Switch your computer to HiFi mode
With Audirvana your computer becomes a true high fidelity audio source. The audio playback becomes a priority on your computer, and your system (DAC) is fed with a ready-to-play audio data stream using the shortest possible path. Audirvana guaranties you a state of the art implementation at every level of the audio processing.
CONTROL OF the AUDIO FLOW
Audirvana takes control of the computer’s audio flow, minimizes the signal path, and ensures internal bit-perfect processing. It bypasses the internal audio mixer, avoiding sound events from other applications and unwanted changes to the audio format of your music. In normal use, computer audio playback consists of a sequence of independent tasks. After reception and decoding, the signal passes through an audio “mixer” that combines sounds from different applications. This mixer modifies the resolution of audio samples under a “lowest common denominator” rule and uses a low-power algorithm to avoid extra latency, which adds quantification artifacts on top of quality loss.
To avoid interference and damage, Audirvana reserves exclusive access to the audio device and minimizes the number of operations depending on the characteristics of the output converter. The format thus remains unchanged from end to end (bit-perfect). The implementation differs according to the OS: With Mac, it is necessary to impose an integer mode calculation (as opposed to floating) to neutralize the mixer. With Windows, the format remains consistent when the WASAPI driver has exclusive access.
Quiet on the set, please!
One could argue on the measurable and audible impact of electromagnetic activity of and around the computer. Well, Audirvana simply reduces what causes them as much as can be and lets you make the difference!
Audirvana prevents jitter-induced glitches and possible signal interference by stabilizing the computer’s power supply and minimizing processor activity down to 0.5 percent CPU load. To do so, Audirvana takes priority over processor usage, and allows you to manage authorized or unauthorized tasks on your computer during playback (using SysOptimizer in MacOS and the Fidelizer tool under Windows). Audirvana also operates with an extended buffer memory and performs digital processing and decoding of audio formats before playback.
Digital information is transmitted in your computer as a square-shaped analog electrical waveform, interpreted as “0” or “1” if below or above a voltage threshold. When this musical information is played in rhythm (synchronous SPDIF or I2S protocol), slight variations in the voltage around the limit induce slight time-shifts that alter the signal (known as digital jitter).
Two phenomena can cause these errors: voltage jumps from the computer’s power supply and electromagnetic interference. Indeed, your computer, like any electrical device—and the devices connected to it via USB—undergoes voltage jumps due to internal activity peaks. The printed circuits can act as antennas or transmitters if an alternating electrical current flows through them, and are even more sensitive downstream of the DAC when the signal has returned to analog. Thus they can be affected externally by radiation and internally by the processor’s high-frequency switching radiation.
The digital-to-analog converter, or DAC, transforms the signal from digital to analog before transmitting it to the speakers. It is a critical element of your system that plays a major role in overall audio quality and optimizing the interaction between the source and DAC is also crucial. Audirvana always transmits a “ready-to-play” audio stream, i.e. a PCM (or DSD) stream already decoded, that takes into account the characteristics of your DAC and reduces the tasks to be performed at speaker level. Today most DACs internally work at very high frequencies and low bit depth, and this conversion implies upsampling. Since the processing power of your computer is much higher than the built-in capability of the DAC, it can run more sophisticated and demanding upsampling algorithms (SoX) within Audirvana, and feed your DAC with a signal containing more accurate data thus facilitating the interpolation calculation.