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Thread: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

  1. #21
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    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    ^^ I thought you could do that with stereo anyhow using SBX Pro, that is possibly why I am not happy with sound and movies and games are the worst.

    I like the Centre Speaker TBH but its still sounds flat and even now without EAX I am missing something in sound, as I said in my own thread I hope I have not become a artificial sound junkie over the years.

    Please explain more in case I can keep my card.

  2. #22

    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    SBX pro is a shoddy implementation of the old CMSS-3D Surround found on the X-Fi cards.

    xfi_cmss_entertainment2.jpg

    X-Fi cards had 2 options here: "Stereo Xpand", which upmixed the stereo content to all channels, including the centre, but the upmixing was never very good.

    The other option, and which everyone used, was "Stereo Surround", which replicated the front stereo speakers to all speakers (except the centre of course). This, vast majority of people agreed, was an amazing experience.

    Z series software are missing this feature. And no, it will not be added, because: Creative.

    There are entire threads about it all over the internet, even on these boards. Here is one:

    http://forums.creative.com/showthread.php?t=699845

    The closest one can get is to max the SBX Pro slider, and then disable the center channel. This upmixes to all surround channels, but doesn't duplicate the stereo. The result is, although surround, not very crisp. The bass will saturate, the treble will warble, and the centre positioning will be constantly off as the software "dynamically" tries to upmix the stereo sound.

    Of course, apart from listening to music, I'd like an easy way to switch between "5.1 SBXpro off" to "4.1 SBXpro On" without having to manually switch between them.

    Als, EQ always has to be changed between Headphones use and speaker use. Adding the ability to have these changed automatically via the switch too would be great!
    Last edited by Zash; 02-12-2014 at 11:41 PM.

  3. #23
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    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    I knew about the X-Fi Modes, just wondered if some wonder settings you could share would make me like my ZxR.

    I always left it on Xpand due to me liking the centre channel esp. for movies but I may try audio with the other mode.

    Edit: It does sound a bit more deeper in Surround but I still get Centre Speaker so may keep it on this.

    I said in my other thread I have never had really good sound since the SB Live 5.1, all Audigy's and X-FI have gotten worse each build.

    I had hope for this Z series after all glowing reviews and its been out long enough to mature.

    Why were the early ZxR's recalled?

    Wonder if I somehow got one that slipped trough the cracks.

    You can see my thread has zero replies and I mean official from Creative, no doubt it will be going back to Amazon.


    http://software.store.creative.com/s...106-21569.aspx < Wonder fi that would work on our cards, looks better than crap we got with premium cards and has EAX effects.
    Last edited by helmutcheese; 02-13-2014 at 01:57 AM.

  4. #24

    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    What would you say is the problem with your ZxR?

    Can you link your other thread?

    EAX only works in old OSs such as Windows XP, and is old technology. Nowadays, OpenAL is the new technology which is recommended to programmers over EAX by creative themselves. On that note, ZxR does support EAX 5 HD.

    What is your speaker/headphone hardware? ZxR shines with high end headphones and hifi speakers imo.

    Ultimately, the quality of headphones/speakers will have a far greater impact on sound quality than sound cards ^^

  5. #25
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    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    EAX works with Vista only Win 7 removed the Hardware Sound and its back in Win 8 but not supported by these cards.

    I have no clue why peeps claim EAX in newer OS did not work as it does using Alchemy for some games.

    My post would show up by clicking my username, if you have some insight leave it here please as I want to show Creative up for what they are with zero reply from support.

    I am 99% sure the ZxR is going back, 1 more swap to it tomorrow to try again but I doubt it will sound any better as there is a lack of drivers and I doubt a proper new one could improve it.

    http://forums.creative.com/showthread.php?t=701157

    I am not into headphones and that is why I probably have good hearing and not deaf like some peeps I know from loud music from the Sony Walkman (tape) days till now in there ears (can hear it across a road).

    Also not wanting large HIFI speakers around PC as if I wanted that I would listen to my HIFI which I have not since 2001 due to the PC sound back in 2001 being so good and its handier.

    I was willing to spend a few hundred on them and the Corsairs were not cheap.

    Those Corsairs were about the max size for PC area and if you read reviews they get highly rated and even though name states Gaming/Audio if you look at the Corsair Reps review on YT he does state "peeps listening to music on their PC's" was main concern.

    A poor card with great speakers is not going to sound good and vice versa.

    It is a PC at the end of the day and there is a limit to cost and quality or I again would use my HIFI.
    Last edited by helmutcheese; 02-13-2014 at 08:59 PM.

  6. #26
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    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    Quote Originally Posted by thegilpins View Post
    applejack, a great little app.

    Do you have any plans to add options for Scout Mode (on/off) and choosing a predefined user profile (e.g. Media, First Person Shooter etc)?

    Thanks
    Scout mode crossed my mind but I assumed no one would ever need that on for general use. also the control panel already provides a built in hotkey for it, which is the better/faster option for toggling within games.

    integrating switch support for the built in predefined user profiles does seem like a very reasonable option. it could potentially reduce the switch process time and increase reliability in some configurations. it also saves other control panel features, including slider states. however, despite some limitations of my own profiles implementation, it does provide the ability to ignore specific features state or otherwise unsupported ones, while the Z's user profiles override everything to match its saved template.

