Change to Windows Volume Mixer

Had Audivrana open and stopped it to take a call.

While the call was happening I noticed a little Red Cross by the volume icon in the bottom right hand corner of the Windows screen on the toolbar.

When looking in the Volume Mixer properties I see that ‘no output device’ is found. Strange as I have several devices

Further investigation revealed a behavior I had not seen with Audirvana before. Now, when the exclusive access is engaged by Audivrana - the Windows Volume mixer show no output devices and the toolbar icon gets a red cross.

The moment I close Audivrana everything goes back to normal

This might be the expected behavior - but perhaps it might be mentioned somewhere in the App or elsewhere (it may have been in the release notes for 2.6.x - but did not read those).

Its quite a disconcerting behavior unless you know what is causing it

Mixer Normally

Audirvana enabled for local device on Windows PC

Volume Mixer appearance with Audirvana
Mixer in toolbar
How the Volume looks in the Toolbar with Audirvana engaged

This behaviour is normal since Audirvana takes exclusive access of Windows sound devices.
In Foobar2000 I have exactly the same behaviour if I choose exclusive access and in JRiver also.

So, this is nothing disconcerting, but actually it is very logical if you think about it. Exclusive access means ‘nothing else can use the soundcard’.

In short: this is not Audirvana specific behaviour. This is Windows behaviour when a process takes exclusive access to show that the audio output is unavailable at that moment.

Edit: I just noticed that Windows can behave differently when a program takes exclusive access:
- Windows shows the cross as in your screenshot
- Windows does not show the cross, but if you try to play music/sound in (another) program you get an error like “device not accessible”. This error is generated by that other program because Windows simply blocks the access in that case.

I think this difference has something to do with how the program (Foobar, Audirvana, JRiver) is programmed to access the soundcard, but in the end it boils down to the same. So nothing to worry about.

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@AndyLubke - I appreciate that the mechanics behind the scene is normal in terms of how exclusive access works. It is the front appearing elements in terms of the icons and widgets that is not the behavior I am accustomed to. Foobar 2000 does indeed take Exclusive access (as an option) but does not alter either the toolbar icon or the volume mixer widget on my Windows 11 installation. Nor, as I remember, did Audirvana till recently - so I am trying to determine if this is a change that has been made to the current App version or to the way Windwos 11 is working with the app. Many thanks

On my NUC with Foobar in exclusive mode (Windows 11) I see the cross also. In that case it certainly is not Audirvana specific. Maybe it has to do with Windows versions/updates, or WASAPI vs ASIO vs Kernel streaming? (Just guessing here).

Im am not bothered by it, because in the end the behaviour has the same outcome, with or without the cross. Since it does not hinder or change my user experience in any way I just place it in the ‘maybe for later or forget’ drawer. Of course YMMV.

Maybe @Antoine (Audirvana support) can shed some light on this (during work hours mon-fri) :wink:

Hi @bladeraptor,

Do you get the same behavior when you are using WASAPi instead of ASIO?

I could not help myself, so I just checked while playing music with the following programs (NUC i5, Windows 11, Topping D90 DAC with Thesycon ASIO driver via USB connection):

  • Audirvana → WASAPI → no cross in the toolbar icon

  • Audirvana → Playing (or upsampling to) DSD → ASIO → cross in the toolbar icon

  • Foobar → WASAPI exclusive → no cross in the toolbar icon

  • Foobar (with ASIO component installed) → Playing (or upsampling to) DSD → ASIO → cross in the toolbar icon

  • JRiver → WASAPI → no cross in the toolbar icon

  • JRiver → Playing (or upsampling to) DSD → ASIO → cross in the toolbar icon

Likely conclusion: This seems specific behaviour of the ASIO driver and seems not dependent on the audio player app used.

Are you sure you did not change output (in Audirvana) from WASAPI to ASIO recently or maybe you where playing a DSD file (via ASIO)?

After further testing: In Audirvana, Foobar and JRiver the cross only appears with ASIO when upsampling to DSD (or native DSD files are played). When upsampling (via ASIO) to PCM (or playing native PCM without upsampling) the cross in the volume bar does not appear.

This makes perfect sense when I think about it, because volume adjustment (and other digital signal processing) is not possible in DSD.

It looks like Microsoft did not implement this behaviour in their own WASAPI driver (because it does not know DSD and can only play DSD over PCM), but it is implemented in the ASIO driver, because (most) ASIO drivers can play DSD natively (all are third party, mostly from the company Thesycon).

For me this answers the question. I hope for the OP too :wink:

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@AndyLubke - thank you for the extensive testing and your findings. I do not see the same with Foobar and my installation across all the ASIO components installed. When you say DSD upsampling can you clarify and perhaps highlight in the case of Foobar what components you have installed. I have the Zen DAC v2 USB tethered on my system and the IFI Driver installed. With Foobar and only DSD files specifically do I see this behavior when leveraging the ASIO+DSD or foo_out_asio+dsd component. Other ASIO manifestations such as the straight foo_out_asio for the iFI driver does not exhibit the cross on the volume icon with DSD files. The WASAPI in Audirvana playing 128DSD does not display this behavior and Audirvana claims the 128DSD file is being played as a 128DSD file out to the DAC and the lighting color scheme on my Zen seems to confirm it is receiving a DSD 128 file. As you suggest using the ASIO (in my case the driver supplied by iFI in Audivrana will display the behavior of the cross on the volume icon if you have are playing a DSD file

To add a little more confusion into this:
Windows 11 23H2 with connected XMOS DAC (SMSL C100) and driver 5.58

Audirvana → Playing (or upsampling to) DSD → ASIO → NO cross in the toolbar icon
Audirvana → ASIO → NO cross in the toolbar icon
Audirvana → WASAPI → NO cross in the toolbar icon
Audirvana → Kernel Streaming → NO cross in the toolbar icon

All what changes when I activate exclusive mode is that the volume goes to 100%. I left this value since everything goes through my remote controlled DAC anyway.

I use the foo_input_sacd component with the ASIO+DSD component in Foobar:

Super Audio CD Decoder - Browse /foo_input_sacd at

The foo_input_sacd also has a component ‘foo_dsd_processor’ included which I use for upsampling to DSD256.

My DAC is a Topping D90 (original AKM version) and I use the latest ASIO driver (version 5.62) provided by Topping.

Some screenshots from Foobar2000:

Output in Foobar:

Upsampling to DSD in Foobar:

Here playing when upsampling to DSD 256 (the cross is there in Windows):

I am using Foobar2000 2.1 64bits version.

Maybe it depends also on the ASIO driver provided by the DAC manufacturer? (Just guessing).
One thing seems for sure: It seems unrelated to the audio player app.

ASIO driver + Windows + DSD (in some combination) seems the most likely cause.

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