Owner’s Manual Version 1.0 for PC
Gina24 is designed and manufactured in the U.S. by Echo Corporation
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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
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reserves the right to change or improve the design of the product at any time without notice.
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representative, to assume any liability on behalf of Echo or to make any warranty for Echo.
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Echo Digital Audio Corporation
6460 Via Real
Carpinteria, CA 93013
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however caused and on any theory of liability, arising from this warranty and sale.
©2000 by Echo Digital Audio Corporation
6460 Via Real
Carpinteria, CA 93013
Echo®® is a registered trademark
of Echo Digital Audio Corporation
Gina 24, Mona, Layla®24, Layla®, Gina®, Darla®24 and Darla® are trademarks of Echo Digital Audio
of Alesis Corporation
ADAT is® a registered trademark
Windows , Windows ‘95®, Windows ‘98®, and Windows NT® are registered trademarks of Microsoft, Inc.
Table of Contents
What You Should Have Received in the Gina24 Box
System Requirements
Gina24 Installation
System Check
System Sounds
Installing the Gina24 Hardware
Connecting to Gina24’s Audio Interface
Installing the Gina24 Software Drivers
Gina24 Audio Input & Output Devices
The Echo Console
Console Controls
Monitor Controls
Output Controls
Adjusting Record and Playback Levels
Setting Clock Sources and Destinations
Synchronizing Multiple Devices
Digital Mode Switch
View ADAT Ctrls
The File Menu
The Preferences Page
Digital I/O – Selecting the S/PDIF Output Format
Digital I/O – Dither Input
General – Sync Wave Devices
Sample Rate Lock
Additional Configuration Settings
Show console on taskbar
Monitor during playback
SAW Compatibility Mode
Multi-client audio
DirectSound Settings
Table of Contents
Installing Cool Edit Pro Special Edition
Cool Edit Pro: Assigning Gina24’s Inputs & Outputs
Cool Edit Pro: Optimizing Multitrack Performance
Contacting Customer Service
Appendix A: The Echo Reporter Software
Appendix B: General Troubleshooting Guide
Appendix C: Resolving Interrupt Conflicts
Appendix D: DirectSound FAQ
Appendix E: Multi-client audio FAQ
Appendix F: Audio Software FAQ
Appendix G: An Introduction to Digital Recording
Appendix H: Specifications
Thank you for choosing Gina24. We think you’ll find Gina24 to be an
extremely flexible, high-performance tool for your computer-based hard
disk recording system.
What You Should Have Received in the Gina24 Box
When you opened the Gina24 box, you should have found the following:
A Gina24 PCI card wrapped in an anti-static cover
A Gina24 audio interface box
A Gina24 interface cable (Please note: The cable included with
your 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. See “Installing the
Gina24 hardware” for further details.)
A CD-ROM Digital connector cable
An Esync synchronization cable.
A CD-ROM containing the Gina24 Windows 95/Windows 98
Drivers, the Echo Reporter system analysis software, Syntrillium
Software’s Cool Edit Pro Special Edition multitrack recording
and editing software, and demo versions of digital audio recording,
editing, and processing software from a variety of manufacturers
The Gina24 owner’s manual
System Requirements
In order to use Gina24 you’ll need the following:
• An IBM-PC or compatible computer with PCI architecture
expansion slots (version 2.1 PCI), a genuine Intel Pentium or faster
CPU, a motherboard with an Intel chipset, and minimum 64Mb
RAM (more highly recommended) running Windows 95 or
Windows 98
• A fast, high-capacity IDE or SCSI hard disk drive
• Peripheral audio equipment, such as a microphones, studio
monitors, musical instruments, mixer, etc.
Gina24 Installation
Complete Gina24 installation consists of performing a system check,
disabling Windows system sounds, installing the Gina24 PCI card,
connecting the audio interface to the card, installing the Gina24 Windows
drivers into your system and, if necessary, installing a multitrack audio
recording/editing application.
System Check
The first thing you should do is check the display settings for your
computer. The Gina24 Echo Console software requires a minimum
resolution of 800X600 with small fonts to display properly.
To check your display settings, go to the Windows Control Panel, which
can be found under Settings from the Start button. In the Control Panel
window you will find an icon titled “Display.” After double clicking on
this icon, the Display Properties window will appear. Click the Settings
tab at the top right of this window. At the bottom right of the window you
will see a box labeled Desktop area or Screen area. Inside the box is a
slider that allows you to select different resolutions for your monitor. You
should set the resolution to at least 800x600 and click the Apply button.
At this point, Windows will display a dialog box that will either ask you to
restart windows or will merely tell you it is about to resize your desktop.
Click the OK button. Windows will now resize your desktop, either on the
fly or by restarting Windows. If it resizes on the fly, it will ask if you want
to keep this setting. Click Yes. If Windows restarted, you will need to open
the Display Properties window again and click the Settings tab. You
should see a drop down window labeled “Font Size.” If you do not, then
click the Advanced button on the bottom right of the window. Make sure
this is set to Small Fonts. If it isn’t, select Small fonts and click the Apply
button. Windows will now restart. If you really need to use large fonts,
then you should have a minimum resolution of 1024x768.
Next, you should consider the capabilities of your hard drive. Unless it is
more than a year old, you should be fine. If it is older, or you would just
like to check it out, then turn now to Appendix A: The Echo reporter
Software and follow the directions there. When you are done, return here.
System Sounds
There is one final step to perform before installing the Gina24 hardware.
We suggest that you turn off your Windows system sounds prior to
installing Gina24. Because most system sounds are sampled at very low
sample rates, typically 8 to 11 KHz, each time they are played it will cause
the sample rate clock on Gina24 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”. 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.
Installing the Gina24 Hardware
Once you have verified that there are no problems with your system, it is
time to install Gina24 into your computer.
IMPORTANT - Unplug your computer and detach all peripherals before
proceeding with the following steps.
1. 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.
2. Select the PCI slot into which you will install the Gina24 card. Inside
your computer you will likely find two types of expansion slots, ISA and
PCI. The PCI slots will be shorter and have a higher connector pin
density than the ISA slots. You may use any of the available PCI slots in
your computer for Gina24. Unscrew and remove the bracket covering the
expansion slot where you would like to install Gina24. Put the screw in a
safe place, as you will need it later to complete the installation.
3. Insure that you have fully discharged all static electricity from your body
before handling the Gina24 card. This can be done through the use of a
grounding strap 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
4. Remove the Gina24 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.
5. Use the screw removed earlier from the protective backplate to attach the
metal bracket at the back of the Gina24 card to the computer’s rear panel.
6. OPTIONAL: If you don’t have a Darla24, Layla24 or Mona, you can
skip this step. If you have a Darla24, Layla24, Mona or another Gina24,
this would be a good time to attach an Esync cable to the Gina24 PCI
card. Esync is a proprietary form of super clock that allows you to sync
together multiple 24-bit Echo products. Esync cables come with Darla24
and Gina24, and can be used to daisy chain several 24-bit Echo cards
together. Simply attach the Esync cable to the two prong “Esync Out”
connector on the Gina24 PCI card, and attach the other end to the “Esync
In” connector on your Darla24 or Gina24 PCI card. Likewise, you can
attach another Esync cable to the “Esync In” connector on the Gina24
PCI card, and attach the other end to the “Esync Out” on either Darla24,
Layla24, Mona or another Gina24.
