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last updated 22-Aug-2002

NOTE: This page will not be updated anymore, see you at the new website!

Here's my personal mini-review of the SB Live! (december '98)


Live! Module Player 0.9 (86 KBytes) by Lada Kopecky

  • freeware DOS-only module player that takes advantage of the powerful wavetable synthesizer chip found on Sound Blaster Live! cards, uses the well known AMP-engine
  • the hardware mixing and hardware 8-point interpolation performed by the EMU10K1 synthesizer offers superb sound quality optionally 'enhanced' by built-in reverb and chorus effects without big demands on the computer's power
  • 64 concurrent voices are available, LMP is able to use up to 60 MBytes of memory for samples
  • plays the following formats : .XM .S3M .MOD/NST .MTM .PTM and .IT (incl. filters and 2.15 compression)
  • you can use listfiles or wildcards to play multiple modules
  • major drawback of LMP: it can't run in a multitasking environment (in a window), because Creative's Windows drivers don't allow direct access to the EMU10K1 chip

    LifeAmp 1.2 (117 KBytes) by LasTNighT

  • freeware, Winamp plugin for playing XM, MOD, S3M, IT using SBLive!/APS/PCI512 MIDI hardware and optionally converting the song to .MID + .SF2
  • this way your modules will use the great hardware 8-point interpolation performed by the EMU10K1 synthesizer
  • it's highly recommended to use APSLive! drivers because they support "sample offset" and have proper MIDI panning, in opposition to the LiveWare drivers
  • it's obviously not the most accurate player on earth, but it works surprisingly good, it emulates volume/panning/pitch envelopes, portamento, sample offset, vibrato, surround panning, etc.
  • but the real bomb of LifeAmp is the included "disc writer", which in this case doesn't produce a lame WAV but converts your tracker song into .MID (song) + .SF2 (soundbank)
  • that's a *great* feature for musicians to re-use old DOS-tracker songs with every MIDI sequencer in combination with an SB Live or any VSTi or DXi software sampler (e.g. VSampler)

    AMP for Windows 2.5 (168 KBytes) by Lada Kopecky

  • freeware, AMPW is *the* all-in-one-carefree-module-player for owners of Sound Blaster AWE 32 / 64 cards
  • worlds only windows-player which uses the AWE soundcard through "hardware mixing" and fully exploits the EMU8000 synthesizer with its 30 channels and the patented dynamic 4-point-interpolation filter, advantage: best possible sound quality with nearly no CPU use
  • AMPW has been especially optimized for the 3 most popular trackers: FastTracker 2.08 (.XM), ImpulseTracker 2.14 (.IT, incl. resonant filters) and ScreamTracker 3.21 (.S3M), it even emulates their bugs "correctly", since that's the only way to achieve perfect playback
  • other supported formats are .MOD, .NST, .MTM and .PTM
  • support for playlists and drag'n'drop
  • utilization of the AWE reverb and chorus, both customizable, direct support for custom reverb/chorus types created by AWE32FXWorkShop (--> utilities section of this page)
  • NEW: probably the final version, now released as freeware
  • NEW: new mode added: Autoplay
  • NEW: new mode of SBK protection added: Swap to disk
  • NEW: a driver update hint is displayed when you run AMPW under Windows ME with default WDM drivers installed
  • NEW: engine v3.01 used: the song name in MOD may contain 00h as a blank space
  • NEW: fix: now the player can skip buggy modules in both directions

    AMP 3.0 (87 KBytes) by Lada Kopecky

  • freeware AWE-Module-Player for DOS: plays the following mod-formats : .XM,.S3M,.MOD/NST,.MTM,.PTM,.IT (incl. filters and 2.15 compression)
  • feature of downsampling the highest samples to avoid the EMU8000 (sound chip of the AWE) pitch overflow
  • possibility to play in Windows Background
  • you can use listfiles or wildcards to play multiple modules
  • very cool thing for your own modules: filter and effect controls for XM modules introduced (see NEWCTRLS.TXT)
  • AWE Module Player Companion (65 K) is a frontend for AMP, allowing the user to browse through drives and directories and select songs (in archives or not) to play with AMP
  • NEW: support for third-party file selector plugins
  • NEW: interrupt-driven player engine - less skipping under Windows
  • NEW: some SB mixer settings (Bass, Treble, DAC, and FM levels) are initialized to optimal/safe values. The original settings are restored at exit.
  • NEW: XM loader improved: now it accepts XM modules created in ModPlug Tracker
  • NEW: one minor bug fixed (related to IT panning in sample mode)

