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View Full Version : Help with Audirvana and CD playback/system sounds!




50548
Apr 22, 2013, 02:48 PM
OK, now I am lost - just bought Audirvana Plus to deal with my increasingly lossless collection, my Nuforce DAC and a couple of hi-fi speakers.

But it does NOT work when CDs are played from iTunes, or to play any system/game sounds. It simply transfers everything to the iMac's internal speakers.

Is this normal behavior? Can I force those sounds to be played through the DAC as well? Thanks for your urgent reply!



ChrisA
Apr 22, 2013, 07:47 PM
iTunes will play lossless recording just fine.

One key thing you must do for best sound quality. Move all of the digital volume control sliders to 100%. Not 99.9% but all the way to 100. This is the only way to get any software system to output the bits from the file without any processing. Once you get them output with zero processing all software sounds the same. If the sound is to loud use an ANALOG volume control.

Doing anything else will reduce the dynamic range. Your software tries to make up for this by dithering but t can't really work as well as the above.

Now about routing the sound. Have you looked at "Audio MIDI Setup"? What have you tried there?

gannonsamuel
Apr 23, 2013, 07:19 AM
Is this normal behavior? Can I force those sounds to be played through the DAC as well? Thanks for your urgent reply!

hold alt and click the little speaker guy in the top menu bar, it'll come up with a list of available output devices.
i tend to find that sometimes my mac will automatically mac an aggregate device which kind of combines all your audio devices into one, but this has always been a bit crap for me so just select the NuForce.

On a side note maybe look into a better player then iTunes... I switched to Clementine and found that i was hearing things i hadn't heard before in tracks that I know really well. (i haven't done a proper test of this so of course that is completely an objective phenomena but i prefer it)



One key thing you must do for best sound quality. Move all of the digital volume control sliders to 100%. Not 99.9% but all the way to 100. This is the only way to get any software system to output the bits from the file without any processing. Once you get them output with zero processing all software sounds the same. If the sound is to loud use an ANALOG volume control.
Doing anything else will reduce the dynamic range. Your software tries to make up for this by dithering but t can't really work as well as the above.


I don't disagree that have the volume at 100% will give bit accurate audio but
to be honest i doubt if there's anyone who could tell the difference between a file that has had it's volume lowered digitally and one that has been lowered in the analog realm in a blind test.

Turning the volume down in the analog domain still reduces it's dynamic range.
(Dynamic range being the difference between loudest and quietest parts of the track. USABLE dynamic range being the difference between the noise floor and loudest sound a system can make, i.e. lest say your room has a noise floor of 40dbspl (pretty average) and your music is peaking at 85db, it's dynamic range is 45db, if you turn it down to say 75db, the noise floor won't change with it, so you now have dynamic range of 35db. this is totally different from dynamic range compression which doesnt happen when you digitally lower the volume. That's the way i understand it anyways, please correct me if i'm wrong)

50548
Apr 23, 2013, 03:39 PM
Guys, tks for the replies - but perhaps I didn't make myself clear in the original message above.

I have the Nuforce connected with my iMac 2011, and have just installed Audirvana Plus for audiophile-quality music (all volume knobs are set to zero and so on). I have also been able to listen to CDs after restarting the iMac, so at least things seem OK in this regard.

However, the problem I still have is that Audirvana Plus, when running in Direct/Integer mode (the best one sound-wise), does NOT let any other audio be played (Internet sites, games etc.), and doesn't seem to release such non-iTunes/Audirvana audio playback even after being paused. Do I have to ALWAYS quit both Audirvana/iTunes to be able to play other audio? Or would pausing/quitting only Audirvana suffice? Tks!

ChrisA
Apr 23, 2013, 04:49 PM
..
I don't disagree that have the volume at 100% will give bit accurate audio but
to be honest i doubt if there's anyone who could tell the difference between a file that has had it's volume lowered digitally and one that has been lowered in the analog realm in a blind test.

The same argument apply to ALL high end gear. very few people can hear even if you swap out amplifiers and speakers and other components. But the OP bought some software thinking it will improve the sound quality. My suggestion was that he could do even better simply by running the volume slider to 100%

We all have to agree that with the sliders at 100% there is no room for improvement, even in theory. So the solution is to loose the software.

But I do have to agree, very few people can hear it can those who claim they can't don't do well in blind tests