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perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

hi everyone!

what are the recommened output settings for the Audigy 2 (player) to achieve perfect (optimum) audio quality ?
I´m running WinXP Prof. & SP1, card is connected to a stereo hifi setup (via analog out).

should i use ASIO,Dsound,KS or WaveOut ?
and at what resolution ? (16,24,32 bit)

i tried to find info by browsing through related topics, but what i found there confused me even more



aight.
  thanx
      Dr.Calcium

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #1
If you can't hear the difference, does it really matter what the "optimum" is?

But your best bet is probably 24bit fixed point SirectSound Output.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #2
Well, he may not be able to tell any difference in his settings right away, but perhaps after listening for a while he'd be able to tell.  He probably just wanted to skip the trial and error and ask the people who have a lot more experience and knowledge.  There are a lot of settings that can affect the quality, after all, and he could spend weeks going through them all to see which ones he enjoyed the most--or he could just ask a question here and wait a couple of hours.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #3
If KS doesn't crash or bug on your com, use KS. But ONLY if it doesn't crash or bug.
If it does, use DirectSound, as it is much more stable, though I use the equally competent WaveOut out of personal preference. DirectSound is recommended by the experts here though, especially if you're using Win 2k/XP.

Why KS? It is TOTALLY independent of the system mixer. Im not sure about ASIO though, someone else would have to answer.

The Audigy cards (1 and 2) have a resampling issue i.e. they resample all imputs to 48 KHz before processing them. Whilst the Audigy2 has very good resampling drivers, if you want arguably better resampling than even that, you can use FB2k's SSRC resampler; set it to resample to 48 kHz, and with 32-bit internal precision. DO NOT enable slow mode or use 64-bit internal precision or both, UNLESS you are absolutely nuts about audio quality; even then, 99.999% of the time you will not hear any difference at all. (If you're going to use those settings anyway for that 'warm fuzzy feeling', you better not make it known in this forum or people will bay for your blood.)
If you use FB's resampler, please DO NOT complain that your CPU usage goes up.

Note: I recalled reading that the Audigy2 has 2 other native sample modes. I don't know about them OR whether they are better than 48 kHz. You gotta ask someone else.

In the DSP dialog box, you should arguably have 3 DSPs on. In order of priority, Resampler, Advanced Limiter, Attenuator. Stuff like surround or 4-point speaker DSPs should be placed after Advanced Limiter (I think).
(Important: Read the short clarification about DSP priority by Case a few posts below.)

If you're listening to normal CDs, use 16-bit output with the recommended dither settings. Of course, turn dither on. But if the recommended setting (strong ATH) seems to 'colour' the sound (That's how AstralStorm puts it), use the soft ATH setting.

Last thing. Replaygain your files to make sure they are not clipping. That should be all, I think.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #4
Quote
In the DSP dialog box, you should arguably have 3 DSPs on. In order of priority, Resampler, Advanced Limiter, Attenuator. Stuff like surround or 4-point speaker DSPs should be placed after Advanced Limiter (I think).

Limiters should always be last in DSP chain.

Quote
Last thing. Replaygain your files to make sure they are not clipping. That should be all, I think.

If ReplayGain and only standard DSPs (like volume control) are used there's no need for Advanced Limiter, ReplayGain has option to prevent clipping.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #5
Oh ok. Thanks a lot Case. That means only 2 DSPs now.
Heheh, this is the second time you corrected me.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #6
Quote
If it does, DirectSound is more stable, but more annoying, while WaveOut should still be almost as good as DirectSound but without the irritating way DirectSound works.

May I ask what's so "annoying" about DirectSound ?

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #7
Quote
Quote
If it does, DirectSound is more stable, but more annoying, while WaveOut should still be almost as good as DirectSound but without the irritating way DirectSound works.

May I ask what's so "annoying" about DirectSound ?

i thought
win9x/me NT4 = WAVEOUT
win2k/xp = DIRECTSOUND

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #8
Quote
i thought
win9x/me NT4 = WAVEOUT
win2k/xp = DIRECTSOUND

Most of the time, yes. Though win2k/xp waveOut doesn't really do anything wrong, it just doesn't seem to be able to use hardware mixing on any of my machines.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #9
Quote
May I ask what's so "annoying" about DirectSound ?

Hmm I stated it once in an informal FAQ before.

DirectSound is purported to be independent of the Wave mixer (at least that's the impression I got), but it is really only 'a slider within a slider'. That means that system sounds will always sound louder, or at least equal, to the sound coming from an audio software using Directsound.

Like for example, if the Wave slider is set to 50%, the system sound outputs at 50%. If the internal volume of the audio software is set to 50% with DirectSound as output, the resultant output is only at 25%. Imagine playing a quiet, serene classical piece when tada.wav blasts out of your speakers.

That's why I use KS, and thankfully KS never (or at least i think never) crashes my com.

I think I got the mistaken idea about DirectSound's 'independence' while reading your documentation about your official Winamp DirectSound plugin back then. It worked very well, except for that. If there were no KS I'd be using WaveOut or OpenAL.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #10
I don't see anything annoying about DirectSound obeying global system volume settings; if you don't want system sounds to interrupt you, then either disable them or get second soundcard.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #11
Well, I want my system sounds on. And a second soundcard...well, if I wanted a second soundcard I'll get a good one, and I don't have money for a good one.
I already found a solution, which is KS (or OpenAL or WaveOut), so that doesn't matter anymore.
But if my advisory post may give people the wrong impression about DirectSound, well, it can be easily modified by a mod (erm, pun not really intended).

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #12
Just a couple of things:

Quote
Whilst the Audigy2 has very good resampling drivers...

I'd say that Audigy2 resampling is still not very good.

Quote
But if the recommended setting (strong ATH) seems to 'colour' the sound (That's how AstralStorm puts it), use the soft ATH setting.


Dither does not color the sound, just adds a tiny amount of noise, not audible under usual listening conditions, and even less if you use the strong ATH dither. Playing silence with strong ATH dither, I can't hear anything at my speakers even with the amp volume knob at max.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #13
Quote
Just a couple of things:

I'd say that Audigy2 resampling is still not very good.

Dither does not color the sound, just adds a tiny amount of noise, not audible under usual listening conditions, and even less if you use the strong ATH dither. Playing silence with strong ATH dither, I can't hear anything at my speakers even with the amp volume knob at max.

Ok. Points noted.
Does it mean that if I do want better audio quality (whether audible or not), I should use FB's SSRC?

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #14
Yes, the fb2k SSRC resampler is as good as anything you'll get in a soundcard driver. At least you know it's good, though artificial samples like udial.flac can help verify how good various setting are (don't turn it up so loud you blow your tweeters!) and verify there's no clipping or non-linearity in your system. You should find that 32-bit and fast mode work extremely well, but slow mode is theoretically better (but a resource hog). I've not found a case where 64-bit mode produces a difference.

I believe the Audigy driver's default resampling quality varied with different releases and operating systems. For example, a Win 98 OS defaulted to  fast resampling (very low quality), while I believe Win XP drivers default to a higher quality with some degree of anti-alias filtering.

perfect f2k settings for Audigy 2 ?

Reply #15
Quote
Quote
But if the recommended setting (strong ATH) seems to 'colour' the sound (That's how AstralStorm puts it), use the soft ATH setting.


Dither does not color the sound, just adds a tiny amount of noise, not audible under usual listening conditions, and even less if you use the strong ATH dither. Playing silence with strong ATH dither, I can't hear anything at my speakers even with the amp volume knob at max.

Sld, the dither really coloured the sound, but that was a bug, which is fixed for a long time.
ruxvilti'a

 
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