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OSX and TC Electronics Konnekt - routing iTunes direct to SPDIF


pj
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I recently picked up a used Konnekt 24D from fleabay. The SQ of the Konnekt is ok but in comparison with my current DIY DAC (http://www.fetaudio.com/?p=101) is quite veiled.

 

Anyway the TC Near control panel doesn't show any way of routing iTunes output directly to the SPDIF outputs. The only option we are given is to route from Konnekt's internal mixer to SPDIF out. As can be seen from the internal routing diagram you should be able to send audio straight to coax SPDIF bypassing the internal mixer.

 

From the routing diagram we can determine which ports on the interface represent the SPDIF output. For the 24D output 15/16, and for the Konnekt 8 output 3/4.

 

The easiest way to route iTunes output to these ports is using Soundflower and Soundflowerbed http://cycling74.com/products/soundflower/

 

Once you d/l and install Soundflower it's a fairly simple, if multistep, procedure to setup desired routing:

 

1) Open Soundflowerbed from /Applications/Soundflower/

2) From the Soundflowerbed menubar item select "TC Near" under Soundflower (2ch)

3) From the menubar item select Soundflower (2Ch) > Channel 1 > then pick the first port of your spdif output ie 15 for the 24D

4) repeat the above procedure for Channel 2 mapping it to the second spdif output port, 16 in the case of the 24D

 

5) Open Audio Midi Setup app and select Soundflower (2ch) as default output. Make sure sampling rates match for both TC Near and Soundflower (2ch)

 

6) Open TC Near control panel, click on the Setup tab, then in the Output section under S/PDIF Source select "DAW Coaxial S/PDIF".

 

The end result of all this fiddling is iTunes output is now routed direct to the Konnekt S/PDIF output via Soundflower bypassing the Konnekt's internal mixer.

 

To my ear the result is a slightly cleaner and more detailed sound out of my dac. Not bad for a total cost of 5 minutes of my time.

 

cheers

Paul

 

 

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I've attached screen grabs of the respective settings - the soundflowerbed grab might explain things better than my convoluted description above.

 

The same method could be used to send iTunes output straight to outputs 3/4 on the 24D which might be worthwhile if you are running audio out of the interface into a preamp.

 

cheers

Paul

 

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One last comment.

 

I'd be cautious about nice/renicing iTunes and CoreAudio if you try this out. I was experiencing what sounded like severe buffer underruns which went away with iTune and CoreAudio reset to normal priority. It may well be that renicing by a lesser amount than -20 is enough to allow all elements to play happily together. This will require some testing, and for the moment I'll be reverting to an "un-nice" setup.

 

cheers

Paul

 

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Kamil,

 

Glad to hear you are using this setup with good results. Soundflower is a slick bit of software.

 

The only thing I forgot to add was that Soundflowerbed needs to be running. Adding as a login item is the best way to deal with this.

 

cheers

Paul

 

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Looks like it isn't all sweetness and light.

 

Apparently the buffer underrun/overrun issue I came across is a widespread problem and isn't dependant on renice/nice. The problem was reported to Soundflower developers over 12months ago and it seems like it is in the too hard basket. I've messed with all kinds of combinations of buffer settings and at best this simply increases the delay before the problem occurs.

 

Kamil I'm wondering what your setup is as you seem to be problem free.

 

cheers

Paul

 

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Ok, scrap the whole procedure routing to the spdif outs using jack or soundflower.

 

The answer is stupidly simple and requires no third party software. I'm a bit embarrassed I didn't click that it was this easy when I embarked on the soundflower route.

 

a) Open Audio Midi Setup and select Audio

b) Select TC Near and make this the default output.

c) Click on the Configure Speakers button

d) Beneath the left channel icon there is a pull down displaying "1", Click on this and select "3" for the Konnekt 8 or "15" for the 24D

e) On the right channel use the pull down to select "4" for the Konnekt 8 or "16" for the 24D

f) click "apply" and then "done"

 

cheers

Paul

 

 

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