Sound Blaster Live! Platinum and multitrack recording


I’ve been searching all around Google but i’ve not found an answer to this question: i own a Sound Blaster Live! Platinum card, and i wish i could use its multiple inputs (from the Live Drive) to record multiple tracks at the same time.
I’m not a Ardour-Jack guru (even if i’m not completely dumb!), my sistem is properly configured to use alsa, the sound card works as well: i can see that Jack gives the possibility to use only 2 capture ports (if i’m not wrong those should represent one stero input channel).
Should i start the Jack server with other parameters to get more channels?
Is it possible?
I know that an M-audio or Hammerfall cards would be more suited for my needs, but at the moment i cannot afford one, and also my blaster has got so much inputs in the Live Drive panel that i can’t believe they can’t be used!!!

Is there anyone that can give me some hints?

Best regards,


In either jack commandline or in the qjackctl setup dialog, try specifying input device hw:0,2
and output device hw:0,3. This should give you an jack port for every in and out on the card.

Additionally, set the inputs and outputs to 16 each. Check the documentation in the kernel source code regarding jack for details. I have an Audigy Platinum and now have multichannel inputs and outputs set up by following that document.

Hi Paolo, I’ve got the same problem with the SoundBlaster Live!!! If you find the solution, please post it to this forum!!! I’m gonna try too!!!



It’s very possible that the soundcard is able to capture only two channels at the same time. Do you have specs on the card which say that it’s able to record more than two channels at the same time? It’s possible that the multiple inputs can’t be used at the same time, execpt if mixed together into the same capture stream.

Hi sampo,

thank you for the reply!
After having read it, i began searching the net for the specs of my card, and after spending a bunch of hours surfing, i found finally this:

It’s the answer to my question, and…YES, my Sound Blaster based on emu10k1 chip DOES SUPPORT multitrack recording!!!
It will be necessary to get my hands dirty but i’ll manage to do it.


FYI … i have a Soundblaster Platinum with Live Drive, and these are the main inputs I use (input device in qjackctl is hw:0,2, as mentioned above):

  • inputs 1-2: AC97 inputs (mic, line)
  • inputs 11-12: mic/line input from LiveDrive (shows in alsamixer as Line LiveDrive)
  • inputs 15-16: RCA input from LiveDrive (shows in alsamixer as Line2 LiveDrive)

Oh, man, then it would be possible to record from two soundcards (i.e. a pci one and an integrated one) so that I could have four line inputs? That would be genial… Exactly what I need… But how should I setup ALSA in this case? Or should it detect the other sndcard automatically? Thanks, a newbie…

Well, actually I agree with you at all, but I don´t have enough money yet, so until I earn some, I´ve got a lot of time for experiments… :slight_smile:

By the way, how the 1010lt sounds? I had an idea of making a PCI extension so that the card itself could be in a separate shielded box with some interface to it, like preamps and some better connectors (like those XLR/Jack combo´s) etc… The extension wouldn´t be a problem, in some older computers there are two PCI´s on a separate special add-on card, so that I could get a 16 I/O setup with shielded converters and connectors etc etc… :wink: but yet it´s just a future song…

daniq: sorry, but no you can’t.

Combining two consumer sound interfaces with no synchronization capabilities is impossible to well. Some people have succeeded in wiring together clock crystals but this is a lot of work with no real promise of getting it performing the way you want it. Especially since the Delta 1010LT card is so cheap and hassle free.

My advice is don’t do it. The only good reason to try that is to do it only for the sake of soldering stuff.

I did some of that soldering, and I got a SB Live! Value (CT4830) to sync with an OEM ES1371 based AudioPCI 128 (CT5807), probably because they use the same AC97 chip (STAC9721T) for capture and stereo playback, with the same crystal. I followed the instructions at to fake a multi card… The only problem I ran into was jackd would crash if I tried to use 4-channel output, but would run fine if I only used the 2 outputs on the SB Live!. That’s probably due to a pair of ALSA drivers instead of a pair of instances of the same driver. In the end, all it meant for us was fewer cable rotations in between various takes… the guys only wanted to record one thing at a time anyway, but it was nice for a while… at a mere 48kHz/16bit.

Then I got the 1010LT for $200. It’s awesome, and I never looked back. 96kHz/24bit IMHO is far more important than running multiple tracks.

Justification: for next to nothing I was able to run an Ardour-based 4-track (instead of 2-track) DAT quality hard disk recorder, a.k.a. my work machine. In the end, I laugh about my experiment and I agree with sampo… whether it’s worth it depends a lot on how much you like to void warranties and generally mess stuff up.

Good luck with whatever you attempt, and I hope you can score one of these soon. I think of it as an investment: the good cards don’t get uber-cheap 6 months later like the (CPU/mobo/mem).