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Old 12th February 2013, 10:15 PM   #1
Ceri is offline Ceri  United States
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Default 4 way active capable sound card (TA, EQ, XO)

I'm having a hard time making the transition from premade audio processors to PC based processing. I'm just not very familiar with some of the terminology. I'm looking for a sound card/software that will allow me full control over a 4 way actively amplified system before the signal leaves the PC. The trick is, I need highly customizable crossovers, preferrably unlimited frequencies, n-th order filtering with options for filter type (bessel, butterworth, linkwitz riley, chebyshev, etc.). Then I need manual time alignment. My understanding so far is that time alignment might be the tricky part for most sound cards as it requires internal routing? I'm a little hazy on this. Auto time alignment would be a nice bonus, but not required. Lastly, I need at a minimum 1/3 octave graphical EQ per channel. Parametric would be a nice bonus, but not necessary. I've got 8 channels of amplification right now, but I'd like the processing to be embedded on the PC for easy adjustment. This would be going into a carPC, so tweaking settings on the amps would require getting in the trunk.

I won't say that money is no object, but I could swing up to $300 for a quality sound card without being too worried. My amplifiers are unbalanced RCA. No digital/optical inputs. Therefore, RCA connectors would be ideal, but 3.5mm with an adapter would work too.

I've played around with audiomulch on my desktop PC, but I don't have an active PC speaker system to play with it too much.

So, does anyone have any recommendations? Is anyone else running active processing via PC? If so, what works? I figure you folks may have already come up against these problems and found a good solution. What do I need in a sound card that will allow this system to happen?
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Old 13th February 2013, 03:01 AM   #2
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Hi Ceri,

You could be interested in Ultimate Equalizer V4 shown on Bodzio Software
It's much more than an active crossover. Major characteristics of Ultimate Equalizer system are:

  • Active system – allows amplifiers to exert maximum control over loudspeaker driver and makes crossover characteristics independent of driver loading.
  • DSP crossover and voicing – maintains crossover and voicing characteristics with mathematical precision. Heaps of filters included.
  • Amplitude and phase HBT equalization – results in flat amplitude and phase responses and extends bass response.
  • Linear phase – maintains 0deg acoustical phase response of each driver, which results in transient-perfect system for correct spatial imaging (realism, depth, resolution, ambience) for multi-channel sound reproduction. Also removes “flabby bass”.
  • Minimum-phase/Linear-phase room EQ – removes most obnoxious room modes.
  • Remote control – via 2.4GHz wireless keyboard and mouse.
  • Use Windows Media Player, or install JRivers Player – to create audio server and state-of-the-art loudspeaker management system (user-friendliness, power, flexibility, cost efficiency and sound quality) on one HTPC.
For the sound card, use Delta1010LT, is $230, and has unbalanced RCA connectors.

Best Regards,
Bohdan
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Old 13th February 2013, 01:03 PM   #3
Ceri is offline Ceri  United States
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by bohdan1232000 View Post
Hi Ceri,

You could be interested in Ultimate Equalizer V4 shown on Bodzio Software
It's much more than an active crossover. Major characteristics of Ultimate Equalizer system are:

  • Active system – allows amplifiers to exert maximum control over loudspeaker driver and makes crossover characteristics independent of driver loading.
  • DSP crossover and voicing – maintains crossover and voicing characteristics with mathematical precision. Heaps of filters included.
  • Amplitude and phase HBT equalization – results in flat amplitude and phase responses and extends bass response.
  • Linear phase – maintains 0deg acoustical phase response of each driver, which results in transient-perfect system for correct spatial imaging (realism, depth, resolution, ambience) for multi-channel sound reproduction. Also removes “flabby bass”.
  • Minimum-phase/Linear-phase room EQ – removes most obnoxious room modes.
  • Remote control – via 2.4GHz wireless keyboard and mouse.
  • Use Windows Media Player, or install JRivers Player – to create audio server and state-of-the-art loudspeaker management system (user-friendliness, power, flexibility, cost efficiency and sound quality) on one HTPC.
For the sound card, use Delta1010LT, is $230, and has unbalanced RCA connectors.

Best Regards,
Bohdan
Wow. That software does seem to have it all. It might be a little on the advanced/expensive side (more than I need). Is this software in wide use? In other words, if I have questions, will forums have answers? I'm not one for reinventing the wheel if I can avoid it. Above all else I need reliability.

