®
®
LAYLA LapTop
LAYLA 24
®
GINA 24
™
MIA
™
MIAMIDI
Owner’s Manual Version 3.1.1 for Windows
Important Safety Instructions
1. Read Instructions - Be sure to read all of the safety and operating instructions
before operating this product.
2. Retain Instructions - The safety instructions and owner's manual should be
retained for future reference.
3. Heed Warnings - All warnings on your Echo product and in the Owner's
Manual should be followed.
4. Follow Instructions - All operating and use instructions should be followed.
5. Moisture - Water and moisture are detrimental to the continued good health of
your Echo product. Do not install or operate your Echo product near sources of
water or moisture such as sinks, damp basements, leaky roofs, etc.
6. Heat – Your Echo product should be situated away from sources of heat such as
heaters or radiators.
7. Power Sources - This unit should be operated only from the type of power
source indicated in this documentation or on your Echo product. If you are unsure
about the type of power at your location, contact your local power company.
8. Grounding – (Does not apply to Gina24, Mia, or MiaMIDI) Precautions should
be taken so that the grounding capabilities of the unit are not undermined. This
equipment is provided with a cord with an equipment grounding conductor and
grounding plug. This plug must be plugged into an outlet that is properly installed
and grounded in accordance with all local rules and ordinances. Do not modify the
plug provided with the equipment. If the plug will not fit into your outlet, have a
proper outlet installed by a qualified electrician.
9. Power Cord Protection – (Does not apply to Gina24, Mia, or MiaMIDI) Power
supply cords should be routed so that they are unlikely to be walked on or pinched
by items placed upon or against them. Pay particular attention to protecting the
plugs, outlets, and the point at which the cord exits your Echo product.
10. Servicing - Do not attempt to service this unit yourself, as opening the case
will expose you to hazardous voltage or other dangers. All servicing should be
referred to qualified service personnel.
11. Damage Requiring Service - Unplug this unit and refer it to a qualified
service technician when any of the following occur:
a) Objects have fallen or liquid has spilled into the unit
b) The product has been exposed to rain or water
c) The product does not operate normally or when a marked change in
performance is noticed
d) The product has been dropped or damaged in any way
Sending in your registration card – or registering online at http://www.echoaudio.com/support/register.php allows us to register key information so that we may handle problems faster and inform you of advance information
on upgrades and other news. Thanks in advance for filling out your registration card and sending it to us. We hope
you enjoy your Echo product.
Limited Warranty
Echo Digital Audio Corporation warrants this product, when purchased at an Authorized Echo Dealer in the United
States of America, to be free of defects in materials and manufacturing workmanship for a period of one year from
the date of original purchase. During the warranty period Echo shall, at its option, either repair or replace any
product that proves to be defective upon inspection by Echo. Final determination of warranty coverage lies solely
with Echo. Echo reserves the right to update any unit returned for repair, and reserves the right to change or
improve the design of the product at any time without notice.
This is your sole warranty. Echo does not authorize any third party, including any dealer or sales representative, to
assume any liability on behalf of Echo or to make any warranty for Echo.
Service and repairs of Echo products are to be performed only at the factory (see below) unless otherwise
authorized in advance by the Echo Service Department. Unauthorized service, repair or modification will void this
warranty.
To obtain factory service:
Contact Echo Digital Audio Corporation at (805) 684-4593, 9AM to 4PM Monday through Friday (Pacific Time).
If necessary, you will be given a return authorization number. Products returned without an RA number will be
refused. Echo may, at its option, require proof of the original date of purchase in the form of a dated copy of the
original authorized dealer’s invoice or sales receipt. Pack the product in its original shipping carton and attach a
description of the problem along with your name and a phone number where Echo can contact you if necessary.
Ship the product insured and freight prepaid to:
Echo Digital Audio Corporation
6450 Via Real Suite 1
Carpinteria, CA 93013
DISCLAIMER AND LIMITATION OF WARRANTY
Echo makes no other warranties, express, implied, or otherwise, regarding Echo products, and specifically disclaims
any warranty for merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The exclusion of implied warranties is not
permitted in some states and the exclusions specified herein may not apply to you. This warranty provides you with
specific legal rights. There may be other rights that you have which vary from state to state.
In no event will Echo be liable for any lost profits, or for any consequential, direct or indirect damages, however
caused and on any theory of liability, arising from this warranty and sale.
©2003 by Echo Digital Audio Corporation
6450 Via Real Suite 1
Carpinteria, CA 93013
Echo®, Layla®24, Layla LapTop®, Gina®24, Mia™, and MiaMIDI™ are trademarks of Echo Digital Audio
Corporation.
ADAT® is a registered trademark of Alesis Corporation.
Windows®, Windows 98®, Windows Me®, Windows XP®, and Windows 2000® are registered trademarks of
Microsoft, Inc.
INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................. 9
WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED IN THE BOX ............................................. 10
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS ..................................................................................... 11
INSTALLATION ................................................................................................. 12
SYSTEM SOUNDS ................................................................................................. 12
VXD VS. WDM - DECIDING WHICH DRIVER TO INSTALL................................... 12
INSTALLING THE PCI CARD FOR DESKTOP COMPUTERS...................................... 13
INSTALLING THE CARDBUS ADAPTER FOR LAPTOP COMPUTERS......................... 16
CONNECTING TO LAYLA24’S RACK-MOUNT AUDIO INTERFACE.......................... 18
CONNECTING TO GINA24’S AUDIO INTERFACE ................................................... 22
CONNECTING TO MIA .......................................................................................... 25
CONNECTING TO MIAMIDI................................................................................. 27
USING AUDIO SOFTWARE............................................................................. 29
GINA24 AND LAYLA24 ....................................................................................... 29
MIA AND MIAMIDI ............................................................................................ 32
VIRTUAL OUTPUTS - MIA AND MIAMIDI ........................................................... 33
CONSOLE3 (WDM)............................................................................................ 34
RUNNING THE CONSOLE ...................................................................................... 34
CONSOLE WINDOW ............................................................................................. 34
BUS SELECT ......................................................................................................... 36
MASTER OUTPUT BUS CONTROL .......................................................................... 36
ANALOG INPUTS .................................................................................................. 37
DIGITAL INPUTS .................................................................................................. 38
PLAYBACK STRIPS ............................................................................................... 38
ADJUSTING PLAYBACK VOLUME ......................................................................... 39
CLOCK AND DIGITAL MODE SETTINGS.................................................................. 39
SYNCHRONIZING MULTIPLE DEVICES ................................................................. 40
CONSOLE SETTINGS ............................................................................................ 43
DRIVER ............................................................................................................... 43
LOCKING THE SAMPLE RATE ................................................................................ 44
SYNCHRONIZE WAVE DEVICES ............................................................................. 44
CONSOLE SESSIONS ............................................................................................. 45
DIGITAL I/O ........................................................................................................ 46
GSIF ................................................................................................................... 47
ABOUT ................................................................................................................ 48
VXD CONSOLE – GINA24 AND LAYLA24 ................................................... 49
CONSOLE CONTROLS ........................................................................................... 51
MONITOR CONTROLS .......................................................................................... 51
OUTPUT CONTROLS ............................................................................................. 53
ADJUSTING MONITOR AND PLAYBACK LEVELS................................................... 53
SETTING CLOCK SOURCES AND DESTINATIONS ................................................... 54
SYNCHRONIZING MULTIPLE DEVICES ................................................................. 55
THE FILE MENU .................................................................................................. 58
THE PREFERENCES PAGE ..................................................................................... 59
DIGITAL I/O - SELECTING THE S/PDIF OUTPUT FORMAT ................................... 59
DIGITAL I/O - DITHER INPUT .............................................................................. 61
GENERAL - SYNC WAVE DEVICES....................................................................... 61
SAMPLE RATE LOCK ........................................................................................... 61
VXD CONSOLE – MIA AND MIA MIDI ........................................................ 62
INPUT CONTROLS ................................................................................................ 64
MONITOR CONTROLS .......................................................................................... 64
VIRTUAL OUTPUT CONTROLS ............................................................................. 66
OUTPUT CONTROLS ............................................................................................. 67
ADJUSTING MONITOR AND PLAYBACK LEVELS................................................... 67
SETTING CLOCK SOURCES AND OUTPUT CONTROLS ........................................... 68
SYNCHRONIZING MULTIPLE DEVICES ................................................................. 68
THE FILE MENU .................................................................................................. 70
THE PREFERENCES PAGE ..................................................................................... 71
DIGITAL I/O - SELECTING THE S/PDIF OUTPUT FORMAT ................................... 71
DIGITAL I/O - DITHER INPUT .............................................................................. 72
GENERAL - SYNC WAVE DEVICES....................................................................... 72
SAMPLE RATE LOCK ........................................................................................... 73
ADDITIONAL CONFIGURATION SETTINGS (VXD DRIVERS) ............. 74
SHOW CONSOLE ON TASKBAR .............................................................................. 75
MONITOR DURING PLAYBACK ............................................................................. 75
SAW COMPATIBILITY MODE ............................................................................... 75
MULTI-CLIENT AUDIO.......................................................................................... 76
DIRECTSOUND/GSIF SETTINGS .......................................................................... 77
CONTACTING ECHO CUSTOMER SERVICE ............................................ 79
APPENDIX A: GENERAL TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE ........................ 80
APPENDIX B: RESOLVING IRQ CONFLICTS - WINDOWS 98/ME ...... 83
APPENDIX C: MULTI-CLIENT AUDIO FAQ............................................... 90
APPENDIX D: WDM-WINDOWS DRIVER MODEL FAQ......................... 93
APPENDIX E: AN INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL RECORDING ........... 97
APPENDIX F: SPECIFICATIONS ................................................................. 103
Introduction – all products
Introduction
Thank you for choosing Echo Digital Audio. We think you’ll find your Echo
product to be an extremely flexible, high-performance tool for your computerbased hard disk recording system.
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Introduction – all products
Introduction – all products
What You Should Have Received in the Box
When you opened the box, you should have found the following:
•
A PCI card wrapped in an anti-static cover OR a
CardBus Adapter
•
An audio interface box (Layla24 and Gina24 only)
•
Four adhesive backed rubber feet (Layla24 and Gina24 only)
•
Four mounting screws with collars (Layla24 only)
•
An interface cable (Layla24 and Gina24 only)
Please note: The cable included with the Gina24 system is a shielded
audio cable that has been custom manufactured to exacting standards.
Use of any other cable, such as a computer printer cable, will
substantially reduce the system’s overall audio quality.
•
A power cable (Layla24 only)
•
An Esync cable (Gina24 only)
•
A MIDI-S/PDIF breakout cable (MiaMIDI only)
•
A CD-ROM containing:
•
•
•
•
Windows 98/Me/2000/XP Drivers
Macintosh Drivers
.PDF Users Guide
Demo versions of digital audio recording, editing, and processing
software from a variety of manufacturers
.
•
Quick Start Guide
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Introduction – all products
Introduction – all products
System Requirements
In order to use Layla24, Gina24, Mia or MiaMIDI you’ll need the following:
• A desktop computer with one of the following:
• A genuine Intel Pentium processor and genuine Intel chipset OR
• An AMD Athlon or Duron processor
• A minimum 128Mb of RAM (256Mb highly recommended)
• A fast, high-capacity IDE or SCSI hard disk drive
• Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
• Peripheral audio equipment, such as a mixer, microphones, studio monitors,
musical instruments, etc.
In order to use Layla24 LapTop, you’ll need the following:
• A laptop computer with a Type II CardBus Slot
• A minimum 128Mb of RAM (256Mb highly recommended)
• A fast, high-capacity IDE or SCSI hard disk drive
• Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
• Peripheral audio equipment, such as a mixer, microphones, studio monitors,
musical instruments, etc.
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Introduction – all products
Installation – all products
Installation
Complete installation consists of disabling Windows system sounds, deciding
which Echo driver you are going to use, installing the Windows drivers into your
system, installing the PCI or CardBus card, connecting the audio interface to the
card (Layla24 and Gina24) and, if necessary, installing a multitrack audio
recording/editing application.
System Sounds
We suggest that you turn off your Windows system sounds prior to installing your
Echo product. Because most system sounds are sampled at very low sample rates,
typically 11 to 22 KHz, each time they are played it will cause the sample rate
clock on your Echo product to reset to the slower speed.
To turn off the system sounds, first go to the Windows “Control Panel,” which can
be found under “Settings” from the “Start” button. On the control panel you will
find an icon titled “Sounds” or “Sounds and Multimedia”. After double clicking
on this icon, you will see a window labeled “Schemes” near the bottom of the
screen. Click on the small down arrow to the right of the combo-box, and select
the “No Sounds” option. Then, click on the Ok button.
VxD vs. WDM - Deciding Which Driver to Install
VxD and WDM are two different driver architectures for Windows. You only
have a choice between the two if you are using Windows Me. If you are using
Windows 98, you must use the VxD drivers. If you are using Windows 2000 or
XP you must use the WDM drivers.
For Windows Me you should use the VxD drivers, unless you fall under one or
both of the following two categories:
1) You are using an audio program such as Cakewalk’s SONAR, which takes
advantage of the WDM architecture to achieve low latencies.
12
Installation – all products
Installation – all products
2) You are using an audio program that uses an ASIO driver. In general, the
WDM ASIO driver provides higher performance than the VxD ASIO driver.
For a detailed discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of the WDM architecture,
please read Appendix F: WDM-Windows Driver Model FAQ.
Installing the PCI Card for Desktop Computers
Once you have verified that there are no problems with your system, it is time to
install the Echo PCI card into your computer.
1. Install the drivers. You should do this before inserting the PCI card. Insert
the Echo Install CD-ROM into your machine. The Main Install Window should
automatically appear; if it does not, simply go to “My Computer,” and doubleclick on your CD-ROM drive icon. Now, select “Install Windows Drivers,”
and follow the on-screen directions.
2. Once you have installed the appropriate driver for your version of Windows,
turn your computer off.
IMPORTANT - Unplug your computer and detach all peripherals before
proceeding with the following steps.
3. Remove your computer’s cover. This operation differs from computer to
computer. Refer to your computer’s manual for a further explanation of this step
if necessary.
4. Select the PCI slot into which you will install the card. You may use any
available PCI slot in your computer for the card. Unscrew and remove the
bracket covering the expansion slot where you would like to install your Echo
product. Put the screw in a safe place, as you will need it later to complete the
installation.
