Creative offers workaround for Vista gaming sound

SOUND FIRM Creative said it is offering a software application which will help gamers get round Microsoft's decision to remove the hardware abstraction layer for Vista. The app, called Alchemy, is or will be available on the Creative web site in the next hour or two. The absence of a hardware abstraction level means that Alchemy will detect what Direct Sound games you have, and bypass Vista so you will be able to get the most out of your games. No abstraction layer will also as a by-product affect people relying on Digital Dolby encoding.

Neil McGuinness, product manager at Creative said that his firm had been pushing Open AL and some of the premier titles have adopted it, but that's only a tiny percentage of the available games.

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News source: The Inq

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Well guys, maybe it's really that hard to understand .. but ..
creative has crappy drivers, yeah, but the whole thing is about something else.
M$ had removed the HARDWARE abstraction layer, therefor the audigy and xfi crads aren't better anymore than any lowcost card (well, ok .. the DACs are better). This is simply because games use SOFTWARE sound effects .. therefor the CPU is rendering the sound and the great DSP on the soundcard lays dormant. So i hope you got it in your brains:
the creative cards ARE working under vista, but they can't use their special features anymore .. go blame M$.
Creative is arrogant and their drivers aren't optimal, but one must be really really dumb to cry and shout without knowing what he is talking about.

In germany a german comedian (Dieter Nuhr) said: "Wenn man keine Ahnung hat: einfach mal die Fresse halten!"
In english: "If you don't have any idea, simply shut the **** up!"

Creative make me angry, they've had a long time to rewrite their drivers to work in Vista and have done very little to rectify the situation. A workaround is not the answer, properly written drivers are. How hard can it be for such a large company?

'Very hard when all your company does is re-brand other peoples' hardware and put it in a colorful box......"

Which "other people"?

Since I own a few pieces of Creative hardware, I'd be very interested to know who really makes it for them. I'm sure most everyone here who also owns some of this hardware would like to know too!

... to another card with the exact same hardware and a new name and higher price... and you end up with something that's just a SB Live! with higher sample rates.

hapbt said,
... to another card with the exact same hardware and a new name and higher price... and you end up with something that's just a SB Live! with higher sample rates.

Um, if you're referring to the X-Fi you're wrong. It's not the "same hardware with a new name". It's a whole different chip than the audigy series was.

Creative has always had crappy, lazy driver support. This happens with them with every OS release. They don't want to pay programmers to update the software and firmware because it comes under the banner of extending the life and customer satisfaction of previous purchases...and they'd much rather sell new product. After all, they have had a virtual monopoly on the sound card market.

Well, all my Turtle Beach cards work with the Vista tests I've run, and Creative has NO products that work with Vista yet, so I think they've really shot themselves in the foot in every way now. They should just buckle down and catch up with the rest of the market ASAP.

This little hack/workaround is little more than a stopgap, of course.

Fully agree. I got stung twice by Creative in the past, Windows 98 -> Windows 2000 ... my nomad wasn't supported anymore ... bye bye mp3 player. Between 2k and XP, it took an age to have all 4 ports on the Soundblaster Live fully working. Even now, the last bluescreen I saw on XP was installing those soundblaster drivers...

So for those thinking about new hardware from Creative which will be supported in Vista .. DON'T. If Balmer's promises hold true, the replacement for Vista will be 2 years from now. You'll have the same ****ty creative experience then too.

The irritating thing is that the Alchemy app will only work with X-Fi cards. Want to be more irritated? the DLL works fine with Audigy cards anyway, you just have to copy it manually. Creative can bite my ***. I'll never by another of their products.

Damn, I have a creative audigy 2... any chance of new drivers any time soon or are we stuck with some workaround for the longhaul?

Maybe if you're lucky the beta drivers will expire a couple of days before the next ones are released... work around that?

its only a work around because they dont want to upgrade their cards firmware and drivers to work with the new model Microsoft's model works, everyone is working with it except creative who is dragging their feet saying keep it the old way!!! we dont want to have to learn new stuff!

The Emu guys who wrote the drivers must have quit, now they'll have to go buy a new company with working drivers and cards!

I'm not sure who I should hate more right now, Creative for crappy drivers, Microsoft for their arrogance with Vista, or Me for purchasing the damn Audigy 2 Value card. They should not have to create a "workaround", just seems odd.