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Synology NAS for Dummies?


NWDave
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OK, this is really embarrassing, but I've read through the Music Server forum and checked out various online resources and I'm still not clear on how one would set up an NAS so that you can access it to play, say, files through Audirvana. What I apparently need, because I'm not too bright, is a *very basic* quick description of what to do.

 

My equipment:

 

Airport Extreme

75 Mbps cable connection

Schiit Bifrost Multibit DAC (heavenly, btw)

Audioengine A5+ powered speakers

 

So ... I order the Synology NAS. It arrives. I open it. I know I need to connect it via [ ] to my router, correct? OK, if that's the case, how do I then connect the Synology NAS to my DAC? USB? Toslink? Would the chain look like:

 

Cable Modem-->Airport Extreme-->Synology NAS-->Schiit Bifrost Multibit-->Audioengine A5+

 

or something else? Please assume I know nothing at this point and use few acronyms. :-)

 

Then, can I access the contents of the Synology via my laptop (MacBook Pro) to play music? How do I copy files from my Music folder? And how do I use Audirvana (this is the key, because I love its sound) with the set-up? Again, assume idiocy on my part because I'm not clear on (1) how to get the files on the NAS; (2) how to access them once I do; and (3) how to remotely play them through the 24/192 software of my choice.

 

I appreciate your patience. I know there's a lot of material here on CA, and I keep studying it, but I'm not technically inclined and I lose track when I start seeing too many words like UPnP and LAN. If you wish to use Tinkertoy analogies to help me understand, I will not be insulted. :-)

 

Best regards and advance thanks for your time,

 

D.

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Instead of thinking of a NAS as a hard drive, it will show up as a Network device. You have to treat it like a Network device. Very similar to your DSL Modum.

You should have gotten a quick start guide that explains that you need to go the website and set up what format you should use. Off hand, Synology defaults to Raid format and make sure you set the device as fat32. Go to your network and copy and paste your music file into the Synology network device.

That's from a fragile memory, but it should get you started. Good luck.

John Withem

 

Proprietor

JW Audio.

http://www.jwaudio.net/default.html

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Instead of thinking of a NAS as a hard drive, it will show up as a Network device. You have to treat it like a Network device. Very similar to your DSL Modum.

You should have gotten a quick start guide that explains that you need to go the website and set up what format you should use. Off hand, Synology defaults to Raid format and make sure you set the device as fat32. Go to your network and copy and paste your music file into the Synology network device.

That's from a fragile memory, but it should get you started. Good luck.

 

 

Hi JW.

 

I don't have the device. Only asking. So you're saying I'd format it using DiskUtility and then install Audirvana and my music files by drop and drag? Like I would if I had an external HD attached to my Mac?

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A NAS is a purpose built network file server, it will stream music/video files where directed. Since the files are digital computer files, something has to convert them to a digital output useable by a DAC, that's called a renderer. The software that tells the NAS to stream the file to the renderer is called a control point. Audiovarna doesn't appear to allow use of a NAS, looks built to only play from local drive. Looks for software that says it supports streaming from a NAS

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Wow, there is enough misinformation here to confuse you for weeks. First, although I access my Synology NAS through both a Windows PC and a Macbook, I set up my usage in Windows, so setting it up on the Mac might be a little different.

 

First, you have to create a connection between the Mac and the NAS (for music purposes, I have run Cat7 shielded Ethernet cables from the computer to my Cisco Router to the NAS and from the router to my Airport Extreme and from the Airport Extreme to my USB DAC). In theory you could use WiFi for some of those hops, but I preferred the sound quality using Gigabit and shielded Ethernet. Once it is connected, you should be able to navigate to the Synology web site to handle the software set up process. As part of that you can set up folders for your music and enable things like BubbleUPnP and MinimServer. Next you need to copy your music into those folders or use ripping software to pull files from disk onto the Music folder in Synology.

 

In setting up the Synology, it will be easier if you can give it a static IP address (this will be important for Audirvana). In most cases, routers give your equipment dynamic IP address for security reasons, but it can make it harder for some programs to find the new IP address each time your restart the system. Once you have done that you can access the folders on your Synology DiskStation. Mine shows up as a shared folder called "DiskStation." If you don't see it that way, you may need to play around with the shared folder settings to make sure it is accessible from your Macbook.

