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Old 4th May 2012, 10:03 AM   #1
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
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Default ASIO4ALL, Foobar and Win7

This might be old news for everyone else, but I installed the ASIO plug in for foobar along with ASIO4ALL onto my stock Gigabyte Mobo Win7 HTPC.

Directing the audio through the ASIO output rather than the onboard Realtek sound just blew me away with the difference in quality.

(Usually I use to Realtek SPDIF digital output)

No mistaking it - its simple to flick between the ASIO driver and the Realtek driver so you can make second by second comparisons.

I presume that ASIO4ALL is bypassing some nasty mixing process that muddies the sound.

ASIO4ALL simply comes to life when something tries to talk to it, otherwise it sits quietly and doesnt interfere with audio going to the Realtek sound output.

Can't understand why even the ASIO plugin help page says it won't help - on my system, which is pretty standard, it makes a huge difference.

I'd recommend giving it a try. Hope this helps someone.
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Old 4th May 2012, 10:30 AM   #2
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I am using ASIO with Foobar (my card has dedicated driver) and indeed sounds better - ASIO was created to bypass the windows mixer.
Foobar has also some experimetal plug-in for kernel streaming that might interest you.
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Old 4th May 2012, 10:32 AM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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If I could only get ASIO to not crash my XP computer... It does work fine on 7.
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Old 4th May 2012, 10:46 AM   #4
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Billyo,

You might want to try the WASAPI plugin for Foobar too. I find it has the edge on ASIO on my Windows 7 laptop. Its a similar Idea to ASIO but exclusive to Vista/7

foobar2000.org/wasapi
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Old 4th May 2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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I'm playing Flac with ASIO using cPlay. Card is an M-Audio Delta 44 on XP SP3. No issues. Very happy with the performance.
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Old 4th May 2012, 12:43 PM   #6
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
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This might be another stupid question... but if bypassing the windows mixer makes such a huge improvement, how can it be done for all audio streams?

Does it just need an ASIO compatible soundcard that replaces the Realtek one? Or can only certain applications talk to an ASIO interface?

It would be nice to have this improvement on BD and even just general TV viewing.
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Old 4th May 2012, 09:19 PM   #7
boris81 is offline boris81  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billyo View Post
This might be another stupid question... but if bypassing the windows mixer makes such a huge improvement, how can it be done for all audio streams?

Does it just need an ASIO compatible soundcard that replaces the Realtek one? Or can only certain applications talk to an ASIO interface?

It would be nice to have this improvement on BD and even just general TV viewing.
When an applications has to play something it needs to send the sound data to the sound card. Because there are thousands of different sound cards out there Windows introduced the Mixer where any application can easily send the sound data and let Windows handle the rest. Over time other means to interface the sound card have been developed such as DirectSound, ASIO and WASAPI but they usually have some specific hardware requirements so not all cards are supported.

Now to answer your question - applications need to implement the means to interface to the sound protocol. Sending sound to the Windows Mixer is easy, connecting to an ASIO driver not so much. Most music players like Winamp and Foobar have an open and modular structure so other developers can rewrite the sound output portion of the application.
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Old 4th May 2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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From JRiver
JRIver Asio info

ASIO4ALL is just a wrapper for kernel streaming, so it is the same as selecting kernal streaming.

Randy
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Old 4th May 2012, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randytsuch View Post
ASIO4ALL is just a wrapper for kernel streaming, so it is the same as selecting kernal streaming.
Correct, ASIO4ALL is just a taste of what real ASIO drivers can do. That's why I recomended him, for MoBo sound, the kernel streaming.

Some pro/semipro cards have dedicated (real) ASIO drivers and those are used on apps that support ASIO.
Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer will still use the Windows Mixer (and ASIO routed trough that - if that card has Wave Out routing).
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Old 4th May 2012, 10:23 PM   #10
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
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How about using the HDMI out from the videocard? I use a ATI HD5450 chipset to output to my TV, does audio from that still go thru k-mixer?

Also, has anyone tried using Vitual Audio Cable to allow non-ASIO compatible apps to bypass K-mixer and go to ASIO4ALL?
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