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Topic: Winyl sound etc  (Read 6283 times)

January 09, 2016, 08:14:32 AM
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Winyl sound etc
« on: January 09, 2016, 08:14:32 AM »
Hello,

first I would like to say that Winyl is a great subtle audio player, a pity that I have not found it before! I especially appreciate the fact that it supports WASAPI out of the box.

I have however one question to the sound output of Winyl. I compared it to he output of Windows Media Player and Foobar and while the sound of the player is very soft and nice to hear, also when increasing volume everything runs smoothly, but on my pcs with SB Audigy and Realtek HD it lacks a little bit of clarity and treble that is available in WMP 12. In Foobar WASAPI mode the clarity and treble is probably so high that it seems to be overkill especially at high volumes. This all is without any EQs or prostprocessing, just trying to bit reproduce the cds/flac (16/44.1 and 24/96).

Therefore I would like to ask those who know about the internals of this player

- does the sound engine of Winyl differ significantly from WMP/FOOBAR ?
- what is done with sound inside  Winyl ?
- to what extent the described effects are "placebo" and to what extent they have a justification in Winyls algorithms and/or settings ?

Bets regards and thanks again for good work!

Jan

January 09, 2016, 04:17:53 PM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 04:17:53 PM »
- does the sound engine of Winyl differ significantly from WMP/FOOBAR ?
- what is done with sound inside  Winyl ?
- to what extent the described effects are "placebo" and to what extent they have a justification in Winyls algorithms and/or settings ?
- I don't know about WMP maybe it's using some post processing, but Winyl and foobar2000 output is the same.
- If equalizer is disabled then nothing.
- There isn't any algorithm which can impact sound quality. So yes, I think it's just "placebo".

January 09, 2016, 06:01:22 PM
Reply #2
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2016, 06:01:22 PM »
This is a very surprising answer for me.

As I have written, I can accept that WMP is doing some upsampling, because it does not have wasapi. However the differences between Winyl and WMP are smaller that between Winyl and Foobar. Those differences, I think, cannot be just placebo. The difference is that Winyl sounds softer with a little lower trebles, also when increasing the volume Winyl has "nicer, more polished", but not so "raw" sound as Foobar.

Winyl sound like no other player I have, I can say it is a good sound, but a little bit softer than would be optimal ....

Can this be explained somehow ?

January 09, 2016, 08:32:47 PM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 08:32:47 PM »
I am seeing strange - to some degree - things ....

I was trying to research the causes and it seems that when the shared sound rate on Windows DirectSound is set back to 16/44.1 rather than 24/96, then WMP sounds more similar to other players. This makes sense since majority of my FLACs are 16/44.1 and thus no or little sampling/postprocessing takes place.

But also, when using Winyl WASAPI when this shared rate set 16/44.1, winyl sound seems more close to foobars and generally the differences between players seem to be smaller (although the do not completely disappear). Is it sure that Winyl always sets in WASAPI  mode the playing frequency according to the actual track resolution?

Also I found out, that when I try to use "XMPlay" player for WASAPI exclusive where I can set/play with directly the sampling rate and resampling options/quality, it seems that my sound card SB Audigy sound (slightly) differently with different rates 44100, 48000 and 96000 Hz, where 44100 in my opinion most matches the sound of older plain CD HiFI player that I also have. This seems to be to some degree independent on the source FLAC rate, e.g. when upsampling from 16/44.1 FLAC to 24/96 KhZ i get similar results (in the terms of sound "style", but also when playing the same song at different rates) as when i play 24/96 KhZ FLAC directly and vice versa (the sound characteristics seem to be also influenced by the sample rate used for playing than just by the resampling process itself).

Just guessing and thinking: can the shared rate (or WASAPI resampled rate in XMPLAY) set at 16/44.1 make sound card dacs, clock, driver etc. behave differently/better  (since it places less demand on resources of the card, jitter etc.), or even somewhat influence Winyl behavior ? And regardless of the sample rate issues, what can be the cause of Winyl's softer sound? (after those settings changed it seems to improve to the degree that is surely OK for listening, but still the sound from Winyl is slightly different than WMP).

