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Thread: Andrea Superbeam Mic

  1. #11
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    justchat_1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstorbit84 View Post
    Why is this a big requirement??

    For the 1/3 the price of the SOHO + Andrea, I found a used Parrot CK3100 on ebay..
    While echo cancellation is possible using a single channel microphone, noise reduction is not. In a car environment you get a tremendous amount of background noise when using a single, omni-directional mic. Some people are happy enough with it....most aren't.
    Quote Originally Posted by TeamRSX View Post
    I was taking a look at this bundle which includes a usb sound card (pure audio) and mic. Now i can see it has a mic input and speaker output. In order to get the noise/echo cancellation do i have to plug my speakers into this usb sound card or can i use my internal sound card for all my speaker output and use usb sound card just for the mic?

    I guess that kinda defeats the purpose of this product, but really i would only use the usb sound card for my mic input.
    In order to properly do echo cancellation the andrea USB mic requires speaker output directed through its output. On windows, due to the lack of stream splitting, this forces you to use only the andrea usb dongle for input and output.

    There is a workaround though, just not a pleasant one. You can use audio re-routing software to mirror your sound card output to the andrea dongle (even if nothing is plugged into its speaker output). Its been done a few dozen times by users before echo-cancelling sound cards became so commonplace.

  2. #12
    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    i haven't gotten a chance yet to mess with making it work with another sound card, but it did find out that the Andrea card does not play well with my BT dongle. If the dongle is near the sound card i get a horrible buzz in the audio almost all the time. I put it on a 2ft usb extension and its fine now once its like and inch or 2 away.

  3. #13
    Variable Bitrate TeamRSX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bratnetwork View Post
    I have been wondering this same thing. My onboard sound sucks so the Andrea one may be an improvement, but I bought a nice SB Live external I want to utilize. I have searched for this but I haven't really found a definite answer where someone has actually installed and tested this theory and posted the results.

    I have just received my Andrea set in the mail and I'm in the process on re-vamping my carpc software so hopefully within the next few days I will be able to get it all setup and actually test this out. I will let everyone know what I find out. But until then if anyone has actually done this feel free to share
    Have you been able to do any testing this this andrea bundle yet? I'm curious to see the results.

  4. #14
    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamRSX View Post
    Have you been able to do any testing this this andrea bundle yet? I'm curious to see the results.
    Sorry, but I've been pretty busy lately and haven't had much time to mess with my CarPC, and the time I have spend working on it, it has been on other things. I did though plug it all in and test it with the .net mobile phone plugin, but have not done any real testing with echo cancellation and trying o get it work with a different sound card yet. I'll be away for a little while so It won't be for another 2 weeks or so before I can get around to do it yet.

    One thing I did notice that disappointed me is that the sound card itself seems to pick up a lot of interference. First it would pick it up from my BT dongle anytime it would rx/tx data and the LED on the dongle would blink causing static in my speakers. And now it gives me static on occasion just on heavy CPU usage... This could become a major problem if I can't fix it. I thought it was just the cheapo speakers I use for bench testing my PC, but it does this with headphones too. Any one else notice this? Or maybe I just got a defective unit?

  5. #15
    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    Sorry, my vacation was unexpectedly extended due to weather and my flight was canceled, but I'm back now.

    I did some messing around today and I think I'm on to something. I messed around with some ASIO and Virtual Audio Cables today. I don't understand ASIO much so that confused me a bit and I couldn't seem to get ASIO4ALL to work much at all. I messed around with virtual audio cables and found that in order to use them the audio application has to have the ability to choose which audio device to use. If my programs could all do that then I wouldn't need the virtual cables (cables are more for routing sound to other DSP apps and stuff b4 output or recording, not really to direct apps to certain sound devices).

    After finding out about the VACs needing apps that can specify the output i looked at some of my apps. I found that Foobar2000 that I use as my music player has this option. So right now in Windows my default sound card is the Andrea USB card and then Foobar is set to output through my SB Live! USB. Not the final solution and it only works if you use Foobar, but its a step in the right direction.

    The problems I have with this setup now is that my master volume and mute does not effect the SB Live! card at all, so if I hit mute the Andrea card mutes but the music keeps playing through the SB card. The only way to adjust the music volume is by adjusting the volume in the Foobar software (which I can do in RR's mixer skin). This is a huge issue for me b/c I use line drivers in my audio system and they have volume knobs which is how I adjust my volume, but I still need to find a way to mute the audio for GPS and Phone usage.

