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Old 8th February 2010, 07:06 PM   #1
sxr71 is offline sxr71  United States
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Default Digital Crossover software setup for a noob...

I am new here and I believe the future of audio is in digital crossovers and digital room correction.

I really want to build an audio system takes input from Spdif coax and/or optical and then processes those into 2 or 3 digital streams intended for each driver of a studio monitor.

I have heard of products like Audiolense and Acourate and they seem like they will get the job done. I understand also there are cheaper and free programs available also. That said I would really like one semi-easy setup and reliable trouble-free operation after.

What are software options I have? Windows, Linux, Mac? Which software programs do you think would get me setup and running reliably?



Another side problem is that I can't find any studio monitor speakers which accept multiple digital inputs in the fashion or for that matter even analog pre inputs. It seems I might need to go passive and rewire it or even build my own speaker. But I'm not ready for that yet. Any suggestions?
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Old 9th February 2010, 12:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by sxr71 View Post
I really want to build an audio system takes input from Spdif coax and/or optical and then processes those into 2 or 3 digital streams intended for each driver of a studio monitor.
This is a big field, with lots of hardware and software choices. And it will depend on how much you want to measure or tweak, and how much you want to get into using software programs to create crossovers etc.

If you want something really simple, easy to setup and then just use, I'd go with a Behringer DCX2496 unit and a multi-channel amp.

It can take spdif input, can drive a pair of 3 way speakers, and has selectable digital crossovers with extra functions (eq, delays etc). Connect it's output to a multi-channel amp (ie second hand AV receiver operating in external decoder mode) and you'll be set - of course you will need speakers where you can connect the amp's output direct to the drivers.

That will cover the digital crossover requirement, as to digital room correction, that's another story.
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Old 9th February 2010, 05:32 PM   #3
sxr71 is offline sxr71  United States
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Originally Posted by boconnor View Post
This is a big field, with lots of hardware and software choices. And it will depend on how much you want to measure or tweak, and how much you want to get into using software programs to create crossovers etc.

If you want something really simple, easy to setup and then just use, I'd go with a Behringer DCX2496 unit and a multi-channel amp.

It can take spdif input, can drive a pair of 3 way speakers, and has selectable digital crossovers with extra functions (eq, delays etc). Connect it's output to a multi-channel amp (ie second hand AV receiver operating in external decoder mode) and you'll be set - of course you will need speakers where you can connect the amp's output direct to the drivers.

That will cover the digital crossover requirement, as to digital room correction, that's another story.
Thanks for your advice. One thing I do need is that the filters be FIR filters with their near perfect characteristics.

I have given some thought to this and I realize that there are people who have tried this route and they came back not so impressed (despite the theoretical perfectness). Also their is one off the shelf product that does use FIR filters: the Klein and Hummel 0500D Studio Monitors. Over at Gearslutz, I don't hear any great praise for it. Maybe it's because Pro Audio types are slow to adopt technology? I doubt it, they got a functional FIR based monitor years ago. I guess it's because at the $20,000 per pair they cost there are more known, safer options?

Beyond that I have not once come across listening notes for any system using a DIY PC based FIR crossover and no example setups either.

Its hard to say but Compact Disc was "theoretically perfect" in 1978 but it took over 25 years for it to actually evolve technologically to the point we could address issues with DACs. Perhaps FIR crossovers are something that many have done but it still seems like niche. I know it is the way forward but so far its still a niche.

I suppose I'll never know until I try but it involves at least $1200-2700 in a Pro Level sound card + DACs + software + modifying a pair of off the shelf speakers. The cheapest out of the box system would be the K&H 0300D + Pro C28 crossover processor ($9500). Again I hear many listening impressions of the 0300D but I haven't seen one with the $4000 Pro C28 yet.

Anyway it seems I stand corrected there are systems which exist:

SonicFlare -- Sports Cars For Your Living Room

Legend Acoustics - Australia's leading loudspeakers


Anyway it seems this field is still in development right now. I think DEQX is the way to go currently or to build a crossover/DRC PC. It's all still a nascent field despite the fact that there are a good number of options.
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Old 9th February 2010, 09:11 PM   #4
gooki is offline gooki  New Zealand
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Originally Posted by sxr71 View Post
Beyond that I have not once come across listening notes for any system using a DIY PC based FIR crossover and no example setups either.

I suppose I'll never know until I try but it involves at least $1200-2700 in a Pro Level sound card + DACs + software + modifying a pair of off the shelf speakers. The cheapest out of the box system would be the K&H 0300D + Pro C28 crossover processor ($9500). Again I hear many listening impressions of the 0300D but I haven't seen one with the $4000 Pro C28 yet.
There's an nvidia cuda xover application that does the whole FIR calculation in the GPU, keeping the CPU free to do other stuff. An Nvida Ion system should cope, is dirt cheap, and produces not much heat, and doesn't require an additional sound card. I believe the original developer posts on diyaudio

More info here:
CUDA Real FIR

As for standalone devices both Legend Acoustics and Arvus Loudspeakers (Specifications - Story | Arvus Loudspeakers) appear to use the DEQX devices.
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Old 9th February 2010, 10:36 PM   #5
sxr71 is offline sxr71  United States
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Originally Posted by gooki View Post
There's an nvidia cuda xover application that does the whole FIR calculation in the GPU, keeping the CPU free to do other stuff. An Nvida Ion system should cope, is dirt cheap, and produces not much heat, and doesn't require an additional sound card. I believe the original developer posts on diyaudio

More info here:
CUDA Real FIR

As for standalone devices both Legend Acoustics and Arvus Loudspeakers (Specifications - Story | Arvus Loudspeakers) appear to use the DEQX devices.

It sounds great to use an ION/Atom PC but the program does not seem user friendly and it would need driver impulse and timing correction I believe. I would use the Audiolense software if I got into this.
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Old 15th February 2010, 05:50 PM   #6
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Default This link may help you...

Try this link. They have several suggestions and pages to help you set this up. Seems their site is mostly about active digital crossovers too. I think their whole concept is to promote what you are speaking of.

They talk about the HTPC, building speaker cabinets, digital crossover, active, etc. Hope this helps.

mikal
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Old 27th February 2010, 02:44 PM   #7
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Am I right in thinking instead of having to buy another Behringher DCX, I could buy a Acer Revo 189 Acer Aspire Revo R3610 Desktop PC - Desktops at Ebuyer

Use this a media source (plex, itunes etc), and through trough optical out have the crossover frequencies split via software, 5.1 channel out would go to a preamp and to 6 channel power amp, to power a 2.5 way?

This would be the flow:

Acer, 5.1 Optical out --- Audiolab 8000AP --- Power amps lm3886 --- 2 way & sub

Would this work?
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Old 27th February 2010, 05:05 PM   #8
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Thuneau Allocator and a soundcard with multiple digital outputs is a relatively cheap setup to get the feel of using a PC as a DSP/DXO.
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Old 12th March 2010, 05:07 PM   #9
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Thuneau Allocator and a soundcard with multiple digital outputs is a relatively cheap setup to get the feel of using a PC as a DSP/DXO.
I agree. Thuneau is a great solution for this.
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Old 18th June 2010, 02:41 PM   #10
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Any of you guys aware of a software solution other than Thuneau that does basically the same thing with FIR filters?

I use Thuneau but want to see what else is out there.
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