The software they included, which was a lot more then you would have thought you would have gotten. In this area I will give a basic overview of the software and what it can do for you. I will start with the “ASUS Portable Music Utility”. This piece of software allows you to rip and encode your audio files from ether a digital device or CD audio content to be able to use Dolby based products. Along with also allowing you to convert it to higher and lower codec’s allowing you to add effects like Dolby headphones along with Dolby Virtual speaker for better and enhanced audio playback.
Moving onto the PowerDVD 7.0 software which was also included. With PowerDVD you are given an endless options and features to watch your DVDs and Blu-Rays in. You can customize the user interface with multiple skins. PowerDVD offers full 5.1 and 7.1 speaker setups. Another cool thing about the PowerDVD software is the ability to do video bookmarks which is commonly overlooked. I use this feature a lot to bookmark certain scenes in movies to later show friends and family the best scene’s of a movie. PowerDVD is definitely a power DVD and Blu-Ray player for your PC. With the Endless controls and setups to suit your Audio Setup needs.
This next piece of software which is also included with the card is my favorite of them all. With the ASUS Xonar they also give you Cakewalk Production Plus and Albeton Live 6 Lite. I will start off the Cakewalk. I had trouble trying to get the software to install, but after I got the software installed and setup for Windows 7 I was able to test it out and make a few tracks while just tinkering with my MIDI keyboard. Now Cakewalk is used for music production. Cakewalk has made the Sonar LE for new users that are looking to produce their own music. With the Sonar LE software I choose to use my MIDI keyboard since it is what I use all the time for producing music using other programs. The Sonar LE software was definitely easy to learn and use. It also comes with two virtual instrument plug-ins and over ten audio effects. You are also able to transfer products between Reason and Sonar LE along with ACID loop support. With so many features and things you can do it is endless.
We are now going to move on to the Albeton live software. Installing the Albeton Live software onto Windows 7 was an easy install with no problems or hiccups at all. After the install you have to make sure you are connected to the internet so you can activate your product and then download some audio files. After this you are able to make and mix some music. The Albeton Live software is production software but is also a bigger learning curve then the Cakewalk Sonar LE software. Thankfully they offer a free tutorial on the right side of the screen to guide you and show you the basics of how things are done. Along with over 35 online videos you can watch for help. We are now going to try to create and play some music. It took me about an hour of tinkering to get into the swing of how the Albeton Live software works. They didn’t seem to include a lot of samples to be able to make much of a song. So I decided to move over to the live audio track mixing and live recording. While recording a track from the keyboard I did notice it was on top of the sounds I was playing with little to no lag at all. This is a huge plus in my book with audio production. Also on the plus side of the software, I was able to see it was much faster to use since it has multi-core and multi processer support built in. It also offers more hardware support for recording guitars and keyboards and any other stuff you wish to record. Along with better multi-track recording then Cakewalk Sonar LE does. It offers a multi-track recording up to 32bit-192kHz. The Sonar LE only offers 24bit-96kHz.The Albeton software at first seems to be very overwhelming, but after you learn it you can do so much.