Headset monitor and mics

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Tony EI7BMB
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Headset monitor and mics

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:40 pm

Hi, is anyone currently using a Behringer MA400 Monitor Headphone Amplifier or similar ? Just bought a new headset with closed earphones so need to hear my own voice to be comfortable and the PowerSDR monitor function has a little too much latency to talk with normal speed so need a way to hear my voice without using software monitor and also allow the output audio from the Anan to go back to the headphones also . I'd be grateful for any opinions.
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby w-u-2-o » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:17 pm

Tony,

What an interesting product! I'm fairly familiar with the Behringer product line, but I missed that one! It should do exactly what you want, as long as you have a balanced microphone to use with it, and are comfortable making the transition from the balanced mic output to the unbalanced mic input of your radio.

It would also be a handy companion piece to the Behringer UMC202HD interface, as I've never found the "direct monitor" function on the 202 to work very well.

Another way to do what you want would be to simply use a small mixer. Indeed, that's what I effectively do with my DAW software. I bring in the mic audio for processing, but I also bring in the radio receive audio into the DAW, too. That way I can mix them together any way I want and can monitor myself with no latency (the DAW has minimal latency by itself).

73!

Scott
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:29 pm

That looks a really interesting product Scott . I see it has all the right size sockets so looks like exactly what I want/need.

Edit: BTW now Using a Koss SB 40 headset bought for less that 30US and getting great reports
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:55 am

Found a video which explains really well how the mixer Scott linked to works
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:46 am

Good find on that video, Tony. However, don't be like that guy and slam your clipping indicators all of the time! Turn up your mic level about 3/4 of the way, put the main mix about midway, then adjust your mic gain control so that you rarely, but occasionally, see the clipping indicator on voice peaks. The clipping indicators on Behringer equipment turn on about 2dB shy of clipping, so if you only see them occasionally you should rarely, if ever, actually clip a signal peak.

I'm expecting that you'll want to take the left channel main mix out into the radio line input. You shouldn't need any TX gain on the line input, just adjust the main mix level out to obtain -3dB or so of mic level on peaks on the PowerSDR mRX mic level meter. Then adjust the headphones control to taste on the 302.

If you do decide to get one I'd be very interested in your thoughts on how well it works for you.

73!

Scott
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:02 pm

Thanks Scott some great tips there . Just re did CFC using Rob's excellent tutorial video so this mixer should make things very comfortable for SSB operating.
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:17 pm

Here's an update on progress: Mixer arrived and I've been trying to get it to work. First step was to check out the headset through through the mixer and happily the monitored voice audio sounds pretty good. Next was connecting line in through a breakout board connected to the rear D connector panel and although I got audio in it was never quite right for various reasons like level and RF getting in etc so then I realized that the mixer of course had a USB output which i thought would be a much neater solution than trying to track down stray RF. I installed the asioforall program which is linked to from the beringer website and although the asioforall driver appears in the drop down box of power sdr it does not appear as an option on the hardware input on voicemeeter banana. I currently have voice appearing using the option WDM: Microphone (USB Audio Codec)

Scott I wonder if you have any suggestions as to what step or steps i may be missing to get asio working on Hardware input 1?
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby w-u-2-o » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:54 pm

Hi Tony,

Well, step one is trash ASIO4ALL. A worse driver I cannot imagine. It is a kludge in the truest sense of the word.

The official drivers for the Behringer mixer should support ASIO directly. No need for ASIO4ALL. You'd be better off using MME or WDM compared to ASIO4ALL.

At any rate, for a simple setup where you are just sending and receiving audio straight from/to the Behringer mixer, there is no necessity to use VMB. Get the correct drivers installed for the mixer, and use ASIO in PowerSDR if you can.

Once things are generally working, set the gain on the mixer so that you are seeing close to, but not over, 0dB on the Mic Level meter in PowerSDR. No need to adjust VAC TX gain, leave it at zero and let the mixer pick up the slack.

Don't forget to edit all Behringer related devices in the Windows Sound Control Panel, both recording and playback, to use 48KHz. Set all relevant Windows mixer controls to max. (0dB). And, if the driver for the Behringer installs a control panel, make sure it is set to 48KHz.

73,

Scott
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:18 am

Thanks Scott . Asioforall now trashed :-) Unfortunately though there does not seemed to be an Asio driver from beringer as the driver download link just goes to asioforall site . I'll go with WDM and see how that works .
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:56 am

Another update . Using VAC was not successful , although after a while I thought I had decent audio for some reason it would not stay that way and it was also not driving my acom linear on every over. I'm thinking now to get an attenuator pad to bring the line audio down to mic level and use the front mic input. I found these guys who can make a nice custom lead with built in ATT pad. https://shop.technofix.uk
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:12 pm

Tony,

Have you read my VAC tutorial? There might be something in there that might help you with that.

