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  • Car audio quality in carputers

    Hi everyone,

    Just a curiosity question as I am not currently building a car computer.

    I'm just wondering many head unit manufacturers build in various features to control the sound quality.

    I'm not just talking about bass/treble/fad/bal. But things like the "loud" feature (enhances mid-range/bass) and various other sound quality enhancements (I'm not sure which ones but they all post bass enhancement or improving this, anyway they all do make a difference :P).

    Are their software features used to make this happen in carputers? What level of control is their over the audio?
    I'm assuming you would have equalization software of some kind and an expensive sound card to produce quality sound output, but is their software which enhances this sound?
    Can you easily turn up the bass/treble like a head unit?

    For example, http://www.wavescaraudio.com/ produces the MaxxBass product, and they also have a software plugin (I believe its windows media player only ) to perform the same effect as the product they sell. Do other enhancements like this exist on carputers? (linux or windows).

    Regards,
    Gareth

    Oh, if I did build a carputer I would also like to combine a touchscreen with some analog controls (I don't like the idea of controlling volume on a touch screen). Does anyone have analog controls for their carputers? (not full keyboards). I think some people have hooked them up to head units...

  • #2
    this is my first time....
    here I goooo!!!!



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    • #3
      Alpine Digital processor

      You use an Alpine digital processor like the PXA-H701 that does all what a headunit can do plus more (dollby digital). The PXA is controlled by a controller; the RUX-C701 which has a controll nob for volume.

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      • #4
        That MaxxBass® 103 thing is cool if what they say is true.

        Read this page(technology page) http://www.wavescaraudio.com/htmls/maxxbass.htm

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        • #5
          most manufacturers have various dsp(digital signal processors) in their higher end HU. as an example some Kenwood HUs have various features of setting each band at different amplitude intervals and the width as well. You can choose what type of car you have and will change some of the properties.
          In some Pioneer HUs like last years DEH-P8600, you have a 7 band eq, you can adjust your sw amplitude lowpass filter and pitch angle, it even has an auto EQ so it can test out each speaker from the drivers position and run each speaker to its maximum abilities without distortion.
          In some Alpine's you can adjust your phase angle for each speaker and even upload or download certain settings through their server. They even have a mediaexpander(MX) that improves the sound quailty through the onboard dsp. Those are especially good for compressed sounds like aux inputs or mp3 formats.

          There is alot more than just the standard bass treb fad n bal. It all depends on how crazy you're going to get and how much you want to shell out.
          "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts mind there are few."- Shunryu Suzuki
          "Do it right or don't do it at all"

          PROGRESS:
          [-------90%-] (New Car=New Build)

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          • #6
            Hi,

            Yes I do realise there are many complicated features that I'm not aware of, I'm just wondering whether these features can be done in software or sound card on carputers.

            I know headunits can do them as part of their features, my point is can carputers do it? I was planning to ask this question on caraudioaustralia, would that be a better place to ask?

            nomorspam, what should I be searching for? I have no idea what to look for...

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            • #7
              well..
              if your lookin for software solution..
              i use this:

              http://www.winamp.com/plugins/details.php?id=81361

              its a winamp plugin that allows you to boost, improve the sound outputted..
              its pretty cool..

              suppose this is only of use if you use winamp..

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              • #8
                do a search on audio enhancement software or something like that on google..
                first link i clicked on..
                http://www.audiotoolsdirect.com/Enhancers/more2.shtml
                google is your friend...

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                • #9
                  Ah I see, so there are a bunch around.

                  Anything in particular being used by carputer software? Or any particular carputer software combining this kind of thing into their software?

                  I guess I should re-state my question, after reading "can a carputer compete with a head unit for sound quality?":
                  http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ement+software

                  My question is a little different. What I'm trying to ask is in the current state of carputer software, does the software use any kind of software equalizers or other software-side effects to enhance the quality of sound in the car? (ie. before it gets to hardware...).

                  One of the carputer software that I've found interesting is pycar, http://pymedia.org/pycar/, however this is just a curiosity question. Does any software currently use any software enhancements to the sound coming from the sound card?

                  Apologies if I caused any confusion, I wasn't quite sure how to ask the question before, hopefully thats a little clearer.

                  Regards,
                  Gareth

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by some_cs_student
                    I'm not just talking about bass/treble/fad/bal. But things like the "loud" feature (enhances mid-range/bass) and various other sound quality enhancements (I'm not sure which ones but they all post bass enhancement or improving this, anyway they all do make a difference :P).
                    OK - common misconception. That 'LOUD' button does NOT improve sound quality, I'd venture to state that it distorts more than anything. You are correct in saying that they do all make a difference. However, I wouldn't say that it's a GOOD difference, rather a BAD one...lol

                    I'm assuming you would have equalization software of some kind and an expensive sound card to produce quality sound output, but is their software which enhances this sound?
                    not true on the expensive sound card part of that. I have a $100 sound card and am running optical out....no problems here!

