide that will help... Please don't make me go back to using the Creative drivers!!! (I don't think even the PAX drivers support the RX)

    I'm glad I finally found a reason to post after years of using the kX drivers and gaining a world of knowledge from this forum.

    Thanks for all the help, now maybe I can help...
     
  2. Epsilon Cygni

    Epsilon Cygni New Member

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    Hello Fletch2,
    huge thanks for your post, it's great to know that kX driver does work with the new Audigy! I was considering the purchase but had serious doubts since only a kX-compatible card was needed.

    Unclarity still remains about the MIDI Synth though: when I inserted my Audigy 2 ZS into a PCIe slot via a PCI-to-PCIe bridge, everything I tested worked fine except the synth which produced nothing but clicks with any banks I tried. Audigy Rx has a PCI-to-PCIe bridge chip similar to that on the adapter I used; in addition, the official Creative driver lacks soundfont support as far as I know... All of this makes one think there is not much hope for the synth to work on the new card, but if you could check it out I would be really happy no matter the result.

    Thank you in advance,
    E.C.
     
  3. Fletch2

    Fletch2 New Member

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    Wow, I didn't even know there was an adapter that could be used. I haven't even used the Creative drivers for the RX card yet.... Completely different software BTW. As I said, I haven't had time to fully test things yet but I will try and see what I can do. Soundfonts load ok in the kX interface and MIDI sound seems to play in in an old game that I have.
    However I seem to have an unexplained crackling (for lack of a better term) in the regular spkr sound (front R&L) that I don't as yet can find a reason for.
    I might install the Creative drivers to get a "baseline" for the card's functionallity but I will try and get things working properly with the kX drivers for sure.
     
  4. Epsilon Cygni

    Epsilon Cygni New Member

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    Thank you for your response!

    After a deeper forum investigation it turned out that the RX does support soundfonts (woohoo!!), although the bank manager does not come with embedded software (that's why there was no sign of soundfont synth in reviews published so far). If you decide to try out the official Creative driver, you could also download SoundFont Bank Manager using the following link: http://ccfiles.creative.com/manualdn/Applications/AVP/11113/0xCA3D54C2/SFBM_PCAPP_LB_3_21_02.exe

    And one more thing - does the card have any digital inputs? Backplate provides none but there were arguments on forums about the purpose of the internal 2-pin connector marked as "JP1", and someone said it could be a CD_SPDIF connector but nobody bothered to check and report back. If the suggestion was correct, something like "Digital In" or "CD Digital" or "SPDIF In" would appear in the mixer, it should be easy to check with the official driver.

    Anyway, while you are using kX, please keep us posted on malfunctioning features or anything else you find special about the card - any info is welcome!

    P.S. If you are asking, there is a great variety of PCIe-PCI adapters (one direction or the other, with multiple slots, with flexible cables, and so on), mine was a basic Espada product http://www.espada-tech.ru/pr_-12351.shtml Most interesting, it uses the very same Plextor chip PEX 8112 as found on the Audigy Rx, however older Audigies don't work properly with my adapter :(

    Looking forward to your updates
    E.C.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  5. Fletch2

    Fletch2 New Member

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    Well, if the older Audigy's don't work well with the adapters, then I doubt if there is any sense in getting one to revive the ZS I still have.

    As for the JP1 connector.... Yes it is there. No mention of it in any creative literature. I never noticed it and had to take the card out to see. I have a liitlle (very little) knowledge of electronics and will try and do some research. It may just prove to be...
    Officially, the card has an optical out, three speaker outputs (for 5.1 or 7.1 surround) a line in and 2 Mic inputs.
    I'll list off the problems with the Creative software in a few days when I hear back from them.

    I'd love to hear if anyone else has any suggestions on getting the kX drivers to control the Audigy RX card better... DSP Plugins perhaps?
     
  6. Epsilon Cygni

    Epsilon Cygni New Member

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    Uhm... I am by no means encouraging you to test the JP1 connector or do any kind of research, just please take a look at the mixer tab if/when you have installed Creative drivers.

    About kX + Audigy 5, I can't suggest a certain solution to remove crackling but hypothetically you could try increasing tank memory and playback buffer size in Tray Icon Right-click menu -> Settings -> Setup Buffers.

    As for matching ins and outs, one needs to figure out their true layout first... When I had the same problem with an E-MU 1010 (EM8960) under kX, I just cleared the DSP, added prolog/prologlt (couldn't use Src because ProFX refused to work at all), connected all channels to Mixy 8x2 (this one has peak meters for signal monitoring, but you can also use any other mixer + Peak on output) and tried all physical inputs in turn; then, using the Mixy's output (when a signal is present on inputs), one can also check physical outs: just insert your speakers/headphones in one of them and connect Mixy's out to each epilog input in turn until you hear the sound.

    Knowing the layout, you can then switch back to default DSP setup and adjust routing in a way that mixer faders correspond to proper channels.

