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ProDigy 7.1 (HD) Sound Card

A feature I found most interesting was the Audiotrak NSP (Native Sound Processing), which takes advantage of E-WDM drivers and DirectWIRE features on the sound card:

Advanced NSP is the driver technology that enables the latest pro-audio quality sound effects to be applied to audio stream outputs from games, DVDs, and MP3s. Current software driver technology limits audio cards to process only the audio streams delivered from WDM driver to the audio card hardware. However, Advanced NSP best utilizes E-WDM driver technology to break the boundaries of the WDM driver and extends the WDM kernel processing limitations.

This application, included with the sound card, can turn your computer with Audiotrak audio card into a real-time-multi-channel multi-effects processor. Besides its external physical inputs and outputs, NSP can stream the audio from and to other audio applications. It also gives you control over CPU loading for better adjustments for your type of computer.

The sound card rides on a very nice red PCB board, and is equipped with almost every connection most users could need. But there are a few things to keep in mind about this sound card in particular.

This ProDigy 7.1 is not intended for the regular user looking for standard sound setup. Instead, it was built for the heavy Multi Media user. What I mean by this is the emphases you’ll find in the software. It doesn’t cater to those looking to tweak out the Equalizer, make huge adjustments to the bass, or any of the other typical settings you’re used to. If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy this. High quality sound only comes from a flat EQ setting, with a high end speaker setup like the Klipsch speakers you would find in most computer stores.

While Klipsch computer speakers can run anywhere from $300.00 USD to $500.00, they are some of the highest quality speakers available on the market for computers and home stereos. You can, on the other hand, use EV (Electric Voice) or maybe even Rockford Fossgate speakers–but you will need to know and understand speaker wiring, along with amplification setup. Infinity is another high quality speaker that can be used as well. Typically, you will want to find a good set of high end speakers able to produce all sounds within a large scale frequency, usually around 20Hz to 20kHz–although most people can not hear 20hz.

Since receiving the ProDigy 7.1 sound card, I have made minor adjustments to the Windows XP Media Player. There are quite a few nice little enhancement features that allow for WOW Effect, and there is a standard EQ control in the application.

Music studios record music with flat Equalizer settings, so that when you buy a music CD you can adjust the output to your liking. This is standard practice, and that’s where I found the ProDigy 7.1 to be different.

The software supplied with the ProDigy 7.1 sound card does need some modification. The version shipped was 1.00, and over the years I’ve observed that avoiding first versions of software is always a good idea. Personally I think there needs to be more settings and tweaks available in the drivers. There are many limitations to what you are able to fiddle. Granted, the ProDigy 7.1 is somewhat new to the market, and hopefully there will be a better driver set provided with the retail sound card itself.




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