W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

This page is full of non-facts and bullsh!t, (just like the internet and especially forums and other blogs), please do not believe entirely without exercising your intellect. Any resemblance to real things in reality is purely coincidental. You are free to interpret/misinterpret the content however you like, most likely for entertainment, but in no case is the text written on this blog the absolute truth. The blog owner and Blogger are not responsible for any misunderstanding of ASCII characters as facts. *cough* As I was saying, you are free to interpret however you like. *cough*

Saturday, May 29, 2010

EAX5 via DS3D GX on HT Omega Claro (or other CMI8788 cards) using Xonar driver


The AV100 and AV200 processors found on Asus's Xonar line of sound cards are known to be C-Media's CMI8788. Even Asus's drivers say so:

Naturally, at least one person would eventually make use of that fact to install Xonar's drivers on other CMI8788-based cards to get software-emulated EAX5 found on Xonar's drivers.

There are at least two methods to install a driver not meant for the device, I'll touch on one that works (in enabling EAX for non-Xonar cards), and one that didn't.

Changing the subsystem ID in the driver .ini/.inf files

It didn't work, so I won't go into details.

The driver installs, but does not work - Xonar Audio Center does not run, digital out works or doesn't depending on whether you had installed the soundcard's original drivers previously, analog out not tested, no DS3D GX.

Changing the card's subsystem ID in EEPROM

If DS3D GX is enabled through Xonar Audio Center, then that center must be made to work (it has no ini/inf that can be edited). The other method to disguise a card as something else is changing its device and subsystem ID.

Fortunately due to the apparent frequent failure of EEPROM of Xonar series of cards people wrote a EEPROM writer for it:

Xonar EEPROM Failure - AlsaProject

When run the program gives you a list of device IDs with their respective cards' names to write to your card's EEPROM, including Razer Barracuda AC-1.

If your card is PCI, choose a PCI card; if it is PCI-E, choose a PCI-E card.

Asus's naming system - PCI-E versions of the cards have an X at the end of their name - DX, D2X, STX, only exception is HDAV1.3 which is a PCI-E card, with the PCI version being HDAV1.3 Slim

This is where you need to trial-and-error - not all, if any, of the Xonar drivers/IDs work with your card's analog out, digital out worked for me in all cases I tried.

For HT Omega Claro, the one that works is Xonar D1.

After changing EEPROM:

Testing if DS3D GX/EAX5 is working

First there is the above program to tell you what features the card has.

Secondly you can run games that are known to crash with Xonar's DS3D GX (a lot), if your card now crashes the game, congratulations, you have managed to recreate the DS3D GX crashing games part on your card.

Any other suggestions on testing EAX5 functionality are welcome.

Testing your sound card for bit-perfect output - the DTS test - computer version

For people who don't have an AVR/DTS decoder

1) Download a DTS file from above
2) Rename it to .wav, when played you will hear white noise
3) Get Cool Edit (Audacity will not work)
4) Connect SPDIF-out to SPDIF-in of your card (of choice, can be same card, can be different)
Set-up for recording through SPDIF
5) Configure the source soundcard's output - SPDIF sampling rate same as source file, master and/or wave volume max, no effects/filters
6) Play through player of your choice - DS, KS, ASIO, anything
Press play before recording
7) Click the red button to start recording - select the same sampling rate as your source file/card, for resolution if the source is 16-bit select 16-bit, if 24-bit select 32-bit (float) - not verified
8) If done correctly you should see a square wave of -12dB, which is white noise when played back
9) Save as Windows PCM (*.wav) file
10) Rename to .dts
11) Play with your player, if music comes out, DTS test pass

Note - My method is quite different from what most others had said on the internet, particularly the part requiring BeSplit. What's different about my method is that mine works for me and that doesn't, and as can be seen from the replies that also doesn't work for many others asking how to do the same thing.
I will not say that method doesn't work, but if you find that it doesn't work for you, try alternatives.

Results - 44.1kHz/16-bit Stereo source file

Note - the "Xonar D2" (in inverted commas) is actually a HT Omega Claro running on Xonar D2 drivers. It was like this before the test and I did not bother changing it back because the drivers are largely the same, I would not expect any difference between different versions of the driver
C-Media Oxygen ASIO is the ASIO driver for CMI8788-based cards

Player used: foobar2000 unless otherwise stated

Prodigy 7.1 HiFi comes with a flexible clock system that supports [b]auto-detection and changing of sampling rate[/b] or can be locked to a manually chosen frequency, in which case resampling takes place if needed, or it can derive its clock from incoming SPDIF signal.

