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Cheap solution for music in silence

Krunok

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#41
I'm still not sure why it would be better to use Volumio than a standard mini-PC with JRiver if both are silent.
The mini-PC with 2Gb Ram costs less than 200$ new, 100$ used. It has a keyboard and a screen. It could also be used for other purpose like watching movies.
The Volumio can be controlled with a remote control, that is to say a smartphone. I have one but it's not as convenient for storing files, etc.
Although you can attach an USB drive to the device running Volumio it works best with NAS or some other device acting as a file server on your home network.
 

somebodyelse

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#42
Cool, let us know what your experience is when trying the Pi with a convolver.

If it works correctly, I guess you're settled. :)
First up, Daphile on an old HP nc4000 laptop from 2003 or so, with a 1.4GHz Pentium M single core cpu and 512MB, running from a USB stick since the HDD failed. Output was via USB through a Focusrite Forte. The cpu was limited to 600MHz via the Daphile power settings, so the fan doesn't need to start. I used 65536 filter size, 48kHz, generated using REW and PORC. The media server was my existing logitechmediaserver instance, so not running on Daphile, but the local gui was enabled. It played everything I tried glitch free, from mp3 cd rips to 24/352 flac samples from 2L. It doesn't have ssh enabled, and the web interface doesn't show cpu usage, so I can't see how close to the limit it is or whether it's likely to cope with higher sample rates. Remember this is a single x86 core at 600MHz, and 512MB. This is why I think the i3 is overkill, at least when Windows is removed from the equation.

Now I need to get to grips with how Volumio's BruteFIR configs work as it's a bit different to Daphile, then try it on both the nc4000 and a pi 3.
 

Krunok

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#43
Now I need to get to grips with how Volumio's BruteFIR configs work as it's a bit different to Daphile, then try it on both the nc4000 and a pi 3.
Nothing much to configure with BruteFIR on Volumio - choose sampling frequency and filter size (number of taps), with 96kHz 65536 taps is fine.
Set output format, for newer DACs probably S32_LE should be ok.

Finally, when you create your filters set input attenuation according to the highest peak of the filters you created, and you're done. ;)

P.S. USB DACs won't work well with RPI as USB port is poorly implemented to share connection with network and WiFi so you'll be hearing pops. The only solution is to use I2S DAC.

 

somebodyelse

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#44
Nothing much to configure with BruteFIR on Volumio - choose sampling frequency and filter size (number of taps), with 96kHz 65536 taps is fine.
Set output format, for newer DACs probably S32_LE should be ok.
Thanks for the advice, it's just a little different to the Daphile config. The docs, and your thread, assume use of rePhase, so I need to see if it'll run under Wine, or find out enough about the config format to use something that runs on linux. I've only just started playing with DRC so it could be one of those things that's so obvious to someone who's done it before that you don't even think to mention it.
P.S. USB DACs won't work well with RPI as USB port is poorly implemented to share connection with network and WiFi so you'll be hearing pops. The only solution is to use I2S DAC.
So I've read, and given the Forte is a low latency device I expect it to be a problem. I'd like to try it myself though so I can speak from experience rather than repeat received wisdom.
 

Krunok

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#45
Thanks for the advice, it's just a little different to the Daphile config. The docs, and your thread, assume use of rePhase, so I need to see if it'll run under Wine, or find out enough about the config format to use something that runs on linux. I've only just started playing with DRC so it could be one of those things that's so obvious to someone who's done it before that you don't even think to mention it.
You can use any FIR tool, logic about configuring BruteFIR on Volumio is the same.

So I've read, and given the Forte is a low latency device I expect it to be a problem. I'd like to try it myself though so I can speak from experience rather than repeat received wisdom.
Many have tried and experienced pops (myself included), but if you want to check it yourself.. :D
 

somebodyelse

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#46
You can use any FIR tool, logic about configuring BruteFIR on Volumio is the same.
Not quite. The 'obvious if you know how' part is that Volumio's brutefir3 plugin expects the coefficients in a wav file, and 'silently' fails if you supply them in a wav file which is what Daphile uses and PORC outputs. The plugin also fails 'silently' with the Forte as the output device - there's a problem configuring the channel count which may be because the Forte is a 4 channel device not a 2 channel one. Disable the plugin and playback is fine. I say 'silently' because the web gui gives no indication that restarting BruteFIR has failed, just a green box saying it's restarting when you change the config. If you ssh in and check the log with
Code:
sudo journalctl -f
you get to see the errors when it fails to start. I may be able to get it working by editing the config template
Code:
/data/plugins/audio_interface/brutefir/brutefir.conf.tmpl
but it's proving to be more work that Daphile was.
Many have tried and experienced pops (myself included), but if you want to check it yourself.. :D
My other USB interface is a lowly UCA202 which only does 16 bit 44.1kHz. With the example configs, and after dropping the sample rate and format so that BruteFIR would actually start, it plays. There were no pops when playing a couple of the high def L2 samples. mpd was at ~17% cpu, and the 2 brutefir.real processes were ~7% each, so it does appear to be doing more than just passthrough. How often would you expect pops, or do they not occur at such low sample rates?
 