So it seems to be optimal to use Winyl in WASAPI mode where the sound card should be set independently of Windows Shared settings according to the sampling rate of the file (thus playing FLACs at proper source resolution without resampling), and set the shared mode to 16/44.1 for occasional WMP usage also without significant resampling for majority of the files, as it seems to give best (subjective) results ...

Jan

« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 10:06:02 PM by jumpingjackflash5 »

January 10, 2016, 09:09:32 AM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2016, 09:09:32 AM »
About comparison Winyl and foobar2000. If you disable all DSP in foobar2000 (like resampler etc.) set volume to 100% in both Winyl and foobar2000 then output in both players will be bitperfect. So try to check these settings before comparing the players.

Is it sure that Winyl always sets in WASAPI  mode the playing frequency according to the actual track resolution?
Yes.

Just guessing and thinking: can the shared rate (or WASAPI resampled rate in XMPLAY) set at 16/44.1 make sound card dacs, clock, driver etc. behave differently/better  (since it places less demand on resources of the card, jitter etc.), or even somewhat influence Winyl behavior ?
Shared rate applies only for DirectSound and WASAPI Shared, it doesn't do anything in WASAPI Exclusive mode which Winyl uses.

And regardless of the sample rate issues, what can be the cause of Winyl's softer sound? (after those settings changed it seems to improve to the degree that is surely OK for listening, but still the sound from Winyl is slightly different than WMP).
I don't know really, as I said maybe there is a post processing in WMP.

January 10, 2016, 09:43:15 AM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2016, 09:43:15 AM »
Thank you very much for the answers, it is valuable for me to know how Winyl works so that I can better optimize my settings.

As far as I can tell, even if I fully appreciate your answers, Winyl sound is a little bit different (cannot say worse) than other players. I found out, that it can be - if desired - somewhat compensated by enabling the Winyl equalizer and set the last two bars to plus 0.5 and 1, respectively.

Maybe in the future i will try to somewhat capture the output from foobar and winyl to analyze possible differences. It is true that at higher volumes the (already subtle or "sound character" related) differences nearly disappear, so maybe it has some relation to the volume regulation.

Again, thanks for great work!

January 10, 2016, 11:23:14 PM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2016, 11:23:14 PM »
And one (probably last) remark:

What is was discussing could be also to some extent concerned with the Sound Blaster issue I was not aware of before. There is an info on some websites that majority of older Sound Blaster Audigys do under some conditions some internal resampling to 16/48 regardless of what format is fed onto the card. Probably this is not the case of my PC as i have all the effects disabled but I will try to verify it, since as far as the knowledge says any additional resampling (Windows or sound-card related) can change (worsen) the sound characteristics.

I know that this is not directly related to Winyl, whose role is to play the audio stream as accurately as possible on the rendering side which it does well . After a few albums played in Winyl, reinstalling the sound card drivers and installing version 3.2 RC1 i also got used to the sound of Winyl which as I wrote in the first post is nice to hear and after the sound settings review it got very close to other players - so maybe there was also something strange in the initial setup/options of my pc. Just wanted to make more complete picture.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 01:32:54 AM by jumpingjackflash5 »

January 11, 2016, 11:19:59 AM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2016, 11:19:59 AM »
There is an info on some websites that majority of older Sound Blaster Audigys do under some conditions some internal resampling to 16/48 regardless of what format is fed onto the card.
Yes, it's possible with some sound cards. WASAPI Exclusive or ASIO doesn't mean that audio output will be 100% bit-perfect, it's just mean that output of the player will be bit-perfect. So first you always should check settings and possibilities of your sound card. In some cases WASAPI/ASIO doesn't change much.

January 11, 2016, 12:22:04 PM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2016, 12:22:04 PM »
Thank you very much for your answers and justifications. As I have written, after reinstalling sound drivers and going through settings I am now satisfied with Winyl sound and the differences are minimal, if any.

