Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Asus Xonar DX Dolby Digital Live (DDL) SPDIF popping noise

I have a Asus Xonar DX which I got for the very specific reason that it has Dolby Digital Live (DDL). DDL is the real-time conversion of your PC audio to a Dolby 5.1 signal. Yes, I know DD is compressed. Yes, I know it lowers audio quality. MEH. It lets me use my old PC speaker 5.1 set which has a DD input. Deal with it.

Anyway, there is an obnoxious issue with the Asus card (and I believe other Asus cards with DDL) where, when using DDL, there is a delay between when a sound is played on the PC and the activation of the DD signal. This results in a distorted popping noise when your receiver first gets the signal. It's especially annoying if your PC is playing short sounds, like it's beeping because then the DD signal is basically going on and off, and results in many popping noises.

The solution is this: Go into the Asus traybar application, go to the mixer, click record, click the eyeball (monitoring) under the mic, and turn the mic volume all the way down. This will keep the DD signal on at all times and fix the popping issue. It may also work to monitor the line-in or aux-in, if the mic doesn't work for you.

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