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Thread: Sound card for 3 way front stage + sub

  1. #1
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    Sound card for 3 way front stage + sub

    Hello all,

    I'm a newb to the carpc world but not to car/home audio. First off want to say thanks to those who make this site what it is. Secondly, thanks in advance for the help that you are willing to give if you respond to this thread.

    So I'm going down this carpc road and atm all I really want to do is:

    1. Store and access music easily.
    2. The power to adjust crossover points, slopes, phase, time alignment, eq, signal level easily.

    Since I have a three way front stage plus sub I want to be able to process all of these within the computer. I am aware that I need a nice sound card, will this one do for the front stage:

    EMI 2:6 usb soundcard

    I might only need this since the sub could receive signal from a pass through and be crossed over via amp.

    While we're on the subject, what are your opinions on external sound cards? Such as:

    http://www.pssl.com/!kwhp91n8iGebgG5...io-Interface-s

    Also, wondering about processing power. How much is sufficient? There are a couple car comps in the f/s section that seem like they would work fine:

    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/vbcl...?do=ad&id=2012

    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/vbcl...?do=ad&id=2477

    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/vbcl...?do=ad&id=1783

    One of the new items f/s on mp3car is the fanless intel pc:

    http://store.mp3car.com/product_p/ccc-207.htm

    Would that be enough processing power for running asio with vst's for processing along with an interface program like roadrunner for selecting songs?

    Best regards,

    Erik

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    it looks like you are on the right path-- i have the esi gigaport, and, if i had a infinite amount of money, i would have swapped it out by now...

    the problem with the gigaport is that its driver only supports asio output, and all audio programs only support 1 asio driver for both input and output, with no option to load any other drivers, so you must figure out another way to get the audio either into the audio program, or out to the card, or both.

    i have currently been having problems using vst eq's--they will cause pops and delays in the audio stream. i am unsure were the problem is originating from, but is corrected by removing any vst eq. i am currently using a intel 945gclf with 1.2ghz (i think?) dual core atom processor, 2gb ram, and have 6 crossovers setup (highpass, and low pass for a active 3way setup), all at 4th order. it stays around 50-60% cpu usage during normal use.

    as for accessing the audio processing easily, it is just not possible--
    here is a pic of my dash with Console brought up(i changed my config a little, but you get the idea) on a 7" liliput 629GL monitor:


    it would be downright dangerous for me to tweak anything in console if i wasn't parked, and even if your were the passenger, it would still be hard (i need to lean forward to see what i am doing on the screen).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    it looks like you are on the right path-- i have the esi gigaport, and, if i had a infinite amount of money, i would have swapped it out by now...

    the problem with the gigaport is that its driver only supports asio output, and all audio programs only support 1 asio driver for both input and output, with no option to load any other drivers, so you must figure out another way to get the audio either into the audio program, or out to the card, or both.

    i have currently been having problems using vst eq's--they will cause pops and delays in the audio stream. i am unsure were the problem is originating from, but is corrected by removing any vst eq. i am currently using a intel 945gclf with 1.2ghz (i think?) dual core atom processor, 2gb ram, and have 6 crossovers setup (highpass, and low pass for a active 3way setup), all at 4th order. it stays around 50-60% cpu usage during normal use.

    as for accessing the audio processing easily, it is just not possible--
    here is a pic of my dash with Console brought up(i changed my config a little, but you get the idea) on a 7" liliput 629GL monitor:


    it would be downright dangerous for me to tweak anything in console if i wasn't parked, and even if your were the passenger, it would still be hard (i need to lean forward to see what i am doing on the screen).
    Thanks so much for your response. Nice to know someone has gone down a similar road.

    So let me see if I've got this straight about the asio stuff and the gigaport:

    The gigaport will not allow you to input the audio stream into a program for modification?

    It only allows for the audio to be output? How did you get around it?

    Anyone know of other sound cards that allow for both? This one looks like the ticket:

    http://www.amazon.com/Asus-Xonar-Del.../dp/B001I2ERS0

    To bad about the adjusting not being easy. I've been accustomed to the pioneer deh-p880prs head unit which has an awesome interface for processing. I've just been looking for something with more options.

    This is somewhat discouraging but I'm glad that you're telling me this now so I don't continue thinking it's that easy.

    Wow, 50% processor usage. That's kinda high. Would more ram help?

    I'm going with an 8" screen if everything seems feasible. Hopefully the extra inch will help a bit.

