1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Bits PC Audio 101

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 12 Sep 2007.

  1. Kipman725

    Kipman725 When did I get a custom title!?!

    Joined:
    1 Nov 2004
    Posts:
    1,753
    Likes Received:
    0
    heh I just got my new card for audio use. An AWE64 gold ISA (for pure stereo cd sound its vastly supirior to the xfi and for midi it's simply no contest)... sits in a pc who's only job is to play music. Foobar + EAC are the best software for tweeking. I will try asio later but I think my card is not having the output resampled so it probobly won't make a differance.
     
  2. OmegaRed59

    OmegaRed59 New Member

    Joined:
    12 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I love the site, but I have some problems with the article.

    First of all, in blind tests no one can reliable tell the difference between quality mp3 songs and lossless. I have read a few articles in magazines/online that show this. If you are encoding your mp3s at a good bitrate with a good ripper, etc. you should have audio that will sound great.

    Next is the recommendation of creative speakers?! How are you planning on convincing people to convert to lossless when you recommend these?

    The other thing is when you diss up-mixing. It is very common in recording and in high end audio equipment to upmix. It just seems that this article was thrown together without enough research.
     
  3. XeroNXS

    XeroNXS New Member

    Joined:
    8 Feb 2007
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    So do I have to uninstall my old sound drivers and then install the asio one or just install it on top?
    I'm using asio4all and the windows speaker symbol is still visible in my taskbar and i can still adjust my volume with that.
    did i do something wrong?
     
  4. David_Fitzy

    David_Fitzy I modded a keyboard once....

    Joined:
    8 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    206
    Likes Received:
    2
    Assuming that the data stays digital. Wouldn't a on board card with digital out to optical receiver work just as well?
     
  5. completemadness

    completemadness New Member

    Joined:
    11 May 2007
    Posts:
    887
    Likes Received:
    0
    Isn't an improvement subjective ...
    Therefore, if you get a better cable, and you believe it sounds better, the cable has made the speaker sound better (Well more specifically the sound)
    bit of a weird way to word it
    Most people would say "unless your speakers have multiple inputs"
    Theoretically - yes
    However, apparently its not so, and even digital data has its problems, i don't quite understand it myself

    Edit
    Oh, and i would have though it would be nice to tell people how to encode with a high rate VBR to MP3, using EAC, considering mp3 is a much more supported format, i think it would have been nice to explain both ways ...
     
  6. victorres2

    victorres2 DONT LOOK FOR THE EASY WAY OUT

    Joined:
    4 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    foobar is better than winmedplayer whether through my 1 in. laptop speakers or my headphones, but definetly better when i play it on my house stereo system the bass is more refined and the highs is crystal clear.
     
  7. Spacecowboy92

    Spacecowboy92 Gettin' Lazy

    Joined:
    10 Apr 2006
    Posts:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd like to say this is a great guide, if not one of the best bit has come out with (there all good though). I dident realise I could get my music sounding this good, and im still working on it. :thumb: And it's good how the poll on the fourm ties in to an actual artical. :)thumb: thumb again)
     
  8. Breach

    Breach Modding in Exile

    Joined:
    20 Jun 2005
    Posts:
    396
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ill have to give lossless a try. Ive been thinking about upgrading my ancient Creative speakers anyway.

    Just thought I would also point out that mp3sparks.com offers FLAC and other lossless formats for download.
     
  9. Bbq.of.DooM

    Bbq.of.DooM Custom User Title

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2005
    Posts:
    1,477
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'd just like to add, speaker cables Can make a difference; I upgraded my setup from 22awg copper to 12awg silver, and they actually sound better; Everyone who hears them says so, without knowledge that I changed the wiring.

    For Foobar, it's truely a pain in the ass to configure, but well worth it. Fooblog and hydrogen audio have some setups and how to use them; it's against the EULA to share the entire setup.
     
  10. Bladestorm

    Bladestorm New Member

    Joined:
    14 Dec 2005
    Posts:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hrm I've now tried two plugins for winamp, the first stutters and sounds odd (the one on the winamp site) another from elsewhere that was reccommended in the comments started working fine after I installed the asio4all drivers, and I'm inclined to say sounds a little bit better, but that said the winamp volume control has stopped functioning, so to some extent it may also just be louder! :D

    I might give foobar a try later to see if I get on better with that.
     
  11. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

    Joined:
    27 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    12,328
    Likes Received:
    55
    You may find a checkbox in the plug-in config to put that right - there is for the Kernel Streaming plug-in.

    edit: nope. I have the same problem with that plugin. Back to Kernel.
     
    Last edited: 13 Sep 2007
  12. outlawaol

    outlawaol Geeked since 1982

    Joined:
    18 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    1,935
    Likes Received:
    65
    Ive never heard of FLAC, but monkey's audio is widely popular, and lossless as well.

