Device Configuration Menu – DCM
The “Device Configuration Menu” (hereinafter referred to as “DCM”) allows various basic settings of the device or the optionally available remote controls to be defined. The scope of the DCM depends on the respective product. Each function of this menu is explained in detail below. For better understanding the HELIX DSP ULTRA is used in this example.
1. Extended Features
If you have connected an optional remote control to your device, this needs to be activated first. To do this, check the appropriate box in the configuration:
1.1 Remote control “URC”This wired remote control has two rotary controls and a push button, the function of which you can determine yourself. The options are briefly explained below. The rotary controls "Control 1" and "Control 2" can be assigned any of the following functions. Of course, it is not possible to assign the same function to both controllers. Depending on the product and its feature set, the selection may be limited.
Adjusts the volume of all output channels simultaneously. This is useful if your signal source does not have its own volume control.
Adjusts the volume of an AUX source or an extension card module (HEC / MEC / BEC). It is therefore not necessary to change the volume on the signal source itself. The other input signals remain unaffected.
Adjusts the volume of a digital signal source that is connected via the optical or coaxial SPDIF input. Typically most digital sources (e.g. like DVD players) do not have their own volume controls.
Adjusts the volume of the subwoofer channels. The configuration of output channels as a subwoofer differs between devices that are VCP-capable (crosslink) and devices that do not support VCP. With the latter, the subwoofer volume control is activated by assigning the corresponding output channel in the IO menu as a subwoofer via its name:
With VCP-capable devices you can always recognize the controlled channels by the marking [SubRC] in the channel name:
If you haven’t activated VCP in the DCM menu, you can recognize the controlled channels by the fact that they are defined as “subwoofer” in the standard setting. In order to have a maximum flexible configuration, it is necessary to activate VCP.
As soon as VCP is active, you can use the routing of the virtual subwoofer channels to determine which output channels receive a controlled signal. In this mode, the virtual channels “Subwoofer1” and “Subwoofer2” are always controlled by the subwoofer volume if you activate them.
Controls the volume of the rear channels. This function is only available for devices with active VCP. The virtual channels “Rear L Full” and “Rear R Full” are affected.
Tick this checkbox if you do not want to use neither "Control 1" nor "Control 2" on your remote control.
The “Mode Switch”
One of the following functions can be realized with the push button on the remote control:
Activates the digital input of the device when the push button is pressed. In order to be able to use this function correctly, it is necessary to adapt the configuration in Signal Management:
Activates the AUX input or the input of the extension card module (HEC / MEC / BEC) of the device when the push button is pressed. In order to be able to use this function correctly, it is necessary to adapt the configuration in Signal Management:
Allows you to toggle between two setups. The functionality depends on whether you have an ACO device or not.
When using a product without ACO, the two existing setups 1 & 2 are switched:
Green LED = setup 1, red LED = setup 2.
IMPORTANT: In both setups, the mode switch must be configured as “Setup Switch”.
For devices with ACO, you can select in the DCM menu in the tab “ACO Features” between which two setups shall be switched. Setup 1 & 2 are configured by default.
Tick this checkbox if you do not want to use the "Mode Switch".
1.2 Display remote control “DIRECTOR”Most of the functions of the “DIRECTOR” display remote control are not configured in the DCM menu, but are adjusted using the remote control's touchscreen. All you have to do is to tell your device that the “DIRECTOR” is connected by ticking the appropriate checkbox.
In combination with the "DIRECTOR" (and the "WIFI CONTROL" as well), however, it is possible to enable additional bass and treble controls ("Tone Control"):
Important: As soon as the "Tone Control" is active, the second equalizer band in each channel of the output channels will be deactivated. The equalizer bands in the virtual channels remain unaffected.
1.3 Remote control “Wifi Control”If the optional "WIFI CONTROL" is used as a remote control, most of the settings are made directly in the smartphone app. As with the "DIRECTOR", the "Tone Control" can be activated here as well.
The "WIFI CONTROL" can also be used simultaneously with a URC wired remote control, provided the corresponding checkbox has been ticked:
Then the functions of the controls of the "URC" need first to be defined as described above.
