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Oscar Garzon

can cakewalk use a graphics card?

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On 8/17/2020 at 1:19 AM, Oscar Garzon said:

Not planning on  recording audio or MIDI from external devices such as a microphone

On 8/17/2020 at 2:06 AM, martsave martin s said:

you may start to think about buying a real-sound card..this would fix all your problems

Okay, @aidan o driscoll, @lmu2002, and @StudioNSFW, since your panacea is for him to buy an audio interface when all he would be using it for is a playback device, please, explain, in detail why he needs to do that, and in particular, martsave, how doing so would "fix" the problem he's having with MSoundFactory.

Every computer comes with a Realtek hardware CODEC on its motherboard, which can be run in WASAPI mode. Oscar, the OP, has stated that he is a composer/producer who works entirely via Piano Roll methods. He doesn't even require low latency for realtime MIDI performance.

School me. Why does he need to drop over a hundy on an external interface just so he can listen to a 2-channel playback?

I really don't know, you all obviously have more information than I do, you sound very confident. I only have my ears to go by, which tell me that when I plug my laptop into my monitoring system via its 1/8" out, using WASAPI in either mode or ASIO4ALL, it sounds fine. Excellent even.

I've already heard plenty of times that all Realtek hardware CODEC's are inadequate to the task of audio playback, so I don't need to be told it again in some variation or other. Yes, I know, I just need to be educated as to in what way they're inadequate,  how they're inadequate. If plugging my mixing cans directly into my laptop and going for it is compromising the final product vs. lugging around an external D/A converter, I want to know before I ruin any more mixes. I also want to warn my friends who don't read Internet forums and therefore don't know any better.

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I have been following this thread to see what new posts there are, because I find it hilarious that a lot of people have responded but not realize that the OP seems to have given up on this thread. I doubt he even reads it, yet we are all talking (or arguing, lol) amongst ourselves here. 😛

He started another thread on the same forum page but this time addressing the problem (which he already done here BTW), but no one responded. So I think he gave up all together! I did end up asking him questions because his setup was very odd and mysterious, judging from the video he posted. So that is why I didn't make any recommendations in my latest reply to him and just asked questions for clarification. But somehow my reply to him stirred people up somehow IDK even how, LOL!

The OP never asked those first questions because of his curiosity to see if a GPU can be used to offload CPU processes for audio and if he can use his Nvidia card's A.I. processing to make Cakewalk run faster and render audio even better than it can. It was never about a GPU's potential in doing other stuff it isn't really know for. He asked those question because he had a problem, which he then later explained.

Since this was a PROBLEM report and discussion and not a CURIOSITY talk and discussion. I avoided recommending or hinting at anything that wasn't traditional and well know fixes. Sometimes it is usually the simplest things that fix a problem (e.g turn it off and on again 😛 ). So using his sound card instead of his graphics card to check if it will fix the problem, is not blasphemy and asking to be burned at the stake! 🤪😂😭🤷‍♂️

If this thread was all about what the latest GPU tech can do in terms of anything other than the usual graphics rendering, then it's a whole different story! Artificial Intelligence, Data mining, virtualization technology,....etc. The list goes on! Heck, you can even use your GPU to do VERY AWESOME A.I. based Audio Noise Suppression: Nvidia RTX Voice!

So you see, confusing the guy about external solutions, or all the wonders of what you can do with a graphics card to make audio awesome and better than ever, or even worse; tips on how to compile a program in the coding language of your choosing that would utilize all your CUDA cores or multi core hyper-threading, that you would use windows powershell and have it write to the Registry and always start up on boot and run in the background before Cakewalk, so all his audio problems will be solved with the power of his old graphics card! I digress.....but you get the point! It wouldn't end well. 😛

 

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We just like to argue. Hopefully the OP did come back and tried his Realtek output. For his situation, there is no reason why the onboard audio wouldn't work (as a permanent solution). 

