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GB for Virtins MI Pro for RTX6001 autoranging/autoscaling & for soundcard end users
GB for Virtins MI Pro for RTX6001 autoranging/autoscaling & for soundcard end users
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Old 13th June 2018, 05:57 AM   #131
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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The group buy would serve as an initial user base of reputation. Just like the RTX itself. Software is seldom perfect in initial release, especially when it does not creat critical consequences. Early adopters would be willing to bear with the annoyances and provide recommendations while waiting for improvements. If the group buy goes through, I would probably get the works. If it does not go through, I would probably spend more time to evaluate the capabilities in detail. Currently it seems questionable to me whether it is a must get or not. I got two RTX units and have not regretted the decision.

One of the problems I get with other packages for example is looking at CSD plots within say 0.5ms, currently I get good resolution within 0.37ms using SoundEasy, but when I asked a supplier to provide CLIO data with similar resolution, they could not do it.
The various metrics implemented in MI seems interesting, but it does not help identify source of improvement in design, to it is really just a “nice to have” feature, and does not make development work easier.

Some add on seem to provide ease of QC, but it is not clear how it would integrate into a production line.

So there are really quite a few things to consider. We could start flooding this thread with a bunch of questions and discussions, but it might be better to keep the pice friendly to RTX users so that you have some real hands on experience.
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Old 13th June 2018, 07:42 AM   #132
agdr is offline agdr  United States
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GB for Virtins MI Pro for RTX6001 autoranging/autoscaling & for soundcard end users
Quote:
Originally Posted by MI Pro View Post
Hello Everyone,

My AOL email account appears to have been deleted.

Well I've learned something - that aol is still apparently around! I had no idea. I thought they were gone years ago.
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Old 13th June 2018, 09:12 AM   #133
MI Pro is offline MI Pro  United States
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Originally Posted by agdr View Post
Well I've learned something - that aol is still apparently around! I had no idea. I thought they were gone years ago.
The stupid AOL email that didn’t even let me sign on using several PCs with different browsers and iPads, etc. just started working again. It was (is) obviously something on the AOL email server end where the problem resides. Strange and not overly encouraging I might add :-)

Suffice it is to say my AOL email is back up and running (for how long, God only know) and all of my old emails are all still there. Yea, I gotta admit, AOL sucks :-)

V/R,

MI Pro
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Old 13th June 2018, 05:01 PM   #134
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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GB for Virtins MI Pro for RTX6001 autoranging/autoscaling & for soundcard end users
Hi folks,
This group buy is what will cause Virtins to write the integration for the RTX. If it fails, you won't be able to buy it at list or any price.

From my own looking around, Virtins doesn't need to discount since the software is inexpensive, especially for what it does. I would buy the software right now, but that won't get me the integration which is something I really, really would love.

So in a nutshell, this Group buy is to create the integration. The discount is a nice gesture, but isn't anything on it's own that would cause someone to buy their software. They are selling the integration for their package, not the software alone.

-Chris
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Old 13th June 2018, 11:16 PM   #135
MI Pro is offline MI Pro  United States
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Hello Everyone,

I thought I would share some reviews by others on previous (earlier) versions of Virtins Multi-Instruments (MI) so you can see the very impressive type of track record it has amassed through the years. Here are some to get you started (and remember, these reviews are for the “older” and less capable versions of MI):

- https://bit.ly/2JHU4XY (this is a nice review of MI – again, an older version of it [v3.2 whereas current is v3.8], but still germane to how MI works). Please note that MI Standard only supports up to 32k FFT only while MI Pro supports far more (4M FFT). The NCD+N and GedLee Metric are also parked under MI Pro or above. MI Pro provides a lot other features as well, such as DDP viewer, transfer function measurement, etc. Finally, this diyaudio MI Pro GB is only for the Pro or higher (i.e., full package or MI Pro + add-ons) version.

