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An Open-Source DSP with 8 inputs and 8 outputs, USB Audio Class 2 and wireless control via Wifi and Bluetooth
165 backers pledged €34,651 to help bring this project to life.

About

€34,651

165

If you like to build your perfect audio setup you will fall in love with AURORA.

Audio enthusiasts are crazy about good sound and full of ideas how to enjoy it. So are we.

But almost every time you have a new idea you need a special device that somehow can do the task. And there are many companies selling all kind of so called high end stuff that pretty often won´t live up to its cool name and prestigious pricetag.

So we developed it the other way round: Aurora is an advanced 8-channel DSP with awesome specs, unmatched versatility and real easy to control user interface. The only thing it hasn´t got is this pricy casing with one of the names of a high end audio brand.

So if you want to take your audio setup to the next level, Aurora is your best friend. No matter what your project is because Aurora is ready for anything!

About Aurora:

Aurora is an idea that was born when some friends who all love great sound sat together and talked about their projects. Everyone wanted to improve his or hers but they were all different. So we collected the needs from all our friends, from blogs, youtube – everywhere.

It took us more than two years just to get an idea what all is needed.

Turns out there should be as few limitations as possible in terms of connectivity and performance – but as simple as it gets and if possible remote controllable. Sounds obvious?

Agreed! And here it is:

Prototype Side View
Prototype Side View

You want some perfectly tailormade monitors for your home recording studio? With Aurora you can do it and finetune the frequency response so your producer will love you forever.

Or you have found the drivers of your dreams but they somehow don´t work together perfectly in that huge 4-way Stereo speaker you built? Aurora is here to help you making them come together perfectly

Or you use Aurora to tweak your 7.1 Home Cinema up to a level it will ashame your local pro shop. Or maybe even the Multiplex at the city center.

You can use it as an advanced EQ, as a speaker management system, room equalization, build a competition grade car audio system based on it or even use Aurora as a top notch USB soundcard for streaming, Airplay or actually whatever comes to your mind.

With Aurora pretty much everything is high end but the price. And the attitude. There is no fancy polished golden knob to turn. Even though you can build it too if you want.

AURORA ltd

Already fell in love with AURORA but you think, connecting wires on a PCB board is a pain in the ***  as long as you´re not Wolowitz? Well, here is the most exclusive way out there is: 

We put AURORA and Add-on B in a beautiful black aluminium case. On its backside you will find all connectors you may ever need.

We do all the screwing and connecting work. In short everything is made for you and you get a unique device lovingly handcrafted by the developer of AURORA. We call it..

Let´s see AURORA ltd as there will only be 24 units ever.

dspControl

In the past we saw it happening: You have an awesome piece of hardware in your hands, but it turns out to be useless: The software is made only for people having an engineer degree from an university and ten years experience with DSPs.

Aurora changes this. We developed dspControl: A software that is easy to use. And we did not stop there. You can use dspControl on Windows or macOS and even on your iOS device that you love so much.

You don't need a technical background, you only need a dream how your audio setup should sound. Let the dream come true. Take a look at dspControl: 

Easy, isn't it?

Try it yourself: A demo of dspControl for macOS and Windows can be downloaded from  https://github.com/freeDSP/freeDSP-aurora/releases 

Here we do a 7.1 home cinema setup: 

A 4-way active loudspeaker with FIR filters: 

You have an expensive well-designed loudspeaker but your room adds some peaks to the frequency response? Here we show you how to do advanced EQ'ing with REW and AURORA:

Aurora is a member of the famous freeDSP family. We are sure you have already heard about freeDSP. You did not? You should visit the freeDSP website:  http://www.freedsp.cc 


We audio enthusiasts love it to improve our audio setup, we always strive for better hardware, but we don't like unnecessary restrictions. Therefore, we made all plans and software for aurora freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license, which allows the unrestricted use and modification of the hardware or software for non-commercial purposes. This means that experienced users can make their own version of the board, extending it and improving it. The only thing we are asking for is to credit freeDSP and auverdion and release your designs under the same license. Sounds fair, doesn't it?

Download the design files and source codes from here:  https://github.com/freeDSP/freeDSP-aurora/tree/master 

Prototype Top View
Prototype Top View

You are already looking for the geek stuff? Well, attention here it is:

  • Analog Devices ADAU1452, 294.912 MHz, 32-bit SigmaDSP, 6144 SIMD instructions per sample @ 48kHz fs, 40kWords of data RAM, 800ms digital audio delay pool @ 48kHz fs, eight stereo ASRCs with 139dB DNR
  • XMOS XE216-512-TQ128 for multichannel bidirectional audio streaming
  • ESP32 for WiFi or Bluetooth control
  • AKM AK4458 32bit-DAC
  • AKM AK5558 32bit-ADC
  • Supporting sample rates between 44.1kHz and 192kHz
  • 8 analog balanced input channels, +6dBu
  • 8 analog balanced output channels, +6dBu
  • S/P-DIF input and output
  • ADAT input and output
  • Wordclock input and output
  • Support for display, rotary encoder, volume potentiometer, temperature sensor, PWM controlled fan, IR sensor
  • One freeDSP expansion header
  • USB Audio Class 2 Bidirectional streaming with 8 channels in and 8 channels out, full-duplex. Works with ASIO driver under Windows 10 and driverless under macOS and Linux.
  • Realtime control software for Windows, macOS, iOS connecting by Bluetooth available under an open source license
  • THD DAC: -103dB @ 1kHz, 0dBfs, fs=48kHz
  • THD ADC: -101dB @ 1kHz, 0dBfs, fs=48kHz
  • Latency: 1.125ms (talkthrough ADC->DSP->DAC)
  • Board dimensions: 100mm x 100mm
Block diagram
Block diagram

For each of the 8 channels aurora provides the following features are provided by the DSP firmware:

  • Input select
  • High pass up to fourth order (Bessel, Butterworth, Linkwitz-Riley)
  • Low shelving
  • 10 parametric EQs
  • High shelving
  • Low pass up to fourth order  (Bessel, Butterworth, Linkwitz-Riley)
  • Frequency depending phase shift (allpass)
  • Phase inversion
  • Delay 0…100ms
  • Gain

You can either use IIR filters or FIR filters. FIR filters can have up to 20000 taps and inserted into up to 8 channels. Or you can mix IIR and FIR filters to get the best of both.