5. Insure that you have fully discharged all static electricity from your body
before handling the card. This can be done through the use of a grounding strap
13
Installation – all products
Installation – all products
or, more simply, by touching your bare hand to the metal casing of the
computer’s power supply. (For this latter method to work, the computer must be
plugged in, though not turned on.) After you’ve discharged your static, unplug
the computer before proceeding to the next step.
6. Remove the card from its protective anti-static bag. Handle the card carefully by
its edges, and insert it into the selected expansion slot. Insure that the card’s
edge connector (the protruding edge with the gold leads) is seated firmly into the
slot. Centering the card over the slot and using a gentle rocking motion while
pushing downward into the slot generally works well. Be careful not to force the
card into the slot, or bend or twist it while it is being inserted, as this could result
in the card being damaged.
7. Now use the screw that you removed earlier, from the protective back plate, to
attach the metal bracket on the card to the computer’s rear panel.
8. OPTIONAL: (If you have Mia or MiaMIDI, skip this step.) An Esync cable
comes with Gina24, and can be used to daisy chain several 24-bit Echo cards
together. Esync is a proprietary form of super clock that allows you to sync
together multiple 24-bit Echo products. Simply attach the Esync cable to the
two-prong “Esync Out” connector on the Layla24/Gina24 PCI card, and attach
the other end to the “Esync In” connector on your Gina24 PCI card.
9. Replace the computer’s cover, and secure it. Reattach its power supply cord
and reconnect any peripherals that you may have removed prior to beginning the
installation.
10. (Layla24 and Gina24 only) Locate the audio interface box (Layla24 and
Gina24), the interface cable, and the power cable. Securely mount the interface
into your equipment rack (Layla24 only). If you will not be mounting the box in
a rack, remove the backing from the four rubber feet and place one in each
bottom corner of the interface unit. Then be sure to locate the rack-mount box in
a secure location.
Plug one end of the cable into the connector on the Echo PCI card that now
protrudes through the back panel of your computer, and secure the cable using
the built-in screws located on both sides of the connector. Attach the other end
14
Installation – all products
Installation – all products
of the cable to the connector on the rear of the interface labeled computer and
fasten the cable securely with the screws. Plug the power cable firmly into the
interface and a power socket, but do not turn on the interface at this time
(Layla24 only).
Caution: Never connect the rack-mount interface to the computer while either
the interface or your computer is turned on.
11. (MiaMIDI only) Now that MiaMIDI is plugged into your computer, you will
need to connect the MIDI-S/PDIF breakout cable to the back of the MiaMIDI
card. Take the breakout cable and plug it into the 7-pin DIN connector labeled
MIDI S/PDIF at the bottom of the PCI card bracket.
12. You can now attach external audio devices to the connectors. Information on
attaching external devices to your particular interface may be found in the
following sections.
13. (Layla24 only) Turn on your Layla24 audio interface box.
14. Turn on your computer. Once Windows starts, it should find new hardware
and begin to install the drivers. For most versions of Windows, this process is
entirely automatic. For Windows XP, you should select the option “Install the
software automatically,” and follow the on-screen directions.
Note: This version of the WDM driver has not been digitally signed by
Microsoft; for Windows 2000 and XP, you will need to confirm that you
want to install an unsigned driver.
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Installation – all products
Installation – all products
Installing the CardBus Adapter for Laptop Computers
Once you have verified that there are no problems with your system, it is time to
install Layla24 LapTop into your laptop computer.
1. Install the drivers. You should do this before inserting the CardBus Adapter.
Insert the Echo Install CD-ROM into your machine. The Main Install Window
should automatically appear; if it does not, simply go to My Computer and
double-click on your CD-Rom drive. Now, select “Install Windows Drivers,”
and follow the on-screen directions.
2. Once you have installed the appropriate driver for your version of Windows,
turn your computer off.
3. Locate the rack-mount interface, the 9-pin interface cable, and the power cable.
Securely mount the interface into your equipment rack. If you will not be
mounting the box in a rack, remove the backing from the four rubber feet and
place one in each bottom corner of the interface unit. Then be sure to locate the
rack-mount box in a secure location.
4. Connect the cable. Before installing the card into the computer, connect the
cable between the card and the rack-mount chassis. Make sure the cable is fully
inserted into the card and that it “clicks” into place. You may have to wiggle it
a bit for this to happen.
5. Insert the LapTop adapter into your computer. Make sure the computer is
turned off. To install the card, insert it into any available CardBus slot. Next,
turn on the audio interface box.
6. Turn on your computer. Once Windows starts, it should find new hardware
and begin to install the drivers. For most versions of Windows, this process is
entirely automatic. For Windows XP, you should select the option “Install the
software automatically,” and follow the on-screen directions.
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Installation – all products
Installation – all products
Note: this version of the WDM driver has not been digitally signed by
Microsoft; for Windows 2000 and XP, you will need to confirm that you
want to install an unsigned driver.
Once the driver is installed, a small “PCCard” icon will appear in the system “tray”
(usually on the lower right-hand side of the screen).
While it is possible to “hot-dock” the card by inserting it with the laptop powered
up, it is recommended the card only be inserted or removed with the power off. If
you have to remove the card with your computer turned on, the card must first be
disabled. To do this, click on the PCCard icon in the tray, and tell Windows to
stop the card. You will get a message when it is safe to remove it. Failure to
disable the card before removing it could potentially damage the card or the
computer.
17
Installation – all products
Audio connections – Layla24
Connecting to Layla24’s Rack-mount Audio Interface
The back panel of Layla24’s rack-mount audio interface contains a wide variety of
connections that allow great flexibility in the operation of Layla24. For optimal
performance with Layla24, it is critical to use the appropriate cabling and
connectors.
Analog Inputs and Outputs
Layla24 has eight analog inputs and eight analog outputs on the rear panel. The
input and output connections can accept unbalanced or balanced signals via ¼”
connectors. By default, the inputs and outputs are set to receive or send a +4 dBu
signal. You can also select –10 dBV for each individual input and output (see the
description of the console, below).
Layla24’s front panel has a ¼” headphone output jack with a corresponding
volume knob which monitors analog outputs 1 and 2.
18
Audio connections – Layla24
Audio connections – Layla24
The Computer Connector
Next to the analog inputs and outputs is a connector labeled COMPUTER. This
connector is known as a DB-9, and is similar to the serial port on a PC. It is the
point at which the audio interface connects to the Layla24 PCI card inside your
computer.
A cable was supplied with your Layla24 for this purpose. This custom made cable
is manufactured to certain specifications; if you need to replace it, you should only
use a replacement cable from Echo.
ADAT / S/PDIF Optical I/O
Next to the COMPUTER connector is a pair of connectors labeled OPTICAL, IN
and OUT. These connectors are used to transmit digital audio data among via an
optical signal.
You can use this port for ADAT (8 channels) or for optical S/PDIF (stereo) I/O.
Note: Layla24 is only capable of transmitting or receiving one type of
digital signal at a time. You must choose either ADAT optical or S/PDIF
(optical or RCA); you cannot use both simultaneously. The Digital Mode
Switch can be found in the Layla24 Console. For more information, refer to
the section of the manual that discusses the console.
19
Audio connections – Layla24
Audio connections – Layla24
S/PDIF
Next to the ADAT connectors is a pair of connectors labeled S/PDIF, IN and
OUT. These S/PDIF connectors are used to transmit digital audio data between
digital audio devices via an electrical signal. S/PDIF data can use the full 24-bit
sample width used internally on Layla24.
When connecting devices to the S/PDIF jacks on Layla24, the use of standard
analog RCA audio cables is not recommended. For reliable S/PDIF operation, 75ohm coaxial (RG59) video cables are recommended.
Word Clock
Next to the S/PDIF ports are the Word Clock connectors. These connectors allow
you to synchronize one Layla24 to another Layla24, Layla, or to other digital audio
devices.
The Word Clock I/O uses a BNC connector. As with the S/PDIF I/O, a shielded
75-ohm (RG-59) coaxial video cable should be used. BNC connectors are widely
used in the electronics industry for both video and computer networking. However,
computer networks use 50-ohm (RG-58) coaxial cables and not the 75-ohm (RG59) cable used by video. For reliable word clock operation, use only video grade
cables with Layla24.
20
Audio connections – Layla24
Audio connections – Layla24
MIDI
The last set of connections to the Layla24 interface is for MIDI. The MIDI ports
can be used for receiving MIDI time code (MTC), or sending and receiving MIDI
signals between your digital audio/MIDI sequencing software and external sound
modules, etc.
MIDI cabling is highly standardized and widely available.
21
Audio connections – Layla24
Audio connections – Gina24
Connecting to Gina24’s Audio Interface
The front and back panels of Gina24’s audio interface contain a wide variety of
connections that allow great flexibility in the operation of Gina24. To achieve the
optimal performance with Gina24, it is critical that the appropriate cabling and
connectors are used.
Analog Inputs and Outputs
Gina24 has two analog inputs and eight analog outputs on the front panel. The
input and output connections can accept balanced or unbalanced jacks via ¼”
connectors. By default, the inputs and outputs are set to receive or send a +4 dBu
signal. You can also select –10 dBV for each individual input and output (see the
description of the console, below).
Gina24’s front panel also has a ¼” headphone output jack with a corresponding
volume knob which monitors analog outputs 1 and 2.
The Computer Connector
On the back panel of the Gina24 audio interface box is a connector labeled
COMPUTER. It is the point at which the audio interface connects to the Gina24
PCI card inside your computer.
22
Audio connections – Gina24
Audio connections – Gina24
A cable was supplied with your Gina24 for this purpose. This custom made cable
is manufactured to certain specifications; if you need to replace it, you should only
use a replacement cable from Echo.
Please Note: The Gina24 cable is NOT interchangeable with Darla24 or
Gina (20-bit) cables.
ADAT / S/PDIF optical I/O
Next to the COMPUTER connector is a pair of connectors labeled OPTICAL, IN
and OUT. These connectors are used to transmit digital audio data via an optical
signal.
You can use this port for ADAT (8 channels) or for optical S/PDIF (stereo) I/O.
Note: Gina24 is only capable of transmitting or receiving one type of digital
signal at a time. You must choose either ADAT optical or S/PDIF (optical
or RCA); you cannot use both simultaneously. The Digital Mode Switch
can be found in the Gina24 Console. For more information, please refer to
the console section of this manual.
23
Audio connections – Gina24
Audio connections – Gina24
S/PDIF
Next to the ADAT connectors is a pair of connectors labeled S/PDIF, IN and
OUT. These S/PDIF connectors are used to transmit digital audio data between
digital audio devices via an electrical signal. S/PDIF data can use the full 24-bit
sample width used internally on Gina24.
When connecting devices to the S/PDIF jacks on Gina24, the use of standard
analog RCA audio cables is not recommended. For reliable S/PDIF operation,
75ohm coaxial (RG59) video cables are recommended.
24
Audio connections – Gina24
Audio connections – Mia
Connecting to Mia
Analog Inputs and Outputs
Mia has two analog outputs (OUT1 and OUT2) and two
analog inputs (IN1 and IN2) on the back. The input and
output connections can accept balanced or unbalanced
jacks via ¼” connectors. By default, both the inputs and
outputs are set to receive or send a +4 dBu signal. You
can also select –10 dBV for each individual input and
output (see the description of the console, below).
For optimum performance it is recommended that you use
balanced signals when connecting to Mia’s analog
connectors. Mia uses TRS connectors (tip, ring sleeve)
for connecting balanced line level signals.
The three sections of a TRS connector are used to
transmit the three components of a balanced signal (T =
plus, R = minus, S = ground). Mia will also accommodate
the two conductor unbalanced style connector.
S/PDIF Digital Inputs and Outputs
Under the analog connectors is a pair of connectors labeled DOUT and DIN.
These S/PDIF connectors are used to transmit digital audio data via an
electrical signal. S/PDIF data can use the full 24-bit sample width used
internally on Mia.
25
Audio connections – Mia
Audio Connections – Mia
When connecting devices to the S/PDIF jacks on Mia, the use of standard
analog RCA audio cables is not recommended. For reliable S/PDIF
operation, 75ohm coaxial (RG59) video cables are recommended.
26
Audio Connections – Mia
Audio Connections – MiaMIDI
Connecting to MiaMIDI
Analog Inputs and Outputs
MiaMIDI has two analog outputs (OUT1 and OUT2) and two
analog inputs (IN1 and IN2) on the back. The input and output
connections can accept balanced or unbalanced jacks via ¼”
connectors. By default, both the inputs and outputs are set to
receive or send a +4 dBu signal. You can also select –10 dBV
for each individual input and output (see the description of the
console, below).
For optimum performance it is recommended that you use
balanced signals when connecting to Mia’s analog connectors.
Mia uses TRS connectors (tip, ring sleeve) for connecting
balanced line level signals.
The three sections of a TRS connector are used to transmit the
three components of a balanced signal (T = plus, R = minus, S =
ground). Mia will also accommodate the two conductor unbalanced style
connector.
27
Audio Connections – MiaMIDI
Audio Connections – MiaMIDI
MIDI-S/PDIF Breakout Cable
To connect MIDI or S/PDIF signals to MiaMIDI, you will need to first
connect the breakout cable. The breakout cable looks like this:
MIDI and S/PDIF inputs are on the left side, just under the label “IN”.
Outputs are, obviously, on the right.
To use the breakout cable, connect the 7-pin DIN connector at the other end
of the breakout cable to the connector labeled “MIDI S/PDIF” at the bottom
of the PCI card bracket.
The S/PDIF connectors are used to transmit digital audio data via an
electrical signal. S/PDIF data can use the full 24-bit sample width used
internally on MiaMIDI.
When connecting devices to the S/PDIF jacks on MiaMIDI, the use of
standard analog RCA audio cables is not recommended. For reliable S/PDIF
operation, 75ohm coaxial (RG59) video cables are recommended.
The MIDI ports can be used for receiving MIDI time code (MTC), or
sending MIDI signals from your digital audio/MIDI sequencing software to
external sound modules, etc. MIDI cabling is highly standardized and
widely available.
28
Audio Connections – MiaMIDI
Audio Software – Gina24 and Layla24
Using Audio Software
Gina24 and Layla24
To audio software, the Echo hardware appears as a group of stereo wave devices.
You can view the list of these devices either from within your audio software or
from the Windows control panel. The items you see in the list will depend on what
driver you installed. The examples below are for Layla24; the list for Gina24 will
be similar.
