Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Phaenius

Capped (clipped, whatever) sound with Audigy sound card

215 posts in this topic

Well, with all due respect :) you asked about cheap ways to measure every kind of signals.

Maybe I wasn't made myself clear in my asking. I asked for an easy and convenient way to test a sound card. Some kind of program that will auto-put the sound card to the test, auto-run a set of tests and reports afterwards if it finds something wrong in the digital section, something that feedback wrong, you know, like in a HDD, it reports all sort of stuff about them, stuff you don't normally know. That's what I wanted to know. I am not an expert, don't know how to use electronic devices (although I am a college electronics engineer - I don't know the exact term in English), I have basic electronic knowledge, but I don't work in that area. So far I think I narrowed my problems to two aspects, the clipping and the THD, which, by my ears, is very bad, but don't know how to measure it, other than subjective impression, by actually listening.

I am not crazy, not a perfectionist and I don't want to waste anyone's time by inventing things, I just want to know what the heck is wrong, where is the problem. And, totally apart from the computer sound cards, why my Samsung phone also sounds bad, with harmonic distortions all of a sudden as well. I mean, common, two sound cards and a phone, 2 (at least) different equipment ? I know for a fact that human ears and brain can not induce harmonic distortions, I think I do have a good musical ear, I know distortions when I see (hear it) it.

I mean, let's say hypothetically that Santa Claus makes you find a brand new spectro-foto-turbo-cyber-oscillo-mega-scope, a (fictional) instrument very suited to measure accurately any kind of signals and worth a few thousands bucks, what you would do with it (exception made for using it as a very expensive door holder :w00t: )?

I would make Santa use it and report the results.

Have you the experience/capability/tools to desolder a SMC, find a replacement and re-solder it properly?

Sure. And I am doing it with my bare hands. Replacing the SMC and everything there is around it (i.e. the whole sound card). If I am sure that solves the problem and what's more important, if it doesn't repeat. I know I can buy a new sound card, but if it only works for a limited time, I can't replace it every month or so. That's why I am trying to isolate the problem. Why does this happens ?

you seem to me more like Robert De NIro in Analyze This ;), I guess your next move will to shoot a pillow.... :ph34r:

I am not nervous like Robert De Niro in that movie. Just a sad bunny.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, I think I will try again.

The "chain" is:

  1. Audio Source ->
  2. Hardware (PC) ->
  3. Software (Os) ->
  4. Software (player) ->
  5. Software (driver) ->
  6. hardware (Sound card) ->
  7. hardware (loudspeakers/earphones/etc) ->
  8. Perception (subjective, your ear)

The appropriate and suggested procedure is to try item #6 while keeping the same items #1, #2, #7 and #8 with different items #3, #4, #5.

Then trying another item #6 (and if needed an appropriate corresponding item #5) while keeping untouched items from #1 to #4 and from #6 to #8.

This is enough to understand if the sound card has an issue (hardware) or *something else* is the problem.

You either conduct these two tests or you will be - besides sad - a doubtful, insecure bunny for a long time :huh: .

3152_1.jpg

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think #3 matters. It's basically included in #5 so to speak. They act as one item. Same for #2 and #6. At #4 basically it's the codec that matters. Also, a few items missing from the chain. Depending on how I interconnect, DAC can be used internally or externally. But something must be wrong. Now I am having trouble outputting sound from Creative sound card. It doesn't return any error, but outputs are at 0 and inputs at max, no matter what the sliders say. I have to reboot several times to work. Meanwhile, internal on-board sound card works. Totally weird. I'm on a point of giving up.

Puzzled bunny.

Picture+1.png

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think #3 matters. It's basically included in #5 so to speak. They act as one item. Same for #2 and #6. At #4 basically it's the codec that matters. Also, a few items missing from the chain.

Look, basically you were asking for suggestions, they were given to you, and they are (IMHO) good ones, you can choose to either follow them or to not follow them :), in the first case, just do what you were told, avoiding the unneeded nitpicking, if the second, you can as well avoid the nitpicking as it would be pointless.

Just for the record however, you are fundamentally wrong:

  • different drivers #5 on same OS #3 may well give different resuts, as well different (compatible between them) OS's #3 with same drivers #5 may give different results.
  • as well the motherboard #2 may - for *any* reason - provoke a malfunctioning of the sound card #6 (as an example by providing low voltage or current or "dirty" power, among other things)

Forrestreversedisappear_version1.gif

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no dirty power, or at least not just for sound card. Every other component uses the same power. It's a Corsair power supply, I read the review, it produces low ripple and noise.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok I'll also try again. Since we are now clear about your expertise level concerning audio signals, the warnings in this link are VERY important. In my former career as a sound engineer, we would test the full range of the equipment using various sounds. MAKE NOTE of the VOLUME WARNINGS... you don't want to blow up your speakers. If you don't feel comfortable enough in doing full range audio tests, feel free to not attempt it.

