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Amarra Symphony with IRC – Very Slow to Respond


Gregg12y

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Since 2011, I have used a Mac Mini as my primary music source. Until late 2013, I happily used iTunes/Pure Music, with a Tact 2.2 Room Correction preamp for DSP, running digital out into a separate DAC. Last October, I installed Amarra Symphony with IRC to take advantage of integrated room correction and EQ, eliminating the need for the Tact unit and its attendant wires/power cord. My Mac Mini is a 2.4Ghz dual core with 8GB of ram. I am still using Snow Leopard, the OS that came with the Mac Mini when I bought it. I run my music off of a Fire wire external drive, and I connect the Mac to a Berkeley USB adapter to a Berkeley Alpha Dac 2. I run no other programs when playing music.

Things work well so long as I stay at 16/44.1, but if I try to switch to an 88.2 or 96K hi-rez source, the “pinwheel” turns, and the tracks will eventually load. If I try to switch from a 44.1 to play a 176 or 192 source, I usually have to force quit Amarra and restart it. And if I pause during a track on a hi-rez track, it will not resume – I have to force quit again. This happens whether I use the Amarra Playlist or iTunes. I usually use the cache mode, since I want to take advantage memory play. I have tried disengaging IRC and Cache mode, but I still have the problem.

I never had these issues when I used Pure Music, but of course it does not have room correction.

As I see it, I have several options: 1) a newer Mac with a higher speed processor, 2) updating from Snow Leopard to the current Apple OS, and 3) installing a solid state drive for the operating system and apps.

What I is to make these improvements and wind up with only a minor, incremental improvement in performance. A final option I might consider is investing in a standalone Correction software such as Dirac (since I have the right microphone already), and if it can run it with Pure Music.

I am very interested in anyone’s thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks

Greg

MacMini-Berkeley USB Adapter-Berkeley Alpha 2 DAC-Mark Levinson 431-Magnepan 3.7’s. Audioquest USB, Analysis Plus Digital Crystal Balanced Digital, MIT interconnects and speaker cables.

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Since 2011, I have used a Mac Mini as my primary music source. Until late 2013, I happily used iTunes/Pure Music, with a Tact 2.2 Room Correction preamp for DSP, running digital out into a separate DAC. Last October, I installed Amarra Symphony with IRC to take advantage of integrated room correction and EQ, eliminating the need for the Tact unit and its attendant wires/power cord. My Mac Mini is a 2.4Ghz dual core with 8GB of ram. I am still using Snow Leopard, the OS that came with the Mac Mini when I bought it. I run my music off of a Fire wire external drive, and I connect the Mac to a Berkeley USB adapter to a Berkeley Alpha Dac 2. I run no other programs when playing music.

Things work well so long as I stay at 16/44.1, but if I try to switch to an 88.2 or 96K hi-rez source, the “pinwheel” turns, and the tracks will eventually load. If I try to switch from a 44.1 to play a 176 or 192 source, I usually have to force quit Amarra and restart it. And if I pause during a track on a hi-rez track, it will not resume – I have to force quit again. This happens whether I use the Amarra Playlist or iTunes. I usually use the cache mode, since I want to take advantage memory play. I have tried disengaging IRC and Cache mode, but I still have the problem.

I never had these issues when I used Pure Music, but of course it does not have room correction.

As I see it, I have several options: 1) a newer Mac with a higher speed processor, 2) updating from Snow Leopard to the current Apple OS, and 3) installing a solid state drive for the operating system and apps.

What I is to make these improvements and wind up with only a minor, incremental improvement in performance. A final option I might consider is investing in a standalone Correction software such as Dirac (since I have the right microphone already), and if it can run it with Pure Music.

I am very interested in anyone’s thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks

Greg

MacMini-Berkeley USB Adapter-Berkeley Alpha 2 DAC-Mark Levinson 431-Magnepan 3.7’s. Audioquest USB, Analysis Plus Digital Crystal Balanced Digital, MIT interconnects and speaker cables.

 

I use FabFilter PRO Q with Pure Music. Works fantastically well. You can buy it here:

 

FabFilter Shop - Buy Plug-ins and Bundles Online - VST VST3 AU AAX RTAS AudioSuite

 

Or you can get it from Clayton Shaw of Spatial Computer

 

Room Correction.

 

Clayton will do all the measurements and corrections for you by connecting with your computer and sending a signal through your system which feeds information about the acoustics of your listening room back to him. But due to the amount of time he dedicates, it will cost you a lot more than if you just buy the software and do all the corrections yourself. So, if you think you can do it well enough on your own, you will save money. The cost of the ProQ plug-in is $149.

Here is a link to a review of ProQ.

