-SourceAlternate sample rates
A lot of common (desktop) hardware supports multiple sample rates. Interesting, among these, are 44100 Hz and 48000 Hz, since all common sample rates can be expressed as a simple multiple of one of these, which implies cheaper resampling, when it is required. Previous versions of PulseAudio only supported opening the device at a single sample rate, requiring all streams that did not match this rate to be resampled. We now support switching the device's sample rate dynamically at run time, allowing us to avoid resampling, or reduce resampling overhead. This should result in CPU and power savings on hardware that supports such switching (most Intel HDA-based devices at least).
as far as looking if your audio gets resampled, you can check that by checking the cpu usage of the program that the sound goes thru
(some is used just to transfer the data, alot more is used for resampling; how much depends on your cpu ofc)
idk much about pulseaudio, but common sense tells me you'd have to resample all audio to some common frequency and bit rate
on most sound cards the signal gets resampled anyway
as for the things written on boxes:
dolby surround is a format for multi channel audio mostly used in dvd's
eax is a proprietary protocol for 3D audio (yes, proper 3D audio is science and takes a little computing power, eax is an engine on creative sound blaster cards)
most modern sound processors on cards support things like openal and others for 3D sound positioning, but im having my doubts as to how much is implemented on the software side in linux drivers/sound API's
eax and things like that need to be supported in your game too, they rarely are
most modern cards have mp3/flac/aac/etc decoders in their chips, but again they have to be written in the driver to be used
only things you can read from a card and be sure it means something usefull is sampling rate/bit rate (but again you probably dont have music/games that go above 48khz/16bit so it dosent rly matter)
and S/N ratio (signal to noise ratio, and i see lots of those data manipulated or just plain faked)
most other things written are just bullshit
interesting thing to know; best surround youl get is from headfones
yes, i know it sounds dumb getting best surround from a stereo source, but when you look at it you have only 2 ears
and the way we recognize where the sound is comming from is by its phase (and thats what 3D positioning means basicly)
PS mp3/ogg/aac etc (and games use them or similar) are faaaaar from the original
they use "psychoacoustics" too cut out a part of the sound spectrum that you probably wont notice missing
that woudnt be bad at all if properly encoded, but almost all i found is just wrong either by the person encoding it(check "loudness wars" for an example) or by the fact that your sound source(speakers and all else in the chain, mostly speakers) isnt perfect
for example you have a DnB song with vocals;
when the bass gets loud, the mp3 encoder presumes you wont hear a part of the vocal
and it would be right if your sound source could put out bass that loud(and in phase), but it cant
so the vocal you can hear clearer then you should(since the bass aint that loud) you hear "zooming" in and out
if you want a good sound card i recommend a cheap asus xonar (DS/DX, whatever is cheaper) since i found they have professional quality sound (i say professional quality sound, not that they are professional quality; but they still ALOT better then all in the price range)
Last edited by gens; 08-30-2012 at 10:07 AM.
Also, bit perfect isn't nearly as big a deal as people in this forum seem to think.. So long as you select a halfway decent sampler it won't degrade your audio perceptibly.
Seams any topic can be made in to a discussion about PA. Also isn't all this answered in the manual, except for the stuff that is relevant for media players and not sound servers.
As for ALSA - this all sounds like great news, and i am glad to see some improvements coming down the pipe, it can only mean good things. I'd like to find a little more information on 'wallclock timestamp support' and i am also interested in the proposed 'channel mapping API' ... hopefully, we will hear more about this soon.
wait, means you only have 96khz music and you only play games that have 96khz sound etc...
S/N ratio(and hum, that is directly related to it) is important for consumer grade too if you ask me
for example i got big ass rly sensitive speakers that amplify the hum a lot, on the other hand bad amps put in small speakers amplify it a lot(not because they are better/stronger or whatever but because small speakers dont have a dynamic range to speak off so you turn them up a lot)
S/N ratio is clearly faked on motherboard sound cards like your IntelHDA since in that case it depends on your power supply(ever heard wierd hissing when copyng a file?)
