Numark NS6 / Serato Itch 2.1 / HDMI / FLAC
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  1. #1
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    Default Numark NS6 / Serato Itch 2.1 / HDMI / FLAC

    Hello everyone - new guy here. Thanks for welcoming me.

    Here's my problem:
    Just bought the NS6 today, downloaded Itch 2.1, got everything loaded onto my laptop. Come to find out, Itch doesn't support HDMI output or FLAC files.

    Here's my setup:
    I have a high end stereo receiver that I play music through from my Sony Vaio Laptop using the HDMI output. Sounds terrific. Most of my music files are FLAC.

    I didn't realize when I bough the NS6 that audio wouldn't work through HDMI and FLAC files wouldn't be recognized. Am I wrong on this? It looks as if the only way I can get audio to output through the NS6 is to use the left/right RCA audio jacks from the master outputs in the back of the unit. That's a redline for me - I want HD audio.

    When I load tracks into the decks through Itch, I can see the lights working and the waveforms rolling.

    Sorry for the rambling, but my questions are these: Am I missing something and/or doing something wrong with the setup of my NS6 and Itch, and more importantly, what midi controllers with software will output through HDMI and support FLAC files?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    No controllers output HDMI and very few programs (if any??/) offer FLAC support. Most support WAV if you want to use a lossless format.

    What exactly is HD sound? AFAIK the HDMI just mimics a regular stereo sound output but with HD capable video.

  3. #3
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    Actually Traktor looks like it supports FLAC.

  4. #4
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    The NS6 is plugged into my laptop via USB. Since the NS6 is it's own soundcard, I figured the audio would / could be sent through my HDMI from my laptop. I guess this isn't the case and I assumed wrong? I play all my music files through my media player on my laptop via HDMI output through my internal laptop soundcard.

    So there are no controllers out there that offer HDMI audio out routing through a laptop?

    I might be mistaken, but my understanding I consider HDMI high def audio / video. The left / right RCA outputs are stereo, but they are analog - not digital.

    Thanks for everyone's feedback.....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliosky View Post
    AFAIK the HDMI just mimics a regular stereo sound output but with HD capable video.
    With HDMI audio, I'm able to use different audio setting on my 7.1 stereo receiver. And I'm also able to mess with the internal or original sample rate and audio effects of an audio file on an external level.

  6. #6
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    The audio when running itch can only be routed through the NS6 soundcard outputs AFAIK.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by msnider44 View Post
    I didn't realize when I bough the NS6 that audio wouldn't work through HDMI and FLAC files wouldn't be recognized. Am I wrong on this? It looks as if the only way I can get audio to output through the NS6 is to use the left/right RCA audio jacks from the master outputs in the back of the unit. That's a redline for me - I want HD audio.
    "HD Audio" isn't a standardised term, unless you mean the Intel onboard sound specification, which you typically do not want to use for anything serious. Typically, similar terms are used to refer to digital audio with sample rates and bit depths exceeding the Redbook standard of 44.1 kHz / 16 bits. It has nothing to do really with the HDMI connection, nor even transmitting the audio between devices in digital form.

    There's nothing magical in HDMI for two-channel audio - it can transmit up to 192 kHz, 24 bit audio data, just like S/P-DIF, and a 24/192 data stream converted to analogue is still just as "HD". What it can do is transfer digital video with up to 8 channels of digital audio, neither of which is useful in this context.

    It's debatable whether there's any audible difference between 44.1 kHz and higher sample rates even in optimal listening conditions, and playing back the files through a DJ software that does variable playback rates, pitch shifting, EQ and effects is so far from a bit-perfect audiophile setup that it doesn't make much sense to be bothered. On the other hand, a greater bit depth and no lossy encoding do have potentially audible benefits.

    Itch and NS6 can play back 24 bit audio at up to 48 kHz. If that's what you have, you're not losing anything by not connecting via HDMI, you'll just use the Numark's D/A converters instead of your receiver's. If your source files are above 48 kHz, they won't play - you'll have to resample them.

    In any case, you do not want to "mess" with the sound using your receiver's DSP. Home theatre systems are not optimised for latency, which is essential when dealing with live audio performance. You'll want to bypass the DSP and AD/DA conversion, both of which add latency. And the FLACs you can losslessly convert to either WAV or ALAC, both of which are supported by Itch.

    In summary:
    • use the analogue outputs from NS6 into your receiver
    • set the receiver processing to "none" or "direct"
    • convert FLACs to ALAC or WAV
    • in case of FLACs with higher than 48 kHz sample rate, resample down to 44.1/48 kHz in an audio editor before use

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