FxBuses in the DSP and Vista

Discussion in '3-D Audio' started by Gramatus, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    Hopefully this is not something that changes from Vista to Vista, and hopefully this is understandable...

    Anyways, I'm the kind of guy who really wants to control stuff and so I wanted to find where Vista sound comes into the DSP and after reading, searching and testing I've found some interesting details that I don't believe is posted any clear to find place.

    The thing that made it all understandable was when I understood that which FxBus Vista sends sound to is based on a setting in Vista Control Panel.

    That is when you open the control panel in classic mode and choose "sound" you get a list of devices, on my computer it looks like this:
    * SPDIF/AC3 Out
    * Master Mixer
    * Wave Out 2/3
    * Wave Out 4/5
    * Wave Out 6/7

    Then Vista has something called "standard device" (green sign), and this is where it gets tricky.
    If you set the standard to any Wave Out Vista only produces Stereo sound on the corresponding FxBus (2/3, 4/5 or 6/7).
    (Also, I should mention that you have to restart your sound source [movie, mp3] after changing standard before it comes to effect).

    I am still experimenting, but at least I found out that if I set standard to Master Mixer and play a 5.1 source it will output to FxBus 2-7.
    Also, currently, with Master Mixer as standard I get no sound from ProFx Src plugings, but the FxBus works great.
    I will post some other results when I have tested some more.

    Thought this could be usesful for someone else as well.
    I would be glad to hear if anyone has any comments or similar experiences and if this works the same on other computers.

    I have the original Audigy card and use kX 3545b on Vista Ultima 32bit.
     
  2. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    Found one thread that talks about the same thing:
    http://www.driverheaven.net/effects-dsp/167781-vista-wave-0-1-2-3-4-5-8-9-not-working.html

    He also reports that ProFx is not working when Vista is set to "Master Mixer".

    Withouts testint too much more it seems like you normally would want to set default to "Master Mixer" and it would give this:

    FxBus 0/1 stereo
    FxBus 2/3 front
    FxBus 4/5 rear
    FxBus 6/7 center + lfe

    Setting SPDIF/AC3 Out as standard made ProFx work, but the sound was just stuttering, so it was not usable.

    If anyone can explain something I don't know I would like to hear it as I am trying to force my own 5.1 with a mix of different speakers and therefore need to know where my sound is coming from and where it is going.

    Also, when I actually used Master Mixer for 5.1 a few days ago with FxBus 2-7 I had occasional artifacts and popping in the sound, anyone knows why that happens?
     
  3. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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  4. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    Figured out the stuttering as well, if I understood it right it seems with Master Mixer the Output is 8 channel and not 2 (Vista reports this itself in the properties of Master Mixer), and this gave me a buffer underrun.
    I don't know if it is a perfect solution, but I have had no artifacts, popping or stutter after I increased Playback Buffer (Settings - Buffer settings) to 16368 bytes (max). This is the buffer number with the "~" and the "ms".
    I also increased number of AC3 buffers (the "x buffers") from 2 to 8.

    Seems to do the trick for me at least, now I have my 5.1 working with purely ProFx SRC and KxLT.

    (Actually I redirect some signals, I have no real subwoofer and send LFE to front [full range] and rear [cheap 2.1 set] speakers).

    Again, hopefully someone else can glean some help from what I've learned.
     
  5. xenomorph1138

    xenomorph1138 EYEPOD

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    Is this http://i39.tinypic.com/nbenfl.jpg what you are talking about? Because, is yours greyed out like mine? You should be able to click on it and a menu drops down like this http://i43.tinypic.com/2rde1i8.jpg which is the oem Realtek HD that came installed when I bought the computer. But when I put the Audigy ZS in and Kx drivers that menu has always been as you see in the first pic. Anyway I thought I was the only Vista user on this forum. I only use stereo at the moment and almost all audio has some kind of stuttering. If I use the kxasio driver in my music creation programs it's virtually nonexistent. But play a dvd or cd and forget it! It's just too irritating. Don't know if your still monitering this thread but I'll check back every day for a while. Maybe we could swap info. I like to use pics cause I'm not real good comunicating with words.
     
  6. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

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    Here are some pictures that someone sent me (per request), so that I could see what the screens looked like, etc. It was with an older version of kX (before the wave device name changes), but I thought I would post them for comparison sake (and so other people that do not have Vista, can get a basic idea of what the screens look like, etc).

    Sound
    Master Mixer
    Wave In
     
  7. imperia

    imperia Active Member

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    I have SB Live only. For me I have to use Wave Out 6/7 as standard output so I get proper sound. My Master Mixes doesn't have that bargraph right next to it in Sound menu in control panel. I doesn't have any options when I double click it. Only General and Levels menu are there and Levels screen is empty.

    P.S. Set as default is greyed out when I select Master Mixer.

    [​IMG]

    Here I am testing with Wave Out 2/3. I am using Windows 2008 Server.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  8. xenomorph1138

    xenomorph1138 EYEPOD

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    Your pic of "Windows 2008 Server" sound properties dialog box looks alot like mine in Vista.