If you understand everything anyway you might be into a quick behind the scenes spec-wise. There you go. Have... well... fun?


Here is to the makers.

Since we launched Aurora we received lots of love. And lots of feedback. Thank you all so much. Most of the questions being, what the final device will cost?

This is the thing there will be no one single device even though we will offer great casing solutions and such..

But Aurora is meant to be a full modular system to fulfill your needs as makers of great sounding stuff. That´s why we finally decided on our first three stretch goals:

Once the funding is successful we will start to manufacture expansion boards that can simply be connected to Aurora and offer perfect configurations for all who want to start right away. Just like some of us want to be honest.

Add-On A: The woodworker´s friend

Perfect for an active loudspeaker 

  • 1x XLR Analog in
  • 1x RCA Analog in
  • 1x TOSlink in (for S/P-DIF via glassfiber)
  • 1x RCA Digital in (for S/P-DIF via coaxial cable)
  • 1x RCA Digital out (connect a  subwoofer)
  • 1x XLR Analog Out (connect a  subwoofer)
  • 1x USB
  • Volume poti perfectly hidden so not everyone messes around with your settings ;)

Add-On B: Down with developers

Pre-amp / 7.1-management without limits.

  • 8x XLR Analog Out, unbalanced (RCA) is possible too
  • 8x RCA Analog In
  • 8x XLR Analog In
  • 4x RCA Digital In (for S/P-DIF via Cinch)
  • 4x TOSlink Digital In ((for S/P-DIF via LWL)
  • 1x USB in

All digital inputs are up for multiplexing

Add-On C: For those who love to take control over the crowd

Loudspeaker management system for your next gig.

  • 8x XLR Analog Out
  • 4x XLR Analog In, two ADCs parallel for a much better SNR
  • 1x TOSlink in
  • 1x TOSlink out
  • 1x XLR Digital In AES/EBU
  • 1x XLR Digital Out AES/EBU
  • 1x USB

All TOSlink can be used with ADAT or S/P-DIF. You choose what you need!


About all that love and feedback

We are greatful for all the input. Please share the word there is still some way to go before AURORA can rock the stage. THANKS.


Why is your support needed?

FreeDSP-aurora is open-source hardware and software. It has been developed as a free time project. Many audio enthusiasts supported it with ideas and comments making it a very useful platform. Now it is time to make this platform available for you! Experiment, invent, and build exciting stuff with freeDSP-aurora! With your support a first batch of ready-to-go boards will be manufactured. The hurdles of soldering the board yourself and of developing and flashing firmwares will be removed.

Risks and challenges

FreeDSP-aurora is already developed, tested and therefore, ready to go.

Like any other hardware project it comes with practical risks. For example, some components may run out of distributor stock causing delays which would affect the ship date, especially in the case of a large production quantity.

That said, from the experience with building the prototypes, supply bottlenecks are usually of short duration, and you can be confident that a high-quality board is delivered in a timely manner.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €10 or more About US$ 11

    100% DIY

    An empty PCB wihtout components for building a freeDSP-aurora from scratch. You source and solder all components and flash the firmware yourself. 100% DIY.

    Includes:
    • Empty PCB
    • All documents, source codes and schematics
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    Limited 38 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €25 or more About US$ 28

    Hands-on

    Come and visit a freeDSP-aurora hands-on seminar. Meet with other freeDSP-aurora backers and together we will learn how you can make a wonderful audio setup with your freeDSP-aurora! You will get an introduction to freeDSP-aurora and dspControl app. If you want you can bring your active loudspeaker with you and we will show you how to connect it with freeDSP-aurora and make the right settings for it.
    Hands-on will be hold in English and German depending on the group. Several dates will be offered starting in autumn 2019.

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    0 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €195 or more About US$ 219

    Ready-to-Run First Edition

    Get a full working DSP module for your project! Everything is already done for you: Soldering all components and flashing the firmware. Just connect a power supply, your audio source and your amplifiers and make all your settings with the control app.

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    107 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €215 or more About US$ 241

    Ready-to-Run First Edition Plus

    Get a full working DSP module for your project! Everything is already done for you: Soldering all components and flashing the firmware. Just connect a power supply, your audio source and your amplifiers and make all your settings with the control app.
    The freeDSP-aurora hands-on reward is included!

    Includes:
    • freeDSP-aurora Ready-to-run First Edition
    • freeDSP-aurora Hands-on
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    15 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €570 or more About US$ 640

    freeDSP-aurora Academic

    Donate 3 freeDSP-aurora ready-to-run modules to a school or university of your choice, and give students access to a powerful DSP platform. Includes free shipping for the school/university.

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    1 backer
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €679 or more About US$ 762

    AURORA ltd

    You get a unique device lovingly handcrafted by the developer of AURORA.
    AURORA and Add-on B in a beautiful black aluminium case, all the screwing and connecting work already done for you. Everything is ready to run.

    Includes:
    • freeDSP-aurora Ready-to-run First Edition
    • Add-On B
    • Black Aluminium Case
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
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Funding period

- (35 days)