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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everybody - my first post and I am looking for help.

I decided to jump into room mesurement with the aim to do room treatment and some signal correction through miniDSP. I downloaded REW on my old laptop to discover that it is not 5.1 or 7.1 capable. OK, I bought an external sound card (USB), installed the driver, hooked up the sound card into OPPO 105 optical input. I tested with windows and test signals are ok into each channel (windows send a test to each speaker, one at the time).

I opened REW, configured the new sound card into ASIO Control pannel, tested the selected channel.... not good - just main left and right speakers working. Tried to change outputs from 1 to 2 to 3.... etc. Still same result: both left and right speakers working (not just one) and not able to have other speakers playing...

Anyody would have any idea on what is the problem???
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I continued to search for solutions. I realized that in the sound card driver, analog output setting was configured to stereo (I only use the digital out but sometime those settings may do weird things). I changed to 5.1, re-configured ASIO panel in REW, tested one channel, and... not working but the problem is now different: I hear the noise (test) in one of the two main speakers (not both anymore) but only for 1 second and it stops by itself, all ASIO parameters (input and output) keep reseting to nothing after the 1 second of noise... Still not able to get sound from the center speaker or surrounds through REW.

I re-tested the driver and the sound card with windows another time and it still work with the five speakers - no problem. The problem remains when I use REW.

Any ideas?
 

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I suspect that when you tested with Windows it generated a multi-channel encoded signal with just the requested channel active and your Oppo decoded the signal to the correct channel. If the USB soundcard you bought has 5.1 or 7.1 outputs the signals selected with the ASIO driver are probably appearing on the corresponding output connections of the soundcard, the optical connection is probably only carrying the stereo front L/R signals in that configuration.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks JohnM for the feedback. I am going to explore in that direction.

I am also considering simply returning the sound card to Amazon and buy one that has proven record of compatibility with REW. Something like Creative Sound Blaster.

Anybody would have suggestions for an external USB sound card with digital out (coax or optical), minimum 5.1?

Thanks in advance
 

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The same issue would apply to any other soundcard unless it had an HDMI output, HDMI is the only interface I know of that provides direct access to the individual channels of 5.1 or 7.1 outputs in a way that you could connect to your Oppo, otherwise you would need to connect the various outputs of the soundcard to the analog 7.1 inputs of an AVR or similar.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
JohnM,

OK, I get it! Many thanks for your support. I will stop wasting my time (well, I did not waste it since I learned something...).

I will go manually with analog connection to test speakers and room without goint through the Oppo.

I appreciate your support, John.

Alain
 

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I'll keep this thread going if that is ok.

I have a VIA VT1630A USB soundcard, with minimal 3.5mm stereo sockets (2 channels for line out, and 2 for line in). The interface works well with REW Java driver at 48kHz sampling, as I can select USB device as well as select the left channel for line out and line in (I have modified the hardware to only provide a ground referenced left channel output - the default hardware references the output to half V+). The auto calibration process works well with a direct loopback cable.

However I get stuck when choosing ASIO4ALL v2. The ASIO control panel correctly identifies the USB device with 2 input and 2 output channels, each able to handle 96kHz at 24 bit.

I can select the sample rate as 96kHz. For output and input selection I have "1: USB Audio Device 1" and "2: USB Audio Device 2" options. If I select '1' for both, then I can only choose '2' as the loopback input. I assume '1' would be left channel and '2' would be right channel.

If I initiate a calibration process, I usually get a 'No soundcard input data' error window, or no response. Sometimes I have seen the OUT level indicator respond for a brief moment but then I get an 'ASIO Device Reset' caution window with the message 'Reset Request from driver/ Inputs and outputs may need to be re-selected'.

If I choose 1 for output and 2 for input, with loopback to 1, then I can get through to the 'Make a measurement' window, but there is no further activity. If I physically connect input channels 1 and 2 together, I still get the same response.

I've sort of tried a few of the options in the ASIO control panel, but no apparent change.

The soundcard works ok with TrueRTA at 96kHz.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on what I could do to progress the calibration, as I am unsure where the problem lies.

Regards, Tim
 

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- Cards like this are not on the REW recommended list.

- Buy a card ( & mic ) that are recommended .

- See here! for useful suggestions.

- 48K sample rates are more than enough for REW testing.

- If Java is working for you, then use it .

:)
 

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Thanks for responding Earl.

I know I use REW for different purposes than most here, and for the intended aim of the software, and am happy to go out on a limb with respect to how I would like to utilise REW. So I'm not appealing for app improvements just for my use, but more an appeal to see if I can better utilise what I have to hand.

