Bongiovi DPS

Reply To: Bongiovi DPS 2.2 – The Gaming Release

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Thanks for taking the time to share, rejor. You have hit upon an issue that had dogged us for almost a decade now; Windows audio driver volume handling.

UPDATE: To address your issue at the top of this very long post, please try this:

Regarding the subscription and price and such, this was a necessary step for us to move the Bongiovi DPS app forward. You may not see it on the surface, but the audio processing changes under the hood between 2.1 and 2.2 are significant. I’m happy to discuss V3D, the new Virtual Subwoofer algorithm, and the myriad of gaming-centric profiles.

Back to Windows volume control. We describe the audio system like this:.
Windows drviers and audio path.

On Mac computers, I think we achieved a nice level of “it just works”. This is due to the consistent nature of all Mac computers and the sensible way their Core Audio engine works. In Windows, its a lot different.

On a Windows computer, the output driver that is set to Default Playback device receives the volume control messages from the keyboard. As you can see in the diagram, the Digital Power Station driver must be the default device so we may process the audio and send it out to the hardware device (laptop speakers, USB headphones, HDMI etc). So what do we do when DPS is launched and the hardware driver is set to some low level? If we just leave that driver’s volume as-is, that driver (let’s say it’s your laptop speakers) will be “stuck” there without keyboard volume level control. No matter how much you turn up the volume (affecting the DPS driver only) the volume will be limited to that set previously for your laptop speakers. On a laptop that’s a big problem since they are already really quiet!

To overcome this we set the output device to 75% and bring the previous volume level of that output over to the Digital Power Station driver. This works well enough for most folks but we are now seeing a trend of Windows 10 computer manufacturers making “smart” audio systems that try to manage the audio devices for you. Also, we have to contend with several different audio chip manufacturers that (unlike Apple) do not publish their system messages for when a device (like plugging in headphones) is connected or disconnected.

That is why we added a checkbox in the SETTINGS tab for disabling automatic volume adjustment. Read about it here.

I hope that turning off this feature-for-some-annoyance-for-others will make your audio experience better with Bongiovi DPS! Please contact Joe or Dan by making a support ticket and they will take care of you.

We are totally open to suggestions regarding the Windows volume issue! We understand there is no one-size-fits-all solution that is not overly complex. I have had these ideas in mind:

1 – Take a system settings snapshot: This would save all of the volume levels for all of the drivers. You could set this snapshot to be recalled whenever the app launches or when you switch to different output modes.

3 – Provide a specialized DPS volume control: We could provide volume sliders on the GUI for each hardware device so you could easily set and recall the volume level. The downside is a more cluttered SETTINGS tab that deviates from the Mac version.

4 – INI file: For the power users out there, an editable initialization file could override any default behavior so all volume levels at startup are explicitly set.

5 – A combination of all of the above?

Let me know what you think!