Installing multiple Soundblaster cards with kX Drivers

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The following is a reprint of Jim Pinder's post from the forum on installing multiple SB cards using the kX Drivers:

I have tried several combinations of Creative cards in my computer over the last two or three months.

To anybody new to the project, I would say that the Creative 5 live cards (model number 4870) seem to offer the best in terms of performance and price. In the UK these cards are now about £7.50 say £8 with postage or about 12 euros, or 12 dollars (give or take a few cents). They offer two synths with a total of 64 note combined polyphony, and various options as to reverb, etc. Unfortunately the reverb does not work consistantly on all inputs, particularly MIDI.

Another card I have is a Live Value card (model 4670) which appears to be the same as the 5 live cards, but does not have a digital output (see later).

A newer card (and one to avoid) is the Sound Blaster Live 24 bit. This cost me £30 (45 euros) this year. Unfortunately it only has one Synth and does NOT have a digital input, and the reverb does not work on Midi.

My present scheme is three cards (the most my computer will take). I have had difficulty putting three cards in the machine, in that Windows would recognise two cards correctly, but put in a third card and the machine seems to have a interrupt difficulty, and keeps restarting. There also seems to be a way to insert the cards in the various slots.

The following method appears to work!!!

I first put two 5 Live cards (model 4870) in the bottomg two slots of my computer and booted it up. Windows will accept these and installs the Windows drivers. I then installed KX project drivers and checked they were installed in both cards (one at position C000 and the other at position C800) and the shut down the machine.

I installed the Live value card (model 4670) in the top slot and rebooted. Windows accepted this (at slot D800) (because it does not try to install drivers in the two KX cards again). The Live value (4670) now has windows drivers, the other two (4870) have KX drivers.

I then ran Live Drv from the Creative website and this installs Creative drivers into all three cards.

Using the Windows/Control Panel/Sounds and Audio Devices facility I then selected the two 4870 cards and stepped back the drivers to the KX project drivers.

Thus I now have in the computer two 5 Live cards with KX project drivers and one Live Value card with Creative drivers.

I installed soundfonts in all the cards (although you don't necessarily need them in the Live Value card).

Using leads made (again as per Graham Harrisons suggestion), I connected the digital output (yellow socket) on the Five Live cards - into the CD/SPDIF two pin socket, first to the other 5 Live card and then to the Live Value card. The speaker output is taken from the Live Value.

The KX project program shows a multipage selection for each card, the card number you are working on is shown on the bottom right. Picking the Master page (top speaker) - shows various master inputs and outputs. MIDI is the one with the musical note and should be adjusted up to get the output from the synth. I set mine to 95%. You can test this by plugging in a set of speakers direct to this card - be careful - the standard output is reversed - front speakers come out on the black socket, rear speakers on the green socket.

The digital signal (yellow socket) is passed on to the next card by the SPDIF slider on the second page (Ins and Outs). This slider is the pair on the left of the headphone slider and should be pushed up to enable the digital signal (make sure you Un-mute first) The counter is in decibels, I put mine at 0. (The main output volume must also be up as well)

Switch the selector to the other card, and the digital input is on the same page (Ins and Outs) on the bottom set of sliders second from the left with the CD icon above it. Unmute this and move the slider up - again I set mine to 0.

Repeat the output on the SPDIF slider (remembering the main volume control as well) and the signal is passed onto the Creative driven final card. The input is shown on the Creative mixer program by the input with the CD icon on top (second from the right).

You should now be able to hear Midi from the first two cards coming out of the Creative card and you can now add Creative reverb, and on all four speakers (if you have four).

Select EAX control - I set mine at Cathedral, but select SOURCE tab, and further select CD Digital from the drop down menu feature. As it is the reverb is drowned out by the Original Sound Amount. Move the slider down (to about 50%) and you will hear the reverb coming through. Set it to the desired level.

You can repeat this on any of the other sources you want, I have also included wave/MP3 for CD's.

The reverb is great and I do not feel that I need any more.