    Hope this helps
     
  7. Fletch2

    Fletch2 New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I was thinking of that type of methodology for the in/out routing. Not even going to touch the jumper unless I know more about it. As for the stock driver... the only thing good I can say about it is that the 5.1 works properly. I was surprised and a little confused to find out that there is no software mixer. :mad: So much for my "baseline"!! First time I have ever seen that...(or rather, NOT seen that...)

    After a few emails to Creative, I got this....

    Sounds like more than just DSP routing might be needed... Anyone?:hmm:
     
  8. Fletch2

    Fletch2 New Member

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    First, a little more info on the Audigy 5.
    From the kX info box:

    Code:
    ----Hardware / Software configuration---------------
    Driver Name:kX Audio Driver (Release)
    Driver Date: Dec 28 2013 02:27:05
    Driver Version: 5.10.00.3552
    DB Name:LiveBay1 db1
    kX Generic [8f00]
    PCI Information: 
    Device: 81102 Subsys: 10241102 ChipRev: 0
    Card is '10k2'
    Card has MPU device
    Card model is '5.1'
    Card is Audigy2-compatible
    Card is p17V / A2Value-compatible [dev8]
    Card HAS AC97 codec
        Codec name: Unk AC97-codec [83847650]
        3D Extension: SigmaTel 3D Enhancement
        Codec is 2.0 compliant
        Capabilities[6a90]     : -headphone out-
        DAC resolutions  : -16-bit- -20-bit-
        ADC resolutions  : -16-bit- -20-bit-
        Ext Capabilities [605]: -var rate PCM audio- -slot/DAC mappings-
    Port: 8f00 Irq: 0xb(11)
    Playback buffer: 20a0
    Record buffer: 4000
    Number of AC3 buffers: 4
    Tank memory: 256 kb
    GSIF buffer: 256 samples
    OS version: [2 6 1 Service Pack 1; 2 6 1 Service Pack 1; 156 148]
    Win7 Control Panel shows the device as a:

    kX 10k2.5 Audio (3552) - Generic

    Hardware IDs

    PCI\VEN_1102&DEV_0008&SUBSYS_10241102&REV_00
    PCI\VEN_1102&DEV_0008&CC_040100

    While searching for the chip# (from the DSP chip on the card) I found a bit of enlightening info...

    See this post for more info:
    http://www.hardwareheaven.com/general-discussion/168806-emu10k2-emu10k2-5-stuff.html

    Post #1 & 2 and Eugene's remarks on Post #5 & 6 seem to confirm that the Audigy 5 is based on the Audigy 4 and seems to be a revision of sorts of the A4 Value and doesn't have the p16v. (The chip is a CA10300-IAT LF on the Audigy 5) I get lost a bit on the rest of the posts and my efforts shift elsewhere...

    5.1 Surround started working all of a sudden. It might have been something I did or used for playback though.
    The card is a 7.1 capable card, so I'm not sure why the kX driver reports it as "Card model is '5.1'" other than the cards the chip was used on in the past were only 5.1.

    I have made some progress in figuring out the ins/outs and the basic routing. I got the Line-In to work and the Mic input to work as well.The Line-in seems to work through the AC97 input and the AC97 2 input on Prolog (in0&1 - in10&11). The mic input needs further research as there is almost no signal even with the +20db boost on. there is a signal, just very low level. Not sure if this is due to my dynamic mic or the input. I have a XLR – 1/8"TRS cable on the first mic input. The same mic and cable worked fine on the old Audigy2 ZS through the kX mixer. Creative lables the mic inputs as "mono". The mic inputs on the ZS were labled the same i do believe. Not sure if the input is expecting an electret mic or not (+5v on ring). In which case I'd have to run through a pre-amp first. I couldn't find any more detailed specs on the mic inputs. I would be nice to know for sure...

    And... despite what Creative says, I think it should be possible to have independent control of either of the two mic inputs. I'm not just sure how to find out, or what mixer/DSP element to use, seeing as no other card has two mic inputs (that I know of).

    Edit:
    Also, the speaker test doesn't work. I'm not sure why. ("Failed to create sound")

    More updates to come...
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  9. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    Speaker test hasn't worked since Vista... Nothing different there, all cards fail that test.
     
  10. Fletch2

    Fletch2 New Member

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    Good to know... (damn! I actually used it.)
     
  11. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    Last time I used it, along with the error message it did make an ugly noise out of each speaker... lol
     
  12. trex_daemon

    trex_daemon Member

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    I've also bought an RX card and I was very surprized to have it working with the KX driver.
    They are the best audio drivers ever made. Period.
    So far, I've tested the SPDIF output, that works, but could not get AC3/DTS passthrough to work.
    The analog outputs are also working
    There is no Wave HQ, but I've read somwhere that is does not have the P16V chip, it has the P17V, that could be the reason.
    I've used the 3552, not the 3553.
    I did not have issues with cracking, even with the default buffer values.

    Mainboard: MSI H270 Tomahawk and I5-6600K CPU, Windows 10 64 bit.
     

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