Choose first DSP - processing guitar signal

Hi,

I'd like to get started using DSPs. And as I'm a guitarplayer I thought a guitar effect would be a great point to start.

I won't start with an expensive DSP like the TigerSharc (Fractal Audio's Axe FX II) or an ADSP-21469 (Line6 Helix or Fractal's AX8) - tough I like the specs of both of them .
But I want to play around with

  • EQing
  • modulation filters
  • compression
  • reverb
  • delay
  • bandfilters
  • maybe later even a looper (using some external memory)

I need the DSP to be at least 24bit 96kHz.

I've read an ADAU1701 would be a nice and cheap device to get startet. But it lacks of memory, why it's not usable for a reverb. An ADAU1452 shall have enough memory for an reverb but lacks of ADC and DAC. Then some guys told me the ADAU1452 wouldn't be a generalpurpose DSP.

So I wonder which DSP to choose.

For delay/looper I'd like to add external ram later on, when I know what I do. But I'd like my first board to be able the rest of the effects.
Also I'd like it to be a newer device which is not EOL, soon.

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  • 0
    •  Analog Employees 
    on Jun 20, 2018 2:07 AM

    Hello newmike,

    You asked for my opinion so I gave it. I think you should start simple and work up. You are correct, there will be another learning curve if you go with the Blackfin or a SHARK. We do have  SigmaStudio for SHARC but I don't think we have it for the Blackfin. ( I should know that but then I don't work with that part).

    You will find that these other parts can do some really great things but you will have to invest in CrossCore and in third party libraries if you want to do anything fancy. It will probably come to many thousands of dollars and yes, look into educational discounts. If you are planning on becoming a DSP engineer then pick up and learn about as much of these different devices as you can. They all have things they do well and other things they do not do well.

    Another opinion of mine is that engineers tend to want to pick the Ferrari to go drive down the city street to go get lunch at a local fast food place rather than just taking the VW Bug. The VW Bug will do that job just as well as the Ferrari but at MUCH less cost and complexity! By the way, I have done that once,... taken a Ferrari to go to McDonalds. It was not my car, the client said, "take my car" so I could not refuse!

    So you will find that in more complicated systems it may call for multiple DSPs and the SigmaDSP is great for taking the load off of the SHARC by doing some of the routing and simple processing tasks so knowing what they are good for is not a bad thing to learn.

    By the way, Bob is right, using 96kHz fs for a guitar is simply burning power and MIPS for no reason.

    By the way, if you are also learning about PCB layout design and will build your own PCBs. Using a Blackfin with external memory is like trying to learn to swim by jumping into the deep end of the pool. I say start simple and work your way up. You will learn important concepts along the way.

    Dave T 

Reply
  • 0
    •  Analog Employees 
    on Jun 20, 2018 2:07 AM

    Hello newmike,

    You asked for my opinion so I gave it. I think you should start simple and work up. You are correct, there will be another learning curve if you go with the Blackfin or a SHARK. We do have  SigmaStudio for SHARC but I don't think we have it for the Blackfin. ( I should know that but then I don't work with that part).

    You will find that these other parts can do some really great things but you will have to invest in CrossCore and in third party libraries if you want to do anything fancy. It will probably come to many thousands of dollars and yes, look into educational discounts. If you are planning on becoming a DSP engineer then pick up and learn about as much of these different devices as you can. They all have things they do well and other things they do not do well.

    Another opinion of mine is that engineers tend to want to pick the Ferrari to go drive down the city street to go get lunch at a local fast food place rather than just taking the VW Bug. The VW Bug will do that job just as well as the Ferrari but at MUCH less cost and complexity! By the way, I have done that once,... taken a Ferrari to go to McDonalds. It was not my car, the client said, "take my car" so I could not refuse!

    So you will find that in more complicated systems it may call for multiple DSPs and the SigmaDSP is great for taking the load off of the SHARC by doing some of the routing and simple processing tasks so knowing what they are good for is not a bad thing to learn.

    By the way, Bob is right, using 96kHz fs for a guitar is simply burning power and MIPS for no reason.

    By the way, if you are also learning about PCB layout design and will build your own PCBs. Using a Blackfin with external memory is like trying to learn to swim by jumping into the deep end of the pool. I say start simple and work your way up. You will learn important concepts along the way.

    Dave T 

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