7. OPTIONAL: If you don’t have a CD-ROM drive with a functional digital
audio output, you can skip this step. If you do, then now would be a good
time to connect the S/PDIF CD-ROM connector cable to the two prong
“Digital In” connector on the Gina24 PCI card. Now connect the other
end to the “Digital Output” on the back of your CD-ROM drive.
NOTE: Not all CD-ROM drives have a Digital output, and
some have one that is not functional. You must check with
the manufacturer of your CD-ROM drive to determine
whether it has a functional Digital output or not.
8. 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 Gina24 installation.
9. Locate the Gina24 audio interface box and the 25-pin interface cable.
Place the box near your computer in a convenient location on a level
surface. Plug one end of the cable into the 25-pin connector on the
Gina24 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 of the cable to the rear of the interface
box and fasten the cable securely with the screws.
NOTE: The cable included with your 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 result in unacceptably high
crosstalk and noise, thereby substantially reducing the
system’s overall audio quality. Though similar to the cable
provided with Darla24 and the older Gina product, this
cable carries both analog and digital data. It is not
compatible with any other Echo products and should only be
used with Gina24. If longer cable lengths are required, the
correct approach is to extend the audio cables between the
Gina breakout box and your mixer/amplifier rather than
the cable between the breakout box and the PCI card. Do
not use any other cable with Gina24.
10. You can now attach external audio devices to the interface box. Gina24
can accommodate two analog input signals and can generate eight
independent analog output signals. In addition, Gina24 provides stereo
S/PDIF digital input and output via coaxial RCA or optical connectors,
and eight channels of ADAT optical I/O. The analog and digital inputs
and outputs on Gina24 are simultaneously active, except that the digital
mode must be set to either S/PDIF or ADAT. The S/PDIF and ADAT I/O
cannot be used simultaneously. This allows you to record up to 10
channels of audio (two analog and eight digital) while playing back 16
channels (eight analog and eight digital) in ADAT mode, or record up to
4 channels (two analog and two digital) while playing back 10 channels
(eight analog and two digital) in S/PDIF mode. Additional information on
attaching external devices to Gina24 may be found in the Connecting to
Gina24’s Audio Interface section. (NOTE: When connecting devices to
the S/PDIF jacks on Gina24, do not use standard analog RCA audio
cables. For reliable S/PDIF operation, 75ohm coaxial video cables are
Connecting to Gina24’s Audio Interface
The back panel of Gina24’s audio interface contains 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. Both the inputs and outputs are set to receive or send a
+4dBu (balanced) signal.
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.
A cable was supplied with your Gina24 for this purpose. This custom made
cable is manufactured to certain specifications and, if necessary, should only
be replaced by a special Gina24 cable available only 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
data among digital audio devices 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 Echo Console. For more information,
see the appropriate section in this manual under the heading “The Echo
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 data among
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.
Installing the Gina24 Software Drivers
Now that you have completed the hardware installation, you need to install
the software drivers that allow Gina24 to interact properly with Windows
95/98 and your audio recording application.
Turn on the power to your computer’s CPU. After Windows 95/98 starts up,
it will automatically sense the newly installed Gina24 card and indicate, via
a pop-up Install Wizard window, that new hardware has been found. At this
point, you should insert the Gina24 CD-ROM disc.
If you are using the original version of Windows 95:
Within the Install Wizard window are several options. Select the option
Driver from disk provided by hardware manufacturer. The computer
will now prompt you for the location of the driver files. These files are
located in the root directory of the Gina24 CD-ROM. Click the Browse
button in the Install Wizard; this will cause the “Install From Disk”
window to appear. In the field labeled “Copy manufacturer’s files from:”,
enter the path D:\ (depending on your system configuration, your CD-ROM
drive may use a letter other than “D”). Click on OK to complete the
installation. Now skip over the next two paragraphs.
If you are using Windows 95 OSR2:
After you have inserted the Gina24 CD-ROM disc and clicked next, you’ll
see the message, “Windows found the following updated driver for this
device, Gina24 by Echo.” Click on the Finish button and Windows will
attempt to locate the drivers on a disk labeled “Echo Install Disk.” This is
caused by a bug in Windows 95 OSR2. So what you’ll see is a not-so-nice
error message marked with a big red X. Ignore Windows’ rude behavior and
click on the OK button. This will bring you to the Copying Files . . .
window. Within the window is a field labeled Copy Files From: into which
you’ll need to enter the path name for the Gina24 drivers. Type in the letter
name of your CD-ROM drive followed by :\ (for example, D:\). Click on
OK, and Windows will complete the driver installation routine. Now skip
over the next paragraph.
If you are using Windows 98:
After you have inserted the Gina24 CD-ROM disc and clicked next, you’ll
see the message, “What do you want Windows to do?” Below that are two
radio buttons. If it isn’t already selected, select the one labeled “Search for
the best driver for your device (Recommended)”. Click on the Next button
and a dialog will appear with several check boxes indicating places where
Windows will look. Since you are installing from your CD-ROM drive,
click on the appropriate box. Be sure all other boxes are unchecked. Click
on the Next button and Windows will locate the drivers on the install disk
and show you the Copying Files . . . window as it completes the driver
After the drivers are installed, you should verify that Windows recognizes
them. You can do this by checking in the Windows Control Panel as
Begin by clicking on the Windows Start button. Then select Settings,
followed by Control Panel. Now double-click on the icon labeled System.
At the top of the System window, you will see a tab labeled Device
Manager; click on the tab. Now locate the line labeled Sound, Video, and
Game Controllers. Double-clicking on the “+” to the left of the line’s
associated icon should reveal the line Gina24 by Echo; double-click on that
line. If everything is in working order, a message should now appear on
your screen that matches the picture below. In the center of the Gina24
Properties window will be a section called “Device Status.” Look for a
message that reads: “This device is working properly.” If you see it, give
yourself a hearty pat on the back for a job well done!
Proper installation of the Gina24 drivers will result in the
message, “This device is working properly.”
If the message does not appear, check Appendices A, B and C for help in
isolating the cause of your difficulties.
You can now exit back to the Control Panel window to check the
Gina24 audio input and output devices that are available. In the Control
Panel window, locate the Multimedia icon and double-click on it. This
will bring the multimedia Properties window into view. Select the
Audio tab to see a list of available playback and recording devices in the
Preferred Device fields.
You can view the Gina24 input and output devices in the Multimedia
Properties/Audio window.
Gina24 Audio Input & Output Devices
The Gina24 driver installs into your computer as a series of stereo .WAV
devices. Pulling down the Preferred Device menu in the Control
Panels/Multimedia/Audio Playback section will reveal the available
Gina24 devices. You will be able to select from:
Gina24 1/2 Analog Playback
Gina24 3/4 Analog Playback
Gina24 5/6 Analog Playback
Gina24 7/8 Analog Playback
Gina24 S/PDIF Playback
Gina24 1/2 ADAT Playback
Gina24 3/4 ADAT Playback
Gina24 5/6 ADAT Playback
Gina24 7/8 ADAT Playback
In the Recording section, the following choices will be available:
Gina24 1/2 Analog Record
Gina24 S/PDIF Record
Gina24 1/2 ADAT Record
Gina24 3/4 ADAT Record
Gina24 5/6 ADAT Record
Gina24 7/8 ADAT Record
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. Instructions for making these assignments in Cool Edit
Pro Special Edition can be found in the special “Cool Edit Pro”
section at the back of this manual.
