Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

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youguanxi
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Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 09:08

Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby youguanxi » Fri Jul 25, 2014 14:33

Hi!
I'm curious, what is the current status of Merging Emotion Music Server project?
According to audiophile web-formum threads, It's been 3 years since beta-testing among priveledged Pyramix customers "under NDA restrictions" has started.
Probably, Emotion sofware is still not on the market, because Mykerinos cards are out of production & new gen. Ravenna VoiP cards are not inteded to be used in a consumer audiophile setup.
If this is the reason, & project is closed due to market reason, then I wonder why not to provide already developed version of the Emotion Music server on an "as is" basis without any support?
There would be some extremely grateful Mykerinos users!
Dmitry

Dominique Brulhart
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby Dominique Brulhart » Mon Jul 28, 2014 15:38

Hello Dmitry,

The Emotion project has been frozen two years ago to concentrate all our energy on our new AoIP products... which, by the way, do extremely well.

It is not yet defined if we will resume the Emotion project, but if so it will certainly not with the Mykerinos card which is for 64bits reasons now completely discontinued.

Emotion with some sort of AoIP converter would in fact be an extremely good combination, specially as our new AoIP converters enjoy a world acclaimed sound quality.

No firm decisions yet, but stay tuned ;-)

Cheers,

Dominique

youguanxi
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby youguanxi » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:32

Thanks,
I'm sympathetic to the idea of DSP processing (room acoustic EQ correction, group phase delays correction, AFC correction, DSP-x-over) & streaming HD PCM files under real-time OS (RTX, MassCore). The reason ,why HD PCM files, is that they have enough noise floor headroom for such manipulations. One could say, there is no difference in sound quality between MassCore & ASIO mode, bit to bit, is a bit to bit. Well, I need to perform reliable A\B tests.

On the other hand, I'm still sceptic regarding the consumer audio over USB concept.
As for Ravenna AoIP technology, it may very well offer convinient, flexible & scalable solutions for the PRO market.
But when we talk about the task of audiophile components short distance point to point interconnection, the capability of "phase-clocking" packet AoIP protocol to surpass direct, live "time-clocking" SPDIF digital-audio stream, imho, looks questionable.
That is why, I would salute Emotion music server beta download availability for Mykerinos boards.
Merging technologies may give a second life to the Mykerinos cards, being removed from the studio inventories & traded to consumer hands, thus, giving a push to Ravenna-Horus PRO market.
The 32-bit limitation is annoying, but it is not a disaster, as long as you build a dedicated music server.

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Paulo M
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby Paulo M » Wed Aug 06, 2014 00:51

On the other hand, I'm still sceptic regarding the consumer audio over USB concept.
As for Ravenna AoIP technology, it may very well offer convinient, flexible & scalable solutions for the PRO market.
But when we talk about the task of audiophile components short distance point to point interconnection, the capability of "phase-clocking" packet AoIP protocol to surpass direct, live "time-clocking" SPDIF digital-audio stream, imho, looks questionable.
That is why, I would salute Emotion music server beta download availability for Mykerinos boards.
Merging technologies may give a second life to the Mykerinos cards, being removed from the studio inventories & traded to consumer hands, thus, giving a push to Ravenna-Horus PRO market.
The 32-bit limitation is annoying, but it is not a disaster, as long as you build a dedicated music server.


Actually, I once thought about using one of my Mykerinos cards as output device to build a media center. But after a second thought, I gave up. Reasons:

1-The Mykerinos cards use a daughter card. MADI, AES, etc. To be used as a DAC, the only one is the Dual daughter card, which features analogue outs. All the others will need a converter to handle digital to analogue conversion. Unless you use the analogue mini jack output, which on the older models only outputs up to 96K fs and needs rebalancing if you want to connect it to balanced inputs on an pre-amplifier.

2-To use the Mykerinos cards via ASIO, you need to install Pyramix, as as far as I know, there´s no availability of ASIO drivers out of the Pyramix installation package. That´s a very expensive proposition I guess, just to be able to use ASIO with the Mykerinos.

