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July 27, 2004, 10:59 pm
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Any of the inputs that pass through the WAV input on the mixer is highly
distorted. These inputs can be from Winamp playing an mp3 or wav file,
or from Cool Edit playing a wav file.
An input from the CD player, which passes through the CD Audio input on
the mixer and is unaffected by the WAV gain, is distortion free, even
though I drag it into Winamp's playlist to play it.
For test purposes, I use a sine wave, 1000 Hz, 0 dB, from a commercial
test CD as the cda file. I then used Cool Edit to generate an identical
signal, which I saved first as a 44.1 KHz, 16-bit, wav file, then
converted it to an mp3. All three were played via Winamp's playlist.
When the cda file is playing, it's coming directly from the CD (not an
hard drive copy).
An oscilloscope on the headphone jack shows the distorted outputs to be
clipped sine waves. On the mixer, if I lower the WAV gain to 1/3
maximum, the distortion disappears. If I keep the WAV gain at max and
lower the Master Volume gain, it merely attenuates the clipped signal
without affecting the degree of clipping.
It's like any amplifier that follows the WAV gain on the mixer is
saturating from being overdriven. Ali provides the sound section of the
I've reinstalled Winamp from its original self-extracting file; same
The mixer is the one Microsoft includes with WinME. I used Control
Panel\Add/Remove Programs\Windows Setup\Multimedia to remove and
reinstall it; same problem, although the program never asked me to use
the Recovery disc for a really fresh copy.
(As an odd aside, when I manually removed the two files I thought
controlled the mixer, voltrack.vxd and sndvol32.exe, I couldn't display
the mixer controls, but the files played the same way as before -
distorted mp3 and wav files.)
I deleted soundcard's .inf driver; all three file types stilled played
as before - distorted mp3 and wav files.
Seems like a hardware problem - something increasing the gain of an
amplifier or not attenuating an input signal. Any other ideas are
greatly appreciated. If there are other NGs where this post may be more
appropriate, please let me know.