Essence STX II
Audio card
User Guide
E9122
First Edition
February 2014
Copyright © 2014 ASUSTeK Computer Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this manual, including the products and software described in it, may be reproduced, transmitted,
transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language in any form or by any means, except
documentation kept by the purchaser for backup purposes, without the express written permission of ASUSTeK
Computer Inc. (“ASUS”).
Product warranty or service will not be extended if: (1) the product is repaired, modified or altered, unless such
repair, modification of alteration is authorized in writing by ASUS; or (2) the serial number of the product is
defaced or missing.
ASUS PROVIDES THIS MANUAL “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS
FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL ASUS, ITS DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS BE
LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING DAMAGES FOR
LOSS OF PROFITS, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF USE OR DATA, INTERRUPTION OF BUSINESS AND THE LIKE), EVEN IF
ASUS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES ARISING FROM ANY DEFECT OR ERROR IN THIS
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of their respective companies, and are used only for identification or explanation and to the owners’ benefit,
without intent to infringe.
Contents
Chapter 1: Product introduction
Package contents.............................................................................................................................. 5
System requirements....................................................................................................................... 5
Specifications summary.................................................................................................................. 6
Essence STX II card layout.............................................................................................................. 9
Chapter 2:
Getting started
Before you proceed........................................................................................................................13
Installing the audio card...............................................................................................................13
Installing the audio card driver..................................................................................................14
Chapter 3:
Connecting speakers and peripherals
Connecting digital speaker systems (Home Theater)........................................................15
Connecting stereo headphones................................................................................................16
Connecting 2/2.1 channel speakers.........................................................................................17
Connecting a microphone...........................................................................................................18
Connecting Line-In audio sources............................................................................................19
Chapter 4:
Audio Center
Audio Center.....................................................................................................................................21
Main Setting......................................................................................................................................23
Mixer/Volume...................................................................................................................................31
Effects ..............................................................................................................................................34
Karaoke...............................................................................................................................................36
FlexBass..............................................................................................................................................37
Smart Volume Normalization......................................................................................................38
DS3D GX and DSP Modes.............................................................................................................40
VocalFX...............................................................................................................................................42
Appendices
Troubleshooting and FAQs
Troubleshooting..............................................................................................................................45
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)...........................................................................................46
ASUS contact information............................................................................................................47
Chapter 1
Product introduction
Package contents
•
ASUS Essence STX II audio card x 1
•
Quick Start Guide x 1
•
Low Profile Bracket x1
•
6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter x 1
•
S/PDIF adapter x 1
•
Op-amp swap kit x 1
•
Installation CD x 1
•
RCA-to-3.5mm adapter cable x 1
Contact your dealer or retailer if any of the items is damaged or missing.
System requirements
To ensure a successful installation of ASUS Essence STX II, your computer must meet the following
requirements:
•
IBM compatible PC with one PCI-Express 1.0 (or higher) compatible slot for the audio card
•
Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 / 8 / 7 / XP (32/64bit)
•
Intel® Pentium® 4 1.4GHz, AMD Athlon 1400 CPU, or faster CPU
•256 MB DRAM system memory
•
60 MB available HDD space
•
CD-ROM drive (or DVD-ROM drive) for software installation
•
High-quality headphones or powered analog speakers to enjoy the ultra-high fidelity sound
of the card
ASUS Essence STX II
Specifications summary
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ITEM
DESCRIPTION
Audio Performance
Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio
(AWeighted)
124dB for Front-out
Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio
(AWeighted)
118dB
Output Total Harmonic
Distortion + Noise
0.0003% (-110dB) for Front-out
120dB for Headphone-out at 600ohms
0.001% (-100dB) for Headphone-out
at 1kHz (-3dB) :
Input Total Harmonic Distortion
+ Noise at 1kHz (-3dB)
0.0002% (-113dB) for Line-In
Frequency Response (-3dB, 24bit/96kHz format)
10Hz to 90KHz
Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage
2 Vrms (Line Out)
7 Vrms (Headphone Out)
Headphone Impedance
Optimized for 32~600ohm
Main Chipset
Audio Processor
ASUS AV100 High Definition Sound Processor
(Maximum 192KHz/24bit)
24-bit D-A Converter of Digital
Sources
Texas Instruments PCM1792A*1 for Front Out
(127dB SNR, 192kHz/24bit)
High Fidelity Headphone
Amplifier
Texas Instruments 6120A2*1 (120dB SNR, 100dB
THD+N @ Vcc+- 12V, RL = 600ohms, f=1kHz)
24-bit A-D Converter for Analog
Inputs
Cirrus-Logic CS5381*1 (120dB SNR, Maximum
192kHz/24bit)
Sample Rate and Resolution
Analog Playback Sample Rate
and Resolution
44.1K/48K/96K/192kHz @ 16/24bit
Analog Recording Sample Rate
and Resolution
44.1K/48K/96K/192kHz @ 16/24bit
SPDIF Digital Output
44.1K/48K/96K/192kHz @ 16/24bit,
Dolby Digital
continued on the next page)
Chapter 1: Product introduction
ITEM
DESCRIPTION
Analog Output Jack
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I/O Ports
RCA jack *2 (Front R/Front L)
6.30mm jack *1 (Headphone Out)
Analog Input Jack
6.30mm jack *1 (Shared by Line-In/Mic-In)
Digital S/PDIF Output
High bandwidth Coaxial/TOSLINK combo port
supports 192kHz/24bit
Front Panel
Shared by Headphone out/2 channels out /
Microphone in
Driver Features
Operating System
Windows® XP/7/8 (32/64bit)
Dolby® Digital Live
Dolby® Digital Live encodes any audio signal on
PC in real-time to Dolby Digital (AC3) 5.1 surround
sounds to your home theater environment
through one signal S/PDIF connection.
