Popping sounds during fast transients while using DSD to PCM conversion

Running Audirvana 3.5.42 on Windows 10 (Build 19041). When playing DSD/DSF files with a Schiit Bifrost 2 via USB and the DSD audio output set to “none: convert to PCM” I get noticeable popping/crackling sounds when fast transient sounds (like kick drum hits) happen. Music still plays but this popping/crackling is persistent. It doesn’t always start right away when a track plays, but after 2 or 3 minutes of playtime it will start. This issue does not happen with PCM files of any bit depth or sampling rate. I switched to my older SMSL SU-8 (also via USB) to check and the popping/crackling still happens with it when Audirvana converts DSD/DSF to PCM, but the popping does not happen if Audirvana is set to output the DSD in native format. Any ideas?

Hello @WaveTheory,

If your DAC is compatible with DSD over PCM, you can set the native DSD read method to “DSD over PCM 1.0” in the device section of the audio settings page.
If your DAC has a volume control, you may need to ensure it is set at 100% during DSD playback to prevent its USB interface from damaging the DSD signal.

The Bifrost 2 has neither dsd decoding nor volume control. I tried both “DSD over PCM 1.0” and 1.1 and get nothing but low level white noise with each. As stated above, the SMSL SU-8 which does have dsd decoding has the same issue when Audirvana converts dsd to pcm but plays the native dsd fine. I would like to use the Bifrost 2 though as it is the clearly superior dac.

Can you send me a copy of the “Debug Info” while you have selected your Bifrost 2? You can get it in Audirvana Settings>General>Debug Info

Note: By clicking on the Debug Info button, Audirvana automatically copies all its content, all you have to do is paste it in response to this message

Here ya go. I did this while playing the Dark Side of the Moon DSD64 album:

Audirvana 3.5.42

SIGNAL PROCESSING:

Polarity Inversion:
	Globally: OFF
	Per track: ON
Effects plugins NOT ACTIVE

UPSAMPLING:
SoX not in use
SoX filter parameters
Bandwidth at 0dB = 99.5
Filter max length = 30000
Anti-aliasing = 100
Phase = 66

AUDIO VOLUME:
Max allowed volume: 100
Replay Gain: None
SW volume control: OFF

LIBRARY SETTINGS:
Sync list: 1 folders
AUTO: D:\Music
Library database path: C:\Users\bdfar\AppData\Local\Audirvana\AudirvanaPlus\AudirvanaPlusDatabaseV2.sqlite

ACTIVE STREAMING SERVICES
Qobuz: Connected as Qobuz Studio

=================== AUDIO DEVICE ========================

Max. memory for audio buffers: 4132MB

Local Audio Engine:WASAPI

Preferred device:
Speakers (2- Schiit Bifrost 2 Unison USB )
Model UID:Speakers (2- Schiit Bifrost 2 Unison USB )
UID:\?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{7c0e1bcf-8f8c-4775-9104-27737841b604}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}

Currently playing in Integer Mode:
Device: 2ch 32bits Integer, 8 bytes per frame 176.4kHz

Active Sample Rate: 176.4kHz

Bridge settings:
Sample rate limitation: none
Sample rate switching latency: none
Limit bitdepth to 24bit: OFF
Mute during sample rate change: OFF

Selected device:
Local audio device
Speakers (2- Schiit Bifrost 2 Unison USB ) Manufacturer:
Model UID:Speakers (2- Schiit Bifrost 2 Unison USB ) UID:\?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{7c0e1bcf-8f8c-4775-9104-27737841b604}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}

6 available sample rates up to 192000Hz
44100
48000
88200
96000
176400
192000
Volume Control
Physical: No
Virtual: No
MQA capability
Auto-detect MQA devices: Yes
Not a MQA device, user set to not MQA
DSD capability: Unhandled
Device audio channels
Preferred stereo channels L:0 R:1
Channel bitmap: Ox3, layout:
Channel 0 mapped to 0
Channel 1 mapped to 1

Audio channels in use
Number of channels: 2
Use as stereo device only: No
Simple stereo device: No

1 output streams:
Number of active channels: 2, in 1 stream(s)
Channel #0 :Stream 0 channel 0
Channel #1 :Stream 0 channel 1
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 44.1kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian 44.1kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 44.1kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 48kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian 48kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 48kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 88.2kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian 88.2kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 88.2kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 96kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian 96kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 96kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 176.4kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian 176.4kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 176.4kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 192kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian 192kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 192kHz

Local devices found : 7
Device #0: Speakers (Steam Streaming Microphone) Manufacturer: Model UID: Speakers (Steam Streaming Microphone) UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{5b2d37f8-941b-4a86-8076-9cf24430b514}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}
Device #1: Speakers (Steam Streaming Speakers) Manufacturer: Model UID: Speakers (Steam Streaming Speakers) UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{2f24dd0d-3835-402a-bb85-c2dade2bb5b2}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}
Device #2: Realtek Digital Output (Realtek High Definition Audio) Manufacturer: Model UID: Realtek Digital Output (Realtek High Definition Audio) UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{d2c2a9fa-3854-4789-b36f-0b4991661ab2}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}
Device #3: Speakers (2- Schiit Bifrost 2 Unison USB ) Manufacturer: Model UID: Speakers (2- Schiit Bifrost 2 Unison USB ) UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{7c0e1bcf-8f8c-4775-9104-27737841b604}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}
Device #4: Speakers (ATR USB microphone) Manufacturer: Model UID: Speakers (ATR USB microphone) UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{fe48299e-c770-4e09-a98c-c50d824ed113}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}
Device #5: Speakers (2- Schiit Unison Modius ) Manufacturer: Model UID: Speakers (2- Schiit Unison Modius ) UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{1295872e-e7e8-4702-a9b7-833f68ab5836}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}
Device #6: Realtek Digital Output(Optical) (Realtek High Definition Audio) Manufacturer: Model UID: Realtek Digital Output(Optical) (Realtek High Definition Audio) UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{a148f38f-2388-4b40-9424-d2060ccf1588}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}

UPnP devices found : 0

Have you tried fixed resampling to 192KHz?

Interesting idea. I tried it and it didn’t help.

I’m a new user and had the same problem so I dug into the audio settings and saw that next to “convert DSD to PCM”, “+6DB” was selected. I couldn’t change it to zero, however, until I disconnected my DAC and “MacBook Speakers” was the device name. I changed it to zero, plugged my DAC back in and It fixed the problem. Apparently +6bd is the default setting for DSD to PCM conversion.

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Thanks for the suggestion. So far it’s made it through several DSD tracks without issue. I’m not ready to say ‘solved’ yet but I’m encouraged :slightly_smiling_face:

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