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24 bit 96 k FLAC, what am I doing wrong?
24 bit 96 k FLAC, what am I doing wrong?
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Old 5th July 2020, 12:53 AM   #11
sgrossklass is offline sgrossklass  Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifijim View Post
Even with all of that, I am still not confident I understand how audio drivers work in windows... I don't understand the differences between ASIO and WASAPI, and I am not confident I would be able to get "bit perfect" PCM data from my hard drive to my DAC... There is nothing quite like Windows to make a person feel stupid.
Windows Audio Architecture - Windows drivers | Microsoft Docs

What's of interest to us is that both potentially enable fairly low-level access to the sound hardware. Windows (Vista and up) sound drivers MUST provide a WASAPI (exclusive mode) interface to be of any use in everyday life. They MAY also provide an ASIO interface (and in equipment geared towards music production you may well see the main focus on that, with only rudimentary functionality available via WASAPI), and on some older soundcards you would also have seen some native DirectSound access with WASAPI internally piled on top of that.

IMHO it's not so much Windows that complicates things, but rather having to deal with additional abstraction layers in legacy sound hardware and generally quirky drivers. For example, the CMI878x based Asus Xonar cards as well as X-Fi and older Creative Sound Blaster cards have internal sample rate and format controls that have to be adjusted manually, as the hardware generally features some resampling capabilities of its own. This potentially leaves you with having to keep sample rate in sync in up to 3 places:
* playback software
* Windows audio interface
* driver control panel

WASAPI exclusive mode would sync the first two but not the third. Unfortunately there are cases when you best off with shared mode, as I found in my Xonar D1/D2 adventures. I've been dabbling in PC sound for something like 20 years now, and somehow good hardware hobbled by bad driver support keeps on being a recurring theme.
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Old 5th July 2020, 01:17 AM   #12
bajjisw is offline bajjisw  United States
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One way to check if your OS is doing anything to the bitstream: use tracks encoded in DTS or Dolby digital. Your DAC has to support this. Any changes will result in not the original content. In my tests, usually noise.
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Old 5th July 2020, 07:46 AM   #13
phofman is online now phofman  Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgrossklass View Post
For example, the CMI878x based Asus Xonar cards as well as X-Fi and older Creative Sound Blaster cards have internal sample rate and format controls that have to be adjusted manually, as the hardware generally features some resampling capabilities of its own.
Every soundcard must be told what rate, format (if more supported), and channel count (if more variants supported) the incoming stream of bytes represents. It's up to the driver authors what level of control they leave to the user and what will be set automatically from parameters of the audio stream sent by the audio layer of an OS.

Most soundcard "features" are delivered by SW DSP bundled in the windows support package (the actual driver is only tiny part of most windows HW-enablement bundles). Only a handful of soundcards have HW DSP onboard, e.g. the Creative/EMU complicated audio interfaces. CMI8788 is a standard "dumb" PCI audio controller like ICE1724 http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/datas...t%20Rev0.6.pdf
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