IMPORTANT: The control features via app only work in combination with ACO devices.
1.4 Power Save ModeThe “Power Save Mode” can significantly reduce the power consumption of your device and the amplifiers connected to it if there is no input signal for a longer time. Nowadays, many vehicles are equipped with “CAN” or similar bus systems that leave the radio “invisible” turned on for up to 15 minutes, even if you have meanwhile switched off the ignition and left the vehicle. This means that any audio device that is connected to the loudspeaker outputs of the OE radio will also remain active and draw a lot of current from the battery.
Here‘s a sample calculation for a better understanding:
A HELIX DSP ULTRA is connected to the speaker outputs of a factory radio and is switched on and off by this. The remote output of the HELIX DSP ULTRA drives two 4-channel amplifiers, each with a typical quiescent current of roughly 2 amps (quiescent current = amplifier switched on, but no music signal present). After you have left the vehicle, the factory radio remains “invisibly” switched on for 15 minutes. The HELIX DSP ULTRA therefore also remains switched on for the same period of time as well as the two power amplifiers connected!
This results in the following power requirement in Ah (ampere hours) without “Power Save Mode”: 0.65 A (HELIX DSP ULTRA) + 2 x 2 A (amplifiers) x 0.25 hours = 1.16 Ah.
With “Power Save Mode” this equation looks much better: 0,65 A (HELIX DSP ULTRA) + 0,0 A (amplifiers switched off) x 0,25 hours = 0,16 Ah.
This works because the HELIX DSP ULTRA switches off the amplifiers connected to it as soon as there is no input signal for a certain period of time. The “Power Save Mode” can reduce the load on the battery by approx. 90% during this state. The higher the quiescent current of the connected amplifiers, the more extreme the “savings” will be. Especially in winter time when the outside temperature is low, your battery will thank you if the “Power Save Mode” avoids any unnecessary additional discharging.
The slider in the DCM menu allows you to vary the time until the “Power Save Mode” becomes active from 10 seconds to 600 seconds in 1 second steps (default value 60 seconds). As soon as an input signal is detected on one of the inputs, the device switches to “normal operation” within one second and the connected amplifiers will be switched on again. The “Power Save Mode” can also be deactivated completely by simply removing the check mark in the “Activate Power Save Mode” checkbox.
1.5 Digital Clipping ProtectionThe functionality of the "Digital Clipping Protection" is described in detail in the chapter "Channel gain and output level". This protection (always activated by default) prevents the digital-to-analog converter from being overdriven. Therefore, think twice before you switch off this function.
Important: The digital clipping protection has no influence on the analog-digital converter and can therefore not prevent any overdrive when an input signal with a too high level is fed into the device.
2. Signal managementThis submenu defines the behaviour of the signal detection of the main inputs, the digital inputs and the HEC / Aux inputs.
The settings of the slide controls and the priorities in the respective menus only have an effect if the checkmark “Automatically via Signal Detection" has been set under "Input Activation" for the relevant input:
2.1 Sensitivity of the signal detectionThe corresponding input is activated automatically as soon as a signal is present (precondition: “Source Selection” is set to “Automatically via Signal Detection”).
The “Sensitivity” slider influences the sensitivity of the signal detection. At values of -60 dB or less, it will detect even the lowest input signals. The signal detection is quite insensitive when choosing values of approx. -40 dB. This can e.g. become necessary for the HEC / Aux input if interference from other components in the vehicle already activate the input although there is no music signal. The setting range is from -80 dB to 0 dB in 1dB steps (default: -60 dB).
2.2 Release time of the signal detectionThe “Release” slider defines the time until the device automatically switches back to the previous source if there is no longer a signal detected at the input. If you have connected a navigation system to the auxiliary input in order to reproduce guidance announcements, then a short release time of approx. 1 second is a good choice.
In the case of an MP3 player, on the other hand, a release time of 5 seconds or more can be useful in order to avoid any switching back to the previous source during pauses between two music tracks. The release time can be adjusted in a range from 0 to 300 seconds in 1 second steps (default: 3 seconds).
