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VIRUAL Audio Processing

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Voodoo Audio Crew Moderator

Joined: 09 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:33 pm    Post subject: VIRUAL Audio Processing Reply with quote

The strive for improved eSSB at the lowest possibly cost is still staple. More than a lot of us have spent thousands on audio processing components alone. But cost isn't the only factor I'm wanting to touch upon. We also have to take into consideration the time consuming task of physically plugging and unplugging, rearranging/altering the audio path and even being LIMITED by the components' "laws"/restrictions themselves. This is what takes place for the most part in the Analog world. Analog IS Infinite. But though Digital is absolute, its LIMITLESS. So, as the future barrels toward us, technology will do as we've been encouraged to endure, advance.

For the past few months I've encountered many Amateurs Radio operators whom have been delighting themselves with Virtual Audio Processing. These are not necessarily eSSB'ers. In fact, most don't consider themselves SSB Audiophiles. For the most part they are guys stepping away for the reputable W2IHY 8-Bander to [D]igital [A]udio [W]orkstation software. This isn't a new concept integrating its way into Amateur Radio. But ease of access this method of processing and successful results is building a growing interest.

About a week ago I too ventured into this VAP (as I call it). I acquired the Steinberg UR22 USB Audio Interface, installed drivers, opened one of the few DAW's I used for audio production and was on my way. The reason I chose the UR22 was based on reports, reviews and Steinberg's boast of ZERO latency. The unit comes bundled with a Download Key allowing the purchaser a FREE copy of CuBase 5 LE--don't be fooled, for Ham Radio, the Limited Edition is really powerful. Personally, I chose to use Presonus Studio One 2.

Setup was a easier than blinking your eyes. For my setup the unit required only 3 connections; microphone, USB and Line Level Out to my Jensen which feeds the ACC2 on the TS-870. Oh, did I mention the UR22 is powered by the USB cable?? If you already have a decent PC or laptop, you'll be just fine. I have yet to see it become a Resource Hog.

There are some really sweet features/benefits with going this route. Thus far I've narrowed my Profile choices to four from the many I created. A great aspect I've always welcomed with Digital was recalling parameters on the fly, as with the renown Behringer DSP 1124P. But in the software world, its just double click and done. Have different mics and a Profile for each, double click on that Profile--no need to change settings on several components. Need or want multiple IDENTICAL processors?? No problem. KA-POW!!!!...there they are. Want a Gate, an EQ, Compressor, Sonic Exiter, BRICKWALL LIMITER?? You got it!! Want to swap the audio processing chain?? Just drag and drop!!--no more tangled wires. RFI, noise getting thru a particular component?? GONE!!! Make a change to your setup/Profile you liked , hit "Save", give it a weird-ass name to remember it by. Cost?? Almost all Amateur stations incorporate a computer, so let's remove that as a cost factor. The UR22's cost is a fraction of a standard rack gear setup. Even costing quite less than the 'IHY 8-Bander. But let's cut to the chase. For $149, you will can have a RIDICULOUS and LIMITLESS amount control over your audio. Aaaaaaaand you can have hundreds of thousands of dollars with of audio processing for this moderate price.

A quick note on latency which is a huge concern. Lowest I've been able to reduce processing time on my PC is 6.43 milliseconds with NO adverse affect on audio quality. Seriously, you can't hear that delay.

Since installing the UR22 my entire audio rack has been disconnected--even at this writing after one week in, all rack components have remained offline. I'm sure the "purists" will challenge, downplay and expose any and all flaws with going Virtual. But the truth is what it is. And for Amateur Radio, this can easily equate to "overkill". Twisted Evil

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Voodoo Audiophile

Joined: 27 Apr 2013
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I am very intrigued by your posting and having heard you on the air makes me want to try this too Cool Nothing wrong with experimentation and who knows there might be a slew of discoveries for everyone along the way too.

Granted, I am a relatively new kid on the eSSB block but in a way it may also be good as I am liable to fall "prey" to all kinds of avenues to explore as I know so little Wink

Catch you again next time!

73 de JJ
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Voodoo Guru
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Digital.....yuk spit!! Vomit

Analog..... Super

Great write up !kant, it will be very interesting to hear a continued review on this stuff.

Take Care,
Voodoo Guru
From Deep in the IDD of the Sub-Harmonix Realm
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