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The SeeDeClip4 Declipping Music Server

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#1
Ok, I'm not really a dealer but my software is for sale and does serve these purposes:

* Helps me organise my music
* Makes many of my CDs sound better
* Selling copies means other people get interested and suggest stuff that makes it sound better and easier to use
* Saves me having to buy expensive gear that serves music instead
* Keeps me coding and debugging

Plus it's nice to have a forum section where shilling a product is actually allowed, rather than any new work being stamped on and deleted as is the usual HiFi forum etiquette. And it's sort of what I do.. Right, back to the shilling..



Basically it's all a little ahead of its time so no one really understands what it is, which is both a blessing and a curse. Most people expect to run a program on something and that's where it stops, they don't expect to run their own website - but SeeDeClip4 is in fact your own internal music website.

So my system usually works in this way:
1. Old AMD dual core Linux box in the garage runs SeeDeClip4 (64bit Linux version).
2. Apple Airbook 11 browses for songs to play (see screen-shot above)
3. Raspberry Pi (Raspbian) runs a SeeDeClip4 slave script that uses the ALSA sound architecture.
4. USB goes to a Phiree USb to SPDIF converted at 44.1 @ 24bits into an Ultramatch
5. The Ultramatch then feeds 88.2 into an Ultracurve (Modded to output directly from the DAC)
6. Then a class A 'superTriode' SET amp drives about 8-10W into some Usher speakers and all is good.

The webpage about the program is here: http://helium/silk/cutestudio/SeeDeClip4/index.php

My philosophy for audio is that I like listening to music of various eclectic times, and the less of a veil I have when listening the better. I'm therefore seeking clarity of sound, among the deep bass and thunderous instruments I want to hear a clear cymbal, guitar, voice and a nice melody ideally with words that mean something.

The software started in around 2004 when I realised my clipped CDs and my pro-audio DAC were not getting on together at all well. Very badly in fact. Instead of buying a CD player that tried to bury the problem I instead opted to fix the waveform itself by sticking the peaks back onto them.

So the software works to shield one from Loudness War collateral in two ways:
1) It grades the music, track by track, so I can see how good the mastering is at a glance.
2) It sticks the peaks back on.

Then if I want a closer look at the waveform and the job the software's done I look at the Studio page:


This year had a big step forward of using a histogram for the 'after' waveform too, which is excellent feedback and will influence future declipping algorithm enhancements. Current declipping performance is in general very good even though I say it myself, and will improve further over the next year.

The reason for the integrated declipping and music server was born from the simple fact that I've many thousands of tracks (yes, CDs are _everywhere_ too but that's a different story!) and batch processing those into another few hundred GB of storage is not as time/power efficient as just streaming them straight from disc, declipping and then losslessly delivering the result on demand. It also means when I change a setting or improve the algorithm I can instantly listen to it on all my music.
Which is nice. So I've got that going for me. /caddyshack ref.

The SeeDeClip4 music server etc. is basically FREE and if you do not disable the declipping it will declip exactly the first 50% of any tracks. This means the frugal can use Audacity to make all their tracks double length and use it that way, as we all know that software's always free and the real money goes into cables, ideally ones stuffed into hosepipes to look posh.
There's an option to buy a software key to unlock it for a very reasonable price, but despite this being a shilling page gentlemen still don't discuss money so we'll leave it there.

Inside:
SeeDeClip4 means See - it - declipped version 4. Versions 1 and 2 were text based, version 3 was some quite funky custom window tiling and menu code inside Xwindows, version 4 was the realisation that web technology had arrived and now worked and I wasn't going to be able to write an app for the dozens of gadgets that modern web-browsers run on these days.

Being a software architect means that the program is naturally an under appreciated miracle of engineering with the following elements all of which serve a purpose other than just stopping me getting bored.