    I encode my stuff in 192 mp3 or higher though. Just better compatiblity with stuff and its really hard to hear the difference.

    :)
     
  13. Namusetae

    Namusetae Let's go get our Tinfoil hats

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm usually so lazy with forums and stuff like it since seems that every site has one, but hell just had to register to give thumbs up for this article. I'm bit of audiophile (I love quality sound, but I don't have enough ear to notice smallest possible differences) so this article caught my eye instantly. I have been using foobar for a long time but I had no idea about this stuff and all I can say was that this got seriously a 'WOW!' effect out of me when I was done setting everything up. I instantly noticed the difference and actually had to get up and go set my subwoofer volume levels down a bit since it felt like the windows wanted to drop on the floor. I get a noticeably clearer middle and high sounds and quite manly bass.

    Thank you for these great tips, best article I have seen here this far. Maybe I will comment more articles now that I actually registered, time will tell.
     
  14. Meanmotion

    Meanmotion bleh Moderator

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2003
    Posts:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    12
    I just have to point out one very simple thing. First and foremost, getting decent final output devices (amp/speakers, monitors, headphones) is the single most important thing you can do for your audio. At work, i have crappy onboard sound running through the microscopically thin pass through cables on my keyboard (Enermax Aurora) to a pair of Etymotic Research ER4 earphones and even listening to 192Kbps MP3s I can tell the difference between these and several other expensive headphones.

    After that, just a move up to any discrete audio card will make a marked difference - most noticeable by the lack of interference (no popping and hissing on quiet passages). Then, by using an ASIO driver, you'll probably notice another small improvement. But, it's only at this point that you should even begin to think about moving up to higher bitrate mp3s or FLAC.
     
  15. xion

    xion New Member

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2006
    Posts:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0

    QFT: :thumb:

    People think nothing of splurging £100ish on a discrete soundcard, and still using aged speaker system. or possibly worse spending another £100ish on a 7.1 UBERBASSBOOST system... do the math people, that £12.50 worth of earbleeding UBERBASS per speaker! :p
     
  16. maha_x

    maha_x New Member

    Joined:
    12 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    The point of this arcticle (one of them) was that even when the digital audio gets loaded from the HDD and sent to your soundcard, it's allready being messed with by windows etc. ASIO bypasses this ensuring you get the sound exactly in it's original form (be it MP3, flac etc.)
     
  17. zeflash

    zeflash New Member

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I tried the kernel streaming plugin in foobar, it indeed sounded a lot better - crispier on the high freq.
    But I like to have all my library in WMP11 - so I searched a bit and found out that Reclock enables you to override the directsound output with a kernel streaming output - and voilà! kernel streaming in WMP too :)

    Side question: I always wondered about electrical consumption differences between a simple PC speaker system and an actual amp. I know most hifi amps are sucking power whenever they're on, no matter what is output. Is that the same for a PC speaker system? I kinda always leave the sound on when I work on my comp - for sound notifications about emails, IMs, etc.
    But sucking down more watts for silence puts me off. Anyone knows?
     
  18. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

    Joined:
    27 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    12,328
    Likes Received:
    55
    The vast majority of domestic amps are Class A/B with power consumption roughly proportional to the sound level. With no signal the idle current is usually under 50mA. PC speaker/amps are often Class B using even less on idle.

    Only a Class A amp is "sucking (a lot of) power whenever they're on, no matter what its output" and if you don't know, you haven't got one. ;)

    One thing bothering me with all this ASIO crap hype - nobody at the development or pro-user end makes any claim it sounds better. The purpose is so you can do a karaoke act with your PC backing track without so much processing lag on your vocal or instrumental input. It's an alternative driver with low latency to help sound engineers mix tracks, not some "better" method for general listening. The audiophool element are seeing the Emperor's new clothes. :lol:
     
  19. webchimp

    webchimp New Member

    Joined:
    9 Oct 2002
    Posts:
    504
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you want really good quality sound from a PC, forget the internal soundcard all together, use ASIO and a USB enabled external DAC, some say that uncompressed WAV files, played via USB to a DAC can rival some of the best CD transports. There are now a fair few on the market including those from fairly inexpensive computer brand manufacturers, DIY kits and megabucks "Hi-Fi" brands, here are a few:

    http://www.stereo-link.com/Static/Products-G.html
    http://www.wavelengthaudio.com/usbdac.html
    http://www.perreaux.com/product.php?idp=52
    http://www.hagtech.com/chime.html
    http://www.aqvox.de/products.html
    http://www.belcantodesign.com/prod_eOneDAC3.html
    http://diyparadise.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=62
     
  20. RTT

    RTT #parp

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2001
    Posts:
    14,120
    Likes Received:
    74
    Couldn't agree more :)
     
Tags: Add Tags

Share This Page