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Fun With Foobar!!


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If anyone fancies a play, and they've not used it yet, I can heartily recommend Foobar v0.8.3 set up as per the excellent instructions provided by Empirical Audio. It's the best sound I've managed to wring out of my WinXP netbook so far. Very clear and excellent dynamics.


I think the 'secret' lies in unmapping the audio device - effectively making it unavailable to the system. This means, amongst other things, that the Windows Volume Control is never actually loaded and I think it is this fact that makes such a difference. Unfortunately it also meant that most of the commonly used media players, including both iTunes and Media Monkey, at least on my system, would not work as they could not 'find' an audio device to work through!


Foobar, however, seems to be perfectly happy with the arrangement. The results were quite an eye-opener!


Here are the links that I stumbled upon, that led me to having a play :


audiogon thread on unmapping : http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/index.php?topic=40068.0

empirical audio replay advice : http://www.empiricalaudio.com/ - select the 'Computer Audio' button


here's where I got Foobar v0.8.3 - http://www.rjamorim.com/rrw/index.html


The DirectSound2 driver is included with the Foobar package but is not selected to be installed by default. Just do a 'Custom' install and select it.


The upsides are mentoned above, the downside is forget all about fancy library management and posh interfaces. This version is BASIC! It does the job very well indeed - it does nothing else! If you can live without genius playlists, posh skins, tagging, database management and the like then it's marvelous. If you can't, definitely don't bother!!


Have fun - I know I am :)


Many thanks to Steve Nugent and Empirical Audio for making the information available. I am in your debt!




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  • 3 weeks later...

Since I was comparing iTunes, MediaMonkey and XXHighEnd, I figured I should try foobar2000. I installed the latest stable version foobar2000 v0.9.6.3 on my Dell computer with a Juli@ card running Vista 64.


Is there a short guide with the recommended setup for foobar2000? There is obviously a lot of information on the official foobar website but I was hoping for something simple that might have a suggested setup.


For my setup, which was the default, it isn't clear why foobar2000 seems to be upsampling everything to a 192K sample rate. Whether I am playing a 44.1, 176.4 or 192K file, the Juli@ mixer shows 192K with foobar2000. With MediaMonkey and XXHighEnd the correct sampling rate is always shown.


I assume there is some setting I need to change but finding it so late into the night when I'm tired is another matter. And there seems to be dozens of plug-ins, but whats recommended or not would seem to take much effort. All I can say is that this is sure a far cry from the simplicity of iTunes.


Empiral Audio has updated their website so the link previously cited does not seem to be valid. The link to Audio Circle is valid, but it is almost 2 years old.




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Hi Bob,


Not to discourage you, and I think you sure should proceed on this, but the stuff you found is five years old or so, and I myself could have written it (which I actually may have indeed). The only thing I want to say is that this has become a kind of old stuff now and back from the future. Well, that is how I feel it. :-)


Unfortunately it also meant that most of the commonly used media players, including both iTunes and Media Monkey, at least on my system, would not work as they could not 'find' an audio device to work through!


This will be not true, but you need to know a bit more of how things are internally working and routed. Also for the other software. It also depends on what sound device you use in Foobar and some other things like the soundcard you use.

I must say, this is not the way to go for a beginner, and a beginner must be careful not to end up discouraged (and without sound at all, haha).


But for you (and I don't know whether that's on the Empirical site -> can't find your button) ... remove all the plugins (components) you don't need. I have


foo_albumlist.dll (not sure whether this can go as well)

foo_converter.dll (you can do without this I think)

foo_dsp_std.dll (don't know anymore whether this can go, maybe when not using the volume)


foo_out_ks.dll (for kernel streaming, can go if you use DS)



and you will see it sounds better again.

Btw, many people think 0.8.3 sounds better than the newer versions.


There are many more things to do in the area of tweaking the PC (this is a start of it), but you must wonder whether you want to go that route. You can always look at The Well Tempered Computer from Roseval.




Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2.5      Ethernet^3     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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Hey Bob,


Since your using an older version of Foobar you could always download the iTunes MultiPlugin which enables you to use the iTunes interface and output your audio via Foobar. Apple won't provide Wasapi or ASIO support to the masses so somebody else did. The plugin is about two years old now though and works with iTunes packages up to version 7.6 I think. Have a play - you get the user interface and foobar sound.

Personally I love flicking around and comparing.


HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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Blimey - I thought this thread had sunk without trace! ;)


I recently detailed my Foobar set-up here : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/format-eac-trouble-help


It sounds as though your Foobar is set to resample. Have a look in : Preferences / Playback / DSP Manager.

If the resampler is being loaded up then you take it out.


Yes, Empirical do seem to have done some decorating! My experimenting was all about finding out if effectively disabling the Windows Volume control made a difference. I've used all sorts of ASIO drivers in the past and though they have all worked, I've never really got on with the sound. I've always found it a bit congested and lacking in clarity. Using the DirectSound2 driver and unmapping the soundcard worked a real treat and I've stuck with it ever since.


As for the advice being a bit long in the tooth - it is indeed! But then so is my operating system! (WinXP) As you are using Vista64, YMMV quite wildly to mine! So as far as messing about with DirectSound drivers and unmapping stuff, I wouldn't bother on your set-up, I don't think. WASAPI should be all you need in that department!


Hope this helps!


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My problem is that I like it!! :) I've never been much of a 'eye-candy' sort of guy, so the basic interface suits me fine. It was more by way of warning to those who love their conveniences! Having said that, it's the first I've heard of Multiplugin and it certainly looks as though it will do the job!


BTW - having figured out how to knock up a rudimentary library function, of sorts, for Wavelab, I'm now going to have a play with that and see how it compares. It's also looking good for the Netbook/Windows7 combo, so when that hits the shelves it will be time to have a play with Peter's work! Yeah, don't ya just love it!


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Cool Bob.

I love to tinker too.

When you say you've set up a library function for use with Wavelab - how do you mean ? Directory / Explorer based or are you building your own application ?

I'm considering a spot of VB to do something like that when I've got the time.




HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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Hi Matt, I detailed it here : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Wavelab-Sort-Library


It works OK, but I have to agree that some sort of VB/HTML might be more elegant.! The problem is in getting Wavelab to play a bunch of files, one after the other. Faking the CD burning routine achieves that but it would be nice to be able to knock up something like a picture viewer front end for it, al la 'cover flow'.


If Wavelab is a significant improvement on the other stuff around, it might be worth the effort - or maybe just for the shear hell of it!


Anyway, let me know what you think.


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BobH, this is just a quick note to thank you for your help.


"I recently detailed my Foobar set-up here : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/format-eac-trouble-help"


The above thread seemed to discuss more EAC and not foobar but I will look again later.


"It sounds as though your Foobar is set to resample. Have a look in : Preferences / Playback / DSP Manager. If the resampler is being loaded up then you take it out."


I did look at the preferences in the DSP Manager. There were a lot of things available, including the Resampler (PPHS), but nothing was active.


As time consuming as some of this stuff is, it helps me better understand how different media players handle library file formats, tagging, artwork, plug-ins and drivers. Of course I'm probably often in the camp that just wants to be instructed what's best so I can play some beautiful music.


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BobH, much better - thanks again. The TechSpot website is exactly what I was looking for - a clear and concise guide for foobar installation and setup.


I only wish the 4 year old guide was more recent, but it seems to be a very good start. Since I'm using Vista-64, I assume I should download the WASAPI plug-in, but I'm not really sure what additional things I should be downloading for the latest version of foobar2000.


I think the Well Tempered Computer website may also be useful for quick answers. Of course I can always rely on the official foobar website, if and when I'm willing to spend more time.


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