Author Topic: Advice for a Non-Audiophile  (Read 2983 times)

frankz

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Also, just FYI (and this is probably getting into "Beyond Musicbee" territory), with this exclusive enabled obviously nothing else will be able to use the sound output.  This turns into a problem if you, like me, sometimes like to read Twitter or Facebook or watch YouTube videos (with captions) in your browser while listening to music.  Any videos that load on those sites will error-out.

There's a way around this.

settings->Devices and then Sound settings (at the right) and then all the way at the bottom are "App Volume and Device Preferences"  If you go in there, you can set your browser to output to another sound device (I use my HDMI-connected receiver because it's off at these times - it sounds like you could use your disabled "VX2452 Series Display Audio").  This way you don't get errors when videos try to load in your browser and you can watch things (without sound of course).
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phred

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Running exclusive will not have much of an impact on the other uses of my PC. I do not have any audio notifications set up. The few notifications that I allow (either from the OS or an app) are visual and show as a flashing icon in the systray or the Windows slide-out.

While I sometimes feel old and feeble, should I wish to look at a YouTube video while listening to music via MB, I know how to click the stop button and am willing to do it. I may forget to do it the first few times since I've been running shared for so many years. But two or three times and I'll have it committed to whatever is left of my memory.

As for Facebook and the other social media apps, they won't be a problem either as I only look at them from my cell phone.

The bottom line here is I see no drawbacks to using exclusive mode and without doing anything to my replay gain, the sound is substantially better. (Or so I imagine.) I will still remove the BT transmitter once the new cable arrives.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 patch from here.
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phred

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Or is that just what I'm perceiving?

I'm afraid the answer is yes but let me try to explain the difference between Exclusive and Shared mode.
I'm sure you're familiar with the expression "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I sort of feel the same way about this. It was a simple change of output from shared to exclusive and my music sounds better. If it's only my perception, then so be it. If indeed the technical differences between shared and exclusive, or the output between the two, is minimal, it doesn't matter to me as -I- hear a difference.

Please don't take that the wrong way Vincent. I appreciate you comments along with all the other folks who offered up opinions. It's just that I'm all in favor of keeping it simple. And what I've accomplished with one simple change is good enough for me. Again, I'm not an audiophile. All I can tell is whether it sounds better to me or not.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

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How to post screenshots is here.

phred

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Update: I'm now using my headphones with a direct cable and not BlueTooth. My initial impression is that at least part of the original issue was due to the BT transmitter. With it out of the picture the sound is clearer. I was nice being able to wander around when listening, but the cable really makes a nice improvement.

I'm now testing volume leveling vs non. I've removed it from a dozen tracks and made copies of those tracks with leveling. Again the better sounding ones are without leveling. This may be because the sound is louder, as many here have indicated. "Louder" often sounds better.

So I'm left facing the decision as to whether or not to remove the leveling from all my tracks and deal with the changes in volume from track to track, but having them all sound "better." Something to think about for the next few days.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

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How to post screenshots is here.

frankz

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Can't you just turn Replay Gain off rather than alter your files?
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phred

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Can't you just turn Replay Gain off rather than alter your files?
Hmmm ... is that what the Player option to "normalise volume of tracks with replay gain tags" does? Certainly less strain on the CPU than removing it from 34k+ tracks.

This Mayall guy is amazing. He's got an option for everything.

Thanks frankz.
Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 02:10:15 AM by phred
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

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Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

The Incredible Boom Boom

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Can't you just turn Replay Gain off rather than alter your files?
Hmmm ... is that waht the Player optoin to "normalise volume of tracks with replay gain tags" does? Certainly less strain on the CPU than removing it from 34k+ tracks.

This Mayall guy is amazing. He's got an option for everything.

Thanks frankz.

Yes, or you can do it from MusicBee -> Controls.

phred

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Just a final note on this exercise...

With replay gain turned off, and with using my headphones with a cable instead of BT I'm hearing things in some tracks that I haven't heard before. It's like getting a whole lot of new tracks added to my collection.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

please55

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First, equalize your headphones properly. The benefits of doing this are self-explanatory.

Thanks for the link. Haven't done a detailed read yet but guide feels like something suited for a youtube video. Too many gaps in its walkthrough.

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Next, start normalizing your volume fairly low (I use -6dB across the board, no matter the type of music)
Are you refering to replaygain here? Do you mean an additional -6dB to the usual 89dB default?

On that note, I too recently apply replaygain to my library. That said can't say I'm entirely satisfied with the outcome. I'm still tweaking volume almost every other song especially on shuffle. Kinda defeats the purpose no? That the case for others?


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However, if you play Redbook ( 44.1 kHz) and you set the Win audio to 44.1, no resampling is needed.
I've been curious about that. If most of your music is 44.1kHz should you set windows to that? Or as I've read elsewhere, supposedly its better to resample to 48kHz?

sveakul

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I've been curious about that. If most of your music is 44.1kHz should you set windows to that? Or as I've read elsewhere, supposedly its better to resample to 48kHz?

It's a better choice IMO not to resample at all, but to send the original sample rate of the file--WHATEVER it is-- directly to your device, by-passing the Windows Mixer altogether.  You accomplish this by using the WASAPI-Exclusive output, as discussed above.  The only limitation to this is if the original file has a sample rate that is not supported by your actual audio device.  In that case, IN MY EXPERIENCE (such as it is), the bass.dll will resample the rate on its own to 44.1khz--alternatively, you CAN use the MusicBee internal resampler to set whatever rate you want, as long as you know that as long as you use it EVERYTHING will be resampled to the chosen rate.

From what I've read, the collective wisdom is that the use of any modern resampler (Sox, etc.) will not add any audible changes to your music.  But I prefer to keep the path as short as possible, which is why WASAPI-Excusive.  As also mentioned before, ASIO will do that too, but seems more "twitchy" to set up properly based on what I've seen posted in the Forum.

The Incredible Boom Boom

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Are you refering to replaygain here? Do you mean an additional -6dB to the usual 89dB default?

On that note, I too recently apply replaygain to my library. That said can't say I'm entirely satisfied with the outcome. I'm still tweaking volume almost every other song especially on shuffle. Kinda defeats the purpose no? That the case for others?

Yes, take the slider down from 0dB to -6dB. On second note, I should have mentioned before I do this because my music collection is a large mix of classical, film scores, jazz and popular music of all decades and -3dB still results in audible clipping for a lot of recent popular music. Sometimes soft dynamics in some classical recordings are tough to hear, but it's not too bad. I rarely adjust my volume throughout the day.

The nice thing with -6dB is there's plenty of room to raise preamp levels in the built-in equalizer or a plug-in one, but ReplayGain plus my headphones turned to the max volume is more than enough volume I need.