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Topic: Mangling sound according to personal taste (Read 4730 times) previous topic - next topic
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Mangling sound according to personal taste

These tips are based on the following hardware: Sony Vaio FS-115B, Creative SB Live 24 bit External, Sennheiser HD555 headphones. However the advice will be useful for other systems.

[If you are using Creative SB ensure that you are NOT using the equalizer, bass management, DSP effects, CMSS 3D (i.e. all bypassed). 'Headphones' should be selected as Output and should NOT be synchronized with Control Panel]

Configuring Foobar 9.3.1:

(i) Make sure that CD drive settings limit the drive speed.

(ii) Keep Preamp output at 0dB

(iii) Install Kernel Streaming plugin and select as relevant Output Device

(iv) Select Output Format as 24bit

(v) Install Channel Mixer plugin

(vi) Install Crossfeed plugin

(vii) In DP Manager select Resampler (PPHS) and set to 48000 resample rate

(viii) Next Select Equalizer and adjust for best overall tonal balance over a wide range of well recorded and mastered CDs including orchestral and acoustic material. (I have included well known sources as Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, PF's DSOTM, Richard Hickox's recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams A London Symphony, David Daniel's version of Vivaldi's Stabat Mater) When you are happy with the equalization over a range of material, store the setting(s).

(ix) Next add Channel Mixer and Crossfeed to the active DSP chain. The order from top should now be: Resampler, Equalizer, Channel Mixer, Crossfeed.

(x) Now configure Channel Mixer as follows: In General Section select SIX channels. In Upmix Section choose 'Surround' but keep defaults. In Subwoofer Section tick 'Use subwoofer' and select 'All Channels', tick 'Bass redirection' and select 'Leave sub intact'. Select a value 30-55 for Frequency. My choice is 33Hz. In Delays Section tick 'Use delay' and  choose 'Distance' but keep all the values at 0.00. (This shouldn't affect the sound in any way but it seems to!) If you want, you can save the Channel Mixer profile at this stage.

I have found this particulation configuration of Foobar with Channel Mixer (which can obviously be tweaked for different hardware) to provide a sonic stage and rendering which is wide, open, detailed, unmuddied and very marginally forward in presentation.

Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #1
I have found this particulation configuration of Foobar with Channel Mixer (which can obviously be tweaked for different hardware) to provide a sonic stage and rendering which is wide, open, detailed, unmuddied and very marginally forward in presentation.

Interesting !! I have more or less the same hardware. I don't know your precise underlying rationale in choosing these settings in this particular order, but I'll check it out. Thanks.

Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #2
'Headphones' should be selected as Output and should NOT be synchronized with Control Panel]


What difference would that make to sound quality?
That just keeps Sounds and Audio Devices, speaker setup set at what you specify output in Creatives own software...
Also missing Advanced Limiter to kill the clipping.

Some people like to keep music stereo n absolutely hate upmixing to 6 channels...but it depends on the person...

Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #3
Doesn't crossfeed make the sound less wide? It's for headphones, not speakers.

Oh, you are using headphones. Anyway, it's not optimization of quality you're doing, but tailoring the sound to your taste..

Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #4
Wait...Upmix to six channels...To listen through headphones???
Am I missing something or does that look a little wieird?
Never used the crossfeed plugin, Im totally in love with the binaural that I decided to get new headphones and do a little update on Wikipedia...
A lil OT

Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #5
Wait...Upmix to six channels...To listen through headphones???
Am I missing something or does that look a little wieird?

Duh, haven't you heard about the SURROUND SOUND HEADPHONES?
err... i'm not using windows any more ;)


Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #7
I get errors when I try to run 24-bit with Kernel Streaming

Unrecoverable playback error: KS output error: error opening device

Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #8
Duh, haven't you heard about the SURROUND SOUND HEADPHONES?


Yes I have, but if you actually looked at the headphones the OP specified, they arnt surround sound...
So please do a little bit of looking in to next time.

I get errors when I try to run 24-bit with Kernel Streaming

Unrecoverable playback error: KS output error: error opening device


I assume your running a Creative Audigy card?
Check your driver version, resampler settings in Foobar. Do a search, IIRC theres threads here about KS

Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #9
im not understanding the reasoning for many of the tips you have mentioned. IMHO, i think foobar sounds best right out of the box without any DSP's or resampling.
why are you upmixing when youre only listening to 2 channels?
why would you want to upmix even if you had more than 2 channels anyway?
why are you distorting the audio and increasing CPU usage by resampling  to a rate inwhich there is no more musical data than the files you started with?
why are you using the equalizer? are you playing foobar on poor quality equipment? i see your headphones are decent...

edit: heh title raped.

i do strongly agree that the CMSS should be disabled, along with any other type of DSP that will mangle the sound.

Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #10
Quote
why are you upmixing when youre only listening to 2 channels?

No idea
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why would you want to upmix even if you had more than 2 channels anyway?

Its down to the person. I myself do it because i like be surrounded by the music. As I said above people feel differently about this.
Quote
why are you distorting the audio and increasing CPU usage by resampling to a rate

He mentioned resampling since the Creative Audigy works internally at 48000. If the source isnt at this rate then the soundcard resamples this. Creative selected poor quality hardware resamplers to do the job, so most people resample. It is not distorting it...Higher CPU useage yes.
Quote
why are you using the equalizer?

Again its down to the persons tastes. I use equaliser because I like boosting the bass and trebles, leaving mids alone.

Because people dont have similar tastes\setups to you doesnt mean they are wrong.
Quote
edit: heh title raped.

Yeah...

Mangling sound according to personal taste

Reply #11
New title made me laugh. I think he thinks "quality" means "lots of bass and sounds 'better'", instead of "pureness", as such.
err... i'm not using windows any more ;)