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Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

      I'm using  ASIO to play FLAC's in foobar, because I want to bypass all Windows audio and have the audio go directly to my audio card (ASUS Xonar Essence STX).   This works great with all regular (44K) FLAC files - and is audibly cleaner than anything using the Windows sound path (Including WASAPI, which doesn't bypass Windows).     I'm getting fantastic, clean audio.

      The problem is in trying to play Hi - Bitrate files:   They play very slowly - like a record on a too-slow wrong speed.  
(That's the best way I can describe it).   

      I just upgraded to foobar 1.4.1, and now it is playing 96K files, but higher bitrate files still play slow.

      I'm thinking this is a foobar problem, because all bitrates will play OK in another player ( AIMP3 ), which is using the same ASIO driver.

     Any guidance on this would be appreciated, thanks.
    

Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #1
Actually, WASAPI-Exclusive DOES bypass the Windows mixer;  WASAPI-Shared does not.  Foobar uses Exclusive mode in event or push when using the foo_out_wasapi plugin.  Shared mode can be added with Case's foo_out_wasapis plugin.

As far as your problem with ASIO, are you using your card's own ASIO drivers or something like Asio4All?  Does your card itself support all the rates your files are using on a hardware level?  I'm not familiar enough with ASIO to offer advice, just asking some preliminary questions that will help others who are and hopefully they can provide further suggestions.

 

Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #2
Actually, WASAPI-Exclusive DOES bypass the Windows mixer;  WASAPI-Shared does not.  Foobar uses Exclusive mode in event or push.  Shared mode can be added with Case's foo_out_wasapis plugin.

As far as your problem with ASIO, are you using your card's own ASIO drivers or something like Asio4All?  Does your card itself support all the rates your files are using on a hardware level?  I'm not familiar enough with ASIO to offer advice, just asking some preliminary questions that will help others who are and hopefully they can provide further suggestions.
       I've tried all the WASAPI modes available in Foobar - all use the Windows mixer, so not sure what you're saying about that.
And, as I said above, another player (AIMP3), will play all bitrates - and it uses the same ASIO driver

Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #3
       I've tried all the WASAPI modes available in Foobar - all use the Windows mixer, so not sure what you're saying about that.
And, as I said above, another player (AIMP3), will play all bitrates - and it uses the same ASIO driver

I'll have to leave it to others to comment on Foobar's WASAPI performance, I just know that the API itself allows bit-exact output when in Exclusive mode.

By "..play all bitrates", aren't you referring to FLAC sample rate not bitrate (you mentioned 96k)?  In any case, good luck with this and I'm sure someone here will post a helpful reply.



Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #4
By "..play all bitrates", aren't you referring to FLAC sample rate not bitrate (you mentioned 96k)?  In any case, good luck with this and I'm sure someone here will post a helpful reply.
        Yes,   and thank you for replying to me.

Actually, WASAPI-Exclusive DOES bypass the Windows mixer;  WASAPI-Shared does not.  Foobar uses Exclusive mode in event or push when using the foo_out_wasapi plugin. 
   
      Just to be certain, I re-tried this again:
   Using the latest (3.3) foo_out_wasapi plugin,   Either WASAPI mode definitely does not bypass the Windows audio. 
 The Windows volume control is working in either mode, so it is not being bypassed - when using ASIO it has no effect.


Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #5
WASAPI of course can't bypass Windows audio as it's API for Windows Audio Session. The exclusive mode however will bypass Windows mixer that can resample and mix multiple sources together. That doesn't mean volume can't be adjusted. You can make ASIO drivers that listen to audio session volume settings too and adjust with them.

ASIO won't sound any different than any other output methods if your volume settings are identical. They will all be just as clean.

Edit: AIMP seems to resample everything to a common samplerate so even poor ASIO drivers can work. You can achieve the same in foobar2000 by activating a resampler DSP.

Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #6
ASIO won't sound any different than any other output methods if your volume settings are identical. They will all be just as clean.
         
 OK, maybe I was just hearing volume differences - I will try WASPI for awhile and see....

Edit: AIMP seems to resample everything to a common samplerate so even poor ASIO drivers can work. You can achieve the same in foobar2000 by activating a resampler DSP. 
           This makes sense because, although AIMP plays high samplerates - the sound is not as clean as foobar.
        
         Thank you !

Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #7
Proof?

Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #8
I dunno, I know it the rules and all, but I always consider the FB2K sub-forum to be more of an entity on its own, where a lot of people end up who don't participate in the rest of the forum (like myself), and might not be aware of the staunchly enforced laws against subjective perception. Just sayin'... ;)


Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #10
Not good enough according to the TOS:

Quote
TOS 8. All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims.  Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings.  Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.

It's one of the saddest things about this place, IMO, but it is what it is and you clicked you'd agree to it when you signed up here. ;)

Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #11
It's one of the saddest things about this place, IMO, but it is what it is and you clicked you'd agree to it when you signed up here. ;)
But I abhor the company of people who rate everything subjectively. I want to see everything expressed in cold objectivity.

I also don't review things, that requires sharing my subjective opinion of something. My opinions may be objectively wrong, too. I will state whether I am familiar with a given piece of art, music, software, game, etc. I may even state whether I liked or disliked it in no uncertain terms. I have tended to stop doing that for the most part, however, as there are an awful lot of people who will tell me exactly why my opinion is wrong, also in no uncertain terms.


Re: Hi-Bitrate ASIO playback

Reply #13
There is no room for subjectivity in output method or audio player quality comparisons. Output from ASIO or WASAPI or DirectSound can be recorded and measured and it is a simple thing to prove if something is different or identical. ASIO and WASAPI Exclusive should be bit-identical unless someone has made an error. DirectSound and WASAPI Shared can show a bit larger differences depending on multiple factors. If signal for example clips they will automatically lower its amplitude instead of clipping. Resampling/dithering will introduce some inaudible differences to the least significant bits. These are (or should be) over 100 dB quieter than the signal so no one should be able to hear them. Only exception that comes to mind is playback of ultrasonic signals. Those will show audible distortion if one tries to play them back as is but resampling to sane 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz will filter the distortion away.

Record the output if you think something sounds different and show the measurements. If they show a difference we can start figuring out what causes it.

And I don't think TOS8 applies to hosted forums and the text in it is only valid for lossy codec testing anyway. With lossless material and audio output the correct way to go is to measure the output and look at the bits. Not listening as ears suck and won't be able to tell even relatively huge problems. Or alternatively placebo runs its course and makes one hear things that aren't there.

 
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