Re: PC sound cards (Bob Masta )

Subject: Re: PC sound cards
From:    Bob Masta  <masta(at)UMICH.EDU>
Date:    Fri, 31 Jan 2003 08:50:55 -0500

On 30 Jan 03, at 9:59, Pallier Christophe wrote: > On Thu, 30 Jan 2003, David Isherwood wrote: > > The main problem with such soundcards is that ALL internal processing > > is done at a sampling rate of 48kHz, which means that any audio stream > > having a different sampling rate than this must be upsampled at the i/p > > buss and downsampled at the o/p. The quality of this onboard sample rate > > conversion can vary greatly from card to card with some soundcards > > producing very noticeable artifacts. > > > > Am I correct in believing that this implies that I should better > work with sampling rates that are integer dividers of 48 Khz (e.g. 16 > Khz rather than, say, 22050 Hz)? I hope all sample rate > conversion algorithms should be able to correctly oversample by an > integer (?) > Unfortunately, I belive it is not that simple. The problem is that (as far as I can tell... and I'd love to be proven wrong) is that there is no mechanism for software to determine what Windows is doing. You can only specify an intended sample rate, and Windows decides about sample rate conversion. There is no way to tell what rates Windows will or will not apply conversion to, nor even what rates are natively supported by the card. (There is a Windows API function that is supposed to report on capabilities, but it gives bogus results.) I have heard complaints of people getting slightly different record and playback rates when using both simultaneously (full-duplex mode), even when selecting standard rates like 48 kHz or 44.1 kHz. Since the same clock is certainly used by the hardware, I can only assume that this is some screw-up in the Windows rate conversion. Robert Masta tech(at) D A Q A R T A Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis Shareware from Interstellar Research

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