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How to get best audio quality with foobar, effects or anything else?
JackBlack9
post Jan 28 2012, 15:59
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Hi, I hope this is the right section.
I've got a notebook with a creative soundblaster audigy 2 NX (usb) and 2.0 Edifier R1600plus.
I'm trying to reach the best audio quality with foobar. Can you help me?
I've installed asio4all and then also foobar bassexciter to add windows media player trubass and wow effects on foobar but I don't know how to configurate them.
I want to take out the max from my speaker.
Thank you!

This post has been edited by JackBlack9: Jan 28 2012, 16:53
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kraut
post Jan 28 2012, 16:10
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QUOTE
I'm trying to reach the best audio quality I can with foobar.


What do you mean?
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JackBlack9
post Jan 28 2012, 16:53
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QUOTE (kraut @ Jan 28 2012, 16:10) *
QUOTE
I'm trying to reach the best audio quality I can with foobar.


What do you mean?


Sorry if it's not clear. I'm looking for the best configuration for audio quality in foobar.
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Kohlrabi
post Jan 28 2012, 17:02
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QUOTE (JackBlack9 @ Jan 28 2012, 15:59) *
I'm trying to reach the best audio quality with foobar. Can you help me?
foobar2000 provides the "best" audio quality out-of-the-box.

QUOTE (JackBlack9 @ Jan 28 2012, 15:59) *
I've installed asio4all
Please don't use ASIO output for no reason. That's just asking for trouble.

QUOTE (JackBlack9 @ Jan 28 2012, 15:59) *
and then also foobar bassexciter to add windows media player trubass and wow effects on foobar
Whether post-processing improves the perceived audio quality is completely subjective (and also depends on your speakers and listening environment among other factors), so what kind of post-processing you apply is completely up to you.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Jan 28 2012, 17:12


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JackBlack9
post Jan 28 2012, 17:27
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Why not use ASIO?
Well.. I hear a deeper bass effect with trubass and wow effect
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larryfine
post Jan 28 2012, 17:35
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According to my humble opinion I think that DSP's won't improve sound quality but mask it.
What makes the difference, however: lossless audio files or above 320 kbps, a decent sound card, headphones, speakers etc etc wink.gif

I don't use anything related to DSP. But, this is a personal criteria. smile.gif


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Kohlrabi
post Jan 28 2012, 17:40
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QUOTE (JackBlack9 @ Jan 28 2012, 17:27) *
Why not use ASIO?
Previously there have been lots of problems with ASIO output in foobar2000. While many of those got fixed recently by a series of updates to the component itself, ASIO drivers tend to lead to more problems than their DirectSound counterparts. So unless you absolutely need ASIO for audio playback there is no reason to use it, as stated in the link I gave you. Any claims of "improved audio quality" using ASIO are most certainly bogus and subject to TOS #8.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Jan 28 2012, 17:44


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derty2
post Jan 28 2012, 18:34
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I think what I posted a few hours ago at another thread is applicable at this thread. -> Read my posting <-

There is no way of knowing if solution X is better than solution Y or solution Z without knowledge gained from long term intimate physical exposure.
Unfortunately, the world of the audiophile is an expensive one and most people never get to play with enough systems to discover the truth for themselves.
Thanks to the 'expensive' nature of this hobby, the audiophile world is full of distorted facts and fanboyism and posts which include "What is the best.." in their title.

This post has been edited by derty2: Jan 28 2012, 18:37
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JackBlack9
post Jan 28 2012, 19:18
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Thank you for your replies.
I'm absolutely new to the "audio" world, so I'm a beginner and I trying to learn everyday.
I had a small budget and I tried to buy a good audiocard and a decent 2.0 system and I'd like to have them playing good according to their possibility and, of course, to my ears.
I would just get a deeper and sorround sound.
Sorry if my questions are stupid.
Thank you!
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Kohlrabi
post Jan 28 2012, 20:47
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JackBlack9 welcome to our nice, little community biggrin.gif

If you got the impression that I treated you badly, I'm sorry for that. On the web you will find many sources of misinformation about ASIO and WASAPI and other alternative output methods, so I tend to debunk those myths very strongly. Also my concise style of writing might lend itself to the impression of being in a bad mood, but I just try to keep needless banter to a minimum.