Dolby® Headphone
Dolby® Headphone technology allows users to
listen to music, watch movies, or play games with
the dramatic sound.
Dolby® Virtual Speaker
Dolby® Virtual Speaker technology simulates
a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound
listening environment from as few as two speakers.
Dolby® Pro-Logic II
Dolby® Pro-Logic II is the well-known technology
to process any native stereo or 5.1-channel audio
into a 6.1-channel output, creating a seamless,
natural surround soundfield.
VocalFX™
:• VoiceEX: produces vivid environmental
reverberation for your voice to others in EAX
games.
• Local VoiceEX: enables yourself to hear the vivid
environmental reverberation by your speakers
• ChatEX: emulates different background
environment effects when you chat online
continued on the next page)
ASUS Essence STX II
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ITEM
DESCRIPTION
Smart Volume Normalizer™
Normalizes the volume of all audio sources into a
constant level and also enhances your 3D sound
listening range and advantages in gaming.
Karaoke Functions
Music Key-Shifting, Vocal Cancellation, and
Microphone Echo effects like professional Karaoke
machine
FlexBass™
Professional Bass Management/Enhancement
system
Xear 3D™ Virtual Speaker Shifter Virtual 7.1 speaker positioning
Other Effects
10-band Equalier/27 Environment Effects
ASIO 2.0 Driver Support
Supports 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @16/24bit with
very low latency
Specifications are subject to change without notice.
Chapter 1: Product introduction
Essence STX II card layout
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I/O ports
Front right RCA output. Connect to the right input of the 2/2.1-channel speakers of
your system.
Front left RCA output. Connect to the left input of the 2/2.1-channel spearkers of your
system.
Amplified 6.3mm (1/4") headphone output. Connect to your headphones/headsets.
• To prevent possible damage, please set up the compatible gain in audio center or mute the
volume before powering up.
• DO NOT connect your speakers to the headphone output port. The possible high driving
power may cause damage to your speakers.
6.3mm analog input (Line-in/Mic-in). Connect to your microphone with builtin microphone amplifier or audio devices with line output such as MP3 player or
synthesizer.
S/PDIF coaxial output: Connect to the external digital decoder, digital speaker
system, and home theater system, outputting digital audio including PCM, Dolby
Digital, DTS and WMA-pro.
PCI Express finger: Connect to a PCI Express slot on your motherboard.
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Multi-channel expansion board bridge connector: Connect to the multi-channel
expansion board of Essence STX II 7.1 edition or Xonar H6.
4-pin Molex power connector: Connect to the power cable of your power supply
unit.
STX requires a 4-pin Molex connection to power the card.
Front panel audio header: Connect to the chassis-mounted audio module.
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Chapter 1: Product introduction
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Op-amps sockets
There are three swappable op-amp sockets in Essence STX II. Changing the op-amps affects the
tonal characteristics of the RCA outputs, while changing A and B affects the tonal characteristics of
the 6.3mm (1/4") headphone output.
A.
Right channel I/V converters
B..
Left channel I/V converters
C. Low pass filter
To swap op-amps:
1.
Use an IC clamp to clasp an op-amp and remove it vertically upwards.
2.
Replace it with a new op-amp from the op-amp kit.
To avoid reversion, ensure that the half-moon opening on the op-amp points the same way as
that on the socket.
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Chapter 1: Product introduction
Chapter 2
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Getting started
Before you proceed
Read the following notes and precautions before you install the audio card.
• Disable the onboard audio device in the BIOS settings or uninstall any sound cards on your
computer.
• For BIOS setting or uninstallation of other sound cards, refer to the user guides of your
motherboard and sound cards.
• Turn off your computer and disconnect all peripherals connected to it.
• Unplug the computer’s power cord from the power outlet.
• To avoid static electricity, use a grounded wrist strap or touch a safely grounded object such as
the metal part of the rear panel of your computer.
