I used to have a Creative Labs Platinum sound card. It is an amazing toy that comes with eight CDs (Compact Discs) of software. It can produce 6 channels of sound: Left front, Right front, Left rear (surround), Right rear (surround), center and subwoofer for low frequencies. The catch is the sound card squirts all six channels out digitally via a single S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format) connection that looks exactly like a traditional RCA (Radio Corporation of America) analog phono jack. Your stereo amp may need 6 analog channels. You would need an extra converter box, or a set of digital speakers that can use the S/PDIF directly. Home stereo systems use a variety of ways of digitally encoding such as Dolby AC-3 and DTS (Digital Theater Systems). Even your stereo has six channels of digital sound it won’t necessarily handle the S/PDIF format.
Unfortunately the microphone input on my front panel did not work. Creative said this is a common problem and they don’t know the cause. When the sound card totally packed it in, they replaced it with a more advanced model and the front panel started to work. I suspect the ribbon cable was the culprit.
I was getting a lot of noise on the microphone even with the front panel. I discovered the culprit was my video monitor, not the computer itself.
Usually the speaker with the power and volume control goes on the right, on the theory most users will be right handed. You can check that you have your speakers wired correctly with the tests below.
|Sound Connector Colours
|subwoofer middle out
|rear out L/R
|line out, front speakers L/R, headphones L/R
|line in, connect tape player etc. input.
|Sound Card Configurations
|line in, line out, mic, mono
|Front L/R, Rear L/R, centre voice, center subwoofer (line in, line out, mic, stereo)
|Front L/R, Rear L/R, centre voice, center subwoofer, centre side L/R (line in, line out, mic, stereo)
|Front L/R, Rear L/R, centre voice, center subwoofer, centre side L/R, plus an additional L/R channel that merges with the Front L/R. (line in, line out, mic, stereo)
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