HTPC System Guide to Using Reaper and Allocator as a Speaker Controller and DSP Solution

ss_v4_fpThis is a HTPC system guide to setting up the audio software “Reaper”; so that “Reaper” can route internally all your digital ins and outs for use as a speaker controller, speaker crossover, and HTPC playback software. (yes, it can do this all at the same time)

Using Thuneau Allocator Lite in this example Jan from Thuneau shows us how to do all the internal software linking.

This example is also on Jan’s forum at www.thuneau.com. See the link at the bottom of the page.

He outlines how to get all of this working flawlessly using Reaper and the speaker crossover software. This is an awesome setup as all you have to do once completed is start up Reaper (after you save your setting) and every thing is in place.

At this point you literally just hit ‘play’ and your music or movies are all playing in perfect harmony. The PC is basically doing everything at this point. Your room correction, music or movie playback, and also the digital speaker crossovers.

This does take some setup, but its well worth it and not really that hard to do either.

Reaper Mapping for using the above setup in Windows 7 and Thuneau Allocator Lite:

Here is a couple of tips from Jan at Thuneau, these instructions are also available on his forum:

Make sure that Rearoute is installed with Reaper. It’s not the default setting. If necessary, reinstall Reaper and check Rearoute. 

Start Reaper first. In options set the default sampling frequency to 48k. Tell Reaper where to find Allocator.

This is in Preferences>Plugins/VST. Just add a path to Allocator Light folder. (you can cut and paste the folder location of the Allocator light folder, this tells it where to pick up the crossover software)

Setup your sound card driver (ASIO) and output range. You will want outputs 1-16 available.

Start your DVD playback software.

Select ASIO as output driver in the playback software.
For output channels select Rearoute 1-8.

Back in Reaper create at least 5 audio tracks- three will be stereo and two will be mono tracks.
Name the tracks for ease of identification. L+R, Surr, Surr back, center, sub.

Enable record on each track and engage “input monitor” on each track.

• As source for L+R select stereo Rearoute 1/ Rearoute 2
• As source for surround select stereo Rearoute 3/ Rearoute 4
• As source for surround back select stereo Rearoute 5/ Rearoute 6
• As source for center select mono Rearoute 7
• As source for sub select mono Rearoute 8

In playback software make matching assignments.

In Reaper on each track click Sends/receives and hardware output options button.

For L+R track select 8 outputs and uncheck Master send. Add hardware outputs 1-8 in the same dialog box. These will go straight to your sound card.

Repeat for other tracks, assigning the appropriate number of outputs (to match number of crossover legs) and consecutive sound card outputs- make sure you don’t select outputs already used by other track.

Now in FX dialog box for each track add Allocator Light as the VST effect.Click the 2in 8 outbox and you can decide where individual Allocator bands go using simple cross matrix.

Again repeat for other tracks.

As long as tracks are record enabled and input monitoring is on, you will be able to stream from your playback software to Reaper, to multiple Allocators to individual outputs.

A tip: decide on a signal flow and draw it using pen and paper or some software of your choice.Excel also helps in documenting all ins and outs.

Things to look out for- mismatch in sampling rates, buffer settings, correct order in setting things up.

Save your work as you go, even though Reaper starts where you left off by default.

JRiver outputs surround in the following order:

L,R,C,Sub,LS,RS,LRS,RRS

It is perfectly happy to use ReaRoute as output. As long as Reaper is running, JRiver has a valid ASIO sound card in ReaRoute.

 

Set JRiver to one sampling frequency- namely what you set Reaper to start with- I suggest 48kHz if you plan on watching DVD’s.

In reaper create tracks in this order:

Track 1: Left+Right, input is stereo:Rearoute1/Rearoute2
Track 2: Center, Input is mono:Rearoute3
Track 3: Sub, Input is mono: Rearoute4
Track 4: Surround, input: stereo: Rearoute5/Rearoute6
Track 5: Rear Surround, input stereo: Rearoute7/Rearoute8

Jan from Thuneau (HTPC system setup)

That’s basically it for setting up an HTPC system using Reaper…. The Reaper forums are helpful as well if you run into problems.

The Thuneau forums where these instructions can be found are here…

Ask Jan @ Thuneau any question you like about the software, he’s always been very helpful and he’s the one that figured all this out for me… Thuneau Forum. Its all laid out on that page and you can see the process for my HTPC system too.

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