Installing the audio card
To install the audio card:
1.
Unplug your computer's power cord and
disconnect all peripherals or cables.
2.
Touch a metal object, such as the metal
side of your computer, to avoid damaging
components due to static electricity.
3.
Remove the chassis cover.
4.
Remove the expansion slot cover of an
available PCI Express slot.
5.
Insert the card into the PCI Express slot until the card is seated firmly in place.
6.
Secure the card into the slot with a screw.
7.
Replace the chassis cover and reconnect all the cables.
8.
Power on the computer.
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Installing the audio card driver
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After installing the ASUS Essence STX II to your computer, install the card driver from the bundled
CD or download from ASUS support site (http://support.asus.com).
• Essence STX II requires a 4-pin Molex connection to power the card. Connect it to your power
supply unit before installation.
• Driver version and the contents of the support CD are subject to change without notice.
To install the audio card driver:
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1.
Insert the driver CD into your optical drive. Proceed to step 5 if Autorun is enabled on your
computer and the driver setup screen appears. If Autorun is not enabled on your computer,
perform step 2.
2. On your Windows desktop, launch File Explorer.
•
Windows® 7 SP1
•
Windows® 8Click
3. In File Explorer, double-click the optical drive icon.
4. Double-click Setup.exe.
5.
Read through the End User License Agreement and click Accept when prompted. Follow
the onscreen instructions to complete the driver installation.
6.
When driver installation is complete, you will be prompted to restart your computer.
Click Start then Computer.
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Chapter 2: Getting started
Chapter 3
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Connecting speakers and peripherals
Connecting digital speaker systems (Home Theater)
Essence STX II supports DTS Interactive technologies, which transcode any audio, including games
and music, into industry-standard DTS surround bit-streams. This makes playback through your
home theater system possible, creating an immersive and impressive cinema surround sound
experience. A single digital cable connection can carry high-quality DTS digital audio from any of
your PC audio sources to any digital speakers or AV Receivers with DTS 5.1 decoding capabilities.
Optical adapter. Plug the optical TOSLINK adapter into the S/PDIF-Out combo
connector.
Optical cable. Connect your decoder’s S/PDIF-In port to the optical adapter with the
TOSLINK optical cable.
You can also use a coaxial cable for a S/PDIF connection. Just plug the coaxial RCA male
connector to the S/PDIF-Out combo jack and connect the other end into the coaxial S/PDIF
input on your decoder.
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Connecting stereo headphones
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Front Out/Headphone Jack. The Front Out jack has a built-in high-quality amplifier to
drive headphones. Connect your stereo headphones directly to this jack.
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Chapter 3: Connecting speakers and peripherals
Connecting 2/2.1 channel speakers
2.1 Speakers
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2 Speakers
Left/Right Front Out. Left/Right Front Out ports have a built-in quality amplifier to
drive headphones. Connect the 2/2.1 speaker set’s 3.5mm plug to the bundled RCA-to3.5mm Y cable, and then connect the Left/Right ends to the Front/Left Right Out ports
on the Essence STX card.
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Connecting a microphone
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Front/Left Right Out port/Headphone port. Connect the headphone’s 3.5mm plug
to the bundled RCA-to-3.5mm Y cable, and then connect the Left/Right ends to the to
Front Left/Right Out ports on the Essence STX II card.
Microphone Input port. Connect your external PC microphone to this port by using
the bundled 6.3mmto- 3.5mm adapter for voice communication, recording, or karaoke.
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Chapter 3: Connecting speakers and peripherals
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Connecting Line-In audio sources
Line input jack. Connect the CD/MP3 player or any other line level analog audio
sources to this line-in port by using the 6.3mm-to-3.5mm adapter for sound recording
or real-time Dolby/DTS sound processing through the monitoring path. Refer to the
Mixer section of the driver’s user guide.
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Chapter 3: Connecting speakers and peripherals
Chapter 4
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Audio Center
Audio Center
The Audio Center, the graphical user interface (GUI) of the Essence STX II, allows you to control the
functions and features of Essence STX II.
To launch Essence STX II, double-click the Essence STX II icon
on the taskbar.
If the icon is not shown on the taskbar, click Start > All Programs > ASUS Essence STX II Audio
> Essence STX II Audio Center to launch the Audio Center.
Close
button
Minimize
button
Support link. Click this button to go to the ASUS website at www.asus.com
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Display Area. The display area shows the 10-band signal meter, volume level, and the
status of the Dolby/DTS technologies, EQ, and DSP modes. Note: this area just displays
information, but is not used to alter settings.
Setting Menu Panel. This panel gives access to settings tabs, including Main Settings,
Mixer/volume, Effects, Karaoke, FlexBass, and VocalFX.
Information icon. Click this icon to launch the driver information window.
Menu Open/Close. Click this button to display more settings.
