AL Convolver Volume Control / Gain Staging

aps

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I’m using Roon as a front end that sends audio to Audiolense Convolver which executes filters for 3-way active speakers. These 6-channels are sent via USB to a RME Fireface and onto the various power amps etc.

The problem is that there is too much gain in the system with a15 to 20 dB reduction needed for comfortable listening when the RME is set to low gain output (-10dBV). All this is a result of high efficiency speakers and power amps with 29dB gain. As an aside, noise is not an issue.

What is the best option for managing this gain reduction? I’ve got Roon set at 0dB so that AL convolver operates on the full signal. This then leaves the choices being to reduce gain in the digital domain using either the AL Convolver volume control or trim the on RME Fireface outputs via TotalMix. Which of these is the right answer? And, with noise not an issue, how much attenuation within AL Convolver can be delivered before there is a loss in resolution?

P.S. Also considering adding analog volume control between the RME Fireface and power amps but hoping to avoid the cost, space etc. if a digital solution is available.
 

Iansr

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As someone who intends to use an RME UFX as a multi-channel DAC I’m interested in this. I’ll probably be using lower gain amps on my mid/ tweeter horn, but I am still anticipating having to equalise the gain with the woofer amp with Totalmix.
 

Ofer

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Hi aps,
How do you currently control the volume? Through Roon? did you ditch the miniDSP as digital preamp?
 

juicehifi

Audiolense
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This relates to sound quality as well as convenience.
In Al convolver you can set up the volume control to max at -20 dB or whatever you prefer. You his is a convenient solution, and it may be good enough if you don’t hear any electronic noise.

The ideal solution with regards to soound: noise ratio and sound quality is to reduce the sensitivity in the power amps. A strong line level signal is a good way to prevent noise from becoming audible. But that is not always a realistic alternative.

If the attenuation in RME is digital you may as well do it in the convolver. But if there’s a gain setting there that influences the level out of the analog stage you should probably compare it with attenuation in Al-convolver or anywhere else in the digital domain.
 

aps

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Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 4, 2018
Messages
45
This relates to sound quality as well as convenience.
In Al convolver you can set up the volume control to max at -20 dB or whatever you prefer. You his is a convenient solution, and it may be good enough if you don’t hear any electronic noise.

The ideal solution with regards to soound: noise ratio and sound quality is to reduce the sensitivity in the power amps. A strong line level signal is a good way to prevent noise from becoming audible. But that is not always a realistic alternative.

If the attenuation in RME is digital you may as well do it in the convolver. But if there’s a gain setting there that influences the level out of the analog stage you should probably compare it with attenuation in Al-convolver or anywhere else in the digital domain.

Much appreciated. Yes, the RME has three gain settings and I've got the unit set to the lowest setting (-10dBV). I'll set a limit of -20dB within AL Convolver as the next step and check noise as well as sound quality. Agree that the ideal answer is to find low-gain power amps but these are rare beasts. Thanks for the help.
 

aps

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Thread Starter
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Aug 4, 2018
Messages
45
This relates to sound quality as well as convenience.
In Al convolver you can set up the volume control to max at -20 dB or whatever you prefer. You his is a convenient solution, and it may be good enough if you don’t hear any electronic noise.

The ideal solution with regards to soound: noise ratio and sound quality is to reduce the sensitivity in the power amps. A strong line level signal is a good way to prevent noise from becoming audible. But that is not always a realistic alternative.

If the attenuation in RME is digital you may as well do it in the convolver. But if there’s a gain setting there that influences the level out of the analog stage you should probably compare it with attenuation in Al-convolver or anywhere else in the digital domain.

Bernt

I've been tinkering with measurements and gain control but run into a problem. The problem is that AL Convolver is no longer able to be enabled as a device within Roon. This appears to have happened with an update that I applied to Roon after listening to some music. The current situation is that AL Convolver is running with Process: audiolense_host but the Audiolense ASIO device is listed as "Device Not Found" within Roon. Any idea how to resolve?
 

juicehifi

Audiolense
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I believe Roon sometimes ignores a device after instances where Roon and the device aren't operating properly. . I reinstalled Roon when this happened to me (while adapting the convolver to Roon). As far as I remember I reinstalled both client and server. Maybe there is a way to reset Roon without a complete reinstall. I don't know.
 
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aps

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I believe Roon sometimes ignores a device after instances where Roon and the device aren't operating properly. . I reinstalled Roon when this happened to me (while adapting the convolver to Roon). As far as I remember I reinstalled both client and server. Maybe there is a way to reset Roon without a complete reinstall. I don't know.
I've uninstalled and reinstalled both Roon and AL Convolver but the problem remains. Also, attempted a fix that I saw on the Roon forum that involved renaming the RaatServer folder. Anyone have any other suggestions?
 

juicehifi

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I recommend that you try the Roon support unless someone gives you the right answer here.
 
