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#1 2014-11-16 08:12:43

From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 944

Creative Sound Blaster Live! - PC Version in Mac OS 8.6 & 9 (Guide)

Creative Sound Blaster Live! PC Version in Mac OS 8.6 & 9

A How-To Guide
Published November 16th, 2014

The Creative Labs Sound Blaster is perhaps one of the most well known and commonly found sound cards on the market, especially in the PC space. Introduced in August 1998, the Sound Blaster Live was the first Creative sound card to use the EMU10K Digital Signal Processor, featuring hardware acceleration for DirectSound and EAX 1.0 and 2.0 (Environmental Audio Extensions), a high-quality 64-voice MIDI sample-based synthesiser, and an integrated FX8010 DSP chip for real-time digital audio effects. (Source: Wikipedia) Creative went on to release a Macintosh version of the card in March 2001.

The Sound Blaster Live is one of the most common sound cards I've come across. If I visit a computer recycler or Sunday market, chances are I'll find one there, likely for a decent price. I found and bought a Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 channel card for $2 a few weeks ago.


Naturally, I wanted to use this card in my Power Mac G4, and with Creative's Macintosh drivers this should have been a breeze. However Creative's drivers are limited to work specifically with the Macintosh version of the card, which had a unique hardware identifier different from that of any PC version released. As a result, no PC version of the card will be identified correctly in a Mac.

Thankfully, as I discovered, this is easy to correct with a few simple software modifications.

You Will Need:

Sound Blaster Live! Macintosh v1.1 Web Update. Available from Creative's Website. This contains the system extensions, drivers and software for the Sound Blaster Live card. Alternatively, you can perform an internet search for SB Live! Macintosh v1.1.sit.

Opcode Open Music System v2.3.8. Available from Internet Archive (opcodeopenmusic.hqx). OMS allows compatible MIDI programs to interact with your computer's hardware. Used to interface MIDI applications with the Sound Blaster Live. Alternatively, you can perform an internet search for opcodeopenmusic.hqx, OMS238.sit or Install OMS 2.3.8 .sit.

Apple ResEdit. Available from, System7Today or Mac GUI. Apple's own Resource Fork editor. Alternatively search the internet for ResEdit_2.1.3.sit.hqx - it's fairly common.

A Hex Editor. Take your pick, almost any will do. HexEdit (version 2.0 or earlier for .sit) runs on Mac OS 8.6/9 if you wish to edit the files exclusively on a Classic machine, or if you'd prefer to toss the files on a USB stick and edit them on a Mac OS X machine, then something like Hex Fiend works extremely nicely too.

How It's Done

Ensure that the Creative Sound Blaster Live sound card is installed in your computer. Download the necessary files above and extract them somewhere on your computer's hard drive.

1. Launch the Open Music System v2.3.8 installer and install the software. Restart the computer when prompted. After the computer restarts, close the Open Music System software if it launches automatically.

2. Launch the Creative Sound Blaster Live v1.1 installer and install the software. Do not restart the computer when installation is complete. Instead, click Quit.



3. Launch Apple System Profiler and select the Devices & Volumes tab. Under PCI, click the disclosure triangle next to the slot your SB Live card is installed in. If you aren't sure which slot it's installed in, expand all of them and look for the entry with a Card name starting with pci1102, followed by a 4 digit number. Write down the entire line somewhere so you can refer back to it later. In the case of my card, it was pci1102,8031, but your card's number may vary.


4. Open ResEdit. Click File > Open and navigate to your HD > System Folder > Extensions and open CT Emu10kx Audio Driver.


5. Open (double click on) the resource cfrg. In the window that opens, open the resource with ID 0 (it should be the only one). In the window that opens, scroll down until you see a field called Member Name with a value of ppci1102,802c. Change this value to the card identifier you wrote down from Apple System Profiler earlier. Please be aware that the card identifier from System Profiler was pci1102, and here it's ppci1102. You'll need to keep the extra p at the beginning. Save the file (Command - S or File > Save) and quit ResEdit.


6. Now that we've edited the Resource Fork, we need to do the same in the Data Fork. Open your Hex Editor. (For this demonstration I'm using HexEdit in Mac OS 9.) Once again, open the CT Emu10kx Audio Driver in the Extensions folder.


