4 way active capable sound card (TA, EQ, XO)

Ceri

Member
2008-12-24 6:23 am
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?
 
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
 

Ceri

Member
2008-12-24 6:23 am
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.
 
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 (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/mult...hase-linearization-eq-fir-filtering-tool.html) 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.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/rephase/
 

Ceri

Member
2008-12-24 6:23 am
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 (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/mult...hase-linearization-eq-fir-filtering-tool.html) 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.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/rephase/

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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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.
 
Linux alternative

If you're willing to consider non-windows stuff, any 7.1 sound card that supported in Linux should work with MPD, Ecasound, Alsa, and such. It's pretty finicky to set up, but I'm very pleased with what I ended up with. Digital Crossover/EQ with Open-Source Software: HOWTO | Richard's Stuff

There are many LADSPA plugins available on top of the dozens that come with the install for your filters, eq and time delay.
 

sraudio

Member
2012-11-26 3:14 pm
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.

I use Delta1010LT for active crossover 4way. I use the vst host aplication(in exsample art console,audiomulch, bidule or other) for all math required. This is very flexible way of doing that. Just signal routing from player to host and later to sound card is not straight forward. But Delta1010LT is good for money but not good enought(at least for me). It has quite high SNR in real life scenario(audible). If performance is an isue than pay more and go out of the PC case with asynchronous usb to i2s and to sabre based dac in example. It's ok to start with this card. As it has control panel which helps with signal routing.Also you can play with soldering and take I2S signal straight from the envy24 chip of this card if it is important for you.
 

Wungun

Member
2013-09-08 2:16 am
I've used Audiomulch with LSFilter and 2 Xonar soundcards into car to run 3-way active.

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum...rpc-gets-2-sound-cards-yes-2-sound-cards.html
http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum...crossover-linearization-design-56k-death.html

Here is LSFilter VST...
4-way crossover, delay, level, phase...
All the popular crossovers and a multitude of dB slopes.

desktop.jpg


Sent from my iPhone...
 

Eldam

Banned
2012-09-13 12:25 am
France
... go out of the PC case with asynchronous usb to i2s and to sabre based dac in example.

Hi SRaudio,

An usb output with asynch IIS can work for xover and DRC ?

Would one multichannel chip like the ESxxxx18 is enough for that or is it possible to go with 3 or 4 IIS/ESxxx23 for 3 or 4 channels xover like the last Hifimediy ?

I don't understand how people feed 3 or 4 amps for multichannel xover with only a stero analog out sound card like the Xona or with only one spidf digital out ...?
 
My 4 channels setup :

RME HDSP 9632 (the PCI version can be found for 100-200$ second hand)
Pro gear which offers rock stable drivers, ultra low latency and a 8ch ADAT output.
RME: Hammerfall DSP 9632

RME ADAT out -> Dantimax Optorec (a kit converting ADAT to I2S)
OptoRec/Gen

Buffalo III DAC (8 channels DAC, sym outputs)
The Buffalo III Digital-to-Analog Converter

For the software part I use Rephase to create my impulses (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/mult...hase-linearization-eq-fir-filtering-tool.html) and the RME mixer combined with Reaper to apply them (REAPER | Audio Production Without Limits).

Thanks to the rewire function implemented natively into the RME's DSP I don't need to use an other program to redirect my audio flux.
 
Maybe someone would be interested, I'm starting to put together 8x8 out of a computer using USBStreamer (simple or boxed from MiniDSP) as an 8x8 ADAT interface (enabled in the last firmware) and an 24-bit ADAT AD/DA convertor that I've just got it from eBay.
I will keep you informed how's going, I'm hoping to use JRiver and an VST add-in like LSFilter or CrossOver (from RS-Met).