- https://bit.ly/2LOTiJk (review of DSOs, but one compared is Virtins & MI software is also mentioned in the review)

- Focus on Test & Measurement and Download audioXpress March 2016 Now! | audioXpress – While I can’t provide the actual AudioXpress Magazine review here (I have it but it is copyrighted). However, you can see in this link the following review by Stuart Yaniger where it states “…he provides an in-depth look at the Virtins Multi-Instrument Software, for data acquisition and measurements. This is a great continuation for Yaniger’s article series “Sound Cards for Data Acquisition in Audio Measurements, which already included a quick overview of some of the available software packages. Among those mentioned, the Multi-Instrument package from Virtins Technology—a Singapore-based company—is one of the most powerful and versatile. This article is a very complete review of what Multi-Instrument entails and what distinguishes it from other software packages and dedicated solutions..”. For those readers who have an AudioXpress Magazine subscription, I strongly encourage you to read the review!

- You can see Stuart Yaniger’s comments about Virtin’s MI here: Audio measurement gear | Page 9 | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

- VIRTINS Multi-Instrument Pro V3.2 - question (?) (again, the comments here are on a dated version of MI, but note how impressed / positive the comments are concerning MI).

The overall take away from the above, is simply that Virtins MI enjoyed a well-earned reputation as being exceptionally powerful measurement software and it is a superb value. Hopefully the above gives everyone some additional insights into the strengths and versatility that MI software provides you as an end user.

V/R

MI Pro
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Old 14th June 2018, 07:56 PM   #136
etlasr is offline etlasr
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Default how will auto ranging work?

Lots to digest here so may have missed the point but as an RTX owner I sometimes manually change the attenuator settings to optimise the RTX range during a sweep. In short by knowing the tools capability and the test I'm doing I can get the best (and often very impressive) results. But at the point I change the range during say a %age THD sweep (I often use AudioTester) I see a lot of very large and totally spurious artefacts. Not unexpected (attenuators changing ranges using the internal relays etc) and easily ignored but not very pretty. So my questions are:

- if the autoranging uses the internal functions of the RTX for range changes we will get all these artefacts displayed in MI?
- what is the algorithm that 'decides' on the best point to change range? (a wrong algorithm can make measurements worse not better).
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Old 14th June 2018, 09:04 PM   #137
lemon is offline lemon  Greece
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Originally Posted by etlasr View Post
Lots to digest here so may have missed the point but as an RTX owner I sometimes manually change the attenuator settings to optimise the RTX range during a sweep. In short by knowing the tools capability and the test I'm doing I can get the best (and often very impressive) results. But at the point I change the range during say a %age THD sweep (I often use AudioTester) I see a lot of very large and totally spurious artefacts. Not unexpected (attenuators changing ranges using the internal relays etc) and easily ignored but not very pretty. So my questions are:

- if the autoranging uses the internal functions of the RTX for range changes we will get all these artefacts displayed in MI?
- what is the algorithm that 'decides' on the best point to change range? (a wrong algorithm can make measurements worse not better).
I think the Jens post 34 cover your question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JensH View Post
I heard from MI Pro that a number of private messages ask for clarity on the benefits / advantages to an RTX6001 owner of having "autoranging" and "autoscaling" capability.

In the following I will try to give my view on this.

Autoranging.
The way I use the RTX6001 the autoranging is not the most important capability. I normally know what levels I want to output and what to expect on the input. And whether e.g. distortion or noise is the most important parameter. But there are cases, where it would be convenient.

Autoscaling.
Autoscaling on the other hand, would be very useful. When documenting measurements, I normally have to use the FFT plot or similar and note the attenuator settings used + convert from dBFS to whatever unit is needed. This is tedious and errors can happen.
It may still be useful to show the settings on the plotted data, since the performance of the RTX6001 does change slightly with the settings. E.g. THD of the ADC does increase when approaching full scale.

Automation.
This is probably one of the biggest advantages of having an integrated system. Being able to do a number of measurements automatically can save a lot of time. It can be particularly useful (necessary!) for a production setup, but it can also be useful for lab use. Being able to repeat measurements and document them easily would be a big benefit. I could certainly also use it for the characterization and final test of the RTX6001 itself :-)

I think that the autoranging function is probably easier to implement in a dedicated SW like the MI Pro compared to using e.g. a Matlab based system. Since it is working in real-time, it will work as if there was a DSP in the RTX6001 itself, so detection of levels, overload etc. will be done with almost no delay. I assume that most processing based on Matlab or similar will be based on filling a buffer with data and then do calculations on that buffer. This may make autoranging more difficult to implement and perhaps react slower.