NOTE: Although both S/PDIF and ADAT devices are listed and selectable,
they are not simultaneously active. The Digital Mode Switch in the Echo
Console determines which digital devices are currently active.
This completes the installation of the Gina24 hardware and software.
The Echo Console
Included with your Gina24 is a “virtual control surface” application called
the Echo Console. 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
Gina24, 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.
The Echo Console software was automatically installed at the same time
that you installed the Gina24 driver for Windows 95/98. If installation was
successful, you should see a red capital letter G in your Windows 95/98
taskbar (typically in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen). Doubleclicking on the “G” will activate the console program. It should look like
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.
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.
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 Gina24. 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.
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 Gina24. 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
Note: You cannot monitor the S/PDIF inputs through the ADAT outputs
and vice versa. 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.
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), except that there are no pan controls and you will 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 Record and Playback Levels
Gina24’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 Gina24 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
Setting Clock Sources and Destinations
At the very bottom of the Console there are buttons that allow you to select
the synchronization clocks that are used by Gina24. 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 to Gina24, you may have as many as four options here.
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 clocks that Gina24 supports.
Synchronizing Multiple Devices
Gina24 is designed to work alongside other audio equipment. If you are
planning on using Gina24 with other audio equipment, please note the
The Gina24 Windows drivers included in this package support multiple
Gina24s within the same system. In addition, your new Gina24 will operate
alongside Mona, Layla, Layla24, Gina, Darla and Darla24. Gina24 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 Gina24. 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.
For this reason, Gina24 supports many synchronization modes. Gina24 can
slave to Esync, S/PDIF, and ADAT. In addition, Gina24 can also generate
these synchronization signals, as well as perform translation of one clock to
another, such as transmitting Esync while reading ADAT.
Let’s take a brief look at the various synchronization types.
S/PDIF – The Sony/Phillips Digital Interchange Format is a serial bitstream that has a clock signal embedded in the data stream. When recording
from an S/PDIF source, whether via optical cables, RCA cables, or the
CDROM Digital connector cable, Gina24 will utilize the synchronization
clock that is embedded in the S/PDIF while it decodes the bitstream.
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 – 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. To check if
the optical cable is carrying a signal, just look at the end for a glowing red
light. Gina24 can send out (or “master”) ADAT clock as well slave to it. If
you want Gina24 to slave to an ADAT clock, just set Gina24’s input clock
to the ADAT setting.
Note: To preserve the high audio quality of Gina24’s converters it is best to
use Gina24’s Internal input clock setting instead of synchronizing to an
external ADAT clock, which may add unwanted jitter to the signal.
Esync/Esync 96 kHz – Esync is a proprietary form of super clock that is
used to synchronize two or more Echo 24-bit products like Gina24, Mona,
Layla24, and Darla24. While Gina24 and Darla24 have both input and
output connectors on their PCI cards, Mona and Layla24 only have the
Esync output connectors. There are two buttons available: “Esync” and
“Esync 96 kHz.” If you want to slave to an Esync capable Echo card that is
running at a sample rate of 48 kHz or less then select the “Esync” button. If
you want to slave to an Esync capable Echo card that is running at a sample
rate above 48 kHz (88.2 or 96 kHz) then select the “Esync 96 kHz” button.
For more information please read step 6 in the section entitled “Installing
the Gina24 Hardware” in this manual.
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 Gina24 is the only audio device used in
your system. Since you have no other devices to synchronize with, simply
select “Internal” for Gina24’s input clock. Gina24 will then use its own
clock to control its operation.
Now a little more complicated set-up: You have two Gina24s connected.
Simply set Gina24 #1 to “Internal” for its input clock. Now connect the first
Gina24 to the second one via an Esync cable running from Esync Out on
Gina24 #1 to Esync In on Gina24 #2. Now select Esync (or Esync 96 kHz)
for Gina24 #2’s input synch. Your Gina24s 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.
Digital Mode Switch
To the right of the Input clocks is a dropdown menu labeled “Digital Mode
Switch.” This menu allows you to select which digital inputs/outputs
Gina24 will use at any given time. The options are S/PDIF RCA, S/PDIF
Optical, ADAT, and S/PDIF CD ROM. Gina24 can only use one digital
mode at a time. When one of the three S/PDIF modes is selected, the “View
ADAT Ctrls” checkbox will be grayed out. You can only access the ADAT
controls when the ADAT mode is currently selected. To use the S/PDIF
CDROM mode you must connect your Gina24 PCI card to a CDROM drive
with a functioning digital output. Not all CDROM drives do. Check with
your CDROM drive manufacturer if you’re not sure.
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.
View ADAT Ctrls
While you are in the ADAT digital mode, you can view the Console ADAT
controls at any time by checking the “View ADAT Ctrls” checkbox. As
seen below, these controls are the same as the analog input, monitoring, and
output controls. The only exception is the lack of controls for the ADAT
outputs. If you want to go back to the analog controls, just uncheck the
“View ADAT Ctrls” checkbox. You cannot monitor the ADAT inputs
through the S/PDIF outputs.
Note: If at any time you switch the digital mode to one of the S/PDIF
options, the ADAT controls will become unavailable and the Console will
return to displaying the analog and S/PDIF controls.
The “View ADAT Ctrls” checkbox will display this window when checked.
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 red “G” 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
Gina24 by Echo Properties window (see below under “Additional
Configuration Settings”). It will also come back when you restart Windows.
The Preferences Page
The Gina24 Echo Console Preferences Page contains controls in three
different categories: Digital I/O, General and Sample Rate Lock. After
making any changes, you should always press OK. If you want to reset all
of the settings for this page, then press the Set Defaults button.
The Preferences Page is accessible through the Echo Console File menu.
Digital I/O - Selecting the S/PDIF Output Format
Gina24 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
Gina24’s S/PDIF output defaults to the Professional format. If you are
recording from Gina24 into a consumer DAT deck, the deck may not be
able to recognize the signal until you switch Gina24’s output to Consumer.
We have provided a software switch in the Gina24 driver that allows you
to select which format Gina24 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).
Important note: Gina24 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 (S/PDIF & ADAT).
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 card 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 Gina24 is set to
Internal clock. This setting defaults to unlocked.
Additional Configuration Settings
In addition to those settings that can be made using the Echo Console
program, there are a number of other configuration options you can access.
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
Gina24 by Echo, and double-click. This will bring up the Gina24 by Echo
Properties window, which we saw briefly in the “Installing the Gina24
Software Drivers” section of this manual.
We have previously seen the “General” screen, so let’s move on to the
“Settings” screen by clicking on the tab labeled Settings.
Additional settings can be found in the “Gina24 by Echo Properties” page.
Show console on taskbar
The first selection in the General section of the Settings screen allows you
to determine whether the Echo Console program will occupy a space on the
Windows taskbar (the red “G” 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, Gina24 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 Gina24 by 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 Echo Console (see above).