    AWE Module Player 1.51 (139 KBytes) by Bert Boer

  • supports IT, XM, S3M, MTM, MOD and PTM files
  • built in playlist editor and archive (ARJ, ZIP, RAR) support
  • it is possible to play in Windows background
  • Over 40 different reverb and chorus effects and adjustable reverb and chorus levels
  • analog and digital equalizer, so you can give your modules for instance more BASS
  • nice and useful user interface

    MidPlay 1.00 (1098 KBytes) by Till Toenshoff/SounDWorX

  • MIDI-player, plays through AWE, MPU401 and SoundBlaster MIDI with support for win9x long filenames
  • loads automatically required .SBK and .SF2 soundfonts, playlist editor also included
  • VESA SVGA or ModeX resolution, *very* cool interface
  • uses AWE special effects (reverb/chorus), plays out of .ZIP, .ARJ and .RAR archives
  • channel mapping possible, so you can use your AWE and other external instruments together
  • create special playback settings for your files, so they can use different MIDI settings automatically
  • NEW: final and last DOS version: The Party 7 release (12-29-97)
  • NEW: added track-names into song-information panel ('F6')
  • NEW: fixed midi loader; last version had a bad bug that prevented auto-soundfont loading

    AST EMU 8000 Sampler 1.62f (1437 KBytes) by Feilei + JamRam

  • freeware, 32 channel AWE sampler with full MIDI support to program and use your AWE like a pro sampler, combined with the power of an integrated pattern-based sequencer
  • req. an AWE32/64 card (no AWE64 value) or an MPU401 compatible device (MIDI only)
  • supports EMU 8000 synth, OPL3, MPU 401 (for external intruments) and PC beeper
  • direct hardware control about filters, LFOs, envelopes, reverb and chorus
  • many effects included, even 16 pitchshifters possible in realtime
  • groove and shuffle effects per channel, dynamic track allocation
  • use AWE-Rom samples or load WAVs into the AWE-RAM
  • user definable style
  • NEW: you need a (free) registration keyfile to get AST working: send an email to
  • NEW: songs are looping again, play from order works again, color schemes work again
  • NEW: disabled Feilei's "yxx-all-channels-to-instrument-0-setup"
  • NEW: some small MIDI-debuggings esp. MIDI-In
  • NEW: sampler disabled for now, since the last stable version was in AST 1.31

    BushTracker 2.1 (830 KBytes) by Gordon Stryph

  • freeware MIDI tracker, easy browsing and loading of SF2/SBK, incl. a virtual piano for testing of SF2/SBK, originally written for AWE and SB Live
  • pretty alternative handling, check out the popupmenus for all the stuff you can do
  • easy bankmanaging and midi-channel property settings
  • mixer controls volume, filter, pan, reverb and chorus, includes mute and solo feature
  • settings include quickchange of output device, Favouritefolders for sf2/sbk, songs and patterns
  • pattern editor with variable patternlength, arbitrary pattern names, velocity control and easy effectmanaging, allows tracks to be effect or note commands -giving the opportunity to use several effects at the same time
  • real time editing of patterns and song allows to test ideas on the fly to find the right way
  • patch/chorus/reverb change while playing
  • advanced FX track feature for easier effect adding, includes echo, randomfilter, random pan, filter fade, volume fade, pan fade
  • push patterns: feature to move patterns in song forward or backward
  • join files in song for publishing: copies song and all used SF2/SBK to a userdefined folder
  • NEW: new version 2.0 of the native AWE version of BushTracker, makes all EMU-8000 chip features available

    AWEWavePlayer for Linux 0.3f (17 KBytes) by Jeroen Witteman

  • freeware for Linux, enables SB32/AWE32 (and family) owners to play WAV/MP3 ... through the EMU8000 and therefore through the SPDIF jumper of the card (CreativeLabs told you to buy an AWE64gold to get that feature)
  • additionally it supports the common AWE chorus/reverb effects and the digital EQ (treble/bass)
  • requires at least 512K soundcard RAM, sample size and used number of samples configurable
  • if you use DOS or Windows instead of Linux there's no need to download this player since it is Linux only!