I am not saying that it is impossible to make a system based on e.g. Matlab, but I do think that, for most users, the MI Pro will be a better option than a diy solution.

Jens
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Old 14th June 2018, 09:34 PM   #138
etlasr is offline etlasr
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Lemon, yes I was aware of Jens comments on auto ranging and agree with him. My comment is related as in I was noting the major spurious components that occur if the change is made mid sweep as could be the case for some (currently unknown) auto ranging algorithm kicking in.
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Old 14th June 2018, 09:48 PM   #139
JensH is offline JensH  Denmark
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GB for Virtins MI Pro for RTX6001 autoranging/autoscaling & for soundcard end users
To get the best possible performance it is indeed necessary to set the attenuators based on knowledge about the analyzer performance and what you want to measure. The optimum settings do vary depending on whether you want e.g. the lowest noise, the lowest THD or the lowest THD+N.

Changing the settings during data acquisition, e.g. for an FFT analysis, does give severe artefacts. When the MI Pro does the switching of attenuators, I do expect the MI Pro to synchronize the attenuator switching with the data acquisition, thereby avoiding this. It probably also needs to add some "settling time" to allow for amplifiers etc. to settle to normal DC levels after switching.

The decision points are probably more tricky to optimize, since it will require a thorough characterization of the RTX6001 with different settings and signal levels. Hopefully this can be optimized to get close to what an experienced user would be able to get by using the experience learned from regular use of the RTX6001. Perhaps Virtins has got some ideas on this.
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Old 15th June 2018, 12:09 PM   #140
VIRTINS is offline VIRTINS  Singapore
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GB for Virtins MI Pro for RTX6001 autoranging/autoscaling & for soundcard end users
I would like to highlight that the original integration plan of MI and RTX6001 was posted in Post #14 as a PDF file. The “autoranging and autoscaling” function is described in Point 3 in that plan as well as 1(a) in Post #1.

In most of the cases, the user probably prefers to select the ADC measurement range manually from the software. In case he wants to let the software to select the ADC measurement range automatically, he can press the “AUTO” button located in the upper right corner of the screen. Please note that this is a sort of “one-time autoranging on request” function, not a function that will do autoranging continuously. The general autoranging criteria in the CURRENT version of MI are as follows:

1. Select an ADC measurement range such that the input signal will just not be clipped.

2. Select a sampling rate such that 5~10 signal cycles are displayed in the oscilloscope.

We could customize the “AUTO” button function particularly for RTX 6001. Probably just follow the suggestion by 1audio at Post #2320 at DIY Audio Analyzer with AK5397/AK5394A and AK4490. The only thing is that only one optimum up and down criteria for autoranging can be accepted regardless of the parameters (THD, SNR, etc.) to be measured. The sampling rate auto-selection function (the above Point 2) is probably not useful for the case of RTX6001 and can be ignored in the customization. Any suggestions on this are welcome.

According to the aforementioned integration plan, when the software is running, the manual switches and knobs on RTX6001 panel will all be disabled and the software will take the control. The LEDs on RTX6001 will still correctly indicate the selections from the software. The “Remote” LED will be lit up.

A manual change of ADC measurement range from the software will reset any existing inter-frame average process, either in time domain (oscilloscope) or in frequency domain (spectrum analyzer). However, a manual change on the signal generator panel (e.g. start/stop, change of test frequency, etc.) will cause a transient change to be captured in the oscilloscope and spoil the existing average process. It can be reset by restarting the oscilloscope. Or simply wait until the “bad” frames are pushed out gradually by the inter-frame moving average process.

In Device Test Plan of MI, particularly in the instruction “SIO” (Synchronized Input & Output) in which a single shot of the test signal is used, the signal generator will be started first followed by the start of oscilloscope after a certain delay in order to only capture the stabilized signal for analysis.
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