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Which sound card for DRC measurements?


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Greetings folks,

I am ready to step into the world of DRC and this is my first foray into anything that require measurements.

I am looking at either of a Behringer ecm8000 or the umik-1 usb and plan to follow the steps described here: Creating a DRC Room Correction Filter for your Squeezebox. Basic steps involve measuring L speaker with mic with R line-out from amp into R channel input of soundcard/mixer for the reference channel, then swapping L and R mic/card.

 

I looked up the behringer 302usb and 502usb and it looks to be the most convenient. But I dont know how to use it.

I've never used any kind of recording gear before and wondering where to plug the mic and rca-out of amp on it. The mixer has a dedicated mic input socket and separate L+R input pairs. So do I plug in the mic into the mic socket and the rca-out from amp into the R-in of one inputs? Or do I plug the mic into the L input and the rca-out of amp into the R input?

 

Also do you have any recommendations for any other mixer/soundcard hardware that is external and will work with linux without drivers (or has linux drivers for ubuntu)?

 

The whole investment is going to be a one time usage only (or every time I move house once in a few years). Once I am done with it after a week of fiddling with generating FIR files it will stowed away, so I need something cheap that will not auto-sample and allow L+R inputs separately for measurements.

 

If I buy the umik-1 or any usb based mic, I dont know how I will input the other reference channel from Amp, unless there is a cheap external usb box that will work with one usb on mic and another on the usb soundcard. (I hope arecord or Audacity will work with two usb inputs for recording)?

 

Thanks for all your advise.

G0bble

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I have no experience with the Squeezebox ecosystem, but my advice is to explore room correction intially by going down the road of REW. REW has quite a bit of a learning curve, but it is well documented and you will learn a lot about your room during the process of taking measurements. There are a lot of helpful posts on the REW / Home Theatre Shack. Then you can make a choice of going down the free DIY with REW road, or Dirac, or Acourate.

 

I have been very pleased with the results with Dirac on miniDSP for a PCM only 24/96 system - no computer required during playback !

 

For my other DSD focussed system, I plan to try out Acourate filters and using HQ Player's DSD compatible convolving

 

The Behringer ECM8000 is a fully competant mic, but if you get finiky, you will need to get it calibrated. For external USB sound card, I have a M-Audio Fasttrack which provides 48 volts power to the ECM8000 and works well when all you need is analog output from your sound card.

 

 

I also have the UMIK-1 USB which came with my miniDSP with Dirac kit. One thing to note is that when you buy it from miniDSP, it only comes with calibration for horizontal, 0 degrees. You can also buy it from Cross Spectrum labs and it will come with a vertical calibration file. I have not used the UMIK with REW yet, but I am confident it works well

 

Hope the above is helpful

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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Hi eurodriver,

why are you using acourate filters with hqplayer? Isn't it enough to generate FIR files using measurement software and hqplayer straight away? Pardon the noob question but I am just getting started in DRC.

 

I don't have a windows PC for REW. I'll try to run it in wine tonight and check.

 

I don't use squeezebox. I was hoping I could manage to run BruteFIR on an archlinux or Ubuntu system. My player is cubox-i4 pro running archlinux and mpd and the remote mount is an Ubuntu NFS server running on an e350m dual core mobo on which I plan to run the more CPU intensive stuff.

 

Thanks for your inputs on this.

G0bble

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Hi eurodriver,

why are you using acourate filters with hqplayer? Isn't it enough to generate FIR files using measurement software and hqplayer straight away? Pardon the noob question but I am just getting started in DRC.

 

G0bble

 

Yes, one can easily just use REW to generate the filter files. However, Acourate and Dirac have the best reviews, and when they both cost less than a pair of speaker cables, and make so much more difference, then it seems to make sense, in my system context, to go with Acourate. Plus Ulli of Acourate is not so far away, when I need help and a very experienced pair of years to fine tune.

 

When I was setting my miniDSP system, a dealer friend of mine was extremely helpful. He could identify sonic symptoms, which I only cottoned on to when he pointed them out to me.

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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I just tried out UMIK with REW and its impressively Plug and Play

 

No external sound card needed, see no downsides to using it

 

Win 7 HP Pavilion laptop

 

How did you take the reference channel input? According to the link I posted earlier -

1. When measuring L speaker, R RCA out goes into R input of soundcard.

2. when measuring R speaker, L RCA out goes into L input of soundcard.

 

G0bble

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How did you take the reference channel input? According to the link I posted earlier -

1. When measuring L speaker, R RCA out goes into R input of soundcard.

2. when measuring R speaker, L RCA out goes into L input of soundcard.

 

G0bble

 

When using an external sound card, then one needs to have the reference channel. However it seems with the UMIK using the internal sound card, then this referencing is taken care of internally. I just followed the instructions in the link below

 

UMIK-1 setup with REW | MiniDSP

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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