Tuning via PC

In the quest for the best sound quality possible, a few of the users of MP3Car.com have been researching ways to do all of this tuning via the PC. What you will find below is the results of our research. If you are interested in contributing or would like to read the entire thread, please follow this link.

Terms you need to know


  • ASIO
    Audio Stream Input Output is a protocol for low-latency digital audio specified by Steinberg.

    ASIO provides an interface between an application and the sound card. Whereas Microsoft's DirectSound is typically for stereo input and output for consumers, ASIO provides for the needs of musicians and sound engineers. ASIO offers a relatively simple way of accessing multiple audio inputs and outputs independently. It also provides for the synchronization of input with output in a way that is not possible with DirectSound, allowing recording studios to process their audio via software on the computer instead of using thousands of dollars worth of separate equipment. Its main strength relies in its method of bypassing the inherently high latency of operating system audio mixing kernels, allowing direct, high speed communication with audio hardware.

    Find more here: FAQ: All You Need To Know About ASIO
  • VST
    Virtual Studio Technology and its acronym VST refer to an interface standard for connecting audio synthesizer and effect plug-ins to audio editors and hard-disk recording systems. VST and similar technologies allow the replacement of traditional recording studio hardware with software counterparts.

Methods / Examples


  • Foobar Player Audio Processing - add a FAQ and FAQ URL here

    This is a great method to use if you only need crossovers, EQ and delay for music. If it needs to work for anything else, such as video, skip this method. All the processing is done by the player itself.
  • Sound Blaster with KX Project Drivers Audio Processing - add a FAQ and FAQ URL here
    This is a good entry level point. It will do everything you need it to do in music and video since all the processing is done by the DSP chip on the sound card itself. That means your computer processor does not need to do any processing. This is equivalent to the crossovers built into head units, amplifiers, and outboard crossovers.
  • ASIO VST Plug-in Audio Tuning Method
    If you want nothing but unlimited tuning capabilities this is the way to go. It is superior to any of the other methods based on the fact the plug-ins are more professional. It is very tricky to get this method to work and requires a good balance of the right hardware and software. The downside to this is that it is complex and requires all the processing to be performed by the CPU. You will need a minimum of a Pentium 4/AMD equivalent processor. There are a lot of little details you have to worry about if you pick this method.
  • Bit-perfect

Hardware You Will Need to Do This

One of the number one questions asked is "What's the minimum processor speed I can get away with?"

Simply put: No one knows.
Because each set-up will be different from the next, it's nearly impossible to know what the minimum requirements are for processor speed and/or memory. Some people will be going the KX Driver route, some the Frequency Allocator/Console route. Each of these requires different amounts of processing. Then there's the different number of channels that people will be running, meaning different loads placed on the system there as well.

In general, the minimum for each of the following is listed as below: W.I.P.


Software You Will Need to Do This

Plug-Ins


  • VST Effects
    A VST effect is a type of VST plug-in that is generally used to process audio. Types of VST effect include (among others) reverb processors or phaser effects.
    VST Effects can be used in real-time when used with an appropriate software and hardware configuration, such as a sound card that supports ASIO, software that bypasses Windows' slower audio engine and so offers much lower latency times, allowing for effective real time playing. Modern Macintosh computers typically ship with low-latency audio drivers.
  • WinAmp VST Plug-In

  • WinAmp Direct-X Plug-In

VSTSHELL for combining/wiring/stringing VST plug-ins together


  • Console
    A VSTSHELL that works with ASIO. It routes the cards in and outs and gives you the ability to wire up multiple VST plug-in effects how you want them. It does not stream audio from the actual media player unless the output of the player is ASIO.

Audio Stream Capture to use with VSTSHELL programs and ASIO


  • VAC
    VAC is designed to capture the audio signal from media players using KS/Direct sound/WDM to be routed to VSTSHELL programs or any program that needs/uses ASIO.
  • Reaper
    Reaper captures the audio stream with the REAroute function built inside of it.
    See this thread for how it was used.
  • Directwire
    Only available on ESI PRO and some Audiotrak Cards.
  • Some M-Audio cards also have this capability.
    The Delta 44, Delta 66, Delta 1010, 410 and Firewire 410 can do it for sure within the driver control panel.
  • Another option is to use the SPDIF OUT looped back to the SPDIF IN if the card has both available.
    See this thread.
Tuning Software

31-band 1/3 octave Equilizers

Free EQ's

Other EQ's

Time Alignment
Phase Control


Crossover

Channel Allocator

RTA

  • TrueRTA


    • 1 (free) - 1/3 ($39.95) - 1/6 ($69.95) - 1/24 ($99.95) octave versions
RTA Mic

Mic Pre-Amp


Article written by RedGTiVR6, Durwood, Vorex, Thekl0wn.