SAW compatibility mode
When using Gina24 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 Gina24 driver. SAW
expects an equal number of inputs and outputs on Gina24. 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 that
Gina24 will operate properly with earlier versions of SAW, check the box
labeled SAW Compatibility Mode.
Multi-client audio
Multi-client audio lets you use different inputs and outputs on Gina24 with
different audio programs at the same time. Otherwise, you would have to
use a different soundcard 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.
DirectSound Settings
Click on the DirectSound tab. The window will change to look like this:
The first checkbox is called “Enable DirectSound.” This allows you to
enable or disable the DirectSound driver for Gina24. For more information
about DirectSound please refer to the appendix: DirectSound FAQ.
The second checkbox is labeled “Lock DirectSound format.” This allows
you to force the Gina24 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: Do not confuse this with the “sample rate lock” feature found in the
Echo Console.
Installing Cool Edit Pro  Special Edition
Included with your Gina24 system is a special version of Syntrillium
Software’s Cool Edit Pro, a powerful multitrack audio recording and editing
application. To install the software:
1. Insert the Gina24 CD-ROM.
2. Press the Start button, and select Run… from the menu. Now select
Browse… At the top of the window that appears, you will see a box
labeled “Look In:”. Clicking on this box will result in a list of your disk
drives to appear. Select your CD-ROM drive. On the CD-ROM is a
folder called Syntrillium; double-click on this directory to open it. Now
locate the file in the Syntrillium directory called SETUP. Select this
program and run it.
The SETUP program will copy all of the necessary files to your hard drive.
It will also add a program group called “Cool Edit Pro – Special Edition” to
the Program listings available from the Start button menu.
Cool Edit Pro – Special Edition comes with very thorough on-line help, so
you’ll be able to get up and running with a minimum of hassles (hopefully
none at all!). We do, however, suggest that you familiarize yourself with the
items under the Quick Reference heading in the program’s Help menu.
Cool Edit Pro: Assigning Gina24’s Inputs &
Gina24’s inputs and outputs are assigned to tracks in two different ways,
depending on the viewstereo waveform or multitrackin which you are
working. In the stereo waveform view, select Options/Settings/Devices; in
the window that appears you can define the Waveform Playback and
Waveform Record devices. Simply highlight the Gina24 inputs and outputs
you wish to use in the appropriate fields. These settings will apply for all
files that you play or record when in the stereo waveform view. These
device settings are saved as Cool Edit Pro preferences; as such, they will be
used for all subsequent sessions until you change them.
In the multitrack view, the inputs and outputs are assigned on a per-track
basis. Before making assignments, however, you’ll need to set up the
Preferred Multitrack Devices. To do this, click on either of the small
numeral 1s at the far left of the track display; doing so will bring up the
Playback Device window. Click on the Device List button; you’ll see a list
of Preferred Multitrack Devices. In the Playback fields, assign Gina24
analog playback devices 1/2, 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8 into the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
fields respectively. Assign the S/PDIF playback device into the 5 th field,
and assign Gina24 ADAT playback devices 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8 into the
6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th fields respectively. In the Record fields, assign Gina24
Analog Record device 1/2 to the 1st field. Assign Gina24 S/PDIF Record
to the 2nd field, and assign Gina24 ADAT record devices 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, and
7/8 into the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th fields respectively. Click Okay on each
window to back out to the multitrack view screen. These device
assignments are saved as Cool Edit Pro preferences, and will be used each
time you open a new session.
To set the playback and record devices for a specific track, click anywhere
in the track’s blue-gray area at the far left of the track display. This will
open the Track Info window. Click on the arrows in the Playback Device
and Record Device fields to select the desired inputs and outputs. If you are
going to use mono files then make sure to set up two tracks for each Gina24
device and adjust the Pan control hard left or right accordingly.
Cool Edit Pro: Optimizing Multitrack
Background mixingthe process Cool Edit Pro uses to allow a large
number of tracks to play simultaneouslyrequires significant processing
power from your computer. With larger sessions, your computer may
become so occupied with mixing that you experience audio dropouts in
multitrack playback. This will usually happen because the background
mixing is not sufficiently complete (watch the Mix Gauge) before playback
is initiated. There are a few things you can do to help remedy this; however,
be aware that you may still have to wait for a time before hitting the Play
button when working with very large sessions.
The settings in Options/Settings/Multitrack play a big part in optimizing
the background mixing processes. In particular, pay attention to the
Playback Buffer Size and the Background Mixing Priority Level. The
key to determining how to adjust these settings is to watch the Mix Gauge.
As a general guideline, if you notice dropouts occurring even though the
Mix Gauge seems reasonably complete (the meter is beyond ¾ of the way
filled), try reducing the Playback Buffer Size, and raising the Background
Mixing Priority Level (higher values reduce the priority level).
Conversely, if you notice dropouts and see that the Mix Gauge is hovering
around the bottom “empty”), try increasing the Playback Buffer Size and
lowering the Background Mixing Priority Level.
The goal in adjusting these settings is to achieve a balance between values
large enough for the program to work properly and low enough to conserve
the computer’s resources. The Background Mix Priority must be high
enough (lower settings produce a higher priority) to keep the mix ahead of
playback, but not be so high as to adversely affect performance (by
consuming too much of your computer’s resources). In short, the lower you
can keep this setting while still keeping the Mix Gauge reasonably filled,
the better. Raising the buffer size consumes more of your computer’s
memory, so setting this too high can negatively affect performance.
When adjusting these settings, do so by small amounts, using decimal
increments/decrements. Also, note that the settings will produce different
results from session to session. As the number of tracks and the number of
output devices vary, so may the settings you’ll need to use to maximize
Use the Multitrack Settings shown above as a starting place when
adjusting your system to optimize the performance of Cool Edit Pro.
Cool Edit Pro will take more time performing background mixing when you
have your tracks assigned to multiple sets of Gina24’s outputs. In this
scenario, Cool Edit Pro creates a separate mix for each output device (each
Gina24 channel-pair). This additional mixing demands more processing
power from your computer. This could result in longer mix times and
possible skipping during playback. If your system is performing sluggishly,
you can temporarily assign all tracks to a single channel-pair while
monitoring to speed things up. When doing so, it is recommended that you
check 32-bit Pre-mixes mode in the Options/Settings/Multitrack screen.
When monitoring to multiple output devices, 16-bit Pre-mixes is the
recommended mode.
Note that the 16-bit and 32-bit modes are playback settings only; that is, the
data on your disk remains at the resolution at which it was recorded.
Contacting Customer Service
If you experience any trouble with your Gina24 system please go to the
support area of our website at and check out the
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 that 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. You may find an answer to your problem
using the Appendices in the Gina24 owner’s manual and/or Cool Edit Pro’s
on-screen help.
Thank you for buying Gina24!
Note: All Cool Edit Pro  Special Edition support issues are handled
solely by Echo Digital Audio Corporation. Please do not call Syntrillium
Software for technical support. If you do, they will simply refer you to
Echo Digital Audio Corporation for help.
