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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:59 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:09 pm
Posts: 9
Hi all,

Post #1 to say 'hi' and let you know that I'm about to start using StereoTool on WinXP via a Creative Labs Audigy 2 for final output compression, stereo encoding and RDS generation for Felixstowe Community Radio, a licensed community radio station in the UK.

Until recently we were using Breakaway Broadcast Processing, and Airomate 2 - unfortunately they weren't licensed to the station itself, and went away with their owner, leaving us with a single band compressor and the built-in limiter / stereo encoder in our transmitter, welcome back to the 70s!

After much searching and soak testing* I decided that StereoTool did what we needed, and did it well - it goes live as soon as the key arrives ;)

It's nice to be able to route the pre-encoder stereo output @ 44.1kHz to the onboard sound card (Realtek ALC883), giving us a processed audio monitor in the office/studio and a convenient feed (thanks to the StereoMix loopback) for M3W and thus our Internet stream.

Phil
* Glad to report that StereoTool showed no leaks of any kind (handles, memory, cpu usage) over a 24 hour period.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:56 pm
Posts: 3564
Hi and welcome..
Glad to hear that setup did not give you any major problems.
However as i see you are using audigy2 as output for mpx. Creative soundcards are known as bad choice for 192kHz output - mpx.
You can check that here and also on breakaway and airomate site.. as not recommended soundcard.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:42 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:09 pm
Posts: 9
"Creative soundcards are known as bad choice for 192kHz output - mpx."

Interesting - it seems to have been working for the last 2 years without any particular issues - what sort of things should I be looking for?

Cheers,
Phil.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:56 pm
Posts: 3564
- Stereo separation
- RDS deviation level
- Real transmitter deviation level
- Pilot vs RDS phase difference
- FM carrier frequency difference

etc..
Also check this http://www.diffusionsoftware.com/soundcards.php


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:03 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:09 pm
Posts: 9
OK - I was obviously too tired with those earlier posts - it's an Audigy 4, not a 2.. my apologies for forgetting what was installed - going live early Saturday morning :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:40 am
Posts: 10033
Not sure if that matters... A few years ago when I wrote the stereo and RDS encoder I bought a Creative X-Fi Audio card, and I managed to get RDS to work the first time... But I've never been able to reproduce it. Then I did some measurements, feeding the output back to the input and I was shocked to see how badly the signal had changed - it was nearly unrecognizable.

So I contacted the Creative helpdesk and told them what I was trying to do, their words: "You cannot do that with our cards - get a professional one".

I did (an ESI Juli@) and that has worked perfectly since. (Well I don't have it anymore, it's at a Belgian station that urgently needed one... But I'll get something soon again).


Try this:
- Go to FM Transmitter -> Calibration, and enable "Left channel silence" (or right, don't remember what it was). Then check how silent it really is. You should hear "nearly" nothing on that channel, if you have good reception.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:07 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:09 pm
Posts: 9
Thanks for the suggested test hvz, I'll try that ASAP.

We have a pair of Juli@'s in the source machines feeding the desk, it sounds like I should extract some more cash from the station and buy one more for the MPX generator PC.

Cheers,
P


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:40 am
Posts: 10033
Or just swap them - having a very good card at the MPX output is far more important than anywhere else in the chain!


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