Question on Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion series

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Question on Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion series

Postposted on Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:09 am

Currently, I have my Xbox hooked up to the sound card via optical but can only get digital stereo sound to go through as the card won't manage with 5.1. What I'm trying to do is get the 5.1 signal to work, so that the soundcard can perform a good downmix for headphones, and so I can hook up 4.1 speaker setups or 5.1 speaker setups to the soundcard and have it "mixed" accordingly. (Obviously, I have no way of decoding digital other than via the sound card.)

It is my understanding that either this is not possible as the card would have to decode in realtime and was not designed to be able to do so on 5.1 signals (which defeats the purpose of having a toslink input anyway), or that this is indeed possible via software. (Possibly that which some idiot decided not to provide with the card.)

Searching the forum and searching Google yields little results on this, not many of which are very decent.
C-A_99
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Re: Question on Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion series

Postposted on Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:58 am

I've researched this to death. The short answer is no because Creative took the DolbyDigital decoding hardware out of the cards when they released the Titanium series. What you can do, though, is use the CMSS-3D feature that "re-expands" your mix so that it fills out your 4.1 or 5.1 system's speakers. I do this with my PS3, and while it isn't true 3D sound like on my PC games, it does do a decent job of faking it. What I've found is that my PS3 has no idea that the PC can decode DTS and DD through software (through various 3rd party plugins like AC3 filter) and refuses to send the signal accordingly instead choosing to output stereo through the optical connection.

Depending on your speaker setup though, you may be able to plug directly in. If you have a set like the Logitech Z-5500's with native digital in, you should be able to plug in your 360 via optical and get your PC in on analog. I do, however, hope that somebody else on the forum has found a better solution, seeing as I only have a set of Z-5300e's.
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mortifiedPenguin
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Re: Question on Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion series

Postposted on Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:57 am

I've been using the CMSS3D approach this whole time. The effect is fairly decent for headphones (though makes voice and such audio not intended to be expanded also expanded, unless you keep the CMSS3D setting in the middle instead of maxxed out) and works with stereo speakers, but unfortunately does not work all that well (IMO) on surround configurations. It's dumb that they had to take out 5.1 decoding hardware on a $140 sound card that already has an optical input, and you do get almost the exact same sound with the Xbox plugged into the sound card via analog.

On speaker setups; to be honest, the only surround configuration I ever used is 4.2. That is, two 2.1 systems clumped together; I do not actually have a surround sound system. I don't even know if my setup is considered true 2.1/4.2 because the sound card doesn't output to the subwoofers. (Though that probably doesn't matter.) It kind of sucks because if I blast the bass too high, the back speakers can't handle it and will distort. (The sound card can output a LOT of bass in entertainment mode from the EQ, bass knob, and bass boost settings combined but unfortunately, high bass does not interact well with the Crystalizer.)

On the Xbox, you can select between digital stereo and Dolby 5.1, so I don't think the issue is the console refusing to give a signal. I've never worked with a PS3 though so I'm not sure how it goes on there.

In the (possibly near) future, I will likely be setting up a home theater sound system + new TV so I'll probably just migrate some setups into there to get surround sound and what not.

As an additional point of interest, many people around here find most features on Creative cards to be nothing more than gimmicks. However, nearly all of my audio sources (other than Xbox/PC games and DVD's) are not pristine, nor in lossless formats, so what aspects of a sound card actually benefit in that case? Is it merely audio fidelity alone that matters? (Which I don't think would help me that much; I have middle/low-end audio hardware; $20 headphones in particular.)
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