A general point to keep in mind is that PC based digital audio reproduction is very, very good nowadays. Most audio solutions you find on motherboards today are good enough to reproduce Audio CD-grade digital audio perfectly. Software players themselves (should?) only use the facilities provided by the audio drivers, so you should get "perfect" audio right out of the box. What's left to you is how to alter the audio to pronounce certain parts. For example if you have speakers with a non-flat frequency response you might want to add an equalizer to your DSP chain. There are nearly endless possibilities how to alter the sound you get, but whether it "improves" is completely up to your perception.

I won't and can't (because my knowledge is very limited) go into more detail about DSP, please take a look around the forum to find answers to your questions.


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JackBlack9
post Jan 28 2012, 21:24
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Thank you very much. I think asio4all will be useful maybe when I'll plug my guitar into audiocard to reduce latency.
I'd like to know more about audio in general, bass mids treble, THD and so on. Can you link me any sites that explain these and other things about audio?
I can't improve the sound of my speakers if I can't understand what I perceive with my ears and in what it lacks (or it seems to me to lack for).
Can foobar help me in this case? For example testing which frequencies are emphatized and which not?
Sorry for my english, I'm italian biggrin.gif
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pawelq
post Jan 28 2012, 21:46
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 28 2012, 14:47) *
Most audio solutions you find on motherboards today are good enough to reproduce Audio CD-grade digital audio perfectly.

I recommend a lot of caution here. Maybe audio solutions (actual audio chips) are great, but computer/mobo designers/manufacturers still screw up analog output shielding. I have a pretty new desktop computer at work, and the amount of electronic noise in the front line-out/headphone jack in unacceptable, the rear one is tad better, but still not what I would expect from a 2011 machine from a major manufacturer.


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RavenGT
post Jan 29 2012, 00:14
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QUOTE (pawelq @ Jan 28 2012, 16:46) *
I recommend a lot of caution here. Maybe audio solutions (actual audio chips) are great, but computer/mobo designers/manufacturers still screw up analog output shielding. I have a pretty new desktop computer at work, and the amount of electronic noise in the front line-out/headphone jack in unacceptable, the rear one is tad better, but still not what I would expect from a 2011 machine from a major manufacturer.


This is very true. Generally people think dedicated sound cards are a waste of money, but in reality the motherboard's audio come with static noise and it just drives me nuts. Even though good audio quality is subjective, it's still a good idea to ensure a raw, unhindered audio quality. To me, this means getting a dedicated sound card and setting Foobar's output to Kernel Stream/WASAPI. ASIO, as others have mentioned, is not particularly stable.
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mudlord
post Jan 29 2012, 00:21
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Got ABX tests to back up your claims?
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JackBlack9
post Jan 29 2012, 01:06
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Does WASAPI works on XP?
I can't understand how ABX works..
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kraut
post Jan 29 2012, 03:09
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QUOTE
Previously there have been lots of problems with ASIO output in foobar2000.


Don't know what kind of hang up you have with asio. I run foobar in W& and XP previously through an M audio soundcard with no problem at all.
Asio permit more flexible channel config. in the set up panel, to use in my m-audio mixing control panel.

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RavenGT
post Jan 29 2012, 05:02
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QUOTE (JackBlack9 @ Jan 28 2012, 20:06) *
Does WASAPI works on XP?
I can't understand how ABX works..

For XP you need to use Kernel Stream. The equivalent for Windows 7 is WASAPI, except this one mutes other sources when Foobar is playing. Oddly enough I am using Kernel Stream with my X-Fi Xtreme Audio on Windows 7, it seems to work perfectly.
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TangoTiburones
post Jan 29 2012, 06:04
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QUOTE (kraut @ Jan 28 2012, 20:09) *
QUOTE
Previously there have been lots of problems with ASIO output in foobar2000.


Don't know what kind of hang up you have with asio. I run foobar in W& and XP previously through an M audio soundcard with no problem at all.
Asio permit more flexible channel config. in the set up panel, to use in my m-audio mixing control panel.