Krunok

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#48
Not quite. The 'obvious if you know how' part is that Volumio's brutefir3 plugin expects the coefficients in a wav file, and 'silently' fails if you supply them in a wav file which is what Daphile uses and PORC outputs. The plugin also fails 'silently' with the Forte as the output device - there's a problem configuring the channel count which may be because the Forte is a 4 channel device not a 2 channel one. Disable the plugin and playback is fine. I say 'silently' because the web gui gives no indication that restarting BruteFIR has failed, just a green box saying it's restarting when you change the config. If you ssh in and check the log with
Code:
sudo journalctl -f
you get to see the errors when it fails to start. I may be able to get it working by editing the config template
Code:
/data/plugins/audio_interface/brutefir/brutefir.conf.tmpl
but it's proving to be more work that Daphile was.

My other USB interface is a lowly UCA202 which only does 16 bit 44.1kHz. With the example configs, and after dropping the sample rate and format so that BruteFIR would actually start, it plays. There were no pops when playing a couple of the high def L2 samples. mpd was at ~17% cpu, and the 2 brutefir.real processes were ~7% each, so it does appear to be doing more than just passthrough. How often would you expect pops, or do they not occur at such low sample rates?
Volumio brutefir plugins expects filters in txt format. If I remember correctly BruteFIR won't work with wav filters but will with dbl filters.
Yes, I believe number of channels may be the reason it fails, to correct that you need to edit config file manually.
Please describe your issue here and it will be corrected by developer, he is watching that thread on daily basis.

I used RPI 3 B+, without BruteFIR it played even the HiRes content without pops but with BruteFIR pops start o appear. How often they appear is related to the bandwidth of the content being streamed via the network interface. With 128kbps Internet radio stream they are practically non existent but they start to appear with 320kbps mp2. With BruteFIR set to 44.1kHz content you can expect app 1 pop per minute, it gets more frequent with 96kHz. As I said, it has nothing to do with CPU utilisation but with the fact that USB ports are sharing the same bus with network ports (Eth and WiFi), thus if you use a card like Allo DIGIONE and connect your DAC via SPDIF you won't get any pops.

Btw, from what I can see Daphile also uses BruteFIR convolution engine as plugin so if you managed to use wav filter format with it this can be done with BruteFIR on Volumio as well. Please let me know if that is the case and I willl arrange for the necessary changes to be made in BruteFIR plugin for Volumio.
 
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somebodyelse

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#49
Yes, I believe number of channels may be the reason it fails, to correct that you need to edit config file manually.
Please describe your issue here and it will be corrected by developer, he is watching that thread on daily basis.
I've confirmed the cause and template editing workaround, and filed issue #208.

I used RPI 3 B+ too. From what you say I should probably have heard pops when streaming 24/352.8 flac through brutefir even with the uca202 at 44.1kHz, but I didn't. Now I've got the Forte working I'll generate configs for higher rates with rePhase and see what happens on both the Pi and slow x86. Is there a better place to take this part of the discussion, as it's a bit OT for this thread?

Btw, from what I can see Daphile also uses BruteFIR convolution engine as plugin so if you managed to use wav filter format with it this can be done with BruteFIR on Volumio as well. Please let me know if that is the case and I willl arrange for the necessary changes to be made in BruteFIR plugin for Volumio.
I'll experiment a bit more before adding an enhancement request. Daphile uploads the wav file via the web interface and gives immediate feedback if it doesn't like the format, so it may be converting to raw binary and setting the binary format in the brutefir config.
 

Krunok

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#50
I'll experiment a bit more before adding an enhancement request. Daphile uploads the wav file via the web interface and gives immediate feedback if it doesn't like the format, so it may be converting to raw binary and setting the binary format in the brutefir config.
I was not able to confirm that BruteFIR works with wav filters. I managed to get it to work with dbl filters created in rePhase when I set filter format to "FLOAT64_LE".
 
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#52
Hi,

I'm after a completely silent PC, tablet or whatever to play music on JRiver or Foobar with a convolution plug in (convolver) or anything else similar.
My smartphone with Android has the Foobar app but can't use a plug-in like convolver. The JRiver app neither.

I know about totally silent PC which cost around 1 000$, but I'd rather get something cheaper.

