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PCIe sound card recommendation - Page 4

post #46 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Xonar DS and DSX do not come with Dolby, just DTS.

Hold on, they have the Dolby Headphone and decoder pack, and do not have DDL? Say what?
post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


Hold on, they have the Dolby Headphone and decoder pack, and do not have DDL? Say what?

The Xonar DS & DSX have zero Dolby features, no Dolby Digital, no Dolby Pro logic, no Dolby Headphone, no DDL (Dolby Digital live), no Dolby Speaker, etc.

They only come with DTS connect.

post #48 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Xonar DS & DSX have zero Dolby features, no Dolby Digital, no Dolby Pro logic, no Dolby Headphone, no DDL (Dolby Digital live), no Dolby Speaker, etc.
They only come with DTS connect.

Oh. I thought all of the Xonar cards had Dolby Headphone/ Dolby Interactive to counter CMSS. Thank you for the information - it will be filed away. smily_headphones1.gif
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


Oh. I thought all of the Xonar cards had Dolby Headphone/ Dolby Interactive to counter CMSS. Thank you for the information - it will be filed away. smily_headphones1.gif

The Xonar DS(X) cards are the only Xonar cards that do not come with Dolby.

I've heard the DTS is used more in Europe then in the USA.

post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I've heard the DTS is used more in Europe then in the USA.

That's kind of a weird claim, but I don't have any way to assess it's validity. Dolby (AC-3) is more common because it's required by the DVD specification, and is also the standard for digital audio for TV (that's what it was originally developed for), so decoders are very widespread. DTS has only become popular since being more fairly included with Blu-ray (DTS came out after DVD was originally released, so there was no way to put it onto the spec).
post #51 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


That's kind of a weird claim, but I don't have any way to assess it's validity. Dolby (AC-3) is more common because it's required by the DVD specification, and is also the standard for digital audio for TV (that's what it was originally developed for), so decoders are very widespread. DTS has only become popular since being more fairly included with Blu-ray (DTS came out after DVD was originally released, so there was no way to put it onto the spec).

I did not mean that DTS was more popular then Dolby in Europe,

Just that DTS has caught on more in Europe then in the USA.

But it's only what heard 2nd hand.

post #52 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Really dumb question time.
Do you have the optical connected to your motherboard or to the Xonar DSX card?
(hopefully you connected the optical directly to the Xonar DSX)
Did you disable your on-board sound (in the bios).

Optical cable is connected to DSX, but on-board sound is not disabled in BIOS. Nothing is connected to the onboard sound headers, so I figured that was OK. I have the drivers for it installed. Should I go ahead and uninstall those drivers and disable the onboard audio?
Quote:
I don't know on the Xonar, but on the Creative cards (and this is Microsoft's fault, not the cardmakers - again, they did a lot of screwy stuff with the Vista/7 audio stack) you have to enable "play analog mix to digital output" and then set the device to the analog out, enable the encoder in the card's drivers if needed. Basically bypass the Windows control panel in the process.

Xonar thing doesnt have anythign like that. its OK, I made sure most of the crap is working and tonight i'll fire up skyrim and see if I cant get regular headphone, dolby headphone (on the reciever), and DTS Interactive (on soundcard) working in-game.

Do you think its possible to apply the Dolby Headphone DSP processing and pass it through optical output to an external DAC? if not, I can live with not having a use for my DAC, although that is a mighty expensive device to not use. It was only supposed to be 250, but it cost me closer to 500 because I used the wrong (acid based) flux and essentially destroyed it the first time around before I even finished it.
Quote:
You'd want to set the game to 5.1 or surround sound, set the card to DDL/DTSC (it's all preference, both are HBR lossy), you may be forced to use DDL -or- DH (does the receiver support DH? If so, feed it DDL and then plug into it). The stereo PCM out is easy to do, I would set it to 44.1khz for music though.