 

Next, in your Audirvana Preferences, click on the Library tab, hit the plus sign at the bottom of the top white box (which opens Finder) and then select the DiskStation folder with the static IP address. Once you have done that Audirvana will start synchronizing your music files and they will show up in your Audirvana library.

 

You can now connect your Macbook directly to your DAC through their USB ports (and as long as you have the correct parameters set up in your Audio Midi (folder under Utilities) and in the "Sound" folder under "System Preferences" you should be ready to play files from the NAS through the Macbook to your DAC.

 

Here is a graphic that might help: from: My Digital Streaming Choices | Digital Music, USB Interface | Photography +

 

NAS Setup.jpg

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>SMSL M500 DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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sdolezalek:

 

Wow. Thank you. That's very helpful. I feel like I'm 90% up to speed. The only thing is I'm using a laptop, not a desktop Mac. I've taken your great illustration and modified it below to show you what (I think) I'm trying to do. (The DSL Modem in your illustration is my cable modem feeding into the Airport.)

 

 

Untitled 3a.jpg

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Ok, couple further thoughts based upon your diagram. First, one reason a lot of us use Audirvana is to upsample audio files to the highest level our DAC can accept. In the case of your Schiit it appears to handle up to 24/192PCM files. Depending on what WiFi standard you are using and how much other traffic is on your WiFi that comes pretty close to its limit. 192/24 files are typically around 7 to 8 Mbps. On 802.11g with good signal strength and not a lot else on the network, with an Airport Express you should be ok. But if you were using 802.11b that tends to peak out at around 5 to 6 Mbps.

 

Second, it looks as though you are intending to have your NAS act as a headless front end for your DAC. As to whether that works, you might want to read the following thread here on CA: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/synology-network-attached-storage-schiit-bifrost-digital-analogue-converter-18368/

 

Hope that helps.

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>SMSL M500 DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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Ok, couple further thoughts based upon your diagram. First, one reason a lot of us use Audirvana is to upsample audio files to the highest level our DAC can accept. In the case of your Schiit it appears to handle up to 24/192PCM files. Depending on what WiFi standard you are using and how much other traffic is on your WiFi that comes pretty close to its limit. 192/24 files are typically around 7 to 8 Mbps. On 802.11g with good signal strength and not a lot else on the network, with an Airport Express you should be ok. But if you were using 802.11b that tends to peak out at around 5 to 6 Mbps.

 

Second, it looks as though you are intending to have your NAS act as a headless front end for your DAC. As to whether that works, you might want to read the following thread here on CA: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/synology-network-attached-storage-schiit-bifrost-digital-analogue-converter-18368/

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

It does. Thanks again. However, I'm still doing a poor job explaining what I'm wanting to do. I want the music files and Audirvana (or some 24/192 capable playback software, if Audirvana won't work) on the NAS with the Mac working only as a remote (think the Audirvana Remote app for iPhone ... that, except the MacBookPro is the iPhone and the Mac running Audirvana is the NAS drive). I'm fearing by your responses that that isn't possible, no?

 

I probably just to find a MacMini and be done with it, but I thought with all the talk of NAS drives that the latter would be a cheaper option.

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Dave: You are exceeding the limits of my networking knowledge, so rather than give bad advice, I hope other CAers will chime in. Generally, I have read here that the Synology NAS'es don't provide the ability to act as a music server that you can run Audirvana from, but that some other NAS providers do (although I don't know that Audirvana can be run that way). A MacMini is the direction I was headed when Audirvana was my primary listening software. I then fell for the Roon/Tidal combination and ultimately added HQPlayer running through a Sonicorbiter as NAA. The combination is magical both from a library scale & management and sound quality standpoint, but is also quite a bit more costly than Damien's outstanding and highly affordable work with Audirvana.