Master Volume. This rotary knob controls the master playback volume. Drag the small
circle inside it to change the volume level
Mute Button. Click this button to mute audio playback. It displays a red light when
playback is muted.
SVN Button. Click this button to enable the “Smart Volume Normalization” feature for
constant volume from all playback sources. It displays a blue light when enabled
DSP Mode. These 4 buttons give access to quick sound effects combinations for Music,
Games, DVD Video, and effect-free (Hi-Fi) modes.
By default, DSP Mode is OFF.
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
Main Setting
Sample Rate
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The sample rate determines the number of audio samples per second that the Digital-to-Analog
Converters (DAC) and S/PDIF digital interface will output. The Essence STX II card can support
sample rates up to 192KHz (44.1K, 48K, 96K, 192KHz). Usually audio CDs and MP3 files are 44.1KHz;
DVD-Video uses 48KHz; DVD-Audio or other HD media may contain 96KHz or 192KHz highdefinition audio content. Select the corresponding sample rate for your playback sources to get the
best audio fidelity. Even if your setting differs from the audio source’s sample rate, the Essence STX II
engine will do super high fidelity sample-rate-conversion with a double floating-point filter, which
can reduce total harmonic distortion (THD+N) by -140dB.
Sample Rate. Select the sample rate that corresponds to (or exceeds that of) your playback
sources, for optimal audio fidelity. Essence STX II card supports sample rates up to 192KHz
(44.1K, 48K, 96K, 192KHz). Typical values:
• Audio CD, MP3, WMA, Wave files are 44.1KHz;
• The audio of DVD-Video is 48KHz;
• DVD-Audio or other HD media may contain 96KHz or 192KHz high-definition audio
content.
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Analog Out mode
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Analog Out. The Analog Out settings are used adjust audio to match your actual
speaker setting, such as headphones and 2/2.1 speakers. Essence STX II will play the
channels and process the 3D/Dolby sound accordingly. Select the correct speaker type
for your connected speakers.
Speaker Test. Click this button to show the speaker test window in the right pane. Click
the Play button to test each speaker one by one or click each speaker manually to test.
HP Advanced Setting. Click this button to select the gain tuning according to your
headphone impedance. The setting is also available for FP Headphone.
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
SPDIF Out / DDL
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Essence STX II is capable of outputting Dolby Digital Live, which is a real-time encoder that
transcodes any audio, including games and music, into industry-standard Dolby Digital bit-streams
on-the-fly. This is ideal for playback through a home theater system, creating an immersive and
impressive cinema surround sound experience. It enables a single digital connection to carry high
quality Dolby Digital surround audio from your PC to digital speakers and AV Receivers.
SPDIF Out. Tick this checkbox to enable S/PDIF output.
SPDIF Output Format/Functions.
From the dropdown list, select one of these formats:
PCM (Pulse Code Modulation, which is a typical raw audio data format.)
Dolby Digital advanced upmixing option. This advanced setting will automatically
upmix stereo (2ch) content to 5.1 channel surround with Dolby Pro-Logic II when using
Dolby Digital Live Output.
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Audio Channels (For Windows® Vista/ Windows® 7 only)
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This setting only appears in Windows® Vista/ Windows® 7. Windows® Vista/ Windows® 7 delivers
the audio channels to the audio driver according to this setting, no matter what the original audio
content is or how many channels they have. Therefore, you need to set this in accordance with your
audio content before you play it. This setting is synchronized with Windows® Vista/ Windows® 7
system speaker configuration and changing the setting during playback stops the audio playback
program. You may have to restart the program after changing this setting.
Close all running applications before changing this setting.
Audio Channels
Recommended settings:
• MP3, WMA, AAC, CD, VCD, 2D games => 2 channels
• DVD-Video with Dolby Digtial or DTS 5.1 => 6 channels
• DVD-Video with Dolby Digtial EX or DTS ES => 8 channels
• 3D games => 8 channels
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter
•
Virtualizing 7.1 surround sound over any set of speakers
•
Shiftable virtual speaker positioning allows you to adjust the best sound field easily without
moving physical speakers and wires
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The 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter has the following major features:
• Expanding/upmixing audio to 7.1-channel surround sound
7.1 Virtual Speaker. Tick this checkbox to enable the 7.1 Virtual Speaker. Click the
textbar to switch the right window to the Speaker page for manual adjustments.
Settings will be retained even when a different Analog Output is selected.
Drag speaker or listener. You can drag each speaker or listener to a different relative
position “virtually” using only your mouse. Essence STX II card will process it and
virtualize each speaker position in real-time. The Subwoofer has no directional sounds,
and hence can be moved only closer or further away.
Reset. Resets all Speaker settings to the default settings.
Increase/decrease volume. Click + to increase volume (move speakers closer); click
– to decrease volume (move speakers further away).