FabFilter Pro-Q | Music Tech reviews | MusicRadar

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Thanks for the response, lolligagger. I had considered the Spatial system, but, having used the Tact RCS system, I wanted a system that I could run myself, so I could re-run it when I wanted if I change the speaker location, modify room treatment, etc. The Amarra IRC system works quite well, measuring at about 9 separate points and creating a good composite correction curve. I already have ProQ as a Pure Music plug-in, and when I try to create an EQ curve that approximates the curve displayed by the Tact system or by Amarra IRC, I don't get a good result - no doubt Clayton Shaw has some great skills.

But I have this performance issue even if I dis-engage the IRC, so I was hoping that there is an answer that involves doing something with the settings in Amarra Symphony.

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Thanks for the response, lolligagger. I had considered the Spatial system, but, having used the Tact RCS system, I wanted a system that I could run myself, so I could re-run it when I wanted if I change the speaker location, modify room treatment, etc. The Amarra IRC system works quite well, measuring at about 9 separate points and creating a good composite correction curve. I already have ProQ as a Pure Music plug-in, and when I try to create an EQ curve that approximates the curve displayed by the Tact system or by Amarra IRC, I don't get a good result - no doubt Clayton Shaw has some great skills.

But I have this performance issue even if I dis-engage the IRC, so I was hoping that there is an answer that involves doing something with the settings in Amarra Symphony.

 

I see your point. If you rely on someone like Clayton to do the measurements and settings for you, then you need him every time you make a change that will significantly affect the speaker/room interaction.

 

But here is something I learned recently:

A friend of mine who is an audio technician and has his own studio came to my house. He uses FabFilter ProQ in his work so he knew how to configure it and he very quickly did a very minor configuration for me which in some respects I really liked. He created an even wider deeper soundstage and greater air around the instruments and around the vocals thus bringing them out more. But to my ear it was not reproducing the timbres of the instruments as accurately as Clayton's configuration.

MY friend told me he would come back and do a detailed set up, but it has been a while and he has not had the time to do it yet. So I started experimenting on my own and did some modification of the configuration that he had created and I ended up creating a sound that I really like. Actually I like it even more than the one that Clayton had created for me.

 

Albeit, I did it all by ear, but isn't that what this hobby is all about? Isn't ''trust your own ears'' the last word of advice that we are given by everyone in this hobby? I figure that if it sounds right to me, then it is right.

 

So, at the end of the day I found that I do not need someone to do the measurements (or any measurements at all, for that matter) for me to tell me what sounded right. I only need my own ears.

 

Now I know that I can move my speakers, move things in the room... even get new speakers... and using ProQ I can come up with something that will work for me.

 

I wish you luck in your quest.

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Since 2011, I have used a Mac Mini as my primary music source. Until late 2013, I happily used iTunes/Pure Music, with a Tact 2.2 Room Correction preamp for DSP, running digital out into a separate DAC. Last October, I installed Amarra Symphony with IRC to take advantage of integrated room correction and EQ, eliminating the need for the Tact unit and its attendant wires/power cord. My Mac Mini is a 2.4Ghz dual core with 8GB of ram. I am still using Snow Leopard, the OS that came with the Mac Mini when I bought it. I run my music off of a Fire wire external drive, and I connect the Mac to a Berkeley USB adapter to a Berkeley Alpha Dac 2. I run no other programs when playing music.

Things work well so long as I stay at 16/44.1, but if I try to switch to an 88.2 or 96K hi-rez source, the “pinwheel” turns, and the tracks will eventually load. If I try to switch from a 44.1 to play a 176 or 192 source, I usually have to force quit Amarra and restart it. And if I pause during a track on a hi-rez track, it will not resume – I have to force quit again. This happens whether I use the Amarra Playlist or iTunes. I usually use the cache mode, since I want to take advantage memory play. I have tried disengaging IRC and Cache mode, but I still have the problem.

I never had these issues when I used Pure Music, but of course it does not have room correction.

As I see it, I have several options: 1) a newer Mac with a higher speed processor, 2) updating from Snow Leopard to the current Apple OS, and 3) installing a solid state drive for the operating system and apps.

What I is to make these improvements and wind up with only a minor, incremental improvement in performance. A final option I might consider is investing in a standalone Correction software such as Dirac (since I have the right microphone already), and if it can run it with Pure Music.

I am very interested in anyone’s thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks

Greg

MacMini-Berkeley USB Adapter-Berkeley Alpha 2 DAC-Mark Levinson 431-Magnepan 3.7’s. Audioquest USB, Analysis Plus Digital Crystal Balanced Digital, MIT interconnects and speaker cables.

 

Just a couple of thoughts.

 

Have you tried deleting the Amarra Preferences. There is a script in the Amarra folder to do this.

Have you run disk utility to repair disk permissions?

 

Also I noticed that you tried disengaging cache to no avail. It sounds like you have the preload selected. If this is selected it can take 30-45 sec to load an album. I only use this on gapless albums. I have it set in preferences to load album but turn it off clicking the "P" to the right of the display window when not needed. With Cache and IRC enabled I can switch albums of different sample rates seamlessly. But once the "P" Preload is engaged it will take some time to load i.e. spinning beach ball. You might check this setting.

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