Post Go back to editing

Best platform for Guitar Effects devices - Questions relating to ADAU1446?

Hi everyone

I'm wanting to develop a platform for DSP guitar effects for use in a commercial product, and having looked at what others are using I've seen that the ADAU 1446 is used in the some of the products I like the most.

I'm a start-up business and new to DSP. I have more of an analog electronics background, but I've got a good attitude and some good support.

So what I wanted to ask was:

1) I've read that with the 1446 chipset that the only way to create effects algorithms is using the Sigma Studio application, and that it's not possible to write code for it, as it's a closed platform. Is that correct?

2) Given my experience level, using Sigma Studio sounds like a good entry point for my level, so my question is, will the 1446 & Sigma Studio give me the capability to create all the typical audio effects, ie Reverbs, Delays, LFO's, LFO Amplitude & pitch effects like a Tremelo, or Vibrato, Chrous....

It's seems like the development platform board is nearly a $1000 with the USB interface board, so before I decide to buy one I really need to know whether Sigma Studio with the 1446 is going to create the effects I'd like to build..... otherwise I will be wasting $1000 very rapidly :-)

If anyone knows of a better approach, or a cheaper evaluation solution, or any other options, I would really appreciate the feedback.

All the best and take care,


  • Jon,

    Take a look at the ADAU1466 instead, The ADAU1466 is a good platform for stomp boxes. Lots of people use it for that, though it has some limitations. First, your questions:

    1. That is correct. There is no compiler available. That said, there are quite a few primitives, and it is capable of a lot of functions.

    2. Given your experience level, SigmaDSP sounds ideal. Delays, LFO's, LFO amplitude & pitch effects like a tremelo, vibrato,=, and chorus are pretty straightforward. There are primitive blocks for reverb and pitch shift, but they are pretty basic. It would be very difficult (if possible) to code your own implementation of these. 

    The eval board should cost more like $200 than $1000. I see it in stock at Digi-Key for $206. For the same price, I recommend the EVAL-ADAU1467Z if it is in stock, though the EVAL-ADAU1466Z will do, The former is fully code compatible with the latter, but it's much better for breadboarding to experiment with other boards.

    Stephan Moller has some excellent videos on YouTube that show how he does tube distortion effects on these DSPs.


  • Thanks Ken, much appreciated.

    I can see Mouser UK has the EVAL-ADAU1467Z so I will probably get one ordered today.

    With the 1446 is that closed to the Sigma Studio interface too, or is there a compiler?

    I have a Source Audio True Spring which uses the 1446, and it has great spring reverb, but I suspect that they didn't use Sigma Studio, somehow.

    If the Reverb blocks are primitive, what's the ideal solution if I was aiming for a quality and variation of reverb effects to rival the best out there?

    I maybe shooting for the moon here! :-) 

    Thanks for your help


  • Yes. None of the SigmaDSP parts have compilers. Source Audio was started, in part, by ADI engineers with internal knowledge of the DSP so they have a bit of an unfair advantage. The rest came from other companies with many years of audio DSP experience with reverb as a specialty. Even with a compiler, it would be very difficult to match the performance of their reverbs. Rivaling the best is not a realistic goal for a beginner in DSP. Convolution reverbs sound very good, but that's not practical at this price point.


  • interesting, I'm not necessarily looking to code myself if I can avoid it (just depends upon how hard it is, he says naively!), after 25 years of industry experience I have a good network of engineers, some with DSP for broadcast video products experience. What I'm trying to establish is the right platform to create products equivalent to Sound Audio or Styrmon's products, so the stomp box format, not necessarily the studio quality type reverb devices....

    It does seem like quite a closed world and hard to break into, I had noticed that many of the brands, had spawned from AD, not just Source Audio, but a few others too.