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Phaenius

Capped (clipped, whatever) sound with Audigy sound card

215 posts in this topic

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

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

jaclaz

Like Jake Sully said "I'm not scientist, ask dr. Augustine" :)

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jumper, I tried KNOPIXX, sound card isn't recognized.

A bit of research indicates SUSE has the best change of including X-Fi drivers on the LiveCD. Otherwise, you need to get them from a linux repository and install to a flashdrive (or something.... :unsure: )

1. Followed the link.

2. Downloaded SUSE

3. Burned disc

4. Boot from DVD

5. Bubu ! Disc is trying to install Linux operating system from what I saw on screen

6. Stopped installer.

So, can you please link me to a disc like KNOPPIX, something that will run from it ?

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A bit of research indicates SUSE has the best change of including X-Fi drivers on the LiveCD. Otherwise, you need to get them from a linux repository and install to a flashdrive (or something.... :unsure: )

Choose here:

http://software.opensuse.org/122/en

between LIVE KDE or LIVE GNOME

Or use a USB stick:

http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Live_USB_stick

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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Both are SUSE ? (I always feel the urge to say Suzy) Not that matters to me, but I understood from jumper, is a good program, OS or whatever. I know so little about Linux, I don't know what SUSE is

Thanks for the links.

Edited by Phaenius
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AFAICR, those are the Desktops - pick one of (many) variations.... Linux is flexible compared to Windows (which Browser do you want, etc) depending on the "flavor" (e.g. SUSE) of Linux. ;)

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I heard Linux is stable and I don't dispute it. It's just I know nothing about it. I must be quite difficult to handle for a newbie, otherwise it would have been more spread among users.

Edited by Phaenius
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[ot]

Recent article about Linux Market Share. It's true that it's wise to do a little "light reading" on Linux (not for the faint-hearted) but it's really no different than learning a Windows OS from "scratch". In fact, many Linux users having never used Windows finds Windows to be a pain. ;) Being a "Other Operating Systems", browse around that Sub-Forum for while just for funsies.

[/ot]

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See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_CD

of course a LiveCd does not really *need* to be Linux based, as an exampe there are several PE 1.x, 2.x or 3.x derived from either XP/2003, Vista :ph34r: / 2008, 7/2008 R2 with added features including sound support, but they need to be "built" from your source and this procedure is not as easy as getting a pre-built Linux based Live CD.

jaclaz

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Tried both LIVE KDE or LIVE GNOME. They both sound horrible. Worse than Windows 7. Both sound cards (the on-board HD-Audio Realtek and Creative X-Fi). So, we can safely rule out the OS. Installed both official and tweak drivers, work the same, what on earth can it be ? I mean, common, both sound cards to sound that bad ? The only plausible explanation I can think of is that Creative sound card broke (in some way) and Realtek is genuine bad (on analogue part). But it's a long shot anyway.

I am sure somehow the problem resides in the analogue area of the cards, not much you can break in the digital. But don't know what. Is there a way to measure the output of the sound cards (both analogue, volts, etc. and digital - don't know here what exactly) ? Meanwhile, I played a bit with the tone generator and found out some interesting facts. First of all, I set the card to output 0 dB (I set the output levels and I have a third party VU-meter - pretty cool actually) and then I tested various frequencies (all on sine waves). I found out card is losing power at both ends, I mean output is lowered. From 5 Hz (ok, I know, not audible and not important, but some conclusions could be drawn from it) above, I have 0 dB output, but below 5 Hz, VU-meter (which is very sensible) raises and falls periodically, don't know why. The lower the frequency, the bigger the margin. In the upper frequencies, it works correctly up to 15200 Hz. Above this, output is becoming to drop. At 20000 Hz for instance I have -5 dB. At 21000 Hz I have -6.8. 22049 Hz is the maximum I can get (again, not heard, but measurable by VU-meter). At this frequency, again I get wobbling needle on VU-meter (like at low frequency). At 22050 Hz I got 0 output, not measurable. Can an electronics guru tell me if he can make something out of this ? Why the level drop beyond 15200 Hz and why the sudden stop beyond 22049 Hz ? I am no expert, but can't help noticing this is 44.1 KHz / 2, a standard sampling frequency. I set my card to 44.1, 48, 96 and 192 KHz. Same result.

