Subwoofer output from my creative card??

Hey guys, can someone help me with this??

I have one of these sound cards, as you can see in the picture. It's worked pretty good for me for the past couple of years, but usually the subwoofer output comes either straight from the normal 2 channel stereo output on the card, piggybacked onto the cable that goes to my stereo and then that goes to my sub amp. Either that or right now I have the subwoofer amp hooked up to the line-level subwoofer output on my surround reciever, but it's still 2 channel audio.

I've recently been fiddling around with my sound card, attempting to get the subwoofer output on it working. I've tried the black socket on the sound card with a 2 channel 3.5mm to RCA cord and apparently it's the rear channels as the subwoofer volume slider didn't do anything in my creative control panel, and according to a pdf I found online for my sound card, the S/PDIF socket also functions as the center/subwoofer outputs when not being used for S/PDIF. I've tried a 2 channel and also a "3 ring" 3.5mm cable I have for a camcorder (As I believe some of the cables that are SUPPOSED to go with this card, have 3 ring contacts on SOME of the cables).

Alas, all I've been able to do is get a loud humming sound out of the connections, doesn't matter what rca channel the subwoofer is plugged into, it hums VERY loudly and absolutely no sound what-so-ever. Does ANYONE have any clue as to what I do to get subwoofer output from the card?!?

Heres a link to the PDF describing what each port is for under "Creative Sound Blaster Live! Digital Entertainment 5.1 Creative Audio Software" and then the submenu "Installing sound blaster Live@ Player 5.1" and the next submenu "Connecting Related Peripherals" and that page describes what each port is for.

Picture of Subwoofer output from my creative card??
subwoofer controls.PNG
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HBDWMA6 years ago
By the way, if you hadn't noticed, I'm a tad frustrated with the current industry standards for sound.
HBDWMA6 years ago
Well, I've had nearly every creative sound card ever made with the latest being the X-fi Xtreme Audio HD. I don't know why every motherboard I've had in the last 10-15 years has had better options than even my newest Creative X-fi sound card. Bizarre. Analog, multichannel output (even if only 2.1-left,right, and sub) should be available on every sound card by law. Creative doesn't think so and, while they like to put "HD 5.1 or 7.1 surround" on their boxes, I'd like to see somebody actually get even 2.1 out of these sound cards. Sure if you have speakers that take optical then you 'll get the surround sound, but you'll be bypassing the analog processing features which provides the (only thing I like about X-fi cards) clean, crisp signal to noise ratio, and various effects.

I already have like 500 bucks worth of powered speakers (5 M-Audio studio monitors and an infinity subwoofer) and if I want 5.1 surround to come out of them I either have to use on-board audio (and take a hit in game performance), or I must go buy a surround receiver capable of processing digital/optical signals. I mean, whats the point to having all those features on a sound card if they're bypassed when using the digital out?

Even for the 2.1 that I have now, I actually have to split the stereo output and feed half of the signal to the monitors, and half to the powered sub. Luckily they all have crossovers or it would sound awful. But I know that if I do not split the signal then it sounds much better coming out of the monitors, but I lose my sub.

If anybody out there knows something I don't then please reply in this thread. I'm aware of a sound card (not by creative) that offers 6 analog channels out, and it's like $300 dollars. I'm not an audiophile either, and I can't believe the lack of options in the computer system sound world.

In my opinion surround sound is a nice idea but even in the home theater arena the confusion around all the listening modes, effects features, remastering, virtual 3d stereo surround (what the hell does that mean anyway?) and like 20 different flavors of Dolby this and that makes it barely worth buying a capable system.

On top of ALL THAT; you have this bizarre problem with the audio in movies where you need to turn the volume waaaaay up when people are just talking in a normal voice, but then when the action happens it's so incredibly loud that you need to check for blood coming out of your eyes and ears! And the "night time compression" features don't really work well do they? Even then I can't decide if I enable the features in the bd/dvd player's menus, or the TV setup, or the sound system options (most of which I can't even understand, nor can I tell any difference between when they're enabled or not enabled...)

For the love of God. can't we just have good sound? I mean, my car doesnt have buttons for choosing between 6 cylinders or 8, or a set of dials to customize my air/fuel mixtures, exhaust back pressure and richness. Which is good because I figured the engineers knew what they were doing anyway.

I'd like to plug the cords into the computer, and the other ends into some speakers and have what they advertised which is "5.1 or 7.1 (or even 2.1!) surround sound. I could play online games, and know by listening if the footsteps behind me are to the right or left. Thats it... soo... ummm... anyone anyone anyone?
NachoMahma7 years ago
.  If you can provide links to some of the documentation, someone can probably help you out.
.  If you are getting little or no hum out of the sub-woofer when no audio cables are plugged in then I suspect a bad cable or a bad card.
Punkguyta (author)  NachoMahma7 years ago
 Just posted a link, can you check it out for me Nachomahma??
.  Did you try "Enabling Bass Redirection" on page 3-5?
Punkguyta (author)  NachoMahma7 years ago
 Yes I have, that's the checkbox you have to select to use the crossover slider. It affected the output from the rear channel jack on the card, but lowering it should have increased the bass, but it did the reverse, another reason I know for sure it isn't the black (rear channel) jack on the card.

I don't think the card is faulty, and perhaps I just need to cross my fingers and try it again but I had tried a few different combinations of hooking it up with NO luck whatsoever.
.  According to the side note on page 1-2 the S/PDIF connector (in analog mode) is used for the sub (and center).
Punkguyta (author)  NachoMahma7 years ago
 Hmm, I'm confused then, if I'm needing just a 2 ring headphone jack or a 3 ring.
.  Are you from Canada or something? heehee
.  You need a stereo plug, just like you use on the other outputs.
Punkguyta (author)  NachoMahma7 years ago

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