How would I use DDL if my sound card doesnt support DDL? I feel like i'd have to set the game to stereo and send it to the receiver, which would then do the dolby headphone thing. The reciever DOES support dolby headphone, but as you said, the sound card doesnt do dolby digital live. So I have no idea how that is supposed to work out now. Input on this would be welcome. I just use PCM 48khz for basically everything because its a pain, but I'll probably ratchet it down to 44.1. Its not like i'll notice a difference.
Quote:
You say that like it's a good thing.

It might not be usually, but its clearly coming in handy in this situation. The subwoofer takes a full range signal in and sends a full range signal out. The subwoofer takes the full range input signal and sends it through its own crossover, so its not like there is no option to control the subwoofer's gain/crossover. The audioengines, however, are still getting a full range signal. I would rather have the A5 and HPM60 producing as much into their full sound range as possible (all the way down to 40-50hz) and only have the subwoofer provide some rumbly bits and sub-bass for the occasional dubstep and such. honestly, the bass reproduction is such that nowadays I have a hard time deciding if the subwoofer is turned on or not, its as if a set of IEM's didnt quite get a proper seal and something is just a tad bit "off" sounding. It works very well for my purposes in this scenario. not a single extra dime was spent and the system works exactly how I wanted it to.
Quote:
Just remember, it will probably downmix Dolby/DTS to stereo in this scenario, and that it's a waste of DSP cycles and huge fidelity downgrade to do this for music. Turn it to stereo at the PC and send PCM out.

Noted. There must be an easy way. Thats why I wanted to do the winamp/wasapi/Asio thing I mentioned. this constant flip flopping back and forth is quite annoying for PCM/DTS mode. Most of the time I'll have it set to PCM 44.1/16 bit.
Quote:
Got an SPL meter?

Nope. but the remote has one built in and is supposedly supposed to automatically level match everything. Unfortunately, between various DSP modes, the levels dont stick. So I have to manually set the levels for every signal type (dolby digital, DTS, logic 7, DTS Neo 6, etc). I couldnt get the automatic remote thing to work, but I did manage to more or less figure out the sound settings and make it work well enough. Rear channels might need a BIT of a db bump, but right now I think everything is more or less perfect. I have rears at +7, fronts at -5, and center at 0. It sounds fairly balanced during DTS effects and such. I'd need a proper DTS test tone disk and an SPL meter like you said to do it the right way, though.

Quote:
There is no "Dolby Headphone encoded signal" - it's a downmix/output processing thing. On the Creative cards, you just set the card to "Headphone" and you get CMSS Headphone, I assume Asus does the same thing into Dolby Headphone. On the receiver, you'd take a 5.1 input and plug in headphones, and it should set it up for you. You don't want both at once (don't feed headphone -> headphone).

Why do you want 24/48? Is this how your music is encoded? I'd also add that there's really not a big fidelity hit (as in I'll wager you can't actually tell them apart) between default 16/48 from Windows and using SRC and whatever "native" mode you pick, so unless the bulk of your content is in one fs/depth, I'd just leave it at a nice happy medium and be done with it. Relocking takes time.

I thought the sound card is what did the encoding and sending of the signal. I guess what will actually happen is that the game has audio files. The audio files will be converted to multichannel PCM or some such multi channel format by the computer. The sound card will then convert that signal to DTS using DTS interactive/DTS Connect and send it over to the reciever. The receiver will realize "hey, 5.1 signal coming in, 2.0 signal going out, what gives" and activate dolby headphone mode.

I guess my thought process was that I might be able to get the reciever to downmix using dolby headphone and send THAT signal over s/pdif to my Gamma 2 F++ as a 2.0 PCM stream with all the DSP effects applied. I guess that isnt possible? or is it not recommended? I'm not sure how the sound quality is coming out of the reciever, or the receiver's headphone amp capabilities.

I tested last night and DTS output works. What I need to do now is make sure to set my card to PCM 44.1 unless I'm about to play a game.

