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ReBirth & Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold

While I was using ReBirth with Creative Labs' AWE64 Gold I came across a few interesting facts. As you know the name AWE64 comes from the polyphony of this card. You can use 64 voices at a time - 32 using standard wavetable synthesizer plus additional 32 created by the software synthesis - WaveSynth/WaveGuide.

Full Duplex SwitchAnd now to the point - the software synth can under certain circumstances influence ReBirth's performance. The easiest solution is to remove the WaveSynth driver - this forces the card to use hardware synth only. You won't experience any difficulties in this case.

But what if you want to keep the WaweSynth for some reason? The answer is - okay, but watch out for the Full Duplex switch. I discovered that the fact whether the card is in the Full Duplex mode or not is very significant.

If you are in the Full Duplex mode everything behaves according to the Propellerhead's recommendation - DirectX driver performs much better than the MME driver. You are able to get closely to the 40 msec buffer without problems.

But what if you are NOT in the Full Duplex mode? Weird things happen. DirectX driver is totally useless, you won't get smooth audio even with the largest buffer size. But the MME driver performs A LOT BETTER in this situation - you can drag the buffer slider far to the left. Wicked.

Summary - you have two alternatives. You can either use the Half Duplex mode together with the MME driver because of the real-time wave reverb provided by the WaveSynth or the Full Duplex mode with DirectX driver that allows you to run additional software without your sound card being stolen by ReBirth.