7. You'll be presented with a lot of hex - a series of numbers and letters. Ignore it and instead look to the ASCII. Scroll through the file until you see the same pci1102,802c that we saw earlier. Just like before, we want to change this to the card identifier we wrote down from Apple System Profiler earlier. If your hex editor is anything like mine, simply select it and type in the new value in its place. As I said before, in my case it was pci1102,8031, but your card ID may be different. Save the file (usually Command - S or File > Save) and quit the hex editor.


8. Restart the computer.

9. Once the computer restarts, you will likely be presented with the Creative Sound Blaster Live configuration software. If for some reason it didn't open, simply launch it from your HD > Sound Blaster Live! > Creative Sound Config.


10. Follow the steps through the Configuration Wizard to prepare the Sound Blaster Live for use. If you are able to proceed through each step without any issue, then it's extremely likely that your card has been correctly detected and is working. If you encounter an error like Creative Sound Configuration was unable to detect the sound card device drivers necessary to complete this setup, then your particular Sound Blaster Live card is likely not supported by these drivers or you made a mistake in editing the files somewhere.


11. You may be prompted to restart the computer at the end of the configuration. If you are, then restart the computer.

12. Open Control Panels > Sound to select the audio inputs and outputs and finish configuring the Sound Blaster. Any devices provided by the Sound Blaster will identify as Creative Audio. Connect a set of speakers or headphones to the outputs on your card and test it out (try playing some system alert sounds or a music file in a music player app).


13. Enjoy your now working Creative Sound Blaster Live!

Which Cards Are Supported?

Unfortunately I don't have every single version of the Sound Blaster Live to test them all, and as you can see there were quite a few variants:

SB Live! Value				CT4670			pci1102,0020
SB Live! Value				CT4780			pci1102,8022
SB Live! Value				CT4830/31		pci1102,8026
SB Live! Value				CT4830/31		pci1102,8031
SB Live! Value				CT4832			pci1102,8027
SB Live! Value				CT4850			pci1102,8051
SB Live! Value				CT4870			pci1102,8028
SB Live! Value				CT4871			pci1102,8032
SB Live! Value				SB0101			pci1102,8069

SB Live!					CT4620			pci1102,0021
SB Live!					CT4760			pci1102,8040
SB Live!					SB0103			pci1102,806a
SB Live!					SB0105			pci1102,806b

SB Live! 5.1				SB0060			pci1102,8061
SB Live! 5.1				SB0100			pci1102,8064
SB Live! 5.1				SB0220			pci1102,8065
SB Live! 5.1				SB0228			pci1102,8066

SB PCI512 OEM			CT4790			pci1102,8023
SB Live! 5.1 (eMicro 28028) 	SB0220			pci1102,8067
SB Live! 5.1 OEM			SB0220			pci1102,100a

EMU APS					N/A				pci1102,4001

...and those are only the ones I'm aware of! Chances are there are several more as well.

What I can confirm from my own experience is that the Sound Blaster Live! for Macintosh (CT4875 pci1102,802c), Sound Blaster Live! Value (CT4830 / CT4831 pci1102,8031) and the Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 (SB0100 pci1102,8064) work without issue. According to Creative's release notes with the Macintosh v1.1 update, the Sound Blaster Live! (CT4870 pci1102,8028) should also work fine.

It's also likely that a large number of the above cards - and possibly others that aren't on the list - will work just fine, however you'll need to try these ones out for yourself and see what happens.

I can almost guarantee that the Sound Blaster Live! Dell OEM (SB0200/SB0203) won't work as this card doesn't use the EMU10K DSP, instead using a cut down version called the EMU10K1X. The later Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit (SB0410) is also unlikely to work as it's a cut down version of the later Sound Blaster Audigy and lacks the EMU10K DSP.



Last edited by iMic (2019-07-01 18:03:35)

Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Electronic Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"


#2 2019-07-01 18:48:33

From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 944

Re: Creative Sound Blaster Live! - PC Version in Mac OS 8.6 & 9 (Guide)

I've had the pre-modified extensions and packages archived for some time now, so in case anyone doesn't wish to perform the modifications manually, or is having difficulty finding some of the necessary installers, here's the complete set of Mac OS drivers, installation packages (SB Live v1.1, Opcode Open Music System / OMS, etc) and pre-modified extensions for every known variant of the Sound Blaster Live! PCI series of cards.

SBLive1.1_Mac_DriverKit.sit (20.5MB)

Share it around as you wish.

Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Electronic Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"


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