Also, i guess the receiver takes care of everything headphone related, but I have no idea if it can output dolby headphone processed signal over s/pdif. The optical output on the receiver is meant for "cdr and minidisc recorders" so i'm assuming that whatever the receiver is playing is what is going out of that optical port, but I'm not sure if that optical port will be used as a pass through or if it will be used as a post-processed output.
post #53 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post


Optical cable is connected to DSX, but on-board sound is not disabled in BIOS. Nothing is connected to the onboard sound headers, so I figured that was OK. I have the drivers for it installed. Should I go ahead and uninstall those drivers and disable the onboard audio?
Xonar thing doesnt have anythign like that. its OK, I made sure most of the crap is working and tonight i'll fire up skyrim and see if I cant get regular headphone, dolby headphone (on the reciever), and DTS Interactive (on soundcard) working in-game.
Do you think its possible to apply the Dolby Headphone DSP processing and pass it through optical output to an external DAC? if not, I can live with not having a use for my DAC, although that is a mighty expensive device to not use. It was only supposed to be 250, but it cost me closer to 500 because I used the wrong (acid based) flux and essentially destroyed it the first time around before I even finished it.
How would I use DDL if my sound card doesnt support DDL? I feel like i'd have to set the game to stereo and send it to the receiver, which would then do the dolby headphone thing. The reciever DOES support dolby headphone, but as you said, the sound card doesnt do dolby digital live. So I have no idea how that is supposed to work out now. Input on this would be welcome. I just use PCM 48khz for basically everything because its a pain, but I'll probably ratchet it down to 44.1. Its not like i'll notice a difference.
It might not be usually, but its clearly coming in handy in this situation. The subwoofer takes a full range signal in and sends a full range signal out. The subwoofer takes the full range input signal and sends it through its own crossover, so its not like there is no option to control the subwoofer's gain/crossover. The audioengines, however, are still getting a full range signal. I would rather have the A5 and HPM60 producing as much into their full sound range as possible (all the way down to 40-50hz) and only have the subwoofer provide some rumbly bits and sub-bass for the occasional dubstep and such. honestly, the bass reproduction is such that nowadays I have a hard time deciding if the subwoofer is turned on or not, its as if a set of IEM's didnt quite get a proper seal and something is just a tad bit "off" sounding. It works very well for my purposes in this scenario. not a single extra dime was spent and the system works exactly how I wanted it to.
Noted. There must be an easy way. Thats why I wanted to do the winamp/wasapi/Asio thing I mentioned. this constant flip flopping back and forth is quite annoying for PCM/DTS mode. Most of the time I'll have it set to PCM 44.1/16 bit.
Nope. but the remote has one built in and is supposedly supposed to automatically level match everything. Unfortunately, between various DSP modes, the levels dont stick. So I have to manually set the levels for every signal type (dolby digital, DTS, logic 7, DTS Neo 6, etc). I couldnt get the automatic remote thing to work, but I did manage to more or less figure out the sound settings and make it work well enough. Rear channels might need a BIT of a db bump, but right now I think everything is more or less perfect. I have rears at +7, fronts at -5, and center at 0. It sounds fairly balanced during DTS effects and such. I'd need a proper DTS test tone disk and an SPL meter like you said to do it the right way, though.
I thought the sound card is what did the encoding and sending of the signal. I guess what will actually happen is that the game has audio files. The audio files will be converted to multichannel PCM or some such multi channel format by the computer. The sound card will then convert that signal to DTS using DTS interactive/DTS Connect and send it over to the reciever. The receiver will realize "hey, 5.1 signal coming in, 2.0 signal going out, what gives" and activate dolby headphone mode.
I guess my thought process was that I might be able to get the receiever to downmix using Dolby Headphone and send THAT signal over s/pdif to my Gamma 2 F++ as a 2.0 PCM stream with all the DSP effects applied. I guess that isnt possible? or is it not recommended? I'm not sure how the sound quality is coming out of the reciever, or the receiver's headphone amp capabilities.
I tested last night and DTS output works. What I need to do now is make sure to set my card to PCM 44.1 unless I'm about to play a game.
Also, i guess the receiver takes care of everything headphone related, but I have no idea if it can output dolby headphone processed signal over s/pdif. The optical output on the receiver is meant for "cdr and minidisc recorders" so i'm assuming that whatever the receiver is playing is what is going out of that optical port, but I'm not sure if that optical port will be used as a pass through or if it will be used as a post-processed output.

