Audio slice kit or xCore-200 multichannel audio? Topic is solved

Technical discussions related to any XMOS development kit or reference design. Eg XK-1A, sliceKIT, etc.
ggilles
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Audio slice kit or xCore-200 multichannel audio?

Postby ggilles » Tue May 24, 2016 4:43 pm

Hi,

I have been looking at the Xcore platform recently and want to give it a try for multichannel audio processing, nothing crazy at first: probably a multiway active filter.

At first glance, it seems that the multichannel audio board is a good hardware fit for my needs, but it seems that xTIMEcomposer has more examples/demos/code ready to use for the Slicekit dev board.

I wonder if going for a xCore-200 slicekit + audio slicekit would get me started faster. What would you recommend for an easy start?

-- Gilles
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infiniteimprobability
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Postby infiniteimprobability » Thu May 26, 2016 9:48 am

Hi,
I'd definitely recommend the multichannel audio board. It has more analog input output channels (8in 8out), digital inputs and nicer GPIO including LEDs and switches. It's a mean multichannel USB sound card when no longer required for your experiments.

The I2S loopback demo (probably the best starting point for writing DSP) AN00162 uses it too..

Do checkout the various DSP libraries.. what sort of DSP are you doing? There are quite a few example dotted about.
ggilles
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Postby ggilles » Thu May 26, 2016 11:52 am

Ok,

I'll order a multichannel audio board, thank you for this strong advice!

Best regards,

-- Gilles
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infiniteimprobability
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Postby infiniteimprobability » Thu May 26, 2016 12:40 pm

You should find it fits your needs. Its what most of us internal xmos guys use for developing generic audio apps!
jandyman
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Postby jandyman » Fri May 27, 2016 5:30 pm

I'll try posting here even though this topic may be stale.

It looks from the above as if the XCore 200 dev board comes with application firmware to function as a multichannel soundcard? This is important to me to get started, and it is also important that it work with iOS. Is iOS supported? My existing DSP work is iOS based, so that's important.

I'm a DSP and embedded programmer with 30 years experience, and the XCore looks like an exciting option for me. However, what drives me to develop DSP is music, so my first application for the Xcore board would be as the core of multichannel audio interface for processing individual strings of a (bass) guitar using iOS, where I already have a working DSP infrastructure. I would build a box with a multipin connector for the instrument, a power connector, and USB out. That's it.

Once I get that working, I would explore the native processing capabilities of the XCore, since I am always looking for ways to deploy my DSP on standalone devices. There are many places this could lead. I might end up moving my processing out of the iOS device and into the XCore.

One more question - is the XCore development community pretty active? I know from experience how important that is. The days of company support for small developers is long gone (for understandable reasons), so an active user community is vital for small developers.

Thanks for any help!

- Andy Voelkel
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infiniteimprobability
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Postby infiniteimprobability » Tue May 31, 2016 6:26 am

It looks from the above as if the XCore 200 dev board comes with application firmware to function as a multichannel soundcard?
Yes that's right. Well, the software doesn't come in the box as such but you can get it here - https://www.xmos.com/support/software/uac2
Is iOS supported?
There are iOS compatible builds (available at the same link above) but you need to make sure that the board you have has the Apple specific components fitted. Of course you must be MFI registered to obtain these. IIRC there's a license step on the website you'll need to go through to get this approved, which is strictly defined by our friends in Cupertino.

I'm a DSP and embedded programmer with 30 years experience, and the XCore looks like an exciting option for me.
We hope that's the case! We all enjoy writing code for XMOS - having control over the hardware and lots of real time MIPS to play with is fun.. It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts on our architecture compared with previous experience.

However, what drives me to develop DSP is music, so my first application for the Xcore board would be as the core of multichannel audio interface for processing individual strings of a (bass) guitar using iOS, where I already have a working DSP infrastructure. I would build a box with a multipin connector for the instrument, a power connector, and USB out. That's it.

Once I get that working, I would explore the native processing capabilities of the XCore, since I am always looking for ways to deploy my DSP on standalone devices.

There are many places this could lead. I might end up moving my processing out of the iOS device and into the XCore.
Interesting!

One more question - is the XCore development community pretty active?
Reasonably so, yes. Most of the internal XMOS guys try to get on here from time to to time but of course support is best effort. Have a look around though and see for yourself! There are additional channels for reporting bugs - if it's a show stopper then it's likely we'll get on it as you won't be the only person experiencing it. https://www.xmos.com/support/help

There are quite a few notable non-xmos members who are active and helpful too and have some really good in depth knowledge about the architecture. You'll see the names pop up in this forum..
I know from experience how important that is. The days of company support for small developers is long gone (for understandable reasons), so an active user community is vital for small developers
Right!
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Postby jandyman » Tue May 31, 2016 4:50 pm

Thank you for your informative reply. It is encouraging. I did have a followup question about the board, but I did another search and see that there are two versions of the dev board, and the Apple compatible version is only available with an MFI license, so I know understand what you were talking about there. I'm not quite ready to create a legal company identity to do this development, so I guess I'll have to explore either using a friend's, or maybe I just have to create a DBA and use my tax ID. I'll ask around about this, but if you know anything about it, fire away!

What a pain. But probably surmountable.

- Andy
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Postby jandyman » Tue May 31, 2016 11:05 pm

Actually, it looks like the MFI license issue is a show stopper. I would need to develop a product before even thinking about manufacturing it, regardless of outsourcing or no. And it sounds as if Apple does not support this development model.

Apple has gotten less hostile to individual developers recently, but this looks like one area in which things have not changed.

- Andy

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