3-The size of the Mykerinos cards, plus the coupled daughter card, makes them not suitable to install in most mini atx based desktop computers which more and more are becoming common. Not to mention cooling, as a lot of this boxes are supposed to be silent and are using SSD drives and passive coolong. You would fry the Mykerinos inside. Also most Mykerinos cards on the market are PCI, not PCIe like the X30 and X50. And like Dominique said, they are not 64 bit compatible. That is a limitation on a future proof media center, if we can talk about future proofing in technology that is.

Also, what makes you think that Merging would make development of a music server software, based on an hardware technology they don´t manufacture anymore? Would they start selling second hand/returned Mykerinos cards? How many? Not everybody in the professional market wants to return them. Some because they are happily working with it, others because they don´t intend to buy either Horus or Hapi and go the Ravenna route, thus taking advantage of an exchange hardware programme.

Also, what makes you thing that AoIP, such as Ravenna is not more timing accurate than SPDIF? Even USB, asynchronus Audio 2.0 is probably more reliable in terms of clocking and jitter issues than SPDIF, be it optical or coax. Let alone the sampling rate limitations.

So, get a decent mini PC, connect a home NAS, install JRiver media center or similar and buy yourself a good USB DAC. Or get an already built media center with storage such as Aurender. Or a network media player to stream directly from your NAS. Or get an OPPO player that reads pretty much everything you throw at it, SACD included. There´s lots of choices out there. Forget the Mykerinos cards, they were not built for this IMHO.
Best regards,

Paulo M

Pyramix 7.1 Masscore
VCube XE 3.1
MB5 Dual & X50 MADI
Win XP SP3
Intel Q9600/Gigabyte X48 DS5 Motherboard/ASUS 4350 Graphic card

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Paulo M
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby Paulo M » Sun Aug 17, 2014 13:19

Just an update to the thread:

I just installed a Mykerinos MB5 with Dual daughter card on a PC that I´m using as a media center. Installed Pyramix (V6) so that the Mykerinos ASIO drivers could be found by the apps requiring it, in this particular case, J River MC19.

Went to VS3 control panel, selected Mykerinos ASIO as platform.
J River could see the ASIO drivers (including ASIO Bridge). So far so good.
The open device control panel button on J River opens the essential part of the Pyramix settings. OK. Here the only ASIO sets to adjust is the buffer size.
No way to alter the sampling rate, it´s not selectable.
Press play on J River and the Pyramix mixer window shows up as expected so that one could select the outs on the card. Hoorayyy!

Well, not so fast,hold your horses, the Pyramix window is not responding and defaults to just a white box (where did I saw this before?). No sound either.
Then J River crashes.

I then tried to open a Pyramix project with ASIO Bridge enabled, set J River to play through it and pressed play. First attempt and RTX blue screen, computers says no! I then thought that maybe I should reboot in normal windows mode instead of Masscore. Another try. Sound plays through finally, not the idea behing using the Mykerinos as a DAC, but at least works this way. Suddenly J River crashes again. Another try and this time the computer goes to black.

OK, so I give it another try in another PC where I have installed my Pyramix V7. Install J River and same behaviour. ASIO does not work at all. And this is a Mykerinos X50 card. And since it´s V7, I thought maybe the ASIO drivers could have been improved, but no.

Then I installed an old (very old) small M Audio Delta 1010 LT PCI card that I had lying around. Worked perfectly!!! Even ASIO4all works great outputting through mobo audio out.

Conclusion: Unless I´m doing something wrong here, the ASIO drivers of the Mykerinos cards are crap. Solutions costing virtually nothing compared to the price of the Mykerinos cards work fine. Not to mention that you need to have Pyramix installed to use the Mykerinos ASIO drivers (AFAIK).

I wonder if Pyramix Native works with the Mykerinos ASIO drivers. Of course no one would buy a Mykerinos card just to use Pyramix in Native mode, but I´m curious it it would work at all.