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>SMSL M500 DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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Dave: You are exceeding the limits of my networking knowledge, so rather than give bad advice, I hope other CAers will chime in. Generally, I have read here that the Synology NAS'es don't provide the ability to act as a music server that you can run Audirvana from, but that some other NAS providers do (although I don't know that Audirvana can be run that way). A MacMini is the direction I was headed when Audirvana was my primary listening software. I then fell for the Roon/Tidal combination and ultimately added HQPlayer running through a Sonicorbiter as NAA. The combination is magical both from a library scale & management and sound quality standpoint, but is also quite a bit more costly than Damien's outstanding and highly affordable work with Audirvana.

 

 

No, no, you're doing great. I'm learning a lot.

 

So let's say I could live without Audirvana capability (I don't think I can, but hey ... thought experiment :-) ...

 

I would set up my Airport Extreme to connect to the Sonicorbiter with a USB external drive connected to (the Extreme or the Sonicorbiter?) and USB out going into my DAC, correct? I went to consult the user manual for the Sonicorbiter and I saw the mode for "local storage" but wasn't clear on how the local storage is accessed by the Sonicorbiter. I'm assuming the Sonicorbiter plays 24/192 as well. Else I'd just get a Sonos Connect, which I had but sent back, because the sound was so inferior to Audirvana+Mac and my W4S Remedy produced no noticeable changes (to my ears) in the quality of the Sonos sound.

 

Yeah. Not complicated at all. LOL

 

Thanks again.

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So let's say I could live without Audirvana capability (I don't think I can, but hey ... thought experiment :-) ...

It has been a while since I've used MacOS and Audirvana but I was able to access files on my QNAP NAS. The QNAP music directories were recognized by them. I am not a Mac advocate or expert (I use Win7/JRMC on my MacMini now) but it was not a problem.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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I'm not sure this is mostly a Synology/NAS question. Generally you connect the NAS to your network using an Ethernet cable. If your network is mostly wireless you would connect the cable to your router/Airport Extreme directly using Ethernet, or even better you can get a switch and connect the wired devices all to the switch and the Airport Extreme to the switch.

 

The question is how are you going to connect your DAC to the network. You could connect it:

 

1) directly to your laptop using a USB cable

2) connect to a device such as the Sonore microRendu via USB (when that becomes available) or the SonicOrbiter SE.

3) connect a small computer such as a NUC or mac mini to the network and to the DAC via USB. If this device does wireless you can do this with a wireless network.

 

The little computer or renderer device can then run the software that plays the music and outputs to DAC. This renderer computer is connected to the NAS over the network, and pulls the music from the NAS. That's a start but basically that's how it works.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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I would set up my Airport Extreme to connect to the Sonicorbiter with a USB external drive connected to (the Extreme or the Sonicorbiter?) and USB out going into my DAC, correct? I went to consult the user manual for the Sonicorbiter and I saw the mode for "local storage" but wasn't clear on how the local storage is accessed by the Sonicorbiter. I'm assuming the Sonicorbiter plays 24/192 as well.

 

The Sonicorbiter SE connects to your DAC via USB. There is a mode by which the Sonicorbiter also attaches to local storage (via its second USB port) and allows files from that storage to be played by your DAC with the SE acting as music server. Otherwise you would simply plug the SE into your network via its Ethernet port and it can access the files on the NAS through Bubble UPnp or other programs (like Roon or JRiver that are server compatible).

 

In that configuration, your laptop (or your phone) can then simply function as the remote control over what you want to play (and they can give those instructions wirelessly). That works well with JRiver and Roon and Roon plus HQPlayer, but I'm not sure exactly how it would work with Audirvana.

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>SMSL M500 DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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Thanks to all of you who've continued to help. I think I have a handle on it. If I want Audirvana to handle playback non-wirelessly, I need a MacMini hooked directly to the DAC. If I could live without Audirvana, the Sonicorbiter SE would handle the role of the MacMini (playback directly to the DAC using music files stored on a USB drive attached to the Sonicorbiter) attached via USB straight to the DAC.

 

And the Sonicorbiter SE would handle 24/192 files, right? I guess that's the role I want the Sonicorbiter SE to play: that of a Sonos Connect but that isn't limited to 16/48.

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