Appendix A: The Echo Reporter Software
Running the Echo Reporter Software
The Reporter is designed to provide you with an analysis of your computer
system’s audio capabilities and its ability to work successfully with your
Echo card. The program looks at such things as your BIOS version, your
interrupt assignments, and your hard disk’s transfer rate. The Reporter will
perform a limited series of compatibility tests. It cannot guarantee that
your system will work with Gina24. The only way to be sure is to install
the card in your system and see if it works. Please note that we only support
Intel CPUs and motherboards with an Intel chipset. Your system may or
may not work with other CPUs or chipsets.
Be sure to run the Reporter before attempting to install Gina24 as it can
help you avoid installation problems down the road. To run the Reporter,
simply double-click on the Install Reporter icon in the Reporter directory
of the Gina24 CD-ROM. This will install the program onto your hard disk.
The Reporter will then show up under the Start menu, Programs, Echo
Audio Utilities. Select The Echo Reporter to launch the program.
Once the program launches, you’ll see the Hard Disk Performance test
screen. Press the Proceed button to initiate the disk speed test. This test will
tell you if your hard disk is fast enough to support multitrack digital audio
and, if so, approximately how many tracks of record and playback you’ll be
able to achieve.
After the test is completed you’ll see a results screen. Many of the
parameters on the screen are interactive; you can change them to see how
your disk performs under different conditions.
For example, in the upper right corner of the screen you can see how large
your hard disk is and how many minutes of recording time it will provide
for a mono track recorded at 44.1kHz with 16-bit resolution. (Times are
expressed in Hours: Minutes: Seconds.) Change the Number of Tracks
field to “2” and you’ll see the maximum length available for a stereo track.
Change the field to “8” and you’ll see the maximum length you’ll have for
an eight-track opus. Naturally, these multitrack readouts presume
uninterrupted, linear tracks. Your music is likely to contain numerous
snippets of data (e.g., the background vocals will only appear at specific
moments in time, not continuously throughout the whole tune), so, generally
speaking, you’ll be able to create longer pieces than the readout indicates.
You can adjust the parameters on the Hard Disk Performance
screen to view your disk’s record and playback capabilities at
various sample rates and bit-resolutions.
You can also change the Size (bit-resolution), Rate (sample rate), and
Number of Tracks fields. Though the original test was performed with
default values of 16-bit 44.1kHz, you can easily see your disk’s
performance reading and writing, say, 24-bit 48kHz data simply by selecting
those values in the appropriate fields.
About the Playback: and Record: fields under the Max Simultaneous
Tracks heading:
• At the basic level, these two fields show you how many simultaneous
tracks of playback and recording your system will support. For example, if
the readout was “15” for the Playback: field and “8” for the Record:
field, that means your system is capable of playing back 15 tracks while
simultaneously recording 8 tracks. Note, however, that the Playback: and
Record: fields are interrelated: as you change the value in one field, the
value in the other field is affected. In other words, the values are dynamic.
You can get a feel for how much overall read/write bandwidth you have by
adjusting the values in the two fields. By lowering the number of record
tracks, you’ll see the number of simultaneous playback tracks increase.
Similarly, by lowering the number of playback tracks, you’ll see the
number of record tracks increase.
• The readouts will generally show that you have fewer record tracks
available than playback tracks. This is because writing data to a hard disk
is a slower process than reading it back (due to the verify routines used
when writing to disk).
• The values you see should not be taken as absolute. There are numerous
conditions that come into play when determining overall performance,
from operating system overhead to the audio application you’re running
(different programs use different file management schemes, with some
more efficient than others). The readouts you get from the Reporter are
meant to be taken as general guidelines. When you’re actually running
your audio software, you may get better results than the Reporter tells
youso don’t run out and buy new hardware just because the Reporter
tells you your system seems a bit on the weak side. Use your audio
application in real-world conditions, and then make the determination if
your system can keep up with your needs.
(Conversely, if the Reporter tells you things look really bad, don’t waste
your time trying to do any serious work. If your hard disk is too slow or too
small, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration by upgrading to a big fast disk
right out of the chutethat is, unless you like random skipping and hiccups
in your music. And don’t skimp on RAM: we suggest a minimum of 64 MB,
and load up from there. When it comes to multitrack digital audio, there’s
no such thing as too much RAM.)
When you’re finished playing around with the disk test parameters, click
Done to get to the Summary screen. There you’ll see a complete analysis of
the results of the tests, an explanation of those results, and recommended
actions (if any are required). If the Reporter alerted you to any problems,
you should check the table below for help in isolating the cause of your
difficulty and finding a solution.
The Summary screen tells you if your system can support multitrack audio recording as
well as alerting you to potential problems.
After you run the Reporter program, your summary may contain one or
more of the following problem/error messages. Consult the table below for
suggestions on interpreting the messages and finding solutions.
What to do...
* The Echo line of sound
cards require Windows 95
or Windows 98
Your computer is using a
Windows 3.xx or Windows
NT operating system
The Echo Reporter and
Gina24 will only operate in
Windows 95 or Windows
98. You must update to one
of these operating systems.
* The Echo Reporter has
found that your system does
not have a PCI BIOS. To
alleviate this problem,
please purchase a PCI
system, version 2.1 or later
Your computer does not
have an operational PCI
Upgrade to a computer with
PCI version 2.1 or higher
* The Echo line of sound
cards requires PCI version
2.1 or later. To alleviate
this problem, please
purchase a PCI system,
version 2.1 or later.
Your computer has PCI, but
it is version 2.0 or earlier
Upgrade to PCI version 2.1
or higher
*The Echo Reporter has
determined that your
system has no free
interrupts. The Echo line
of sound cards requires
one interrupt to be
available for use. To
alleviate this problem, try
removing unnecessary or
peripheral devices
Your computer has no free
interrupts. Interrupts 0-15
are either being used or are
reserved by other
applications or drivers
There is no single direct
solution to this problem.
Generally, you will need to
free an interrupt by
eliminating a peripheral
device. Consult Appendix C
for suggestions on making
an interrupt available for
*The Echo Reporter has
found that none of the hard
drives that were tested meet
minimum performance
standards with respect to
transfer rate. Though your
system supports the Echo
line of sound cards, we
recommend that you
upgrade your hard drive(s),
as your existing drive(s) are
not capable of sustaining
the minimum transfer rates
required for reasonable
Your computer has no
physical hard drives that test
at a transfer rate better than
500Kb/second. This will
seriously hinder the
performance of Gina24 and
will greatly limit the
activities that you can
First, verify that 32-bit disk
access is enabled. This is
done under the heading
Performance in System
Properties. The only other
solution is to add a faster
hard disk to your system.
*The Echo Reporter has
found that your system may
not be equipped with a
Pentium (or faster)
processor. The algorithm
we are using for processor
detection is known to return
faulty values for many of
the AMD, Cyrix, and other
non-Intel chips, so be sure
to double-check this
warning against processor
identification that your
machine displays each time
you boot up. It is essential
that your machine be
equipped with an Intel
Pentium or Pentium II
Your computer appears to
have a microprocessor that
is not fast enough to
properly carry out the
necessary operations. If
your computer’s
microprocessor is
characterized as “Pentiumclass,” you may want to go
ahead and try working with
Gina24 to see if your results
are satisfactory.