    I can't find a way to sync with the current Z's user profile state, though I could have it just click the desired profile on each switch regardless.
    however I'm still left with a bit of a design dilemma - should this replace the current Pro Studio profiles implementation ? added as an alternative switching path, or maybe even mix them together somehow ?


    Quote Originally Posted by Zash View Post
    Hi,

    Any chance that you could add a selection for EQ profiles which would also be changed in the switch? Obviously people will have different EQ preferences when in Headphones mode vs Speaker mode

    Also, I don't mean to be cheeky but would it be possible to add 3rd auxiliary profile. I use a 3rd setting to disable the centre speaker and enable surround to emulate the old "Stereo Surround" in the x-fi series. Basically the front speakers get duplicated to the rear speakers. This makes the music sound amazing to me personally as it comes from all around. Not good for 5.1 gaming/movies however. I keep having to switch.

    Pretty please? With cherry on top?
    EQ Profiles and presets now added to new version 1.5.5

    regarding center speaker on/off, I see your point. will probably be added next time. but you should know that un-ticking center does not quite emulate a real "Stereo Surround" (aka duplication), but rather a "Stereo expand" only without the center ruining the SBX Surround effect as it does today.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    anyway, here goes latest version:

    version 1.5.5
    ------------
    - added Force windows 5.1 surround on switch to stereo speakers mode.
    - added Equalizer profiles to Pro Studio section (inc. EQ presets).
    - added Equalizer traymenu item (preset aware if profile enabled).
    - added Volume up/down hotkeys (inc. steps for each mode and smooth transition).
    - added tooltips for some GUI controls.
    - added Windows Audio Devices to traymenu Launch items.
    - added View Log File to traymenu Help items.
    - updated Mute traymenu item checked according to speakers/headphones mute state.
    - updated SBX Pro Studio traymenu item checked if in use.
    - includes general optimizations, bugfixes and SBZSwitcher.ini changes.

    http://www.mediafire.com/download/og...her_v1.5.5.zip

    note: see EQ Preset controls tooltip for more information on preset creation order/naming scheme requirements.
    Last edited by applejack; 02-15-2014 at 09:51 AM.

  7. #27
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    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    Edit : Vista removed hardware Sound before Win 7.

  8. #28

    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    Thank you applejack!

    Unfortunately, there seems to be a bug where the EQ profile only works for either speaker or headphones.

    If speaker profile is working, then when you switch to headphones, the EQ is disabled. And if headphones profile is working, when switching to speakers, the EQ is disabled. Which one works seems to depend on which EQ you manually set as active.

    I think the problem may be that the "ignore" (gray) checkbox for either selection isn't working as it should. I presume that the grey check (ignore) means "don't touch the on/off switch".

    As it stands, when switching from for example, speaker to headphones, the mouse would click on the EQ on/off toggle" to enable (if the checkbox is black ticked). When it does this, if the EQ is already on, it would get switched off, hence the second profile not working.

    When the checkmark is gray, it should ignore the fact that the EQ is already on, but the problem is that it doesn't try to change the EQ menu at all, like it's treating it as "disabled".

    Summing up, the profile selection works fine, but the EQ on/off toggle doesn't get treated as "ignore", or "always on".

    I hope I am explaining myself clearly

    Thanks again for the brilliant effort. If this works out with the profiles (and there is no reason it shouldn't), this tool would be a spectacular success for me personally ;-)

    -- Zash
    Last edited by Zash; 02-15-2014 at 09:05 PM.

  9. #29

    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    Quote Originally Posted by applejack View Post
    integrating switch support for the built in predefined user profiles does seem like a very reasonable option. it could potentially reduce the switch process time and increase reliability in some configurations. it also saves other control panel features, including slider states. however, despite some limitations of my own profiles implementation, it does provide the ability to ignore specific features state or otherwise unsupported ones, while the Z's user profiles override everything to match its saved template.

    I can't find a way to sync with the current Z's user profile state, though I could have it just click the desired profile on each switch regardless.
    however I'm still left with a bit of a design dilemma - should this replace the current Pro Studio profiles implementation ? added as an alternative switching path, or maybe even mix them together somehow ?
    For me whatever is easiest for you to do. One option would be configuration so that the existing Z profiles can be manually entered so the switch knew what to do. Thanks also for the pointing out the hot keys option for scout mode.

  10. #30
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    Re: SBZ Switcher - Automate Speakers/Headphones mode switching

    @Zash,

    please verify that SBZSwitcher is able to correctly synchronize with the EQ on/off state on your side:
    first manually turn EQ on, then hover with the mouse cursor over the tray icon for the traytip to show.
    do you see a "+EQ, x" line (where x is the current preset number) ? if so, turn off EQ, and verify the +EQ now missing.

    in case the traytip text doesn't reflect the current EQ on/off state, this would mean it is not in sync (fails to read a specific registry entry which may be missing or named differently on your setup), thus EQ state is probably always treated as off, which I suspect might be the cause for your issue. let me know.

    edit: another way to verify EQ state sync is to compare EQ current on/off state with the Equalizer checkmark in the right click traymenu (should be checked if EQ in on)
    Last edited by applejack; 02-16-2014 at 02:19 AM.

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