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Counterclockwise. Click to rotate all speakers, except the Subwoofer,
counterclockwise.
Clockwise. Click to rotate all speakers, except the Subwoofer, clockwise.
Manual Rotation. Manually drag and rotate all speakers, except the Subwoofer.
Manual Drag Mode. This is the default mode that allows you to manually drag each
speaker or the listener with your mouse.
Dolby Pro-Logic IIx
Dolby Pro-Logic IIx is a 7.1 surround upmixing technology and is widely used in home theater
systems, TVs, game consoles, and car audio systems. It can expand stereo audio, such as MP3, CD,
and TV programs into immersive 5.1 or 7.1-channel surround.
Dolby Pro-Logic IIx. Tick this checkbox to enable Dolby Pro-Logic IIx. Click the textbar
to switch the right window to the Pro-Logic IIx page for manual adjustments.
Center Width. This parameter is used to set the spread of the center, mainly for the
vocal signals of songs and music. Drag the scroll bar to the left to centralize the vocal
signal. Drag to the right side to widen the vocal sound range.
Reset. Resets all Speaker settings to the default settings.
Dimension. The dimension parameter fades sounds to the front or rear of the listener..
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
Dolby Headphone
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Dolby Headphone creates a stunning multi-channel surround experience over ordinary stereo
headphones for playing 3D games, watching 5.1 DVD movies, or listening to music. Dolby
Headphone produces surround sound cues so realistic that you will believe you are listening over
speakers in a well-controlled studio. Dolby Headphone can also improve listening comfort and
reduce listener fatigue from long listening over headphones/
Dolby Headphone. Tick this checkbox to enable Dolby Headphone. Click the textbar
to switch the right window to Dolby Headphone page for manual adjustments.
7.1 Virtual Speaker and Dolby Pro-Logic Ilx can be selected only when Dolby Headphone is
enabled.
DH1. Dolby Headphone (DH) provides three room filters that may be used with any
type of audio. They differ in the sense of the spatial dimension they impart.
DH2. DH2 - Livelier Room: More acoustically live than DH1.
DH3. DH3-Larger Room: Larger room than DH1; more distant and diffused effect.
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Dolby Virtual Speaker
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Dolby Virtual Speaker technology simulates a 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment
rom as few as two speakers. Dolby Virtual Speaker also creates a wider two-channel environment
during playback of stereo CDs and MP3 content, and when combined with Dolby Pro Logic® II
processing, delivers a virtual 5.1-channel surround listening experience from any high-quality
stereo source.
Dolby Virtual Speaker. Tick this checkbox to enable Dolby Virtual Speaker. Click
the text bar to switch the right window to a Dolby Virtual Speaker page for manual
adjustiment.
Reference Mode. Dolby Virtual Speaker provides two modes of virtualization:
Reference Mode and Wide Mode.
Reference mode virtualizes the missing speakers as shown below.
Wide Mode. Wide mode virtualizes the necessary speakers and enhances the surround
experience as shown below.
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
Mixer/Volume
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The Mixer feature is designed to control the volume for playback and recording on Essence STX
II. Essence STX II also provides a high-quality digital monitoring function for hearing the recorded
audio from the speakers. You can also process the input signals with all playback sound effects such
as Dolby and DTS technologies.
Playback Volume
Playback volume tab. Click this button to show the playback volume page.
Volume slider. Drag this slider down to decrease the volume. Drag it up to increase the
volume. The tool-tip reveals the percentage increments.
Mute button. Click this button to mute the audio channel; click this button again to
restore the audio output.
Source / path name including:
• WAVE: All digital audio sources except MIDI files
• SW: Software Synthesizer; control the playback volume of the MIDI files
• CD: CD-ROM digital playback (CD-DA) volume control
• LEFT, RIGHT: the volume control for each speaker/channel
Windows® Vista does not support WAVE, Synthesizer, and CD-In volume controls.
Reset. Resets all Speaker settings to the default settings.
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Recording/Monitoring Volume
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Recording Volume Tab. Click this button to show the recording volume page.
Recording volume slider. Drag this slider down to decrease the recording volume.
Drag up to increase the recording volume. The tool-tip displays percentage increments.
Recording Selector button. Click this button to select the path/source you are going
to record. The recording function on Windows is a one-path selector. Hence, you can
select only one default recording source at a time. You may have to restart the recorder
program if you switch to a different source.
Microphone-In Advanced Setting. Click this button
settings for the Microphone-In:
to open the advanced
Enabling “Microphone Boost” increases the volume gain to boost microphone input
signals. If you connect your microphone to the front panel audio module, enable “Front
Panel Microphone”. For typical low-cost PC microphone, we recommend that you
enable this function.
