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Bass distortion at high volumes with ASIO

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Warning about ASIO.

I fixed my severe bass distortion problem by uninstalling ASIO in foobar2000.
Do not know if this affects other sound cards or other music players.

With ASIO installed, max bass volume seems to be limited.
Loud bass would sound like garbage.
After removing ASIO from foobar2000, I can set bass and volume much higher without any noticeable bass distortion.

Despite the severe bass distortion at high volume, I think music sounds a tiny bit better with ASIO, as long as bass and volume are not too high. I tried adjusting the EQ to match the sound I hear with ASIO installed, but I can't quite match it.

Please share your thoughts and experiences.

My audio:
(stock) Creative Titanium HD
Beyerdynamic DT-880 (250ohm premium) headphones.
Edited by Partol - 10/22/12 at 2:49am
     
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post #2 of 17
If it's working properly then that shouldn't happen. How are you adjusting the bass levels? Are you lowering a pre-amp to stop clipping when you turn up the bass frequencies? What happens if you disable any EQ totally - is there still a difference in bass quality between ASIO and Direct Sound at equal volumes? Also are you using Creatives ASIO driver and have you tried a different one? (ASIO4ALL seems to be the favorite)
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
In foobar 2000, I just tested Creative ASIO and ASIO4ALL v2 and the Primary Sound Driver.
EQ is 6-5-4-3-2-1-0-0-0-0...... from left to right.

Both ASIO's cause bass distortion at high volume.
Primary Sound Driver does not cause bass distortion at the same high volume.

Also tested EQ 4-4-0-0-0-0.... from left to right.
bass distortion is still there, but it's less.

Bass levels are adjusted via EQ in foobar2000 v1.1.15
With no EQ, there is no bass distortion (clipping) with either ASIO.
Edited by Partol - 10/22/12 at 11:01am
     
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post #4 of 17
Click "auto level" after setting your equalizer settings. The right thing to do is to reduce all other volumes compared to the one you want to raise. So something like 5-4-3-0-0-0 should be 0 - (-1) - (-2) - (-5) - (-5) - (-5) instead. That's what auto levels helps you correct. Amplifying a volume above 0dB will naturally cause distortion.
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
"Auto level" works! Thanks.
Not yet sure if I like negative EQ levels.
Primary sound driver has no problems with positive EQ.
I will play with the negative EQ and see how I like it.
At least now. I can use ASIO again. smile.gif
Edited by Partol - 10/22/12 at 11:13am
     
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post #6 of 17
Overall, it reduces your audio levels, but it definitely ensures that you do not have clipping caused by the equalizer. The clipping might be "fixed" in the software it goes through when it's not going through ASIO, which still cripples your signal compared to using an inverted EQ.
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post #7 of 17
Probably the Windows mixer has a permanent limiter/compressor, you'd need one if you were mixing channels which it does - that could reduce the audible effects of the EQ clipping. Nobody knows exactly what it does though or how it does it so some choose not to trust it.
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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren9 View Post

Probably the Windows mixer has a permanent limiter/compressor, you'd need one if you were mixing channels which it does - that could reduce the audible effects of the EQ clipping. Nobody knows exactly what it does though or how it does it so some choose not to trust it.

^ Eh no.

People use ASIO for two reasons:

1) They want to reduce latency, which is very important for recording purposes
2) They have Windows XP and earlier and want to bypass the Windows KMixer.

WASAPI in Windows Vista onwards is much better than the old Windows KMixer.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

^ Eh no.
People use ASIO for two reasons:
1) They want to reduce latency, which is very important for recording purposes
2) They have Windows XP and earlier and want to bypass the Windows KMixer.
WASAPI in Windows Vista onwards is much better than the old Windows KMixer.
WASAPI is a seperate API/Driver, it isn't Windows Mixer. If Microsoft themselves believed the Windows mixer is "just fine" then why even bother with an additional "higher level" API for anyone who wants one. For the purpose of listening to music WASAPI and ASIO are equivalent, both attempt to provide fully bit-matched playback - that's all anyone is expecting to get from either, there's no reason to choose one over the other unless I'm missing something. There does seem to be a reason to choose either ASIO or WASAPI over Direct Sound, just from what's described above, with the Windows mixer what you put in one end isn't exactly what comes out the other. There would just be the usual audiophile argument - is or isn't it noticeable? Well, it may or may not be. If you bypass it though then it definitely isn't.
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post #10 of 17
Eh, no, chinesewiki. Most consumers use ASIO for bit-perfect output. Nothing else I trust. These WASAPI output still mix other sounds from the system and the main volume control still works.
 
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