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Thread: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

  1. #1
    Whiz Kid
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    Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    Hi everyone,

    I have decided to include this for the benefit of those who are new.

    Creative ALchemy

    al-che-my [al-kuh-mee] ~ any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value. - Dictionary.com

    In Windows Vista, Microsoft has decided to remove the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for DirectSound and DirectSound3D. The HAL is the software layer that on previous Windows Operating Systems enabled an audio accelerator such as the SB X-Fi, to provide DirectSound3D applications with hardware accelerated audio. This enabled soundcards to perform tasks such as sample-rate conversion, mixing, 3D spatialization using HRTFs, filtering, and effects processing. Without the HAL, DirectSound on Windows Vista will be rendered in software on all sound cards with no advanced functionality such as EAX.

    The good news is that Creative ALchemy allows you to run your favorite DirectSound3D games on Windows Vista as the developers intended - with advanced 3D Audio processing and EAX support!

    NOTE: All Sound Blaster X-Fi and most Sound Blaster Audigy series of cards include ?nati've? OpenAL support. This means that most games that use the OpenAL Audio library will not be affected by the changes in Windows Vista. OpenAL support is available in many modern PC games including Battlefield 242, Doom3, Quake 4, and Prey.

    Some useful links:

    Creative ALchemy Project FAQ

    Alchemy @ Creative Labs: Connect

    Detailed gamelist

    Download:

    Creative ALchemy .25.0

    Filesize : 8.2 MB
    Release date : 20 Mar 09

    Previous announcement:

    Starting from 6 May 2008, the Creative Alchemy (for Audigy products) is available for FREE. No purchase is necessary to use this software. Original post.

    Operation

    When launched, the Creative ALchemy application will search the system for supported DirectSound3D enabled games. All the games found will be listed in the left pane (titled "Installed Games"). The right pane (titled "ALchemy-enabled Games?) will show any games which have already been converted to use ALchemy.

    To enable ALchemy support for a particular game, select it from the left panel, and press the >> button. To undo ALchemy support, select the game from the right panel and press the << button. You can select multiple games at once and then use the directional arrow buttons to update them all.

    Adding / Editing Games

    The following sections contain information about how you can upgrade games to use Creative ALchemy technology. This is intended for users who are comfortable navigating the Windows File System or using the Windows Registry to retrieve information.
    If you want to test out a favourite game that is not currently supported, then please read the following information.

    NOTE: Games can use the DirectSound3D library in radically different ways, so not all of them will work with Creative ALchemy. A list of officially and unofficially supported games, including the appropriate settings (see below) can be found on http://connect.creativelabs.com/alchemy/default.aspx. Users are encouraged to share their experiences (and ALchemy settings) by contributing to the Games list.

    Pressing the ?Add? button brings up the Game Settings dialogue box requesting information about the title you wish to add. Pressing the Edit button with a game selected brings up the same dialogue box filled with the current settings so they can be altered.

    Game Title

    Type in the name of the game you wish to add, as you want it to appear in the ALchemy application.

    Location

    The ALchemy application needs to know where to find the installed game. This can be done by providing the full directory path to the installation folder, or, by looking up the installation folder in the Windows Registry. As most games add a key to the Windows Registry indicating where the game has been installed, this option enables ALchemy to find games on any user?s machine. The alternati've, a hard-coded directory path, is specific to each user because most games allow the user to specify a custom directory into which the game is installed. Finding a Registry Key can be tricky and is only recommend for advanced users familiar with tools such as regedit.

    To enter a registry key select the ?Use Registry Path? button. Enter the full path and registry key name that stores the string containing the game?s installation folder. E.g. Call Of Duty stores this information in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Activision\Call Of Duty\InstallPath

    To provide a game?s installation folder select the ?Use Game Path? button. Enter the full path (including dri've letter) to the game?s installation folder. E.g. If Call Of Duty was installed in a Games directory on dri've C, you should enter c:\Games\Call of Duty
    The purpose of providing this information is so that the Creative ALchemy application can copy a couple of files to the game?s installation folder. These two files must be copied to the same folder as the game?s executable. In some cases the game?s main executable is not stored in the game installation folder, but one of its sub-directories. If this is the situation then enter the sub-directory name in the ?Install into Sub Folder? edit box. E.g. Serious Sam Second Encounter stores the game executable in a sub-directory called ?bin? so this should be entered here.

    In some even rarer cases, a game may require that the two ALchemy files are copied into two locations ? the game installation folder, and a sub-directory. (This can happen if the game has a configuration application in one folder and the game in another). To copy the files to both locations, tick the ?Install into both Root and Sub Folder? check box.

