Sound Blaster is the legendary brand of aftermarket audio devices for PC by Creative Labs. It is famously known for providing Dolby Digital Live (DDL) and Digital Theater Systems (DTS) encoders for S/PDIF output. Thus enabling digital surround sound using a single optical cable on you Windows PC. However, setting up your Sound Blaster on Windows can sometimes be frustrating. This guide will address common issues people are facing notably with Sound Blaster Z PCIe card. Some of that may be relevant for other similar Sound Blaster products too.
Quick fix, execute the following command as administrator to prevent Sound Blaster Z to keep your PC awake:
powercfg -requestsoverride DRIVER "Sound Blaster Z" SYSTEM
You can run
powercfg -requeststo see all devices or software currently keeping your PC awake.
powercfg -requestsoverrideto see which of those devices you have overridden.
I just needed to edit the following registry key to fix it:
In my case it was set to
8and I simply set it to
Cinstead. Though if that does not fix it for you you may have to experiment with larger buffer size. Apparently this is a PCIe only issue so if you are using a Sound Blaster USB device this is certainly no concern to you. There is a long thread on TechPowerUp about this issue.
Actually the above workaround does not quite work with the latest driver and Sound Blaster Command. Instead you need to download the somewhat older Sound Blaster Z Control Panel, the installation file is named SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_11.exe. In fact when using the latest drivers instead the registry key keeps reverting back to its default value which break your digital encoder again.
Nico Jeske developed an open source utility to sync a Recording device levels with a Playback device volume which is just what we need. Go download and install MasterVolumeSync from GitHub.
audio guard by preventing your receiver and speakers to go offline. I, on the other hand, would like my Sonos Playbar to go offline when no audio is played. In fact when my Sonos Playbar is online and does not play any sound it does produce a noticeable white noise which is not present once offline. I have not found a proper solution for that yet. I just have a workaround that involves muting that What U Hear Recording device which is also best done through MasterVolumeSync as mentioned above. Once muted my Playbar goes offline after about a minute. Ideally we would need a solution that would automatically mute and unmute that What U Hear device when audio stops and starts. Maybe we could use some code from SPDIF Keep-Alive to implement such a solution and contribute it to MasterVolumeSync.
official Sound Blaster Z icon you can use to display on your Sound Blaster Playback and Recording devices.