My use is for valve amp testing, where I (and others) would rather accidentally damage a $7 soundcard, and there is a benefit in having extended RTA bandwidth, and I only need simple single channel line-in/out interconnections. REW is super for its RTA, and ability to do IM distortion, as well as automated harmonic distortion assessment, and THD+N.

Tim
 

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Tim,

You'd do yourself a favor if you made your own thread ( in circumstances like these ).

Label it appropriately, such as ( Testing Line Level Electronics with REW ) or something like that.

Simply tagging onto a 7.1 thread strongly suggests that, that is also what you are up to ( ie; balancing 7.1 speakers ) which is quite obviously the furthest from the truth.

How you ask for help /> actually matters to the type & quality offered.

:)
 

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Tim,

I suspect that you might have ASIO4ALL configured improperly.

Posting a picture of ASIO4ALLs panel is useful ( so others can make an assessment in a "request-for-help" post ).

Also, post a picture of REW preferences panel showing what you've selected ( or not ).

Here's one of mine ( showing 2 different soundcards bundled together by ASIO4ALL ) .


- Those blue triangles must be lit for the individual "Ins & Outs" to be accessible to the software ( REW in this case ).

REW will throw a caution screen when it doesn't "see" any data at it's input lines.

:)
 

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Tim,

Additionally, ASIO4ALL can be quite finicky when used with REW.

I find that changes made within the ASIO4ALL control panel rarely take/stick ( or hold in place ) the first time, as one would assume they would.

I find it's best to quit REW > reopen REW > reopen the REWs Preference window > reopen ASIO4ALL's control panel and inspect the status of the "Ins & Outs" . More than once I have found those IO's to be not lit ( when I assumed they should have been ).

Re-Selecting & going through the preceding steps will usually keep them lit up and accessible to REW ( as viable "Ins & Outs" ).

:)
 

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Thanx Earl - much appreciated - luckily the ASIO4ALL control panel has always correctly selected the USB audio device, and deselected the other audio devices on my pc that I have disabled in Win Sound. And the panel correctly shows the USB device as having 44 to 96kHz range, 24 bit, and 2 channels for both inputs and outputs.

Yes I've gotten used to rechecking all settings each time I open any app with such a USB soundcard. Windows likes to install a Tt eSPORTS SHOCK 3D 7.1 USB device driver by default for this particular USB device, but generally holds on to the generic Win USB driver after it is installed. And when making any preference change within REW its almost mandatory to stop/start the software, and sometimes to physically remove/insert the USB device, to add some confidence that the settings have stuck.

I just tried the ASIO driver with 44 and 48kHz sample rate settings, and the calibration process proceeds through to the 'make a measurement' window and the status shows 'ready to measure ...', and this time the In and Ref In level meters show they have been driven down to a low level and dither about waiting, so the process perhaps is not able to configure a return signal path.

As previously described, when doing that with 96kHz selected, the In and Ref In levels meters weren't responding.

The above is only happening when the '1' Output is selected (which I assume is the left channel that I have electrically connected to the output socket), whereas I get a message of no soundcard connected with I select '2' as the output.

I'll play with a few of the ASIO control panel setting options soon to see if I can detect any change.

Snip of preference screen, and debug text file from 'Levels' section, uploaded below.
 

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<<<<SNIP>>>>I just tried the ASIO driver with 44 and 48kHz sample rate settings, and the calibration process proceeds through to the 'make a measurement' window and the status shows 'ready to measure ...', and this time the In and Ref In level meters show they have been driven down to a low level and dither about waiting, so the process perhaps is not able to configure a return signal path.
<<<<SNIP>>>>
REW doesn't have the capability to make complete soft-patch loops, all from within itself.

IOW, one can't direct an REW output signal back into an REW input without actually going through a physical ( soundcard ) output and then back into a physical ( soundcard ) input ( all via a cable ) .

Perhaps the problem here is your cabling ( or lack of ??) and routing expectations for REW ( that just don't exist ) .
- You have yet to mention your physical cabling setup .

:)

EDIT: gone till Wed.
 

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In post #7 I started by identifying correct REW operation with direct loopback cable (stereo 3.5mm male to male). The Java options are pretty straightforward, but happy to push this wheelbarrow for ASIO to see how far it can go :smile:

I did a similar mod to a bare-bones stereo USB soundcard 2-3 years ago, as a guide for others who wanted to play in that field, and got some feedback from a Glasgow Uni prac supervisor preparing low cost oscilloscope interfaces for students.

http://dalmura.com.au/projects/Soundcard%20mods.pdf
 

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In post #7 I started by identifying correct REW operation with direct loopback cable (stereo 3.5mm male to male). The Java options are pretty straightforward, but happy to push this wheelbarrow for ASIO to see how far it can go :smile:

I did a similar mod to a bare-bones stereo USB soundcard 2-3 years ago, as a guide for others who wanted to play in that field, and got some feedback from a Glasgow Uni prac supervisor preparing low cost oscilloscope interfaces for students.

http://dalmura.com.au/projects/Soundcard%20mods.pdf
Sorry, that bit about having used a cable ( with your successful JAVA setup ) obviously didn't stick .