    I am still going to look into this more and find a better all around way to do this and make it all work right. If any one has any ideas or words of advice of how we can accomplish some of this please share.

  6. #16
    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    Also, I forgot: Movies, DVDs, and any other audio source other than Foobar so far will still have to go through the Andrea card. Not a huge deal for me since I don't watch movies or dvds in my car much, and if I do I don't really require the same quality of sound as my music. It would be ideal to have them through the better sound card as well, but I will figure that out after the important parts are complete.

  7. #17
    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    In case anyone is still following this thread I did get 2 sound cards to work well with echo and noise cancellation.

    Current setup:
    -Andrea USB-SA Soundcard
    -Sound Blaster Live! 24-Bit USB Sound Card
    -Andrea Superbeam Mic
    -RideRunner
    -.net Bluetooth Mobilephone Plugin

    The key to my final success was that lambosprit (creator of the .net Bluetooth Mobilephone Plugin) put a lot of time and effort into his plugin and recently added to the latest release the ability to tell the plugin what sound device to use. You can choose the input and output separately depending on your needs. Now for the echo cancellation to work you need both the input and output to be the Andrea card. Set all you windows sound devices to whatever sound device you want to use and then tell the plugin to use the Andrea card and your done!

    Quote Originally Posted by lambosprit View Post
    Finaly the last piece of the puzzle...the long awaited wav device selection.

    put the following lines in your ini file under the general section

    WaveIn=Realtek HD Audio Input
    WaveOut=Realtek HD Audio Output

    ONLY add the lines if you want to change from the default device

    Change the realtek bit to match your device name. To find out what it should be look in control panel>>> sound and audio devices

    Copy it case for case and any spaces
    What I did for this is run the mic into the Andrea mic port, then from the Andrea speaker port run a short cable into the line-in of my SB Live!. I will eventually implement a USB controlled line-in switcher so that I can still use my HD radio and stuff, but for all testing purposes this seems to be working great so far.

  8. #18
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
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    Glad you got it to work!

    However, it still seems to me like a standalone BT calling solution would have been a bit cheaper and much less effort... Plus it wouldn't take any system resources for those of us running slower systems...

    Just want to make sure everyone who reads this thread knows all the options out there.

  9. #19
    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstorbit84 View Post
    Glad you got it to work!

    However, it still seems to me like a standalone BT calling solution would have been a bit cheaper and much less effort... Plus it wouldn't take any system resources for those of us running slower systems...

    Just want to make sure everyone who reads this thread knows all the options out there.
    If that works for better for peoples wants and needs, then great, do it that way. But for me the whole point of having CarPC is to have everything integrated into w/o other devices, buttons, or units in the cabin of my car. I want an empty dash with just the OEM functions and then my touch screen and everything works through that.

    Again I'm not knocking a standalone solution, but for me this is what I wanted in my setup. Plus everything takes time and legwork to get it working initially. Now that we did it and figured it out, it will be easier for everyone else that wants it. Isn't that the point of these forums?

  10. #20
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
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    I agree, that is definitely what this forum is about, and I'm not knocking your solution either...

    For me, though, I preferred to have the features working with the least hassle and expense, regardless of the extra buttons it added to the dash, rather than have them all integrated... The benefits just didn't outweigh the costs in my setup... Plus, I was working with much less computing power than most setups, and I left my head unit intact so that I can still have tunes and all of my BT features without having to power up the PC all the time on short trips...


    Another couple questions I have for the computer's ability to handle calling via BT:

    How well does it transfer the call back to the handset when you shut the car/computer off? On my Parrot, it will continue the call over the speakers when I turn the car off, and a prompt will appear on the display asking if I would like to transfer the call to the handset. I click yes and it transfers over to the handset seamlessly so that I can get out of the car and continue talking... Similarly, I can also use the handset to do the transfer either when I get out, or while I'm driving if I don't want my passengers to hear the other end of the call...

    How well does it recognize and connect to your phone? For example, I only had to pair my phone once with the Parrot, and now any time I get in the car and I have Bluetooth enabled, it will automatically connect even before my computer has a chance to boot or wake from sleep. Then I have full access to my phone book, call logs, etc. right from a tiny (about 2.5" wide) dash mounted display with scroll wheel and call/hang-up buttons. I can also simultaneously pair my phone with the computer's bluetooth and surf the web, without disrupting the Parrot's features... I can even make calls without disrupting the internet connection...

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