The only way to fix this
problem is to upgrade your
microprocessor to an Intel
Pentium or Pentium II
Appendix B: General Troubleshooting Guide
Problem: After installing Gina24, one or more of your peripheral devices
no longer functions properly.
Solution: During the installation of your Gina24, it is possible that an
interrupt conflict was created. Please see Appendix C: Resolving
Interrupt Conflicts for more information on this topic.
Problem: You installed Gina24 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 perfectly well before you installed
Gina24 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 Gina24s, 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 Gina24. This
will be fixed in a future driver release.
Problem: You are unable to get your DAT recorder to recognize Gina24’s
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 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 Gina24, chances
are Gina24 is transmitting in the mode that the deck is not equipped to
We have provided a software switch in the Gina24 driver that allows you to
select which mode Gina24 transmits. To access this switch go to the Gina24
Echo 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.
Important note: Gina24 never transmits the SCMS bit, regardless of which
mode is selected.
Problem: When the Windows start-up sound plays, it plays at an altered
Solution: When Gina24 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 8 kHz, but you are synchronized with a device
running at 44.1 kHz, the startup sound will play back at this faster rate. You
have four choices - ignore the altered pitch, switch to Gina24’s internal
clock, use the sample rate lock feature, or use a different device for the
startup sound playback. We suggest that you never use Gina24 for playback
of any of Windows’ system sounds.
Problem: Gina24 doesn’t seem to recognize the synchronization clock to
which it is connected.
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
Gina24’s rack mount interface. 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 Gina24 Echo
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 Gina24
Echo Console.
Problem: On Windows startup you hear a high pitched squealing sound or
your S/PDIF or ADAT signal has gone crazy.
Solution: Reset the sample rate of Gina24. Windows always sets the
sample rate to 11kHz at startup. Because neither S/PDIF nor ADAT support
this rate, you will have problems syncing until you reset Gina24’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 Gina24s outputs. Then you
will be able to sync properly.
Problem: I installed my older Echo card (Layla, Gina, Darla, Darla24) and
it messed up my Gina24 installation.
Solution: The old drivers (5-02 or earlier) for those cards will mess up a
Gina24 install. Just uninstall Gina24, then install the older card and
reinstall Gina24. You will be fine if you always install the older card first,
then the newer one. We have fixed this problem with driver versions 5-04
and later.
Problem: I properly installed the S/PDIF CDROM connector cable, but I’m
still not getting an S/PDIF signal into my Gina24.
Solution: If you have it properly connected and you have switched the
Digital mode to “S/PDIF CDROM” on the Echo Console, then your
CDROM driver probably doesn’t have a functional Digital Output. We have
discovered that there are a quite a few CDROM drives out there that have a
non-functioning Digital output. This is frustrating, but unfortunately there
is nothing we can do. If you want to use this feature, you should check with
your CDROM drive manufacturer to make sure it is supported. We are
gathering a list of CDROM drives that support this feature and we will post
it on our website in the future.
Problem: I can’t get Gina24 to record at 96 kHz.
Solution: Set the Digital Mode to one of the S/PDIF options. You can
change this setting from the Echo Console. When the Digital Mode is set to
ADAT you are limited to the sample rates that are within the ADAT spec
(such as 44.1 and 48kHz). Please note that you can only record above 48
kHz through the analog I/O. We will add support for recording through
S/PDIF at 88.2 and 96 kHz in a future driver release.
Appendix C: Resolving Interrupt Conflicts
While Plug-and-Play is often called “Plug-and-Pray,” it actually works
quite well most of the time. We estimate that 95% of Gina24 installations
will go without a hitchthat Plug-and-Play will properly assign resources
to your card without any conflicts. The other 5% of you may experience
interrupt problems (mostly caused by non-Plug-and-Play ISA cards or PCI
cards that don’t like to share). These problems can manifest themselves by
causing your new Gina24 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
Gina24 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 configuring jumpers on the card. Newer Plugand-Play ISA cards have their interrupts selected by either the computer’s
BIOS (the built-in program that starts the computer) or by Windows 95/98.
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 95/98. 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
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 95/98 will also check for and configure
Plug-and-Play cards, possibly changing some of the settings to suit its
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 95/98 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 Gina24. The next time you
try and use your MIDI card or play back audio via Gina24, 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 Gina24, and move the
SCSI 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 Gina24 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 Gina24, neither device will function properly.
Resolving Interrupt Conflicts
Although there is no way to automatically detect legacy interrupts,
Windows 95/98 and some BIOS’s allow you to reserve specific interrupts
for legacy use. Once an interrupt is reserved it will not be assigned by Plugand-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, run the Reporter software that came with your Gina24 card. For now,
you can skip over the hard disk performance test since it has nothing to do
with interrupts. Once the Reporter has finished the diagnostic routine, it will
provide you with a list of all of the interrupts that Windows 95/98
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 to which Gina24 is assigned.
Once you know which interrupt Gina24 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 find an offending card that was not listed by the Reporter
software 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 Gina24.
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
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 95/98 - PCI” a few pages down.
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
Unfortunately, some BIOS’s don’t support this capability. If your BIOS is
one of those, don’t worry: You still have another option.
Reserving an IRQ within Windows 95/98 – Legacy ISA
Windows 95/98 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 95/98 can’t do its Plug-and-Play magic. To reserve
an IRQ within Windows 95/98 do the following:
1. Click on the Start button and select Control Panel under the Settings
2. Double click on the icon labeled System.
3. Select the tab labeled Device Manager and click the Properties button.
4. 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 Gina24 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
Plug-and-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.
Reconfiguring an IRQ within Windows 95/98 - 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 Gina24 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.
Appendix D: DirectSound FAQ
Q: What is DirectSound?
DirectSound is an alternate method for a Windows application to access
audio hardware. Previous Echo card drivers (for Layla, Gina & Darla) only
supported wave (or multimedia) and ASIO. DirectSound typically provides
much lower latencies than wave mode.
While DirectSound was designed to be used by games, a number of
professional audio applications now take advantage of it.
Q: What are the limitations of DirectSound?
DirectSound can only use 8 or 16 bit samples. Also, our DirectSound driver
is only for output; that is, you cannot record via DirectSound.
Q: Do I need anything special to take advantage of
You need to download the latest version of DirectX from and install it. Older versions of DirectX will
probably work, but we have only tested with DirectX 6.1 and 7.
If you are using an application that uses multiple DirectSound outputs,
please refer to the section below on the DirectSound format lock.
Q: How do I enable DirectSound support?
It's enabled by default. If you want to turn it off, go to the property pages
for the card and select the DirectSound page. Clear the check box labeled
“Enable DirectSound.”
Note that you must do this if you want to use Gigasampler (see the section
on Gigasampler in the “Audio Software FAQ” below).
Q: Does this mean I can play games through Gina24?
Sure. The only snag is that many games use CD audio for their background
music. Most commercial soundcards have an analog connection to the
CDROM drive, but the sound quality is very low. Gina24 does have a
connection to the CDROM drive, but it is digital only. To use this digital
CDROM connection you must have a CDROM drive with a functioning
digital output. Not all drives do (some have a non-functioning digital
output), so you should check with the drive manufacturer to make sure.
