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  • Introducing Hang Loose Convolver From Accurate Sound

     

     

    Many people in the Audiophile Style community are familiar with Mitch Barnett's fantastic articles about digital signal processing, room correction, loudspeakers and their measurements, and many other topics. Mitch is a multi-talented guy who started his company Accurate Sound to offer a calibration service. I used his services extensively when setting up my Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 speakers in my new listening room (link). Now, Mitch has put his software development expertise to work to expand the offerings of Accurate sound, with a product called Hang Loose Convolver. 

     


    What is Hang Loose Convolver and why do you need it? 

     

    As this is just an introductory article, I'm not going to go all-in on DSP or even the full product at this time. That's a great topic for another article. 

    I look at Hang Loose Convolver as a software product that serves two different sets of people. The first I'll call music lovers and the second I'll call geeks. No calls or nasty emails please, these are just rough generalizations and I know full well that many people here are in both camps. Splitting the audience into two camps will help me explain why I think this product is game changing for almost everyone in HiFi. 

     


    The Music Lover

     

    I'm using the term music lover to describe people who don't know / care much about software, measurements, or how they are derived, and they just want to listen to music that sounds as good as possible. I have many friends who are in this camp. 

     

    Without turning this into a how-to or academic article, I'll briefly say that a convolution engine is a piece of software that processes convolution filters. Convolution filters are created for several reasons, among them room correction. Applications such as Roon and JRiver have built-in convolution engines to which a zip file of convolution filters can be added. Once the filters are enabled, the convolution engine processes the audio behind the scenes when the listen presses play. There's nothing to do but listen. 

     

    DSP and room correction have come a VERY LONG WAY over the years and now offer performance beyond what most audiophiles have ever heard. However, there are still holes in many convolution solutions offered by the main playback and library management applications. This is where Hang Loose Convolver takes us to another level. 

     

    I'll cut to the chase for music lovers. With Hang Loose Convolver, we can now use high end room correction while streaming audio from services such as Qobuz and Tidal, to DLNA renderers (endpoints). The last sentence needs a bit more explaining though. For years I've been searching for an application that supports streaming services, DLNA, convolution filters, and can use the convolution filters while sending audio over DLNA. There are a few terrible solutions out there that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Now, using Audirvana or the new Audirvana Studio in combination with Hang Loose Convolver, it's finally possible to use room correction / convolution filters with DLNA audio endpoints and audio from both local and streaming services. THIS IS A BIG DEAL!

     

    Of course Hang Loose Convolver isn't limited to only DLNA. I just get excited about that because it's a first. HLC also works with any audio component that one's playback application can send audio to over USB, DLNA, or whatever other means one uses. 

     

    When I worked with Mitch to create my convolution filters for room correction, he sent me several different filters to listen to before I decided on my favorites. There is not a single best filter. Listening to different filters wasn't a completely seamless process because switching between them involved stoppages in playback. Hang Loose Convolver solves this issue because it can load up to six different filters and enable the listener to easily switch between them, all level matched, in real-time, without a hiccup. Just click the big buttons and the filter switches. Extremely simple.

    On the Hang Loose Convolver site there are images of it being used with Audirvana, Roon, JRiver, and HQPlayer to name a few. I've personally tested it with both Audirvana 3.5 and the new Audirvana Studio. 

     

    Again, there is so much more to cover that this introductory article glosses over. Much more to come at a later date. 

     


    Geeks

     

    I'm using the term geek to describe those who understand more about the whole convolution process, what's required, how it works, and the pitfalls pf previous products. Readers in this camp will certainly hop over to the Hang Loose Convolver website and understand most of what I'm about to say and obtain much more information. 

