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Look Ma - No Mouse!

Firmware Ė when to flash it, when to forget itÖ

Can your LynxTWO or L22 and Aurora make beautiful music together?
Indeed they can.

We designed the Aurora to play nice with the LynxTWO, L22 and AES16 cards. The Aurora will be the first External LStream device, allowing it to pass audio in and out of the computer through the LynxTWO sync port. In this configuration, the Aurora will utilize Lynx Play and Record devices that are already available from the LynxTWO installation, so getting up and running is quick and painless.

To connect them together you will need the LynxTWO/Aurora LStream Kit (Lynx P/N LT-LSEXTKIT Suggested Retail US$60), which includes a cable and LSlot mounting bracket for the Aurora back panel. There are a number of cool things about this configuration:
  • It allows you to use the Aurora External Control software.
  • You have access to both the AES and Analog I/O on the Aurora. You can stream playback to both the analog and digital outputs, and create any combination of 8 input sources.
  • This is a great way to expand your Lynx analog I/O without using another PCI slot.
Please keep in mind that there is a restriction to maximum channel-count at higher sample rates. You can do 16 channels at up to 48kHz, 8 channels at up to 96kHz, and 4 channels at up to 192kHz. For this reason, an Aurora 8 would be the most suitable choice for LynxTWO/L22 owners seeking to expand their I/O. The Aurora 16 would only provide an advantage for those operating at sample rates of 48kHz or 44.1kHz. Also, the LynxTWO/L22 provides for 16-channels of I/O total, so if an Aurora 16 is used, it would not be possible to use all 16-channels along with the onboard I/O independently.

Iím wiring a venue to record performances. How far can my computer with an AES16 be from an Aurora and still work correctly?

The beauty of this combination is that both the AES16 and Aurora 16 use our SynchroLock clocking and jitter-reduction system. Paired together, this represents a powerful solution for long cable runs without audible signal degradation. It is perfectly viable to install Auroras next to the stage and run AES cable to the mix location at back of house or in the truck. We have tested cable runs of up to 500 feet passing 24-bit/192kHz audio with bit-perfect results. With SynchroLock on the sending and receiving side, it is reasonable to assume that even longer runs would be possible without any audio degradation.

As an added benefit, with the Aurora External Control software installed on an AES16 equipped computer, you can remotely manage mutes, output levels, routing, and other settings for the Aurora.

Flashing firmware has never been safer...

The Aurora EEPROM actually has two sections which are used to guarantee successful firmware updating. The firmware updater will only program the EEPROM section that is not currently in use by the unit. After programming, the updater application will verify the integrity of the programming, and then activate a bit to enable this section as the active EEPROM. After a system reset, the new firmware takes effect. The beauty of this arrangement is that if firmware update fails (i.e. someone accidentally pulls out the AC plug mid-way), the Aurora will still function from the active firmware. As further insurance, if the active firmware gets corrupted, a jumper can be set to force the Aurora to use the alternate firmware. As a result, there is no possibility of toasting the firmware right before a big session starts.

Thatís it from the tech corner for now, until next time, happy bit-wrangling!

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