    When you close the dialogue box, the application will verify the location settings and display an error message if a registry path is not found or a directory path doesn?t exist.

    Settings

    To upgrade a legacy DirectSound3D based game to use Creative ALchemy involves copying a couple of files to the same directory as the game's executable. The first file is called dsound.dll and does the work necessary to re-enable 3D audio and EAX, the other file, dsound.ini, contains configuration options that affect how the audio will be rendered. The variables in the dsound.ini are controlled by the following options in the dialogue box: -

    'Buffers' is used to set the number of audio buffers used internally. The default value of 4 should be fine for most applications.
    The minimum value is 2 and the maximum value is 10.

    'Duration' is used to set the length in milliseconds of each of the audio buffers. The default value is 25ms.
    The total duration of the audio queue used internally is equal to Buffers * Duration (i.e. 00ms by default). Experimenting with Duration values may be necessary in order to find the best performance vs. quality trade-off for each game. In addition, some games require smaller values than the default of 25ms because they use very small DirectSound Buffers for streaming, or they require faster playback position updates. Reducing the ?Duration? value can prevent audio glitches, pops and clicks.

    However, lower values mean that there is more chance of the audio breaking up during CPU intensi've moments (e.g. lots of disc access during level loading). The recommended approach is to try the default settings, and if audio artifacts are regularly heard then try lowering Duration by 5ms and trying again. If the problem still occurs try dropping the value by another 5ms and so on (minimum allowed value is 5ms).
    The minimum value is 5 and the maximum value is 50.

    'Maximum Voice Count' is used to set the maximum number of hardware voices that will be used by ALchemy. The number of voices used will be the lesser of, the hardware voice count limit and this setting. By lowering this value, hardware voices can be reserved for another application to use, or, to improve performance by streaming less audio channels.
    The minimum value is 32 and the maximum value is 128.

    'Disable Direct Music' is used to disable DirectMusic support. The default is false (unchecked), meaning DirectMusic support is enabled. At this time no known problems have been caused by combining ALchemy with games, such as TRON 2.0, that use DirectMusic.
    Last edited by HT-CL; 10-11-2017 at 10:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Contributor
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    Apr 2012
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    Re: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    Dear Kok-Choy,
    Will Creative Alchemy or something similar ever be made to work on mac? Hardware acceleration for Recon3d usb on mac would be awesome!
    Thanks,
    John

  3. #3
    Visitor
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Re: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    Looks like download info in topic head is very outdated. New version of alchemy. Just search by keyword ALMY. Latest version 1.43.27
    Last edited by C2; 12-16-2012 at 04:13 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    Hello,
    can you please reupload the file again? The link doesn't work. I really need this driver pack for the Audigy 2 NX. I had Windows 7 and i don't want to buy a new external Sound Card for my notebook. Much thanks for the great work.

  5. #5

    Re: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by namal View Post
    Hello,
    can you please reupload the file again? The link doesn't work. I really need this driver pack for the Audigy 2 NX. I had Windows 7 and i don't want to buy a new external Sound Card for my notebook. Much thanks for the great work.
    In case you still require your driver and Alchemy, here are the links for the Audigy 2 NX

    Downloads Page
    http://support.creative.com/Products...05&prodID=9103

    Driver
    http://support.creative.com/download...wnloadId=11994

    Alchemy
    http://support.creative.com/download...wnloadId=12579

  6. #6

    Re: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    This enabled soundcards to perform tasks such as sample-rate conversion, mixing, 3D spatialization using HRTFs, filtering, and effects processing.
    Last edited by Sebastian22; 05-08-2015 at 06:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Super Guru
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    Re: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    The program is for legacy games that used hardware accelerated (DirectX DirectSound, OpenAL) sound processing with Creative's X-Fi chipset and similar.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian22 View Post
    This enabled soundcards to perform tasks such as sample-rate conversion, mixing, 3D spatialization using HRTFs, filtering, and effects processing.
    Cheers,
    jmacguire

  8. #8
    Trusted Contributor
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    Re: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by jmacguire View Post
    The program is for legacy games that used hardware accelerated (DirectX DirectSound, OpenAL) sound processing with Creative's X-Fi chipset and similar.
    OpenAL?

  9. #9

    Re: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    Is alchemy still needed in Windows 10 even though hardware accelerated sound was readded?

  10. #10

    Re: Creative ALchemy Guide and FAQ

    Can you please elaborate? Was the hardware acceleration added back to DirectAudio 3D in Win10? I can't find any info regarding it.

    My question: How should i know which (legacy) game requires you to use Alchemy? For example the newest GOG versoin of X3: Rebirth? Does it require Alchemy? You can add the game exe in Alchemy, but how do i know whether it actually requires it for sound positioning effects?

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