Games take full advantage of that chip, panning and fading sounds (based on position and motion) even in surround mode without complaining about sample rate or playback mode. DAWs seem to be behind the curve on audio engines in that regard. 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/20/2020 at 1:34 AM, Starship Krupa said:

Okay, @aidan o driscoll, @lmu2002, and @StudioNSFW, since your panacea is for him to buy an audio interface when all he would be using it for is a playback device, please, explain, in detail why he needs to do that, and in particular, martsave, how doing so would "fix" the problem he's having with MSoundFactory.

Every computer comes with a Realtek hardware CODEC on its motherboard, which can be run in WASAPI mode. Oscar, the OP, has stated that he is a composer/producer who works entirely via Piano Roll methods. He doesn't even require low latency for realtime MIDI performance.

School me. Why does he need to drop over a hundy on an external interface just so he can listen to a 2-channel playback?

I really don't know, you all obviously have more information than I do, you sound very confident. I only have my ears to go by, which tell me that when I plug my laptop into my monitoring system via its 1/8" out, using WASAPI in either mode or ASIO4ALL, it sounds fine. Excellent even.

I've already heard plenty of times that all Realtek hardware CODEC's are inadequate to the task of audio playback, so I don't need to be told it again in some variation or other. Yes, I know, I just need to be educated as to in what way they're inadequate,  how they're inadequate. If plugging my mixing cans directly into my laptop and going for it is compromising the final product vs. lugging around an external D/A converter, I want to know before I ruin any more mixes. I also want to warn my friends who don't read Internet forums and therefore don't know any better.

I'm not sure if I can educate you as you seem to know  much more about Realtek than I. But as the OP has a very specific wish, to be able to draw such real time piano roll curves with 1/16th notes, it's not exactly just playback anymore. Could be the CPU or many other things that causes the audio drop out, but I would just pick a cheapo second hand audio interface to rule out any asio vs wasapi vs mme issues. A few years ago I bought a nice old M-audio interface for 30€ when I was undecided what to buy next. It worked great. If not anything else, you get a volume knob on your desk compared to an integrated audio chip.

However, I started to be curious and must check how my Realtek sounds  😀

Edit. My Realtek sounds just fine. A lot different from my SPL card but absolutely usable when you let your ears to learn how it sounds. But not very powerful: with 80ohm cans they sound a bit quiet even with mastered material. Wasapi shared driver looks lighter and better balanced between cores  on CPU than my soundcard (in Cakewalk). I feel now educated.

Edited by lmu2002
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13 hours ago, lmu2002 said:

I'm not sure if I can educate you as you seem to know  much more about Realtek than I.

I don't know that I do, actually, other than giving a critical listen (with a music player that uses WASAPI, not going through the Windows mixer) to the onboard hardware CODEC's in my Dells and Gateway/Acer and being surprised.

Although my tone was confrontational, I really do want to hear from you guys, whose opinions I respect, and I thank you for answering, and especially for giving it such attention and actually listening. That's really cool. So if you hadn't used the Realtek's own amp, instead fed it to your monitor amp, which is what I tried, it might sound closer.

Just for giggles, a couple of days ago I did a mix sitting up in bed, using my bedroom hi-fi system (Yamaha receiver and Infinity speakers) and Superlux 681EVO's as the monitoring systems, onboard chip, High Definition Sound Driver in WASAPI, coming out of the 1/8" jack of my antique Dell laptop. 3 tracks, my vocal and stereo mic'd acoustic guitar. The mix came out sounding ee-normous, and translates well to everything I've played it on. Best thing I've ever done, mix-wise.

After being surprised, I checked to see what version of the CODEC was in each of them and went to the Realtek website to check the specs. Turns out they talk pretty seriously about providing high fidelity playback. Depending on how the motherboard manufacturer chooses to implement the IC, that is, what they hook up, that little POS chip on my motherboard could do S/PDIF in and out, 7.1, power speakers, etc. But since it's a Dell aimed at business customers, you don't get all of that, or maybe if I poked around the headers on the board I'd find the S/PDIF connector.

Here's Realtek's 79-page data and app sheet on the hardware CODEC in my Dell Optiplex.

