Creative has released its eagerly awaited Alchemy drivers for Vista. The drivers enable multi-channel sound and hardware effects for its X-Fi series of cards.
Vista handles sound very differently to Windows XP, with most of the X-Fi's advanced features disabled under Vista.
The Alchemy drivers remove the audio hardware abstraction layer from Vista for games that use EAX or DirectSound3D. Alchemy converts EAX and DS3D calls into the company's proprietary OpenAL calls.
Previously, legacy titles run under Vista only delivered stereo sound, and with no hardware effects.
Although still only officially a beta, Creative has been working on this driver from before Vista was released.
You can grab the beta here: http://preview.creativelabs.com/alchemy/default.aspx
The Alchemy drivers are compatible with X-Fi Elite Pro, X-Fi Fatal1ty, X-Fi Platinum, X-Fi Xtreme Gamer FPS, X-Fi Xtreme Gamer, X-Fi Xtreme Music.