    I've got a few computer programmer friends who may be able to wright a program interface making console more user-friendly for our "audio 3/4 way" situation.

    Best regards,

    Erik

  4. #4
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    Just few hints:
    1.) Sound Card must have ASIO AND Internal Routing(DirectWire, ReWire or something similar)
    2.) SC must have as possible low crosstalk, and maybe swappable OPAMP's(Not must but is good feature)
    3.)A lot of CPU power min. Dual core 2GHz especialy if you would like watch movie(DVD) otherwice your sound will sturtering if you will run CPU intensive application...
    4.) You need "basic audio skils" how to setup crossovers, TA...
    5.)For VST host is best to use Console or AudioMulch(I use this now).
    6.) Look for phase linear or FIR filters(Electr-Q Full version)
    7.) For TA I think is best/easy Voxengo Sound Delay
    8.)Maybe you can look for DRC(Digital Room correction)
    9.) Happy tuning

  5. #5
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    I temporarily stop pursuing this option as I found much difficulties getting all the programs to work nicely on my test PC. I tried VAC->VST's in Console->Asio Out. Major problems that I still can't overcome :

    1. ASIO Volume control within RR / Frontend
    2. Auto & error free Startup of VSTs upon PC bootup or return from hibernate
    3. Some Software min screen resolution are > 800 x 600 (my screen res)

    So far I've only tried to configure it in Stereo mode (2 Channel) with my DAC. Once I can get it right, I'll try it out with the ASUS D2 Xonar with 6 outputs for 3 way active Front Stage.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Dejan_ View Post
    Just few hints:
    1.) Sound Card must have ASIO AND Internal Routing(DirectWire, ReWire or something similar)
    Check, this unit seems like it will work:

    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Delta1010LT.html

    I'll just have to go the custom built pc route since it doesn't look like the prefab pc's accept internal sound cards in their tiny enclosures.... unless using a 90 degree pci adapter, even then it would be a tight fit I'm sure.



    2.) SC must have as possible low crosstalk, and maybe swappable OPAMP's(Not must but is good feature)

    I couldn't seem to find a crosstalk specification. What am I looking for here?



    3.)A lot of CPU power min. Dual core 2GHz especialy if you would like watch movie(DVD) otherwice your sound will sturtering if you will run CPU intensive application...

    This should fit the bill:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819116072



    4.) You need "basic audio skils" how to setup crossovers, TA...

    Zero problems here.



    5.)For VST host is best to use Console or AudioMulch(I use this now).

    THank you for the recommendation. Those were the two that I have seen many using. I'll give them a try first.



    6.) Look for phase linear or FIR filters(Electr-Q Full version)

    Check



    7.) For TA I think is best/easy Voxengo Sound Delay

    Check



    8.)Maybe you can look for DRC(Digital Room correction)

    Check



    9.) Happy tuning


    Thanks abunch for your suggestions Dejan.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Dejan_ View Post
    Just few hints:
    1.) Sound Card must have ASIO AND Internal Routing(DirectWire, ReWire or something similar)
    2.) SC must have as possible low crosstalk, and maybe swappable OPAMP's(Not must but is good feature)
    3.)A lot of CPU power min. Dual core 2GHz especialy if you would like watch movie(DVD) otherwice your sound will sturtering if you will run CPU intensive application...
    4.) You need "basic audio skils" how to setup crossovers, TA...
    5.)For VST host is best to use Console or AudioMulch(I use this now).
    6.) Look for phase linear or FIR filters(Electr-Q Full version)
    7.) For TA I think is best/easy Voxengo Sound Delay
    8.)Maybe you can look for DRC(Digital Room correction)
    9.) Happy tuning

    great summary Dejan! personally, i have never tried audio mulch, and have only watched the youtube demo videos, but based on that, i would have to say that Console and Audiomulch are very similar-- it is really personal preferance to which one you pick-- like deciding between honda and toyota (i think audiomulch includes a bunch of plugins, whereas console doesn't, but is cheaper...)

    as far as getting the esi usb card to work, i have resorted to using the windows wdm drivers, and asio4all to get it to work...not the best solution, but it works...

    for the processor usage, you must remember that each vst plugin uses some amount of cpu resources, some more than others, and these can add up very quickly--i really don't think that 50% is all that bad--when i first started playing with everything, i tried 3-31 band parametric eq's(where you can adjust both the frequency, and the level)...the system went up to 100%, and then bsod a couple minutes later (i also had a problem with a different usb soundcard then, so it might have just been the soundcard causing the bsod)...