    Massiva 1.0 (1207 KBytes) by Jørgen Aase

  • 30$ shareware, nice MIDI+audio sequencer, supports VST plugins (effects + synths), ASIO and MME playback
  • 32 tracks with unlimited number of parts, reads and writes standard MIDI files
  • edit music in real-time with undo, step record notes with MIDI- or PC-keyboard, step record program change and control change with PC-keyboard
  • auto-compose MIDI volume, panning or any control change message in sync with music, simple drum-, bass- or chord-patterns in seconds
  • store areas like "intro", "break" and "2nd verse" for fast navigation
  • move and resize notes with keys on the PC keyboard
  • visual editing of velocity and control change, realtime MIDI faders for adjusting/recording control change messages
  • MIDI Time Code (master), groove quantize, realtime SYSEX recording
  • advanced functions for AWE only: load/clear soundfonts, select effects and EQ, select AWE banks/patches by name, save AWE effects/EQ settings with song
  • advanced functions for AWE and SB Live! only: visual editing and real-time faders for AWE non-registered parameter number (NRPN) messages, auto-compose AWE NRPN messages for real time filter sweeps or rythmic filter patterns in sync with song
  • new effects and synths downloadable
  • standalone softsynth player with stereo delay (free for registered users)
  • NEW: PhraseSEQ, free polyphonic 16-track energy style midi effect sequencer
  • NEW: Audio mixer with unlimited master effects, group effects, insert effects and send effects
  • NEW: up to 32 stereo channels per VSTi, up to 32 stereo channels per audio track

    AWE Midi Player 0.6 (71 KBytes) by Jean-Michel Joudrier

  • just plays MIDs, automatically loading the SF2 before
  • different bank and chorus/reverb settings per midi-file adjustable
  • as usual playlists are also supported


    ALIVE 1.38 (1092 KBytes) by SoundFaction

  • 39$ shareware, graphical Soundfont editor for SF2-compatible devices (AWE, SB Live, Audigy), alternative to Vienna
  • integrated beat slicer (ala Recycle/WaveSurgeon)
  • integrated Soundfont Manager, incl. option to set your soundfont cache size
  • integrated Soundfont Librarian - browse/audition all your soundfonts and presets, drag and drop patches into your new soundfonts
  • Sample Librarian - browse and audition all your samples, drag and drop samples into your new soundfonts
  • Library Search - search for soundfonts, presets, samples or folders, save your searches
  • sfArk Support - load sfArk files directly, save to sfArk with additional plugin

    Audio Compositor 4.4 (1510 KBytes) by Scott Mitchel

  • 40$ shareware (limited to 22 kHz mono and read-only of soundbanks in the unreg'd version), MIDI to WAV (16, 24 or 32 bit) renderer & player, soundbank editor and converter
  • works via DirectX or MME and is therefore the first realtime software-wavetable-MIDI-player I know which works under NT4 (Timidity didn't allow realtime MIDI input)
  • it reads a standard MIDI file or live input from MIDI IN port (use a loopback midi driver to route the signal from a MIDI sequencer into AC)
  • it can output the result into a WAV file or realtime trough your soundcard, the average CPU load on my Celery450 was 50%, so even on a P200 there's a good chance to use it as realtime sampler
  • loads plain WAV samples or complete instruments/banks in DLS (level 1 & 2), SF2, KRZ and it's own ACP format
  • saves complete instruments/banks into DLS or SF2 (registered version only)
  • works pretty good as software AWE32/64 emulator for those who don't own one, just load a MID, open the matching SF2 and hit play!
  • provides a graphical environment for editing samples and patches, well, the GUI design is definitely not the strong point of AC
  • non-germans just ignore this: Günter Schenk's deutsche Online Bedienungsanleitung für Audio Compositor, alles auch komplett als ZIP zum offline lesen vorhanden
  • NEW: fixed a bug in DLS output causing some regions to be written with an incorrect loop type
  • NEW: some minor cosmetic enhancements, including an improved display in the renderer
  • NEW: some minor efficiency improvements in the renderer
  • NEW: a change in the SoundFont editor to work better with LiveUpdate's "LiveSynth" product
  • NEW: support for polyphonic aftertouch (not to be confused with regular channel aftertouch, which has always been recognized), polyphonic aftertouch routings can be saved to .ACP and DLS level 2 files
  • NEW: support for the MIDI Tuning Standard, in its present state this will be accessible only to, forgive the term, sysex geeks
  • NEW: for fast systems realtime polyphony can now be set as high as 128 voices (MIDI files, as always, are rendered with unlimited polyphony)

