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What's the point in using ASIO for audio playback?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by xnor, Sep 15, 2009.
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  1. leeperry
    this is one of the most famous "better-than-bitperfect" audio players, these guys sound like they believe JC will come back anytime soon.

    foobar in KS/ASIO/WASAPI = bit-perfect...anything on top of that is ludicrous.
     
  2. haloxt
    It's not talking about "more bit perfect" than bit perfect, but about jitter. Super-expensive cd-transports try to remove all the believed causes of jitter as cMP/cPlay would do especially when used in conjunction with the specified pc build, ie. reduce the effects of mechanical vibration, processing, emf, and dirty power. Anyway I'm out of this thread, too much pooh-poohing by people who are full of religious-like conviction. Like Bertrand Russell once observed, “men don't want knowledge; they want certainty.”
     
  3. leeperry
    oh yes, hard drives give unbearable jitter...and you have to copy in RAM to avoid glitches, I love that theory!

    it goes along w/ the one that says that HDD's sound different. I'm afraid it'd need some technical proofs [​IMG]
     
  4. Ashirgo
    Forgive him, he is just unhappy with his current setup and he believes that better HDD and weather can indeed improve his system's sound quality. I would rather pity him.
     
  5. leeperry
    well, jitter is real! the crappy CMI8788 DSP you can find on most consumer cards these days has a completely crazy jitter performance...it brings us back to the stone age [​IMG]

    thoppa posted the specs in the STX clock thread(http://www.head-fi.org/forums/6012345-post146.html), so indeed even a good DAC with built-in jitter correction...will still fail, and you can condition the clock as much as you want, you'll still be SOL in the end.

    but jitter from the HDD? especially w/ the latency you can set in ASIO/KS? we basically have a half-second buffer between reading the data from the HDD(that has a 32MB cache) and sending it to the ASIO/KS/WASAPI low-latency audio renderers. I really don't buy the "we cache in RAM so there's less jitter" argument [​IMG]
     
  6. ROBSCIX
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xnor /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    What's the point in using ASIO for audio playback?

    Differences are within measurement error range I guess.

    Properties of the playback device:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    And what's bit-perfect supposed to mean anyway?




    ASIO was never designed to be used for playback in Winamp or Foobar.
    The driver are meant for low latency recording. You get people that say ASIO is "just a audio render" or something equally unknowledgable as that is all they understand of it. Here is a definition that is pretty accurate:

    ASIO bypasses the normal audio path from the user application through layers of intermediary Windows operating system software, so that the application connects directly to the soundcard hardware. Each layer that is bypassed means a reduction in latency, the delay between an application sending sound information and it being reproduced by the soundcard, or input signals from the soundcard being available to the application. In this way

    ASIO offers a relatively simple way of accessing multiple audio inputs and outputs independently. Its main strength lies in its method of bypassing the inherently high latency of Windows audio mixing kernels (KMixer), allowing direct, high speed communication with audio hardware. Unlike KMixer, an unmixed ASIO output is "bit identical", that is, the bits sent to the sound card are identical to those of the original WAV file, thus having higher audio fidelity.

    The driver architecture were designed by Steinberg for recording and acessing recording hardware.
    There is lots of good informaiton out there if you want to read up.
    Hope this helps.
     
  7. moonboy403
    Just throwing this out there, subjectively speaking, ASIO made a noticeable difference when I use Window XP but didn't make a difference in Vista.
     
  8. b0dhi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xnor /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    lol thanks for that link. This guy clearly is out of his mind. [​IMG]
    Never seen so much misinformation on a single website.




    Where his opinion diverges is that he thinks things are audible at much lower levels than what most other people think. That might be due to placebo, or might be real (very unlikely), but there's nothing "out of his mind" about it whatsoever. To claim such a thing is bigotry - plain and simple. Everybody, including you, is subject to placebo to varying degrees (yes, I realise this isn't the correct term, but you understand the meaning). That doesn't make them insane. The reasoning is sound (although in some aspects misguided), it's just encouraged by what are most likely flawed subjective observations.

    The whole approach seems centered around reducing jitter. Most of the tweaks and the software design is centered around this. It looks like he's trying to decode the music all before beginning playback, locking that memory region to keep it from being flushed to disk, and then keeping system activity to a minimum. It almost certainly doesn't result in any audible difference to the sound, but the methodology is sound enough (heh).
     
  9. xnor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Phelonious Ponk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    ... Applying the tweaky, hobbyist's anti-science of analog audiophile nervosa to digital data. It makes no sense here; ...



    Sorry for quoting you here Ponk, but it just fits so well. [​IMG]
     
  10. leeperry
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by b0dhi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    It looks like he's trying to decode the music all before beginning playback, locking that memory region to keep it from being flushed to disk, and then keeping system activity to a minimum.



    he advises to turn off the windows pagefile, so I don't think it's got anything to do w/ data "being flushed to disk"? I've been running my XP SP3 HTPC w/o one for like +1 year w/o any problem...it's just faster [​IMG]

    he's just completely obsessed. nothing more, nothing less...and upsampling only increases harmonic distortion, his advice to resample 16/44.1 to 24/96 and save them as WAV on your HDD is just dumb IMHO...why not doing it in realtime if you really wanna increase THD? because of jitter...right [​IMG]
     
  11. b0dhi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    he advises to turn off the windows pagefile, so I don't think it's got anything to do w/ data "being flushed to disk"? I've been running my XP SP3 HTPC w/o one for like +1 year w/o any problem...it's just faster [​IMG]



    I'm not sure what you mean. What don't you think has got anything to do with data being flushed to disk?
     
  12. leeperry
    well, his extreme methods...and his tutorials where he advises to read audio files from usb keys instead of hard drives(I even read some ppl swearing to hear a huge difference!), to resample to 24/96 WAV files etc etc....he's mostly hoping to bypass any Windows kernel jitter(and what no) I think...he's afraid of any ripple in the PSU as well I guess(thoppa measured much higher ripple on the 12V when a hard drive is currently defragmenting).

    there's no doubt any wire or HDD/optical drive will create EMI...whether this would be clearly audible in a DBT is prolly out of the question...his player keeps the hypochondriac audio-wannabes happy anyway, support for .CUE only is awesome. too bad he doesn't sell it for $1.5K like Amarra, this would add more weight to his theories...but prolly it'd need a better GUI then [​IMG]
     
  13. b0dhi
    Yeah that's what I was saying. He locks the ram to prevent it from being paged, which would create EMI and power supply ripple.

    Even assuming all of that makes a remotely audible difference, there are much better ways of doing what he's trying to do without rendering the computer useless.

    There's also a lack of measurements on the site there. I don't know if they exist elsewhere but I doubt they have much of an effect if the program is used alone. With all the system tweaks, that might have an affect, though I doubt it'd be audible at all.

    I'd be the first to admit that all of it is most likely completely useless and has no impact on audible sound whatsoever. My point was only that there's nothing "insane" about it at all.
     
  14. El_Doug Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by b0dhi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I'd be the first to admit that all of it is most likely completely useless and has no impact on audible sound whatsoever. My point was only that there's nothing "insane" about it at all.



    I suppose the definition of "insane" varies considerably - sure, it makes some logical sense to kill a cricket 100 yards from my listening position... but it is still insane to do so on the grounds that the listening experience will be improved
     
  15. b0dhi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by El_Doug /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I suppose the definition of "insane" varies considerably - sure, it makes some logical sense to kill a cricket 100 yards from my listening position... but it is still insane to do so on the grounds that the listening experience will be improved



    I assumed that in the Sound Science forum the technical definition would be used, not the colloquial.
     
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