Creative Technologies founderChairman, CEO Sim Wong Hoo has diedHis company has confirmed. He “passed away peacefully on 4 January 2023,” According to a press release. He was 67 years of age.

It might seem hard for younger readers to believe, but there was a time that computer sound wasn’t guaranteed. If you wanted to plug in headphones or speakers that could do more than bloops or bleeps, you probably needed a sound card — and none were as successful as Creative Labs’ Sound Blaster. As of 2019, its 30th anniversary, Blaster had sold more than 400,000,000 units.

the Few words were more important in the pre-Windows 95/DirectX era of PC gaming than the Form “Sound Blaster compatible,” Allowing players to play together the Barking dogs Wolfenstein 3DOr, you can just mess about with the synthesized voice in Creative’s Dr. Sbaitso demo (you can play it on the web These are the days.

Dr. Sbaitso.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister, The Verge

It was also a huge company in the With its MP3 Player Space, Creative Nomad and Zen players successfully sued Apple for its iPod. obtaining a $100 million settlement.

Success wasn’t immediate. Originally, Sim According to profiles from 1993 and 1994, they set out to create a computer system that could speak. the man at Bloomberg The New York Times. He was the founder Creative Technologies in Singapore in 1981, and yet by 1986 — two years after Steve Jobs let the Macintosh “speak for itself” — the company’s PCs had sold so poorly that he was reportedly down to just a handful of engineers.

The Cubic CT, next to an original Sound Blaster. It was actually the company’s second PC, after the Cubic99 that launched in 1984 that was known as “the first made-in-Singapore personal computer.”

However, they were able to take the initiative. the Cubic CT’s music board to a computer exhibit in the United States the Company found its feet. “The money we made on a few hundred boards was the equivalent to the money we made on the PC,” He told the story the NYT.

Even then the idea hadn’t quite congealed. Creative’s first sound card was sold as the Creative Music System realized before its time that PC gamers would be its greatest audience. In 1987, Sierra On-Line wowed the gaming industry By releasing King’s Quest IV With an actual soundtrack scoreThis is a sound card for early sound cards such as the AdLib and Roland MT32, the Publisher then promoted the PC parts to be sold in its catalog.

Archival image of an ad for the Game Blaster PC Music Board. It reads, in part: Sierra presents Game Blaster by Creative Music Systems. The mid-range music card everyone can afford. A full 12-voice synthesizer, the Game Blaster card easily plugs into any internal slot in your computer. Includes built-in power amplifier, built-in volume control, stereo output and connectors for headphones, external speaker, or your stereo system.

Creative It got in on the action, rebranding their card the “Game Blaster” In 1988 and 1989 the company’s first Sound Blaster created a game port that allows you to connect a joystick. That’s something that PC gamers usually had to buy separately and helped make the Sound Blaster look like an excellent deal over the AdLib.

Sim’s determination made him a rare symbol of Singaporean startup success, as Creative Was the First Singapore Company to Be Listed the Nasdaq stock exchange. In 1994 The New York Times’ Literally, the headline “Entrepreneurial Company Defies Singapore Model,” He went on to write a book called From Chaotic Thoughts the Old Millennium Where he invented a phrase No U-Turn SyndromeTo describe an undercurrent difficulty of becoming an entrepreneur during that time period in Singapore culture.

Razer CEO, and Razer co-founder Min-Liang Tan turned Razer into an Singlish company. took to social media To say that “the tech world and Singapore have lost a legend.” Razer acquired an audio company. the THX was established by George Lucas back in 2016.

Even after PCs began to be able to play quality audio by themselves — every modern consumer motherboard comes with integrated sound — Creative Features like the Sound Blaster Crystallizer, an enhancer of dynamic range. “applies the audio boost (an audible effect) to the lower, transient, and higher frequency regions on demand.”

Image of the Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro sound card with its external box and remote control.

It Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro had its own remote control and was Windows Media Center’s most powerful beast. You could still get a port of the game.

How proud I am to have installed a television. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro What I got out of a desktop gaming computer and how it helped me the time — I ran three game consoles into my PC monitor, using the Card to Handle Sound, I was amazed at the way this gadget converted an optical audio signal from my PlayStation 2 into analog audio that my headphones could hear. Digital 3.5mm Audio for My Boston Acoustics Speakers, 4.1 Surround Sound. the at the same time. (Yes, that’s right. those Gateway pack-in speakers This is the only acceptable way. digital input over a 3.5mm jack the Audigy worked very well.

Creative hasn’t exactly been a household name in recent years, but it still sells popular soundbars like its Sound Blaster Katana speakers, webcams and earbuds. There’s even still a dedicated Sound The Blaster Sound Card is included in the product’s lineup.

And, I hear, the Audigy 2 is still going strong in some people’s PCs.

Update, 8:32PM ET: Additional images and details about the Cubic99, an earlier version Creative computer. Additionally, it is possible to use the internet to learn. this CustomPC interview with Sim from 2019Where he speaks about the In the early days of Michael Jackson was a common name. BrassicGamer’s debunking of some of the things he told CustomPC.