nicely shielded, yes, but also how you route everything as well.
Ok, for the past couple of weeks, I have been gathering hardware and testing software to implement a software/hardware option for doing all my audio tuning. After tons and tons of research, googling, and reading, I had many things to change to make this possible.
With the help of:
REDGTIVR6 (starting the thread of software tunign options and finding most of the programs)
ICEMAN_JKH (First to implement this method and guided me along the way)
Jan at Thuneau (makers of Frequency Allocator/Arbitrator)
and others if I forgot to mention
I now have a functioning computer that is able to do all the processing my Alpine PXA-H701 can do...and its much more customizeable and at a lower cost!
1) I had to upgrade my carputer. Right now its still int he house, but I needed something that could handle the processing power. I did not test it, but everyone I talked to and my own thoughts, the EPIA M10000 was just not powerfull enough to do it.
2) I upgraded to an Intel D865GVHZ Mobo with a 1.8Ghz Mobile Pentium 4-M Processor. (Desktop board with low power mobile processor ) I was using a 256MB 400Mhz RAM until I get my 512mb. Test Harddrive was an ancient 10G Quantum drive.
3) Soundcard- I located an Audiotrak Prodigy HIFI 7.1 card that uses a unique software program called "Directwire" only available with ESI/Audiotrak soundcards. Directwire allows me to send audio from Winamp and PowerDVD to ASIO where I can process the sound using nothing but professional VST plugins. It has User replaceable opamps so you can customize the quality of sound exiting the card.
4) Software used:
Audiotrak Directwire to route audio streams into ASIO.
Console routing program to string/conenct multiple VST plugins
EQ31 VST plugin for 31 band 1/3 octave EQ for left and right input channels
Frequency Allocator Full Version for 4 way Crossover Filtering
Voxengo VST stereo delay plugin on each pair for time delay/alignment.
With (2) isntances of EQ31
(1) Frequency Allocator Full
(4) Stereo Delays
Running on a
Intel D865GVHZ socket478 Mobo
Mobile Pentium 4-m 1.8Ghz
256MB DDR PC3200
Audiotrak Prodigy Hifi with 1024 Latency Setting
Winamp using Direct sound output
CPU usage was 30-50%. No crackles, no sound dropouts. I have not tested it with DVD playback yet.
Below is a screen shot of everything setup in console.
Cost of doing this:
$150 Frequency Allocator
Free 31 band EQ (I am going to donate though)
Free Stereo Delay (I am going to donate though)
$310. That is cheap for what this does. My Alpine cost me more that that, as will other car audio processors will.
hrmm - so it seems then that the only thing I need to do then is find a solution like direct wire?
I'm holding off on purchasing the rest of the software till payday...trying to keep away from the credit cards now...lol
I'm glad you got it all working!
If at all possible, I want to stick with my X-Meridian, but if it's not possible, looks like I'll be purchasing the Prodigy!!
hahha. I know I haven't bought the full verisons yet. This was all with the demo versions.
I have a bonus check coming from work and I plan on buying the full versions before Xmas because of the discoutn on Allocator.
RED check out a program called Virtual Audio cable. I beleive it is designed to help you route non-ASIO streams into ASIO for any card. Similar to Directwire on the ESI/Audiotrak products. I think it costs $50. You might want to add it to the Software Tuning thread.
I'll see if I can add it in there today!
I just got my opamps for my soundcard. Now I can swap out the originals and do some comparing over this long weekend.
Check them out
So I finally decided to find a way to control my computer better. The remote mounted in the center console just wasn't cutting it. I figured it wasn't going to be exactly what I wanted so I temporarily mounted it. I am finding that the buttons are rather small and the location is not ideal. It takes my eyes off the road if I can't figure out what button I am pressing. So I started a thread on how I could control it HERE
Without much hacking, if I used a PIE cd changer to M-bus controller with the CAR2PC M-bus to USB adapter, then I could retain some functionality, but not everything I need. So I decided to hack open my dash and wire directly to all the switches.
(First 3 pictures are from my old 04 Mazda 6, but the 06 is pretty much the same.)
Dash with modular radio attached
Dash with Radio removed
Closeup showing where the modular radio connects to the dash mounted buttons
Button circuit board removed. The climate controls connect to this board and three buttons that control the climate control are actually attached to the board. The hazard switch is also wired to this board.
I took a parallel cable and wired it to all the buttons I wanted to use. With 25 wires to work with, it gave me 12 buttons I could wire to, which was really all I needed. I wanted SAT,MEDIA,CD, Track up/down, FF, RR, Repeat, Disc Up/down to work for example.
My disappointment came as I tried to put everything back together. I neglected to think about the buttons themselves. They are micro tactile switchs that have barely any movement. So, the way they desinged the dash button panel did not allow for any room for the wires, even though they were very small gauge. The buttons are also surface mount so there was no way to wire from the back side of the board. I ran out of time and need to put it back together, so I unfortunately un soldered all my wires and put it back together. Another project goes unfinished for the moment.
Coming in Feb though there might be some hope, not exactly the hope I want but at least it is something. There should be a CAR2PC adapter coming out for beta testing for Mazda. Then I won't need the PIE adapter. It still probably won't give me control over the source selection/mode buttons. I am still thinking how I can fix this. I did however wire a rotary mouse wheel to the volume knob. I have yet to test this yet but it's on my list of things to do.