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Soundcard says 24bit, not an option in Win7 control panel

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have a 24bit / 96KHz external soundcard. When I install the drivers (ASIO), it installs a control panel that tells me it's in 24bit mode. However, Windows 7 control panel tells me 24bit is not an option. From my understanding, 24bit is not compatible with windows and can only be used in ASIO mode and not DirectSound.

 

So essentially setting Musicbee to use the ASIO driver with my external soundcard is the only way to get my music in actual 24bit playback?

 

Is this really necessary for music files or would it be in my best interest to switch my external control panel settings to 16bit to match Windows 7? It seems to me like the mismatch in control panel settings is irrelevant since Windows is clearly using 16bit.

 

I listen to a combination of flac, wav, 320 mp3, and lower quality MP3s.

 

 

 

Thanks for any clarification.

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltmod View Post
 

I have a 24bit / 96KHz external soundcard. When I install the drivers (ASIO), it installs a control panel that tells me it's in 24bit mode. However, Windows 7 control panel tells me 24bit is not an option. From my understanding, 24bit is not compatible with windows and can only be used in ASIO mode and not DirectSound.

 

So essentially setting Musicbee to use the ASIO driver with my external soundcard is the only way to get my music in actual 24bit playback?

 

Is this really necessary for music files or would it be in my best interest to switch my external control panel settings to 16bit to match Windows 7? It seems to me like the mismatch in control panel settings is irrelevant since Windows is clearly using 16bit.

 

I listen to a combination of flac, wav, 320 mp3, and lower quality MP3s.

 

 

 

Thanks for any clarification.

 

Which W7 control panel are you referring to?

 

You should have mentioned the model of your ext. audio interface.

 

Anyway, there's no reason for to use 24-bit resolution in playback with 16-bit sources.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Win 7 Control Panel > sound > device properties > advanced > Default Format

 

My crappy computer at work has the default option as 24 bit / 44.1.

 

I found a thread about this whole topic and it seems 24bit does nothing for playback.

 

Quote:
 16 bit has a dynamic range of 120db. That means that it can go from silent to deafening (literally) in 65536 steps. Which is once again the full level a human can hear.

24 bit has a dynamic range of 144db which is beyond the dynamic range of human hearing.
When recording audio at 16 bit, to get the full dynamic range people generally set the loudest part of the music to 0db. But if any transient sound accidentally goes over that level it goes into clipping, which is digital distortion.
24bit dynamic range allows you to still record audio at 0db but also gives you a headroom allowing any transients to go higher without leading to clipping/distortion.

So.. in short.

You only need 16/44.1 for audio playback.

 

Someone said this as well:

 

Quote:
 There's certainly no quality difference listening to 24/96 Flacs at 16/44.1 but in Windows I have noticed if I set the amp (USB connection) to 16/44.1 then at very high volume when there's nothing playing you can hear the ambient hiss faintly like you get on an analogue amp. There is no distortion or interference from anything else but the ambient hiss is there. That kind of volume level is ear deafening though so would never be that high when playing stuff.

Set Windows to any 24 bit mode and it's dead silence even at max volume. So it appears that Windows 7 outputs the cleanest audio at 24bit when using a DAC but there's no audible difference in musical performance.

I'll leave it at 24/96 purely for the clean background

 

Is that a valid excuse for using 24bit in Win7?


Edited by Voltmod - 5/5/14 at 10:46am
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltmod View Post
 

Win 7 Control Panel > sound > device properties > advanced > Default Format

 

My crappy computer at work has the default option as 24 bit / 44.1.

 

I found a thread about this whole topic and it seems 24bit does nothing for playback.

 

Quote:

 16 bit has a dynamic range of 120db. That means that it can go from silent to deafening (literally) in 65536 steps. Which is once again the full level a human can hear.

24 bit has a dynamic range of 144db which is beyond the dynamic range of human hearing.
When recording audio at 16 bit, to get the full dynamic range people generally set the loudest part of the music to 0db. But if any transient sound accidentally goes over that level it goes into clipping, which is digital distortion.
24bit dynamic range allows you to still record audio at 0db but also gives you a headroom allowing any transients to go higher without leading to clipping/distortion.

So.. in short.

You only need 16/44.1 for audio playback.

 

 

Someone said this as well:

 

Quote:

 There's certainly no quality difference listening to 24/96 Flacs at 16/44.1 but in Windows I have noticed if I set the amp (USB connection) to 16/44.1 then at very high volume when there's nothing playing you can hear the ambient hiss faintly like you get on an analogue amp. There is no distortion or interference from anything else but the ambient hiss is there. That kind of volume level is ear deafening though so would never be that high when playing stuff.