    if i get a chance over the weekend i will post some screenshots of my current setup and the Console display screen that shows how much resources are going to each individual plugin. i also have some faulty drivers on my system, so that also tends to slow it down some...and running programs in the background (winamp playing FLAC files, and gps logger).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycfari View Post
    I temporarily stop pursuing this option as I found much difficulties getting all the programs to work nicely on my test PC. I tried VAC->VST's in Console->Asio Out. Major problems that I still can't overcome :

    1. ASIO Volume control within RR / Frontend
    2. Auto & error free Startup of VSTs upon PC bootup or return from hibernate
    3. Some Software min screen resolution are > 800 x 600 (my screen res)

    So far I've only tried to configure it in Stereo mode (2 Channel) with my DAC. Once I can get it right, I'll try it out with the ASUS D2 Xonar with 6 outputs for 3 way active Front Stage.
    0.5:how are you sending vac into console, and then using asio out? (i would really like to do this in my setup)

    1. using VAC, you will need to enable volume control, and set it to the windows default sound output.

    2. auto startup is as easy as dragging a shortcut of your saved setup to the startup folder. dejan created a software at some point to turn off the opwer button, and turn it back on after hibernation? i think? dejan?

    3. not one of my biggest problems, but it is slightly anoying to have a plugin control screen take up the Entire display...

    here are some screenshots of listed cpu usage and console usage-- also not, that with rr minimized, cpu usage dropped to about 30%...



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycfari View Post
    I temporarily stop pursuing this option as I found much difficulties getting all the programs to work nicely on my test PC. I tried VAC->VST's in Console->Asio Out. Major problems that I still can't overcome :

    1. ASIO Volume control within RR / Frontend
    2. Auto & error free Startup of VSTs upon PC bootup or return from hibernate
    3. Some Software min screen resolution are > 800 x 600 (my screen res)

    So far I've only tried to configure it in Stereo mode (2 Channel) with my DAC. Once I can get it right, I'll try it out with the ASUS D2 Xonar with 6 outputs for 3 way active Front Stage.
    1.) If VAC doesn't work then you will hard find solution. Maybe Jack can do this...
    2.)Im have problems with resume from sleep/hibernate with Console(like it do not turn on all VST plugins and sound come only from few speakers) with AudioMulch I don't have this probelm with SAMA VST plugins...
    3.) this is hard to do on small screen... I currently work on 1024x786 and is hard too... As Im see AudioMulch have some remote option but Im not shure if is for configuration... Other option is edit crossovers on your desktop pc and copy it to carpc...

    @egoaudio:
    1.) If have Intrernal routin(If I remember it have it) is ok choise
    2.) You can see crosstalk graph on some reviews or tests...
    3.) It will be ok also you can overclock it
    4.) Great
    5.)Test BOTH because is avalible Trial version for both VST hosts. I use AudioMulch because with Console Im have problems after resume from sleep/hibernate...

    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    2. auto startup is as easy as dragging a shortcut of your saved setup to the startup folder. dejan created a software at some point to turn off the opwer button, and turn it back on after hibernation? i think? dejan?
    Yes Im write one application which start Console(You can select saved file too to direct open your configuration), then turn on Console and minimize it...
    Now I fill start writing plugin for CF which will have same option, but you can switch beetwen configuration files(example: SQ Setup, More Bass setup, SUB off setup...) and restart application on resume from sleep... First I will make it for AudioMulch later for Console too..

  10. #10
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    Alright everyone, thanks for all the input! I've got my laptop functioning properly with audiomulch and winamp as my front end. Also everything autostarts as desired so all is well here. I'm really only using the carpc for music so I think the arby's winamp skin is the best fit for me. I've only got one last thing that I want to add........ remote control.

    What kind of remote control solutions are you guys running?

    Ideally, I'm looking for a basic control unit. Play, next, previous, pause, etc. But one "advanced feature" I want on it is the ability to choose different playlists quickly. Here is a shot of my screen.

    Maybe a software that allows for mapping buttons into winamp? I don't have much programming experience so I won't be able to build a program to do this..... wish I could. I've looked into girder but I can't seem to get it to work with this remote:

    http://www.pioneer.eu/eur/products/2...510/specs.html

    Maybe it's the infrared sensor that I'm using. Any suggestions for IR sensors for this software?
    Any advice will be much appreciated.

    Best regards,

    Erik
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