looking to turn old PC into DSP

i am looking for a way to configure every channel of my audio output with other effects (pitch, filter, equalizer, gain ect.). i am on my main pc using an linux distro by the name of "Pop!_os" and are not willing to switch. i also have a second pc that is not in use. on pop os it is not possible to select seperate filters for every audio channel. on my second pc i have a lot (5) of different audio output channels and an audio input channel. so i figured i could use this old pc as a kind of a dsp/crossover, but i do not know how and what software or linux distro to use (or if this is even possible). that's why i made this post.

Thank you for reading and maybe hopefully responding
I found Peace on windows to be the ultimate tool for EQ and audio control.
Not sure if they have a Linux version.
Right now my 2nd laptop serves as a media server and player. With Peace. Chk this out.
I second CamillaDSP. Very powerful and flexible. Changing input/output devices is simply done via loading different config files dynamically. Easy to interface to via the CamillaDSP websocket listener and some simple SSH from say a tablet/phone (ssh button android apk for example). I use this on my home system to switch between TV source and MPD running locally on the same PC. I'm running Archlinux (ARM64) but that should not matter (Dell Optiplex)

Edit: I don't know what filters (pitch control, reverb etc...) you may want, but you could get CamillaDSP to output to any ALSA based plug in (which then routes to your audio h/w output), and use for example the Steve Harris LADSPA plug ins:
I tried a few things and i found that installing windows on my second (older) pc is the best option. on windows i have removed having to login and i have installed VoiceMeeter. i enabled 5.1 surround sound in windows (the most this motherboard can do) and selected the VoiceMeeter hardware input to be the line in(this is now a physical audio cable running from one pc to the other). on the hardware output i enabled stereo repeat so that the two channel input gets echoed to all 5.1 surround channels.

(current VoiceMeeter configuration)

i also installed equalizer apo since it can be used for every channel separately and has most basic effects and the ones that i am missing i can just download a vst for.

the only problem i could have in the future is if i ever want to setup an actual surround sound system. this could be solved very easily i can imagine, but i just don't know yet what software to use for this.
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You are too short on info about your config: processor, ram, soundcard and OS version are the minimum info.

If you decide to go linux, good luck. It can work but you'll be limited about gear that can be used and be ready to have headache. It depends if you are a geek and like to debug computer/software ( can be fun for some) or you want something which will work without too much hassle.
If you don't like hassle, then go windows BUT don't let windows take care of audio:

My experience with old hardware is: OS win XP is fine but you can't go older. Anything newer will be ok (win7 is still great for this kind of things).

Processor will depend on number of chanel and treatments you want to implement but with basic requirements ( eq, dynamic) up to eight chanels is easy.
If you want to implement FIR processing you might need a more powerfull processor but anything core2 should be ok ( but you'll have latency... like any FIR treatments anyway).

Ram, 4giga is the minimum but 8giga should be more than enough ( depend of your OS but even on 64bit for a stereo setup fourways loudspeaker it should be ok).

Soundcard: if you don't want to have to troubleshoot and want to have a stable system use ASIO compatible soundcard. I'm not kidding, if you want something stable from the start there is no way around use ( semi) pro gear: stability and working system is the first parameter when you have to record/produce music. If your are onto an older setup, second hand gear is cheap and easily found and no brainer if you use known brands and references.

To give you an idea: some of my gear is used 24/24, 7/7 for now more than 5 years on a web radio with a studio based on a Yamaha 02r desk ( released around year 2000) with a RME 9632 soundcard ( from 2002...) onto a windows 7 based old hardware pc).It never seen a glitch since it is in use...
I've got a second system pc at home based on a core2, win XP, 4giga ram, Aardvark xp10 soundcard with cubase5 and some voxengo ( deconvolution multichanel reverb used for FIR filtering, called Pristine Space) plugins performing FIR without glitch for 8 chanels ( 2x 4 ways). I even tryed it up to 32 chanels ( i've got 4x Aardvark xp10) and it worked... but was limited because of ram/processing power. But basically, it works.

Any DAW ( Digital Audio Workstation) will do everything you need to implement something equivalent to a dsp ( routing, processing, control of multichanels config) 'easily', stereo to multichanel setups.

Digital Audio Workstation accept plug ins and under windows they will be VST. Anything you could think about is availlable through this VST format ( eq, dynamic,pitch treatments, deconvolution ( usually reverbs but can play FIR filters equally), tape simulation,xover,...) and things like latency compensation ( between chanels with different chains of treatments) is availlable in serious DAW ( Reaper, Cubase,... Reaper is FREE for personal use).
The learning curve about a workstation can be steep but the possibility are endless about routing ( input/ouput set up, chain of treatments, controls,etc,etc,...) and only limited by amount of ram availlable.
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What are we talking about?