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
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Monitoring button. Click this button to monitor and loopback recording audio to
output speakers. Te recording volume will affect the monitoring signals from speaker
output. The audio will be mixed into the streams you are playing out from your PC and
all DSP effects will be applied to the source and the output. A typical benefit is to apply
Dolby Pro-Logic Ilx 7.1-ch spreading for your TV audio, CD, MP3, or stereo game console
audio from Wii, Xbox, and PS2/PS3/PSP.
When the monitoring function is enabled, audio output from HDMI output is disabled.
Source / path name. This shows the source name for each volume control slider,
including:
• S/PDIF-In: S/PDIF digital input source.
• Mix: Stereo Mix will record MIC, AUX, and digital WAVE audio that you are playing on
your computer.
• Aux: recording from Aux-In for typically TV-tuner card audio or other sound sources.
• Line-In: recording from Line-in jack for external audio devices.
• WAVE: recording from digital wave audio you are playing on.
Reset. Resets all Speaker settings to the default settings.
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Effects
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Environment Effects
Use environment effects to create realistic listening experiences that mimic different environments.
There are a total of 27 environment options that can be applied to all 2D sound sources such as
music.
Default environments. These four buttons activate Bathroom, Concert hall,
Underwater, and Music Pub environments.
More options. Click this button to view more environment effects in the dropdown list,
which contains 23 more options.
Environment size. There are three size settings for each environment: Large, Medium,
and Small.
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
10-Band Equalizer
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The equalizer modifies the audio output for different frequencies, and is used to compensate for
deficiencies in your speakers/systems. There are 12 default patterns and you can also customize
your own settings.
Default equalizer options. There are 12 available equalizer patterns. Click one to apply
it.
Equalizer slider. Adjust the gain for each band (30~16KHz)
User Defined. Click this button to view your customized equalizer setting.
Save name. Key in a name for your own “User Defined” equalizer setting.
Add / save. Click this “+” button to save your customized equalizer setting.
Delete. Click this “–” button to delete a customized equalizer setting.
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Karaoke
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Essence STX II provides powerful features for Karaoke, including Key-Shifting, Vocal Cancellation,
and Microphone Echo. Key-Shifting changes the pitch of Karaoke background music, and
VocalCancellation reduces the original vocal in songs and keep the music and symphony for
karaoke.
On/Off. Click the switch to turn on or off the karaoke functions.
Key-Shifting. Tick this checkbox to enable or disable the key shifting feature for music
playback from 4 semitones below, to 4 semitones above.
Vocal Cancellation. Tick this checkbox to enable or disable the vocal cancellation
function and adjust the voice cancellation level from 0 to +100. +100 eliminates most
original vocals. The default value is 50.
Mic Echo. Select the Mic Echo function and adjust the gain for echo signals
(30~16KHz).
Reset. Resets all Speaker settings to the default settings.
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
FlexBass
•
Small: Common speaker that cannot produce low frequencies.
•
Large: Wide-band speakers that can produce low frequencies well.
ENGLISH
FlexBass, an advanced bass management and enhancement mechanism, allows you to select each
satellite speaker’s type for optimal sound performance from the speakers. The Speaker types are:
FlexBass comes with an adjustable crossover frequency for the boundary of the bass signals. It
filters out the bass signals from small speaker channels and redirect them all to the subwoofer or
Large speakers.
On/Off. Click the switch to turn on or off the FlexBass functions.
Small / Large speaker option. Select the speaker type that you connected. If your
speaker type cannot perform low-frequency signals (bass), select “Small” speaker
type and Essence STX II filters out the bass signals and sends them to the subwoofer
channel. If those speakers are full-range, you can select the “Large” speaker type.
Usually, low-cost PC’s 2-channel speakers are small-type speakers. Refer to the speaker’s
specification. Common 2.1 speakers with a subwoofer should be categorized as Large speakers
because the subwoofer redirects the bass signals inside the two channels to the subwoofer
speaker automatically.
Picture for Small/Large speaker. Small/large speakers are identified by their colors:
• Orange: large speakers
• Green: small speakers
LFE Crossover Frequency. Adjusts the cut-off frequency (50~250Hz) for LFE (lowfrequency effects) signals. Essence STX II filters out the bass signals below the crossover
frequency from small speaker channels and forwards them to the subwoofer. The
higher the crossover frequency, the more bass signals are subtracted.
ASUS Essence STX II
37
Smart Volume Normalization
ENGLISH
Smart Volume NormalizationTM (SVN) automatically keeps all music or video/TV audio output at
a constant level to reduce manual adjustment hassles inherent with sound sources of different
loudness. It allows you to listen to various content, like MP3, TV program, DVD video and even
games with consistent sound level. The following graph shows how different signals 1 & 2 adjust to
the same level (for example, 10dB below full scale) after you turn on SVN. Please note that for lower
volume ,music 2 becomes louder when you turn on SVN and for higher volume, music 1 becomes
quieter.