Does it exist?

Thanks!
Who gave you that idea?
My mini pc is silent, because it has no moving parts.
Just build a pc using the atom line from Intel.
My small mini pc uses baytrail but Apollo lake is out now.
 
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#53
Who gave you that idea?
My mini pc is silent, because it has no moving parts.
Just build a pc using the atom line from Intel.
My small mini pc uses baytrail but Apollo lake is out now.
Or you can buy a thin client for $20-$40, the majority of them are fanless, and you can pretty much install whatever flavor of OS you want on them.
 
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#54
Hi,

I'm after a completely silent PC, tablet or whatever to play music on JRiver or Foobar with a convolution plug in (convolver) or anything else similar.
My smartphone with Android has the Foobar app but can't use a plug-in like convolver. The JRiver app neither.

I know about totally silent PC which cost around 1 000$, but I'd rather get something cheaper.

Does it exist?

Thanks!
Don’t even bother. Chasing “silent” anything unless you listen to John Cages 4’33”.
 

suttondesign

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#55
Used Mac Mini i7 with internal SSD is what I use. Dead quiet. Plus, you can run Windows on it easily if you prefer.
 

daftcombo

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#56
Hi guys,

I bought a used HP Stream 11 for 95$ and installed Foobar (+foo_asio_out +convolver) and the Topping D10 driver on it.
I couldn't be happier as for silence, it is indeed completely silent.
As a laptop, it is outdated and the screen is tiny.
As a music player allowing convolution, it is just perfect.
Next step will be to buy a SSD external drive.

Cheers.

PS : I forgot to mention that going from a laptop with fan to this fanless laptop was my highest gain ever in audio. Piano, chant in silence: pure bliss! And I'm sure it allows more details to be heard at some frequencies.
 

Old Listener

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#57
Then it's not what I am after. I need something fanless, otherwise there won't be much improvement over my HP laptop.
I have 3 6i5* NUCs. (Personal PCs for me and my wife and one dedicated to music playback. As long as the CPU usage stays below 25-30%, they can't be heard at 2 feet away. All it takes is 2 minutes time to adjust the fan use profile in the BIOS.

Before you spend any money, see if you can adjust the fan use settings in your laptop. In theory, a laptop can be near silent in low power usage IF the fan use settings are appropriate. My Lenovo i5 laptop doesn't have such settings and this can be made silent.
 

daftcombo

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#58
I have 3 6i5* NUCs. (Personal PCs for me and my wife and one dedicated to music playback. As long as the CPU usage stays below 25-30%, they can't be heard at 2 feet away. All it takes is 2 minutes time to adjust the fan use profile in the BIOS.

Before you spend any money, see if you can adjust the fan use settings in your laptop. In theory, a laptop can be near silent in low power usage IF the fan use settings are appropriate. My Lenovo i5 laptop doesn't have such settings and this can be made silent.
Hi,

You are right that my laptop could be silent at times but that's quite random and the fan get going when I launch JRiver.

I couldn't find anything in the BIOS to slow down the processor or the fan.

Anyway, I also need a powerful enough laptop to do a few things, so to have a dedicated silent one for music isn't a bad idea I think. When I'm done with internet, I shut this one down and let the music play in silence with the new other.
 
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#59
Ha
Hi,

You are right that my laptop could be silent at times but that's quite random and the fan get going when I launch JRiver.

I couldn't find anything in the BIOS to slow down the processor or the fan.

Anyway, I also need a powerful enough laptop to do a few things, so to have a dedicated silent one for music isn't a bad idea I think. When I'm done with internet, I shut this one down and let the music play in silence with the new other.

Have you looked into the HP flex able series thin clients. There's two on the top on my head that are cheap (depending on who you get them from or if they're bare bones or or refurbished) and are fanless.

The HP T610 (non plus), and HP T620 (non plus), both are fanless, the t610 can be found for as little as $25 depending on who you get them from or depending if they're bare bones or refurbished. While the t610 (non plus) will only take a max of 4GB ram, it does have a AMD dual core CPU @1.65ghz.

The t620 (non plus) can be found for around $35-$45 depending on who you get it from, or if it's bare bones or refurbished. The t620 (non plus) comes with either a dual core, or quad core AMD CPU, will take up to 16GB ram.

They both are pretty low power, and are silent (being they're fanless). And they're pretty small as well.

They're pretty much a no brainer if you're looking for cheap, and quiet and have enough grunt to do things (obviously they're no CPU powerhouse).
 
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#60
Literally a 2008 Dell netbook would work. Or thin clients. Audio playback, even with convolution and such, isn't that resource intensive unless you're using some ultra high quality resampler.
 
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