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I have a little question. A friend of mine is making music with ableton live 8.1 and reason 5. First, he had a Creative Audigy 2 (with midi gameport) internal card. I replaced he's card for a Creative Music inernal card with front bay (X-Fi) because I thought that one would be better.

Now he thinks the Audigy 2 was a better card.

can someone tell me if this is true according to the specs?

What creative card is better for audio/midi creation?

the specs for XtremeMusic

Technical Specifications 

■24-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion of analog inputs at 96kHz sample rate
■24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion of digital sources at 96kHz to analog 7.1 speaker output
■24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion of stereo digital sources at 192kHz to stereo output
■16-bit to 24-bit recording sampling rates: 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz
■ASIO 2.0 support with direct monitoring at 16 and 24-bit at sample rates of 44.1/48/88.22 and 96kHz
■Enhanced SoundFont support at up to 24-bit resolution
Audio Performance (Rated Output @ 2Vrms, Typical Value)

■Signal-to-Noise Ratio (20kHz Low-pass filter, A-Weighted) 
◦Stereo Output 109dB
◦Front and Rear Channels 109dB
◦Center, Subwoofer and Side Channels 109dB
■Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1kHz (20kHz Low-pass filter) = 0.004%
■Frequency Response (+/-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input) = <10Hz to 46kHz
■Frequency Response (Stereo only) (+/-3dB, 24-bit/192kHz input) = <10Hz to 88kHz

■FlexiJack (Digital In / Digital Out / Line In / Microphone) via 3.50 mm minijack
■Line level out (Front / Rear / Center / Subwoofer / Rear Center) via 3.50 mm minijacks
■AUX_IN line-level analog input via 4-pin Molex connector on card
■One External AD_Link (26 pin) connector for linking to the X-Fi I/O Console (upgrade option)
■One Internal AD_Ext connector for linking to the X-Fi I/O Drive (upgrade option)

The specs for Audigy 2

Audio Performance 

Signal-to-Noise Ratio with AES17 filter (A-Weighted) 
  2V Rated Output  1V Rated Output  
Stereo Output 106dB 102dB 
Front and Rear Channels 106dB 102dB 
Center, Subwoofer and Rear Center ~90dB ~86dB 

Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1kHz (A-Weighted) = 0.004% (1V, 2V Rated Output) 
Frequency Response (+/-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input ) = <10Hz to 46kHz (1V, 2V Rated Output) 
High Definition Audio Quality for Playback and Recording 
24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion during playback with sampling rates of 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz in 5.1 mode and up to 192kHz in stereo mode 
24-bit Analog to Digital conversion during recording in 8, 16 or 24-bit at sampling rates of 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz 
SPDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) input at up to 24-bit/ 96kHz quality 
SPDIF output up to 24-bit at 48 or 96kHz 
ASIO drivers for low latency (=2ms) multi-track playback and recording at 16-bit/48kHz) 
Wave-Table Synthesis and Midi Features 
Creative Hardware synthesizer (2x16 Channels) with 64-voice polyphony featuring E-MU®'s patented 8-point interpolation technology for accurate sample reproduction 
Creative Software synthesizer - multi timbral wave-table (16 Channels) 
SB1394™ Connectivity 
IEEE® 1394 / FireWire® / i-Link® compatible interface with up to 400Mbps transfer rate 
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 On-Board Connectors 
Line level out (Front / Rear / Center / Subwoofer /Rear Center) 
Digital Out for 5.1 support (6-channel SPDIF Output) 
Line in 
Microphone in 
SB1394™/ FireWire® port 
Telephone Answering Device in 
Analog / Digital CD Audio in 
15-pin MIDI / Joystick port extension header 
Internal SB1394 header to Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Internal Drive (Upgrade Option) 
AD_EXT extension header to th
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

In your case XFI card just have much better chip on board.

  • Audigy 2 goes with: EMU10K2 (16-bit, 4 million transistors, 200 MHz, 64 DirectSound3D sound channels)

  • XTremeMusic goes with: EMU20K1 (24-bit, 51 million, 400 MHz, 10,340 MIPS, 128 Direct3D sound

But if your friend just creating MIDI - he doesn't use this power. Other components such as ADC, DAC etc - near or the same )

share|improve this answer
wel, he uses midi, but does a lot with mastering and creating tracks too. – Chris Oct 20 '10 at 12:22
what's the difference between the xtrememusic and xtremegamer? according to wiki, they use the same chip. What would be the difference then? – Chris Oct 20 '10 at 12:29
the xtremegamer has more xRAM than the xtrememusic. The memory is only used if games are encoded to use it though so for practical purposes it isn't very useful, considering the xtrememusic still has some onboard memory.The gamer is a lower profile card and has non-standard op-amps so it cannot be modded. It also doesn't have the breakout box jack. Otherwise the cards are exactly the same. (same stock analogue output stage, same DAC, same power supply) – stim Oct 20 '10 at 12:38
great answers, thank you! – Chris Oct 20 '10 at 12:50

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