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Topic: Multiple outputs - why  (Read 242 times) previous topic - next topic
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Multiple outputs - why

I am confused as to why there are multiple 'Default Speakers (2-ASUS.... '  in my output

Just curious and for the sake of tidiness -  - Where do these devices live and why are there 2 almost identical ones there?
 One is Exclusive and the other is not.

This seems weird since I have not installed or updated  more than once with this windows install and hence wonder where they came from.

I would have been less concerned but for the fact that the Exclusive does not play certain files .  ..... The simple error is 'cannot play...'. I have not found any common format or bitrate for any that dont play.

All the tracks that do not play with the Exclusive driver, do actually play with the other default Xonar Speakers and they also play with the legacy ASIO component.

The sound of both default Xonar drivers is identical to my ears.

.....although, incidentally,  the ASIO lacks a touch of midrange.  I did not listen all that hard but the Default primary driver sounds a touch duff, which seems strange since I dont think there is a Windows driver for the Xonar. In other words, it should still be the Maxtech drivers working away as primary sound driver - and therefore not be any different to the others.

So the questions are -

How did multiple drivers end up in there? 
Why is one not working properly?
Can I remove the bad one?
And finally - how do drivers end up designated exclusive?

Many thanks

Re: Multiple outputs - why

Reply #1
Chances are this has nothing to do with foobar specifically but with your devices and drivers. So I'm not sure what you are trying to ask.

Foobar most likely simply takes the devices exposed by your operating system and lists them. Surely you don't want that changed? If you want specific ones not shown, you will have to disable or remove those drivers/devices at the system level.

Re: Multiple outputs - why

Reply #2
Ok - the expectation was not necessarily that foobar would be the root cause of all of it but I thought the non playing of some files with the exclusive mode might be partly down to how foobar presents the data to the driver.

Given that  you did not seem to think this was internal I did some more extensive testing.  Perhaps you can answer whether the above applies - or whether this is exclusively a driver problem.

I toggled the windows control panel settings for exclusive use of the sound card since I remembered that it has Exclusive use listed.

Foobar insists on listing digital and speaker options for output irrespective of whether windows has Exclusive turned on or off.

When windows sound control panel has it turned off, foobar does not produce any sound regardless of what file is chosen (when the exclusive driver is selected as output in Foobar).

When tell windows to 'not use this device' and open foobar, sure enough no Xonar devices are displayed in the output options (neither Exclusive or otherwise).  Primary Sound driver does not produce any sound also.

The ASIO driver continues to send data to the card and sound is produced. However it too stops producing sound if the driver is fully disabled in the windows device manager.

All that answers my question of where the Exclusive is set. It does not explain why foobar still lists these exclusive drivers - even when Exclusive is turned off in the Windows control sound panel.   I have no idea whether foobar should sense this or not.

It does not explain why some files will not play when Exclusive is turned on and foobar has the Exclusive driver chosen. I can say for sure that DSD does not work when Exclusive is turned on with this driver. There are definitely some flac files which did not play, and this may be an issue to report to the driver people. Appreciate any thoughts.

All in all, this surprised me because until a year or so ago I had used ASIO and turned off all windows interaction with sound by disabling its use of the device. The big advantage of ASIO was that it ran its own distinct process which was independent of foobar. When doing foobar actions such as sorting or searching the database the sound would continue without problem. Not only that - I could assign an exclusive core on the CPU to ASIO  and even give it 'real time' priority which made it totally bullet proof from other actions on foobar or the computer. I toyed with WASAPI on the suggestion of people on this forum, which seemed to sound fuller in the midrange while not being as clean as ASIO.  

Recently as I gather WASAPI was made redundant with newer versions of foobar I started using neither.

The sound is much fuller in the mid range but I cannot say is truer -  ie Dylan in Freewheeling) sounds as if he is in a regular hard walled/floored room with full reverb - not what you would an engineer to go for intentionally.  

That said, foobar cannot sort or search without breaking seriously breaking up the sound for a second or more while sound is playing. I tend to live with this for what appears to be better sound.  

I would be nice if the sound deliver module for foobar could be kept as a separate process as with the old ASIO.  Clearly foobar is not doing an adequate job of isolating file operations from sound delivery. It would be really good if this could be achieved - somehow.   Does no one else suffer this problem during playback. It would be embarrassing if this was to happen at a public presentation for example.

Re: Multiple outputs - why

Reply #3
Exclusive mode WASAPI was integrated recently. There is no way for it to poll whether Windows has allowed it to output in exclusive mode. Clearly from your report, it just silently fails and foobar has no idea it's not outputting sound.

Re: Multiple outputs - why

Reply #4
Well it is not quite so silent in that precise case - it fails with a 'cannot play' error message. It does not recognize that Exclusive is turned off and thus it should not display the Exclusive output option in foobar when it is off.

Thanks for reminding me that WASAPI was integrated. I dont think I was ever able to use prior WASAPI components as separate windows CPU processes in the way in which the ASIO component permitted. I have no idea whether WASAPI is modular enough to run its own thread (integrated or not), such that file searching and so on can proceed without disturbing the music output, as it currently does.

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