Foobar2000, wasapi and sampling rates - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-06-2013, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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OK--My head is spinning a little on this one, so any help from the wiser heads here is much appreciated. I'm using the Foobar2000 SACD plug in to play SACDs (my own) that I've ripped to ISOs using my venerable PS3. I'm outputting audio over the analog 7.1 outputs on the card.

The control panel for my sound card enables me to set a default sampling rate as high as 24/196K. I enter this setting and fire up Foobar. I set foobar to 24 bit and, in SACD settings, I set the PCM sampling rate to 176.4K. The combination works very well.

I heard that wasapi drivers can offer significant gains in audio performance, so I installed them and selected the "Realtek Speakers" event driver (I also tried the "push" driver with the same results). The only sampling rate that works is 24/44.1. I get an "unsupported" error if I try any higher PCM sampling rate in the SACD settings of Foobar. I've tried to do some research on this issue, but the discussions seem to offer conflicting advice. All I can assume is that the sound card only supports 24/44.1, despite the 7.1 outputs. But why does it allow me to set a much higher rate in the sound card control panel, and why does it work for this setting when I set Foobar to use the "DS: Primary sound driver" as opposed to the wasapi driver for the realtek speaker output?

Any help much appreciated,

Brian
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-07-2013, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briansxx View Post

OK--My head is spinning a little on this one, so any help from the wiser heads here is much appreciated. I'm using the Foobar2000 SACD plug in to play SACDs (my own) that I've ripped to ISOs using my venerable PS3. I'm outputting audio over the analog 7.1 outputs on the card.

The control panel for my sound card enables me to set a default sampling rate as high as 24/196K. I enter this setting and fire up Foobar. I set foobar to 24 bit and, in SACD settings, I set the PCM sampling rate to 176.4K. The combination works very well.

I heard that wasapi drivers can offer significant gains in audio performance, so I installed them and selected the "Realtek Speakers" event driver (I also tried the "push" driver with the same results). The only sampling rate that works is 24/44.1. I get an "unsupported" error if I try any higher PCM sampling rate in the SACD settings of Foobar. I've tried to do some research on this issue, but the discussions seem to offer conflicting advice. All I can assume is that the sound card only supports 24/44.1, despite the 7.1 outputs. But why does it allow me to set a much higher rate in the sound card control panel, and why does it work for this setting when I set Foobar to use the "DS: Primary sound driver" as opposed to the wasapi driver for the realtek speaker output?

I have no experience with any of this, but I think that the key words in your post are: " heard that wasapi drivers can offer significant gains in audio performance." I heard that the world is going to end tomorrow so it must be true, after all I read it on the internet!

There is an area that confuses very many people. They see something that offers some purported theoretical advantage, so they think it must give them better sound quality. Not so. Modern audio especially the area we are talking about right now, is so deep into diminishing returns that it isn't even silly. It is easy to show that sampling rates > 16/44 offer no perceptible advantage or even an audible difference.

Here's some light reading:

http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-07-2013, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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arnyk--absolutely agree. I read the very compelling article referenced in your link that demonstrated very thoroughly that any differences between so-called HD sources and Redbook CDs were due to more attentive mastering of the the HD material. In my case here, I was just playing around for the sake of it (you have to do something when you're not listening to music !) and I ran across this behavior and was trying to understand it. I suspect the issue lies, as always, in the weird alchemy of hardware, drivers, and operating systems.

Your link should be required reading (especially for members of the high end forums)

All the Best,

Brian
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-07-2013, 06:48 AM
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Hi Brian,

I'm not sure if this is the same situation, but when I played around with WASAPI in Foobar2k, the sample rate and bit depth used by WASAPI would "stick" to whatever was set in Control Panel (Control Panel, Sound, select device, Properties, Advanced), and would not switch automatically. I would get the "unsupported format" error and the file wouldn't play. I have some ripped DVD-A material, and I often do random playlists, so I wanted that capability. It was a no-go with WASAPI. I found the automatic switching of bit depth and sample rate using ASIO worked fine. YMMV. If your sound device doesn't support ASIO, sometimes ASIO4ALL can be made to work.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-08-2013, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Andy,

Thank you for the good advice. I'll try the ASIO route.

All the Best,

Brian
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-08-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I have no experience with any of this, but I think that the key words in your post are: " heard that wasapi drivers can offer significant gains in audio performance." I heard that the world is going to end tomorrow so it must be true, after all I read it on the internet!

There is an area that confuses very many people. They see something that offers some purported theoretical advantage, so they think it must give them better sound quality. Not so. Modern audio especially the area we are talking about right now, is so deep into diminishing returns that it isn't even silly. It is easy to show that sampling rates > 16/44 offer no perceptible advantage or even an audible difference.

Here's some light reading:

http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

Your post is funny...first you have no knowledge of the original posters question and then you put down info gathered from the internet then go and post a link from the internet...lol...about why high sample rates make no scense and the demo files in that link are a joke too because they take a 16/44 file and up convert it to prove there case....if they had an original 192/24 or 192/96 file and down converted it that would of been better...people can believe what they will but high res audio does make scense ..smile.gif

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post #7 of 8 Old 09-08-2013, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh6113 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I have no experience with any of this, but I think that the key words in your post are: " heard that wasapi drivers can offer significant gains in audio performance." I heard that the world is going to end tomorrow so it must be true, after all I read it on the internet!

There is an area that confuses very many people. They see something that offers some purported theoretical advantage, so they think it must give them better sound quality. Not so. Modern audio especially the area we are talking about right now, is so deep into diminishing returns that it isn't even silly. It is easy to show that sampling rates > 16/44 offer no perceptible advantage or even an audible difference.

Here's some light reading:

http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

Your post is funny...first you have no knowledge of the original posters question and then you put down info gathered from the internet then go and post a link from the internet...lol...about why high sample rates make no scense and the demo files in that link are a joke too because they take a 16/44 file and up convert it to prove there case...

I can't seem to find that file in the article I linked. Can you post a quote from the article that mentions it?
Quote:
.if they had an original 192/24 or 192/96 file and down converted it that would of been better...people can believe what they will but high res audio does make scense ..smile.gif

That was mentioned in the linked article here:

"Empirical evidence from listening tests backs up the assertion that 44.1kHz/16 bit provides highest-possible fidelity playback. There are numerous controlled tests confirming this, but I'll plug a recent paper, Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback, done by local folks here at the Boston Audio Society."

Apparently you never followed the link, so I will post it here: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=14195 Perhaps you saw that it was an academic paper and you bolted for the door? ;-)

You can find the full text of the article here:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=70893.0

The article makes clear that the sources for the tests were DVD-As and SACDs which means that they used 24/192 and similar files as their original sources, so your complaint above is in error.

Happy reading!
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-08-2013, 06:47 PM
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Arnyk the original article you posted was about why high res downloads make no scense... And I posted they do...simple and my opinion...no need to post links to AES papers and such...lol...I made my point...smile.gif

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