                    Can you easily turn up the bass/treble like a head unit?
                    you can find out the answer to that yourself by trying it on the very computer you used to type this message on....you can go into winamp, or even into the sound card program and change all of that...


                    Oh, if I did build a carputer I would also like to combine a touchscreen with some analog controls (I don't like the idea of controlling volume on a touch screen). Does anyone have analog controls for their carputers? (not full keyboards). I think some people have hooked them up to head units...
                    mine is connected to the Alpine RUX-C701 display unit for my processor. That is where i control my sound. This last part does warrant the 'search' icon, because there are tons o people out there who have done it. However, if you had SPECIFIC questions regarding this, ask away!
                    Jan Bennett
                    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "
                      OK - common misconception. That 'LOUD' button does NOT improve sound quality, I'd venture to state that it distorts more than anything. You are correct in saying that they do all make a difference. However, I wouldn't say that it's a GOOD difference, rather a BAD one...lol
                      "

                      Ok, thanks for the info.

                      Ok two more specific questions, are there particular software side enhancements that are designed to enhance sound quailty (of say mp3s) in the car environment/in a carputer? Or are they planned in the future or something....

                      Has anyone built/used simple analog head-unit like controls to perform simple actions? Has anyone done custom ones for carputers?
                      Ideally I'd like a touchscreen and below that a control knob for volume and maybe arrow buttons (left/right/up/down and some key that is the equivalent of enter), and maybe even bass and treble control knobs or something.
                      Its just curiosity and I'm not referring to a full keyboard.

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                      • #12
                        one question for you...why are you so bent on improving the SQ of an MP3? if they are ripped at 128 they are going to sound like 128, ripped at 320, will sound like 320. There really isn't MUCH that can be done in this aspect. This is where you need to have a stereo system that is built to adequately reproduce your music. You can have something recoreded in the best possible format, but if you system can't reporduce that, then there's no point in the other.

                        Again, you are aking aboutthe knobs, and I'm answering (again) with the alpine unit like what I am running in my car.

                        You say you want good sound quality, yet you don't ever go much further than treble and bass. there is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more to sound that trebble and bass. Those two paramaters (if you will) are just the outter edges of what can be tweaked and controlled with sound. For instance, the alpine unit I speak of has a total of something like 171 bands of equalization....that's way above and bayong your simple treble and bass settings

                        settings so simple will never do much to improve SQ IMO

                        EDIT: more of a PS if you will....

                        I'm not running any sort of correction on the software side of things in my car and I'm still winning sound quality shows. Granted, I'm not running MP3s at these shows, rather a CD as that's what the rules state, but you still get my point. software is NOTHING without a good stereo to back it up in this instance.
                        Jan Bennett
                        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Griffin Powermate is a popular solution for controlling sound with a tactile control. It can adjust volume but also control the app as well.
                          Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                          I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                          Want to:
                          -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                          -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Red GTi VR6
                            one question for you...why are you so bent on improving the SQ of an MP3? if they are ripped at 128 they are going to sound like 128, ripped at 320, will sound like 320. There really isn't MUCH that can be done in this aspect. This is where you need to have a stereo system that is built to adequately reproduce your music. You can have something recoreded in the best possible format, but if you system can't reporduce that, then there's no point in the other.
                            It was all curiosity, I'm not bent on improving sound quality. I was just curious, when headunits boast so many forms of enhancements to the sound quality (its probably just marketing though) do people build in similar features to carputer software?
                            It was just curiosity!

                            Originally posted by Red GTi VR6
                            I'm not running any sort of correction on the software side of things in my car and I'm still winning sound quality shows. Granted, I'm not running MP3s at these shows, rather a CD as that's what the rules state, but you still get my point. software is NOTHING without a good stereo to back it up in this instance.
                            Great. Also in regard to your headunit, I think thats a great way to control things. I'm just unsure whether I will have the room for a full-head unit and a touchscreen...

                            Anyway, I was just curious whether anyone did some creative stuff and combined them with carputer controls, although it would appear that using the head unit controls would probably be the easiest way.

                            P.S. how did you do your setup? Is that in a thread of its own? I'm just learning here, thats it!!!!

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                            • #15
                              it's NOT a head unit. It's a disply for a processor.

                              it's about an inch thick.

                              check the web sites in my signiture....around here most people either have web sites for their builds which they place in their signitures or they have links to their build threads in their signitures.

                              don't go getting all bent out of shape over nothing...I understand it was just curosity. That's why I'm asking YOU the questions as well, so that I can better understand where YOU are coming from to get you better answers
                              Jan Bennett
                              FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                              Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                              Comment

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