Computer software to operate an active crossover?

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Jason Buccellato

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Computer software to operate an active crossover?
« on: 12 Dec 2005, 01:35 pm »
Just curious if there are computer programs available to serve as an active crossover for a set of HT 3a's? Since this would take place in the digital realm, quality would not be affected would it? Of course, this would not be as convenient as an outboard system.

Also, any one out there using their hard drive for music storage? Any program recommendations?

Marbles

Computer software to operate an active crossover?
« Reply #1 on: 12 Dec 2005, 02:00 pm »
Do a forum wide search and you will get plenty of hits for hard drive music storage.

Storage isn't a problem..it's what to use for playback....

I keep mine as .wav files, but many convert to flac or other lossless compressed formats.

Also look at the threads in the Red Wine and Bolder Circles under SB2, SQ3,
or Squeezbox.

Sorry I can't help on the computer digital XO...you would need a specialized piece of hardware for the ouputs.  There are many options for computer digital eq....

brj

Computer software to operate an active crossover?
« Reply #2 on: 12 Dec 2005, 02:23 pm »
Pardon the terseness of this message, but I'm running out the door...

BruteFIR is a software convolution engine that can handle both speaker/room correction and crossover duties.  It is probably the most general purpose and extensible of such tools around, but it isn't the easiest bit of software to use.  I've been looking at running it under Linux at some point, although since that is several steps downstream for me, I haven't worked out the details yet.  In addition, take a look at DRC, a room correction tool that uses BruteFIR.  There are several other tools that use BruteFIR as well, although I can't find them at the moment.

Another Windows specific piece of software to handle correction and crossovers is ACXO.  Sorry, but I don't know any more about it than what I read on the website.

I may have some more links that I can dig up later, but hopefully these will give you a starting point.  Good luck!

Jason Buccellato

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 16
Computer software to operate an active crossover?
« Reply #3 on: 13 Dec 2005, 05:51 am »
Ok, its decided then. I'll tell the wife I want a "SqueezeBox" for Christmas. That sort of sounds like a blow up doll though! :oops:

kfr01

Computer software to operate an active crossover?
« Reply #4 on: 13 Dec 2005, 06:18 am »
Hold your hat.  

Check this thread out.  Awesome stuff:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=63078

ctviggen

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Computer software to operate an active crossover?
« Reply #5 on: 13 Dec 2005, 01:45 pm »
For those willing to put in the time, that does seem to be a better option than the TACT for instance -- you can have many channels of equalization for less than the price of the TACT.  The detriment would be the ton of time it would take to set up and that you'd have to have certain speakers in order to fully take advantage of the filtering/room correction (for instance, linear array type speakers wouldn't be easy using this system).

kfr01

Computer software to operate an active crossover?
« Reply #6 on: 13 Dec 2005, 02:13 pm »
Yes, the possibilities for PC-based processing and crossovers are endless.  However, after reading all the pages of that thread, it really seems as if the solution is not quite ideal yet.  i.e., the PC based crossover and RC solution comprises a mishmash of pro-audio plugins that don't look too user friendly and actually appear to have far more functionality than we'd need as home users.

I may wait a few years.  It is only a matter of time before someone puts together a nice open source or consumer piece of software that allows basic crossover, timing, and room correction features.  Also, as you can see by his posts, real time processing is still pretty intensive for today's general purpose PC processors.  Another few years and the soundcard hardware and PC processing power will be more powerful.

I am tempted to buy an RME card and start using my computer as a preamp and to handle the crossover from sub to mains and to provide a little bit of correction on the bass....

It is hard to resist - $800 or so for the functionality of the DEQX and Tact systems.   As you can see, I go back and forth.  :-)

ctviggen

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Computer software to operate an active crossover?
« Reply #7 on: 13 Dec 2005, 02:52 pm »
Well, one of the problems of having a general purpose processor do the job is that it's not configured for the job, thus the expensive calculation cost.  In other words, you're modifying a software FIR and having the processor do the calculations.  All the math has to be done without special hardware acceleration.  A digital signal processor, on the other hand, is specially designed to do FIR and IIR calculations and can do them quite efficiently, typically at the hardware level.  The TACT and others that use DSPs therefore have an advantage in terms of processing speed.  But I don't think that I would be turned off by the processing power required for these calculations for a general purpose computer, as I'd probably use a single computer just for doing the calculations and maybe serving music.  Other than that, and the computer might not be able to keep up, but it shouldn't matter much.  My bigger worry would be getting the sound of the fans low enough -- I can hear the sound from the fans of my cheap home computer across the house, if the computer room's door is left open.  It's obscene, but a nice power supply and nice fan is more than what I paid for the entire computer system, so it's not worth it right now for me to upgrade it.

kfr01

Computer software to operate an active crossover?
« Reply #8 on: 13 Dec 2005, 05:36 pm »
The fans are a concern.  I'd probably go with almost all passive cooling, fans to kick in only if things got too hot.  

Something like this is pricey - but complete silence is attractive.

Silent PSU - http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-30nf.htm

Silent CPU Cooler - http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-nt01v2.0.htm