For playback devices, you should see:
Win98/WinMe (VxD)
WinMe/2000/WinXP (WDM)
Layla24 1/2 Analog Playback
Layla24 3/4 Analog Playback
Layla24 5/6 Analog Playback
Layla24 7/8 Analog Playback
Layla24 S/PDIF Playback
Layla24 1/2 ADAT Playback
Layla24 3/4 ADAT Playback
Layla24 5/6 ADAT Playback
Layla24 7/8 ADAT Playback
Layla24 1/2 Analog Out
Layla24 3/4 Analog Out
Layla24 5/6 Analog Out
Layla24 7/8 Analog Out
Layla24 1/2 Digital Out
Layla24 3/4 Digital Out
Layla24 5/6 Digital Out
Layla24 7/8 Digital Out
29
Audio Software – Gina24 and Layla24
Audio Software – Gina24 and Layla24
And for recording:
Win98/WinMe (VxD)
Win2000/WinXP (WDM)
Layla24 1/2 Analog Record
Layla24 3/4 Analog Record
Layla24 5/6 Analog Record
Layla24 7/8 Analog Record
Layla24 S/PDIF Record
Layla24 1/2 ADAT Record
Layla24 3/4 ADAT Record
Layla24 5/6 ADAT Record
Layla24 7/8 ADAT Record
Layla24 1/2 Analog In
Layla24 3/4 Analog In
Layla24 5/6 Analog In
Layla24 7/8 Analog In
Layla24 1/2 Digital In
Layla24 3/4 Digital In
Layla24 5/6 Digital In
Layla24 7/8 Digital In
Please refer to the documentation for your audio software to find out how to assign
inputs and outputs.
Even though they are listed separately with the VxD drivers, you cannot use the
S/PDIF and ADAT devices at the same time; please refer to the VxD console
section of the manual to find out how to set the hardware to either S/PDIF or
ADAT mode.
30
Audio Software – Gina24 and Layla24
Audio Software – Gina24 and Layla24
The WDM drivers work a little differently, depending on the current digital mode.
Gina24 and Layla24 have a digital mode switch that lets you set how the hardware
transmits and receives digital audio signals. The digital mode switch can be set to
S/PDIF RCA, S/PDIF optical, or ADAT optical.
The following is a table showing what the WDM wave devices do for each digital
mode:
Device
Layla24 1/2 Digital
Layla24 3/4 Digital
Layla24 5/6 Digital
Layla24 7/8 Digital
S/PDIF RCA
S/PDIF optical
ADAT optical
S/PDIF
not used
not used
not used
S/PDIF
not used
not used
not used
ADAT 1/2
ADAT 3/4
ADAT 5/6
ADAT 7/8
In other words, if you want to play or record using S/PDIF, set the hardware to
either S/PDIF RCA or S/PDIF optical and configure your software to use “Layla24
1/2 Digital”. Since S/PDIF is stereo (two channels), digital channels 3 – 8 are not
used.
If you want to play or record using ADAT optical, set the hardware to ADAT
optical mode and configure your software to use all of the digital channels.
Please refer to the Console section of the manual for more information on digital
modes.
This completes the installation of the hardware and software for Gina24 and
Layla24.
31
Audio Software – Gina24 and Layla24
Using Audio Software – Mia and MiaMIDI
Mia and MiaMIDI
To audio software, the Mia and MiaMIDI hardware appears as a group of stereo
wave devices. You can view the list of these devices either from within your audio
software or from the Windows control panel. The items you see in the list will
depend on what driver you installed:
Win98/WinMe (VxD)
WinMe/2000/WinXP (WDM)
Mia 1/2 Virtual Out
Mia 3/4 Virtual Out
Mia 5/6 Virtual Out
Mia 7/8 Virtual Out
Mia 1/2 Virtual Out
Mia 3/4 Virtual Out
Mia 5/6 Virtual Out
Mia 7/8 Virtual Out
Win98/WinMe (VxD)
Win2000/WinXP (WDM)
Mia 1/2 Analog Record
Mia S/PDIF Record
Mia 1/2 Analog In
Mia 1/2 Digital In
You’ll find these same input and output options available when using your audio
record/editing software, with the devices assignable on a per-track basis. See your
software owner’s manual for details on how to make these device assignments.
If you are using the WDM drivers, the listed output devices correspond to Mia’s
virtual outputs; routing is done in the console.
Note: The MIDI features of MiaMIDI are only functional with the WDM driver.
This completes the installation of the hardware and software for Mia and
MiaMIDI.
32
Using Audio Software – Mia and MiaMIDI
Virtual outputs – Mia and MiaMIDI
Virtual Outputs - Mia and MiaMIDI
Most audio cards with a pair of analog inputs and outputs will appear to software
as having just that, a single pair of inputs and outputs. When one application
appropriates the card for its use, all other software is “locked-out” from using the
card at the same time.
Quite often, musicians find it useful to play back from multiple applications
simultaneously. A good example would be playing back digital audio while at the
same time using a software synthesizer for MIDI. Another example would be
using multi-track editing software. Before multiple tracks can be played back on a
stereo device, they must be mixed down within the software to the two output
tracks. This takes up extra CPU cycles that might otherwise be dedicated to
software effects or some other task.
Mia/MiaMIDI gets around this by combining the use of “virtual” outputs with its
“multi-client” drivers. Mia/MiaMIDI appear to software as if they have eight
separate outputs. These are mixed together with Mia/MiaMIDI’s on-board DSP to
produce the actual or “physical” outputs that connect to external equipment
without any CPU intervention. Any virtual output can be sent to any actual output
along with any combination of other virtual outputs. The levels and routing of the
virtual outputs is fully controllable with Mia/MiaMIDI’s Console, which is
described later in this manual.
An example of this would be using Tascam’s GigaStudio with Cakewalk’s
SONAR. GigaStudio could be set up to play back through Mia/MiaMIDI’s outputs
7 and 8. SONAR, which combines MIDI sequencing with digital playback, could
then play back its MIDI output through GigaStudio while using Mia/MiaMIDI’s
outputs 1 through 6 for six separate tracks of digital output.
This gives Mia/MiaMIDI most of the advantages of products with eight separate
analog outputs, without the added expense of the extra converters or having to use
an external mixer to mix the outputs down to a final pair of stereo outputs.
Virtual outputs are not available on Gina24 or Layla24.
33
Virtual outputs – Mia and MiaMIDI
WDM console – all products
Console3 (WDM)
This section of the manual applies only if you installed the WDM drivers.
A “virtual control surface” application called Console3 is included with the WDM
driver. The Console allows you to control the audio I/O and clocking functions of
your Echo product, and it brings these controls to a single easy-to-use location.
From the console you can control the output levels, select synchronization clocks,
select the digital mode, and adjust input monitoring.
If you’re curious, the name “Console3” means that this is Echo’s third-generation
design for a software console.
Running the Console
Once you have run the installer, you will find the console under your Start menu
under the group “Echo Digital Audio.” Here, you have two options for running the
console: “Show all Console3 windows” and “Start the tray icon.”
If you select “Start the tray icon,” a red “Echo” icon will be placed on your system
tray. This is called the launcher. Double-clicking the launcher icon will display a
console window for each Echo card in your system. If you only want to open a
console window for one of your Echo cards, right-clicking the launcher icon will
display a menu that lists the cards in your system. Select the card corresponding to
the console you want to display.
If you select “Remove from tray,” the icon will vanish. All of your open console
windows will close as well.
Console Window
The basic metaphor for the console interface is a digital mixing board, and it works
in terms of output busses. An output bus is a stereo pair of outputs on your
hardware. For example, analog outputs 1 and 2 are an output bus. The console
window allows you to select an output bus and control what is mixed and sent to
34
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
that output bus. Audio played through the selected channels by an application, any
analog input, and any digital input may be mixed to an output bus.
Screenshot of Layla24 Console3 main window - other Echo hardware will work similarly.
35
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
Bus select
The bus select panel is the area outlined in green. Five different output busses are
shown here: four analog busses in the top row and one digital bus on the bottom
row. Each bus has its own button marked with either an A or D (Analog or
Digital) and a channel number pair. The button in the “down” position is the
currently active bus. Clicking on an output bus button simply selects the settings
that are displayed. In this case Analog 1-2 (A 1-2) is the active bus. This means
all input monitor parameters such as volume, pan, and mute apply to the audio
coming out Analog outputs 1 and 2 of Layla24. To select an output bus, click on
one of the buttons. Alternatively, you can use the function keys F1 through F5.
When the console is in ADAT mode, four digital busses will be displayed
representing all 8 ADAT channels.
Master output bus control
The master bus control is the area outlined in purple. At the bottom is the label
“Analog out 1-2.” This indicates you are currently controlling everything mixed to
analog outputs 1 and 2. These channels correspond to the currently selected button
on the bus select panel.
The two buttons labeled “+4” are the nominal level select buttons. Since they both
read “+4,” this indicates these outputs are sending a +4 dBu (professional level)
signal. To send a –10 dBV (consumer level) signal, click the button. This feature
allows you to connect either professional or consumer gear to each output.
The mute buttons and faders affect everything being mixed to this bus. Thus,
pulling the fader down will make both the input monitors and playback quieter.
Holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on a fader will set that fader to 0 dB, and
clicking on the readout below the fader will allow you to enter a numerical value
for the fader setting.
The gang button, marked with a “G,” sets the gang mode. If you are in gang mode,
the mute buttons and nominal level buttons will work together for the left and right
channels; for example, clicking the mute on one channel activates the mute button
36
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
on the other channel. Also, ganging the faders ties them together so they will
maintain their relative placement with regard to each other. Holding down the
Shift key reverses the state of the gang button; that is, if the gang button is down,
holding down shift puts you in non-ganged mode and vice versa.
Analog Inputs
The controls for the analog inputs are outlined in red and have the label “Analog
in” at the bottom. There is one strip, or input monitor, corresponding to each of
Layla24’s eight physical analog inputs. The controls affect the audio going to the
currently selected output bus.
The topmost control is a button labeled “+4”; this button allows you to select the
nominal level for this analog input. Since the button currently reads “+4,” it is
ready to accept a +4 dBu signal. Click the button to change this input to –10 dBV
mode. This button will affect the level of what you record as well as the monitor
level.
Below the “nominal level” button is the peak meter for this channel, labeled in
decibels. Under the peak meter is the monitor pan slider; this pans the input
channel between the two channels of the output bus. Holding down the Ctrl key
and clicking on a pan slider will set the slider to the center position. Note that this
does not affect your recording. Below the pan slider is the monitor mute. This
controls whether or not you want this input channel to be mixed directly out to the
currently selected output bus. Again, this does not affect recording. This is
followed by the monitor fader, which controls the input monitor level. Like the
pan and mute controls, this does not affect your record level. Also, clicking on the
readout below the fader will allow you to numerically enter a fader setting.
The analog inputs also have gang buttons, and their operation is the same as the
gang button for the master outputs.
37
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
Digital Inputs
The controls for the digital inputs are outlined in light blue and have the label
“Digital in” at the bottom. Their operation is identical to the analog input controls
except the digital input controls don’t include a nominal level button.
For Layla24 and Gina24, whether you are monitoring the S/PDIF or the ADAT
inputs depends upon the digital mode you have selected. If you are in either
S/PDIF mode, the S/PDIF inputs will come in digital inputs 1 and 2. If you are in
ADAT mode, the console expands to display the eight ADAT digital inputs.
Playback Strips
The controls for the level of audio being played by an application out the currently
selected output bus are outlined in orange and have the label “playback” at the
bottom. Notice you cannot pan or otherwise redirect here.
Mia and MiaMIDI, which provide virtual outputs, have multiple playback strips –
one for each virtual output. Each virtual output can then be mixed in any
combination to Mia’s analog and digital outputs.
38
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
Adjusting Playback Volume
Output volume adjustments are made in the digital domain. When you lower a
volume fader below 0dB, you are actually decreasing the number of available bits,
thereby taking away from the potential dynamic range of the system. Therefore,
we suggest that whenever possible you leave the output faders set to 0dB, and
perform any necessary attenuation on your external mixer. When the playback
volume controls are set to 0dB and the input signal approaches the maximum preclipping level, you can achieve the full 24-bit dynamic range of the system.
Clock and digital mode settings
The area within the yellow outline on the upper right lets you select your sync
source and digital mode. If a given clock is detected, the indicator next to the
clock button will turn green. You will only be allowed to select clocks that have
been detected. In order for a digital clock to be detected the console must be set to
the appropriate digital mode. Also, you may only select the digital mode if there
aren’t any applications actively playing or recording.
Note: Sample rates above 48kHz will not be available while ADAT mode is
selected. This is because ADAT does not support sample rates higher than
48kHz.
39
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
Synchronizing Multiple Devices
Layla24, Gina24, Mia, and MiaMIDI are designed to work alongside other audio
equipment. If you are planning on using your card with other audio equipment,
please note the following:
The Windows drivers included in this package support multiple Echo cards within
the same system. In addition, your new Echo hardware will operate alongside other
Echo products. Echo hardware can also peacefully coexist with audio equipment
from other manufacturers, but be aware that operating alongside another product is
not the same as operating with it. In order for accurate synchronization to occur,
the other audio product(s) in your system must support a synchronization mode
that is compatible with your particular Echo hardware. Without such
synchronization, the individual pieces of equipment will act independently of each
other. This scenario may be fine for some musical applications; however, it is not
appropriate for situations where sample-accurate synchronization is required or
that will be affected by clock drift.
Let’s take a brief look at the various synchronization types.
Word Clock – This is a synchronization signal that connects to the BNC
connector labeled Word Clock on Layla24’s back panel. This synchronization
clock runs at the selected sample rate. Think of it as a kind of electronic
metronome, which clicks back and forth at the digital sample rate. It is one of the
most widely used forms of synchronization in digital audio. Layla24 is always
generating Word Clock on its Word Clock output BNC connector. Although it can
generate Word Clock at any sample rate it is set to, Layla24 can only sync to Word
Clock if the master device is set to a sample rate between 30kHz and 100kHz.
Otherwise you will get noise and/or loss of sync.
40
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
S/PDIF – The Sony/Phillips Digital Interchange Format is a serial bit-stream that
has a clock signal embedded in the data stream. When recording from an S/PDIF
source, whether via optical cables or RCA cables, Echo products will utilize the
synchronization clock that is embedded in the S/PDIF while it decodes the
bitstream. Your Echo digital audio system can only sync to S/PDIF clock if the
master device is set to a sample rate between 30kHz and 50kHz. Otherwise you
will get noise and/or loss of sync.
