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Improve Linux audio playback quality?
Cromulent
post Dec 12 2012, 14:28
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Please note that I am not talking about encoding here, just the audio output of the system.

I'm running Arch Linux and all is working well. I use ALSA for audio but was wondering if there were any known settings that can help in terms of audio playback quality?

I'm well aware of the fact that I need a dedicated sound card to get the best results but I'm looking for a short term solution to make sure that the on-board sound card is performing at its best. I'm pretty new to audio stuff on Linux so I would be grateful for any advice.

When I have enough cash to spare I'll be getting an Asus Xonar DGX 5.1 PCI-E sound card (unless someone can recommend a better one).
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Cromulent
post Dec 12 2012, 16:59
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QUOTE (yourlord @ Dec 12 2012, 15:37) *
The first question I would ask is what makes you feel there is a problem with your existing audio quality?

There are a lot of factors to consider in Linux when it comes to audio, but in general if you get audio from the output it's probably as good as it's gonna get. While ALSA has it's quirks, I don't think audio quality is one of them.

Also, what is your requirement that makes the onboard audio inadequate for you? There are situations where a discrete audio card makes sense, but generally the audio quality from most modern onboard audio outputs is usually good enough that you would be hard pressed to tell a difference from a dedicated card.


Like most things in the audio world I'm just going off what is normally said. I have no way to verify the claims but everyone seems to rave about the difference between on board and a dedicated sound card.
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2012
post Dec 12 2012, 17:59
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QUOTE (Cromulent @ Dec 12 2012, 17:59) *
but everyone seems to rave about the difference between on board and a dedicated sound card.


In the subject of quality audio output perceptual by the human ear, I would say almost no one who knows what he/she is talking about said this. Not in the last decade anyway.

Back to your original question. Some of us believe that the resampling algorithm used by dmix (by default) produces a quality loss that is perceptual by the human ear. This information and a proposed solution is conveniently available in the ArchWiki:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Advanc...lity_resampling

This post has been edited by 2012: Dec 12 2012, 18:01
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punkrockdude
post Dec 12 2012, 18:28
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QUOTE (2012 @ Dec 12 2012, 17:59) *
QUOTE (Cromulent @ Dec 12 2012, 17:59) *
but everyone seems to rave about the difference between on board and a dedicated sound card.


In the subject of quality audio output perceptual by the human ear, I would say almost no one who knows what he/she is talking about said this. Not in the last decade anyway.

Back to your original question. Some of us believe that the resampling algorithm used by dmix (by default) produces a quality loss that is perceptual by the human ear. This information and a proposed solution is conveniently available in the ArchWiki:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Advanc...lity_resampling
I hope that any developer that has the interest and spare time would make it possible to use SoX instead of libsamplerate/SSRC and Speex with Pulseaudio (and ALSA?) since to my knowledge SoX is lighter on the CPU and has better specification/sound which can be seen on the infinitewave web site.
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2012
post Dec 18 2012, 22:16
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QUOTE (punkrockdude @ Dec 12 2012, 19:28) *
I hope that any developer that has the interest and spare time would make it possible to use SoX instead of libsamplerate/SSRC and Speex with Pulseaudio (and ALSA?) since to my knowledge SoX is lighter on the CPU and has better specification/sound which can be seen on the infinitewave web site.


I modified the libsamplerate code in alsa-plugins to use libsoxr-lsr (upstream wrapper mostly compatible with libsamplerate's API).

Everything seems to work except the VHQ quality profile (possibly due to high delay).

I profiled aplay with perf* and It looks like libsoxr uses ~10 times less cycles than samplerate_best (SRC_SINC_BEST_QUALITY).

Profiles/qualities tested and working:
LQ (with artifacts)
MQ
SOXR_16_BITQ
HQ
SOXR_24_BITQ (with artifacts).

I can share the [glue] code if there is interest.

* playing a 15sec wav file [s16le, 44100Hz, Stereo] > dmix 48000Hz

This post has been edited by 2012: Dec 18 2012, 22:18
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Posts in this topic
- Cromulent   Improve Linux audio playback quality?   Dec 12 2012, 14:28
- - yourlord   The first question I would ask is what makes you f...   Dec 12 2012, 16:37
- - Cromulent   QUOTE (yourlord @ Dec 12 2012, 15:37) The...   Dec 12 2012, 16:59
|- - 2012   QUOTE (Cromulent @ Dec 12 2012, 17:59) bu...   Dec 12 2012, 17:59
|- - punkrockdude   QUOTE (2012 @ Dec 12 2012, 17:59) QUOTE (...   Dec 12 2012, 18:28
|- - 2012   QUOTE (punkrockdude @ Dec 12 2012, 19:28)...   Dec 18 2012, 22:16
|- - punkrockdude   QUOTE (2012 @ Dec 18 2012, 22:16) QUOTE (...   May 9 2013, 20:25
|- - 2012   QUOTE (punkrockdude @ May 9 2013, 21:25) ...   May 10 2013, 12:53
|- - punkrockdude   QUOTE (2012 @ May 10 2013, 12:53) QUOTE (...   May 10 2013, 22:29
- - Garf   Quite a few (I'd even say: most) of the on-boa...   Dec 12 2012, 17:44
- - skamp   On-board DACs are pretty good these days. Unless y...   Dec 12 2012, 19:23
- - Cromulent   QUOTE (2012 @ Dec 12 2012, 16:59) QUOTE (...   Dec 13 2012, 09:18
- - phofman   2012, did you check the actual output waveform? I ...   May 10 2013, 13:09
- - AHD   QUOTE (Cromulent @ Dec 12 2012, 14:28) .....   Jun 7 2013, 10:40
- - greynol   Hi and welcome. Would you mind substantiating th...   Jun 7 2013, 15:35
|- - AHD   QUOTE (greynol @ Jun 7 2013, 15:35) Hi an...   Jun 7 2013, 17:26
|- - greynol   QUOTE (AHD @ Jun 7 2013, 09:26) QUOTE (gr...   Jun 7 2013, 18:01
- - skamp   QUOTE (AHD @ Jun 7 2013, 11:40) The audio...   Jun 7 2013, 17:40
|- - greynol   QUOTE (skamp @ Jun 7 2013, 09:40) If [......   Jun 7 2013, 18:04
- - koplo   I think we should announce to the traditional audi...   Jun 17 2013, 11:17
|- - phofman   QUOTE (koplo @ Jun 17 2013, 12:17) choose...   Jun 17 2013, 12:43
|- - cpchan   QUOTE (koplo @ Jun 17 2013, 05:17) (choos...   Jun 17 2013, 14:22
- - skamp   Unsure. Jack is a low latency mixer. It works well...   Jun 17 2013, 13:58


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