1. Multi-threaded
2. Non blocking networking
3. Buffers system (used for all IO - it's fab and allows tidal size management for streaming)
4. Integrated php like controls system for html/C interactions
5. A generic object caching system handling music, meta, etc. that manages the ebb and flow of demand based processing
6. The use of json, CSS, Javascript, HTML for storage, presentation and control
7. Canvas based graphing
8. Easily updated

This is the architectural overview:

One never knows how a new architecture will stand the test of time but this one has been a dream for working with/on. I can add pages, controls and interactions very easily, if I want another variable on the screen it's literally a line of C and it's there ready to hook up to the program with another line. Text is easy too with a wiki-style module that interacts - i.e. the main help page has live information in it.

It's written in C for simplicity and speed with posix threads and memory checked with valgrind to make sure it's doing what it's supposed to, it can dish out gigabytes of music without breaking sweat and still interact in real time. It's relentless, efficient and I'd be at a real loss without it, I still don't understand how people cope with other systems.

So there you are, no reason not to turn that unused PC into a multi-user music server for the whole house now there's over 58,000 lines of software to help get the job done :D. Also I think you'd like the sound of declipped music, it suits some tracks better than others but the transformation on some is quite stunning.

http://www.cutestudio.net/data/SeeDeClip4/index.php
 

amirm

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#2
Wow, I didn't realize we had among us people with such serious systems design and programming skills! :)

When I get time I will give it a try.
 
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#4
Thanks Amirm :)
Let me know if you have questions, new Out Of The Box issues are useful to know!

Svart-hvitt
It serves your locally stored files only, maybe one day if I join Tidal I'll be able to add that, in the meantime you'll have to download the files first.
So no, but perhaps one day.
 
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#5
No support for streaming services like Tidal?
I looked into Tidal a bit as someone else I know mentioned that they use it. Specifically I read this:

http://www.audioholics.com/editorials/tidal-online-hi-fi-music-streaming

and looked up the site, £16.99 a month and geared toward hip-hop, or more specifically JayZ. It's funny though that in the world of streaming sites 'special HiFi quality' is a badly mastered version of the CD format established in 1982 because 48/24 wouldn't fit on the disc back then ;). So much for progress..

Much as I'd love to help JayZ out, in general I tend to buy CD's as and when I discover a good new artist - or someone I like puts out a new album or EP. First I have a look on various music sites and youtube to get an idea if I like their music enough to buy a CD. Funnily enough it's actually quite difficult to listen to some artists - I guess they are similarly puzzled why their sales are so low, unable to connect the lack of sales with a total inability for anyone to hear a note they have played.. one wonders what they could be hiding.

For the ones I can listen to; if I think it's worth a more serious listen I go on eBay and Amazon to pick up a few 2nd hand bargains - often for around £2 or less each, so I'm below the cost of Tidal really.

I did look to see if Tidal had any developer notes for integrating their site into a streaming player but couldn't find any data,, so download and play would seem to be the way it's going to be with streaming sites for the forseeable future TBH.
 

dallasjustice

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#6
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#8
Why not make this into a VST plugin?
It's a good question, I have some answers which may or may not be correct:

1) VST appears to be a studio application, the damage I see appears to be done after the studio stage.
2) There's no money to do this, and I don't use VST.

I am open to offers of huge amounts of cash though, so don't take these as fixed in concrete :D

Also sort of the point of the program is that it creates a multiuser home streaming system, if people spent less money on cables and more on CDs they wouldn't need to sign up to streaming services anyway ;)
 

dallasjustice

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#9
It's a good question, I have some answers which may or may not be correct:

1) VST appears to be a studio application, the damage I see appears to be done after the studio stage.
2) There's no money to do this, and I don't use VST.