If you are really determined; it would be fairly straightforward to run a cable
from the headphone jack on your CD-ROM drive to the inputs on Gina24
and set up the monitors in the console. Radio Shack sells a handy cable for
this – 1/8” stereo connector to a pair of RCA male connectors. You will
also need a pair of female RCA to male quarter-inch adapters.
Q: What's the story with the DirectSound format lock?
This setting only applies if you are using software that uses multiple
DirectSound outputs simultaneously, such as the applications offered by
Stage Research.
It appears that DirectX 6.1 and 7 get confused when they see multiple
DirectSound outputs. The first output pair gets set up correctly, but the rest
of them don't. To work around this problem, just enable the DirectSound
format lock and select the appropriate sample rate. In almost every case,
you will want to leave the format set to 16 bit and stereo.
We are told that future versions of DirectX will resolve this problem, but for
now just lock the format.
Note that this is not the same as the “sample rate lock” feature, which is
documented in the Echo Console section of this manual.
Appendix E: 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 soundcard for each audio
For example, suppose you own both Cubase VST (multitrack audio) and
Reality (software synthesizer). You can now set Cubase VST to play out
through Gina24 outputs 1 through 6, and set Reality to play out through
Gina24 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.
Multi-client audio can be difficult to use, depending on what combination of
software applications you are using.
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 down what application is going to use what input or output.
Go through all the applications you plan to use this way and 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 Echo 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.
Cubase VST is somewhat harder to get going in multi-client mode. For
more information, please refer to the Cubase VST section of the “Audio
Software FAQ” in this manual.
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.
Appendix F: Audio Software FAQ
Cubase VST and ASIO 2.0
Q: Can I use all Echo cards together at the same time in Cubase?
Not right now, but we will add this in a future driver update. Right now
there are two different Echo ASIO drivers. One is for the Echogals cards
(Layla, Gina, Darla & Darla24). The other is for the new Echo24 cards
(Layla24, Gina24 & Mona). We will be updating our ASIO drivers later
this year to accommodate all Echo cards in Cubase.
Q: Can I use S/PDIF and ADAT simultaneously in Cubase?
No. The Echo24 cards (Layla24, Gina24 & Mona) can only use one digital
mode at any given time (S/PDIF or ADAT). You will need to choose
which one you want to use before you start Cubase. If you change digital
modes while Cubase is running, it will confuse the program and you will
need to close it and restart.
Q: Wow, can I really use a buffer size of 128 samples in Cubase?
You're welcome to try. The smallest buffer size we have been able to use
reliably is 1024 samples on a Pentium III 450 with 128 MB of RAM.
Buffer sizes of 1024 or less should be considered experimental.
Q: What does ASIO 2.0 support do for me?
For our purposes, ASIO 2.0 adds ASIO Direct Monitoring. ASIO Direct
Monitoring lets you control the monitoring features of your Echo card from
within Cubase.
Q: What about using multi-client mode with Cubase VST?
Yes, this is quite possible. However, VST can be kind of cranky when it
finds that the audio hardware it wants is already in use. This can easily
happen if you also have a MIDI synthesizer/sampler application installed
that is also set up to use our hardware. For more information on multi-client
mode, please refer to the “Multi-client audio FAQ” in this manual.
Q: OK, so how should I deal with this?
Cubase VST comes with a program called “Setup MME”. You can find it if
you select Start/Programs/Cubase VST. Run the “Setup MME” program.
Look at the list of MME outputs. Disable each entry that does not represent
an actual piece of hardware. Specifically, if you see Retro AS/1, Reality, or
Gigasampler listed, disable them (select the entry with the mouse, and then
click the “Set inactive” button).
Go ahead and run Cubase. Make sure you can select our ASIO driver and
that it works. So far so good, now exit Cubase.
The next step depends on what other software you have installed:
Reality and Cubase VST
If you want to use Reality with Cubase VST and our hardware, run the
“Setup MME” program again. Set Reality as an active output.
Now, before you run Cubase VST, make sure you run Reality first. Then,
make sure that Reality is not using outputs 1 and 2 of your card. Cubase
will always try to use outputs 1 and 2. If some other program is using these
two outputs already, Cubase will not be able to start the ASIO driver and
you will get many error messages.
Once you've got Reality running and set up properly, go ahead and run VST.
Gigasampler and Cubase VST
NOTE: Gigasampler does not currently support Gina24. Support will
soon be provided by a Gina24 driver upgrade and a patch to Gigasampler.
This is very similar to the directions for using Reality. Run the “Setup
MME” program again. Set Gigasampler as an active output.
Now, before you run Cubase VST, make sure you run Gigasampler first.
Then, make sure that Gigasampler is not using outputs 1 and 2 of your card.
Cubase will always try to use outputs 1 and 2. If some other program is
using these two outputs already, Cubase will not be able to start the ASIO
driver and you will get many error messages.
Once you've got Gigasampler running and set up properly, go ahead and run
If you want to use both Gigasampler and Reality, you'd better have a really
good computer. If you do, just make sure you start both of them before
Retro AS/1 and Cubase VST
Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get Retro AS/1 to work with Cubase
at the same time. This is mainly because we couldn't find a way to tell
Retro AS/1 to use any outputs other than 1 and 2. Even if you start Retro
first, both Retro and Cubase end up fighting over outputs 1 and 2 and
nobody's happy.
We'll keep looking into this. You could easily use them both if you had two
sound cards (either two of our cards or one of our cards & one from
someone else).
Q: I'm a Gigasampler user. Anything I should know about?
Yes. Unfortunately, Gigasampler does not work with Gina24, Layla24 or
Mona at this time. Nemesys (makers of Gigasampler) will be releasing an
update patch soon that will add support for Gina24, Layla24 and Mona. We
will also be releasing a driver update at that time. Both the Gigasampler
patch and the Echo driver update will be required to use Gigasampler with
our new products.
Q: Once I get the update, is there anything else I should know about?
Yes. Gigasampler will not work if you have DirectSound enabled. You
will need to go into the DirectSound property page and disable
DirectSound. If you have more than one of our cards, you need to disable
DirectSound for each card.
Q: I'm a Reaktor user. Anything I should know about?
Be sure that you enable multi-client audio in the driver property page, or
Reaktor will tell you that the hardware can't handle full-duplex audio.
Appendix G: 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-todigital 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:
Figure A. Binary numbers and their decimal equivalents
Each digit in the number is called a bit, so the numbers in Figure A are
sixteen bits long, and the maximum value which can be represented is
Sample Size
The more bits that are used to store the sampled value, the more closely it
will represent the source signal. In an 8-bit system, there are 256 possible
combinations of zeroes and ones, so 256 different analog voltages can be
represented. A 16-bit system provides 65,535 possible combinations. A 16bit signal is capable of providing far greater accuracy than an 8-bit signal.
Figure B shows how this works.
Figure B. The more bits there are available, the more accurate
the representation of the signal and the greater the dynamic
Gina24’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.
Gina24 processes signals internally with 24-bit resolution to insure that
there is no degradation to the audio signal as it is processed through the
The number of bits available also determines the potential dynamic range.
Moving a binary number one space to the left multiplies the value by two
(just as moving a decimal number one space to the left multiplies the value
by ten), so each additional bit doubles the maximum value that may be
represented. Each available bit provides 6dB (see decibel section below) of
dynamic range. For example, a 24-bit system can theoretically provide
144dB of dynamic range.