A dedicated computer to a task ( dsp) or an allround computer used to browse net, pay online or whatever?

I thoughts it was obvious i talked about a dedicated computer. None of the tools i use for audio ( either being production, composing, audio engineering, or xovers/dsp) are dedicated to other tasks that what they are supposed to do and none of them are connected to the web.

We have different requirements it seems obvious. For xovers mine are equal to my hardware unit: something that is stable, doesn't send white noise at 0dbfs to my multiamped (190w by drivers...) loudspeakers... i don't need anything outside that. And turning it into a creditcard is not planed. Never.

Ymmv of course. But you would have been warned, it won't be stable, could be hacked,....
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and none of them are connected to the web.
Yes completely cutting them off from the internet is the only way to keep these relics safe. Which in most cases means you can't connect them to any network at all, that's only ok if you have a dedicated isolated network. If you already have boxes like these, fine continue using them. But don't recommend anyone to set up a new box this way.
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What do you expect from someone asking to turn an 'old pc into a dsp'?

Is old meaning two years old? Is a network mandatory at home? I worked into studio which we were not even using network and where internet connection was banished from control room because there was always a risk to be hacked and the artists we worked with could had put us in justice/court if anything leaked from sessions... HDD kept under keys.

For a dsp i don't see the point to be even connected to... anything except maybe digital inputs/outputs, maybe some analog too.

And to tell you the truth if someone want something without hassle about this thing i would recommend a ( pro) dedicated hardware unit like i use in my main system.

Reussing prehistoric/relics is fun, cost almost nothing if you have the box already paid and is something i don't feel bad when i look at my sons ( once upgraded - or downsized i should say- with adapted psu with high efficiency and good clean voltage), as i don't waste something which is basically working. And it's pleasing to me to turn something useless into an 'avant garde' system.

We do that in pro context ( studio world is very conservative, still have an Atari in working order, tape decks, used mic dating from before ww2,...) why not at home?
Of course it have limitations but...

Programed obsolescense is an evil and the computer world is somewhat based on that. My experience is it's all BS and a way to fuel a system i dislike.
Maybe i'm a punk but i won't dismiss something still in order to operate for any security failure if there is no treats to be concerned for and it won't end up in a landfill polluting earth for next gen.
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What do you expect from someone asking to turn an 'old pc into a dsp'?
Well the original question was about doing something with an old pc, mentioning Linux, and nothing about any piece of hardware that would require an obsolete Windows system. So I would expect suggestions using Linux. It's a far superior choice for old machines, since even very old computers can run on up to date operating systems.

I'm not saying that a piece of working hardware that only works on XP should be scrapped. This is really common with specialized (often very expensive) hardware, not limited to audio gear. The hardware should still be used while it's still useful, but with a lot of care. I mainly reacted to the statement that XP is fine. It's not fine, but it may be the only choice and then you just have to live with that.
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I question your point of view on linux being a better choice for older pc: what kind of hardware is compatible to it? I mean AUDIO hardware: please point me to a soundcard able to compete (semi) pro gear about quality and stability?

I looked for this since 00's and never met anything (accessible to individuals ) which met this in my view. Now point me to ( semi) pro gear which have Alsa drivers. You won't find many ( maybe some older MOTU or older RME gear but that's all afaik... and i looked at it too).
I question your point of view on linux being a better choice for older pc: what kind of hardware is compatible to it?
Obviously I mean that the hardware in question has Linux drivers available, otherwise Linux wouldn't be a choice at all. What I mean is, for a system where you can either run an obsolete Windows version with drivers from the manufacturer, or Linux with open source drivers, then Linux is superior.

Here is a list of kernel module for audio gear:
Many modules support whole families of devices so the number of supported devices is much longer.
For me, this is a key thing with older computers. The number of roles in which you can truly use them in isolation is diminishing, as the world gets ever more dependent on the internet and interconnected devices. A stand-alone DSP box with an older/insecure version of windows is still possible and will work fine in some situations, especially if you have an isolated 'guest' network for it. But of course carefully consider if/how any other computers (such as a media PC) might be compromised by some methods of connecting to it.

This, the phoning-home, inflexibility on computer hardware, and other OS-manufacturer restrictions have led me towards linux, which is a painful process as very often windows is much easier and I know it better. But the extra freedom seems beneficial, and this includes the ability to use a modern, security patched, OS on older hardware or in fact other hardware not well supported by windows (like raspberry PIs and NASs). The learning-curve is steep, and often software that I know or want isn't available for it, but I feel the move will eventually pay off, given how commercial OSs seem to be going.
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