Synth Site: Soft/Virtual/Cards: AWE64 Gold: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 2.8 out of 5
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Christian Tan a part time user from Netherlands writes:
I looked forward tot his card, especially because of the SP-DIF connections. It was a major dissappointment. 64 polyphony of which 32 are only with softsynth, which does not work with Cyrix or AMD processors. Digital out but no digital in. I fully agree withe Steve. This just shows that the marketleader often thrives on inferior technology. This goes for Creative, just like Intel and Microsoft. On the other hand: the awe 64 is very cheap, and it's an ok card for it's price, with good compatibility.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:37
Rating: a hobbyist user from USA writes:
It is a great system, a pleasure to have with my games

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:37
AdamT a part time user from UK writes:
I use the AWE32 which is a better bet in reality as it takes proper 30pin PC simms and &quot;Softsynth&quot; isn`t really a great help in a studio situation. I use the card as an inboard &quot;S1000&quot; and it has a few advantages over a stand alone sampler such as the ability to load a favourite sample set automatically when Windows loads (8Mb in my case), the editing via Vienna is easier than any LCD, the amount of samples you can have on tap is only limited by your PC`s HDD size, doesn`t take up a MIDI port and add to the spaghetti, doubles up as a games card and is incredibly cheap (the SB32 which also has SIMM slots is even cheaper) avoid anything with &quot;32 value&quot; on it as it may be missing the Simm expansion. the main disadvantages are threefold, the worst one being that the thing is incredibly noisy compared even to the cheapest samplers, what comes out is always brighter than what goes in, and thirdly, windows 3.11 only supports one Audio mixer so if you have a HDR card like a Tahiti/Fiji/Pinnacle you have to chose which grabs the Mixer. I`ve thought about getting a proper sampler but have declined every time, the AWE is just TOO convenient.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:37
James Young a part time user from UK writes:
The AWE64 Gold is unbelievable at the price. Noise is MASSIVELY reduced over the AWE32 and over the standard AWE64 and AWE64 Value, although turning on the '3D Enhancement' ups the output noise level a little.

Indeed, to my ears at least, the analogue input and output is NEARLY (but not quite) as good as a TB Fiji/Pinnacle. The fact that it has an S/PDIF out too is very impressive (with a backplate too!).

The EMU8000 synth is considerably more powerful than it first appears or even that Creative and E-mu let on, particularly the effects unit.

The 4MB GM/GS/MT-32 sound set included is also good, although some of the sounds are a little thin (also note that polyphony on the EMU8000 is reduced from 32 to 30 when using sounds in RAM).

There's also a mass of support from other AWE users (probably the best of any synth or sound card) and plenty of good (and not so good) sounds out there to be found.

As for the WaveSynth/WaveGuide software, it's true, it doesn't work on Cyrix 6x86 processors (as I found to my cost after I bought the card) and is poor on 6x86MX processors too. Creative say this is due to extremely poor floating-point performance on the Cyrix CPUs, and from experience with other FPU-heavy applications, this is almost certainly true. The Cyrix processors are a very poor buy if you need floating-point performance. Contrary to popular belief, however, the WS/WG software works fine on AMD K5 and K6 CPUs.

Having upgraded to a Pentium II, I now get the benefits of the WS/WG software, and I'm thoroughly impressed. The WaveSynth sounds are decent, similar in quality to the Yamaha SYXG-50 sounds. However, the WaveGuide sounds are something else entirely! It's like having a polyphonic VL-70m.... in software! I have to admit to being totally amazed. What's more, the latency (i.e. the time it takes between hitting the note on your master keyboard and the instrument sounding) is.... well, either zero or so close to zero that I can't tell. This is impressive - every other softsynth I've come across has had a huge latency... especially the Yamaha ones. Disadvantages? Well, there are no insert effects on the synths. Reverb and chorus effects are global, although of course you can vary the amount of each effect on each channel.

Second is with RAM. 4MB is okay for starters, but I would have preferred 8MB... and the upgrades are on proprietary modules, making them more expensive and more difficult to obtain (although you can be reasonably sure they will work.) I also don't like the fact that the EMU8000 loses 2 notes of polyphony when working from RAM.

Third, there is no daughterboard connector. I realise that this doesn't make much difference when you've got 64-note polyphony and you could simply buy an SW-60XG anyway, but it doesn't cost much and there ought to be enough space on the card (the standard AWE64 has one I think)...

Fourth, the Creative software doesn't take full advantage of the hardware (particularly the effects unit, which is fully programmable.... but the standard software doesn't let you do this.)

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is no S/PDIF in. This would make a big difference to its credibility as a semi-pro device and would make it much easier to transfer my old samples from DAT. Overall, a great piece of kit (amazing at the price) and I'd thoroughly recommend it. The only thing that might come close (although I've never used one and it's 100UKP more) is a MaxiSound Home Studio...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:37
Durban a professional user from US of A writes:
This card is very disappointing. I bought this card in hopes to have a great all around music/recording card. What I got was a toy. I heard some samples of their wavetables and they sounded fair in comparison to the YAMAHA SW60XG that I took back to get this card. What a mistake! The sounds in this thing are junk. The soundfont feature is nice, I liked that. I am very disappointed with the price and the performance of this turd. The noise going into the card was not impressive. I am trading this in to try the Maxi Sound Studio PRO 64. It seems to be exactly what I am looking for. I will add the YAMAHA DB-XG on to it (it allows DB connections, unlike the AWE64 GOLD). Don't buy the AWE 64 GOLD card if you are a musician or are serious about have real sounds that come stock on the card. The MAXI-SOUND STUDIO PRO 64 is on sale right now for $177.00 . Try that one! I say this card deserves a .5 out of 5

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:37
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