Note: When recording from a S/PDIF port, you must select S/PDIF as the
input clock. For greater flexibility, this is not done automatically. If you
find that your S/PDIF recordings contain pops or skips, be sure that you
have selected S/PDIF as your input clock.
ADAT – (Layla24/Gina24) The Alesis ADAT optical interface can send and
receive up to 8 simultaneous channels of digital audio data over fiber optic cables.
Unlike wire cables, fiber optic cables do not add noise or interference. Layla24
and Gina24 can send out (or “master”) ADAT clock as well slave to it. If you want
the interface to slave to an ADAT clock, just set the input clock to the ADAT
setting. Layla24/Gina24 can only sync to ADAT clock if the master device is set to
a sample rate between 40kHz and 50kHz. Otherwise you will get noise and/or loss
of sync.
Note: To preserve the high audio quality of Layla24/Gina24’s converters it
is best to use the Internal input clock setting instead of synchronizing to an
external ADAT clock, which may add unwanted jitter to the signal.
Esync – Esync is a proprietary form of super clock that is used to synchronize two
or more Echo 24-bit products like Layla24, Gina24, and Darla24. While Gina24
and Darla24 have both input and output connectors on their PCI cards, Layla24
only has the Esync output connector.
Layla24/Gina24 are always transmitting Esync clock.
Mia and MiaMIDI do not support the Esync feature.
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WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
Now let’s take a look at some sample configurations and how you might set them
up from a synchronization standpoint.
Let’s start with a simple example. Suppose that Layla24 is the only audio device
used in your system. Since you have no other devices to synchronize with, simply
select Internal for Layla24’s input clock. Layla24 will then use its own clock to
control its operation.
Now a little more complicated set-up: You have two Layla24s connected. Simply
set Layla24 #1 to Internal for its input clock. Now connect the first Layla24 to the
second one via a BNC cable running from Word Clock Out on Layla24 #1 to Word
Clock In on Layla24 #2. Now select Word for Layla24 #2’s input sync. The
second Layla24 will slave to the first one and your Layla24s will now operate in
unison.
No matter how many devices you are synchronizing, the concept is essentially the
same. You are merely “daisy-chaining” devices together using compatible clocks.
One device will operate as the source of the master clock, with each successive
device using that clock to sync.
42
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
Console Settings
Clicking the Settings button above the playback strips shows a dialog box for
altering console settings. The Settings dialog gives you five different tabs to
choose from: “Driver,” “Console,” “Digital I/O,” “GSIF,” and “About.”
Driver
Here you can do two things: lock the sample rate and tell the driver whether or not
to synchronize wave devices. For information regarding the Advanced… button,
please refer to the readme file that comes with the driver.
43
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
Locking the sample rate
Locking the sample rate can be very important, since Windows will frequently try
to set the hardware to the highest rate it supports. Then, Windows sample rate
converts between that rate and the rate at which you are playing or recording. For
instance, you may be trying to play at 44.1 kHz, but Windows sets the hardware to
96 kHz and converts between the two. This is undesirable because you may be
trying to do a digital transfer at a specific rate. In addition, sample rate conversion
will reduce your audio quality and consume a great deal of CPU power. Locking
the sample rate forces Windows to only use the hardware at the locked rate. In
general, we recommend you set the sample rate first in your audio application.
Then, lock that same rate within the console. Locking the sample rate is not really
necessary for applications that do not use the legacy wave/MME interface (such as
SONAR, Cubase, etc.).
Synchronize wave devices
This is mainly for developers who are using tools like Visual Basic or Delphi and
want the inputs and outputs to be totally independent. Unless you have a good
reason to turn it off, you should leave this switch on. Also, if you are running
multiple applications on one card and you can’t get it to work, try un-checking this
box.
44
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
Console Sessions
Console settings can be saved as a console session to be reloaded later. To save a
console session, click the “Save” button in the console. To load a previously saved
session, press the Load button in the console. The current session can be “fast
saved” by pressing the F key; this will overwrite the most recently opened session
file with the current settings.
By default, a directory with your card name is created, and all sessions for that card
are saved to it. Sessions are not cross-compatible between different types of
hardware; that is, a Mia session cannot be used with a Layla24 session.
All console settings are saved, including:
•
•
•
•
•
Volume and pan sliders
Mute, gang and nominal level settings
Digital mode
Input clock
Wave Device Config
The various options available in the “Settings” dialog are not saved as part of the
session.
45
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
Digital I/O
This lets you set the format of your S/PDIF outputs.
Your Echo card can transmit digital information in either of two formats:
“professional” or “consumer.” The primary difference between the two is in the
implementation of the SCMS copy protection bit, which, in the Consumer format,
prevents the user from making digital copies of a digital copy.
The S/PDIF output defaults to the Professional format. If you are recording from
your Echo hardware into a consumer DAT deck, CD recorder, or Mini Disc
recorder, the device may not be able to recognize the signal until you switch the
output to Consumer.
Select the appropriate format for your DAT, CD recorder, or Mini Disc recorder (if
you don’t know which one to use and are having difficulties, simply try the one
that is not currently checked).
Note: No Echo hardware transmits the SCMS bit, regardless of which
format is selected.
46
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
GSIF
This window allows you to set the latency of GigaStudio in terms of samples.
Select the value here that provides the best tradeoff between performance and
reliability.
47
WDM console – all products
WDM console – all products
About
This displays the console version and driver version numbers. We feel that this is
the single most exciting feature on the new console.
48
WDM console – all products
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD Console – Gina24 and Layla24
This section of the manual only applies if you installed the VxD drivers and are
using Gina24 or Layla24.
A “virtual control surface” application called the Console is included with the VxD
driver. Every time you start Windows you will see it flicker across the screen as it
loads. Then it will minimize itself to the taskbar. The Console allows you to
control the audio I/O and clocking functions of your Echo product, and it brings
these controls to a single easy-to-use location. From the console you can mix the
virtual outputs, control the output levels, select clocks, and adjust input monitoring.
Note: While this portion of the manual primarily refers to Layla24, the
concepts will be similar for Gina24. Mia/MiaMIDI’s console will be
explained in the next section.
The Console software was automatically installed at the same time that you
installed the VxD driver. If installation was successful, you should see a red capital
letter L or G for Layla24 or Gina24. The letter(s) will appear in your Windows
taskbar (typically in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen). Double-clicking
on the letter will activate the console program. It should look like this:
49
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
The console functions are grouped into three areas: inputs (in the upper left
corner), monitors (directly below the inputs that are being monitored), and outputs
(on the right hand side). The controls for a particular function/stereo pair are then
further grouped into a box that contains selection buttons, faders, and other
controls and displays as determined by the function.
50
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
Console Controls
Let’s take a look at the control surface. The input control area is
located in the upper left portion of the console surface. For each
input device pair you will find a pair of input meters. Each input
also has a nominal level switch that switches between professional
(+4 dBu) and consumer (–10 dBV) levels. This way you can
connect either professional or consumer gear to each input. Make
sure to set the nominal level switches to match the equipment that
you have connected to Layla24’s inputs.
Monitor Controls
Below the input channels are the input monitor controls. The input monitor
controls allow you to monitor the input signal via any of the available outputs on
your Echo hardware. Each input channel pair has a corresponding monitor control
pair directly below it on the console. At the top of each monitor pair are radio
buttons that allow you to selectively mute (M) or solo (S) each channel. In the
middle you will find a pair of faders that will allow you to set the levels of the
monitor signals. At the bottom of the control area there is a radio button that allows
you to “gang” (G) the faders. Ganging the faders ties them together so that they
will maintain their relative placement with regard to each other. Below each fader
is its corresponding pan control. In the default pan positions (see example below)
the signal from input 1(left) will be monitored by output 1(left), and the signal
from input 2(right) will be monitored by output 2(right). Moving a pan control
will determine how much of the input signal is sent to each output channel in the
selected output pair. Both pan controls and faders can be reset to default by
pressing the Ctrl button and left clicking on the control.
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VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
Instead of level meters, each monitor control has a series of
numbered buttons. These buttons allow you to select which output
channel pair controls are displayed, so you can adjust them.
The monitors are one of the most powerful functions of the
console. When you are recording, these controls allow you to set
the level at which each input signal will be monitored at each of
the outputs, independent of the main output level control.
When setting a monitor level, you must first select the input that
will be monitored, and then select the output for which you will set
the monitor level. Selection of the input is really just a matter of using the correct
monitor control box. A monitor setting will always affect the input pair that is
directly above it. To set the monitor for inputs 1/2, for example, simply go to the
monitor control directly below inputs 1/2 and click on one of the buttons found in
the center of the control.
Let’s say you want to set the level at which input pair 1/2 is monitored for each of
the four stereo analog output pairs on Layla24. You would first find the monitor
control that corresponds to inputs 1/2 (the control on the far left, directly below the
input control for channels 1/2). Clicking on the button within this box labeled “1”
causes the control box to display the currently selected levels at which inputs 1/2
are being monitored at outputs 1/2. Clicking on the button labeled “3” would
cause the control box to display the currently selected levels at which inputs 1/2
were being monitored at outputs 3/4. You can move through the remaining
buttons, setting the level at which inputs 1/2 are monitored at each of the four
output pairs, as well as the S/PDIF “D” and ADAT “A#” outputs. The console
program remembers any settings that you make, and all settings for all outputs are
maintained independently.
Note: You cannot monitor the S/PDIF inputs through the ADAT outputs and vice
versa (Layla24 and Gina24). This is because you can only use one digital mode
(S/PDIF or ADAT) at any given time. For more information, please see the section
“Digital Mode Switch” later in this manual.
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VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
Remember that all of the monitor controls remain in effect even when they’re not
displayed. The degree of attenuation (or muting) of each level is set by the monitor
controls. The console program constantly maintains a level setting for each of the
monitor paths it controls. Clicking on an output selection button simply selects the
settings that are displayed.
Output Controls
The right hand side of the console is dedicated to the controls for
analog output channels one through eight (an output meter pair is
included for the two S/PDIF output channels, but these levels are
not adjustable). The output controls mirror those found on the
monitor controls (Gang, Mute, Solo, & faders) with a few
exceptions. Instead of pan controls you have nominal level
switches that switch between professional (+4 dBu) and consumer
(–10 dBV) levels. This allows you to connect either professional
or consumer gear to each output. You will also find level meters in
the middle area instead of the numbered buttons. Just like the
monitor controls, the output faders can be reset to default by
pressing the Ctrl button and left clicking on the fader.
Adjusting Monitor and Playback Levels
Output volume adjustments are made in the digital domain. When you lower a
volume fader below 0dB, you are actually decreasing the number of available bits,
thereby taking away from the potential dynamic range of the system. Therefore,
we suggest that whenever possible you leave the output faders set to 0dB, and
perform any necessary attenuation on your external mixer. When the playback
volume controls are set to 0dB and the input signal approaches the maximum preclipping level, you can achieve the full 24-bit dynamic range of the system.
53
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
Setting Clock Sources and Destinations
At the very bottom of the Console there are buttons that allow you to select the
synchronization clocks. The console program will detect which input clocking
options are available, and automatically disable those that are unavailable.
Depending on what external devices you have connected, you may have as many
as four out of five options available Layla24.
Input clocks, Digital Mode Switch & View ADAT Ctrls are at the bottom of the Console.
If you are unsure which clock synchronization selections are appropriate for your
installation, be sure to read the next section, which deals with the types of
supported clocks.
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VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
Synchronizing Multiple Devices
Layla24, Gina24, Mia and Mia MIDI are designed to work alongside other audio
equipment. If you are planning on using your Echo hardware with other audio
equipment, please note the following:
The Windows drivers included in this package support multiple Echo cards within
the same system. In addition, your new Echo hardware will operate alongside other
Echo products. Echo hardware can also peacefully coexist with audio equipment
from other manufacturers, but be aware that operating alongside another product is
not the same as operating with it. In order for accurate synchronization to occur,
the other audio product(s) in your system must support a synchronization mode
that is compatible with your particular Echo hardware. Without such
synchronization, the individual pieces of equipment will act independently of each
other. This scenario may be fine for some musical applications; however, it is not
appropriate for situations where sample-accurate synchronization is required or
that will be affected by clock drift.
55
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
Let’s take a brief look at the various synchronization types.
Word Clock – This is a synchronization signal that connects to the BNC
connector labeled Word Clock on Layla24’s back panel. This synchronization
clock runs at the selected sample rate. Think of it as a kind of electronic
metronome, which clicks back and forth at the digital sample rate. It is one of the
most widely used forms of synchronization in digital audio. Layla24 is always
generating Word Clock on its Word Clock output BNC connector. Although it can
generate Word Clock at any sample rate it is set to, Layla24 can only sync to Word
Clock if the master device is set to a sample rate between 30kHz and 100kHz.
Otherwise you will get noise and/or loss of sync.
S/PDIF – The Sony/Phillips Digital Interchange Format is a serial bit-stream that
has a clock signal embedded in the data stream. When recording from an S/PDIF
source, whether via optical cables or RCA cables, Echo products will utilize the
synchronization clock that is embedded in the S/PDIF while it decodes the
bitstream. Your Echo digital audio system can only sync to S/PDIF clock if the
master device is set to a sample rate between 30kHz and 50kHz. Otherwise you
will get noise and/or loss of sync.
Note: When recording from a S/PDIF port, you must select S/PDIF as the
input clock. For greater flexibility, this is not done automatically. If you
find that your S/PDIF recordings contain pops or skips, be sure that you
have selected S/PDIF as your input clock.
ADAT – (Layla24/Gina24) The Alesis ADAT optical interface can send and
receive up to 8 simultaneous channels of digital audio data over fiber optic cables.
Unlike wire cables, fiber optic cables do not add noise or interference.
Layla24/Gina24 can send out (or “master”) ADAT clock as well slave to it. If you
want the interface to slave to an ADAT clock, just set the input clock to the ADAT
setting. Layla24/Gina24 can only sync to ADAT clock if the master device is set to
a sample rate between 40kHz and 50kHz. Otherwise you will get noise and/or loss
of sync.
56
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
Note: To preserve the high audio quality of Layla24/Gina24’s converters it
is best to use the Internal input clock setting instead of synchronizing to an
external ADAT clock, which may add unwanted jitter to the signal.