0dB (Full-scale)
Music 1
T
-10 dB
Music 2
SVN Off
SVN On
-
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
ENGLISH
SVN On/Off. Click this button to enable SVN. This button is outlined blue when active.
SVN blue light. When SVN is enabled, the master volume knob is illuminated by a blue
light. It is illuminated red if the volume is muted.
SVN display. When SVN is enabled, “Smart Volume” will be lit up at the bottom of the
volume meter and the volume meter will show the level.
ASUS Essence STX II
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DS3D GX and DSP Modes
ENGLISH
Essence STX II introduces an innovative technology – DirectSound 3D Game Extensions v1.0 (DS3D
GX 1.0)- to restore DirectSound 3D Hardware acceleration mode and its subsidiary EAX effects
on Windows® Vista for 3D games. Unlike some proprietary API like OpenAL, DS3D GX does not
require games to support OpenAL API. All existing games compatible with Microsoft DirectX and
DirectSound 2D/3D are supported with DS3D GX technology. Before you start EAX and DS3D HW
games, enable DS3D GX on the Xonar Audio Center, and disable the feature after playing.
Supports latest DS3D GX 2.0 for gaming on Windows® Vista and Windows® XP
DS3D GX 2.0 not only revives EAX and DirectSound HW effects, but also allows you to run EAX
HD 5.0 games on both Windows® XP and Vista. It provides the best compatibility with existing
DirectX games. GX2.0 also adds innovative VocalFX voice effects for existing EAX games or VOIP
applications. Besides the abundant sound effects described above, the Essence STX II also provides
quick Digital Sound Processing modes that are configured for typical applications including Music,
Movies, and Games over different output speaker types. In addition, Essence STX II also offers a Hi-Fi
mode for hi-fidelity playback without any effect processing to keep the original audio fidelity. Every
time you turn on Hi-Fi mode, Xonar HDAV 1 clears all sound effects. Use Hi-Fi mode for audio quality
tests (using RMAA software or another machine-based measurement). Use the DSP mode button as
the quick setup if you do not wish to know the details of the effect setup.
No sound effects are applied to high-definition 96KHz/192KHz content.
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
ENGLISH
GX Mode. DirectSound 3D Game Extensions mode to support EAX and DirectSound 3D
Hardware extensions for lots of DirectX/DirectSound3D games on Windows Vista.
Hi-Fi Mode. This mode is set for Hi-Fidelity playback, where all effects will be cleared to
keep the original digital data and analog output quality as high as possible.
Music Mode. This mode is set for Music playback.
Movie Mode. This mode is set for DVD Movie playback.
Game Mode. This mode is set for Games.
ASUS Essence STX II
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VocalFX
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VocalFX is an innovative voice processing technology that can immerse your voice in a realistic
game landscape (VoiceEX) or imitate background scenes while chatting online (ChatEX). It also
allows you to change your voice pitch to disguise who you are (Magic Voice).
VoiceEX. It produces realistic and dynamic environmental reverberation for your voice
in 3D gaming communication.
Local VoiceEX. It produces realistic and dynamic environmental reverberation for your
voice in 3D gaming communication.
You can hear your voice from the speakers.
ChatEX. It emulates different background environment effects while you chat online.
Magic Voice. Changes your voice pitch to different types for disguising your real voice
or just for fun while chatting online.
App List. You can add a VOIP application on the VOIP application List.
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Chapter 4: Audio Center
1.
Tick VoiceEX and Local VoiceEX checkboxes.
2.
Ensure that you and your team member can talk to each other in the game.
ENGLISH
For 3D Games
For VOIP
1.
Click App List.
2.
If you do not see your VOIP application in the list, click Add.
Ensure that you have installed the latest version of Skype or MSN Messenger.
3.
Navigate to the application then click Open.
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ENGLISH
44
Chapter 4: Audio Center
Appendices
Troubleshooting and FAQs
Troubleshooting
I cannot install the audio card driver on my computer.
•
Ensure that you have properly plugged the audio card in the PCI Express slot on your
motherboard.
•
Check that the Windows hardware device manager has discovered a multimedia audio device.
If no device is found, please try scanning for new hardware.
•
Try rebooting your computer.
•
Remove the card, plug it into another PCI Express slot, and try again.
I cannot find the Essence STX II Audio Center.
•
Ensure that you have installed the driver
•
Locate the Essence STX II Audio Center icon
to launch the Essence STX II Audio Center utility.
•
If the icon is not shown on the taskbar, click Start > All Programs > ASUS Essence STX II
Audio > Essence STX II Audio Center to launch the Essence STX II Audio Center.
•
Try installing the driver package again.
on the taskbar, then double-click the icon
I cannot hear any sound from my analog speakers.
•
Ensure that the power cable of your power supply unit is properly connected to the power
connector of the audio card.