Prodigy (auto sampling rate unless specified)

Prodigy KS - ok
Prodigy ASIO - ok
Prodigy DS - ok
Prodigy QVE - waveform reduced in amplitude, file not recognized

Prodigy KS (reduced volume in foobar) - file not recognized
Prodigy KS (volume reduced midway) - file stops midway
Prodigy KS (locked frequency =/= 44.1kHz) - foobar returns error
Prodigy ASIO (locked frequency =/= 44.1kHz) - frequency force changed in control panel, foobar proceeds as normal - ok
Prodigy DS (locked frequency =/= 44.1kHz) - frequency remains locked, foobar proceeds as normal, Windows resamples sound, file not recognized
Prodigy QVE (locked frequency =/= 44.1kHz) - frequency forced changed in control panel, foobar proceeds as normal, waveform reduced in amplitude, file not recognized

"Xonar D2"

"Xonar D2" KS 44.1kHz - ok
C-Media Oxygen ASIO 44.1kHz - ok
"Xonar D2" DS 44.1kHz - ok
"Xonar D2" DS 44.1kHz (reduced volume in Windows) - file not recognized
"Xonar D2" Windows Media Player 44.1kHz - ok

Two numbers show combination of source card's output sampling rate and sampling rate selected in Cool Edit

"Xonar D2" KS 48-44 - waveform does not look like DTS
"Xonar D2" KS 48-48 - waveform does not look like DTS
"Xonar D2" KS 44-48 - waveform looks like DTS, file not recognized

Realtek ALC888S

ALC888S Windows Media Player 44.1kHz - ok

Also to be noted: When using Prodigy's internal M-Clock to record others, pops/noise occur at regular intervals. Hows that for the supporters of synchronous reclocking?

Important things to note

- possible to pass DTS test using DS and WMP if all volumes are set to max
- card only passes test if the SPDIF output sampling rate is set to the same as whatever the player is sending it through DS/KS/ASIO - take note if you're not using a card with automatic sampling-rate changing
- Realtek (non-AC'97 version) is capable of passing DTS test

Possible follow-ups

- test with 48kHz and >48kHz source files

And while I'm at it, here's a screenshot of a 192kHz file recorded through TOSLINK for those who still believe it cannot be done

Whether the equipment can do 192/24 or above is up to the parts used. The Prodigy 7.1 HiFi sends and receives 96kHz max, but the Omega Claro and Realtek can do 192.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Converse is not true however.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

HDD on speaker

Debunking the myth that speakers kill your HDDs.

Due to certain circumstances I have to do with this arrangement for now.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It is possible to know how an equipment sounds like if you have enough data

...this is what I believe. I'm a supporter of Laplace's demon,

But without sufficient data one can only make intelligent guesses.

And here I stand to test myself. My hypothesis, my knowledge, my experience, my intellect.

I am going to guess the difference in sound signature between the Matrix mini-i and Dr. DAC2 DX before a reviewer posts comparison.

The mini-i sounds "thinner"/wider/airier/smoother/"sandier" but lacking details (though the "thinner"/wider/airier sound may be mistaken for so) and attack (now this cannot be compensated for by a wider sound) and slightly laid-back/veiled at the highs, the Dr. DAC2 DX's highs are sharp with good attack but smeared; the mini-i's highs are also smeared but more bearable because its highs are less prominent on the whole.

For the bass, mini-i hits lower and with more control but may be less in quantity, Dr. DAC2 DX may have more but definitely boomier either way. As for the midrange, mini-i sounds wider as with the highs but may feel lean, Dr. DAC2 DX will be fuller. mini-i would handle bass instruments better.

Overall, mini-i gives a smoother, warmer, wider sound while Dr. DAC2 DX gives a more impactful one that is balanced and also more analytical/studio-like.

I would only reveal the reasons if I turn out to be correct - no point spreading wrong information.

Now the interpretation of the outcome - even if I somehow got them all correct due to loose definitions like Nostradamus, this only gives me 50% credibility since I could've guessed correctly by coincidence. If I got it wrong, well that doesn't make me a liar, but this will teach me not to trust myself.

I can only lose. But I dare to test myself. Do you?

Science advances by suspicion and analyzing. Without challenging the known the Sun would still be orbiting the Earth and the Earth would still be flat. So stop following blindly and start questioning your beliefs.

Monday, May 10, 2010

There is a difference between knowing how to use a multimeter and knowing how to interpret the readings

There is also a difference between building by following instructions and designing.

There is a difference between technicians and engineers.

And this difference shows up as paycheck size.

Plus that one of them won't get outsourced to China as easily.

(Most things are made in China nowadays. But to trust a designed in China product? Hell no. Chinese-Made Stereo Has a Meltdown - Made by Monkeys | Blog on Design News)

I know this sounds egoistic coming from an engineer-in-training, but ignore that and face the truth. I'm just damn sick of people who think they are pro but totally do not understand anything.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The most sian part about watching Anime

...is looking through the calender on AniDB.net, filtering which ones are worth watching, downloading different encodes to compare quality (<- the most sian part).

Which is why I'm grateful to Anime that have low probability of sucking and have a single better-than-the-rest encode - for the previous season there was Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu, for example.

Training my character to level 106...

...and then finding out that I'm too lag to use that class.