Sample Rate
The rate at which the ADC generates the numbers is equally important in
determining the quality of a digital recording. To get a high level of
accuracy when sampling, the sample rate must be greater than twice the
frequency being sampled. The mathematical statement of this is called the
Nyquist Theorem. When dealing with full-bandwidth sound (20Hz−20kHz),
you should sample at greater than 40,000 times per second (twice 20kHz).
Gina24 allows you to sample at rates up to 96,000 times per second.
If the sampling rate is lower than the frequency you are trying to record,
entire cycles of the waveform will be missed, and the result will not
resemble the proper waveform. When the sample rate is too low, the
resulting sound has diminished high frequency content.
Figure C. Increased sample rates yield a more accurate
reproduction of the source signal.
By the way, the circuits that generate the sample rate must be exceedingly
accurate. Any difference between the sample rate used for recording and the
rate used at playback will change the pitch of the recording, just as with an
analog tape playing at the wrong speed. Also, any unsteadiness, or jitter, in
the sample clock will distort the signal as it is being converted from or to
analog form.
Storing Digital Data
Once the waveform has been transformed into digital bits, it must be stored.
When sampling in stereo at 48kHz using a 20-bit word size, the system has
to accommodate 1,920,000 bits per second. Though this is a lot of data, it is
well within the capabilities of personal computers.
Most 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 Echo Reporter program (included on the Gina24 CDROM) will give you a general idea what the capabilities of your hard disk
are and how much information it can successfully store and retrieve. 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
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 6 dB. Therefore a signal of 6
dB is twice as big as a 0 dB signal and a signal of 12 dB is four times as big
as a 0 dB signal.
Since digital audio signals are represented by binary data, each bit of audio
information represents 6 dB. A 16-bit number can represent a total range of
96 dB and a 24-bit number can represent a total range of 144 dB (6 times
the number of bits). It’s much easier to say that one signal is 72 dB 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 6 dB. It is only the reference point, or 0 dB level that is
different. A 0 dBV signal has a voltage level of 1.0 volts. A 0 dBu signal
has a voltage level of .775 volts. Since .775 is approximately 2 dB less than
1.0, converting dBV levels into dBu levels is as simple as subtracting 2 dB
(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 0 dBm
representing 1 milliwatt. Earlier tube-based audio equipment used
standardized input and output impedances of 600 ohms, so a 0 dBm 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 0 dBu is identical to a level of 0 dBm.
Digital signals, after they are recorded, no longer directly represent any
physical quantity such as voltage or power and 0 dB is generally used to
represent a “full-scale” or maximum signal level. All other signal levels are
lower and are expressed as negative decibels. Most meters on digital
equipment have 0 dB at the top and range downward from there. A signal
that is 30 dB below full scale would simply be referred to as a –30 dB
Nominal Signal Levels and Headroom
Today’s equipment is generally referred to as +4 dBu equipment
(professional) or –10 dBV 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 –10dBV 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”. Gina24 provides approximately 18
dB of headroom allowing a 22dBu signal (9.8 volts or 28 volts peak to
peak) 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
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 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. Gina24 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). Gina24
will also accommodate the two conductor unbalanced style connector.
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
Gina24 uses converters that have very high dynamic range.
Theoretically, a 24-bit system has a dynamic range of 144 dB and a 16-bit
system has a dynamic range of 96 dB. Two questions immediately come to
1) Why does Gina24 only have a dynamic range of 112 to 115 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 +7 dBu. If they were to have 144 dB of dynamic
range, they would have to be capable of resolving signals as small as –137
dBu (7 dBu – 144 dBu) or approximately 10 nano-volts. That’s 10 onebillionths 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 96 dB
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. Gina24 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.
Appendix H: Specifications
Audio Performance
Analog Inputs (x2 balanced TRS):
!"Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz, ±0.5dB
!"Dynamic Range: 112dB A-weighted
!"THD+n: <0.001%, 20Hz–22kHz
!"Nominal Input Level: +4dBu
!"Maximum Input Level: +18dBu
!"Input Impedence: 10K
Analog Outputs (x8 balanced TRS):
!"Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz, ±0.5dB
!"Dynamic Range: 115dB A-weighted
!"THD+n: <0.002%, 20Hz–22kHz
!"Nominal Output Level: +4dBu
!"Maximum Output Level: +18dBu
!"Host Interface: PCI bus card
!"PCI bus master interface
!"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
!"Trim control and level meter for each input
!"Headphone output with volume control
!"On-board 24-bit Motorola 56301 DSP (66 MIPS)
!"24-bit data resolution maintained throughout entire signal path
!"Multiple sample rates from 8kHz to 96kHz
!"Esync I/O
digital mode switch · 27
digital recording · 67
digital-to-analog converter ·
DirectSound · 35, 58
dither · 30
driver installation · 14
dynamic range · 73
ADAT · 12, 25, 27, 63
adjusting record and playback
levels · 23
analog resolution · 68
analog-to-digital converter · 67
ASIO 2 · 63
audio software · 63
available devices · 18
Echo Console · 19
Echo Console controls · 20
Echo Reporter · 5, 41, 46, 47, 70
Esync · 9, 25
Background Mixing · 38
Background Mixing Priority Level
· 38
balanced · 72
BIOS version ·
buffer size · 63
File menu ·
CDROM digital input · 27
cd-rom, contents · 5
clock sources and destinations ·
consumer mode · 30, 48
consumer output setting · 30, 49
contacting customer service · 40
Gigasampler · 59, 64, 65
Gina24 installation · 6
hardware installation ·
input controls · 20
interface box, cable · 10
interface box, installing · 9, 11
interface cable · 5
interrupt conflicts · 48, 52, 53, 54
digital data ·
Cool Edit Pro installation ·
Cubase · 63
decibels ·
41, 46
contents ·
legacy ·
56, 57
legacy cards ·
53, 54, 56
S/PDIF · 12, 13, 25, 27, 50, 63
S/PDIF cabling · 10, 13
S/PDIF output format · 30
S/PDIF output setting · 30, 49
S/PDIF recording · 48
S/PDIF resolution · 68
sample rate · 67, 69
sample rate lock · 31
monitor controls · 21
Monitor During Playback ·
multi client audio · 34, 60
optical · 12
output controls ·
sample size ·
SAW compatibility mode · 33
SCMS copy-protection · 30, 49
selecting a slot · 8
settings · 32
PCI · 54, 57
PCI card, installation · 8
PCI slots · 8
Playback Buffer Size · 38
Playback Device · 37
Plug-and-Play · 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57
Preferences Page · 29
Preferred Multitrack Devices · 37
Priority · 38
professional mode · 30, 48
professional output setting · 30, 49
software Installation ·
software synthesizer · 62
specifications · 74
static electricity, discharging · 8
summary screen · 44
synchronization · 24, 50
synchronizing multiple devices ·
system requirements · 5
Reaktor · 66
Reality · 64
Record Device · 37
REPORTER program errors ·
resolving interrupt conflicts ·
Retro · 65
technical support · 40
troubleshooting guide ·
TRS · 72
unbalanced ·