This is with Creative sound card. With Realtek, results are even more horrible. At any frequency, output level oscillates a lot. If I set 0 dB at 10000 Khz, it won't stay at 0 dB throughout the audio range, it oscilates a lot. At least, with Creative, I got flat 0 dB from 5 Hz to 15200 Hz.

Edited by Phaenius
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Wash the card then test in another system. Do not connect cables for front panel module!

If problem persists at line-level output jacks on card, diagnose the analog channels on the card as follows:

  1. monitor the audio signals with a monophonic, (battery-) powered speaker with two probes for inputs.
  2. play a monophonic sound that clearly distorts when you think it shouldn't
  3. if it sounds the same at both channel jacks, it's not a one-channel problem (i.e. bad cap. in one amp)
  4. probe the circuit, tracing the audio signal from the line-level outputs back to the DAC (digital-analog converter)
  5. if audio clears up during the trace, identify the faulty component.
  6. if the audio is already distorted coming out of the DAC, the card is unfixable.

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Sadly, I didn't understand a thing. First of all, what do you mean by washing the card ? Surely, must be some sort of slang, but don't know what, Secondly, point by point:

1. How do I monitor exactly the audio signal with a monophonic powered speaker ? What do you mean by battery - ? What type of battery shall it be ? What do you mean by two probes for inputs. I'm sorry, but the whole point 1 makes no sense to me. Can you please rephrase ? What exactly shall I connect ?

3. This again I don't get. What shall sound the same at both channel jacks ? What jacks ? But I am sure both channels gets equally distorted, it's not a one channel problem. Furthermore, card has 8 channels, better, it has 10, 8 at the back and 2 (independent from what I read) at the front.

4. What DAC ? How can I probe ? What to connect ?

So again, can you please tell me what to connect and what to follow, point by point ? Can you please insert a "jaclaz converter" between us two ? He seems to have a very clear way of explaining. :D

Again, thanks.

Edited by Phaenius
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Sadly, I didn't understand a thing. First of all, what do you mean by washing the card ? Surely, must be some sort of slang, but don't know what, Secondly, point by point:

Sometimes "washing a card" means simply "washing a card".

Unlike most people thinks, electronic cards can be washed (of course using some common sense).

See:

http://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=10038/

In your case actually washing it may be overkill, but taking it out of the case, carefully and thoroughly cleaning it from dust with compressed air, then use some isopropyl alcohol to clean contacts could be advised.

There are mainly two kinds of dust, one that is dry (which goes away easily with compressed air or with a soft brush) and one that is "oily" and that doesn't go away with compressed air.

When this latter kind is on a card, the easiest way is to wash the card with some mildly hot water and some soap. (and of course thoroughly rinse and let it dry afterwards)

jaclaz

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I don't see how dust and dirt can damage the sound. Electrons travel inside the components, not on the surface. This isn't a matter of joke. This isn't a joint, to vax, oil, undust and something like it. It's a solid state component, nothing to do with dust and dirt. I'm sure it's not even susceptible to static electricity.

What about the point-by-point advice ? Can you please explain ?

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I don't see how dust and dirt can damage the sound. Electrons travel inside the components, not on the surface. This isn't a matter of joke. This isn't a joint, to vax, oil, undust and something like it. It's a solid state component, nothing to do with dust and dirt. I'm sure it's not even susceptible to static electricity.

You don't need to "see" it, you have to either believe it or not.

Rest assured that dust/dirt is one of the major causes for malfunctioning of any electronic card, expecially high frequency ones (no not particularly audio frequency, usually much higher ones such as TV signals), but contacts are affected in any case..

First google result for "dust electronic failure":

http://www.computerdust.com/downloads/special_report_on_the_effect_of_dust_on_electronics.pdf

a few results below:

http://www.ipcoutlook.org/pdf/impact_of_dust_ipc.pdf

What about the point-by-point advice ? Can you please explain ?

No, that's up to jumper.

jaclaz

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Yes, but you're a good "translator" :)

Anyhow, I don't believe dust can affect a sound card. It's mostly affecting moving parts or non-moving parts by overheating. But it's not the case. In our case (or rather in mine), sound card has low power consumption, it doesn't overheat, it doesn't have moving parts, it's made mostly on integrated chips (presumably well soldered), resistors and capacitors, air tight and also well soldered. Radio frequency inside computer can distort sound (in which case shame on Creative for not thinking of), but I don't think it's the case, since it worked before.

Edited by Phaenius
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