I'd go the way that works for you. I use ASIO in my DAW when I'm recording but not with foobar. I think ASIO limits you to one device at a time also so if you need outputs on more than one interface at a time (which you probably won't) you might get stuck.
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mobyduck
post Jan 29 2012, 10:05
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QUOTE (JackBlack9 @ Jan 28 2012, 16:06) *
I can't understand how ABX works..
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=ABX

HTH.

Alessandro
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JackBlack9
post Jan 29 2012, 12:34
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thank you. what is kernel stream?
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RonaldDumsfeld
post Jan 29 2012, 12:48
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QUOTE
what is kernel stream?


Simply put - it's a method of bypassing the windows mixer so that audio data goes direct from your application to your output device. It's debatable whether it makes any audible difference.

QUOTE
I think ASIO limits you to one device at a time


Not always. It must be application specific because I can utilise different drivers to output to different output pairs an the same multi channel device. (MoTU)
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JackBlack9
post Jan 29 2012, 13:29
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QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Jan 29 2012, 12:48) *
Simply put - it's a method of bypassing the windows mixer so that audio data goes direct from your application to your output device. It's debatable whether it makes any audible difference.


Where should I look for it?

And I want to ask you for a quick question: how can I enhance in-song guitar sound with the equalizer?

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Wander
post Jan 29 2012, 14:14
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A lot of people, especially those who are not that much into audio- and music-stuff, seem to associate good sound quality often with a bass-heavy sound. Therefore they often use equalizers and subwoofers excessively. That's ok, but if you consider good sound quality - and that's the way I see it - with what's actually been recorded and to reproduce it in more or less exactly that way then, depending on your equipment, you won't need any adjustments to foobar2000.
Personally I only activate a crossfeed-dsp when I use my headphones, nothing else.
Since I'm not familiar with your equipment it's impossible to give suggestions how to get the best sound quality out of that. But a lot of hi-fi systems in lower price areas tend to emphasise the lower and higher frequencies, the cheaper they get, the more this applies. So perhaps you could start with that and configure an equalizer to adjust the lows and highs.
Anyway, when it comes to sound quality there's no right or wrong, good or bad, it's pretty much a matter of taste. The best you can do is experiment and maybe catch up some information about audio. Here are some good articles about that, unfortunately they are in german:

http://www.audiohq.de/index.php?showtopic=1918
http://www.audiohq.de/index.php?showtopic=2281
http://www.audiohq.de/index.php?showtopic=1699
http://www.audiohq.de/index.php?showtopic=1899
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Kohlrabi
post Jan 29 2012, 14:34
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QUOTE (JackBlack9 @ Jan 29 2012, 13:29) *
Where should I look for it?

Not at all. Before you buy into more "audiophile" tuning tips, and to keep to the original topic (audio quality): Hydrogenaudio is a community where scientific/measurable proof is preferred over anecdotal comments. Also, one thing that is very important, is the approach to arrive at that proof. So, the basic assumption, or null hypothesis, is:

Everything sounds the same.


While there may be technical differences between output methods, which might even show up in measurements, the important thing is to determine whether these differences are perceptible at all. Unless someone provides proof some method sounds different to the other, the only possible and meaningful assumption is that they sound the same. The preferred way over here is to provide double blind listening tests (ABX) to back up any claims of a perceptual difference to reject the null hypothesis. So, in the end it is up to the person claiming to hear differences to provide proof for that, and not up to all the other people to provide proof that two things sound the same.

To be fair, alternative output methods have some merits, regarding for example configuring multichannel setups (I myself used ASIO for that purpose some years back, before discovering channel mixer/matrix mixer), but any claims of "increased audio quality" need to be backed up by proof.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Jan 29 2012, 14:45


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Wander
post Jan 29 2012, 14:46
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 29 2012, 14:34) *
To be fair, alternative output methods have some merits, regarding for example configuring multichannel setups (I myself used ASIO for that purpose some years back, before discovering channel mixer/matrix mixer), but any claims of "increased audio quality" need to be backed up by proof.


There's another benefit of ASIO or WASAPI, you're bypassing "sound-enhancers", activateted in the software of your soundcard/chip manufacture, such as THX-, Dolby Pro Logic-stuff, Triple Bass Boost Extreme wink.gif etc. But of course you can deactivate them in most cases.
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