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Thread: Installing/expanding cvjoint's CarPC

  1. #1

    Installing/expanding cvjoint's CarPC

    Some of you may remember this thread started April of last year on DIYMA by cvjoint:

    http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/...e-dsp-6-a.html

    I know that durwood and some others helped out. Well, George sold the car and bought an S2000 roadster that this wouldn't fit into, and he sold the PC system, and I'm now installing it for the buyer (another DIYMA and other forum veteran) and expanding it.

    The PC has an M-Audio 1010LT sound card, with Console managing that, and AIXcoustic Electri-Q plugins for PEQ and delay. I'm horrible at this SW setup, but I'm not at all certain I need to do much in Console (hoping I can have some folks tell me).

    It was running Centrafuse 2.1 and XP, Garmin nav, and had a 30GB SSD. Music was either files on the SSD, files on a USB stick, or signal on an analog jack.

    We are planning the following upgrades:

    - Install 256GB SSD

    - Install Windows 7

    - Install Centrafuse 3.1 (currently running 3.1 on XP for testing purposes on the bench)

    - Add Bluetooth handsfree (this was never working properly before removal due to microphone routing and muting/mixing issues - main issue is USB audio mic routing with external Andrea USB soundcard, which is my current goal)

    - Add XM SAT radio (already have CMD2000, board, and all parts)

    - Possibly use Mp3's HD/AM-FM tuner (we have Mitch's analog switcher, but the 1010LT has 6 stereo inputs, so I'd like to make them work for these AUXes)


    This system was also running dual Audio Control MVCs slaved together for volume, due to concerns about the SQ of the internal volume control, whether it was in the digital or analog domain, etc. Since there is also a Griffin PowerMate that can control volume, and I'm damned if I want to use both of them, I'm curious how real these SQ issues are. I can't tell if cvjoint tried the internal volume and didn't like it, or never really tried it.

    I like the idea of the Centrafuse UI, and I don't like trying to use Windows on a 7" Xenarc. The Windows scroll bars and buttons close to the edge are almost unusable, certainly while driving. If Centrafuse HAS to be jettisoned to make some things work, there it is, but I'd like to retain it.

    So my big question marks are:

    1) Bluetooth mike routing. I've read about a Bluetooth plugin that allows use of a second sound card mike input ONLY during Bluetooth calls. Any insights on this one? Remember, want to use USB sound card and Andrea mike kit, but don't want this audio mixed in to output, only want it routed to Centrafuse's BT function.

    2) Any ideas on routing one XLR mike input only to some RTA or Impulse test SW? Don't want the input mixed. I'm really having trouble sorting out the patchbay/audio routing functionality.

    Any and all advice about this PC appreciated. (Telling me to go soak my head is appreciated as well, but mostly by my wife : )

  2. #2
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    -Never used Centrafuse because roadrunner does what I need for free.

    -Volume control: I think people are overly paranoid about volume control in the digital domain. Yes I know it can not be as accurate as analog, but if it is audible is up for debate. It's highly possible though that you cannot control the volume anymore in windows when using ASIO. It depends on the soundcard. I have not used the 1010lt to know if it still functions or not.

    -Make sure the 1010lt patchbay, console and ASIO all play nice in windows 7. I read that some people cannot get ASIO apps to always jive in 7, but I have also heard some people are fine. Xp is stable so why change to 7...what is the advantage?

    -RE: usb soundcard/mic thing not working through the 1010lt. That is because it is it's own soundcard and the USB soundcard is needed for noise cancelation. Does it have an analog out or does it use USB to pass the audio stream?

    -RE: mic input I'd have to look at the manual, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

    -RE: The console graphical setup/cfg files can be saved for later use. You will have to go back and setup the soundcard patchbay and make sure the VST plugin folders are inventoried by console. Once that is done, click on the cfg file and it opens it up ready to go in console. Put a shortcut in the startup folder to the config file saved and it will automatically launch at startup.

    setting up carpcs initially are but once you have all the ins and outs covered its not bad. I would hate having to support a customer on it though. Definitely more of a DIY experience.
    Last edited by durwood; 09-16-2010 at 05:42 PM.

  3. #3
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    Here's a digital volume thread I made a while back that might help you out with the master volume thing.

    http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/...an-answer.html

    I would do master volume control from the windows 7 audio engine through a standard Centrafuse sound device setup. It runs in 32 bit float, so it will be as accurate as it needs to be.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by durwood View Post
    -Never used Centrafuse because roadrunner does what I need for free..
    I thought you ran Windows...?

    Quote Originally Posted by durwood View Post
    -Make sure the 1010lt patchbay, console and ASIO all play nice in windows 7. I read that some people cannot get ASIO apps to always jive in 7, but I have also heard some people are fine. Xp is stable so why change to 7...what is the advantage?
    As I understand it, XP can only make use of so much RAM, and there is more RAM installed than XP can use. I know that XP has issues with "sleep" modes. I know some have concerns about support for XP (although it seems to be turning into the 911). I understand none of these may be compelling.

    Will definitely test those items.

    Quote Originally Posted by durwood View Post

    -RE: usb soundcard/mic thing not working through the 1010lt. That is because it is it's own soundcard and the USB soundcard is needed for noise cancelation. Does it have an analog out or does it use USB to pass the audio stream?
    Yes, understand the echo thing (technically, the one we're talking about does echo cancel, and their noise canceller mike is the one that has regular analog out -and is $350 : ) Not clear if CF (or any front end) will support using a different sound card for the BT "app" mike in than for anything else...