But for those who don't wish to look at all that, I'll summarize what they publish:

98dB dynamic range at the input and output, 20Hz-22KHz freq. response, playback at 44.1/48/96/192, recording at 44.1/48/96. Headphone amp puts out 2W into 4ohms.

I turn off all of the Windows driver "enhancements," but was amused to see that one of the ones in the custom Dell driver was Waves' (yes, that Waves) MaxxAudio technology.

So, I dunno if any of that changes anyone's perception of "Realtekchipsuxgetaninterface!" It does mine.

A lot of hardware development these days is oriented toward making gamers happy, and my guess is that gamers may have similar issues to the ones we do as far as audio playback. Do gamers use external DAC's to reduce latency? I actually don't know. Realtek's blurbs talk a lot about "gaming experience."

However, many years ago a coworker of mine, who had been hired as the head of Quality Assurance at a then-leading musical electronics company said to me ruefully "a reputation for poor quality is the hardest thing to shake."

I agree with the Realtek/High Definition h8t0rZ in that as recently as Windows XP, you wanted to get away from that onboard chip as fast as possible. I believe that that time period is when the truism was formed. I used to tell people that myself on the BBSes. Turn off the onboard chip and go get a discrete sound card, even a $20 no-name with a CMI8738 chip on it (remember those?) will sound better. The almighty 8738 was a classic. I probably have a card around here somewhere with one of those on it, I made a breakout header so I could use the S/PDIF to talk to my DAT recorder.

For sure, if you're recording audio, you need something with XLR inputs, and with an onboard CODEC that will be a mixer running into the 1/8 stereo input. If you're going to spring for a mixer, you might as well spring for an interface that's made for the job and you'll be getting a 5-pin MIDI interface and maybe S/PDIF and zero latency monitoring and a non-buggy ASIO driver and bragging rights on forums and all that.

I believe, however, that with the advent of WASAPI in Vista/7/8/10, as well as Realtek themselves getting their act together and just downright designing and making better CODEC's and drivers, that the truism no longer necessarily holds for people who only need a device for playback/monitoring.

(And, this is very important, when comparing sound quality between two playback systems, make sure that the software used for playback is bypassing the Windows mixer. Musicians should be using a player like MusicBee or foobar2000 that can run in WASAPI mode for checking final mixdowns. The difference (to my ears) is enormous between that and something like Windows Media Player or VLC in default mode. Because sure, my PreSonus sounds way way better when it's playing music using ASIO than the Realtek CODEC does using DirectX, and I've never tried, but I might be able to tell the difference A/B'ing them both in WASAPI, but switch it around the other way and the Realtek would smoke the PreSonus. This is because the Windows mixer resamples and crunches audio streams and the less of that they get, the better they sound.)

I'm still not saying it's not true that "you need to get an external interface," but I don't accept it as a foregone conclusion. School me. Take me to class. Tell me what I'm missing. Why an external interface if it's all playback and monitoring? Why does my digital audio stream need to that trip out the USB 2.0 cable?

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The CODEC is not the problem with just about any sound device. At this point a $1 IC can do near perfect DA conversion. The thing where onboard sound falls short is the ANALOG part, the actual output stage, and even more so when used with headphones plugged in directly.

That said, if you're not recording audio, and even more so, if you're only arranging, creating and not doing a final mix, as long as you can get low enough latency for YOUR use, onboard audio is fine.

As a matter of fact, lately I've been using the 1/8" out on my Surface Pro going to the 1/8" in on my Yamaha P255 for running live soft-synths and Ableton on gigs and it sounds EXCELLENT. Also, the latency, using ASIO4ALL, is incredibly low and super stable. I did have to disable the "ACPI Battery Control Method" to get it this good, but that was the case with my Zoom UAC2 as well, and that's the only interface I've tried that gets latency as low as my Motu 424s.

 

R

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guys i was busy with life. sorry i didn't read all of your messages. Im good with what im using right now to make music. I think i dont need to get a sound card to make music, i was just worried i wouldn't hear well my music but to the average person its ok to hear music without a sound card i think. peace 

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