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introducing sKit 1.5

Hi there.

I uploaded a new version (1.5.) of sKit.

Full Digital Amp News

In 2012 I wrote an article about Full Digital Amps. I just updated it a little.  That's one part of the news.

During those days I was trying and tweaking several of these FDAs. I really liked the technology and the idea behind it. And they sounded extremely clean and dynamic already back then. IMO cleaner and more dynamic then most DAC-amp combos I had listened to. In the article I describe what I didn't like and why I left that idea alone. Just to mention it: It was mainly due to the mediocre digital pre-stages of these amps. These amps also need top notch USB receivers, filters, clocks, DSP/SRC, power supplies, regulation, layouts, isolation etc. During those days that's IMO been a major weak spot. 

I still kept watching for developments. Not much was happening over the years.

PI4 as standalone music player

Just wanted to let you know. I am onto something.

I managed to build a standalone player based on RPi4, LMS and squeezelite - all on one machine.

OK. Not that it would be such a big challenge  to get something like that going. ;)

To get something like that going and performing better than anything else you had in front of you, that's something. 

Obviously I had to do quite some tweaking to get there and that includes a realtime kernel which unfortunately is no longer supported by the pCP folks.


All I am saying. Those of you with DACs sensitive to upstream changes, let me tell you, there's more to gain.

I am not sure yet, if I am gonna make a major project out of it. It'd take me quite some effort.

Enjoy.

sKit meets piCorePlayer 8.0

 I just wanted to let you know, that sKit also supports recently launched piCorePlayer 8.0.


I highly recommend to tu run the piCorePlayer upgrade. The insitu upgrade shouldn't kill anything.

However I'd agree with the pCP folks to run a fresh install.

Kernel, gcc and a lot more has been updated. It's IMO worth it.


https://docs.picoreplayer.org/downloads/


Enjoy.


Everything that matters...

"Not everything that matters, can be measured. Not everything that can be measured, matters"




That's a slightly adopted quote of Albert Einstein. ;)

introducing sKit 1.4 (beta)

Hi folks.

I worked a little on sKit to make it more convenient and stable.

* most of the tweaks get automatically installed now
   no real need to dig into the Audio Streaming series anymore. 

* sKit-manager remove function - removes everything from now on
   there shouldn't be any sKit trace left anymore once that is done.

What's basically left for to you do is

  1. you install a fresh pCP image,
  2. increase it to at least 200MB, 
  3. configure your audio interface via WEB-UI and
  4. install sKit

 At that point you should have a well tuned system up'n running.

On 1.4 I added some changes to the affinity tweak. I now assign squeezelite to
CPU 1 and 2 without isolating these CPUs anymore.

The documentation also got updated. And of course this or that error got corrected.

sKit 1.4 needs a fresh pCP install as base. Using sKit-manager update won't work. Sorry for that.

sKit 1.4 is still beta. I'll wait for 2 weeks for feedback before officially releasing sKit 1.4. I count on your feedback.


Enjoy.




introducing sKit 1.1

 I've added some interesting new features to sKit (1.1).

introducing soundcheck's tuning kit - pCP (sKit) 1.0

 I'd like to introduce the first release of soundcheck's tuning kit - pCP (sKit) .

sKit provides a small and potentially growing number of little tools that'll help to setup piCorePlayer 7.0+ and Rpi4  and 3 in line with the advanced tuning recommendations outlined in my Audio Streaming Series.

The underlying idea is to take quite a basic operating system like piCorePlayer and tune it that way that it'll provide you with the best possible performance -- challenging most other (audiophile) OSes and streaming solutions out there.

This is not just another of these meanwhile numerous "audiophile" operating system out there though. In principle these do nothing else then applying this or that tweak you'll also find on this blog for years. The idea is to provide you with a tuning kit instead. You take it and apply it to that standard operating system installation yourself. And sKit supports you on that. 