     

    • HLC's key features include:
    • Seamless real-time switching between filters
    • Autogain level matching  with manual gain adjustment
    • Import Acourate, Audiolense, Focus Fidelity, REW filters
    • Supports stereo 32-bit float wav FIR filters in a zip file
    • Automatic filter switching  based on host  sample rate
    • 6 Filterbanks x presets = dozens of FIR filters
    • System-wide and app specific convolution capabilities
    • Zero latency, uniform partition convolution engine
    • Standalone application mode and VST3/AU plugin mode

     

     

    Wrap Up

     

    There's much more to come here at Audiophile Style about Hang Loose Convolver. I have a good feeling that tons of AS readers can benefit greatly from it. If you don't quite understand it or don't see how it can help you, I know @mitchco will be here to answer all your questions in the comments below. This brings me to another point, Mitch Barnett is one of the nicest, most helpful, and honest guys in the audio business. I recommend his services and now his application without a scintilla of hesitation. I say this both for end users and for audio companies. I think many audio companies could use Hang Loose Convolver in their products because it's extremely light weight and runs on nearly any platform in use today. I'm looking at you music server manufacturers who really should have convolution engines in their products :~)

     

     

    Product: Hang Loose Convolver
    Price: $129
    For more information see - https://accuratesound.ca/

     

     

     



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    10 hours ago, LewinskiH01 said:

    @mitchco Very glad to see this coming up! Can't say enough good things about you. Your Computer Audiophile Acourate articles inspired me to go digitally active an into Acourate, which I still use. That opened the door into DIY speakers, and your ebook was essential to getting a better grasp on measurements and use of Acourate. And you have always been very helpful on email exchanges. Outstanding member of this community!

     

    Where does HLC fit into my system? I have Roon Core in a PC convolving filters to send 4-way stereo to a headless AudioPC with Roon Bridge at the living room, and I operate Roon from the phone app. I listen to files in my library in Roon Core PC and also Tidal streaming into Roon in that PC. I guess HLC plugs into Roon, takes the feed from Roon that is actually Tidal stream or my music files, convolves it with the selected filter, and outputs into Roon again to be sent to Roon Bridge on the AudioPC?

     

    Is there a phone app to manage this or should I be at the Roon Core machine (Teamviewer can solve that), or does it integrate with Roon app?

     

    Looking forward to learn more! Congrats again!!

     

    Best,

    Horacio

     

    Hi Horacio, good to hear from you! I hope all is well.

     

    Currently, HLC standalone app uses either VB-Virtual Audio cable on Windows or BlackHole on the Mac to "loopback" the output of Roon into the input of HLC and the output of HLC to your DAC. This is a 32 bit float lossless connection. Unfortunately, Roon does not support the VST plugin standard, so this is the current method of connection. I am working on options. Also note HLC processes 2 channel at the moment, but will be MCH soon. 

     

    Kind regards,

    Mitch

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    Mitch, any info yet on how you plan to sell the convolution filters for the SR1a? Would there be any advantage to using the filters with HLC?

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    Hi @cfishersorry no info yet, but working on it. Re: HLC, the advantage is to determine which filter you prefer as I will be releasing a "set" of filters. One will be "neutral" and others will have a little more or less bass. more or less treble relative to neutral. The design behind this will come later, but by switching through the filters, one will likely be preferred.

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    Thanks to Mitch for all his work at Audiophilestyle. This lead me to use Acourate for xover and correction. And I am not looking back! just wonderfull.

    It looks like Mitch will make a multi channel version in the future.

    So my question is: will it then with the HLC be possible to use say 4ch VST3 files in Audirvana and making the output routing here to get it to work with the Merging Anubis, as I am doing nowadays with Audirvana>AcourateConvolver>Anubis? if yes, cant wait!

    Has VST3 as many taps as AcourateConvolver?

     

    BR Jorgen

     

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    Hi @Jorgenthanks for the kind words. The answer to your question is yes and yes :-) HLC VST3 and standalone app will run as many taps as can be output from Acourate, Audiolense and Focus Fidelity DSP software programs. Typical output is 65,536 or 131,072 taps.

     

    Kind regards, Mitch

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    On 5/14/2021 at 12:47 AM, mitchco said:

    Hey Michael, yes available on Linux soon. I just need the Linux distro and supported C++ compiler to target a release on.

    So If SGC (Small Green Computer) accepts, this SW could be implementere in the Sonictransporter ?

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    13 hours ago, mitchco said:

    Hi @Jorgenthanks for the kind words. The answer to your question is yes and yes :-) HLC VST3 and standalone app will run as many taps as can be output from Acourate, Audiolense and Focus Fidelity DSP software programs. Typical output is 65,536 or 131,072 taps.