So Dom, do you have any ideas that can help this poor friend of yours getting this thing to work? I accept free wine and cheese as a compensation if your answer is "we are now concentrating on AoIP, ASIO is a past tech"
Best regards,

Paulo M

Pyramix 7.1 Masscore
VCube XE 3.1
MB5 Dual & X50 MADI
Win XP SP3
Intel Q9600/Gigabyte X48 DS5 Motherboard/ASUS 4350 Graphic card

youguanxi
Posts: 21
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby youguanxi » Sun Aug 17, 2014 14:09

Hello, Paolo!
I'm glad not to be the only mad man trying to make Mykerinos work under ASIO (PCI version, thou) :lol:
Here I've described my experience viewtopic.php?f=54&t=10362
I was told that Mykerinos ASIO drivers are "legacy". And that's that.
I'm trying to find a more convenient yet non-compromise way of PC sound reproduction...
I wonder, what did contribute most substantially to Mykerinos success as a digital stream transport?
1. Tick-Tack real-time OS (RTX)? But one couldn't bypass Windows totally, particularly, it is not the case with I\O operations, which anyway go through OS, & which are so crucial for audio.
2. DMA - engine?
3. Somehow making the above mentioned I\O opertions to lock & be slaved from the Mykerinos master clock?

The XXHighEnd PC-based music server building advises, to my mind, look at the direction that RTOS does, but without RTOS. He simply says: buy a CPU with as many cores, as you can afford, turn on HT to double the streams (16 will be great), restrict your I\O & DSP related processes from changing core (stream) while execution, prioritize these processes, finally, turn off all unnecessary programs, components, OS system services, processes, terminate USB, network connection & video output if you can. I wonder If this approach gives similar results as RTOS may offer?

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Paulo M
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby Paulo M » Mon Aug 18, 2014 20:54

Hi Dmitri,

don´t worry, you´re not the only nuts around here :)

Regarding the Mykerinos ASIO being legacy and not supported anymore: the small M Audio card I´m using is much older than the first Mykerinos I bought in 2005. It´s latest driver updates are from May 2007(win XP). You can call it legacy too, but the ASIO drivers work fine. So, I don´t think there´s any excuse for the poor ASIO implementation on Mykerinos cards, just because they are considered legacy. Curiously, the MT ASIO Bridge works fine with some apps in Pyramix, allowing you to route audio I/O from those apps into the Masscore engine.

At the time the first Mykerinos cards were lauched, there was no Pyramix Native. Neither Masscore. People using Mykerinos cards were Pyramix users. Other DAW users were using other card brands. I don´t think that Merging was interested of people using their cards with other DAWS, hence the poor ASIO implementation.

Then in version 6 came Masscore and the Mykerinos cards lost their DSP processing in favour of the then more powerful CPU´s on the market. Their role started to be basically I/O interfacing, the audio threads being handled by Masscore, via RTX, stealing one of the cores for Pyramix alone and reducing latencies. I guess is as close as RTOS as you could get then. People without Masscore option, were still using the cards in Mykerinos mode though.
But Masscore, despite all the propaganda, was basically allowing high counts of I/O through the Mykerinos cards and accelerating some Pyramix processes, but in my opinion, it failed in one particular and important role: to embrace VST plugin processing. Basically because most plugin manufacturers didn´t find appealing enough from a commercial point of view to make Masscore Pyramix versions of their plugins.
Then came Pyramix Native and surprisingly, I didn´t see Merging encouraging it´s users to buy Mykerinos cards to use with Pyramix Native, despite the fact that PCIe versions like the X30 and X50 were on the market. People using Pyramix Native are using everything but Merging cards. I guess that in a way that was a bit odd, as if native users were encouraged to buy Mykerinos cards then, they would probably switch to Masscore at a later stage. But well, it´s not my business anyway.
Then came AoIP and Ravenna and the Mykerinos cards are on the way out for those Pyramix users who choose Horus, Hapi or want to go 64 bit. For the others with 32bit OS and using other converters is still business as usual until a future version of Pyramix comes and stops people from using the cards for good.
I have a Sphynx2 with MADI option I/O, so I will be 32bit for as long as I can as it´s a great (and expensive) converter. It doesn´t make sense for me to go out and buy an Horus or a Hapi, even a digital only version with MADI to interface the Sphynx2 via MADI.
When the Mykerinos go out of support I will have to buy another MADI card or USB to MADI from other manufacturer and probably start using some other native DAW too. Unless Merging comes out with a simple MADI to Ravenna box, which I doubt.