Disable the on-board sound, in the bios, makes it easier for the computer and you.

I personally would also uninstall the on-board audio software, but that is optional.

Set the Audio channel to 6-channel.

I would just leave the sample rate to 96khz, myself.

Analog out set to 5.1 speakers

Enable S/PDIF out and set to DTS Interactive

(the PCM setting is only two channels, same signal as analog 2-channel RCA (red/white) cable)

Leave 7.1 Virtaul speaker shift unchecked

Leave DTS Neo PC unchecked

 

Hopefully with these setting you computer will send all 6 channels of audio to your receiver.

Now when using the computer with the receiver, the receiver will only process in DTS, not Dolby (no Dobly Digital, no Dolby headphone, no Dolby Pro logic, etc.)

Might have to go thru the receiver's "setup" make sure everything DTS is enable.

What make and model receiver is it?


Edited by PurpleAngel - 7/25/12 at 1:08pm
post #54 of 59

A DTS source should not preclude Dolby Headphone processing at all. My SU-DH1 would be significantly less useful if that were the case.

 

Then again, there's no telling how the receiver manufacturer might have set things up...

post #55 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

A DTS source should not preclude Dolby Headphone processing at all. My SU-DH1 would be significantly less useful if that were the case.

Then again, there's no telling how the receiver manufacturer might have set things up...

On newer receivers that I've seen, they will allow Dolby Headphone on any digital multi-input, but I don't know on a case-by-case basis if this is true or not. At the bare minimum, the DTS codec will perform a downmix to 2.0 (it will not just drop channels into oblivion - that ended around 1999).

To the rest:
PurpleAngel covered it, and I apologize for not knowing your card lacks DDL. Your most recent post on the game audio process is right, and the receiver cannot perform DSP and then pass it out to another device (except via it's preouts, and it won't do DH via those). You'll have to use the receiver for this based on Purple's posts though - no DH on the card. That said, getting the DSP from the card out via TOS shouldn't be a problem. Is there something wrong with the receiver's headphone jack that makes it undesirable?

Regarding the sub thing - I'm glad you like how the system sounds. Keep that in mind when reading what comes next. Anyways, in an ideal world, you wouldn't let the speakers drop off into oblivion - you'd have a crossover do it for them, and mix them into the sub more fluidly. The end result is exactly what you're describing though (in other words, what you have done isn't impossible, it just takes a lot of doing versus plugging in a few numbers on an xover).
post #56 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Disable the on-board sound, in the bios, makes it easier for the computer and you.
I personally would also uninstall the on-board audio software, but that is optional.
Set the Audio channel to 6-channel.
I would just leave the sample rate to 96khz, myself.
Analog out set to 5.1 speakers
Enable S/PDIF out and set to DTS Interactive
(the PCM setting is only two channels, same signal as analog 2-channel RCA (red/white) cable)
Leave 7.1 Virtaul speaker shift unchecked
Leave DTS Neo PC unchecked

Hopefully with these setting you computer will send all 6 channels of audio to your receiver.
Now when using the computer with the receiver, the receiver will only process in DTS, not Dolby (no Dobly Digital, no Dolby headphone, no Dolby Pro logic, etc.)
Might have to go thru the receiver's "setup" make sure everything DTS is enable.
What make and model receiver is it?