Also, from experience, you may encounter some discomfort at the higher frequencies... also it may be possible that dogs in your area may not appreciate when the high frequency range ceases to be heard by you. :whistle:

http://www.cambridge-mt.com/ms-ch1.htm

http://www.cambridge-mt.com/ms-ch2.htm

http://www.cambridge-mt.com/ms-ch3.htm

Now, these aren't going to be miracle files, but are intended to assist you in properly tuning your system. I do not use these types of sounds anymore because I have found actual songs to use for testing purposes. If a correction cannot be made via your controls then you will need to explore the other options. I disagree with your assertion that #3 is not the issue, since it is known that Windows 7 handles audio differently than Windows XP.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... also it may be possible that dogs in your area may not appreciate when the high frequency range ceases to be heard by you. :whistle:

And be aware of the risk of unclogging cables sending asterisks through them! :whistle:

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... also it may be possible that dogs in your area may not appreciate when the high frequency range ceases to be heard by you. :whistle:

And be aware of the risk of unclogging cables sending asterisks through them! :whistle:

jaclaz

So from what I understand, once the sound issue is solved, beware that all those previously missing sounds will suddenly come free and be heard all in one cacaphony? :w00t:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So from what I understand, once the sound issue is solved, beware that all those previously missing sounds will suddenly come free and be heard all in one cacaphony? :w00t:

No more simply "check if there is no full moon when sending spinning asterisks" or "only do that during daytime":

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And you didn't appreciate my bunnies... :( And they are such nice (and sad) bunnies...

This is just a quick response. I will test the files and post the impressions afterwards. Thanks a lot, Tripredacus !

1st link: I read the article. Well written. Does not apply to my power supply. It's 3 months old, it's a good power supply, I read trusted reviews about it (with oscilloscope diagrams of ripple and noise, all sort of measuring depending of load, temperature and so on), it produces good voltages and (well inside limits) clean direct current. If you are talking about the sound card, yes, I am aware everything has it's lifespan.

2nd link: [yawn]

3rd link: Correct. Basically, same as 2nd link. You could have also posted a link with human capabilities over time. Same thing. Times forgives no one.

Since we are now clear about your expertise level concerning audio signals

By "we" do you mean you and jaclaz ? Because I'm not clear. Where do I stand, between a totally def and audio moron and an audio god ? I think I have a pretty good idea of how sound should be, relatively to my equipment. I am aware this is not thousand of dollars equipment, but taken into consideration this, I'll say something is definitely wrong, but don't know where.

the warnings in this link are VERY important. In my former career as a sound engineer, we would test the full range of the equipment using various sounds. MAKE NOTE of the VOLUME WARNINGS... you don't want to blow up your speakers. If you don't feel comfortable enough in doing full range audio tests, feel free to not attempt it.

Also, from experience, you may encounter some discomfort at the higher frequencies... also it may be possible that dogs in your area may not appreciate when the high frequency range ceases to be heard by you. :whistle:

Of course (and to partially answer my own question above), I'm not a totally id***. I have ears and can detect the raise of volume and/or potential dangerous levels. For this, my finger is always on the stop button. I already played with some of tone generators from links given by jaclaz and have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing.

Never mind the dogs, they must be def, they are barking all night under my window and not letting me sleep. If I'd be certain my speakers could do it, I would actually pay them back.

Now, these aren't going to be miracle files, but are intended to assist you in properly tuning your system. I do not use these types of sounds anymore because I have found actual songs to use for testing purposes. If a correction cannot be made via your controls then you will need to explore the other options. I disagree with your assertion that #3 is not the issue, since it is known that Windows 7 handles audio differently than Windows XP.

I thought audio part is not OS dependent. What (and please try to think if you can find an answer) I don't get it is why games and movies sound ok, crisp and loud and only music sounds crappy. My only assumption is that music is more rich in harmonics and this puts a lot on the capabilities of the sound card. I mean, on simple music, it sounds ok, but as soon as heavy and complex instruments kick in, sound gets distorted. "s"-es don't sound clear, it sounds like 'sh"-es (hope you understand), I hear harmonic distortions and clipping occur.

And be aware of the risk of unclogging cables sending asterisks through them! :whistle:

jaclaz

OK, wire management is crap inside my computer, heck, I always get horrible distortions in sound when one of my four HDDs is working at high transfer speeds. You might be on to something here. I'll try to shield somehow the cable from sound card to front panel. Thanks Creative for not thinking of that.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I listened the waves, Tripredacus. What exactly should I have heard or noticed ? It sounds ok, I mean nothing to report.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, I listened the waves, Tripredacus. What exactly should I have heard or noticed ? It sounds ok, I mean nothing to report.
Then it's your files (or whatever?) The "tests" were to "check" with "basic ranges" (I assume, since I didn't use said "tests"). You SHOULD have heard the same "artifacts" that you have been experiencing.

(note- I'm a Sound Engineer as well AND am a Certified Electronics Technician.)

-My Silence Is Broken-

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But FLAC should be very close to original. The "L" is the magic word.

And it's hard to hear artifacts in pink and white noise. As for the low frequency test, it went very good. But those were simple samples, one tone. Problems arise at complex sounds, with a lot of instruments, in a wide range of frequency.

Edited by Phaenius
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just for the record, I am not a sound engineer nor a certified electronics technician.

(but I did stay at a Holiday Inn ;) )

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.