So basically, that was why I was trying to use one of my Mykerinos cards as a good DAC, but the result is not good as you´ve also experienced.

I guess that a small mini atx based PC with decent processor and memory, good media server like JRiver,coupled with a decent USB DAC will produce excelent results. Even using DoP for DSD. All for the price of a legacy Mykerinos with daughter card. That´s my opinion anyway, I´m not an expert, just a music listener :)
Best regards,

Paulo M

Pyramix 7.1 Masscore
VCube XE 3.1
MB5 Dual & X50 MADI
Win XP SP3
Intel Q9600/Gigabyte X48 DS5 Motherboard/ASUS 4350 Graphic card

DJS
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby DJS » Thu Sep 24, 2015 22:22

Paulo M wrote:I guess that a small mini atx based PC with decent processor and memory, good media server like JRiver,coupled with a decent USB DAC will produce excellent results.

http://www.intel.com.au/content/www/au/ ... rview.html
David Spearritt
Classical and Acoustic Music, BNE, Australia

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Paulo M
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby Paulo M » Fri Sep 25, 2015 00:01

Thanks David, I had seen those already. Yes, that´s the concept I mentioned for a small media center. A good USB DAC and an external drive (or NAS) and it´s a simple and effective setup, at least for music.

I´ve been watching this as well:

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/Beebox/

On the DAC side, of course the new Merging Nadac would be a great choice, judging by the specs and reviews. But for the price of it, you could buy some dozens Beebox, plus a NAS :D
Best regards,

Paulo M

Pyramix 7.1 Masscore
VCube XE 3.1
MB5 Dual & X50 MADI
Win XP SP3
Intel Q9600/Gigabyte X48 DS5 Motherboard/ASUS 4350 Graphic card

Pale Rider
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby Pale Rider » Sat Nov 14, 2015 02:51

First post. As a brand new NADAC owner, count me as someone who would sure like to see Emotion available. In fact, it was the functionality of Emotion, touted on the NADAC website, that was a motivating factor for my purchase. Even as of now, the website contains instructions and references for the use of Emotion. For me, Emotion seemed much more desirable than JRiver MC, which I really do not enjoy using on either a Mac or PC.

Note: I understand there may be a difference between Emotion Music Server and what I hope to be using, but just the same, it seems clear that the NADAC was released with the anticipation that Emotion would be available for use with it. Ah well, in the absence of positive news here, looks like I will be buying that Roon installation I have been trying.

robertopisa
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Re: Merging Emotion Music Server Beta - updates?

Postby robertopisa » Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:19

If you are a NADAC owner, your seller should have given you access to a copy of Emotion as it comes with the NADAC.
-R

Pale Rider wrote:First post. As a brand new NADAC owner, count me as someone who would sure like to see Emotion available. In fact, it was the functionality of Emotion, touted on the NADAC website, that was a motivating factor for my purchase. Even as of now, the website contains instructions and references for the use of Emotion. For me, Emotion seemed much more desirable than JRiver MC, which I really do not enjoy using on either a Mac or PC.

Note: I understand there may be a difference between Emotion Music Server and what I hope to be using, but just the same, it seems clear that the NADAC was released with the anticipation that Emotion would be available for use with it. Ah well, in the absence of positive news here, looks like I will be buying that Roon installation I have been trying.