Esync – Esync is a proprietary form of super clock that is used to synchronize two
or more Echo 24-bit products like Layla24, Gina24, and Darla24. While Gina24
and Darla24 have both input and output connectors on their PCI cards, Layla24
only has the Esync output connector.
Layla24 and Gina24 always transmit Esync clock.
Now, let’s take a look at some example configurations and how you might set them
up from a synchronization standpoint.
Let’s start with a simple example. Suppose that Layla24 is the only audio device
used in your system. Since you have no other devices to synchronize with, simply
select Internal for Layla24’s input clock. Layla24 will then use its own clock to
control its operation.
Now a little more complicated set-up: You have two Layla24s connected. Simply
set Layla24 #1 to Internal for its input clock. Now connect the first Layla24 to the
second one via a BNC cable running from Word Clock Out on Layla24 #1 to Word
Clock In on Layla24 #2. Now select Word for Layla24 #2’s input sync. The
second Layla24 will slave to the first one and your Layla24s will now operate in
unison.
No matter how many devices you are synchronizing, the concept is essentially the
same. You are merely “daisy-chaining” devices together using compatible clocks.
One device will operate as the source of the master clock, with each successive
device using that clock to sync.
57
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
The File Menu
At the top left of the Console window you will find the File menu. By selecting the
File menu, several configuration options become available to you. The first menu
option is “Preferences.” The Preferences option brings up the Console
“Preferences Page” window. We’ll get to that window shortly, but first let’s go
on to the rest of the File menu options.
The second option under the File menu is “Hide” which closes the Console
window. You can reopen the Console by clicking on the appropriate colored letter
in the bottom left of the Windows taskbar.
The third option under the File menu is “Exit” which closes the current instance of
the Console. This will not only close the Console window, but also shut down the
Console application and remove it from the system tray. Don’t worry; if you want
to bring the Console back, you can do it by disabling, then re-enabling the Show
console on taskbar checkbox in the Properties window (see below under
“Additional Configuration Settings”). It will also come back when you restart
Windows.
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VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
The Preferences Page
The Preferences Page is accessible through the Console File menu.
Digital I/O - Selecting the S/PDIF Output Format
Your Echo hardware can transmit digital information in either of two formats,
“professional” or “consumer.” The primary difference between the two is in the
implementation of the SCMS copy protection bit, which, in the Consumer format,
prevents the user from making digital copies of a digital copy.
The S/PDIF output defaults to the Professional format. If you are recording from
your Echo hardware into a consumer DAT deck, the deck may not be able to
recognize the signal until you switch the digital output to Consumer mode.
59
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
We have provided a software switch in the driver that allows you to select which
format the Echo hardware transmits. In the window that appears you’ll see a pair of
check boxes in an area labeled S/PDIF Out Format: one box is labeled Consumer
and the other Professional. Select the appropriate format for your DAT (if you
don’t know which one to use and are having difficulties, simply try the one that is
not currently checked). No Echo hardware transmits the SCMS bit, regardless of
which format is selected.
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VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
Digital I/O - Dither Input
In the top right is a checkbox labeled Dither Input. This checkbox allows you to
enable or disable dithering on the digital inputs. It is off by default. Most of the
time you will want to leave this setting disabled. The only time you will want to
use dithering is when you are receiving a 24 bit signal over the digital inputs, but
you want to record it as a 16 bit wave file. In this case, dithering will improve the
audio quality.
General - Sync Wave Devices
This is mainly for developers who are using tools like Visual Basic or Delphi and
want the inputs and outputs to be totally independent. Unless you have a good
reason to turn it off, you should leave this switch on.
If you have a program that is telling you that our hardware isn't full duplex,
chances are you can fix this by either disabling this switch or enabling Multi-client
audio (see below).
Sample Rate Lock
These controls allow you to enable or disable the Sample Rate Lock feature, as
well as set the sample rate you want to lock to. While the sample rate is locked, all
sample rate change requests from applications will be ignored and the hardware
will remain at that sample rate no matter what.
This feature is most useful in Multi-client audio mode (see below). Suppose you
have locked the sample rate to 44100. If you are recording a project at 44100 and
another sound tries to play at, say, 22050, the sample rate won't change. Sample
rate locking only applies while your Echo hardware is set to Internal clock. This
setting defaults to unlocked.
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VxD console – Gina24 and Layla24
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD Console – Mia and Mia MIDI
This section only applies if you installed the VxD drivers and are using Mia or
MiaMIDI.
A “virtual control surface” application called the Console is included with the VxD
driver. Every time you start Windows you will see it flicker across the screen as it
loads. Then it will minimize itself to the taskbar. The Console allows you to
control the audio I/O and clocking functions of Mia/MiaMIDI, and it brings these
controls to a single easy-to-use location. From the console you can mix the virtual
outputs, control the output levels, select clocks, and adjust input monitoring.
The Console software was automatically installed at the same time that you
installed the Mia/MiaMIDI driver for Windows 98/Me. If installation was
successful, you should see a blue capital letter M in your Windows 98/Me taskbar
(typically in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen). Double- clicking on the
“M” will activate the console program. It should look like this:
62
VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
The console functions are grouped into three areas: inputs and monitors (on the
left), virtual output mixing controls (in the middle), and outputs (on the right hand
side). The controls for a particular function/stereo pair are then further grouped
into a box that contains selection buttons, faders, and other controls and displays as
determined by the function.
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VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
Input Controls
Let’s take a look at the control surface. The input
control area is located in the upper left portion of
the console surface. For each input device pair you
will find a pair of input meters. In addition, the
analog inputs have controls that allow you to select
between +4 dBu (professional) input levels or –10
dBV (consumer) input levels. Clicking on the
button will toggle back and forth between the two
levels.
Monitor Controls
Below the input channels are the input monitor
controls. These allow you to monitor the input
signal via any of the outputs on your
Mia/MiaMIDI. Each input channel pair has a
corresponding monitor control pair directly below
it on the console. At the top of each monitor pair
are radio buttons that allow you to selectively mute
(M) or solo (S) each channel. In the middle you
will find a pair of faders that will allow you to set
the levels of the monitor signals. At the bottom of
the control area there is a radio button that allows
you to “gang” (G) the faders. Ganging the faders ties them together so that they
will maintain their relative placement with regard to each other. Below each fader
is its corresponding pan control. In the default pan positions (see example below)
the signal from input 1(left) will be monitored by output 1(left), and the signal
from input 2(right) will be monitored by output 2(right). Moving a pan control
will determine how much of the input signal is sent to each output channel in the
selected output pair. Both pan controls and faders can be reset to default by
pressing the Ctrl button and left clicking on the control.
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VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
Notice that the monitor controls are labeled at bottom indicating which input is
being monitored and which output they are going to. In the pictures above,
controls for the analog outputs are shown. There is a duplicate set of controls for
monitoring through the digital outputs that are hidden from view. Clicking on the
large “Output Controls” button labeled “Digital” at the bottom of the console will
display the monitor controls for monitoring through the digital outputs. These
controls are labeled “Analog => Digital” and “Digital => Digital”.
The monitors are one of the most powerful functions of the console. When you are
recording, these controls allow you to set the level at which each input signal will
be monitored at each of the outputs, independent of the main output level control.
When setting a monitor level, you must first select whether you are adjusting the
monitors for the analog or digital outputs by clicking on the appropriate “Output
Controls” button on the bottom of the console. Then adjust the input that will be
monitored. Selection of the input is really just a matter of using the correct
monitor control box. A monitor setting will always affect the input pair that is
directly above it. To set the monitor for the analog inputs, for example, simply go
to the monitor control directly below the analog inputs and click on one of the
buttons found in the center of the control.
Let’s say you want to set the level at which the analog inputs are monitored
through the S/PDIF outputs on Mia/MiaMIDI. You would first click on the
“Digital” output control button at the bottom of the console to select the digital
controls. Then you would adjust the monitoring levels by using the sliders and
buttons within the monitor control labeled “Analog => Digital). The console
program remembers any settings that you make, and all settings for all outputs are
maintained independently.
Remember that all of the monitor controls remain in effect even when they’re not
displayed. The degree of attenuation (or muting) of each level is set by the monitor
controls. The console program constantly maintains a level setting for each of the
monitor paths it controls. Clicking on either the “Analog” or “Digital” output
control button simply selects the settings that are displayed.
65
VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
Virtual Output Controls
The middle of the console is dedicated to the
controls for virtual output channels one through
eight. The output controls look like the monitor
controls (Gang, Mute, Solo, & faders), except that
there are also meters that show the levels for each
of the virtual outputs. Just like the monitor
controls, the output faders can be reset to default by
pressing the Ctrl button and left clicking on the
fader.
The controls for mixing virtual outputs 1/2 and 3/4
to the analog outputs are shown above. Just like
the monitor controls, there are duplicate controls
for mixing to the digital outputs that are not shown.
To view these controls, select the “Digital” output
controls button at the bottom of the console.
All virtual output sliders default to 0 dB when the
console is first installed. Since multiple outputs are
being added together, you may need to lower these
levels to avoid clipping at the analog or digital
output. Also, when the console is first installed virtual outputs 1/2 are routed to the
analog outputs and virtual outputs 3/4 are routed to the digital outputs.
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VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
Output Controls
The right hand side of the console is dedicated to the controls for
the “physical” analog and digital outputs. An output meter pair is
included for the two S/PDIF output channels, but these levels are
not adjustable. The analog output controls are similar to those
found on the virtual output controls (Gang, Mute, Solo, & faders),
except that there are no pan controls and in there place there are
buttons that allow you to select between +4 dBu (professional)
input levels or –10dBV (consumer) input levels. Clicking on the
button will toggle back and forth between the two levels. Just like
the monitor controls, the output faders can be reset to default by
pressing the Ctrl button and left clicking on the fader.
Adjusting Monitor and Playback Levels
Mia/MiaMIDI’s output volume adjustments are made in the digital domain. When
you lower a volume slider, you are actually decreasing the number of available
bits, thereby taking away from the potential dynamic range of the system. To avoid
this, we suggest that whenever possible you leave the output sliders set to their
maximum positions, and perform any necessary attenuation on your external
mixer. When the Mia playback volume controls are set to maximum and the input
signal approaches the maximum pre-clipping level, you can achieve the full 24-bit
dynamic range of the system.
67
VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
Setting Clock Sources and Output Controls
At the very bottom of the Console there are buttons that allow you to select the
clock that is used by Mia/MiaMIDI. You may choose between Mia/MiaMIDI’s
own internal or “on-board” clock or you may synchronize to an external digital
input. The console program will detect whether a digital input clock is available,
and automatically disable the “Digital” Clock Source button if a digital clock is
unavailable.
There are also buttons for selecting controls that affect either the analog outputs or
the digital outputs. When “Analog” is selected, the monitors and virtual output
controls for the analog outputs are displayed within the Console. When “Digital”
is selected, the controls for the digital outputs are shown.
Clock Source and Output Control buttons are at the bottom of the Console.
Synchronizing Multiple Devices
Mia and MiaMIDI are designed to work alongside other audio equipment. If you
are planning on using Mia or MiaMIDI with other audio equipment, please note the
following:
The Mia/MiaMIDI Windows drivers included in this package support multiple
Mias and MiaMIDIs within the same system. In addition, your new Mia/MiaMIDI
will operate alongside other Echo products. Mia/MiaMIDI can also peacefully
coexist with audio equipment from other manufacturers, but be aware that
operating alongside another product is not the same as operating with it. In order
for accurate synchronization to occur, the other audio product(s) in your system
must support synchronization with Mia/MiaMIDI’s digital input or outputs.
Without such synchronization, the individual pieces of equipment will act
68
VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
independently of each other. This scenario may be fine for some musical
applications; however, it is not appropriate for situations where sample-accurate
synchronization is required or that will be affected by clock drift.
Mia/MiaMIDI can slave to or generate synchronization signals with its digital
(S/PDIF) interface. The S/PDIF (Sony/Phillips Digital Interchange Format) is a
serial bit stream that has a clock signal embedded in the data stream. When
recording from an S/PDIF source Mia/MiaMIDI will utilize the synchronization
clock that is embedded in the S/PDIF while it decodes the bit stream.
Note: When recording from a S/PDIF port, you must select Digital as the
input clock. For greater flexibility, this is not done automatically. If you
find that your S/PDIF recordings contain pops or skips, be sure that you
have selected Digital as your input clock.
Now let’s take a look at some possible configurations and how you might set them
up from a synchronization standpoint.
Let’s start simple. Suppose that Mia is the only audio device used in your system.
Since you have no other devices to synchronize with, simply select “Internal” for
Mia’s input clock. Mia will then use its own clock to control its operation.
Now a little more complicated set-up: You have two Mias connected. Simply set
Mia #1 to “Internal” for its input clock. Now connect the first Mia to the second
one via an S/PDIF cable running from DOUT on Mia #1 to DIN on Mia #2. Now
select Digital for Mia #2’s clock source. Your Mias will now operate in unison.
No matter how many devices you are synchronizing, the concept is essentially the
same. You are merely “daisy-chaining” devices together using compatible clocks.
One device will operate as the source of the master clock, with each successive
device using that clock to sync.
69
VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
The File Menu
At the top left of the Console window you will find the File menu. By selecting the
File menu, several configuration options become available to you. The first menu
option is “Preferences.” The Preferences option brings up the Console
“Preferences Page” window. We’ll get to that window shortly, but first let’s go
on to the rest of the File menu options.
The second option under the File menu is “Hide” which closes the Console
window. You can reopen the Console by clicking on the blue “M” in the bottom
left of the Windows taskbar.
The third option under the File menu is “Exit” which closes the current instance of
the Console. This will not only close the Console window, but also shut down the
Console application and remove it from the system tray. Don’t worry; if you want
to bring the Console back, you can do it by disabling, then re-enabling the Show
console on taskbar checkbox in the Mia by Echo Properties window (see below
under “Additional Configuration Settings”). It will also come back when you
restart Windows.
70
VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
The Preferences Page
The Preferences Page is accessible through the Console File menu.
Digital I/O - Selecting the S/PDIF Output Format
Mia/MiaMIDI can transmit digital information in either of two formats,
“professional” or “consumer.” The primary difference between the two is in the
implementation of the SCMS copy protection bit, which, in the Consumer format,
prevents the user from making digital copies of a digital copy.
Mia/MiaMIDI’s S/PDIF output defaults to the Professional format. If you are
recording from Mia/MiaMIDI into a consumer DAT deck, the deck may not be
able to recognize the signal until you switch Mia/MiaMIDI’s output to Consumer.