    Vienna SoundFont Studio 2.3 (2165 KBytes) by Creative Technology Ltd.

  • Creative's official SoundFont editor for AWE, SB Live, Audigy
  • if you don't know this program then let my say it is THE editor for AWE-soundbanks
  • you can adjust every single parameter (filters, LFO, enevelopes) and it is possible to use multisampling and multilayering

    AweVBank 98 (3158 KBytes) by Megota Software

  • 50$ shareware, "the explorer to your AWE soundcard", means you can work with patches like files in explorer(copy/paste, move, delete)
  • all the operations you make are done on your card automatically
  • you can also import sounds from MOD, WAV, SM3, 669, SBK and SF2 files
  • full SF2 parameter editor is also included, save your finished work into a SF2 file


    sfArk 2.15 (509 KBytes) by MelodyMachine

  • freeware, the #1 lossless SoundFont packer, better than sfPack and WinRAR or WinAce
  • typical compression ratio is around 50%
  • available at authors site: sfArkXTc, a small utility to convert sfArk files into self-extracting files
  • NEW: first offical non-beta release
  • NEW: added "Create self-extracting file" function
  • NEW: several minor bug fixes, incl. the bug which caused the program to crash after uncompressing a file created with sfArk V1.x
  • NEW: default directory is now "My Documents"

    SFpack (195 KBytes) by Megota Software

  • freeware for private use, lossless SoundFont packer

    AWEamp 1.10d (422 KBytes) by Yilard

  • freeware, WinAMP output plugin allowing to play Winamp's output through AWE32/AWE64 wavetable interface, the EMU 8000 synth, Creative Labs AWE32/64 compatible soundcard required
  • advantages of using the EMU8000 synth, except that the signal is available at AWE's SPDIF output:
  • wave-out output isn't in use, so it's free for other sounds (system sounds, games ...)
  • via EMU 8000 DSP you can use a variety of audio effects similar to those of SB Live, such as chorus and reverb effects with lots of presets (compatible with AWEFXWorkshop presets), hardware bass and treble equalization, hardware lowpass filter, tremolo, vibrato and filter sweep
  • full sourcecode available
  • bottom line: great plugin for those who still use AWE, and the only way to get clean digital output (although not guaranteed 1:1) out of the onboard SPDIF 'jumper' of the good old AWE32
  • NEW: restarting Windows NT after installing GWIOPM is no longer required
  • NEW: fixed very nasty bug forgetting to deallocate AWEManager
  • NEW: OUT_AWE.DLL installation path hard-wired to $INSTDIR\Plugins
  • NEW: SBAWE Windows drivers are no longer required (but used to determine the size of loaded soundbank if present). This may allow to run AWEamp on Windows 2000.
  • NEW: tray menu animation removed. Tray icon right-click now works in Windows NT 4

