Monthly Archives: July 2013

Winamp DSP plugin error loading plugin and odd strange characters

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Before starting to make my own Winamp plugins, I tried compiling an existing plugin DLL from source-code in my current setup, thus testing if my setup was working. I used the Beginner Basic Plugin Guide as a starting point for my solution in Visual Studio 2012. That seemed to work.

I then compiled the resteless_dsp plugin, for which I found the source here: http://www.hartwork.org/doku.php?id=restless_winamp_plugin. This became problematic.

First the plugin compiled without error:

When I ran the plugin locally, it worked fine. But when I tried to run it on another system (a clean windows 7 virtual machine) I got strange results. The plugin would load (show-up in the list of plugins), but the title was replaced by random non ASCII characters. The file name looked ok though. Like this:

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And when I tried to run the configuration it told me ” Error loading module “.

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The problem boiled down to a wrong configuration (again) of Visual Studio. I was using Common Language support… Resolving this would imply installing extra software a the target PC and I didn’t want that. So I decided to go without CLR.

I changed the config like this:
1) Project->Properties->General->Common Language Runtime Support-> “No Common Language support”
2) Project->Properties->C/C++->Code Generation->Runtime Library-> “Multi-threaded (/MT)”

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Now when I build I got a lot of errors:

I eliminated those by commenting out everything in the AssemblyInfo.cpp that raised an error. (leave #include “stdafx.h” un-commented)

That eventually did the trick. The code compiles ok and it works fine on other windows systems.

I hope this will help someone out there.

Note that when you merely overwrite the dll with a newer version, the ” Error loading module ” error won’t go away. Use the “uninstall plug-in” button (right of the configure button) first to remove old versions of the plugin before adding the new version. Failing to do so will complicate debugging.

Increase sound volume beyond 100% on Realtek HD audio

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Have you ever wanted to increase the volume of a video or music track, but found that everything was already set to 100%?

There are a few solutions that work well, but I found them to be either to cumbersome or not effective enough. Sometimes the “loudness” enhancement (build into windows) rather dampened the volume!! I also tried DSP and DX plugins, but they are a nightmare to implement on system sounds. The windows build in Audio Processing Objects, or APOs, (of which the loudness enhancement is one object) are a great feature, but I found nobody developing usable software that uses the library (??)

But if you are in luck of having Realtek HD Audio hardware, the driver software can be setup so it gives you an extra boost. And, as an added bonus, it does so without clipping.

Here is what you do:

Double click the “speaker” icon of the Realtek driver.
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Then configure your speakers as a 5.1 (or 7.1) surround set. (remove the check for the center, subwoofer and side pair. We don’t need them.)
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Then adjust the front left and front right speakers to +10 dB
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You will now have an extra 10 dB (which is a LOT) gain. This is especially noticeable when watching those youtube videos that have the audio mixed to low. Music will also gain from this trick, but when it is already loud, some compression will occur as to avoid clipping. Still the effect is much louder without extra hardware or intrusive (distorting equalizing) pay-software.

Have fun.

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