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FAQ: SoundTrack Digital XG / i-Phone XG

Note: we recommend to check the General FAQ section as well.

hardware and driver related topics

1. Does the card work under Windows NT 4.0?

Yes. The NT 4.0 driver is supplied with the card (check the included CD-ROM) and can be downloaded on our website.

2. Does the card work under Windows 2000 or Windows XP?

Yes. The driver can be downloaded on our website and is now also included with the card on the CD-ROM. For Windows XP you can either use the driver that is built into Windows XP or our updates from this website (recommended). We strongly recommend to disable any internet connection (e.g. remove the network cable) when you install the driver under Windows XP - the generic driver will be installed by Windows instead if the device wizard from Windows has access to the Microsoft website.

3. Does the card work under Linux?

Yes. We recommend to use the ALSA driver (which you can download on www.alsa-project.org) to use the card under Linux. This driver has been developed by ALSA with hardware support from our side.

4. Does the card word under BeOS?

Yes. A driver for the card has been developed by Oliver Küchemann. You can download it on various BeOS websites or directly on Oliver's site.

5. Does the card work under Windows ME?

Yes. The driver of Windows 95/98 can be used to get the same functions also under Windows ME. Optionally, you can also use the Windows 2000/XP driver (WDM) under Windows ME but we do not recommend this.

6. Does the card support WDM? What can I do with WDM?

Yes. WDM is the new driver standard from Microsoft for Windows. Windows 98 SE (not Windows 95 or older Windows 98 versions), Windows ME, Windows 2000 (not Windows NT) and Windows XP support WDM. The Windows 2000/XP driver for the card is a full WDM driver and can be used on all WDM supporting operating systems with the same functions.

7. Is it possible to output signals with other samplerates than 48kHz on the digital output?

No, this is not possible. Like most consumer soundcards, the SoundTrack Digital XG / i-Phone XG is using an AC-97 codec that works with internal resolution of 48kHz according to specifications from Intel & Microsoft. To keep this compatibility, all internal operations are done with this samplerate and this also affects the digital output. All signals you play back via the digital output are resampled on-the-fly to 48kHz.

8. Do I need amplified speakers or a separate amplifier to use this soundcard?

Yes. Like most modern soundcards, there is no amplifier on the card itself (because of the audio quality). This means that you need active powered speakers to use the card properly. Passive speakers without an amplifier will not give you enough output volume.

9. Can I record to MD with this card? I heard that MD works with 44.1kHz.

Yes, MD works with 44.1kHz. This seems to be a problem as the SoundTrack Digital XG / i-Phone XG sends all signals with 48kHz, but don't worry: all modern MD recorders and also most older models have a built in SRC function (sample-rate-conversion) that changes the 48kHz to 44.1kHz. The resulting change in the signal quality is much lower compared to the compression used for MD so this is no practical limitation at all. Some older MD-recorders do not have a SRC function so please check this in the documentation for your MD recorder.

10. Can I output AC-3 signals with this card?

Yes. You need a software that supports the playback of AC-3 streams (e.g. PowerDVD 2.55 and newer) that is compatible with the Yamaha 7x4 chipset. Under Windows 2000 you need to install at least Service Pack 2 and possibly an update for your DVD player software.

11. Is it possible to install this card in a system with onboard-sound or another soundcard?

Usually yes. As long as the other soundchip does not use a Yamaha 7xx chipset, there should be no problems. You should make sure that both devices do not share their IRQ. One exception are mainboards with nVidia chipset. We recommend to disable all onboar audio functions on such mainboards or you might get a conflict with the game port of the XG card (not serious as long as you do not use the game port).

12. Is it possible to record bit-identical signals on the digital input?

Yes! The hardware revision that is available internationally supports this with the WDM driver and the latest Windows 9x/Me driver (revision 2013) when you record with 44.1 or 48kHz. Older drivers do not support this function and resample incoming signals on-the-fly to 48kHz as other consumer soundcards with a digital input.

13. Does this card support S/PDIF?

Yes. The optical and coaxial digital I/O connectors on the XG DB I pcb are sending / receiving S/PDIF signals.

14. What is the difference between the YMF744 and YMF754 chip? I heard there are different hardware revisions of this card.

Yes, there are different revisions. The YMF754 replaced the YMF744 and it was no longer possible for Hoontech to produce cards with the YMF744. The main difference between these chips is the power consumption so there is no real practical difference between the chips for most applications.

15. What is the difference between the 'normal' XG and i-Phone XG cards?

The i-Phone XG card adds a special connector for a high quality headset (included) that is perfectly optimized for internet phone and speech recognition applications. This microphone input is optimized for speech and the i-Phone card also adds a special circuit to avoid feedback with phone applications. All other functions are identical, including the drivers.