     

    Kind regards, Mitch

    wonderfull, please let me know when your Multichannel HLC is availble. These days I am playing with the new Audirvana Studio which to my ears is even more transparent than the previous 3.5. So right now in Audirvana I upscale the stereo signal and sent it to the AcourateConvolver. With your VST3 files the stereo signal goes through the VST3 for being processed and then upscaled right before going to DAC ? if it is an advantage the signal sent to the DAC could then be a DSD or DXD signal? Merging Technologies likes DSD and DXD. Never tried, but in another simple setup I use a RME ADI2 dac and here I prefer PCM to DSD.

    Best  regards,

    Jorgen

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    On 5/20/2021 at 12:30 AM, R1200CL said:

    So If SGC (Small Green Computer) accepts, this SW could be implementere in the Sonictransporter ?

    HLC can be compiled to run on any mainstream Linux distributions is all I can say.

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    On 5/20/2021 at 4:28 AM, Jørgen Skadhauge said:

    wonderfull, please let me know when your Multichannel HLC is availble. These days I am playing with the new Audirvana Studio which to my ears is even more transparent than the previous 3.5. So right now in Audirvana I upscale the stereo signal and sent it to the AcourateConvolver. With your VST3 files the stereo signal goes through the VST3 for being processed and then upscaled right before going to DAC ? if it is an advantage the signal sent to the DAC could then be a DSD or DXD signal? Merging Technologies likes DSD and DXD. Never tried, but in another simple setup I use a RME ADI2 dac and here I prefer PCM to DSD.

    Best  regards,

    Jorgen

     

    Hi Jorgen, yes HLC is plugged in before the resampler. 

     

     

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    36 minutes ago, mitchco said:
    On 5/20/2021 at 9:30 AM, R1200CL said:

    So If SGC (Small Green Computer) accepts, this SW could be implementere in the Sonictransporter ?

    HLC can be compiled to run on any mainstream Linux distributions is all I can say.


    @agillis

    Hi Andrew.
    I like to suggest you looking into the possibility to implement this SW in the SonicOrbiter OS. 
    I think it will add a lot of value. 
     

    Andreas

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    25 minutes ago, R1200CL said:


    @agillis

    Hi Andrew.
    I like to suggest you looking into the possibility to implement this SW in the SonicOrbiter OS. 
    I think it will add a lot of value. 
     

    Andreas

    +1

     

    This would be great. 

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    22 hours ago, R1200CL said:

    I like to suggest you looking into the possibility to implement this SW in the SonicOrbiter OS. 

     

    HLC looks like a GUI application that requires a desktop OS such as Windows. Does it run embedded with no screen? That would be required to run on an "headless" device like a sonicTransporter.

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    38 minutes ago, agillis said:

     

    HLC looks like a GUI application that requires a desktop OS such as Windows. Does it run embedded with no screen? That would be required to run on an "headless" device like a sonicTransporter.

    It can run on anything. I’m guessing a web interface would work.

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    @mitchco

    Can you confirm HLC can or will run headless on Linux with just a web interface ?

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    On 5/23/2021 at 7:23 AM, R1200CL said:

    @mitchco

    Can you confirm HLC can or will run headless on Linux with just a web interface ?

    Yes, with some work it can. But I have not had a chance to look into what the effort would be.

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    Is it possible to import files from Multisub optimizer  or Minidsp? 

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    Hi @dziemian I don't know the filter file format for Multisub optimizer or miniDSP. I know folks use REW or rePhase to import filters and convert to another file format... HLC takes stereo 32 bit float .wav files either standalone or bundled in a zip.

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    Hi @mitchco  I was wondering if it is possible to use your convolver instead of minidsp hardware to store biquads generated by REW, Multisub optimizer, speaker's eq etc. The biquads look like following example...

     

    biquad1,
    b0=0.999848250832693,
    b1=-1.999425176367626,
    b2=0.999595318179774,
    a1=1.999425176367626,
    a2=-0.999443569012467,
    biquad2,
    b0=0.999765951342055,
    b1=-1.997806523979884,
    b2=0.998060158745793,
    a1=1.997806523979884,
    a2=-0.997826110087849,

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    Hi @dziemian sorry, I don't know of any tools that can convert biquads into a FIR filter... Maybe the folks at miniDSP can assist?

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