    I know that I had, the same problem with selecting the "Set Default" button for "Master Mixer at one time. I can't say for sure, but after I replaced my SB Live with Audigy 2 ZS, I was able to set Master Mixer" as default.



    You might try uninstalling kx completely and then reinstalling it on the chance that it didn't install properly. I don't know anything about Windows 2008 Server.
     
  9. imperia

    imperia Active Member

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    Windows 2008 is the same like Vista. Its a fresh new installation. I guess its related to SB Live.
     
  10. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    Windows server 2008 may not handle sound the same as Vista though, looking the same and being the same are not necesarily the same

    (damn, that's to many "same"s for one sentance)
     
  11. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    In reply to xenomorph1138 - yes that is what I am talking about.
    (I have subscribed to this post, but has been AFK for a few days).
    I think maybe (but don't know this) that the reason why you can't select anything in the drop-down-box has to do with how kX and Vista talk together.

    If you only play in stereo, I would (according to my experience) recommend moving from "Master Mixer" as default to one of the others.
    With standard settings it seems 8 channels (master mixer) is too much to handle for the sound card.
    Since I use 8 channels I solved it by playing with buffer sizes, but if you only use two it would be easier to change the "default" in Vista to a 2-channel-thing.
    You might have to do something with the DSP as well, but let me know when you have tried (or if this is confusing - let me know that and I'll try to clarify).
     
  12. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    Posting my setup in Vista Mixer as well, looks pretty much like what xenomorph1138 posted.

    imperia - Could it be that Master Mixer can not be set as default on 10k1-based boards (on the posted screenshots where Master Mixer is "active" [with level-meter] it seems to be 10k2-based boards)?
     

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  13. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure that the fact that it says 8 channels has anything to do with the audio issues (kX Wave 0/1 is multichannel capable in XP, etc too).

    Looking at pictures of the same page with some other cards/drivers (i.e. the picture xenomorph1138 posted of his Realtek, or this picture that I found of an Audigy using the CL driver), the number of channels is not even shown, so I am not sure that you are supposed to be able to change that there (I think that *maybe* it is mainly for Bit Depth and Sample Rate, and *maybe* since the sample rate in the DSP is locked at 48 kHz, Eugene made it non-selectable?).

    I do not know, I am just thinking out loud here (I do not even have Vista so).

    As for the 10k1 -vs- 10k2 thing, I do recall someone else mentioning that they were not able to set Master Mixer as the default device with there 10k1 card either, so maybe there is some issue with 10k1 models...

    BTW: What does the speaker configuration page look like (with kX)? Do you guys have it set to 5.1 there?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  14. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    I am also just thinking aloud, I am no expert on this.
    The reason I think the fact that it is 8 channel leads to audio issues is because:
    1) Processing 8 channels takes more resources
    2) For me it was solved by playing with buffer sizes

    As for speaker setup, I think that should come up if I click "speakers" and then "configure", however that button is greyed out. I think that might be because kX and the DSP does that and not Vista.

    I added another image, showing what I believe is happening when playing a waveform in Vista.
    Basically I believe that the Waveform goes from source (WMP, VLC, Winamp or whatever) to the Mixer console where you set the "defualt"-thing.
    Then (and not before) the sound reaches the DSP as a source.

    The result of this (it might be wrong, but my experiments so far seems to lead to that conclusion) is that the "default"-setting in the Vista Mixer affects where the DSP (that is kX) gets the sound.
    With "Master Mixer" as the default sound is directed to fX-buses 0-7, with one of the others as default only stereo sound is sent to kX and to the fX-bus selected in Vista Mixer console.

    Again, it seems that what you are doing on the Vista Mixer (middle image) happens before sound ever reaches the sound card and its driver (kX).
    I mean to recall that Vista does alot more sound processing in the software-bit before applications ever get to the soundcard-driver, and that might explain this behaviour.
     

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  15. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, this quote from Eugene makes me think that you are supposed to be able to configure your speakers:
    ---
    As far as the default audio device thing goes, let me explain how kX normally works (note kX Wave 0/1 is Master Mixer in Vista).

    kX Wave 0/1 uses FxBus 0/1 for stereo content and uses FxBus 2/3/4/5/6/7 for multichannel content (2/3 for front, 4/5 for rear, 6/7 for center/lfe (and (IIRC) FxBus 8/9 when 8 pont surround is enabled)).

    kX Wave 2/3, 4/5 and 6/7 are stereo only and are routed into the DSP at the FxBus that matches the wave device number (and gets routed to the speakers the same as multichannel audio does with Wave 0/1 (with default DSP config)).

    So what you describe is normal kX behavior (but I am not sure that it all works correctly in Vista, or that it uses the exact same routing).
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  16. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    Thank you very much for your post Russ, it clarified something I had totally missed out - I had not considered the difference between kX Wave and FxBus.
    I did some more experimenting by tweaking the kX Router (hopefully this makes sense), setting it up as follows:
    Wave 0/1 to FxBus 0/1
    Wave 2/3 to FxBus 2/3
    Wave 4/5 to FxBus 4/5
    Wave 6/7 to FxBus 6/7
    AC3 left/right to FxBus 8/9
    AC3 surround left/right to FxBus 10/11
    AC3 center/subwoofer to FxBus 12/13

    I use Windows Media Play and test with normal stereo files + Windows 6 channel test-file.
    I connect a ProFx Src plugin to a Peak-plugin in the DSP (actually I do 4 at a time, giving me 8 channel measurement).