Also, have you considered using the Line In inputs on the rear panel accessory connector? That is probably more appropriate than padding down a line level signal to input into the microphone jack.

73,

Scott
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:08 am

Hi Scott, yes read the tutorial, great info there but no matter what I do the amp problem persists. Had previously tried the line in using a breakout board but its picking noise or rf from somewhere so rather than spending time chase that down I'm going to experiment with the front mic input . I'll report back with the results.
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:53 pm

Just to update progress I've now got the mixer up and running with a custom made phono to jack lead with a "pad" to bring line level down to mic level. I also took the opportunity to hook up a behringer XM8500 dynamic mic into the XLR socket which is getting great reports so far. I used Rob's pre made SSB 3.0K CFC profile as a good starting point but of course its not long before you find yourself experimenting and making new profiles :D
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:53 pm

:)
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:38 pm

Now have the behringer unit on the way to try out , I'll report back . These CFC tools are addictive , I've just splashed out on a sennheiser 835 mic :)
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby w-u-2-o » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:44 pm

For $99 you should have got a Behringer B1 large diameter condenser mic. Fabulous mic for $99, it's what I have. Or the MXL990. Either way you've got the 48V phantom power in the mixer to run it!
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:26 am

Yeah unfortunately my local sound shop does not stock behringer or the MA400 and Simon thinks highly of the 835. Might get one of those in the future
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:47 am

Scott just re checked and the particular Xenyx mixer I have does not provide phantom power . There is a however a reasonably priced behringer supply which should match nicely with the behringer monitor unit


https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000KUCQXY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000FG795I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3QYGK0GWHGJQ6&coliid=IE0UVGPZH3ZFV
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:32 am

If you have a 302 then it provides an always-on phantom voltage. The MA400 by itself does not, but it will pass it through from the mixer.
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:16 pm

Thanks Scott , guess the info i read was incorrect.
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:24 pm

Just get out your voltmeter and check between XLR pins 1 and 2, and pins 1 and 3. There should be phantom voltage in both checks. It may not be 48V in the 302, but my information says it is there. I'd be interested in your results if you do that test.
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:25 pm

Some power is there alright, reading 14.5v on both
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:02 pm

Not bad for something that is powered by a 5VDC USB connections.

12VDC phantom power is pretty standard for portable field production equipment, whereas 48VDC is normal for studio equipment. There is also a 24VDC standard but I don't think it's become very popular.

Most professional mic's will run from any of those three, but for mic's nominally designed for 48VDC you will lose some sensitivity when running at 12VDC. People have reported that some microphones will "sound terrible" at 12V. No doubt sometimes that is true, other times it could be very subtle changes that are amplified out of proportion to the problem by "sensitive" audio engineers, or even just psycho-acoustic hypochondria ;)
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:36 pm

I'll try it out and see how it sounds , not the end of the world if I have to get the 48v power unit in any case. Thanks again for the input Scott
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:59 pm

MA400 was disappointing unfortunately , just does not have enough level for either the mic or the headphone monitor , needs a lot more headroom to be comfortable . I'll be sticking with the Xenyx 302 for now .
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Re: Headset monitor

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:08 pm

Behringer B1 arrived this morning. I can confirm that it works just fine on the voltage supplied by the Xenyx 302 mixer . As Scott has already suggested the B1 really is flat , it sounds good and gives a nice flat "bart Simpson hair effect" on the display. I had it set up in no time at all using the previous sennheiser set up as a starting point.
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Re: Headset monitor and mics

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:24 pm

It's amazing how much mic you can get for $99, isn't it? :D
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Re: Headset monitor and mics

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:47 am

Sure is Scott
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Re: Headset monitor and mics

Postby WA2DVU » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:11 pm

I am concerned about the poor transmitter audio to headset operation.

K9VV Ken told me that the 7000D has improved latency and sent me the info.


I read that article and it is about latency from microphone audio to antenna on transmit. I use a Heil headset and monitor my transmitted audio on my past rigs, ICOM pros and last rig the 7600. There have been comments about transmitter audio latency in other ANAN units. I asked a local ham who has a 200 and he does not use a headset however he hooked up one and said that the delay was annoying. There has been discussion on the "Apache Community" of this and to work around it was to use a mixer to monitor direct mike audio and receive audio.

I ran an experiment to see how much latency would be acceptable and not have to use an external mixer. I used an Allen :& Heath AED 10FX mixer and a Ashley Protea NE24.24M audio processor set up in the delay function. I found that delay up to 10 ms was not noticeable, 15 ms starts to be heard but is not objectionable, and 20 would soon be annoying and unacceptable. These are my observations and your mileage will vary

I will be using the mixer monitor lash-up. Seems a shame that all of the rigs that I have had in the past had good monitor circuits. State of the art rigs come along with fantastic receiver and transmitter specs but still cannot get the simple monitor part right.