Set Windows to any 24 bit mode and it's dead silence even at max volume. So it appears that Windows 7 outputs the cleanest audio at 24bit when using a DAC but there's no audible difference in musical performance.

I'll leave it at 24/96 purely for the clean background
 

 

Is that a valid excuse for using 24bit in Win7?

 

You can believe what ever you want (BTW, 16-bit has a DR of 16*6dB (96dB)...., where do you think the hissing noise comes from ?, ...).

 

Still you didn't menton the model of your external audio interface but anyway, are there native drivers (other than ASIO) for your audio interface installed or are you using the systen generic USB audio drivers?

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Sorry, meant to say soundcard model. It's a Denon DNX-600 DJ mixer with built in USB soundcard.

 

The manual says to install drivers for PC, but they are called "ASIO drivers". As mentioned before, Windows control panel tells me I'm using the DNX600 at 16bit/48 KHz, while the software that installed with the ASIO drivers says 24bit.

 

In Musicbee, I have the option to choose ASIO driver and it shows up as Denon DNX600 there. So I think it's only using 24bit when the ASIO driver is in use. Seems to me that the Win7 control panel just picks it up as basic audio drivers. I have not tried using it in Windows without the drivers before, so I could test that out. It does not require any drivers for OS X, and I think it probably only says to install the ASIO drivers because it's an interface for DJs / Producers, so I imagine most people don't use it as an everyday soundcard for a home theater setup.

 

It's a great piece of hardware though, so I've never seen a point in purchasing different DACs / Headphone amps, though I thought about it while my headphones were in the mail. They sound great plugged into the headphone amp on the mixer though, so I see no point unless I want surround features for games.

 

Thanks for the help, btw.

post #6 of 9
ASIO bypasses the Windows audio system. (WASAPI = Windows Audio Session API)
It sounds like the WDM driver for the device only supports 16-bit audio, but the ASIO driver supports 24-bit.

Changes made in the ASIO control panel should not have any effect on anything passing through the Windows audio system.

So if you are playing audio in an ASIO-capable application, you will be getting 24-bit audio.
If the WDM driver only supports 16-bit audio, then that's all you will get in any Windows application which is not using ASIO.

16-bit audio should be enough for hiss-free playback, but it depends on the hardware I suppose.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

ASIO appears to have a much richer sound on my setup. I'm guessing this is because the mixer soundcard is made with musicians in mind and therefore puts more emphasis on the ASIO aspect. Only problem is when skipping tracks with it enabled, there's a "pop" noise that's a bit annoying. 

post #8 of 9

BTW, even Windows USB Audio Class 1 supports 24/96 (but you maybe have to disable the recording device to get this working).

 

Maybe you want to check this - http://www.thesycon.de/deu/usb_audiodriver.shtml

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltmod View Post
 

ASIO appears to have a much richer sound on my setup. I'm guessing this is because the mixer soundcard is made with musicians in mind and therefore puts more emphasis on the ASIO aspect. Only problem is when skipping tracks with it enabled, there's a "pop" noise that's a bit annoying. 

 

Can you adjust (increase) the playback buffer (to get more latency)?


Edited by jiiteepee - 5/6/14 at 12:46am
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I can in the Denon ASIO control panel but not in musicbee, I don't think. I'm at work at the moment.

 

What exactly would that allow me to do, get less latency when using ASIO?

 

 

Quote:
 

BTW, even Windows USB Audio Class 1 supports 24/96 (but you maybe have to disable the recording device to get this working).

 

Maybe you want to check this - http://www.thesycon.de/deu/usb_audiodriver.shtml

 

That looks intriguing. So what you're saying is the basic drivers for the DJ soundcard are lacking because even basic drivers support 24bit? Is this something I'd actually notice / doesn't this just go back to the 16bit vs 24bit debate? I'm less concerned with 16 vs 24 and more concerned with the fact that this driver may not be giving the quality I want for games and movies. Maybe it would be best to get an SBZ for all things desktop related to eliminate all these questionable drivers and concerns for the mixer. I've been thinking about it just to try SBX surround and even if I don't like SBX, I've found with my Xtreme Gamer that enabling headphones in Creative audio panel and configuring Win7 audio as 5.1 and movies as  5.1 SEEMS to give a better surround experience without using the virtual technologies. 

 

Then again, it mostly seems dependent on the movie or game; Borderlands 2 directional audio is insane with everything set to stereo / headphones. SBX looks more interesting in most since you can change the percentage of the surround effect.

 

I played left 4 dead 2 last night and was not impressed with the surround sound with everything on stereo. Then again, I'm not impressed with most virtual surround technologies.

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