Loopback and usb dac


Dacs have different sound characteristics. Some analytical, some cool, some warm etc etc.
In audacity when recording from an internal source (otsav dj pro in my case, output configuration set as external dac connected and legacy mode because audacity does not have asio support)i choose te wasapi loopback for the shortest path. External dac has exclusive rights in sound manager.
As i understand from research the wasapi loopback is completely digital, no conversions are made along the path, and the exclusive mode prevent windows from interfering with the signal.

And here comes the question :
Does it make a difference in what audacity captures in wasapi mode depending on the dac connected.
Let me rephrase that. If i connect a warm sounding dac, will audacity record that specific warm sound, if i connect an analytical dac will audacity record that analytical sound or it just doesn’t matter at all what dac i connect because the dac chip has no influence on the digital stream (no DA/AD convertion done concluded from the faq that the stream remains digital) just performing a pass trough?



WASAPI (loopback) recording is digital if there is a digital stream inside the computer, like a YouTube video.

If the stream going into the DAC is external, like an S/PDIF source, I would expect the recorded sound to be coloured by the analogue characteristics of the device, but I have no experience of trying that.

I don’t know details of how OtsAV works, but you could experiment and let us know the results. :wink:


If you want to capture (record) the analog sound you’ll have to make an analog loop-back connection (with cables). That will require a desktop/tower computer with an regular soundcard with line-inputs. Or if you have a laptop, you’ll need a USB audio interface with line inputs.

And of course, that requires a good ADC/interface that can accurately record that “warmth” without adding any sound of its own, and when you play-back that “warm” recording, you’ll again want a DAC that can play the recording without altering the sound.


Dacs have different sound characteristics. Some analytical, some cool, some warm etc etc.

I’m not going to argue with you, but if you are open-minded about this, that’s mostly an audiophile myth (unless you’ve got audible noise) and most audiophiles that talk about that stuff have never done a proper [u]scientific, blind, level-matched listening test[/u], or they make excuses about how blind listening tests are invalid.

Of course, a good DAC should simply accurately convert the digital to analog without any sound of it’s own. The “traditional” goal" of high-fidelity sound reproduction is to reproduce the sound accurately with no audible noise, distortion, or frequency response variations. With modern electronics that’s cheap & easy and many regular soundcards are better than human hearing, and IMO, any DAC that has a sound of it’s own is defective. Any desired “warmth” should be part of the music production, not added during _re_production.

And… audiophiles like to use lots of words like warmth that don’t have a well-defined meanings and aren’t measurable or quantifiable. Warmth seems to relate to rolled-off high frequencies, although they probably mean something different when touting the qualities of a DAC. Some people use “warm” to describe the distortion of a slightly-overdriven tube amp/preamp. I used to think of mid-bass boost as warmth, but I don’t use that term at all anymore because it means different things to different people. Sometimes I’m guilty of saying 'bright", “dull”, or “sparkle” to describe frequency response or frequency content… i.e. “If you filter-out the highs above 5kHz it sounds dull”.

Audiophiles rarely use scientific-engineering terms like noise, distortion, or frequency response, or anything that that can be clearly identified or measured. See [u]Whaddya Mean The Sound Is Fluffy?[/u] and [u]Audiophoolery[/u]