Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby ruthan » 2017-12-06 @ 02:58

Hello,
i really thing about use 2 /3 sound cards for my ultimate gaming rig, but would be anoying to reconnect jack to audio output depends on used operating system.

Exist something like small box with multiple jack inputs + autodetection of from jack is coming some sound signal (no just noise) to fix my problem?
Im old goal oriented goat, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos and prejudices etc.. Its about gaming, not hoarding, hoarding is sickness. If you want respect, you should gain it by your behavior, out of box you get benefit of the doubt.
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby Jepael » 2017-12-06 @ 10:29

Not that I know of.

What usually people might do in this situation:
1) loop audio through all sound cards (line out to line in) so you get one out, but it has difficulties as software mutes audio inputs etc.
2) buy/build a passive switch box so you can select yourself which input is connected to your amplifier but there will be no auto detection
3) buy(/build) a mixer so you can sum up all outputs together simultaneously without need to select anything, and still have control of muting and relative audio volumes if there is need.
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby konc » 2017-12-06 @ 10:55

Just get a small/cheap mixer and forget about auto-detection, I believe that's the simplest solution
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-12-06 @ 20:15

What mixers do you guys use? I've been wanting to get one for a while and haven't found quite what I want. I'd like more than 3 inputs if possible, just to keep it flexible for future projects. It seems like they get huge and overcomplicated once you move to more than 3 inputs though...
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby cyclone3d » 2017-12-06 @ 21:43

You can:
Build one yourself.
https://hackaday.io/project/12133-automatic-audio-source-switching

OR

Use an automatic digital audio selector. For any sources that are not digital, use an analog to digital converter and then for the output, if you aren't going to an amp/receiver via digital, use a digital to analog converter.
Automatic digital audio selector (4 inputs):
https://www.audioauthority.com/product_details/1177A

Analog to digital converter:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Analog-L-R-to-Digital-S-PDIF-TOSLink-Analog-to-Digital-Audio-Converter-Adapter/112518576687

Digital to analog converter:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-5mm-Optical-Coaxial-Toslink-Digital-to-Analog-Audio-Adapter-Converter-RCA-L-R/282740664067

Edit: found a muchly much cheaper auto switcher that also has analog out. Only 3 inputs, but you could daisy-chain a couple together in order to get 5 useable inputs.
You would still need the analog to digital adapters for the inputs though.
https://www.amazon.com/J-Tech-Digital-JTDDBSW0301-Decoder-5-1-Channel/dp/B00L3OZK1G
Last edited by cyclone3d on 2017-12-06 @ 22:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-12-06 @ 22:08

To be honest, I wouldn't recommend anything involving automatic switching. Its more likely to give you something to troubleshoot later on, and you won't be able to do much about it if some device makes any noise that constantly messes with the auto detection. A basic cheap manual AV switch box is a far more reliable option. You can pick them up from any electronic store. All you need is a stereo RCA to 3.5mm jack adapter for each source. This is what I've always used. I just push a button to select each device.

A mixer would be required if you have devices that may be playing audio at the same time. For example, playing AWE64 music from an AWE64 while playing sound effects from a Yamaha card.

You can use a mixer AND a switch if necessary, but I wouldn't recommend anything automatic when dealing with old noisy sound cards.
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby ruthan » 2017-12-07 @ 02:22

Thanks for replies.

I dont need digital inputs, but this is
https://www.audioauthority.com/product_details/1177A / 300 bucks, way too much..

Ok if not autodetection, could i just have all inputs active (enabled) and mix them all the time (this would require good noise cancellation at the side of non playing inputs).

This look good:
https://www.amazon.com/J-Tech-Digital-J ... B00L3OZK1G

Yeah convert analog to digital is PITA, but better what fiddling with cables, any reviews to show that autodetection is working fine?
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby Shponglefan » 2017-12-09 @ 00:15

All you really need is a basic stereo mixer. Something like this would suffice: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... Mixer.html
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby ruthan » 2017-12-15 @ 23:12

Shponglefan wrote:All you really need is a basic stereo mixer. Something like this would suffice: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... Mixer.html


If this not have some noise autodetection and auto mute of some inputs, its not what i need..
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby Shponglefan » 2017-12-16 @ 00:54

ruthan wrote:
Shponglefan wrote:All you really need is a basic stereo mixer. Something like this would suffice: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... Mixer.html


If this not have some noise autodetection and auto mute of some inputs, its not what i need..


Why do you need auto-detection and signal switching?

If you're just running straight analog audio (i.e. what comes from a standard stereo audio jack), then all you really need is a mixer. If you're only running a single sound source at a time, then 'muting' the other inputs doesn't matter. There won't be audio from those channels to begin with.

If you really think you need auto-detection and signal switching, you could get something like the Audio Authority 1154A switcher. I own one myself and currently use it for switching between General MIDI sound modules.
But while it features auto detection, but to be honest auto switching isn't that great. There's a slight lag between switching channels, so you'll have a split second of silence before it correctly detects the right channel to switch to. And if any errant audio comes in on another channel, it potentially might switch to that channel disrupting the normal signal. I typically only use it in manual mode, selecting the specific source I want to play at a given time. It's also $220 US versus about $50 for the mixer I posted.

Personally, I'd just go with the mixer.
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby ruthan » 2017-12-16 @ 23:39

If you're just running straight analog audio (i.e. what comes from a standard stereo audio jack), then all you really need is a mixer. If you're only running a single sound source at a time, then 'muting' the other inputs doesn't matter. There won't be audio from those channels to begin with.


What about noise? - i would have 1 computer with 3 sound cards (Win 98 to Win10 mutiboot machine), 1 what be active and used other would be disabled or not used.. I im not audio expert, but im afraid of noise from not used cards and dont what to everytime fiddle with volume buttons on mixer.
Im old goal oriented goat, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos and prejudices etc.. Its about gaming, not hoarding, hoarding is sickness. If you want respect, you should gain it by your behavior, out of box you get benefit of the doubt.
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Re: Something like jack audio switcher with autodetection of signal?

Postby Shponglefan » 2017-12-17 @ 02:16

ruthan wrote:
If you're just running straight analog audio (i.e. what comes from a standard stereo audio jack), then all you really need is a mixer. If you're only running a single sound source at a time, then 'muting' the other inputs doesn't matter. There won't be audio from those channels to begin with.


What about noise? - i would have 1 computer with 3 sound cards (Win 98 to Win10 mutiboot machine), 1 what be active and used other would be disabled or not used.. I im not audio expert, but im afraid of noise from not used cards and dont what to everytime fiddle with volume buttons on mixer.


If noise is an issue, then I'd definitely use a mixer and preferably one with mute buttons.

In my experience, auto-switching doesn't differentiate between random noise and a proper signal; it just senses and switches whenever a signal is loud enough. If random noise from your sound cards is loud enough to trigger it, then you're going to wind up with switching happening when you don't want it to.

The only way around that would be an auto-switching system with built-in level threshold control for detection. Not sure if something like that exists and I'm sure it wouldn't be cheap. The other option would be to go the DIY route if you're handy with electronics.
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