on other cards i see it faked by shady test conditions like "96db SNR at 3khz and -9db" what is best for the card, but not standard
all published data on hardware should be tested by a set standard, in case of audio either ISO or AES
funny thing is that digital audio sources should have rly good figures, but assholes save money on simple filters(that go on the power supply of the opamp on the soundcard board)
our ears pick up a lot more dynamic range(they are so sensitive that 0dB is when its so quiet that you cant hear anything else cuz your heart is too loud) then our brain can process
then our brain "calculates" the position of the source of sound based on phase difference(watch a documentary about sharks, its best explained there)
20.4 surround or whatever figure they think up next to sell you crap cant work as good as headfones since your room acoustics will mess it all up
(to set it up properly you need special speakers(i dont mean expencive, but rly special as in i seen one company that makes them and one school that made a few to teach students acoustics) also a lot of calculations and software control of phase, or you could just use good headphones that eliminate the room part out of the equation)
to make it clear to you: "good headphones are A LOT better then the best speakers!" cut they sit directly on your ears, and they have rly light membranes(less sound coloration due to better control of the "driver"(the membrane+coil))
as for the loudness war part, lots of people told me a song is crap encoded cuz its quiet
"remastering" is usually done by experienced people that know what they do, and they do it for money because publishers want their songs to be louder then the competitions on some average hi-fi stereo system
that has even more of an effect on encoding lossy audio like mp3 cuz of the psychoacoustic thing i explained earlier
also your special 96khz software setup probably still resamples everything to 48khz in software since its probably what your card eats so using it too play youtube takes at least 2 resamplings, bout a bit loosy
(not that you can hear the difference anyway)
PS i like prodigy, but put a song from them in audacity
Last edited by ninez; 08-30-2012 at 06:00 PM.
so your just telling me you have rly expensive audio equipment and therefore know better then anybody else ?
whitepapers like this one ?
if you look at the specs, the xonar cards i recommended are better on paper then RME and such expensive cards
(the explanation is... electronics what i doubt you know anything about so i dont wanna confuse you)
(rightmark says they are better in tests too..)
check out Audio Power Amplifier Design Handbook by Douglas Self
the part named "Misinformation in Audio" will tell you about some nonsense you see people talk around
speakers i talked about are special by the fact they are full ranged single driver speakers shaped like a tear(or an egg i guess) to avoid coloring the sound by removing the bouncing of waves off the speakers rims
headfones also should have more dynamic range and also important hold the phase steady (as they have only one light driver(easier to control with less current, less mass) and not two or 3 that cant be perfectly phase balanced)
if you rly want to know i do have a shitty sound card, but i have also professional grade big ass concert speakers (they costed a lot, but since i made most the work myself, they still cost a lot(not that the price guarantees quality)) with rly high dynamic range and sensitivity(i can get you papers on them, not that you showed any papers that prove i sayd anything wrong)
i dont have money for a sound card, but il get a xonar DS for ~40$ that sounds better then your RME (not that anybody can notice the difference)
you have a studio or you just like black heavy stuff ?
PS Sennheiser http://www.sennheiserusa.com/around-...id-size_504765
freq response: 17-22,500 Hz not enough ?
mind also i think they test against AES standard, meaning 17-22,500Hz +- 3dB what rarely any monitor can do
Last edited by gens; 08-31-2012 at 02:17 PM.
So basically, (you say) headphones deliver across the board and are better than any speaker, except (as i pointed out) for the fact that lower-end frequencies don't really come through them, and more importantly (which i will point out now) really low-frequencies are felt more than they are heard - and even this article says for the best experience use a sub-woofer with headphones...interesting.Originally Posted by from very end of paper above
Headphones give some extra detail (due to reasons you have pointed out), and they do solve the 'gap' problem between speakers, but that doesn't make them better. In a properly acoustically treated room, with a high-end media/theater/studio surround-sound setup - the experience is much richer, to continue to argue that headphones are better than any speaker is silly, when you consider everything that is involved. I personally find headphones to be a good reference / starting point, but a good set of studio monitors in a decent space is better at the end of the day, and you do miss out if only using headphones.
Please explain to me how ANY xonar actually touches this card (they don't), not in quality, performance or stability/reliability... not to mention you can't even use a xonar in a professional studio and certianly they don't touch RME in terms of quality or features.
As far as showing white papers, anyone with any background in music production knows that headphones are limiting ,they are good for basic mixing, but eventually you will want to be using proper speakers. So ya, you are wrong to think headphones are better than even the 'best' speakers.
sorry but no dice and besides we are getting waaayy off topic, continuing is sort of pointless. You think headphones are better than any speaker/sound system, when in reality they don't deliver in the bottom-end and thus don't deliver those particular frequencies properly in the 3d space to be heard via those headphones that are better than any speaker.
I for one know that sound/music/etc is something that is not only heard but felt, to say that headphones are better than any speaker is ridiculous and it seems you are arguing this point just to argue.