Old 11th November 2007, 17:13   #1
Emig5m
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Setting up for highest quality sound (plugins, etc)

Hi, it's been a long time since I've updated Winamp (built a new system, did a clean install, and said what the hell, I updated a lot of my old programs to the latest builds).

I like the new Winamp 5.5 since it has build in some stuff I used to have to download extra or get plugins for (making it transparent, black Windows Media Player-like theme, and a updated Milkdrop visualization for example. Milkdrop is just breathtaking on my 42" plasma!)

I used to use some sound quality enhancement plugins in my older version of Winamp (HQSoftProc_SoftwareResamping_v43 and MAD plug-in for example). I run my pc on a high quality home theater receiver via the digital optical out so having the best playback (decoding) quality of mp3's and output in Winamp is of the highest importance to me.

So I'm wondering of those plugins are even needed anymore since a lot of the stuff I like is already built-in or improved upon. So if I'm outputting to a high quality home theater system via digital optical what setup is recommended for the absolute best mp3 playback? (most of my mp3's are encoded @ 320KBs)

Will HQSoftProc_SoftwareResamping_v43 and the MAD plug-in still work in the new Winamp 5.5 or is the stock decoders and output more up-to-snuff now in the newest version of Winamp making those plugins no longer needed for the highest quality playback of mp3's? (or is there any newer plugins/setups I should check out?)
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Old 11th November 2007, 17:40   #2
Nunzio390
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Well... the quality of MP3s and output in Winamp is of the highest importance to me too, which is why I use absolutely no sound quality enhancement plugins (which all distort "true" sound IMHO), and I acquire high quality MP3s instead.

But, if you must distort the true sound of the MP3s then Winamp's internal DSP/Effects Studio should suffice...
1. Ctrl+P for Winamp preferences
2. Plug-ins > DSP/Effect
3. Nullsoft Signal Processing Studio DSP > click the "Configure active plugin" button
4. In the next window, click the "Load" button
5. Select an effect of your choice
6. Make sure "Enable processing" is checked

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Old 11th November 2007, 22:15   #3
Emig5m
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nunzio390: But, if you must distort the true sound of the MP3s then Winamp's internal DSP/Effects Studio should suffice...
Actually the point of those plugins was to circumvent distortion - one was to circumvent the distortion added when a lower quality sound card resamples the output, and now the Kernel Streaming plugin totally bypasses Windows KMixer which also does it's own resampling/degradation.

Anyhow, although I just tested later today that HQSoftProc_SoftwareResamping_v46 and MAD plug-in 0.14.2b still work great in the latest Winamp just like before, I found this afternoon with a little research a even better output plugin that just totally blows away the HQSoftProc_SoftwareResamping (which still is better then Winamps default) - Kernel Streaming Output Plugin V3.6.

With each step up to a better plugin is like going from standard definition video to high definition. I'm really impressed with the Kernel Streaming Output plugin. Say if the default Winamp sound is like standard definition TV, the HQSoftProc_SoftwareResamping plugin is like jumping to 720p, and then the Kernel Streaming Plugin is like full-on 1080p.

Of course like with a high definition video source, the better your playback hardware, the more benefit you see (or hear in this case) from the source.

So from my own personal testing HQSoftProc_SoftwareResamping provides a nice jump in clarity and resolution over the default Winamp output when using a outboard DAC on a higher quality sound system and then Kernel Streaming takes it even up another notch! Very glad I found out about it and tried it.

After reading about all the bugs, instability, and quirks throughout the development of the Kernel Streaming plugin, I'm glad I found out about it late in the game.
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Old 12th November 2007, 02:01   #4
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All good points
But when you refer to the Kernel Streaming Plugin, you are of course referencing an Output plugin and not a DSP/Effect plugin (which I thought you were referring to initially - my bad - I didn't read your post closely enough and just skimmed over it). But in my case I'm very happy using DirectSound as my output... especially considering the fact that I can then use Winamp's volume controls separately from Windows.
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Old 12th November 2007, 03:57   #5
Axsuul
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Kernel Streaming Plugin seems to only give minimal sound improvement and is only noticeable at high volumes. Plus, it doesn't provide gapless play with fade control so I went back to DirectSound Output
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Old 12th November 2007, 04:42   #6
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why are you trying to resample the output? thats stupid.

output sample rate and res should be the same as the input sample rate and res.

if your using replaygain you'd need all the resolution you can get to accurately play the file at the lower volume setting without loosing any quality(not that you can notice anyway)

in_mp3 should be the same if not better quality in decoding and will provide winamp with better tagging support.

then you should be using optical outputs from your soundcard to bybass the DAC.

ABX
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Old 12th November 2007, 04:51   #7
Emig5m
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I said I was using optical out...
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Old 28th November 2007, 12:28   #8
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I use izotope's Ozone plugin. It works. I agree that any plugin will take some quality out, but this one adds some stuff that is personally pleasant.
I have tried many things (resampling, Kernel Streaming, etc) while I was a foobar head.
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Old 20th December 2008, 18:32   #9
mucavo
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i dont know any thing about sampleing and the like

but

i will say this

with my onkyo receiver and pioneer speakers running off the analog line out of my pc

the sound quality with this guys two plugins is noticeably more awesome

thank you

it does offer gapless playback

and it sounds so much clearer

its amazing

if you have a high quality stereo do it

otherwise you probably wont be able to tell

it sounds like going from 128 to 320 all over again

lol

thats how much better it sounds
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