71
VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
We have provided a software switch in the Mia/MiaMIDI driver that allows you to
select which format Mia/MiaMIDI transmits. In the window that appears you’ll see
a pair of check boxes in an area labeled S/PDIF Out Format: one box is labeled
Consumer and the other Professional. Select the appropriate format for your DAT
(if you don’t know which one to use and are having difficulties, simply try the one
that is not currently checked). Mia/MiaMIDI never transmits the SCMS bit;
regardless of which format is selected.
Digital I/O - Dither Input
In the top right is a checkbox labeled Dither Input. This checkbox allows you to
enable or disable dithering on the digital inputs. It is off by default. Most of the
time you will want to leave this setting disabled. The only time you will want to
use dithering is when you are receiving a 24-bit signal over the digital inputs, but
you want to record it as a 16-bit wave file. In this case, dithering will improve the
audio quality.
General - Sync Wave Devices
This is mainly for developers who are using tools like Visual Basic or Delphi and
want the inputs and outputs to be totally independent. Unless you have a good
reason to turn it off, you should leave this switch on.
If you have a program that is telling you that our hardware isn't full duplex,
chances are you can fix this by either disabling this switch or enabling Multi-client
audio (see “Additional Configuration Settings” below).
72
VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
VxD console- Mia and MiaMIDI
Sample Rate Lock
These controls allow you to enable or disable the Sample Rate Lock feature, as
well as set the sample rate you want to lock to. While the sample rate is locked, all
sample rate change requests from applications will be ignored and the hardware
will remain at that sample rate no matter what.
This feature is most useful in Multi-client audio mode (see below). Suppose you
have locked the sample rate to 44100. If you are recording a project at 44100 and
another sound tries to play at, say, 22050, the sample rate won't change. Sample
rate locking only applies while Mia/MiaMIDI is set to Internal clock. This setting
defaults to unlocked.
73
VxD console – Mia and MiaMIDI
Additional VxD console settings –all products
Additional Configuration Settings (VxD Drivers)
In addition to those settings that can be made using the Console program, there are
a number of other configuration options available only to users of Windows
98/Me. These are found in the Windows Control Panel. To access these controls,
begin by pressing the Windows Start button. Select Settings, then Control Panel.
In the Control Panel window, locate the icon for System, and double-click on it.
Click on the tab titled Device Manager. Now locate the line titled Sound, video
and game controllers. Finally, locate the line titled
Layla24/Gina24/Mia/MiaMIDI by Echo, and double-click. This will bring up the
Echo Properties window, which we saw briefly in the “Installing the VxD
Software Drivers” section of this manual.
Let’s take a look at the “Settings” screen by clicking on the tab labeled Settings.
Additional settings can be found in the “Properties” page.
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Additional VxD console settings –all products
Additional VxD console settings –all products
Show console on taskbar
The first selection in the General section of the Settings screen allows you to
determine whether the Console program will occupy a space on the Windows
taskbar (for example, Mia’s blue “M” in the bottom right-hand corner of the
Windows desktop).
Checking this option enables this feature, while unchecking will disable it.
Monitor during playback
In the default mode, your Echo product allows you to monitor your input signal
whether you are recording, playing back, or simply idle. In some situations, such as
when performing punch-in recording, it may be desirable to have the input signal
muted until Record is enabled. In the Echo Properties window that appears you’ll
see a checkbox labeled Monitor during playback. Uncheck the box to disable
input monitoring during playback; recheck it to enable input monitoring during
playback. The Monitoring controls are found in the Console (see above).
SAW compatibility mode
When using Gina24, Mia, or MiaMIDI with earlier versions of the Software Audio
Workshop (SAW) program from Innovative Quality Software, there are some
special considerations that must be accommodated by the driver. SAW expects an
equal number of inputs and outputs on. For SAW compatibility, the driver creates
several non-functional mirrors of input channels 1 and 2 (making an equal number
of ins and outs). To insure the hardware will operate properly with earlier versions
of SAW, check the box labeled SAW Compatibility Mode.
75
Additional VxD console settings –all products
Additional VxD console settings –all products
Multi-client audio
Multi-client audio lets you use different inputs and outputs on your Echo audio
system with different audio programs at the same time. Otherwise, you would
have to use a different audio device with each audio application.
For example, suppose you own both Cubase VST (multitrack audio) and Reality
(software synthesizer). You can now set Cubase VST to play out through outputs
1 through 6, and set Reality to play out through outputs 7 and 8.
The default setting for Multi-client audio is disabled. Although this feature is very
useful, it can also be difficult to use properly. We highly recommend that you read
the appendix entitled “Multi-client audio FAQ,” found later in this manual,
before using this feature.
76
Additional VxD console settings –all products
Additional VxD console settings –all products
DirectSound/GSIF Settings
Click on the DirectSound/GSIF tab. The window will change to look like this:
The two radio buttons on the top toggle between the DirectSound and GSIF
modes, which are mutually exclusive. While DirectSound is enabled, you will not
be able to use your Echo product with the Gigasampler or Gigastudio software
samplers. Conversely, when GSIF is enabled, you will not be able to use the Echo
DirectSound driver.
The first checkbox is called “Enable DirectSound for analog outputs.” This
allows you to enable or disable the DirectSound driver for the analog outputs only.
The second checkbox is called “Enable DirectSound for digital outputs.” This
allows you to enable or disable the DirectSound driver for the digital outputs only.
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Additional VxD console settings –all products
Additional VxD console settings –all products
DirectSound can only support a limited number of outputs, so if you have several
audio devices with a large number of outputs you may not be able to find the
output you are looking for. In this situation, you can disable some of the
DirectSound outputs, and then when you restart you should be able to find the
DirectSound output that was missing before.
The third checkbox is labeled “Lock DirectSound format.” This allows you to
force the DirectSound driver to playback files at a certain sample rate and bit
depth. It also allows you to lock it to stereo or mono.
This setting only applies if you are using software that uses multiple DirectSound
outputs simultaneously, such as the applications offered by Stage Research. For
this reason, it defaults as disabled.
Note: This is not the same as the “sample rate lock” feature found in the
Console.
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Additional VxD console settings –all products
Contacting Echo Customer Service
If you experience any trouble with your Echo hardware please go to the support
area of our website at www.echoaudio.com, and check out the quicktips &
troubleshooting FAQ’s we have there. If you can’t find a solution to your problem
there, please fill out the provided technical support email form. This form will be
sent to our technical support staff, and they will respond to you quickly. Please fill
out the form completely. The best way to get the help you need is by giving us
plenty of detailed information about your computer system, your audio software
and the problem you are having.
We do ask you to please read through this manual and the support area of our
website before contacting us. Also, you may find an answer to your problem using
the Appendices of the owner’s manual.
Thank you for buying an Echo product!
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Appendix A: General Troubleshooting Guide
Note: For the latest information about software compatibility, please visit
our website at www.echoaudio.com
Problem: After installing your Echo product, one or more of your peripheral
devices no longer functions properly.
Solution: During the installation of your Echo product under Win98/Me it is
possible that an interrupt conflict was created. Please see Appendix B: Resolving
Interrupt Conflicts for more information on this topic.
Problem: You installed your Echo product and restarted Windows. Now Windows
indicates that it has found new hardware and wants you to install a driver for it.
This hardware was working before you installed your Echo product, and the driver
for this hardware was already installed.
Solution: It is possible that during the installation process you moved an existing
card from one slot to another. Windows keeps track of installed devices, not only
by peripheral type, but also by physical location. In moving a card from one slot to
another, Windows will no longer recognize the card as one for which a driver is
installed. You must re-install the driver for the card that was moved.
Problem: You installed multiple Echo cards, and you get several error messages
telling you that Windows is unable to open the Mixer Library.
Solution: You can ignore these error messages and click “OK”. Now restart
Windows. After you restart, everything should work normally. The error
messages only appear when you install an additional Echo card. This will be fixed
in a future driver release.
Problem: You are unable to get your DAT recorder to recognize the S/PDIF
output.
Solution: Digital information is transmitted in either of two modes, “professional”
or “consumer.” The professional mode is usually implemented in devices that are
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likely to be used in professional recording environments, whereas the consumer
mode is commonly implemented on equipment designed for home use in the
consumer market. The primary difference between the two modes is in the
implementation of the SCMS copy-protection bit, which, in the consumer format,
prevents the user from making digital copies of a digital copy. In most professional
equipment, this copy-protection bit can be turned off or on according to the user’s
needs. In consumer products, the SCMS bit is always enabled.
Unfortunately there is no way for the transmitting device to automatically detect
which format the receiving device is able to accept. If you have a DAT deck that is
not able to read the S/PDIF output from your Echo card, chances are it is
transmitting in the mode that the deck is not equipped to handle.
We have provided a software switch in the driver that allows you to select which
mode your Echo hardware transmits. To access this switch go to the Console.
Select Preferences under the File menu. In the window that appears you’ll see a
pair of check boxes in an area labeled S/PDIF Out Format; one box is labeled
Consumer and the other Professional. Select the appropriate format for your DAT
(if you don’t know which one to use, simply select the one that is not currently
checked). Now click the OK button and again try recording to your DAT.
Note: Your Echo card never transmits the SCMS bit, regardless of which
mode is selected.
Problem: When the Windows start-up sound plays, it plays at an altered pitch.
Solution: When your Echo card is set to sync with an external device, it will
playback at the rate generated by that device. If the startup sound you are using
was sampled at 8kHz, but you are synchronized with a device running at 44.1kHz,
the startup sound will play back at this faster rate. You have four choices - ignore
the altered pitch, switch to internal clock, use the sample rate lock feature, or use a
different device for the startup sound playback. We suggest that you never use
your Echo card for playback of any of Windows’ system sounds.
Problem: Your Echo card doesn’t seem to recognize the synchronization clock to
which it is connected.
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Solution: Although it may seem obvious, the first thing to check is that there is a
physical connection between the device generating the clock and your Echo
hardware. Just because multiple devices are connected to the same computer
doesn’t mean they are synchronized. Next, be sure that you have selected the
desired input clock source in the Console.
Problem: Recordings made using the S/PDIF port contain occasional pops or
skips.
Solution: When recording with the S/PDIF port, you must manually select the
S/PDIF clock as the input clock. This can be done using the Console.
Problem: On Windows startup you hear a high pitched squealing sound or your
S/PDIF signal has gone crazy.
Solution: Reset the sample rate. Windows always sets the sample rate to 11kHz at
startup. Because S/PDIF doesn’t support this rate, you will have problems syncing
until you reset your Echo hardware’s sample rate to one within spec (like 44.1 or
48kHZ). You can do this by playing a wave file of the appropriate sample rate
through Echo card’s outputs. Then you will be able to sync properly
Problem: The sound cuts in and out, or the left or right channel doesn’t work.
Solution: You may have a bad audio cable. Try using a different cable in the
problem channel.
Problem: There is no sound unless I pull the audio plug out a little.
Solution: Not all ¼” plugs are made to the exact same dimensions. Try a
plug/cable from a different manufacturer.
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Appendix B: Resolving IRQ Conflicts - Windows
98/Me
We estimate that 95% of Echo installations will go without a hitch⎯that Plug-andPlay will properly assign resources to your card without any conflicts. The other
5% of you may experience interrupt problems (mostly caused by non-Plug-andPlay ISA cards or PCI cards that don’t like to share). These problems can manifest
themselves by causing your new Echo card to not function properly; in some
instances, devices will fail that were previously working just fine.
If you are having problems with your computer after installing a new Echo card (or
if you are unable to successfully install the card at all), please read the sections
below describing what interrupts are, how they are assigned, and how to work
around interrupt conflicts. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help you solve your problem
without too much trouble.
What is an Interrupt?
A computer has two ways of telling when a device, such as an audio card, is ready
to exchange data with a program. One way is to have the computer periodically ask
or “poll” the device to see if it’s ready to transfer new data. Since it is important to
do the transfer as soon as it is ready, the program must poll the card quite often,
which wastes the computer’s resources.
The other method is to have the card “interrupt” the program when it is ready to
transfer data. It does this by sending a signal over one of the many interrupt wires
connected to the slot into which it is plugged. X86 and Pentium PC’s have 16
possible interrupts (0 to 15), five of which are reserved by the motherboard for the
keyboard, system timer, etc.
ISA and PCI Interrupts
There are two types of expansion connectors found on today’s computers. The
older style connectors are called ISA (for Industry Standard Architecture)
connectors. ISA connectors have 11 of the 16 PC interrupts wired to them. Some
ISA cards (also called “legacy” cards) have you select which interrupt is used by
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configuring jumpers on the card. Newer Plug-and-Play ISA cards have their
interrupts selected by either the computer’s BIOS (the built-in program that starts
the computer) or by Windows 98/Me.
The newer PCI (Peripheral Connect Interface) bus transfers data faster than ISA
and was designed to support Plug-and-Play from the start. PCI connectors have
only four interrupts wired to them (A, B, C, and D). However, these interrupts can
be shared by more than one PCI connector slot and each connector’s interrupt can
be assigned or “steered” to one of the 11 available PC interrupts by either the BIOS
or Windows 98/Me. As far as the user is concerned, PCI interrupts use the same
numbers and are assigned the same way as Plug-and-Play ISA interrupts. Note,
however, that a PCI card can share an interrupt with another PCI card but not with
an ISA card.
Plug-and-Play and Interrupts
When your computer first starts up, the BIOS will check each connector slot to see
if a Plug-and-Play card is installed. Each Plug-and-Play card has built into it a list
of what resources it requires including how many interrupts it needs and which
ones it can use. The BIOS will then configure each card and, if needed, assign an
appropriate interrupt. It does this for both ISA and PCI Plug-and-Play cards.
Windows 98/Me will also check for and configure Plug-and-Play cards, possibly
changing some of the settings to suit its needs.
Legacy Cards and Interrupt Conflicts
Problems can arise when the system contains older “legacy” ISA cards with their
jumper-configured (or possibly hard-wired) interrupts. The computer’s BIOS and
Windows 98/Me have no automatic way to detect these cards and determine which
interrupts, if any, are being used. For example, you may have a MIDI card installed
with its jumpers configured to use IRQ 9. Since the BIOS cannot detect the legacy
card it will consider IRQ 9 to be a free interrupt. Consequently, it may assign IRQ
9 to your Echo card. The next time you try and use your MIDI card or play back
audio via your Echo card, neither device will function properly.