You'll put yourself in the driver seat. And you control the pace.

sKit already goes slightly beyond the earlier outlined Audio Streaming Series scope. You should still go through the Audio Streaming Series step-by-step though. sKit doesn't cover all settings yet. At the relevant spots inside the Audio Streaming Series I refer to sKit.


sKit 1.0


I hope you'll enjoy the results.

SC

volume control - linear - pro-audio style

Ever thought about volume controls (VC)? 

...how they work? 
...digital volume controls in particular?

or... 

...do you simply slide your VCs up'n down enjoying the sound level getting up'n down !?!? 

Introducing: The Audio Streaming Series

I finally managed to restructure and update my original "Raspberry Pi - The audio engine" series.

I am now calling it The Audio Streaming Series

The goal was to make it easier for readers to follow the project step-by-step. 

Audio meets IoT (DIY)

I am running RPis and (HAT) DACs for years by now. One thing's been bothering me all the time. 

The powering scheme. The handling of it to be exact. I've still been pulling plugs all the time for that very purpose. Pulling plugs in a lab is one thing, doing that in a living room is simply not acceptable on the long run. How do you tell your wife or kids how to turn on that DIY monster-stereo !?!? Push that plug, next this one and finally that one. Simply not possible.

I finally thought to get some Wifi controlled mains plugs in place. Neither Dect, infrared nor bluetooth controlled devices made it on my wishlist.

Let see what IoT (Internet of Things) projects are offering...


RPI - All lights off

I just thought it would be nice to share with you
how to get a lighthouse tower like the RPI to pretend being dead.

Unfortunately even the most current RPI operating systems 
doesn't offer such a trivial and nice tweak via user interface. 

That leaves us only one option: Commandline intervention!
 





CD - RIP

(Latest Update: Oct-2020)

Anybody out there still ripping CDs? Or is it just me. ;)




Recently I figured that some tracks were missing. No idea when and why this happened. OK. Quick decision taken. Re-Rip the affected CDs. Yep - I still keep my CDs in the attic.

Gee Wiz... Re-Ripping a track "quickly" turned out into a major exercise (nightmare).

This article gives some background info and directions related to CD ripping and CD tagging.

networking - RPI dongle your net

I'd like to share an - IMO - nice alternative network setup solution for the RPI3 (It'll also work on the Pi Zero).




The solution will nicely add to, or you might also call it  - enhance -, earlier described networking solution.  







networking - my audio data highway

Years back I mentioned that the network and associated components do have quite an impact on your audio performance. 
Meanwhile this became common knowledge in - let's call it - audiophile minded circles. 

As usual, I prefer reasonably (priced) highest performance solutions. 
Usually a healthy mix of DIY efforts and commercial stuff gets me there. 

Today I'd like to introduce my "currently" preferred "audio" streaming network solution.







Raspberry PI - I2S-HATs @ 384k

Today I'd like to share how to introduce 352k8/384k upsampling 
by running LogitechMediaServer as server and squeezelite as a client.

This post, from a hardware perspective,  pretty much relates to my 

RPI I2S HAT DAC projects I've been running over at DIY-Audio.

Some DACs (TI PCM51xx family) have shown a slightly improved performance 

while running upsampled material. That's the main reason for writing all this up. 





Linux USB Audio - Trouble Shooting

(Latest update: Jan-13-2021)

USB-Audio Interfaces are pretty much commodity products nowadays. Usually they are Plug'n Play
on whatever system.

In the early days people faced a lot of hick ups with USB Audio. This situation has greatly improved over the last 10 years though.

However. From time to time you still see discussions popping up about this or that issue related to USB-Audio. 

The silent death...

(Latest Update: Jun/2020)

Does it make U feel uneasy ( once in a while ) of not being in control of something? 
Have you ever experienced that such an uneasy feeling grows on you with time?

OR... 

RU the type of person who takes it easy  -  "What I don't know, I don't care to know..." ?  


Whatever type of person you're considering yourself to be, I'd suggest to spend 10 minutes to find out what the heck this guy is talking about.