Enable CMSS of Creative Sound Blaster Live! 24-Bit External in Vista x86 and X64

»»»Enable CMSS of Creative Sound Blaster Live! 24-Bit External in Vista x86 and X64

Creative MultiSpeaker Surround (CMSS) is a feature in Sound Blaster audio cards as part of EAX technology which allows stereo upmix from various sources such as MP3, WMA, or Wav to become 4.1, 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 channels surround sound, depending on speaker setup and sound card model. CMSS works regardless of whether the typical stereo sources are Dolby Surround encoded or not, and works well with Dolby Pro Logic, WAVE, AVI and MIDI program material.

Unfortunately, with latest Windows Vista driver from Creative for Creative Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit External sound card, CMSS is not supported. Here’s a little trick that allows SB Live! 24-bit External to support CMSS.

The hack should work in both 32-bit and 64-bit of Windows Vista, and is good as a workaround at least until Creative releases a proper Vista driver for the sound card.

  1. Disable integrated onboard sound.
  2. Remove all sound cards installed.
  3. Uninstall all drivers of previous installed sound cards, including Vista driver for SB Live! 24-bit External if it has already been installed.
  4. Remove all Creative software.
  5. Restart computer.
  6. Download the Basic Audio Applications for PC (consists of Device Manager, EAX Console & Speaker Settings).
  7. Download the audio driver for SB Live! 32-bit External for Windows XP:

    x86 / 32-bit
    x64 / 64-bit

  8. Extracted both the drivers and application setup installers downloaded with WinRAR or PowerAchiver.
  9. Plug in the Creative Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit External sound card. Windows Vista will detect the sound card and install it as USB Audio Device.
  10. Run the following setup program (setup.exe) in the sub-folder of the unpacked Basic Audio Application folder. Do not restart computer until you have finished install all three application:
  11. Restart computer now.
  12. After Windows Vista boots up, go to Device Manager in Control Panel -> System and Maintenance. Expand Sound, video and game controllers and right click on USB Audio Device, and choose “Update Driver Software”.
  13. Select “Browse my computer for driver software”, and input the following location path inside the unpacked WinXP SB Live! driver folder:

    x64: /Drivers/Win2k/SBKS64.inf
    x86: /Drivers/Win2k/kscombo.inf

  14. After the driver is updated, reboot.
  15. After booting up, go to Control Panal again, select Hardware and Sound -> Sound. Highlight Speakers and then select “Configure”. In the Speaker Setup configuration wizard, select Stereo and Front left and right.
  16. Run Creative Speaker Settings and select the correct speaker type under Speaker/Headphone Selection section. Do not sync with Control Panel.
  17. Run the Creative EAX Settings. Under CMSS-3D, select (tick) Enable, and choose CMSS. Do not select Stereo Surround as the sound channels won’t come out from every speaker, and make sure Stereo Focus is 0%.

Enjoy CMSS surround sound in Windows Vista.

By | 2016-12-29T17:23:33+00:00 December 29th, 2016|Categories: Entertainment|Tags: , |34 Comments

About the Author:

LK is a technology writer for Tech Journey with background of system and network administrator. He has be documenting his experiences in digital and technology world for over 15 years.Connect with LK through Tech Journey on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
  • Hellangel77

    you are my hero!

    thanks for this article, its absolutely fantastic, I thought I never will hear THIS sound,but with that it's great!

  • Mohamed Shoeb

    hey… i got a dell laptop….and as u say in the instructions…i'm supposed to dissable all sound card drivers…but that would dissable my in built sigma tel sound card…and what if i'm on the move i wont be able to use the in built speaker would i?

  • admin

    Mohamed, are you using Creative sound card?

  • Mohamed Shoeb

    yea i got a creative 24 bit live external usb sound card thats connected to my 5.1 creative speakers…but the thing is….if u follow ur instructions completely…then i'll be able to use my creative sound card…but what if i take my laptop somewhere else…i wont be able to use the internal soundcard of the laptop??

  • admin

    Yes, you need to re-enable your internal sound card.

  • hellangel77

    dear admin,

    I am trying to connect my SB24 live! external with a headset HS400 and my microphone is not seen anywhere, even though I intalled typical windows application – sndvol32.EXE, I don't get it… maybe you could help me. Regards.Ania

  • krumpacz

    I hope that this solutions helps me to have full 5.1 sound with sb live! 24bit external. I do everthing by your tutorial. But in step no: 16. Windows show me a message:

    The audio device supported by this apllication is not netected. The application will exit.

    And now none of my audio player programme cant inialize the audo device.

    I'm use: Vista bussines 32bit CS (in czech language)

    Do you know where is the promleme? If you know, please help me. Thx and sorry for my bad english.

  • hellangel77

    Dear Krumpacz,

    Creative has already prepared the special Vista application for SBLive! 24 external to work with CMSS and the rest of the things, so if you choose the creative support and software you will find the programme for your card. Best regards

  • hellangel77
  • kyone

    I've just installed the Vista drivers and latest creative audio application. The playback is very jerky. Anyone else install them and have good playback ?

  • hellangel77

    Yes, after chcecking speakers configuration, I checked and after installing creative application for Vista – I chceked absic Vista configuration of speakers in control panel and it hat 2+1 as default value – you need to change it into your configuration manually – like 5+1 or 6 +1 or whatever you have 😉

  • Mennim

    Thankyou so much, it was gettin me so frustrated that I couldn't set up my speakers, thankyou so much!