    Virtual Kawai K4 (951 KBytes) by Claude Kaber

  • freeware, simulates a Kawai K4 synthesizer via SB Live! hardware or AWE 32/64 (required!), needs 1 MB free wavetable RAM
  • AWE users need to have Creative Labs Soundfont Manager installed, as the Program uses many wave samples simultaneously, it's possible to quickly hit the 32-polyphony-maximum of the old AWE's
  • uses small wave samples as Oscillators (represented by a soundfont that contains parameter-neutral recordings of the K4's waveset), usually combines 2-4 Oscillators to create a single sound, some of the K4's Wave samples are so called 'Digital-Cyclic' waves (or 'Fourrier-Waves'), allthough these waves are extremely small, they contain the sound spectrum of complex instruments
  • loads 4 waves into 4 differend soundfont banks and plays those waves simultaneously with the EMU-typical filter cutoff, resonance, coarse / fine tuning, reverb and chorus effect, volume- and filter envelope, vibrato + LFO
  • imports SysEx files from the Kawai K4 and translates it into Soundfont-parameters (you'll find lot of K4 Sysex files on the net)

    AWE Toy 1.g4 (282 KBytes) by Geo Petrea

  • (not only) replacement of the AWE control panel, so you can use it to load sound banks in the sample-RAM
  • adjust the instrument/bank/panning/volume/modulation/expression/reverb/chorus of each channel either while playing a midi-file or getting data from midi-IN
  • so-called Midi-FX: pseudo-echo with midi-messages and notes, chord/patterns with one finger play, arpeggiator
  • you can control all filters, LFOs and envelops in realtime with sliders during playback :-) NICE !
  • FX manager for custom reverb/chorus effects and a built-in mixer
  • THE tool for your AWE-card

    AWE FX Workshop 1.1 (23 KBytes) by Vincent Vu

  • customize the reverb/chorus effects of your AWE
  • chorus can be adjusted in: feedback level, delay offset, LFO depth, delay offset 2 and LFO frequency

    NRPN Control 1.0 (183 KBytes) by Jens Kuehner

  • freeware to control parameters (NRPN controllers) of the AWE & SB Live in realtime via sliders
  • it's possible to launch several instances of the program to control different effects the same time
  • you can record the controller-changes in your sequencer
  • requires a virtual midi connection to the AWE/Live, if you use Hubi's Loopback-Device connect it as follows: In: LB1, Out: AWE/Live-Output-Driver, set the sequencer's output to LB1 and the NRPN control's input to LB1
  • please send your songs and sounds made using NRPN Control to the author, he'll appreciate it!

    AWE Tube 1.17 (29 KBytes) by Milosz Tylenda

  • realtime "effect processor", the line or mic input can be transformed through the EMU8000
  • you can use different reverb/chorus setting and also adjust some filter parameters
  • plug in your mic and have fun :-)

    AweROM-GM.sf2 (876 KBytes) by Skie

  • the 1 MB GM bank of the AWE32/64 ROM as loadable SF2 for use with SB Live! :-)
  • so if you want to load your old songs which used AWE ROM samples, for general nostalgy or because you just can't spare a whole 2+ megs of sys RAM for a GM set :-)

    SF Explorer 0.8 (750 KBytes) by Thomas Hammer

  • freeware, works with SoundFont compatible devices: SBLive and AWE32/64
  • SFExplorer lets the user browse and preview SF2's and WAV's currently loaded by the SoundFont device, load or delete SoundFonts from memory
  • latest version adds the possibility to browse files on CD, works great for my no.1 instruments with the incredible SBLive! 8-point-interpolation, and it's damn fast
  • SFExplorer can also be set up as the default viewer for SF2's for one-click preview
  • NEW: added +/- octave button for MIDI preview as requested by ... hmm, MAZ :-)
  • NEW: static linking of the libraries, should remove the need of additional DLLs


    AWE Developer Info Pack 3.01 (1121 KBytes) by Creative Technology Ltd.

  • with this package you can develop your own applications for the AWE
  • you get DOS and Windows libraries, include files, sample code and documentation
  • download this only if you want to code programs - otherwise that's hard stuff ;)

    AWE Control Pack 1.0 (62 KBytes) by Lada Kopecky

  • contains low level coding information AWE 32 with source code in C++, docs and examples
  • you should download the un-official AWE32 programming guide from Vince Vu too
  • NEW: updated textfile with updated links and author dates