I am open to offers of huge amounts of cash though, so don't take these as fixed in concrete :D

Also sort of the point of the program is that it creates a multiuser home streaming system, if people spent less money on cables and more on CDs they wouldn't need to sign up to streaming services anyway ;)
Jriver takes VST plugins. So if it were a VST, then you'd potentially have a huge number of Jriver customers who use Jriver for music playback.

https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Plug-In_Manager

https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Programming_Plugins_in_C#.Net

https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php/topic,32869.0.html
 
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#10
Jriver is a commercial media server at $49 I see.
Thanks for the links, I'll check them out a little more in a bit.

What do you feel are the main benefits of using Jriver - is it just the VST plugins or is it something else people like?
 

dallasjustice

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#11
It’s the most versatile and universal media player available. It caters to both audiophiles of all stripes and to videophiles. They’ve been around a long time.
Jriver is a commercial media server at $49 I see.
Thanks for the links, I'll check them out a little more in a bit.

What do you feel are the main benefits of using Jriver - is it just the VST plugins or is it something else people like?
 
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#12
It’s the most versatile and universal media player available. It caters to both audiophiles of all stripes and to videophiles. They’ve been around a long time.
SeeDeClip has been around since about 2004 (IIRC) so about the same time then.
I suspect the main difference is they were setup as a company with a team and marketing guys, which makes a difference.

I looked on Wikipedia about them, then noticed that SeeDeClip has no Wikipedia entry so I think 'visibility' might be an issue.
Really a company needs product management, engineering, testing, marketing and ideally an CFO to hoover up the EU R&D grants too, I think I'm outnumbered :)

Maybe I should change to a PLC, add 'Blockchain' to the name and cash in so I can fund it properly. Any interest in a billion CuteCoins at 10p a go?
 

mitchco

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#14
It's a good question, I have some answers which may or may not be correct:

1) VST appears to be a studio application, the damage I see appears to be done after the studio stage.
2) There's no money to do this, and I don't use VST.

I am open to offers of huge amounts of cash though, so don't take these as fixed in concrete :D

Also sort of the point of the program is that it creates a multiuser home streaming system, if people spent less money on cables and more on CDs they wouldn't need to sign up to streaming services anyway ;)
If you want to make money on your program, you may want to reconsider offering it as a VST plugin for a price. Virtually all DAW's and software media players, including consumer players, support the VST plugin model. KVR Audio is the largest marketplace of plugins, literally thousands of them: https://www.kvraudio.com/ And offers a platform for developers to sell their plugins. If your tech could support streaming services or simply real time declipping and offered as a plugin for I don't know $20 or whatever, your dream of huge amounts of cash could come true. Good luck!
 

dallasjustice

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#15
@CuteStudio
There’s a discussion about your software on Roon forum. Brian from Roon made a recommendation I’d like to know your thought on his upsampling idea.
You can accomplish declipping today by setting a modest (2-3dB at most) headroom adjustment, then upsampling the audio. The upsampling will interpolate between inter-sample clips and recover the peaks. The headroom adjustment ensures that that recovered waveform isn’t clipped again before output.

This is analogous to the method that R128 uses to determine the “true peak” level in the tracks (you can see this value in Roon). It is also the approach taken by Benchmark in their DACs. You can read more about that here6.

I’m not sure how much “extra” that product you linked is doing. Would be interesting to know more details…
https://community.roonlabs.com/t/dsp-engine-de-clipping-and-or-dynamic-expander/33424/13
 

RayDunzl

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#16
You can accomplish declipping today by setting a modest (2-3dB at most) headroom adjustment, then upsampling the audio.
My DAC does that already as a defense against inter-sample overs.

Hmm...

I don't see that as a fix for extended clippage, though.

Perfect DeClipper looks useful for those who listen to such deflicted source material, though.
 
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dallasjustice

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#17
Perfect de clipper vst is on my list to try. I’ll report back later. I’ve got some MGMT and Awolnation I want throw at it.
My DAC does that already a defense against inter-sample overs.

Hmm...

I don't see that as a fix for extended clippage, though.

Perfect DeClipper looks useful for those who listen to such deflicted sorce material, though.
 

RayDunzl

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