[pulseaudio-discuss] Audiophile newbie reporting in
mkbosmans at gmail.com
Wed Aug 3 00:42:52 PDT 2011
2011/8/2 Michael Cronenworth <mike at cchtml.com>:
> Hello all,
> I recently purchased a ASUS Xonar Essense STX card and I'm interested in
> tweaking pulseaudio to get the most sine wave for my buck. For those of you
> that may or may not know, the card above has a hardware chip for up to
> 24-bit/192kHz processing. I plan on using the card for music listening and
> single source recording (think vinyl records). No audio production here so
> low-latency throughput doesn't matter to me.
That's a nice soundcard. There aren't that many internal cards that
has properly shielded its analog circuits.
> Google searching for a few days has driven me to this mailing list as I
> cannot find any straight answer. The PA wiki doesn't seem to have an
> audiophile area.
What would you expect from such an area on the wiki?
> Background info:
> Most of my music are 16-bit/44.1kHz recordings. I am expanding more and more
> of it to include 24-bit/96kHz. I have a fast, quad-core CPU so CPU usage
> will not be a problem if I need to use a resampler that is computationally
Then you can set resample-method in daemon.conf to src-sinc-best-quality.
> My limited knowledge of audio properties has made me ask myself three
> 1) Is Pulseaudio even the right man for the job? A friend of mine wants to
> do away with PA and use Jack. He's only using it for music listening (no
> recording) so this seems like a bad idea. Is it? I still need to be able to
> have sounds come from non-music player apps. Example: wine for Starcraft 2
Indeed, Jack will not gain you anything over PA for this scenario.
> 2) default-sample-format
> Is it beneficial to set this to s32le? Any negative effects for 16-bit
Probably not beneficial, but I'm not sure, honestly. The only way to
know for sure is to listen and compare the difference. I mean, you
audiophiles can talk for hours about what's the best way to setup
things, but eventually it all comes down to what sounds best.
> 3) default-sample-rate
> Is it beneficial to set this to 96000? I realize anything beyond this is
> not able to be comprehended by our brains so I don't see a need to flirt
> with the 192kHz top range of the card.
Well do you even understand why 96 kHz is better than 48 kHz? For the
same reason 192 is better than 96, be it with diminishing returns.
Than reason has nothing to do with our ability to hear ultasonic
> However, the same friend from above
> feels that upsampling constantly "is a bad thing" and should be avoided
> because of going from 44.1k to 96k "averages samples". Is this right? How
Sure, resampling does something with the audio sampling, but I'm not
quite sure what "averages samples" should mean.
> else will I hear my 96k recordings if I leave PA on 44.1k?
Pulse can only have fixed sample rate set for a sink. (There are some
patches floating around to fix that, which sound like they would fix
your single-source use case perfectly, but they land post 1.0 at the
earliest) Given that, 96kHz is obviously a better choice for a fixed
sample rate, as you'd rather upsample your CD-quality stuff than
downsample the 96 kHz recordings.
> Any other tips or comments are appreciated.
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