•
Ensure that you have connected the speakers properly and that the speakers are turned on.
•
Ensure that the device master volume or the software player is not on mute mode on the
Essence STX II Audio Center.
•
Check if you are using a Dolby Digital Live encoder through the S/PDIF output. If this is the
case, the analog output is muted to get rid of any interference between your digital speaker
system and analog speakers or headphones.
•
Try rebooting your computer.
I cannot hear any sound from the S/PDIF output.
•
Ensure that you have enabled S/PDIF output in the Essence STX II Audio Center.
•
Ensure that you have connected the correct S/PDIF output jack on the card to the decoder’s
(AV receiver) S/PDIF input jack.
•
You may need to select the correct input and mode of your decoder or AV receiver. For Dolby
Digital output, double-check that the AV receiver is in that decoding mode.
•
If you are using 192KHz PCM output, ensure your decoder can support 192KHz decoding. Try
changing it to 44.1K or 48KHz first.
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45
I cannot hear audio input (Mic, Line-in, or AUX) from my speakers.
ENGLISH
•
Go to the Mixer recording page in the Essence STX II Audio Center and select the correct input
as the recording source.
•
Remember to turn on the digital monitoring button for that recording source.
I found no sound effects when playing 96K or 192KHz sound sources.
•
Currently, Essence STX II effects including Dolby, supports common 44.1K, 48KHz sound
sources processing and provides high-definition audio (96K/192KHz) in hi-fidelity playback.
This is also usually the behavior that professional audiophiles and musicians prefer.
•
If you still want to add effects to your audio, you can use sound editing software such as
Ableton Live, Cakewalk, CooEdit, or Soundforge to convert the sounds into 48KHz files.
•
The frequency meter on the Audio Center panel will not take effect when the playback source
is using either a 96KHz or 192KHz sample rate to prevent any processing distortion.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why does Essence STX II support Dolby technology?
Dolby is the ONLY brand and technology recognized by the CE industry and available on a wide
range of audio equipment. Essence STX II includes these features to make your computer a
powerful media and entertainment center.
Why is Essence STX II the best audio card for HTPC and multi-channel speakers?
Essence STX II supports Dolby Digital Live, which allow a single digital connection to your AV
receiver to carry Dolby Digital audio. Essence STX II also provides Dolby Pro-Logic Ilx to upmix TV
and other music to multi-channel surround sound in Home Theater environments. Essence STX
II also has High Fidelity SNR at 192K/24bit, which is the only high quality consumer audio card in
the world. Therefore, it’s also the best card to deliver the high quality audio through an analog
connection to your home theater system or high-end multi-channel speakers.
Why do I need Dolby for PC games?
•
Dolby Digital and Pro-Logic IIx are available on the latest game consoles, like XBOX360, PS3,
and Wii. Dolby provides the best gaming sound experience and compatibility with home
theater or TV systems.
•
Dolby Headphone and Dolby Virtual Speaker are the best 3D sound positioning, spatial
modeling and 5.1-channel virtualization technology for regular stereo headphones, speaker
headphones and speakers.
What is the most important benefit of the Essence STX II for musicians?
46
•
Ultimate Fidelity: Essence STX II has the highest quality of audio in/out for the cleanest sound
production.
•
Duplex HD: Supports audio sampling rates up to 24bit/192KHz for outputs and 24bit/96KHz
for inputs.
•
ASIO 2.0: Essence STX II includes an ASIO 2.0 driver for low-latency, low-distortion music
creation application.
Appendices: Troubleshooting and FAQs
ASUS contact information
Address
Telephone Fax E-mail
Web site
Technical Support
Telephone Online support
15 Li-Te Road, Peitou, Taipei, Taiwan 11259
+886-2-2894-3447
+886-2-2890-7798
info@asus.com.tw
www.asus.com.tw
ENGLISH
ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC.
+86-21-38429911
support.asus.com
ASUS COMPUTER INTERNATIONAL (America)
Address
Telephone Fax
Web site
Technical Support
Telephone Support fax
Online support
800 Corporate Way, Fremont, CA 94539, USA
+1-510-739-3777
+1-510-608-4555
usa.asus.com
+1-812-282-2787
+1-812-284-0883
support.asus.com
ASUS COMPUTER GmbH (Germany and Austria)
Address
Fax
Web site
Online contact
Technical Support
Harkort Str. 21-23, D-40880 Ratingen, Germany
+49-2102-959931
asus.com/de
eu-rma.asus.com/sales
Telephone (Component)
Telephone Germany (System/Notebook/Eee/LCD)
Telephone Austria (System/Notebook/Eee/LCD)
Support Fax
Online support
ASUS Essence STX II
+49-2102-5789555
+49-2102-5789557
+43-820-240513
+49-2102-959911
support.asus.com
47
ENGLISH
48
Appendices: Troubleshooting and FAQs