DOS Days

Creative Labs

Creative Labs didn't enter the sound card industry until 1987 with the introduction of their Creative Music System (C/MS). From inception in 1981, they were a computer repair shop in Singapore. The owner designed a memory expansion board for the Apple II. Later, they created and sold Chinese-adapted PCs for their home market. These included enhanced audio capabilities to allow the devices to play speech and melodies. Their success in this audio venture led to the creation of the CMS card.

Creative Music System / Game Blaster

Creative's Music System (C/MS), or "Game Blaster" as it was renamed a year later, was a synthesizer card similar to Ad Lib. Based on the Philips SAA1099 chip which was essentially a square-wave generator (FM starts with, and then modulates a sine wave), it sounded much like twelve simultaneous PC speakers would have (the PC speaker is a single square-wave generator), except for each channel having amplitude control. It did not sell well.

The original box and contents

These cards came fitted with a chip called CT-1302A, which allowed the card to be auto-detected by programs, and also acted as the transceiver for the SAA1099 CMS chips.

Sound Blaster

Because Creative produced so many variations of sound card under their "Sound Blaster" name, please use the following links to go to the dedicated pages for each major model:

Sound Blaster / Sound Blaster Pro

Sound Blaster 16

Sound Blaster 32 / AWE32 / AWE64

Sound Blaster ViBRA

Sound Blaster Live!