Many people who wanted better sound quality in Windows OS heard about Window's Kmixer, Kernel Streaming
, low latency interface ASIO
, Kernel Streaming plugins for Winamp & Foobar or, at least, ASIO4ALL
. As one of those people, I've tried many different players, plugins for them, ASIO emulators (asio2ks, AsioKS, ASIOx, ASIO4ALL), etc. Unfortunately none of them didn't satisfy my taste (great sound but bad interface, luck of some features or conversely). For a long time I've been using xmplay with ASIO2KS v1.01 driver
but often noticed that it doesn't sounds correct & DirectSound always have some advantage... All this time I just needed to apply small reg tweak...
But let's not get ahead, here's my short manual.
Well, first of all you need to install driver. Download ASIO2KS v1.01 driver
(not beta 0.90-2 from official site!
). Extract asio2ks.cpl to the %WinDir%\system32
Now you can open it there or from the 'Control Panel'.
When you opened it, enable driver, disable intput (better sound), set 'Samples' value. Lower is better, but too low will cause sound distortion, it depends on yours hardware (512 is very common). On the 'Advanced' tab leave "Channel Allocation" & "Channel Mask-Use" as is (all channels; direct sound)"
Now we need to apply little registry tweaks (it resets if you change settings of the driver!). Open 'Start' menu, click on 'Run', write 'regedit' & click OK. Now go to the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ASIO\ASIO Kernel-Streaming driver\Device\OutInterface]. You should open the key 'MaxChannels' & replace value of available
№ of channels with used
№ channels (e.g. for 2.0/2.1 systems its '2', for 5.1 - '6'). Also remeber value of the key 'MaxBits'. If its '20 (32)' I strongly suggest you to change it to 18 (24)!
Finally we need to configure xmplay step by step:
1) Download latest stable ASIO plugin for xmplay
or 'stuff' version
(may be unavailable)
2) Go to 'Options & stuff' -> Output -> ASIO and tick "Always use preferred driver buffer size" & untick "Set hardware sample rate when possible"; "Use optimal resolution (else pad to it).
4) Finally go to 'Options & stuff' -> 'Output' & select "Device: ASIO - ASIO Kernel-Streaming driver".
5) Remember what bit-depth your soundcard supports (key 'MaxBits' from registry). If its "20 (32) or 18 (24)" then set 'Resolution' in xmplay to "24 bit". If its "10 (16)" - leave default "16 bit"
6) This step isn't necessary but you can also move 'SRC quality slider' right to get the best re-sampling quality.
Thats all, now you can restart the player.
Sometimes its easier to show than explain
using poor English
so look at the image
Enjoy great sound with the great player!
I know, its kinda late now, in the time of modern sound cards, Windows 7 etc., but "better late than never" & I hope this manual will be usefull for someone.
Additionally if you have Audigy SE like me I strongly suggest you to use SB24_PCDRV_LB_1_04_0076 driver (for me its better than support packs, latest SB24_VTDRV_LB_1_04_0077, SBA_PCDRV_LB_1_04_0061 or CD-drivers/SB24_VTDRV_LB_1_04_0055).