  • Bigles

    also have the problem in step 16… same message: "he audio device supported by this apllication is not netected. The application will exit."

    =( after about 10h trying it still doesent work… getting crazy^^

  • Dilantha

    Any Solution for EXTIGY drivers for Vista bro ?

  • draykore

    also have the problem in step 16… same message: “he audio device supported by this apllication is not netected. The application will exit.

    i have this too dont know why can anyone help us?

  • Johannes

    This guide even solved the problem I'm having. I'm trying to hear my tv sound through my sound blaster live! 24bit external. This seems not to be possible with creatives driver for windows vista, the option to un-mute the line in is removed.

    The driver for windows xp reinserts this option. The only problem is that I also get stuck at step 16. So I can use my line in, but only with 2 speakers (not 5.1 because of my failings at step 16).

    Any solutions?

  • maxfactor

    i think most of you who got it wrong need to look at the part that says extract the files… extract them not run the installation…

  • Ray

    This works great! It is the only one that works! Go for it. And yes, be careful. The person said "extract using winrar" or the other programs, this means put it in a folder(s) that you can find and link back to.

  • Mark

    Ok, so I followed this guide through to the letter, and it was working fine up until step 16. ("The audio device supported by this application is not detected.") I definitely extracted rather than the installed the basic audio package. From what hellangel77 said, I tried to find the Vista application for the SB Live External card, but the line seems to have been discontinued; the only software that I found that seemed remotely close to what had been suggested specifically said "DO NOT use with SB Live External". Help!?!?

  • Mark

    Thanks in advance.

  • zetoh

    "the audio device supported by this apllication is not netected. The application will exit."

    this is what I receive while launching the reative speaker settings.

    so this hack does not work for me . does anybody know the workaround ????

  • Thank You So much for posting this. It took me days to get Traktor 3 DJ software to rechognize all channels of the Creative Soundblaster Live!, but thanks to your help I figured it out and have a step-by-step on how to configure Traktor to work with this card, here:

    Traktor 3 and SB Live!

  • sayeem

    hey, i installed the card as refered to in this page, same thing, the audio not supported. Hey Carl, i tried your link for traktor 3 as im trying the same thing here. i had no trouble doing this on xp. just cant figure out what's happening. Can you help me out?

  • hey sayeem…

    sorry, I switched servers and you can view my guide below. any questions leave them there


  • sayeem

    thanks a lot Carl! looking forward to trying this out. what operating system are you using though?

  • Hey,

    Thanks for this tip, but I have some issues.

    I followed everything you wrote on the site. And everything works, I see the power lit, and the cmss light on on the sound card.

    Heres the problem, when I go to spk setting or device control or eax setting, I get a error message saying:

    "The audio device supported by this application is not detected. The application will exit."

    I do not know what I did wrong, I uninstalled everything and re-did it again, but same results.

    Any help is appreciated, thanks.

  • Tim

    So I had this up and working in vista, installed the Windows 7 beta on a partition and can't seem to get it to work on it… too bad

  • Tim

    Just thought I'd say that Creatives new beta drivers for this (Created for Windows 7, but may work in Vista I'm told) enable CMSS-3D as an option by default. So you can use the newest drivers and have full functionality of your card

  • SH


    I was lukin for this.. helped me a lot m8 🙂

  • Sam Morris

    End of the line for the SB Live External by the looks of things. The last of the official drivers no longer supports this card, failing with a "please insert disc" message.

    This is the only way to install the card, but relies on the OS detecting the card as a 'USB Audio Device' – this is only possible with a fresh install of Vista. Once the card has come up as 'Sound Blaster Live 24-Bit External', it cannot be reverted to 'USB Audio Device', even if that specific driver is installed on top.

  • unsatisfied

    followed this all to the absolute letter on a fresh install of windows and it flat out didn't work… waste of time

  • Scott Zarnke

    I had the problem with "audio device supported by this application is not detected" when I first started with the Live 24-bit External. I'm using Vista Business 32-bit. Initially, I used the CD that came with it, along with letting Windows search for a better driver. The one it found actually had an unidentified version.

    Anyway, what I did then was to go to Creative's support page and find the page for this device. Under downloads, I expanded it by clicking show all downloads. There I found driver versions 1.1.02 as well as a new beta version 1.1.92. Downloaded the beta and also a version of the Creative Audio Center, version 1.10.12. I uninstalled the old driver (including deleting it) and all of the installed software. Then I put the new beta driver on (which includes Creative's Audio Control Panel that has the settings to set 5.1 vs 2.1, etc), and then installed the new Audio Center. The Audio Center has the Speaker Settings, EAX Settings, Surround Mixer, etc that all work now.

    I'm not sure if it just needed that new Audio Center, or if the beta driver was needed, too. You could try with the 1.1.02 version to see if that works if you don't want to use the beta.

    Also, the new Audio Center also has CMSS settings now, so the instructions of this article might not be needed not. Again, I don't know if that's just because of the new Audio Center or the beta driver.

  • Scott Zarnke
  • Majki

    Your instructions helped me to run my Toshiba Multimedia Center on Windows 7 x86 (at least SB Live! 24 built in it). Thanks a lot!