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Is DirectSound as good as ASIO or KS?

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
Does it bypass the Kmixer also? I don't see many people recommending DirectSound and I was just wondering why.
post #2 of 100
Unfortunately the answer is sometimes. It depends a lot on the hardware you're using and whether or not what you're listening to uses multiple streams or not.

I'm no expert, but for simple non-resampled cd/music file playback I think you're just using 1 stream, in which cast I don't think it bypasses the kmixer.

Also, a lot of audiophile-grade sound cards don't have any directsound acceleration features in hardware so I don't believe they can bypass kmixer at all via directsound.
post #3 of 100
No, it goes through KMixer which resamples everything to 48kHz.
post #4 of 100
Which still sounds the same as using ASIO to my ears. I messed about with all this ASIO, Kmixer and trying various sample rates etc. and in the end I decided just leave well enough alone and enjoy the music. 48khz is computer audio standard and much less hassle if you just leave it at that.
post #5 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkweg View Post
48khz is computer audio standard and much less hassle if you just leave it at that.
Is this comment ignorant, arrogant or both?

And you can bypass kmixer with DS if you unmap and disable audio features of you sound card in control panel.

The disadvantage is that it will only play sound through foobar2000.
post #6 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
Is this comment ignorant, arrogant or both?

And you can bypass kmixer with DS if you unmap and disable audio features of you sound card in control panel.

The disadvantage is that it will only play sound through foobar2000.
Winamp via plugin.
post #7 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundChasr View Post
Does it bypass the Kmixer also? I don't see many people recommending DirectSound and I was just wondering why.
The answer is maybe, provided certain conditions are met, details here...
I've had no problem getting bit perfect playback with direct sound on XP 32 bit machines provided your sound device/driver doesn't resample to 48khz in hardware/software. You can verify bit perfect playback with a DTS wave file from here. However, if your sound device doesn't decode DTS you'll need to send the signal via SPDIF to a HT processor or receiver to test.
post #8 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
Is this comment ignorant, arrogant or both?
Read this and then go sit in a corner.

PC Recording Studios for Dummies - Google Book Search

Even EMU will tell you 48khz is PC standard. It says so right in the fooking manual for the EMU 0404 USB. If I want to use any other sample rate besides 48khz I have to go messing with settings for both soundcrad driver and the media player. At 48khz you don't. That's because it is the PC standard! In that link above I posted it says 48khz is the most common standard for pro audio gear too.
post #9 of 100
Some info on Kmixer and when it does and does not perform sample rate conversion, HERE...
post #10 of 100
The fact that a PC does default to 48Khz is not a very useful piece of information on its own when you are looking for the best playback quality.

The other question is what material do you want to play. CDs are in 16/44.1 format, so playing these streams at a different sample rate requires resampling which often degrades fidelity.

Given the right playback software and a matching soundcard there is no fiddling required to match the sample rate of the sourcre material with the output rate of a sound card.

Vista has made this harder but you can still use WASAPI, kernel streaming, or ASIO to bypass all conversions by the operating system.

I have been using Jriver Media Center with an M-audio sound card in ASIO mode for many years and that works perfectly for playing back arbitrary source material at its native rate to the sound card. With all the 24/96 hires material becoming available you will definitely not want to lock your playback rate to 48Khz.

Happy new year.

Thomas
post #11 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlinWerks View Post
Some info on Kmixer and when it does and does not perform sample rate conversion, HERE...

Sample rate conversion is one function kmixer performs the other is volume control. Unfortunately kmixer changes the bits in volume control stage even if the volume is set to 100%.

kernel streaming, WASAPI on Vista, and ASIO are the easy way out.

Cheers

Thomas
post #12 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaspf View Post
The fact that a PC does default to 48Khz is not a very useful piece of information on its own when you are looking for the best playback quality.

The other question is what material do you want to play. CDs are in 16/44.1 format, so playing these streams at a different sample rate requires resampling which often degrades fidelity.
Hi Thomas, and Happy New Year to you too.

It may not be very useful info, I was just pointing out that it is less hassle when you just leave everything at 48khz. I have to disagree with you about the sound quality though. I've tried all the various sampling rates and don't hear an improvement by using 44.1khz over 48khz. If there is a difference it is such a negligible difference that it is not worth the hassle to screw around with my settings for. Some say 88.2 sounds better than 44.1 and then someone else will say 96khz sounds better. Who is telling the truth? Not calling anyone a liar but IMO no one is and it is just a placebo effect. DVD is 48khz and not 44.1 so leaving it at default of 48k is just more convenient all around for me. YMMV.

@Andrew WOT, if you want to flame me then I suggest you do it via PM and not in public because next time I will report you to a mod for making personal attacks. I am especially hostile to unfounded flames based on your misinterpretation of my posts here at headfi.
post #13 of 100
Vista: Yes
XP: No
post #14 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaspf View Post
Sample rate conversion is one function kmixer performs the other is volume control. Unfortunately kmixer changes the bits in volume control stage even if the volume is set to 100%.

kernel streaming, WASAPI on Vista, and ASIO are the easy way out.

Cheers

Thomas
How do I use this WASAPI on Vista? I see XMplay has a plugin for it but I use MediaJukebox because I don't like media library function in XMplay.
post #15 of 100
directsound on vista is ok with me.. i'd run asio or kernel streaming but i need my alarm clock to work
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