[music-dsp] diy dsp synth - where to start?

Angelo Farina farina at pcfarina.eng.unipr.it
Tue Jan 20 06:30:01 EST 2004


> -----Original Message-----
> From: music-dsp-admin at shoko.calarts.edu 
> Granted, this class of processors are not DSPs, but most of 
> them have rather powerful floating point SIMD extensions 
> these days (requires asm or macro/intrinsic coding, but 
> you're still in an environment with a real OS...) and they 
> are available with insane clock frequencies at reasonable prices.
> //David Olofson - Programmer, Composer, Open Source Advocate

Although I generally agree with David, and say that a PC CPU processor is
nowadays far superior than even the better DSP chips, I can also recommend
another viable option: purchase a small EZ-KIT board from Analog Devices.
These boards are priced between 150 and 400 USD, they come with good quality
A/D and D/A converters, and the package include the Visual DSP ++
environment (very high level, with real-time debugging, etc.) and a lot of
pre-written code examples which already run on the board.
There are various versions available, either fixed-point (Blackfin
processor) or Floating point (Sharc processor).
I am actually using the Sharc 21161N Ez-Kit, it costed 320 USD, it has 4
analog inputs, a digital input (Coaxial SPDIF or optical TOSLINK), and 8
analog outputs. All at 24 bits, 96 kHz. And the analog part of the board is
reasonably well done, the effective S/N in a complete I/O transfer function
is just above 100 dB.
This is the board which we use in our classroom, for teachning digital
signal processing to our students.
A typical working place, in the classroom, is made with a low-cost PC
equipped with full-duplex soundcard, an EZ-kit board, a microphone and a
pair of loudspeakers.
Each working place costs less than 1000 Usd....

Angelo Farina
University of Parma, ITALY

More information about the music-dsp mailing list