Or, maybe you have a SCSI card that had previously been assigned to IRQ 10. The
BIOS may now decide to assign IRQ 10 to your Echo card, and move the SCSI
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card to IRQ 9. An interrupt conflict now exists between the SCSI card and the
older MIDI card.
PCI Cards and Interrupt Conflicts
Some plug & play PCI cards can also cause interrupt conflicts when they try to
share an IRQ with another PCI card. Many PCI cards can share an IRQ with no
problems at all, but some just don’t like to share. For example, you may have a
network card installed, and Windows has it configured to use IRQ 10. Since that is
the only card assigned to IRQ 10, Windows assumes that it is OK to let it share
with the next PCI card that comes along. Consequently, it may assign your Echo
card to share IRQ 10. This network card happens to be unfriendly and doesn’t like
to share, so the next time you try to use it or your Echo card, neither device will
function properly.
Resolving Interrupt Conflicts
Although there is no way to automatically detect legacy interrupts, Windows
98/Me and some BIOS’s allow you to reserve specific interrupts for legacy use.
Once an interrupt is reserved it will not be assigned by Plug-and-Play to another
card. Or, if you have a PCI card that doesn’t like to share you may be able to
reassign it to a different IRQ.
The first thing to do if you think you have an interrupt conflict is to determine
which interrupt and which card is causing the problem. To do this, right-click on
the My Computer icon on your desktop and select Properties, or go to Start –
Settings – Control Panel and double-click the System icon. In the window that
appears, select the Device Manager tab. Now, highlight Computer, and click the
Properties button. A new window will appear that lists all of the interrupts (IRQs)
that Windows 98/Me recognizes are in use and the cards or resources to which they
are assigned. Write down the interrupts that are listed and the devices that are
assigned to them. Pay particular notice to the interrupt that your Echo card is
assigned to.
Once you know which interrupt your Echo card is trying to use, you need to locate
which card is potentially causing the conflict. To do this you may need to dig out
the manuals for whatever ISA cards are installed and examine the jumper settings
to determine which interrupts, if any, are used. Hopefully, at this point you will
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find an offending card that was not listed by Device Manager, but is using an
interrupt that Windows has assigned to another device. If you don’t have any ISA
cards, or your legacy ISA card is not causing the conflict, you should take note of
which PCI card is assigned to the same IRQ as your Echo card.
If you have lost your manuals and are having trouble figuring out which card may
be causing a problem, you can try the brute force approach. Remove all cards from
your system and then re-install them one at a time until the system quits working.
The card that makes the computer stop working correctly will be the one that needs
to be dealt with.
Once the offending card has been identified you have a few different options. One
option is to simply remove the card from your system. However, you’ve likely got
the card in there for a reason, so unless it’s an old sound card you don’t care about
keeping, you’ll probably want to use an approach to remedying the problem that
allows the card to remain in the system.
If the offending card is a legacy ISA card, another option is to change the IRQ on
the card to an IRQ that isn’t currently being used as reported by the Reporter
program. While this may fix the problem at hand, the next time you add another
new Plug-and-Play card you may wind up with another conflict. If you choose this
option it is still a good idea to reserve the IRQ as described below.
If the offending card is a PCI card, you may want to skip to the section on
“Reconfiguring an IRQ within Windows 98/Me - PCI” a few pages down.
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Reserving an IRQ within the BIOS – Legacy ISA
Other than removing the offending legacy card, the next most effective method is
to reserve the IRQ for legacy use within your BIOS. To do this you will need to
enter the BIOS configuration screen when your computer first starts up. This is
usually done by pressing the Delete key or F1 key right after the memory test
during the boot-up routine. Once you’re in the BIOS control panel, check to see if
you are given the option of manually configuring your interrupts. Some BIOS’s,
such as those from Award, allow you to choose between “Plug-and-Play” and
“legacy ISA” for each interrupt. If you select “legacy ISA” for the interrupt that is
being used by your legacy card, the BIOS will know not to assign that interrupt to
a Plug-and-Play card.
Unfortunately, some BIOS’s don’t support this capability. If your BIOS is one of
those, don’t worry: You still have another option. See the next page.
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Reserving an IRQ within Windows 98/Me – Legacy ISA
Windows 98/Me also allows you to reserve interrupts for legacy use. In most cases
this works just as well as reserving the IRQ in the BIOS. However, you may still
have problems if you boot up an older version of DOS from a floppy where
Windows 98/Me can’t do its Plug-and-Play magic. To reserve an IRQ within
Windows 98/Me do the following:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Click on the Start button and select Control Panel under the Settings option.
Double click on the icon labeled System.
Select the tab labeled Device Manager and click the Properties button.
Select the tab labeled Reserve Resources and make sure that Interrupt
Request is selected.
5. Click on the Add button and enter the IRQ that is being used by your legacy
card.
6. Windows may prompt you that the IRQ is currently in use by another device.
Click on Details to see which device Windows currently thinks is using this
IRQ. It should be your Echo card or whatever device is currently conflicting
with your legacy card. If that is the case, go ahead and reserve the IRQ.
7. When Windows asks, reboot your machine. When Windows restarts your Plugand-Play cards will not be assigned to the reserved IRQ.
Hopefully, your system will now be functioning properly. If not, please refer to the
“Contacting Customer Service” section of this manual. We’ll do our best to help
you solve your problem.
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Reconfiguring an IRQ within Windows 98/Me - PCI
Now that you have identified the offending card and the IRQ in contention, you
will want to try to reconfigure its IRQ setting. To do this, you must open the
Device Manager. Select Start – Settings – Control Panel – System, and click the
Device Manager tab. Find the entry for the PCI card that is causing the problem,
highlight it, and click the Properties button. In the properties window that appears,
select the Resources tab. Make sure that “Use automatic settings” is unchecked,
highlight “Interrupt Request,” and click the Change Setting button. Some cards
will allow you to change the IRQ setting at this point, while others will give you a
message saying, “This resource setting cannot be modified.” If you are allowed to
change the IRQ, a window will appear that lets you choose from several different
values. Scroll through the different values until you find one that says, “No
devices are conflicting.” Choose that one and keep selecting OK until Device
Manager is closed, then restart Windows.
If you are unable to reconfigure the IRQ and you have a free PCI slot, you may
want to try moving your Echo card or the offending card to a different slot. Make
sure your computer is off first, and follow the safety instructions in this manual for
hardware installation. Sometimes this can help, because Windows will assign a
different IRQ depending on which slot the PCI card is in.
Hopefully, your system will now be functioning properly. If not, please refer to the
“Contacting Customer Service” section of this manual. We’ll do our best to help
you solve your problem.
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Appendix C: Multi-client audio FAQ
Q: What is “Multi-client audio”?
Multi-client audio is a feature that lets you use different inputs and outputs on your
Echo card with different applications at the same time. This way, you can use
several different audio applications with just one Echo card. Otherwise, you would
have to use a different audio device for each audio application.
For example, suppose you own both Cubase VST (multitrack audio) and Reality
(software synthesizer). You can now set Cubase VST to play out through outputs
1 through 6, and set Reality to play out through outputs 7 and 8. In previous Echo
card drivers, you had to choose between one software program and the other.
Note that all of the various interfaces are multi-client. You could have an ASIO
application, a wave application, and a DirectSound application all running at the
same time. It's very flexible.
If you want to use multi-client audio, you need to enable it in the main driver
properties page. See the section entitled “Additional Configuration Settings” in
this manual.
Note: Multiclient audio is always enabled with the WDM driver.
Q: So what's the catch?
The catch is this: all the apps using the Echo card at the same time must be set at
the same sample rate. This is a limitation of the hardware.
Say that you didn't follow this rule in the previous example. Say that you initially
had Cubase VST and Reality set up for 44.1 kHz- so far, so good. Then you load a
song into Cubase that is set up for 48 kHz. Cubase will change the sample rate of
the hardware. Unfortunately, this means that Reality is now also coming out at 48
kHz, so all the sounds played out of Reality will sound higher in pitch.
If you're planning to use multi-client audio, the best thing you can do is to sit down
and plan it out. Make a chart of each input and output on the Echo card and write
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down what application is going to use what input or output. Go through all the
applications you plan to use this way, set them all up for the same sample rate, and
set up their inputs and outputs correctly.
You should also turn off your system sounds. Most system sounds tend to be at 11
kHz or 22 kHz. Imagine that you're recording the best guitar solo of your life and
someone clicks on something on the screen. The 22 kHz system sound will play
out of an unused output and drop the sample rate of the whole system to 22,
ruining your take.
If you really want system sounds, go buy a $30 cheapo sound card and play them
through that. Set the preferred device in the Multimedia control panel to the
cheapo sound card and check “Use preferred devices only.”
Q: What are the rules that I should follow if I want to use multiple
audio applications at the same time?
- Set all your applications to the same sample rate. (You can also use the “sample
rate lock” feature in the Console to help with this.)
-Turn off your system sounds.
- Figure out ahead of time which inputs and outputs each application is going to
use. Inputs and outputs cannot be shared between applications.
Q: What I really want to do is use a software synthesizer or sampler
like Gigasampler, Reality, or Retro AS/1. What's the best way to
use this with an audio and MIDI sequencer like Cubase VST or
Cakewalk?
The best thing you can do is run the synthesizer/sampler application first, then run
the sequencer. Make sure that each application is set to use a different set of
inputs and outputs.
With the VxD ASIO drivers, you need to be careful with assigning inputs and
outputs to get Cubase VST to work in multi-client mode. With WDM, the ASIO
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driver hides channels from Cubase that are already in use, which greatly simplifies
getting multi-client mode to work.
.
Q: Can I run a Direct Sound program, an ASIO program, and a
wave program all at the same time?
Sure. If you don't understand the question, don't worry about it.
Q: What's the downside to all this?
The main downside is that your computer may very well have a hard time keeping
up! If you fire up three different audio apps at once, your computer is probably
going to struggle unless you have a really hot machine. The key here is memory,
more memory, and a fast CPU.
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Appendix D: WDM-Windows Driver Model FAQ
Please note – for additional WDM driver features not covered in this
manual, please refer to the “Readme” file that is installed along with
the drivers.
Q: What is a WDM driver and why should I care?
WDM stands for “Windows Driver Model.” Microsoft realized they were asking
hardware manufacturers to write a lot of different drivers: support for Windows
NT, Windows 95, support for the wave API, support for DirectSound, etc. To
encourage good driver development, they came up with the idea of WDM : you can
just write one driver that can run on all the different Windows platforms that
support all the different audio APIs.
You should care about WDM and our hardware if you meet any of the following
criteria:
-You are running Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
-You are running SONAR or some other audio application that talks directly
to WDM drivers.
If you are running Windows 95, 98, 98SE, or Me and are using the VxD drivers,
there probably isn’t a compelling reason to switch to WDM (unless you really,
really like the new console, or unless you have an audio application that takes
advantage of WDM).
The Windows driver installer that comes with your Echo product will help you
select the correct driver for your system.
Q: How is this driver different from the previously released
Windows 2000 beta drivers?
The previously released Windows 2000 beta drivers were actually Windows NT 4
drivers that could also be run under Windows 2000. They were not plug-n-play
(since NT 4 does not support plug-n-play), and they worked the “old way.”
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What’s the old way? Here’s a simplified diagram:
Audio application
⇓
Echo wave driver
⇓
Echo kernel mode driver
⇓
PCI card
So, you can see the audio application would communicate more or less directly
with our wave driver (it doesn’t really, but that’s close enough for this discussion).
If an application wanted to use a specialized 24-bit format, we could see what it
was asking for and add support for that. This also let us control exactly which
wave devices were listed and how their names were listed.
The new driver is a WDM driver. This means it was natively developed for
Windows 2000 (that is, it’s not a legacy driver running on a newer OS). However,
WDM drivers work differently (again, this is simplified):
Audio application
⇓
Microsoft’s WDMAUD wave driver
⇓
Microsoft’s kernel-mode audio mixer (a.k.a. the kmixer)
⇓
Echo WDM driver
⇓
PCI card
So you can see that there are now several layers of software interposed between
our driver and the application. This means we have had to give up some control
over how this works.
Unfortunately, this causes some pain; the worst of it is the WDMAUD wave driver
breaks most of the software out there that supports 24-bit audio. WDM audio, not
our driver, is now in charge of which wave devices get listed and which formats we
accept.
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The WDM driver now incorporates PureWave mode, which provides 24-bit
support for applications that don’t work with WDM drivers. For more
information, please refer to the readme file that installed with the drivers.
95
Q: Why can't I record or play at 24-bit resolution?
The short answer is that WDM audio drivers only support 24-bit audio if the
application is using Microsoft's new “extensible” wave format. Many existing
apps do not support this format. This only affects programs that use the
wave/MME or DirectSound APIs.
The long answer to this question appears up above, in the general WDM
discussion.
If your audio application doesn’t work in 24-bit mode, you can try PureWave
mode, which is documented in the readme file that is installed along with the
WDM driver.
Q: Why don’t you guys support WDM on Windows 98 or 98SE?
One of the problems we have with running a WDM driver is we are largely at the
mercy of the WDM audio subsystem in Windows. WDM audio in Windows 98 is
more or less broken. Windows 98SE is better, but still has a significant number of
problems. It’s not worthwhile for us to try and support something like that.
There is a patch for Windows 98SE which corrects many of the problems with
WDM audio; however, it is not directly available for download. If you want to
pursue getting this patch, log on to support.microsoft.com and read article
Q242937, or just follow this link:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q242/9/37.ASP?LN=ENUS&SD=gn&FR=0&qry=WDM%20audio&rnk=7&src=DHCS_MSPSS_gn_SRC
H&SPR=W98SE
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Appendix E: An Introduction to Digital Recording
Converting Sound into Numbers
In a digital recording system, sound is represented as a series of numbers, with
each number representing the voltage, or amplitude, of a sound wave at a particular
moment in time. The numbers are generated by an analog-to-digital converter, or
ADC, which converts the signal from an analog audio source (such as a guitar or a
microphone) connected to its input into numbers. The ADC reads the input signal
several thousand times a second, and outputs a number based on the input that is
read. This number is called a sample. The number of samples taken per second is
called the sample rate.
On playback, the process happens in reverse: The series of numbers is played back
through a digital-to-analog converter, or DAC, which converts the numbers back
into an analog signal. This signal can then be sent to an amplifier and speakers for
listening.