You might consider the 35mm TRRS input jack ( of this card ) as a possible gremlin here ( that needs to be explored & eliminated ).
- The extra "R" (ring) on your soundcard is meant for the microphone found in a gamers Headset.

If you are simply using a standard 35mm, TRS>TRS cable ( instead of a 35mm TRRS > ??? breakout cable ) you might be triggering a VCA controlled, auto-sensing circuit that then limits the sample rate of your soundcard .

You need to be using something like this (at least on the input side) to explore this possibility;



:)
 

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Tim,

It really appears to me that you'll have no success at using ASIO4ALL with REW ( when expecting a stable 96K sampling rate from a "wrapped" WDM driver ).

I just don't think ASIO4ALL supports 96K properly.

I hooked up my Focusrite 2i2 ( which has it's own 96K ASIO driver > it also works properly with REW in ASIO mode ) and I could not get ASIO4ALL to provide a reliable 96K data stream ( that didn't sputter & stop & restart during the measurement sweep > leaving gaps in the captured data ).

The ASIO4ALL website ( forum ) is pretty opaque regarding these sort of limitations/boundaries ( so this is one of those situations where one simply has to try it out to see if it works ).

I'm now quite confident you'll need to buy a soundcard ( with an ASIO driver sporting 96K capabilty > & then use it with a custom-built voltage divider jig for protection ) to make your amplifier-level distortion measurements.

:)

BTW; Your mention of 96K success with TrueRTA is somewhat of a misdirection ( for anyone else reading along since TrueRTA doesn't support ASIO drivers ) because it was mentioned within the context of an ASIO discussion .
 

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Thanks for the extra assistance, and effort, Earl. I was going to play around with tip and ring connection paths this weekend - I will try and see what happens.

The comments about TrueRTA were just to indicate that the USB device could operate at 96kHz sampling with an app that supported 96kHz with the base MS driver, given the REW Java driver only supports up to 48kHz sampling rate.

My main aim was to explore what practical performance and limits occur with the cheapest USB soundcard I've come across, so I'm pleased to get this far in awareness. Sort of an R&D effort. I have had a working measurement acquisition path for a while, including the EMU-0404 192kHz sampling card with ASIO drivers for when the situation requires it, so it's not that I need this particular cheapy USB soundcard to work.

Time can help sometimes - such as from REW or ASIO4ALL updates.
 

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Hi Tim,

I do get something out of these threads from time to time ( & it's not predictable where this new knowledge will come from ).
- Now I know that a 96K WDM driver should work with ASIO4ALL.

Anyways, you might of noticed my new thread ( about ASIO4ALL & the 96K sampling rate ).
- If so, you'll see that I was able to finally get my hardware/driver to sample at 96K in the ASIO4ALL wrapper.
- It took a while, with a bit of "coaching" given to REW.
- It was like I had to build up its' confidence first ( with the driver/device combo ) by walking it through successful>successive lower rates ( 48K>88.2K>96K ) before it would sample at 96K in a repeatable way ( all quite bizarre really ).

:)
 

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I just went through a matrix of checks myself.

My USB is custom - only the right output is electrically connected to the output socket (tip). So I am using a loopback connection that connects right output to left + right input.

I have set ASIO4All to 44kHz, and ASIO control recognises the device as 2 channel O/P and 2 ch I/P. I can get to 'Make a measurement' in calibrate process when ASIO is set for O/P to 1, O/P reference to 1, and I/P to 1 or 2, and loopback to 2 or 1 respectively. The calibrate process (make a measurement screen) shows it is detecting I/P and I/P ref signals (they seem to be at noise floor levels), however there is no O/P level detection. The I/P levels sometimes spike up, which I guess is due to a gain command change.

I did a variety of ASIO setting changes (always stopping REW and re-inserting USB to reset everything) but no improvement. I checked the MS Sound app settings, and modified them. I used an unadulterated USB card of same make/type, and same response. I used a USB card with just 44/48kHz stereo performance that ASIo panel correctly shows as 2ch O/P, and 1 ch I/P, and also got the same outcome.

It is as if the REW calibrate process was not able to command an O/P to the device using ASIO4all, as the indication is the I/Ps are being appropriately sensed.

Anyway, that's enough fun for now. Thanks Earl for the hand holding - yes forums are great for extending out awareness and appreciation. Ciao, Tim
 
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