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Is ASIO necessary?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Would ASIO make any difference on an Xfi without an external DAC? I've read that it would improve the sound when using an external DAC, but I don't know if it will without one.
post #2 of 37
Of course it will, audible is up to your ears. Main purpose of ASIO (for our purposes) is to bypass Windows' audio scheme and send the signal directly to the hardware.
post #3 of 37
can't tell the difference between DS and ASIO with my emu 0404 usb on hd595s. Is that weird?
post #4 of 37
Not at all. The different between Directsound and ASIO/KS is negligible in the majority of instances, and may at best provide very subtle changes. It's not uncommon on many systems to not notice a difference at all. That being said, there can be some advantages to using Kernel Streaming (i.e. it's louder, so if you're running, say, speakers with an SET amp or T-amp or some lower wattage amp you can get a little more volume out of it). I dunno if this is the same for ASIO.
post #5 of 37
On my system, ASIO is extremely beneficial. ASIO4ALL was great at the time I used it, but native ASIO 2.0 is better. My equipment doesn't seem to be compatible with Kernel Streaming.
post #6 of 37
I've noticed that ASIO is lounder than DS on my system. To me, DS seemed kinda blurred compared to ASIO, but it could have been the lower volume fooling me.
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
On my system, ASIO is extremely beneficial. ASIO4ALL was great at the time I used it, but native ASIO 2.0 is better. My equipment doesn't seem to be compatible with Kernel Streaming.
I think it varies quite a bit between different setups. In my system, I didn't notice a difference, but I still use it (KS in this instance, not ASIO) for the "why not" factor. I do notice a slight difference with my speakers as opposed to my headphones, however. I do like Kernel Streaming more despite its glitchiness due to the lower latency/CPU usage. It's really not much a difference to me, however. My speakers are powered by a t-amp though, and when watching movies Winamp->KS helps give a little more oomph in the explosions
post #8 of 37
On pro sound cards such as those from EMU, Juli@, select M-audio, etc... asio will make very little if any audible difference in sound. On consumer or gamer sound cards (like the x-fi), asio makes an audible difference, probably because it bypasses all the dsp processing in the card, stuff that is just built in and cant normally be disabled.
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by 003 View Post
On pro sound cards such as those from EMU, Juli@, select M-audio, etc... asio will make very little if any audible difference in sound. On consumer or gamer sound cards (like the x-fi), asio makes an audible difference, probably because it bypasses all the dsp processing in the card, stuff that is just built in and cant normally be disabled.
interesting...thanks for the info...i always thought that a better quality dac (sound card) would make the difference bigger for asio. Can anyone expand on why this is?

yes asio does give a volume increase, but that doesn't matter cause my emu 0404 usb headphone knob usually never goes pass 12 o clock (usually around 8 or 2 when i'm drunk and listening to harder music hehe)

edit: also DS uses less cpu than asio, which is an issue for me cause i get cracks and pops when i surf the internet (my laptop ain't up to handeling winamp (flacs) to emu 0404)
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian loves music View Post

edit: also DS uses less cpu than asio, which is an issue for me cause i get cracks and pops when i surf the internet (my laptop ain't up to handeling winamp (flacs) to emu 0404)
I was getting a lot of pops as well on my Pico, until I followed this guide for ASIO4All..
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by apnk View Post
I was getting a lot of pops as well on my Pico, until I followed this guide for ASIO4All..
emu 0404 is asio compatable. no reason to use asio4all, i've been told many times in these forums.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian loves music View Post
emu 0404 is asio compatable. no reason to use asio4all, i've been told many times in these forums.
Oh yeah, I didn't really notice what sound card you were talking about. That's weird.
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by apnk View Post
I was getting a lot of pops as well on my Pico, until I followed this guide for ASIO4All..
That guide should be stickied, IHMO.

I find that ASIO gives more clarity and neutrality to the music as compared to ouputing to DS. Could all be in my head, but I'm going to stick with it never-the-less
post #14 of 37
What I noticed with my auzen prelude...

Kmixer sounds awful. Thats a given. Very flat sounding. Sounds very offensive to the ears almost as though it's immediately fatiguing. I haven't used kmixer with music in over a year and listening to it now I can immediately hear it's bad qualities.

foobar with it's built in resampler set to 48khz sounds decent. I used this back when I had my AV-710.

KS enabled in foobar while in Audio Creation Mode, with bit perfect enabled, doesn't sound very good. Similar fatiguing affect to kmixer. A bit difficult to describe but I get the same feeling as when I hear a very high frequency noise. So it's similar to kmixer in that regard. It's not that the audio is brighter or anything. There's just a strange offensive ambiance to the sound. When I switch back to Entertainment Mode with KS enabled it sounds good again.


I'm using Auzen ASIO right now and I'm not sure what to think of it. Seems to sound richer than KS. I've just read that KS doesn't change the sample rate, on the fly, while ASIO does. This could explain why it seems to sound very slightly richer and more natural.

This is all very easy to do on the fly in foobar BTW. Very easy to test and hear the differences.
post #15 of 37
nothing's necessary

but if your card can handle it, and it doesn't give such a big performance hit, why not?

maybe not now, but as your ears become trained, your equipment becomes more resolving you may notice it. if not it's doing no harm
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