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Windows vs. Linux, is it just me or do they sound different?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I recently installed a Linux distro on my laptop and found a difference in quality of the audio compared to Windows. Even the digital out to my uDac sounded more open and detailed with clearer separation in the mid range. 

 

This was surprising because I do use asio4all along with Foobar to do bitperfect to the uDac in windows, however I honestly hear little or no difference when using asio4all.

 

Anyone else hear a difference in the digital output of Linux vs Windows?

 

I use Fedora with Banshee or Rhythmbox audio players.

 

 

post #2 of 7

I use Banshee with Ubuntu 11.04/64 and I like the sound.

post #3 of 7

I have been experimenting with the ASIO4all in Adobe Audition CS5.5 and measuring sine waves (with an analog bell and howell schools oscilloscope) at different frequencies to see how they compare to my laptops MME. The difference is minimal, but the asio makes the peak to peak voltage go up by about 40 percent. So the output is way louder. I also see a difference in distortion (less of it) at 20kHz if you resample at 48khz in the settings of the asio. It is mainly for people who want to get rid of latency if you like to play instruments through your computer and recording and such, so it doesnt take a half of a second to hear the music when you start playing. It (ASIO) will get the latency (delay) down to 4msec or a little more in the best of conditions. I've always wanted to use linux but never tried it.    


Edited by Megaohmz - 9/17/11 at 12:00am
post #4 of 7

The uDAC is known to distort with 0 dBFS signals (maximum digital volume level) by design. ASIO turns the system volume all the way up, so maybe you're hearing artifacts from digital clipping. This is easy to check by disabling ASIO, and lowering Windows system volume.

post #5 of 7

Yea, but my sine waves are still round at the peaks, so it the noise is from the DAC in the ASIO4all program. The noise is between the peaks and appear as sort of ghost sine waves that turn on and off periodically, as well as permanent sinewve fixtures within the actual stucture of the multiple sinewaves. You can see this happen at random and it is not my cables or connections. The noise appears different in appearance than my MME, but equally "disturbing" visually. I guess the code determines what the noise will look and sound like. I guess you have to use your ears to see which one you like better. It is still up in the air for me which one is better in my setup. I will post an extensive thread with pictures after my experiments are done. I will even use VST plugins to see how they fare with noise and sound artifacts along with the built in EQs on Adobe Audition CS5.5.

 

I just ran a multitrack with multiple sinewave frequencies at 20kHz, 18kHz, 10kHz, and 5kHz at the same time. I turned them all on, then turned one off, then another, and watched my o-scope as I did this. The noise happened mostly when I had multiple frequencies playing at once. If I played one freq the noise is very small almost undetectable, at any freq.

 

Thanks for the tip on the volume thing by the way. I didn't know that ASIO turned the vol all the way up. It is really cool too see the sinewaves get bigger in steps on my oscope since the volume is "digital" in nature. I dont know where the asio gets all the extra current from, but 40% Vi p-p hike is pretty substantial.  

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Modo View Post

The uDAC is known to distort with 0 dBFS signals (maximum digital volume level) by design. ASIO turns the system volume all the way up, so maybe you're hearing artifacts from digital clipping. This is easy to check by disabling ASIO, and lowering Windows system volume.



Admittedly, nothing in my system is reference quality at the moment, but I can't hear a difference between ASIO and the uDac drivers aside from a moderate increase in volume. The uDac has always sounded a little weak to me but on Linux I found the mids open and detailed as opposed to compressed and strained under Windows.

post #7 of 7

In Linux you can specify hw: or plughw: for the audio device.
In the latter case, it might be that all audio is resampled.
Try hw:

 

 

 

 

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