Author Topic: Looking for a clean/minimalistic audio player which outputs untouched audio  (Read 4704 times)

Ekstasis

  • Posts: 12
What I am aming for is a player that outputs a direct stream with untouched audio, with a minimalstic audio path and a good audio engine, no eq, no filters, no upsample, no up  convert, it does not even need to have volume control since I let my Antelope Eclipse monitor controller control the audio volume (the analogue way which is the best way.) Most media players up sample or up convert internally, to compensate for DSP processing, and Digital Volume control. I have no need for either DSP processing or digital volume control since I use my Antelope Eclipse to change my volume the analogue way, I want to keep the audio as pure and untouched as possible when I output it to the DAC.

Let me know if you know any similiar minimalistic and clean design which can manage to output clean and untouched audio what comes in is what comes out and I want my DAC to do the rest.  I use the Antelope Eclipse 384 DAC

something similiar to Billy but with ASIO support.
http://www.sheepfriends.com/index-page=billy.html

I hope there is something simple and similar to Billy out there a small unkown software which can do the task and transport the audio untouched with no nonsense.
« Last Edit: 18 Jan '14 - 13:39 by Ekstasis »

saga

  • Posts: 2181
Since you're asking this on the XMPlay forums, how about... XMPlay? All the DSP features are completely optional and if you don't use them, they won't tamper with the sound.

But to demonstrate how superstitious this whole "bit-exact output" audiophile stuff is:
Quote
something similiar to Billy but with ASIO support.
I hope that you are aware that ASIO drivers usually accept exactly one bit depth (e.g. 32-bit float or 32-bit int), so as soon as your audio doesn't match this bit depth (let's assume you use 32-bit FLACs and your soundcard supports 32-bit float), bit depth conversion is almost always required to be performed by the player.
« Last Edit: 18 Jan '14 - 21:08 by saga »

Dotpitch

  • Posts: 2871
As saga said, you can use XMPlay. Leave the EQ off, balance at centre and set the auto-amp to off with the amplification at 0 dB to leave the audio untouched. With ASIO or WASAPI in exclusive mode (get the from the plugins section), output to your soundcard will be bit-perfect.

Ekstasis

  • Posts: 12
As saga said, you can use XMPlay. Leave the EQ off, balance at centre and set the auto-amp to off with the amplification at 0 dB to leave the audio untouched. With ASIO or WASAPI in exclusive mode (get the from the plugins section), output to your soundcard will be bit-perfect.

I am aware of Xmplay, in fact I have been using it as the media player since 2005.
But now when I have a more high end DAC it makes more sense to investigate alternatives.
I understand that this the xmplay forum so I can imagine there is a lot of fanboyism for this software.
I want to know what alternatives it is, I know all the good and "serious" player exist for MAC only, if I would use MAC I would probably use the player Audirvana.

The problem with what i have with Xmplay is first of all, the Asio plugin only support up to 96 khz, while this is not a problem it feels like the designer does not even know it exist up to 192 khz.

Even though I can disable EQ, replay gain, auto amp and all that stuff, While I can do that I am not a programmer of xmplay so I cannot predict the real audio path within this software, I am not sure what processing the engine is using if it upsample and up convert just to compensate for the digital volume control etc. That is why I want as minimalistic player that can guarantee a simple audio path and good sound enginde but where the player does not need to upsample or up convert to compensate for dsp processing. It is bercause of the DSP processing and digital volume control that the players need to up sample and up convert the audio.  This is what I want to try to avoid, I realize that only player that can deliver that is probably very small and hard to find players, like "Billy", the billy player is perfect for me, to bad it does not have ASIO support.

 

Ekstasis

  • Posts: 12
Since you're asking this on the XMPlay forums, how about... XMPlay? All the DSP features are completely optional and if you don't use them, they won't tamper with the sound.

But to demonstrate how superstitious this whole "bit-exact output" audiophile stuff is:
Quote
something similiar to Billy but with ASIO support.
I hope that you are aware that ASIO drivers usually accept exactly one bit depth (e.g. 32-bit float or 32-bit int), so as soon as your audio doesn't match this bit depth (let's assume you use 32-bit FLACs and your soundcard supports 32-bit float), bit depth conversion is almost always required to be performed by the player.

And How should I know they wont tamper the sound ? will the sound be upsampled and up converted internally within the machine to adapt to the DSP environment of the player such as volume control etc.