16. Are there any known incompatibilities with certain mainboards?

We are aware of problems with the EPoX 8KTA3/8KTA3+ mainboard (and the identical ENMIC 8TTX/8TTX+). We recommend not to use this mainboard. It is not possible to use the XG card under Windows 95/98 when this mainboard with the VIA KT133A chipset is used. Under Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP, installation is only possible with the WDM drivers but the operation my affect stability. EPoX confirmed this problem caused by a 'timing difference' between the YMF7x4 chipset of the XG card and the 8KTA3/8KTA3+. Our own tests also showed other compatibility issues with this mainboard. ENMIC confirmed to us that there are known issues with other sound- and audiocards on this board. Other mainboards based on the same VIA KT133A chipset are not affected. Also other EPoX and ENMIC boards did not show similar problems (although some only work stable with the XG cards after loading the setup defaults in BIOS).

software and usage related topics

1. I am using the card under Windows NT 4.0 but there is no support for the digital input.

Please install revision 1227 of the NT 4.0 driver or newer. You can find updated drivers on our download page.

2. On my system, the internal Aux and Video inputs cannot be controlled (Windows 9x/Me).

This is a known issue with older driver versions. Please install at least revision 2008 for Windows 9x/Me to use these internal inputs.

3. What is the pin-layout of the Aux and Video inputs?

From left to right: R G G L (right, ground, ground, left). Please note that since hardware revision A2 (printed on the card), the Video input has just three pins (R, G, L).

4. I want to output AC-3 signals when watching DVDs. Do I need to connect the DVD-ROM drive digitally with the soundcard?

No. The signal is transfered by the DVD player software via the normal DVD-ROM data cable (IDE, SCSI). A connection to the souncard is not needed.

5. Is it possible that my MD is creating new tracks automatically when I am recording several WAV- or MP3-files via the digital output of the card?

Yes and no. Sadly there is no standard for applications and drivers to control a function like this. In most applications you can use a special method to create new tracks: just add (around) 3 sec. of silcence in the playlist between each track in the playlist. You could use this mp3-file for example. Some applications (e.g. WinAMP) have special functions or plugins to support this. Of course the breaks won't be on your final MD recordings!

6. I want to use a game that supports A3D. Can I use it with the XG card?

Yes. The SoundTrack Digital XG / i-Phone XG supports the A3D 1.0 standard under Windows 9x/Me.

7. I want to use a game that supports EAX. Can I use it with the XG card?

Yes. The SoundTrack Digital XG / i-Phone XG supports the EAX standard (1.0 / 2.0 since revision 2013 of the driver) under Windows 9x/Me.

8. I have problems recording signals from the digital input. I can hear them and I have selected 'DigitalIn' for recording but the WAV-file is empty.

Please note that you cannot record signals which have are copy protected by SCMS (serial copy managment system). This has been implemented by Yamaha to prevent users to make unlimited number of 1:1 copies of such signals. All drivers for Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP since revision 2008 do not allow you to record signals with SCMS copy protection. You can select 'StereoOut' as record source via the Windows mixer (which would result in some quality loss, however).

9. Can you recommend an editing software for the Yamaha XG synthesizer on the card?

The shareware apps XG-Edit and XG-Gold are working very well with the card. Also many popular sequencers such as Cakewalk have special functions to support Yamaha's XG standard.

10. The software YStation32 from the installation CD that came with the card does not work under Windows 2000/XP.

That is correct, as the software was designed for Windows 95/98 originally. You can use the normal Windows mixer (we recommend that for Windows 9x/Me as well) to control the card and most popluar audio applications will work fine with the card to record / playback audio or MIDI.

11. I get a 'file not found' error message when Windows 2000 or Windows XP auto-detects the XG card. What should I do? I can't find the file!

Our Windows 2000/XP drivers are updating the drivers that are already supplied with Windows 2000/XP by Microsoft. Unlike many other drivers, you do not install them via the PnP auto detection (because Windows already has built-in support for YMF7x4 based cards) but simply by launching SETUP.EXE. All files are installed automatically now. If you use Windows XP, you must disable any automatic internet connection (e.g. unplug the network cable) while you install the driver!

12. I want to download the Windows 2000/XP drivers and there are two versions (YMF744 / YMF754). Which one is correct?

The main chip on the SoundTrack Digital XG is either a YMF744 or YMF754. You can check that by looking on the card itself inside your PC to determine which version you have (just check the number that is printed on the largest chip on the card). This information is also printed on the retail box and on the cover of the printed manual. All SoundTrack i-Phone Digital XG cards use the YMF754 chip.