Testing frequency curve variations among software

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by ryan_570 »

orange wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:45 pm
ryan_570 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:52 pm These tests are using the computers on board soundcard

I'm a little confused exactly how you are running these tests but are you listening/recording the files from different audio interfaces (external/internal) ?

The devil is usually in the details

Two laptops one to play all the files, the other to monitor. The output from latptop one is straight from the headphone out to an interface, (set at )db and never gets touched during the test). This interface runs into a second computer, on which SPAN is then used to monitor the curve.
Hope that makes sense
ryan_570
Poster
Posts: 11 Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by RichardT »

ryan_570 wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:04 pm
Hugh Robjohns wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 3:31 pm Just because I was intrigued with the OP's complaint, I generated a 20Hz to 20kHz log-sweep tone file at -20dBFS, (sampled at 44.1k) in Adobe Audition, and then played it back from Adobe Audition, SADiE, Reaper, VLC, Windows Media and iTunes.

All replay software was configured to route via the AES outputs of one of my two RME AIO cards (via ASIO), and I recorded through my Crookwood mastering console back into the AES inputs of a second AIO card into SADiE.

Every track comes back completely flat. The meters sit at -20dBFS throughout and don't budge.

And once I'd aligned the starts whatever pair of recorded tracks I picked, if I inverted the polarity of one they nulled completely.

So I've no idea why the OP's system sounds different when replaying from different sources, but my system sounds -- and is -- identical, exactly as I suspected, so there is no intrinsic problem with WMP or VLC as players. You'll need to look elsewhere for the source of your apparent problem.

This is the difference you are if you are using RME AIO cards to run your DAW and VLC software through this of course will give a flat response, however I am using a 'consumer grade, stock shipped, dell standard on board soundcard'.
If I play VLC through my Interface for example, it will improves quality.
I'm trying to listen to VLC/WMP how the average person would.

I’d be astonished if any inbuilt audio processing generated errors on this scale.
RichardT
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1509 Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am Location: London UK

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

ryan_570 wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:04 pm... if you are using RME AIO cards to run your DAW and VLC software through this of course will give a flat response, however I am using a 'consumer grade, stock shipped, dell standard on board soundcard'.
If I play VLC through my Interface for example, it will improves quality.
I'm trying to listen to VLC/WMP how the average person would.

Silly me... I thought when you said, "Cubase is beautifully flat, however VLC and WMP are seriously… just ugly" you were complaining that VLC and WMP were defective in some way. I proved that wasn't the case.

It now seems you're really complaining about a DELL consumer soundcard...

Well, yeah... all bets are off. Who knows what enhancement processing is ever being applied in consumer-world? But you can't really anticipate or compensate for it because there are way too many unknowns.

The important point, in the context of your thread title, is that the there are no inherent response anomalies in the software players themselves.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 32781 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by James Perrett »

RichardT wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 11:14 pm I’d be astonished if any inbuilt audio processing generated errors on this scale.

You'd be surprised at how much some manufacturers can mess up the sound. It can sometimes take a deep dive into the registry to fully disable the software enhancements while the worst laptop sound I ever encountered was from a big name manufacturer with a well known audio manufacturer's name emblazoned on the front.

I've not had a problem with Dell although the only ones I've seriously listened to are the Precision mobile workstation range so the cheaper ones may well suffer from the same problems as other manufacturers' devices do.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 11541 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by blinddrew »

I remember having a bit of a panic a couple (ahem) of years back when listening to a track of mine on my work laptop. It sounded terrible! Overblown bass, massively compressed, really aggressive in the high-mids...
Turns out the laptop (a Dell) had a set of proprietary audio controls (apart from the usual Windows stuff) that defaulted to being optimised for voice calls. But it took a while to find that particular set of controls.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17014 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by merlyn »

Room EQ Wizard has a 'calibrate soundcard' option.

https://www.roomeqwizard.com/

You connect the input to the output, and click a button. You can then see the frequency plot of the soundcard. This would provide some more data on whether it's some Windows software processing, or a limitation of the hardware.
merlyn
Regular
Posts: 429 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by Martin Walker »

Good idea!

The Rightmark Audio Analyser (RMAA) peforms a simlar function via a loopback cable:

https://audio.rightmark.org/

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 18497 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by ryan_570 »

merlyn wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 2:25 pm Room EQ Wizard has a 'calibrate soundcard' option.

https://www.roomeqwizard.com/

You connect the input to the output, and click a button. You can then see the frequency plot of the soundcard. This would provide some more data on whether it's some Windows software processing, or a limitation of the hardware.

That's a great idea, and thank you, unfortunately for me Line in/ out is one single input! Madness really.
ryan_570
Poster
Posts: 11 Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by ryan_570 »

Martin Walker wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:28 pm Good idea!

The Rightmark Audio Analyser (RMAA) peforms a simlar function via a loopback cable:

https://audio.rightmark.org/

Martin

This looks awesome, thank you. Sadly my Line in/out is just a single input.
ryan_570
Poster
Posts: 11 Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Testing frequency curve variations among software

Post by Sam Spoons »

Your problem may well be solved by you buying and using an inexpensive USB audio interface, Behringer make some extremely cheap ones and a simple two channel one is well under £20. If you intend to do anything more than playback of pre-recorded tracks something like this https://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_u_p ... c202hd.htm would be a better choice.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16465 Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am Location: Manchester UK
Your karma has run over my dogma
Post Reply