Solved Suggestions for sound-enhanced experience

michael_hackson

Active Member

Reaction score: 83
Messages: 149

Hello Team!

There has been a while since I was active and I am back in a little of an emergency. On my laptop running FreeBSD I have had some mixed experiences with the sound. There is no troubles with the driver or system settings (as far as I know) but somehow it seems that the sound quality is lacking depending on how I install packages. It is most likely a matter of settings but it may be something more.

So to the most important thing: Is there any software or settings I can check in specific to make my headphone unit play sound at its highest quality?

I managed to get the maximum quality for some weeks ago but then I made an unthoughtful reset and is back with a worse sound experience without any specific support for either bass or depths and levels of the music. (The sound is very canny.)

This is, as stated above, the most important thing about the issue, the rest is a short briefing on what I did and a part of my own troubleshooting.

Ps. This is not hardware related.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Then: I know this may seem bulky and it's because the best sound was obtained through the randomised process of installing some parts of Firefox through ports (got aborted since temporarily broken) and after that installing the package on top = nice sound, somehow.

Now: Reinstalled packages on my system with ports-mgmt/pkg, didn't do the same process (because didn't check specifically what was built from ports) = canny sound, no rich sound, sad man.


Thoughts so far:

1. Could be related to package configurations but at current state there is no big diffence between ports version or pkg version
2. Codec dependent? Ex. when played with mps-youtube it's a tad better than with browser
3. Some deeper programming related and that the sound was better through pure luck only?
 

Bobi B.

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 142
Messages: 338

Audio quality largely depends on your hardware. On my work computer (some puny Lenovo) audio path is so bad, I could "hear" hard drive working thru the headphones. In the end I bought an external USB DAC (FiiO E10K) and have no problems since.

That aside, IMHO you won't find the best quality in YouTube; they emphasize compression, not quality. However they keep multiple audio/video tracks for each clip, perhaps multimedia/mps-youtube simply asks for the less-compressed/better-quality audio.
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

Reaction score: 868
Messages: 1,494

I've never noticed any difference in sound quality no matter what programs I had installed, though I always install the same ones, and have an X61 with Intel HD audio that serves solely as my .mp3 player.

If the sound on the video itself is good enough, i will sometime download it with www/youtube_dl, convert it to an .ogg file with multimedia/vlc and listen to it with multimedia/xmms.
 
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michael_hackson

michael_hackson

Active Member

Reaction score: 83
Messages: 149

Very nice suggestions! The best thing is that I am able to use each one of them. :)
Great input and thanks a lot!

As a sidenote:
That aside, IMHO you won't find the best quality in YouTube; they emphasize compression, not quality. However they keep multiple audio/video tracks for each clip, perhaps multimedia/mps-youtube simply asks for the less-compressed/better-quality audio.
So without following Trihexagonal's method, is there any way that one can change what codec is used by the player on YouTube? (Is it strictly related to what they serve and what type of codec your system can handle?)
Also the option to choose what audio track to be used would be cool as well but maybe that is too much to ask for. :)

Tried my luck googling myself to results but couldn't find any helpful instructions or addons so don't even know if there is a possibility.
 

Bobi B.

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 142
Messages: 338

Seems like in the YouTube interface there is only video quality selection tweaks. However a simple test with www/youtube_dl, with a random clip, showed 5 distinct audio-only tracks, with the following settings:
Code:
140: Audio: aac (LC) (mp4a / 0x6134706D), 44100 Hz, stereo, fltp, 125 kb/s (default)
171: Audio: vorbis, 44100 Hz, stereo, fltp (default), 117 kb/s
249: Audio: opus, 48000 Hz, stereo, fltp (default), 50 kb/s
250: Audio: opus, 48000 Hz, stereo, fltp (default), 65 kb/s
251: Audio: opus, 48000 Hz, stereo, fltp (default), 127 kb/s
However there are 20 variants in total to choose from, including those 5; other 15 include video, as well. Seems reasonable to believe, that YouTube will first filter-out streams by player device capabilities, then by internet speed.
 

Sensucht94

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 398
Messages: 389

to me sound output in FreeBSD has always been very good (but I'm not a expert and haven't great expectations either). I use MPD+ncmpc, ffplay, mps-youtube, streamlink, MOC, pyradio, Qupzilla, uzbl, qutebrowser, kodi and others. FreeBSD sound system and per-device bridge drivers are a OSS port, and OSS isn't itself quite the hackable one. However ALSA emulation and SNDIO ports work extremely well as midi players and are supported by all packages. ALSA or sndio should satisfy most desktop usage needs; I've used alsa for a long time before switching to sndio, and I'd say quality with sndio i slightly better, aside from sndio being more lightweight. Like on Linux, for specific and high-quality applicances, sound servers, despite adding another level of complexity, grant more tunable options, a smoother experience, and an overall more in-dept control over your auddio output capabilities. I'm not a sound server expert, the most shared opinion is that audio/jack usually grants the best quality and the most professional features, audio/pulseaudio has the best software support, but is also the most bloated (like all freedesktops's stuff), while for multimedia servers there's also audio/nas. Useful links:

- JACK

- Pulseaudio

- NAS


To troubleshoot audio, first one should see whether or not the sound card is officially supported and the driver is working well, then check out the corresponding sysctl tunables settings, as well as the configuration of whichever audio backend/midi-player is being used, finally test sound across different programs and check the corresponding program confs (also looking up mans). If nothing of this works there's always the FreeBSD bugzilla
 
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michael_hackson

michael_hackson

Active Member

Reaction score: 83
Messages: 149

Been quite busy but want to finish what has been started. My questions got solved following this troubleshooting:

1. Hardware related changes due to glitchy headphones.
2. Sloppy mixture of pkg and port may most likely have messed up the binary options (one real reason not to mix).
3. Set sysctl hw.snd.vpc_0db=40; 45 -> 40 for better amplification. [Thanks to lebarondemerde ]
4. Changed mixer settings to better fit the situation.
5. By plain chance I realised that multimedia/mpv gives the best playback experience for my taste. Also the benefits from it is that it can act as a player for YouTube links and lists. So now all my music and videos go straight to multimedia/mpv with no regards. *FLAC-mode activated*
6. If lazy there are addons for Firefox enabling another program for playing media on websites, addon in the likes of:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/play-with/ [I can do without this addon though].
7. I also found literature on how to build your own pocket amp: https://tangentsoft.net/audio/cmoy/ if you'd want one more project [This is not needed in this case but will be a fun thing to build].
8. If at any time any other tunings would be wanted I would reside to JACK as pointed out by Sensucht94

Even though closing this now I was helped directly so the past month has governed excellent sound experiences. Thank you all. :)
 
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