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All Delta cards contain a 36-bit embedded DSP enabling a software-driven patchbay/router for all analog and digital I/O—all with extremely fast throughput for low-latency software monitoring. It accepts digital audio streams from all hardware inputs and all outgoing software audio devices, mixes them with 36-bit internal precision and then provides the mixed output to one or more locations. For the purpose of monitoring, the output of the mixer may be routed to the first set of analog outputs (OUT1/OUT2 as a stereo pair) and/or the S/PDIF digital output (if available). This guide will provide of a brief overview of the new Delta Series control panel for Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
The Delta Control Panel can be accessed from the Windows Control Panel
or by right-clicking the M-Audio icon in the system tray:
The Mixer page
The Mixer page (labeled Monitor Mixer in previous driver versions) controls the digital mixer built into the Delta's PCI controller chip. The output of this mixer may be assigned to the OUT1/OUT2 analog outputs and/or the S/PDIF Out* digital output (this selection is made on the Output page). At the left side of the Mixer page, you will see the Master Volume fader. This fader controls the overall stereo level of the mixer output (generally where your speakers or headphone amp are connected).
* Note, the Audiophile 192 has dedicated Monitor outputs; the output of the Monitor Mixer cannot be assigned to the S/PDIF out
Note: The Delta Audiophile 192 does not have a Master Volume slider
The dark gray channels on the Mixer page (pictured above) represent the analog and digital inputs of the Delta card. Each physical input has a corresponding on-screen fader. The faders for the input channels here do not adjust the level of the signal being recorded (see the Input page). These faders adjust the amount of the input channel to send to the Monitor Mixer's output for creating your monitor mix.
The light gray cahnnels on the Mixer page (pictured below) represent the software return channels (the different outputs from your software). Each physical output has a corresponding software return channel and on-screen fader. These faders do not adjust the level of the physical outputs (see the Output page). These faders adjust the amount of the software output channel to send to the Monitor MIxer's output for creating your monitor mix.
The Input page
On the new Input page are the variable signal level controls for the analog inputs of Delta 44, 66, and 1010lt; for all other Delta cards, these meters only display the input level. These controls were formerly located on the Hardware Settings page of previous driver versions. The 3 preset button selections are labeled “+4dBu,” “Con” (-4dB), and “-10dBV,” and the fader can be used as a variable input level control.
These faders/buttons are the only input level control available for Delta 44, 66, & 1010lt. The Delta 1010 features +4/-10 switches on the breakout box. The default +4dBu setting will give the most headroom for recording, allowing the Delta card to higher input signal levels without clipping/distorting. Consumer (abbreviated Con) is a good “middle of the road” setting, and will work well in many situations. The -10dB setting applies the maximum amount of gain or boost to the input signal.
For all other Delta cards, or for further control over the signal for the aforementioned cards, any level adjustments must be made at the source, before the signal is input to the Delta cards; such as the gain or output level of a preamp or mixer.
The Output page
On the Output page there are channels for every hardware output. The faders on the Output page replace the variable output signal level controls found in previous driver versions*; and they allow you to attenuate the volume for the corresponding hardware outputs. When "mixer" is the selected output source for "1/2 out", the volume slider here has no effect, instead, use the Master Volume control on the Mixer page.
* The SPDIF out, and all outputs for the Delta 1010, do not have volume, balance, or solo/mute controls on the Output page.
At the bottom of each column is a drop down menu (pictured above and below) that allows you to connect each of the Delta hardware outputs to specific audio sources within the Delta board. Each output source defaults to the corresponding software return (sw rtn, labeled wave out in previous driver versions); for instance, anything assigned to outputs 1/2 in your software will bypass the monitor mixer and go directly out of hardware outputs 1 and 2, and so on. As mentioned above, the output of the monitor mixer may be assigned to the OUT1/OUT2 analog outputs and/or the S/PDIF Out digital output. This is done by selecting "mixer" as the output source (see below):
The Delta Control Panel's Monitor Mixer allows you to directly monitor your inputs before being processed by the computer at near-zero latency. To do this, you must select "mixer" as the output source* for outputs 1/2. Then you can use the volume sliders on the Mixer page to control the levels of the various hardware inputs and software outputs going to your speakers. Turning up the levels for the inputs allows you to directly monitor your input source while recording, with virtually no latency.
* Note: The Audiophile 192 has a dedicated monitor output; connect your speakers to the Monitor Outputs to hear the output of the Monitor Mixer
Note: you may need to disable software monitoring to prevent doubling your monitored signal.
By default, all mixer inputs are setup as stereo pairs. To be able to monitor the inputs as individual mono channels, click "link" to obtain separate volume control over each channel, and center the pan L and pan R knobs to ensure your signal is monitored through both speakers (pictured above). You can adjust the pan knobs by clicking and moving left/right with the mouse, or click once to select a knob, and use the spacebar to center it.
The Hardware page
You must select external - spdif if you will be recording or monitoring a S/PDIF stream, or external - word clock (Delta 1010 only) if you wish to synchronize your digital audio with a source device that is Word Clock capable. Once a master clock source has been selected, its synchronization status is continually monitored and displayed above the master clock radio buttons. If the internal crystal is selected, the status display will always say "locked."
On the other hand, if external - spdif or external - word clock is selected as the master clock source, the control panel will display "locked" only when a valid S/PDIF or Word Clock signal is detected. It will display "unlocked!" when there is no signal at the selected input, or when the signal is corrupt or invalid for any reason.
ASIO/WDM buffer size: This section (pictured above) specifies the amount of system memory dedicated to digital audio buffering. Setting a buffer size that is too small may result in clicks or pops in the audio stream as some data may be lost. Larger buffers cause slightly more latency but prevent the pops and clicks that might occur with smaller buffer sizes - the default settings are recommended but you may desire to tweak these default settings to suit your tastes. This buffer size must be set in the Delta Control Panel before you launch your music software. When using ASIO with your Delta card, set the buffer size in the control panel, then exit the control panel. After doing so, launch your music software.