I am successfully running Garritan Steinway Basic on a ThinkPad T43 (1.5 G RAM, sample files on a 4 GB flash drive) using the internal SoundMax audio with ASIO4ALL. With 64-voice polyphony and all resonance effects on, latency is acceptable, and there are no breakups.
I would like to use Creative Labs's XFi Expresscard for less noisy output. However, when I attach it and select it in ASIO4ALL, latency increases significantly, and notes cut off abruptly after several seconds, apparently when they decay below a certain level.
Does anyone have any suggestions for getting the XFi card to perform acceptably? I am using the Windows XP (SP3) drivers.
There are no ASIO drivers available from Creative for the X-Fi Notebook. I tried installing the most recent "Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook Pack 1.01.0095" drivers, and the performance is considerably worse than with XP's drivers and ASIO4ALL. Sound distorts as well as breaks up, even with long latency settings.
My mistake, when you said Expresscard, I was thinking it was a PCI Express card. I am really surprised that Creative does not supply this, since they did a pretty good job with the older model PCI card that I have.
I don't mean to sound insensitive to your problem, but why did you choose this card if it has no ASIO driver? That is the most important feature for what you are trying to do. I can understand though, if you did not know Creative would not supply adequate firmware prior to purchasing.
Perhaps, you may have to buy another card from a different manufacturer. I would suggest a professional type audio card where they supply the driver. Maybe a USB or Firewire card might also work in your system.
Yeah (on Windows) if your audio device doesn't support ASIO, you can never be certain if ASIO4ALL will do the job that the missing ASIO support should have done. ASIO4ALL is fantastic but it's just not a sure-fire replacement for true ASIO support. I'd advise you'll probably do best by continuing to use your SoundMax device and ignoring the Creative, or you could buy an audio device that supports ASIO.