In computers, binary numbers are used to store the values that make up the
samples. Only two characters, 1 and 0, are used. The value of a character depends
on its place in the number, just as in the familiar decimal system. Here are a few
binary/decimal equivalents:
BINARY
0000000000000000
0000000000000001
0000000000000011
0000000000000111
0000000000001111
0000000000011111
1111111111111111
DECIMAL
0
1
3
7
15
31
65,535
Figure A. Binary numbers and their decimal equivalents
Each digit in the number is called a bit. The binary numbers expressed in figure A
are sixteen bits long, and have a maximum value of 65,535. The more bits that are
used to store the sampled value, the more closely it will represent the source signal.
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In a 16-bit system, there are 65,535 possible combinations of zeroes and ones, so
65,535 different voltages can be digitally represented. (see figure A above).
Figure B. The more bits there are available, the more accurate the
representation of the signal and the greater the dynamic range.
Your Echo card’s analog inputs use 24-bit ADCs, which means that the incoming
signal can be represented by any of over 16 million possible values. The output
DACs are also 24-bit; again, over 16 million values are possible. The S/PDIF
inputs and outputs also support signals with up to 24-bit resolution. Your Echo
card processes signals internally with 24-bit resolution to insure that there is no
degradation to the audio signal as it is processed through the system.
The number of bits available also determines the potential dynamic range of the
device. Moving a binary number one space to the left multiplies the value by two,
so each additional bit doubles the number of possible values that may be
represented. Each doubling of the number of values provides 6dB of additional
dynamic range (see decibel section below). So, a 24-bit system can theoretically
provide 144dB of dynamic range (6dB times 24 bits = 144dB) versus a 16-bit
system with a maximum dynamic range of only 96 dB.
Also important to the quality of a digital recording is the frequency with which the
samples are stored, called the sample rate. In order for a waveform to be faithfully
digitized, it must be sampled at a minimum of twice the highest frequency to be
stored. Failure to sample frequently enough results in a kind of distortion called
aliasing. (If you like technical issues, do some research on The Nyquist Theorem
which explains why this happens). In addition to aliasing, sampling too slowly
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will result in reduced high frequency reproduction. Your Echo card allows you to
sample sound at up to 96,000 times per second.
Once the waveform has been transformed into digital bits, it must be stored. When
sampling in stereo at 96kHz using a 24-bit word size, the system has to
accommodate 4,608,000 bits per second. In the past, storing this vast amount of
data was problematic. Today, computer-based digital recording systems record the
data directly to the computer’s hard disk. Today’s hard disks are capable of storing
large amounts of data, though the performance of hard drives can vary
substantially. The speed and size of your hard drive will be a major determining
factor in how many tracks of audio you will be able to simultaneously record and
playback.
Decibels
Audio signal levels are generally expressed in units called “decibels” which are
abbreviated as “dB”. This is a “logarithmic” scale where each doubling of signal
level is represented by an increase of 6dB. Therefore a signal of 6dB is twice as
big as a 0dB signal and a signal of 12dB is four times as big as a 0dB signal.
Since digital audio signals are represented by binary data, each bit of audio
information represents 6dB. A 16-bit number can represent a total range of 96dB
and a 24-bit number can represent a total range of 144dB (6 times the number of
bits). It’s much easier to say that one signal is 72dB less than another instead of
saying it is 1/4096 the size of the other one. It also more accurately represents the
way we hear sounds, since the smaller signal in the above example will still be
audible and not appear to be only 1/4096 as loud when we listen to it.
Just as there are different types of degrees used to represent temperature
(Fahrenheit, Celsius, etc), there are different types of decibels used to represent the
level of analog audio signals. The most common are dBu and dBV decibels. Both
of these represent voltage levels and still double for every increase of 6dB. It is
only the reference point, or 0dB level that is different. A 0dBV signal has a
voltage level of 1.0 volts. A 0dBu signal has a voltage level of .775 volts. Since
.775 is approximately 2dB less than 1.0, converting dBV levels into dBu levels is
as simple as subtracting 2dB (2.21 to be exact).
Signals are also occasionally represented with units of dBm. This is an older unit
that measures power instead of voltage levels with 0dBm representing 1 milliwatt.
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Earlier tube-based audio equipment used standardized input and output impedances
of 600 ohms, so a 0dBm signal was produced with a voltage of .775 volts. Since
most of today’s equipment uses impedances other than 600 ohms, it is more useful
to represent signals by voltages rather than power and the dBu unit was introduced.
A signal level of 0dBu is identical to a level of 0dBm.
Digital signals, after they are recorded, no longer directly represent any physical
quantity such as voltage or power and 0dB is generally used to represent a “fullscale” or maximum signal level. All other signal levels are lower and are
expressed as negative decibels. Most meters on digital equipment have 0dB at the
top and range downward from there. A signal that is 30dB below full scale would
simply be referred to as a –30dB signal.
Nominal Signal Levels and Headroom
Today’s equipment is generally referred to as +4 dBu equipment (professional) or
–10dBV equipment (consumer). These levels are the typical or “nominal” signal
levels you can expect to see with professional (studio) equipment such as mixers or
with consumer equipment such as home stereos and CD players. A +4 dBu signal
has a voltage level of 1.23 volts and a –10 dBV signal has a voltage level of .316
volts.
The above nominal levels represent typical or average levels that are often
exceeded when recording loud signals such as drum beats. The difference between
the nominal level and the loudest signal that can be recorded without clipping is
called “headroom”. Your Echo card provides approximately 14dB of headroom
allowing an 18dBu signal to be recorded.
Unbalanced and Balanced Inputs and Outputs
An unbalanced signal, commonly used for guitars and consumer electronics,
contains two components, a ground signal and a “hot” or active signal. The ground
is the barrel of a ¼” connector and the shell of an “RCA” style connector.
A balanced signal contains two active signals instead of one in addition to the
ground. These are referred to as the “plus” and “minus” signals. A balanced input
amplifier amplifies the difference between these two signals. Any extraneous
noise picked up from power lines or other sources will appear equally on both the
plus and minus inputs. This is called “common mode” noise since it is common to
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both signals and the input amplifier will subtract the noise on the minus input from
the noise on the plus input.
If the input amplifier is perfectly balanced and the noise on both plus and minus is
precisely equal, the noise will completely cancel out. In the real world this is not
the case and some of the common mode noise will still make it through, although
at a much reduced level. How well an input amplifier rejects this common mode
noise is called the “common mode rejection ratio” (abbreviated as CMRR) and is
expressed in dB.
Balanced signals connect with either XLR connectors or TRS (tip, ring, sleeve)
connectors. Your Echo card uses TRS connectors for connecting balanced line
level signals.
The three sections of a TRS connector are used to transmit the three components of
a balanced signal (T = plus, R = minus, S = ground).
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Dynamic Range
Dynamic range represents the difference between the maximum signal that can be
recorded and the “noise floor”, or level of noise with no signal present. A system
with a high dynamic range will be quieter than one with a lower dynamic range.
Dynamic range is a very important specification, and your echo card uses
converters that have very high dynamic range.
Theoretically, a 24-bit system has a dynamic range of 144dB and a 16-bit system
has a dynamic range of 96dB. Two questions immediately come to mind:
1) Why does my Echo card only have a dynamic range of 106 dB?
2) For mastering 16-bit CDs with a dynamic range of 96dB, isn’t anything
more than 96dB just overkill?
First, today’s analog-to-digital converters typically produce a full-scale input
voltage with an input of +7dBu. If they were to have 144dB of dynamic range,
they would have to be capable of resolving signals as small as –137 dBu (7dBu –
144dBu) or approximately 10 nano-volts. That’s 10 one-billionths of a volt!
Transistors and resistors produce noise in this range just by having electrons
moving around due to heat. Even if the converters could be perfectly designed to
read these levels, the low noise requirements of the surrounding circuitry such as
power supplies and amplifiers would be so stringent that they would either be
impossible or too expensive to build.
In answering the second question, consider the fact that music is often compressed
or amplified after it is recorded, and that some headroom is necessary when
recording to avoid clipping. The only way that 96dB would be adequate is if all
music were recorded so that the peaks were just under full-scale and no
compressing or amplification was going to be applied after recording. Any time
recorded music is amplified, so is the noise at the low end. Your Echo card has
enough dynamic range to allow sufficient headroom and post-processing to be
applied while still keeping the noise either off the CD completely or down as far as
possible.
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Appendix F: Specifications
Gina24 - Audio Performance
Analog Inputs (x2 balanced TRS):
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz, ±0.25dB
Dynamic Range: 108dB A-weighted
THD+n: <0.001%, 20Hz–22kHz A-weighted
Nominal Input Level: +4 dBu
Maximum Input Level: +18dBu
Input Impedance: 10K
Analog Outputs (x8 balanced TRS):
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz, ±0.25dB
Dynamic Range: 110dB A-weighted
THD+n: <0.002%, 20Hz–22kHz A-weighted
Nominal Output Level: +4 dBu
Maximum Output Level: +18dBu
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Gina24 - Hardware
Host Interface: PCI bus mastering card
Two balanced ¼” analog inputs with precision 24-bit 128x oversampling
analog-to-digital converters
Eight balanced ¼” analog outputs with high performance 24-bit 128x
oversampling digital-to-analog converters
S/PDIF digital I/O with up to 24-bit resolution
ADAT optical digital I/O
Headphone output with volume control
On-board 24-bit Motorola DSP
24-bit data resolution maintained throughout entire signal path
Multiple sample rates from 8kHz to 96kHz
Esync clock I/O
104
Layla24 - Audio Performance
Analog Inputs (x8 balanced TRS):
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz, ±0.25dB
Dynamic Range: 110dB A-weighted
THD+n: <0.001%, 20Hz–22kHz A-weighted
Nominal Input Level: +4 dBu
Maximum Input Level: +22dBu
Input Impedance: 10K
Analog Outputs (x8 balanced TRS):
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz, ±0.25dB
Dynamic Range: 115dB A-weighted
THD+n: <0.002%, 20Hz–22kHz A-weighted
Nominal Output Level: +4 dBu
Maximum Output Level: +22dBu
105
Layla24 - Hardware
Host Interface: PCI bus mastering card
Eight balanced ¼” analog inputs with precision 24-bit 128x oversampling
analog-to-digital converters
Eight balanced ¼” analog outputs with high performance 24-bit 128x
oversampling digital-to-analog converters
S/PDIF digital I/O with up to 24-bit resolution
ADAT optical digital I/O
Headphone output with volume control
On-board 24-bit Motorola DSP
24-bit data resolution maintained throughout entire signal path
Multiple sample rates from 8kHz to 96kHz
MIDI In/Out/Thru
Word clock I/O
Esync clock Output
106
Mia and MiaMIDI - Audio Performance
Analog Inputs (x2 balanced TRS):
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz, ±0.5dB
Dynamic Range: 106dB A-weighted
THD+n: <0.001%, 20Hz–22kHz
Nominal Input Level: +4 dBu
Maximum Input Level: +18dBu
Input Impedance: 10K
Analog Outputs (x2 balanced TRS):
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz, ±0.5dB
Dynamic Range: 106dB A-weighted
THD+n: <0.002%, 20Hz–22kHz
Nominal Output Level: +4 dBu
Maximum Output Level: +18dBu
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Mia and MiaMIDI - Hardware
Host Interface: PCI bus card
PCI bus master interface
Two balanced ¼” analog inputs with precision 24-bit 64x oversampling analogto-digital converters
Two balanced ¼” analog outputs with high performance 24-bit 128x
oversampling digital-to-analog converters
S/PDIF digital I/O with up to 24-bit resolution
On-board 24-bit Motorola DSP
24-bit data resolution maintained throughout entire signal path
Multiple sample rates from 8kHz to 96kHz
MIDI in/out (MiaMIDI only)
108
+
H
+4dBu/–10dBV switch............ 51, 53
hardware installation......................13
A
I
ADAT.......................... 19, 23, 41, 56
adjusting record and playback levels
....................................... 39, 53, 67
analog resolution ........................... 98
analog-to-digital converter............ 97
B
input controls .................................64
input meters ...................................51
install multiple Layla24s ...............80
interface box, installing ...........18, 22
interface cable................................10
interrupt conflicts...............80, 84, 85
balanced....................................... 100
L
C
Layla24 installation .......................12
legacy .............................................88
legacy cards .................83, 84, 85, 87
legacy ISA .....................................86
cd-rom, contents............................ 10
clock sources and destinations 54, 68
consumer mode ................. 59, 71, 80
consumer output setting .... 60, 72, 81
contacting customer service .......... 79
contents ......................................... 10
M
MIDI ..............................................21
MIDI time code........................21, 28
monitor controls.......................51, 64
Monitor During Playback ...........75
MTC.........................................21, 28
multi client audio ...........................76
multi-client audio...........................90
D
decibels.......................................... 99
digital data ................................ 99
digital recording ............................ 97
digital-to-analog converter............ 97
DirectSound .................................. 77
dither ....................................... 61, 72
dynamic range ............................. 102
N
nominal level switch ................51, 53
O
E
optical ......................................19, 23
output controls .........................53, 67
Echo Console .......................... 34, 62
Echo Console controls ............ 51, 64
Esync ....................................... 41, 57
P
PCI ...........................................85, 89
PCI card, installation .....................14
Plug-and-Play ........84, 85, 86, 87, 88
Preferences Page......................58, 70
professional mode..............59, 71, 80
G
GSIF .............................................. 77
109
professional output setting 60, 72, 81
rack-mount box, installing ...... 14, 16
synchronization............40, 55, 68, 81
synchronizing multiple devices40, 55,
68
system sounds ..........................12, 91
S
T
S/PDIF. 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 41, 56, 69,
82
S/PDIF cabling............ 20, 24, 26, 28
S/PDIF output format........... 59, 71
S/PDIF output setting........ 60, 72, 81
S/PDIF recording .......................... 80
S/PDIF resolution.......................... 98
sample rate .................................... 97
sample rate lock....................... 61, 73
SAW compatibility mode.............. 75
SCMS copy-protection...... 59, 71, 81
selecting a slot .............................. 13
settings........................................... 74
software synthesizer...................... 91
specifications............................... 103
static electricity, discharging...... 13
technical support............................79
troubleshooting guide ..............................80
TRS ..................................25, 27, 101
R
U
unbalanced ...................................100
V
virtual output controls....................66
Virtual Outputs ..............................33
W
WDM .............................................93
website ...........................................79
Word clock.........................20, 40, 56
110