It seems like Creative has caused quite a stir among its users by charging US$9.99 for its EAX enabling Alchemy Windows Vista driver for the Audigy series. It might seem cruel by Creative to charge for something that should be free, especially since you can still buy a brand new Audigy card. Most of this comes down to changes in the Windows Vista driver model and EAX is no longer supported in DirectX.
The Alchemy project allows Direct Sound commands to be translated into OpenAL commands and thus EAX will work. Creative released a free version of Alchemy for its X-Fi customers a while back and has been working on improving the Alchemy drivers since. However, Creative went out with a statement when the X-Fi version arrived that it was going to charge a small fee for the Audigy version of the same software.
You can now order the Audigy version of Alchemy from Creative's web shop for a $9.99 fee, although this has upset many Audigy users and it seems like a workaround has already appeared on the least of expected places, Creative's Forums. A user called daniel_k has posted a link and instructions to how to use the X-Fi version to get free EAX support for Audigy cards.
It takes a little bit of work to do this, as you have to copy a couple of files into every game directory for EAX enabled titles. However, it also means that you don't have to cough up any cash. People seems to have varying results depending on what game they're trying to get it to work with, but it's not bad as a free solution.
You can find the Creative Forum post here
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