 

January 17, 2016, 07:24:55 PM
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Re: Winyl sound etc - more finding
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2016, 07:24:55 PM »
Hello all,

after process above things settled down and I got satisfied with the settings results, now I have discovered one more important aspects that can affect the sound slightly in Windows Mixer WMP (not WASAPI mode used by Winyl or Foobar). As written here

http://blog.szynalski.com/2009/11/17/an-audiophiles-look-at-the-audio-stack-in-windows-vista-and-7/

Windows always  using the  mixed mode samples everything (losslessly) to 32 bit audio and the feds the sound card with highest bit setting it is capable of in shared mode (which is set in control panel). And 24 bit is more space for mixing than 16 bit, so the setting 16/44.1 and 24/44.1 slightly differs in results especially when windows volume is not set at 100% which is usually not at the desktop so that volume can be varied by mouse etc. So it makes sense to try if 24/44.1 will not be better for shared mode that 16/44.1, while still preventing resampling the sample rate to different KhZ which is related to resampling artefacts.

Of course, this is not an issue of Winyl, just wanted to add the information to this therad because those topics were concerned.

Jan

January 31, 2016, 12:30:45 PM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2016, 12:30:45 PM »
One more question.

Does Winyl use Push or Event WASAPI mode? Even if they should sound the same, e.g. in Foobar some users reported http://www.head-fi.org/t/626673/foobar-wasapi-3-0-push-changes-the-headphones-sound that Event mode had, in addition to different communication with the DAC, slightly different sound (and sometimes preferred the Push mode which was a little bit softer).

Thanks!


January 31, 2016, 03:26:44 PM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2016, 03:26:44 PM »
Winyl uses WASAPI Push mode by default. But you can change it by editing Settings.xml file (located in %appdata%/Winyl for setup version or in subfolder Profile for portable)

Find this line:
Quote
<Device ID="-1" Driver="1" Bit32="1" SoftMix="0" />

And add WasapiEvent="1":
Quote
<Device ID="-1" Driver="1" Bit32="1" SoftMix="0" WasapiEvent="1" />

January 31, 2016, 04:47:34 PM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2016, 04:47:34 PM »
Thank you very much for your info. It is very good that Winyl uses Push by default, as it is simpler in technique and  it can (theoretically) seem to (even if it is hard to justify) provide very slightly diffferent sound especially on internal cards (DACs). I discussed this on the Foobar forum and while many users were sceptical about the differences (cannot be heard/impossible), one of them wrote:

"
A possible explanation for differences is "noise".
Different modes of processing can generate different patterns of EMI/RFI/ripple on the ground plane/etc. If we assume this creeps into the DAC and modulates the analog out some way, we do have an explanation for possible differences.

However, if this is the case it should be easy to measure.
These measurements are rare, very rare indeed.
On the other hand, boxes claiming to isolate the DAC from the PC are a very prolific market.
Noise has become the new jitter :) ..."

And, back to Winyl, this can partly explain the very slight difference between Foobar and Winyl I wrote about when starting this thread, since I the used Foobar in Event mode and switched to Push mode latter when tampering with the settings (as I have written).

Keep on developing!

« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 04:55:43 PM by jumpingjackflash5 »

February 29, 2016, 07:36:31 AM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2016, 07:36:31 AM »
Thanks again for the information stated here. I used Winyl on different computer and this time the push mode had  some stability problems with the sound card used (SB Audigy FX). So I used the option for event mode you described and this mode is OK. Still the sound of event mode seems a little bit "clearer" to me, but it may be listening bias. Good to know about the event/push options, maybe they should be present also in the UI but also the XML ini file changes can be used to achieve the results required.

March 01, 2016, 09:46:12 PM
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Re: Winyl sound etc
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2016, 09:46:12 PM »
event/push options, maybe they should be present also in the UI
I plan to add this option to the UI in the future.