    With Master Mixer as default the 6-channel file play to FxBus 8-13, nothing on the others (meaning that it does not play on Wave 2-7 as I would expect according to what you described).
    Likewise, stereo sound plays on FxBus 8-9, not on 2/3.

    What would be interesting is to find out wheter my device list matches things in XP or if my device list in the fX Router actually is a huge difference from XP.

    I'll keep experimenting when I learn something else I have missed and post back my experiences.
     

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  17. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    As for the speaker-setup-bit, I think the problem is that Vista does not recognize any speakers plugged in (it says "not connected").
    I do not know, though, what it is supposed to do either.
    For me I have a sound source that comes from various wave devices to FxBus'es, through the DSP directly to the connectors on my Audigy card. I don't know what a speaker setup setting in Vista should do about that (it might be that it would fiddle with which device recieves the sound - but then I cannot seem to find the dialog box Eugene is reffering to [is it a Vista-box or something in the kX setup?]).

    Might it be that what Eugene referred to is the question at hand here, the "default"-device, as my experiments seems to show that I have to change this to access certain wave devices (wave 0-7 not generating any sound with "Master Mixer" as the default) - and the AC3-devices not generating any sound with another default.

    One other thing - if I change the default to what in my setup is labeled "SPDIF/AC3 Output" I get all 6 channels and stereo sound sent to the Wave 0/1 device.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  18. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    Sorry if I babble, but after reading my post again I would say that kX Wave 0/1 is NOT Master Mixer, but rather what is labelled SPDIF/AC3 Output.

    That gives (using the labels on my computer, Sound Setup to the left and FxRouter to the right):
    1. SPDIF/AC3 Output = kX Wave 0/1
    2. Wave Out 2/3, 4/5, 6/7 = kX Wave 2/3, 4/5, 6/7
    3. Master Mixer = AC-3/3-D devices
     
  19. Gramatus

    Gramatus New Member

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    Thought I could post a picture of my DSP when playing 5.1-content as well, I've named the plugins to show where they are coming from (the names from FxRouter and the FxBus I have connected them to). For this to work I must set Master Mixer as the default.

    What I actually do is I have some 30 years old speakers as front (with bass added as they play bass quite well), two 10 year old computer speakers as centre and a brand new 2.1-set as rear and subwoofer. They are attached at the rear of my soundcard to Wave Out 1,2 and 3 (I believe it is labeled something like that). [just thought it might be fun to know what my actual sound setup is]
     

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  20. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

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    First off, as you discovered, you can change the default routing (FxBus assignments) using kX Router. Multichannel audio (including AC3), when set to use kX Wave 0/1, uses FxBus 2/3/4/5/6/7 by default, but it can be changed in kX Router (as you did above).

    i.e.
    You say you changed AC3 routing, but that is really routing for all multichannel audio, thus why your 6 channel wave file played to FxBus 8-13.

    Also, only kX Wave 0/1 supports multichannel audio and has support for AC3/SPDIF.

    BTW: There was a bug with Vista where stereo only audio (with wave 0/1) would always get routed to 3D Front (NW/NE) instead of FxBus 0/1. From your description above, it sounds as though this is still the case.

    As for the speaker setup, I am fairly certain he was talking about the OS settings and not kX settings, but I am not sure how you are supposed to access that screen in Vista (and maybe it is a bug if you cannot access that screen).

    BTW: Default routing (kX Router) in XP (in recent kX versions) is as follows:

    Wave 0/1 = FxBus 0/1
    Wave 2/3 = FxBus 2/3
    Wave 4/5 = FxBus 4/5
    Wave 6/7 = FxBus 6/7
    Wave AC3 Passthru = FxBus 30/31

    AC-3 Left (NW) = FxBus 2
    AC-3 Center (N) = FxBus 6
    AC-3 Right (NE) = FxBus 3
    AC-3 Surround Left (SW) = FxBus 4
    AC-3 Surround Right (SE) = FxBus 5
    AC-3 Subwoofer = FxBus 7
    3-D Surround Center (S) = FxBus 14
    3-D Left (E) = FxBus 8
    3-D Right (W) = FxBus 9
    3-D Top = FxBus 15

    With Both Synths (all channels):
    Send A: FxBus 12
    Send B: FxBus 13
    Send C: FxBus 10
    Send D: FxBus 11
    Send E: FxBus 63
    Send F: FxBus 63
    Send G: FxBus 63
    Send H: FxBus 63

    ASIO channels map one to one with FxBus numbers.

    Also, there is only so much room to label stuff in kX Router, so the labeling may not be fully descriptive (i.e. AC3 Left is also 3-D Front Left (NW), etc).
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009

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