Originally posted by dopehouse
I have enough!!!
Now I have a new sound card (Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS). My new card works well under linux and i can't life without it anymore. Shit on TERRATEC's SixPack
I can't remember why i bought this shit card.
But i know why to use Creative Sound Cards:
They work well
they are the best
and it's Creative
and there are well working LINUX DRIVER
I wouldn't call Creative "the best", but they certainly do have some of the most well-supported Linux drivers because so many people own the cards and the DSP hasn't really changed much since around 1997.
The CS46xx are really good DSPs, under Windows. Frankly, I find that cards like the Santa Cruz still surpass the Audigy 2 in audio quality and capabilties (like multiple record and output devices). This is what makes it such a difficult card to work with, because it has two AC97 codecs onboard (Cirrus CS4294 and Cirrus CS4297). This is a double-edged sword on Linux, but it's probably something that could be routed with something like JACK. I'm interested in how they achieve some of its capabiltities on Windows, actually. It's very likely that they use DirectSound to do the routing to both DSPs.
Advanced ALSA configuration (aside from compiling and installing it) is beyond my knowledge of Linux audio. ALSA is just too deep for me to make this work.
If anyone wants a quick solution, you can use 4-Front's OSS drivers from opensound.com. I used them with this card for about two years. 6-channel analog and SPDIF through the versa-jack works fine, but there are a few drawbacks;
1) It's the aged OSS API. It's higher latency. It has less of a future on Linux.
2) 4-Front refuses to implement hardware mixing, even though its clearly viewable in the ALSA codebase, instead opting for their software Virtual Mixer. The Virtual Mixer, while decent, has poorer audio quality (to my ears) and adds even more latency.
3) They aren't free (but are inexpensive).
4) While the rear codec can be controlled independantly, it was not (true) surround, and they simply mirror the stereo PCM to the rear channels. This isn't really a big problem anyway, since few (no?) games even really support surround capabilities on Linux. It might only be a problem if you use your PC for DVDs and want surround through MPlayer or XINE(lib).
5) The Virtual Mixer doesn't support mmap, which is used in all Q3A games (and older id software engines as well).
There are a few benefits;
1) Great tech support from 4-Front with quick response times. They're normally quite willing to fix any problems very quickly.
2) Independant control over the Virtual Mixer devices, with advanced (JACK-like) routing if you buy the (inexpensive) PRO upgrade.
3) Real-time effects through a plugin system.
4) Rear channels work.
On the other hand, I'll probably just take the route that you took, and buy a Soundblaster Audigy2. I wouldn't mind having the firewire port, even though I still consider it a sonically inferior card to the Santa Cruz in many respects. I think you can get an Audigy2 from Newegg for $50-$70, and it will work very well, with the default ALSA settings.