I guess I will have to ask Antelope Audio on what bit depth the their asio driver is working on Good to

know..The Antelope support told me however I should avoid to upsample or upconvert, cause it will give you no true 24 bit or true sample rate conversion with clocking, only fake and artificial audio.  I want my DAC do the conversion with real clocking, I use my Antelope DAC as an external masterclock.

Right now I have set my Xmplay asio driver in xmplay 16 bit and 44khz.

saga

  • Posts: 2181
XMPlay always shows if the output playback rate differs from the original sample rate in the info window. Unless you really force XMPlay to use a different rate, this will be the same as the original file's sampling rate, and if it differs, both the original and the output frequency are shown. If you don't trust that XMPlay's disabled DSP functions don't tamper with your sound, you can use the built-in WAV renderer to compare the input file with XMPlay's output, otherwise you will just have to believe us that e.g. a disabled EQ will not touch the audio in any way.

Ekstasis

  • Posts: 12
I found this very promising player "Bug head Emperor", I think it does the complete audio into ram memory like Jplay which is supposed to improve sound, and it does not use an bufffer like most players.

saga

  • Posts: 2181
Playing music from RAM does not improve sound. If it did, it would modify the bits, and that's apparently not what you want. Also, digital audio does not work without buffers. You always have a buffer somewhere, even if it's just the two buffers in the ASIO driver that you need to fill. A buffer actually helps with getting rid of artefacts if the CPU is busy with other stuff. So for your audiophile needs, a bigger buffer is actually better than no buffer. Sorry, but it seems like you bought a $5000 DAC but actually have no understanding of how a software should be written to produce sound that is "true" to its original source. And besides, even if any of those players introduce a bit (or even two bits) of noise, you will never be able to hear it.
« Last Edit: 19 Jan '14 - 00:38 by saga »

Ekstasis

  • Posts: 12
Playing music from RAM does not improve sound. If it did, it would modify the bits, and that's apparently not what you want. Also, digital audio does not work without buffers. You always have a buffer somewhere, even if it's just the two buffers in the ASIO driver that you need to fill. A buffer actually helps with getting rid of artefacts if the CPU is busy with other stuff. So for your audiophile needs, a bigger buffer is actually better than no buffer. Sorry, but it seems like you bought a $5000 DAC but actually have no understanding of how a software should be written to produce sound that is "true" to its original source. And besides, even if any of those players introduce a bit (or even two bits) of noise, you will never be able to hear it.

It is quite a consensus on audiophile forums that loading the entire songs to ram improve the sound, the biggest difference is that it will sync better with your clock, So I guess it depends on the quality of your clock too.

It is not true not all players use "buffers" there is  players that does not buffer but just load the entire music file to ram memory, players like Bug Head , Jplay, I think Jriver have it now also..or going to implant it very soon.  However I guess if you use a SSD drive..the difference will not be the same as if you are playing from a mechanical drive.

You can feel free to try the Bug Head, I hear a difference comparing to xmplay without doubt.
I play it it normal mode.  By the way Bug head use the BASS library.  (I use Trident HG3 Speakers)

http://oryaaaaa.world.coocan.jp/_userdata/bughead_emperor.zip




« Last Edit: 19 Jan '14 - 03:01 by Ekstasis »

egnat

  • Posts: 1
It is quite a consensus on audiophile forums that loading the entire songs to ram improve the sound, the biggest difference is that it will sync better with your clock, So I guess it depends on the quality of your clock too.

It is not true not all players use "buffers" there is  players that does not buffer but just load the entire music file to ram memory, players like Bug Head , Jplay, I think Jriver have it now also..or going to implant it very soon.  However I guess if you use a SSD drive..the difference will not be the same as if you are playing from a mechanical drive.

This is typical unsubstantiated audiophile BS. I develop software for audio gear on a daily basis and have yet to see credible, double-blind tested scientific evidence for such claims (same goes for 192 kHz/32 bit end-user audio). I bet what you are hearing is the cause of confirmation bias.

You only load the entire music to RAM if the data storage is too slow to keep up. These days, this is virtually never the case. Pretty much all audio devices use a ring buffer mechanism to prevent underruns and gaps. The ring buffer is read by the audio hardware, which is driven by its quartz clock. The clock has *nothing* to do with where the song is stored.

Riddle me this, batman: how is an internet radio stream supposed to work with your approach?