I have been spoiled with my 10 year old Perseus - best receiver that I have ever had and am looking forward to my even better 7000D Rig.

73,
Bill, WA2DVU
Potato Island, NJ
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Re: Headset monitor and mics

Postby w-u-2-o » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:33 am

Bill,

The latency of every openHPSDR architecture radio, from the Hermes (10, 10E, 100), to the Angelia (100D), Orion (200D) and Orion MkII (8000 and 7000), is exactly the same. They use the same software processing in PowerSDR mRX, the same Ethernet communications protocol between the radio and the PC, the same FPGA code (with respect to audio processing), and the exact same CODEC circuitry to support mic and speaker/headphone connections to the radio. None of the radios have any advantage over the other in this respect.

Which article are you referring to? Where can it be found?

With respect to obtaining simple sidetone, there is absolutely no reason that our radios can't achieve acceptably low latency. The CODEC IC used on every board from the Hermes to the Orion MkII has a built-in, zero latency sidetone path. It is simply not utilized by the software/firmware. Similarly, for those using VAC and fully virtualized audio, the simple problem is there is no software in PowerSDR to create a low latency path from the VAC input to the MON circuit and back out the VAC interface. I've suggested it be added, but it is simply not something the developer community is interested in working on, unfortunately.

With respect to mic-to-antenna latency, and antenna-to-speaker latency, the greatest impediment was the IF passband filter implementation in PowerSDR, which was based on simple linear phase FIR filters. Such filters do provide great phase and amplitude linearity, but also exhibit relatively long latencies. In PowerSDR, when using the linear phase FIR filters, the delay through them in milliseconds is defined by filter length divided by 48 (filter length is erroneous labeled as filter size in the setup window, and the factor of 48 comes from the 48KHz audio processing sampling rate used internally by PowerSDR). Even a filter of a relatively minimal length, e.g. 2048, accounts for some 43mS of delay. Add to this the other various processing and buffering delays and typical mic-to-antenna latency is on the order of 70mS or so.

One thing that has helped a great deal was that Warren Pratt ultimately became interested in achieving latency improvements. This may have been motivated by radios such as the IC-7300, which utilize IIR filtering. IIR filters are quite fast, and the latencies achieved in the 7300 are in the sub 30mS range. There might have also been some "squeaky wheels," such as your's truly ;). This lead to the implementation of minimum phase FIR filters in the software, which are labeled "Low Latency" filters in the setup screen, as well as some improvements in buffering architecture. Not quite as fast as IIR filters, but they had mathematical advantages for allowing the real-time, highly flexible adjustments we enjoy in our radios. They also do not exhibit very linear phase characteristics, but considering what the ionosphere does to our signals that is essentially unnoticeable.

Using the Low Latency filters setting, at any length (their delay is insensitive to length), one can achieve mic-to-antenna latencies on the order of 30 to 70mS, depending on buffering settings and how much audio processing is being used (leveler, CFC, EQ, etc.). This was such a great improvement over the 70 to 150mS that Apache Labs "old timers" were used to that many folks took to calling it "real time". Of course it is no such thing, as your own experiments showed. But it is still quite good for an SDR, particularly an SDR with highly sophisticated transmit audio processing (unique to PowerSDR mRX, by the way), as all SDRs suffer from the delays inherent in digital filtering (analog filtering is essentially instant).

Given that the MON output is taken at the data stream where it goes to the DAC, it is subject to nearly the entire delay. Note that it is also subject to any predistortion processing from PureSignal. If you can stand the delay, and want to hear what you really sound like, you need to ensure that PureSignal is disabled when using MON.

I have suggested many times that MON should have three modes: MON1, which is pure, unadulterated sidetone with no processing and the lowest possible latency, MON2, which is picked off after all audio processing but before passband filtering and predistortion, and MON3, which is equivalent to how MON currently works and picks off the signal just before the DAC.

As you have already figured out, if you want low latency sidetone you will have to use a mixer/monitor "lash-up", as you put it. Something else to watch out for is receive-to-transmit latency. With buffers all set to as low as they can go, low latency filters, and no audio processing in use (no CFC, etc.), about the best you can do from the time the other station stops transmitting to when your signal actually leaves the antenna is approx. 60mS (30mS receive latency + 30mS transmit latency). Add some audio processing and this can quickly climb to the 100 to 150mS range. That doesn't sound like a lot, but in a multi-way rag-chew it can sometimes make it hard to break in in a timely fashion.

73,

Scott

P.S. see also this thread.

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