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aps

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I believe Roon sometimes ignores a device after instances where Roon and the device aren't operating properly. . I reinstalled Roon when this happened to me (while adapting the convolver to Roon). As far as I remember I reinstalled both client and server. Maybe there is a way to reset Roon without a complete reinstall. I don't know.

I recommend that you try the Roon support unless someone gives you the right answer here.

Well, no response to date on the Roon Support forum but back on with music using the in-built Roon convolution. Interestingly, there seems to be a problem with channel mapping as my 5 output channels 1-5 get mapped to 1-3 & 7-8. I have solved the issue in RME Total Mix but if anyone know how to disable channel mapping within Roon so that AL generated set of filters just work then please let me know. Fingers crossed that sanity is restored with the next Roon update and I can return to AL convolver.
 

BenToronto

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May 22, 2017
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Gain management matters and not always easy to balance the competing requirements. In my system, I ended up wiring a simple "vintage" method that proved to be an entirely good solution esp since I can reach the gizmo from my chair.

I made a box with stacked Bourne pots (potentiometers, AKA volume controls) and lots of RCA jacks and a knob with numbers on it (like the "11" in Spinal Tap). Goes between the DSP (Behringer DCX2496) and all the power amps.

B.
 
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Omid

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I recommend that you try the Roon support unless someone gives you the right answer here.
I’ve ran into the same issue. After a Roon update, my audio device (a Motu DAC) could no longer be found. Asio4all, JRiver, and Audiolense convolver all disappeared too

Uninstalling and reinstalling Roon and various fixes failed to solve the issue. No one on the Roon forum had any solutions. I had to uninstall Audiolense convolver 1.7. That allowed Roon to find all the devices again.

Bernt somehow there seems to be a conflict between the newest Roon update and AL convolver 1.7.
 

juicehifi

Audiolense
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I'm running Roon version 1.8 here. It's stated to be the latest release ... and it is working with the convolver. Which version are you running?
 

Omid

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I'm running Roon version 1.8 here. It's stated to be the latest release ... and it is working with the convolver. Which version are you running?
I’m sorry I must’ve missed the update. I was still running 1.7. I’ll try the newest version tonight. thank you for your help.
 

juicehifi

Audiolense
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I am not using Roon on a regular basis, but I have a license to see how Roon works with the convolver. This time I simply started Roon with old settings and it worked. But if I were using it on a family basis the same problem as you are seeing might surface.

Roon strongly dislikes asio requests that requires a response… like changing buffer size and a couple of other things. It usually handles these callbacks while it’s not playing music , but the asio implementation is very fragile … and Roon is quick to dismiss sound cards during playback when something happens that an asio player should handle.. The asio implementation is not up to the standard, imo.
 

Omid

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I am not using Roon on a regular basis, but I have a license to see how Roon works with the convolver. This time I simply started Roon with old settings and it worked. But if I were using it on a family basis the same problem as you are seeing might surface.

Roon strongly dislikes asio requests that requires a response… like changing buffer size and a couple of other things. It usually handles these callbacks while it’s not playing music , but the asio implementation is very fragile … and Roon is quick to dismiss sound cards during playback when something happens that an asio player should handle.. The asio implementation is not up to the standard, imo.
I misread your post. I thought you were saying there is a convolver version 1.8 now. I turns out you were talking about Roon 1.8 !!

So to clarify: the problem was with AL Convolver 1.7 and Roon 2.0 build 1272. I did not have any problems running convolver 1.7 with any previous version of Roon. It even worked with Roon 2.0. It 's just their latest build (1272) that created an issue.

Their latest release notes include the following changes (perhaps they may explain where the problem came from):
  • Updated Roon to use .NET6 framework on Windows
  • Fixed a rendering issue in Signal Path in Windows
 

aps

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I misread your post. I thought you were saying there is a convolver version 1.8 now. I turns out you were talking about Roon 1.8 !!

So to clarify: the problem was with AL Convolver 1.7 and Roon 2.0 build 1272. I did not have any problems running convolver 1.7 with any previous version of Roon. It even worked with Roon 2.0. It 's just their latest build (1272) that created an issue.

Their latest release notes include the following changes (perhaps they may explain where the problem came from):
  • Updated Roon to use .NET6 framework on Windows
  • Fixed a rendering issue in Signal Path in Windows

Yes, that’s my experience - the problem was introduced with Roon 2.0 Build 1272. I’ve raised a support call as well as a thread in the Roon Forum but am still going through the diagnosis process.
 
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