Can your LynxTWO or L22 and Aurora make beautiful music together?
Firmware – when to flash it, when to forget it…
Look Ma - No Mouse!
You're in the mood for some contemplative, quiet piano music after a hard day. You open up your favorite media playback app, and search through your music library. Ah - Claire de Lune - perfect, just what the doctor ordered. Click
.....CHUNGCHUNGCHUNGCHUNGCHUNGCHUNGSCREECHCRASH. Whoops, through a casual slip of the cursor, you accidentally clicked on Clowns on Fire by The Exploding Pimples. Ouch. Instead of gentle, quartal piano harmonies, you've got 110 dB of highly compressed, distorted crunch bellowing out of your speakers. Drat - launch Lynx Mixer, open Outputs page, grab faders for outs 1 and 2, Shift-click to attenuate....Ack..Gasp...Ears Bleeding..... Meanwhile, you can hear sirens headed your way summoned by your heavy metal-hating next door neighbors. 10 seconds of EP's sonic explorations were more than they could handle :
(Don't let this happen to you. There is an easy solution (besides the solution of simply hitting stop in your software, but never mind that....).If you are running the Version 2 driver on your Windows PC, you may not be aware of a powerful level control feature that lurks under the surface of the Lynx Mixer. Starting with Build 12, the V2 driver installation includes a Lynx Tray Volume application, which allows user-assigned hot keys to control various mixer functions. Using this powerful tool, playback volume and mutes can be controlled without even opening the Lynx Mixer.
To launch the app, right-click the Lynx Mixer Tray icon (by the clock in the lower right corner of the screen) and choose "Volume Control Settings". The Lynx Volume Settings app allows you to establish up to four sets of hot-key commands. You can set key combos for different cards, for different contexts (i.e. one for stereo, another for 5.1 playback), or for different I/O channels (i.e. one for the analog outputs another for the digital outputs).
Setting up your own hotkey combinations is very straightforward. Put a check in the "Active Set" Box for the first row of controls, click "Mixer Select" to choose the card the keys will apply to (if you have more than one Lynx card installed), then select which output channels you want the volume changes applied to. There are four commands that can be programmed: Volume to Maximum, Volume Up, Volume Down and Mute. For each function, click the Learn button, and then hold down the key combination that you want to use for that function.
A note about selecting a key combination: combinations that are used in other applications will be overidden by the Lynx Mixer combinations. For that reason, it is best to use a fairly obscure combination (bot not so obscure that you can't remember it!).
I have used the following for some time and have found them to be easy to remember and not used by other apps:
Volume Max = CTRL + SHIFT + X
Volume Up = CTRL + SHIFT + Up Arrow
Volume Down = CTRL + SHIFT + Down Arrow
Mute = CTRL + SHIFT + M
I must say, it has been a real godsend to simply hit CTRL/SHIFT/M to mute my blasting death metal (or Debussey) whenever a tech support call comes in :-)
More thoughts on multi-card configurations.
Multi-card configurations are covered in the Lynx owner's manuals and on the FAQ pages of the Lynx website. So why am I beating the topic to death once again? Well, largely to address some of the recurring issues that come up from time to time with these configurations. Here are a handful of considerations in no particular order to ponder if you now use or intend to use multiple Lynx cards in your system:
That’s it from the tech corner for now, until next time, happy bit-wrangling!
- Mixing and AES16 with a LynxTWO/L22
If using an AES16 with a LynxTWO in an ASIO system, only the primary card can report the latency value that the software will use to insure accurate alignment of tracks. The Analog I/O on the LynxTWO will have a small amount of additional latency because of the AD and DA converters. This means that if the LynxTWO is the primary card, then the AES16 tracks will be slightly ahead, and vice versa if the AES16 is the primary card. To correct for this, an offset should be used in the audio software. The difference between the LynxTWO Analog latency, and the LynxTWO Digital or AES16 latency is 62 samples. Insert +62 samples as an offset for Digital I/O tracks when the LynxTWO is the primary card, and -62 samples for LynxTWO Analog I/O tracks when the AES16 is the primary card.
- Multiple Aggregate support in OSX
In Core Audio, using multiple cards requires an Aggregate Device to be created in Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup. It is important that all that the cards are clock-synced before creating an aggregate device. If one Lynx card is the clock master, make sure that additional cards are synced via the ICC cable or a wordclock connection. Or if an external clock source is used, make sure that both cards are successfully slaving to this source (check the Lynx Mixer Adapter Page to see what the Current Clock Source is). When the Core Audio devices that comprise an aggregate are not clock synced, not all of the available I/O will be presented to the recording application (i.e. a 32-channel aggregate device will only present 16-channels to the application).
- Switching from Version 1 to Version 2 driver in Windows
In Windows, when switching from the Version 1 driver to the Version 2 driver, the basis for determining the PCI card priority changes. With the Version 1 driver, PCI device priority is assigned from the motherboard. With the Version 2 driver it is assigned by the Operating System. It is not uncommon for a different card to become the primary after switching to the version 2 driver. This can impact routing within a recording application, so be on the lookout for this after updating. Also, with the Version 2 driver the device order can sometimes change after new, even non-audio hardware is added to the system. When this occurs, unfortunately, the only remedy is to physically install the card(s) into a different PCI slot. This is a nasty side-effect of Plug-N-Play (but we are working on a solution!).
- DP4+ in OSX
DP4 is the only OSX recording application that can use multiple audio cards without building a multi-card aggregate device. This is good news for people who have not upgraded to 10.4 (Tiger) which was the first OSX version with multiple aggregate support. However, for 10.4 users, we suggest using an aggregate device rather than the multi Core Audio support in DP. We have run into a number of cases where the device order within DP randomly switches when multiple cards are used.
- Firmware considerations
It is important that all cards installed have the same firmware revision. In Windows, open the Lynx Mixer and click Mixer > About Lynx Mixer. Make sure that the firmware rev for both cards is the same. If not, download the latest firmware updater from our download page (http://www.lynxstudio.com/download.html) to update every non-current card.
In OSX, to check the firmware revision on each card run the current OSX firmware updater from the lynx downloads page. When the LynxTWO Firmware Update window comes up, check the firmware version displayed for each card using the card selection drop-down. Click update for any card that is not current.