The Delta1010LT looks fantastic, but my understanding is that it's XP only. No windows 7 or 8. I can handle 7 no problem, but going all the way back to XP is a pretty big "con" for the Delta1010LT.
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Old 13th February 2013, 09:23 PM   #4
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Hi Ceri,

I would suggest for you to join SoundEasy user’s group (URL on my website). You will find a lot of people there, who have knowledge and experience in both SoundEasy and Ultimate Equalizer.

Delta1010LT has Windows7/64bit and Windows7/32bit drivers. I run my 5.2HT system on Windows 7/64bit.

Best Regards,
Bohdan
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Old 14th February 2013, 10:14 PM   #5
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Location: Rochester, MN
To keep on the less expensive side software wise I can recommend J River Media Center. I'm using in in my 3-way active system. IIRC it can support up to 32 channels. It has graphical eq, PEQ, and a Convolver as well as much more. Time delays and crossovers can be done in the PEQ.

The only "stock" crossovers in the PEQ are 12-48 dB/octave Butterworth filters. Two 2nd order BW filters can be used together to yield a 4th order LR type etc. The PEQ can be used to build other filter types in REW if you have a target curve.

The excellent rePhase (rePhase, a loudspeaker phase linearization, EQ and FIR filtering tool) in development by a DIYA guy "pos" can be used to build other filter types in minimum or linear phase. These filters are processed in J River's Convolver, or you can do what I do and use rePhase to make target transfer functions to use in REW to build min phase filters to implement in MC's PEQ. Best part is rePhase is free! I also use rePhase for DRC.

J River is $50 and is in constant development. The developers work quite closely with customers and respond quickly to questions/issues.
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Old 15th February 2013, 02:55 AM   #6
Ceri is offline Ceri  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natehansen66 View Post
To keep on the less expensive side software wise I can recommend J River Media Center. I'm using in in my 3-way active system. IIRC it can support up to 32 channels. It has graphical eq, PEQ, and a Convolver as well as much more. Time delays and crossovers can be done in the PEQ.

The only "stock" crossovers in the PEQ are 12-48 dB/octave Butterworth filters. Two 2nd order BW filters can be used together to yield a 4th order LR type etc. The PEQ can be used to build other filter types in REW if you have a target curve.

The excellent rePhase (rePhase, a loudspeaker phase linearization, EQ and FIR filtering tool) in development by a DIYA guy "pos" can be used to build other filter types in minimum or linear phase. These filters are processed in J River's Convolver, or you can do what I do and use rePhase to make target transfer functions to use in REW to build min phase filters to implement in MC's PEQ. Best part is rePhase is free! I also use rePhase for DRC.

J River is $50 and is in constant development. The developers work quite closely with customers and respond quickly to questions/issues.
So if I have some knowledge of discrete signals, I could design my own FIR filter? I did make an A in that class about a year ago, and I've still got a student version of MATLAB I can play around with. I seem to remember it having some useful applets for FIR filters.

When you say time delays and crossovers can be done with a PEQ, I get a little lost. Are you talking about implementing multiple all-pass filters for delay? Basically 2*pi at a time to delay it sample by sample, and then cascading a bunch of them? It's been a little while.
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Old 15th February 2013, 08:22 AM   #7
DorinD is offline DorinD  Romania
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ESI - GIGAPORT HD+
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Old 15th February 2013, 05:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceri View Post
.
When you say time delays and crossovers can be done with a PEQ, I get a little lost. Are you talking about implementing multiple all-pass filters for delay? Basically 2*pi at a time to delay it sample by sample, and then cascading a bunch of them? It's been a little while.
I can't tell you how they implement the time delay. There's a time delay function in the parametric eq. When I put in 5ms it delays the signal by the same.

rePhase builds the filters for you, MatLab not required unless you want to play on your own. You just input the parameters for hi/lo pass, peak/notch eq etc. It has an option for minimum or linear phase filtering.
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Old 16th February 2013, 08:35 PM   #9
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Hi,
I posted a similar thread few days ago. I researched for the Esi Gigaport, and i found at amazon for $200. A very good price.
Does anyone know about the Sound Quality on this card, compared with the Lynx two b?
Thanks
Antonio
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Old 16th September 2013, 01:31 PM   #10
DorinD is offline DorinD  Romania
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This "Gigaport HD plus" is a newer version of "Gigaport HD". But I'm still waiting for the next version which I hope will do 8 ways on 24-bit, preferably @96kHz.
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