It is a Harman Kardon AVR-235. I have done as you said and also fiddled with the levels of each channel to get things pretty close to good. There is a very obvious difference between speakers while someone is talking and I spin in circles in-game, but i think the levels are decent enough to where it doesnt really bother me, and as far as the ambient effects and the surround effects (stuff I use to figure out who is killing me from behind) go, that works pretty much perfectly for me, and that was the ultimate goal of this stup. Later on, I plan on replacing the rears with Dayton B652's. The center is actually pretty good, and if i had a way to raise the speakers to the proper physical levels rather than just putting them wherever i could manage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

On newer receivers that I've seen, they will allow Dolby Headphone on any digital multi-input, but I don't know on a case-by-case basis if this is true or not. At the bare minimum, the DTS codec will perform a downmix to 2.0 (it will not just drop channels into oblivion - that ended around 1999).
To the rest:
PurpleAngel covered it, and I apologize for not knowing your card lacks DDL. Your most recent post on the game audio process is right, and the receiver cannot perform DSP and then pass it out to another device (except via it's preouts, and it won't do DH via those). You'll have to use the receiver for this based on Purple's posts though - no DH on the card. That said, getting the DSP from the card out via TOS shouldn't be a problem. Is there something wrong with the receiver's headphone jack that makes it undesirable?
Regarding the sub thing - I'm glad you like how the system sounds. Keep that in mind when reading what comes next. Anyways, in an ideal world, you wouldn't let the speakers drop off into oblivion - you'd have a crossover do it for them, and mix them into the sub more fluidly. The end result is exactly what you're describing though (in other words, what you have done isn't impossible, it just takes a lot of doing versus plugging in a few numbers on an xover).

Yeah, I would much rather do it the proper crossover way. The speakers are designed to reproduce sounds all the way down to 40hz but they are only good at it down to 100 or so, and then they get rather finnicky with it. The subwoofer is pretty great from 100 and downwards, and so Ive played with the subwoofer crossover and made it start coming in around that 100-120hz area and keep going down.

I'll probably have to do some reconfiguring later on once I build a better box for this subwoofer.

As much as i'd like to have the crossover stuff controlled the "right way", people from AV repair shops are quoting me prices like 150 bucks to fix this receiver. Thats what I paid for the whole receiver, and the MSRP when it was brand new was only 550. Not much point in fixing it when I can do things the hard way. I might just need to build a manual crossover or something, its not like I'm incapable of DIY.
post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post

As much as i'd like to have the crossover stuff controlled the "right way", people from AV repair shops are quoting me prices like 150 bucks to fix this receiver. Thats what I paid for the whole receiver, and the MSRP when it was brand new was only 550. Not much point in fixing it when I can do things the hard way. I might just need to build a manual crossover or something, its not like I'm incapable of DIY.

You can actually buy a variable crossover from Behringer for something like $80. Just FYI. You'd have to use an outboard amp for the Pioneer speakers though (you would run AVR preout -> It -> A5s/Sub but if you wanted the Pioneers on there, they'd have to be amp'd separate, because that AVR doesn't have a loop input).
post #58 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

A DTS source should not preclude Dolby Headphone processing at all. My SU-DH1 would be significantly less useful if that were the case.

 

Then again, there's no telling how the receiver manufacturer might have set things up...

I have no real knowledge either way about receivers being able to use Dolby Headphone after have receiving a DTS digital feed.

I was just trying to make my best "guess" to get Shrimants up and running.

post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I have no real knowledge either way about receivers being able to use Dolby Headphone after have receiving a DTS digital feed.
I was just trying to make my best "guess" to get Shrimants up and running.

See if the HK manual has a "functions grid" somewhere in it, that shows which processing modes can co-exist and which cannot (e.g. it certainly won't do DTS + Dolby Digital, but it can probably do Pro Logic + Dolby Digital or things like that).
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