    The Andrea soundcard is a USB soundcard with USB audio. So we want the CF BT (or whichever BT app) to use a different soundcard for mic audio in, and only when it's active.

    Quote Originally Posted by durwood View Post
    I would hate having to support a customer on it though. Definitely more of a DIY experience.
    It's kind of a weird handoff thing. I get certain functions operating on the bench, then hand it off, and the owner tunes the sound card and takes it from there.

    I concur, I don't ever want to sell CarPCs. I was involved in the Clarion/Microsoft AutoPC initiative, and that ended with people climbing out of it on ropes and "oh, the humanity".

    Thanks for the info and response, appreciated.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by t3sn4f2 View Post
    Here's a digital volume thread I made a while back that might help you out with the master volume thing.

    http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/...an-answer.html

    I would do master volume control from the windows 7 audio engine through a standard Centrafuse sound device setup. It runs in 32 bit float, so it will be as accurate as it needs to be.
    Thanks. I should have mentioned the RCA outs are going directly into either two slaved MVCs and then balanced transmitters, or just balanced transmitters.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
    I thought you ran Windows...?
    Yes unfortunately. If I could use the VST processing in Linux I would run Linux and use the linux front end available. So Windows is installed and Road/Ride Runner is the front end that makes it more user friendly. I use the simplistic skin because the buttons are nice and big, less distractions, and the color scheme works pretty good for my old gen screen that isn't so sunlight friendly. Ride Runner also allows you to use winamp, foobar, and a variety of other audio players. Centrafuse only uses Windows Media Player IIRC.

    As I understand it, XP can only make use of so much RAM, and there is more RAM installed than XP can use. I know that XP has issues with "sleep" modes. I know some have concerns about support for XP (although it seems to be turning into the 911). I understand none of these may be compelling.
    Ah ok-it's actually not an XP limitation on 3gB of RAM it's the 32bit operating system limitation-you have to use a 64bit system for anything over 3gB. I run with 1 gig ram which some is even shared for video. Plenty for my needs and I use hibernation.

    It's kind of a weird handoff thing. I get certain functions operating on the bench, then hand it off, and the owner tunes the sound card and takes it from there.

    I concur, I don't ever want to sell CarPCs. I was involved in the Clarion/Microsoft AutoPC initiative, and that ended with people climbing out of it on ropes and "oh, the humanity".
    There is a reason even mp3car relies heavily on the forum for support vs having their own dedicated support. It's too many variables and we all know a computer will only do what you tell it to do.

    Bit of advice, I recommend getting yourself a program that can backup an image of the drive. Create an image of the HD once things are setup (or in stages). That way if or when something in the software gets goofed up and you can't figure out the problem, it's 10-20min of re-imaging the drive back to a default vs a full fresh install and setup which can take hours. Of course this will not take care of hardware issues but at least it's something. I like partitioning the drive into OS and file storage, makes the image smaller and you can make changes to that particular partition without having to reload all the music/movies/etc


    I will say one of the good things to come of windows 7 was the improved audio handling, but if ASIO doesn't work then it's a disadvantage.
    Last edited by durwood; 09-17-2010 at 11:31 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by durwood View Post
    I will say one of the good things to come of windows 7 was the improved audio handling, but if ASIO doesn't work then it's a disadvantage.
    Could you elaborate on this statement?

  8. #8
    OK, update on this project.

    I've installed Win7 and the latest version of Centrafuse (gonna try it).

    Trying different BT dongles - wrestling with the BT stack/driver setup.

    The PowerMate is working.

    Finally got a cable to download the FW into the XM CNP2000UC.

    The sound card 1010LT is listed as not supported by CF. I am wondering if I would be better served to find a Prodigy 7.1 HiFi (which is listed as supported under CF 3? I need 7 output channels, and I need to be able to do TA, xover, and PEQ. Well, durwood, if I read your thread correctly, I can do all that with the same AIQ and voxengo plugins that were used with console and the 1010LT?

    I notice that this thread has been dead for some time - Durwood, do you still run this card?

    The low voltage is probably OK - I am connecting the outputs directly to Zapco Symbi line drivers and running balanced in.
    "Of course, the laws of science contain no matter and have no energy either and therefore do not exist except in people's minds. It's best to be completely scientific about the whole thing and refuse to believe in either ghosts or the laws of science. That way you're safe. That doesn't leave you very much to believe in, but that's scientific too."

  9. #9
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    I still use the card, but under xp. My friend also has the same card and we tried numerous times to install it under windows 7. Everytime we had no success as far as the routing/directwire feature working.

    We even tried something like this
    AUDIOTRAK - User Community

    I tried to convince him not to bother with 7, but at least we tried. So I see no reason to break something that works.

    Why is the 1010lt not supported in CF? I don't understand why a front end does not work with it.
    Last edited by durwood; 11-30-2010 at 09:49 PM.

  10. #10
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    IIRC, the volume attenuation was improved in WIN7 floating point vs fixed point, but I still have my doubts the volume attenuation limitations in XP was really audible. I think it is a WAY overblown ghost hunt. If the ASIO drivers for a card don't function in 7, well thats an obvious disadvantage to using VST plugins.
    Last edited by durwood; 11-30-2010 at 09:51 PM.

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