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Essence STX II
Audio card
User Guide

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   Summary of Contents for ASUS Essence STX II

  • Page 1

    Essence STX II Audio card User Guide...

  • Page 2

    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 () the serial number of the product is defaced or missing.

  • Page 3: Table Of Contents

    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 ........................1 Installing the audio card ......................1 Installing the audio card driver ....................14...

  • Page 5: Package Contents

    RCA-to-.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 •...

  • Page 6: Specifications Summary

     Vrms (Line Out) 7 Vrms (Headphone Out) Headphone Impedance Optimized for ~600ohm Main Chipset Audio Processor ASUS AV100 High Definition Sound Processor (Maximum 19KHz/4bit) 4-bit D-A Converter of Digital Texas Instruments PCM179A*1 for Front Out Sources (17dB SNR, 19kHz/4bit)

  • Page 7

    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...

  • Page 8

    ITEM DESCRIPTION Smart Volume Normalizer™ Normalizes the volume of all audio sources into a constant level and also enhances your D sound listening range and advantages in gaming. Karaoke Functions Music Key-Shifting, Vocal Cancellation, and Microphone Echo effects like professional Karaoke machine FlexBass™...

  • Page 9: Essence Stx Ii Card Layout

    Essence STX II card layout I/O ports Front right RCA output. Connect to the right input of the /.1-channel speakers of your system. Front left RCA output. Connect to the left input of the /.1-channel spearkers of your system. Amplified 6.3mm (1/4") headphone output. Connect to your headphones/headsets.

  • Page 10

    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.

  • Page 11

    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.mm (1/4") headphone output. Right channel I/V converters...

  • Page 12

    Chapter 1: Product introduction...

  • Page 13: Chapter 2: Getting Started

    Insert the card into the PCI Express slot until the card is seated firmly in place. Secure the card into the slot with a screw. Replace the chassis cover and reconnect all the cables. Power on the computer. ASUS Essence STX II...

  • Page 14: Installing The Audio Card Driver

    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.

  • Page 15: Chapter 3: Connecting Speakers And Peripherals

    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.

  • Page 16: Connecting Stereo Headphones

    Connecting stereo headphones 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. Chapter : Connecting speakers and peripherals...

  • Page 17: Connecting /.1 Channel Speakers

    Left/Right Front Out. Left/Right Front Out ports have a built-in quality amplifier to drive headphones. Connect the /.1 speaker set’s .5mm plug to the bundled RCA-to- .5mm Y cable, and then connect the Left/Right ends to the Front/Left Right Out ports on the Essence STX card. ASUS Essence STX II...

  • Page 18: Connecting A Microphone

    Front/Left Right Out port/Headphone port. Connect the headphone’s .5mm plug to the bundled RCA-to-.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.mmto- .5mm adapter for voice communication, recording, or karaoke.

  • Page 19: Connecting Line-in Audio Sources

    Line input jack. Connect the CD/MP player or any other line level analog audio sources to this line-in port by using the 6.mm-to-.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. ASUS Essence STX II...

  • Page 20

    Chapter : Connecting speakers and peripherals...

  • Page 21: Chapter 4: Audio Center

    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.

  • Page 22

    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.

  • Page 23: Main Setting

    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.

  • Page 24

    Analog Out. The Analog Out settings are used adjust audio to match your actual speaker setting, such as headphones and /.1 speakers. Essence STX II will play the channels and process the D/Dolby sound accordingly. Select the correct speaker type for your connected speakers.

  • Page 25

    SPDIF Out / DDL 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.

  • Page 26

    Audio Channels (For Windows® Vista/ Windows® 7 only) 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.

  • Page 27

    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.

  • Page 28

    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.

  • Page 29

    They differ in the sense of the spatial dimension they impart. DH2. DH - Livelier Room: More acoustically live than DH1. DH3. DH-Larger Room: Larger room than DH1; more distant and diffused effect. ASUS Essence STX II...

  • Page 30

    Dolby Virtual Speaker 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 MP 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.

  • Page 31: Mixer/volume

    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.

  • Page 32

    Recording/Monitoring Volume 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.

  • Page 33

    • 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. ASUS Essence STX II...

  • Page 34: Effects

    Effects Environment Effects Use environment effects to create realistic listening experiences that mimic different environments. There are a total of 7 environment options that can be applied to all D sound sources such as music. Default environments. These four buttons activate Bathroom, Concert hall, Underwater, and Music Pub environments.

  • Page 35

    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. ASUS Essence STX II...

  • Page 36: Karaoke

    Karaoke 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.

  • Page 37: Flexbass

    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.

  • Page 38: Smart Volume Normalization

    Smart Volume Normalization 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 MP, TV program, DVD video and even games with consistent sound level.

  • Page 39

    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...

  • Page 40: Dsd Gx And Dsp Modes

    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.

  • Page 41

    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...

  • Page 42: Vocalfx

    VocalFX 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.

  • Page 43

    Click App List. 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. Navigate to the application then click Open. ASUS Essence STX II...

  • Page 44

    Chapter 4: Audio Center...

  • Page 45: Appendices

    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.

  • Page 46: Frequently Asked Questions (faq)

    I cannot hear audio input (Mic, Line-in, or AUX) from my speakers. • 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.

  • Page 47: Asus Contact Information

    +1-510-739-3777 +1-510-608-4555 Web site usa.asus.com Technical Support Telephone +1-812-282-2787 Support fax +1-812-284-0883 Online support support.asus.com ASUS COMPUTER GmbH (Germany and Austria) Address Harkort Str. 21-23, D-40880 Ratingen, Germany +49-2102-959931 Web site asus.com/de Online contact eu-rma.asus.com/sales Technical Support Telephone (Component) +49-2102-5789555...

  • Page 48

    Appendices: Troubleshooting and FAQs...

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