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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Continuing from the DRC thread (but hopefully opening this up to a wider audience).

I've been looking for a way to do digital XO on a Windows PC for a couple of years now. All of my music is stored on the PC and I usually run other devices (TV, DVD player, etc.) through the PC. The programs I use to do this and home automation are all Windows programs, so I can't give up the Windows box. Several Windows programs also do surround processing better than what I'm aware of for Linux. So, what about adding another Linux box after the Windows box, to accept audio streams from the Windows box, process them (DRC, Jack and BruteFIR) and then (provided that the soundcard's DACs are excellent) send them directly to the amps? The Windows box would act as a preamp / input selector / surround decoder and the Linux box would act like a "loudspeaker management system" (like a souped-up Behringer DCX2496 or Driverack -- actually, hopefully the sound quality would be more like the Klark-Teknik DN9848).

Benefits of going this route over buying similar commercial units:

1. more control over the crossover filter design (for high order linear phase filters)

2. drc

3. easier and cheaper to upgrade (either through software, or by adding more ram or a faster cpu)

4. although building another computer with high quality soundcard is expensive, it will probably still be cheaper than separate KT DN9848's for each stereo pair of a surround system(hopefully, the results will be as good or better, which, I think is achievable with excellent DACs and considering the fact that the DN9848 can't correct to the extent DRC does.


1. Possibly reliability -- keeping both PCs running constantly may be challenging.

One threshold issue that I haven't resolved is passing the streams from the Windows box to the Linux box. I would prefer to do this via firewire audio or AES3. I have a Lynx Two-B, and adding an AES16 would allow me to output the 6-8 channels of surround-decoded audio from the Windows box into the Linux box. From what I've read, RME is the best choice for Linux (from a sound quality and Linux support point-of-view) and I think they offer a card or add-on option for AES3 input. Firewire audio is something I haven't explored fully. I've heard that basic support for it exists under Linux, though.

Any thoughts on this? Does anyone have experience with AES3 on an RME card or firewire audio?

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