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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 12:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 11:19 pm
Posts: 73
Quote:
BUTT eats CPU time regardless of the audio backend. And BUTT didn't show up in Jack. Although it has a PortAudio backend that would allow to use Jack natively, it only showed ALSA and PulseAudio IO.
It is a real shame about BUTT - it's the only encoder so far that supported AAC encoding out of the box! I wish there was an easy solution to the CPU loading issue.

I have tried and tried to make AAC work with Liquidsoap without any luck whatsoever. It's not very user friendly to say the least, I tried different ways to get the %ffmpeg parameter to work in the .liq configuration file but it's always complaining about something in the log files. %fdkaac is not supported so it seems.

So I'm still streaming MP3 at 320K 44.1khz. It works but I'd still like to push the boundaries a little, AAC would appear to be a better codec to use than MP3.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 12:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 11:19 pm
Posts: 73
Quote:
Quote:
ST is very good at what it does, so good that I could hear wifi and other interference from the DAP audio feed especially when there was any silence.
Indeed. ST is also great at revealing compression artifacts in lossy audio codecs :roll: Hans put together a nice paper: https://www.thimeo.com/blog/audio-proce ... ter-sites/

Over the time I started to re-build my music archive using FLAC, because with ST you can easily tell the difference.
I completely avoid playing music from any lossy audio codec. I have Apple Music playing from the DAP in lossless mode (which is possible because the DAP contains a good quality DAC).

At the very least they are all 44.1khz 16-bit, with some tracks topping at 192khz 24-bit! The weak link here is the encoder which does need to use a better encoder such as AAC as mentioned before. This seems to be a real challenge to get to work since BUTT is too disruptive.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 12:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 11:19 pm
Posts: 73
Quote:
If you want the output of ST to stream to multiroom audio, check out: https://github.com/badaix/snapcast
Thanks for this, it looks interesting.

It turns out to be built into HiFiBerry OS, so I am considering attempting to have this on another SD card and see if I can get ST to work on it, with outputs to Liquidsoap/Icecast and also Airplay to the Audiocast M5s as that would be multi room synchronised!

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has used HiFiBerry OS with ST and what their experiences with it were etc.


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 9:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 11:19 pm
Posts: 73
So what's new?

I finally managed to get Liquidsoap working with AAC at 320K and 48khz sampling rate. It does sound better than MP3.

However, the CPU is operating at a higher temperature because I presume the encoding of AAC by Liquidsoap is harder work.

For those who want to do the same and want to know how it's done in the .liq file, let me know. It's an old version of Liquidsoap for some reason too, not sure why! I just followed a guide on line that seemed to provide an old version.

I also played around with settings on ST, turned off hard limiting (I am not feeding an FM transmitter), turned off bandpass filtering (why is this needed?), enabled the setting to optimise for lossy compression output, and also turned on the setting for analogue input/resampled - because it's an analogue feed into the HifiBerry DAC/ADC Pro from the DAP which is outputting line out for the lossless audio playback.

I am really looking forward to the next version of ST - I was excited to hear Hans mentioning in the interview that ST can run fully on the Pi 4! This is great news. Perhaps it's more optimised.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2022 5:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 11:19 pm
Posts: 73
I somehow managed to acquire another Raspberry Pi 4 which I now use for Pi hole. However, it has a lot of spare CPU capacity on it. Both Pis are connected to 1gig ethernet, not wifi.

I wondered if anyone knew how to use IP to stream ST's output from one Raspberry Pi to another, which could run Liquidsoap and Icecast. I think ST would benefit from less buffer underruns if I move the actual encoder and streamer on to a less loaded Raspberry Pi already sitting on the same network. This should then free up some more CPU resource on the Stereo Tools Raspberry Pi, which seems to struggling a bit more since I changed from MP3 to AAC encoding.

I have seen VLC streaming out on ST - but I've never managed to get that to work. I am wondering if that is the right way forward.

Any thoughts and ideas anyone?


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2022 7:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:19 am
Posts: 141
Always happy to provide some ideas. For your setup, jack would be my number one choice.
Failing that, you could take a look at VBAN, it has an incomplete but working Linux version.

Pulse audio does also support Networking, never tried it myself yet.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2022 7:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:19 am
Posts: 141
Using Jack, your setup could look like this:

Have one Pi with all the Interfaces and converters, capturing and playing back audio.
This will run JACK on ALSA backend, and load the JACK-netmanager module, i.e. the master.

Have ST-Jack on the second Pi, running JACK with net client/slave backend. No physical audio i/o.

Wire it up using patchage or other tools.

In this setup, audio would be captured on the master, sent through network to the ST Pi, processed, sent back the master and into your playouts.

See and example and complete walk-through here:
https://github.com/jackaudio/jackaudio. ... r_NetJack2


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2022 7:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 11:19 pm
Posts: 73
Quote:
Using Jack, your setup could look like this:

Have one Pi with all the Interfaces and converters, capturing and playing back audio.
This will run JACK on ALSA backend, and load the JACK-netmanager module, i.e. the master.

Have ST-Jack on the second Pi, running JACK with net client/slave backend. No physical audio i/o.

Wire it up using patchage or other tools.

In this setup, audio would be captured on the master, sent through network to the ST Pi, processed, sent back the master and into your playouts.

See and example and complete walk-through here:
https://github.com/jackaudio/jackaudio. ... r_NetJack2
Thanks as always! I'm on to this.

I'm thinking about using Jack to pick up audio from the Alsa-Loopback where Liquidsoap currently picks up audio (hw:2,1) at the master, then send to the other Raspberry Pi as the slave.

Let's see how this goes!


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2022 8:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 11:19 pm
Posts: 73
OK - the master and slave are set up and they see each other.

How do I tell liquidsoap on the slave device to listen to the captured audio by jack, because it does expect a defined reference to the sound source.

I told liquidsoap to use hw:2,1 which was the alsa-loopback on the master, so I just need to figure out the equivalent now that jack is running as a slave on the other device.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2022 8:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2022 11:19 pm
Posts: 73
Jackd2 actually worked with the Jack version of ST on the master. So probably made Alsa-Loop redundant. This was something I happened to be struggling with early on in this journey.

However, I could see the HifiBerry input channel for 'left' on ST.... but only Jack stuff on the 'right'. I couldn't find the HifiBerry input channel to change to for the right. I am wondering if some anomaly with the GUI means I couldn't see the top entry for the menu choices, so maybe somehow it was cut off.

I hope my understanding is correct in that the references to 'left' and 'right' refer to their respective stereo channels.

I even maximised ST and still couldn't see the correct input.

Although, I could manually edit the ST configuration file to match the left and right inputs....?


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