2.3 Input selectionOn some devices with RCA inputs, it is possible to use two of these inputs (usually the last two) as an alternative AUX source in addition to the extension card module (HEC / MEC / BEC). This makes sense, for example, if you want to connect a mobile music player to your DSP.
Some devices like the DSP ULTRA or the DSP PRO have two digital inputs, which can only be used alternatively. The corresponding checkbox is used to define whether the source is connected to the optical or the coaxial digital input:
For devices with ACO, this setting can also be made via the DIRECTOR or the WIFI CONTROL.
2.4 PrioritiesIf several inputs are used, it can be defined which input has the highest priority. If you activate e.g. the checkbox on the HEC / MEC / BEC input module, this input is always switched to when a signal is present there, regardless of whether a signal is also fed into the other inputs at the same time:
There is also a special feature for the main inputs – these can be given superior priority, regardless of whether, for example, the HEC / MEC / BEC input or the digital input has been defined as "Priority" input:
For example, if you have connected a car radio to the analog inputs, which also provides traffic announcements or navigation instructions, you certainly do not want to miss them when listening to a signal source at the HEC / MEC / BEC input or digital input. As soon as "Global Priority" has been chosen, the analog inputs always have absolute priority.
Important: All analog inputs except the last two are taken into account for the global priority signal detection. With the DSP ULTRA only the signals of the inputs A - F are considered; same for devices with six analog inputs where only the inputs A - D will be detected and so on.
2.5 Adjustment of the input sensitivitySome devices such as the V TWELVE DSP and the V EIGHT DSP MK2 allow the input sensitivity to be set directly via the DSP PC-Tool instead of using the rotary potentiometer. To do this, the corresponding checkbox has to be ticked:
Then you select which of the two analog inputs is used (RCA / Cinch or highlevel) and finally the position of the "Gain Jumpers" inside the device needs to be specified. If their position has not changed since the product was purchased, "max. 16 volts" is the correct setting.
The input sensitivity can now be adjusted in five steps using the slider.
The following values can be selected for "RCA":
4.0 V – 2.8 V – 2.0 V – 1.4 V – 1.0 V (jumper set to position "max. 16 Volt)
8.0 V – 5.7 V – 4.0 V – 2.8 V – 2.0 V (jumper set to position "max. 32 Volt)
The following values can be selected for "Highlevel":
16.0 V – 11.3 V – 8.0 V – 5.7 V – 4.0 V (jumper set to position "max. 16 Volt)
32.0 V – 22.7 V – 16.0 V – 11.4 V – 8.0 V (jumper set to position "max. 32 Volt)
2.6 Switch to the input matricesA simple convenience feature is worth mentioning at this point - you can “jump” from the DCM menu to the IO matrix of the respective input by simply clicking the respective button:
Of course, you can just as easily return to the DCM menu from the IO matrix by clicking on the "gears" with your PC mouse:
3. ACO featuresAll devices that are based on the new ACO platform with co-processor allow more extensive settings which in some installation situations can be used to solve interfering issues or other problems in the simplest possible way.
3.1 Turn On & Off DelayNormally a signal processor or a DSP amplifier reacts within 100 ms to an on/off remote signal. However, there may be configurations where a different timing is required, e.g. to prevent subsequent components from pop-noise. If no malfunction occurs, the standard values of 0.1 seconds each can be left unchanged:
3.2 Selecting the setup via the push button of a URC remote controlThe ACO platform allows you to save up to ten different setups. However, if a URC cable remote control is used, a maximum of two different setups can be selected using its push button. Here in the DCM menu you can freely choose between which of the setups you can switch with the URC. In the following example, the memory locations "5" and "7" have been selected:
Important: Only select two storage locations on which a setup was previously saved.
3.3 Switching off the remote output when changing a setupNormally, when switching between two setups, this will not cause any undesired noise. However, if there are two setups that are totally different and possibly also contain significant level differences, slight cracking noises can still arise when switching. To prevent this, the remote output can be switched off during the switchover. However, since connected amplifiers typically need approx. 2-3 seconds before a sound can be heard after switching them off and on again, you then have to accept corresponding interruptions in the music playback:
3.4 Configuration of the ADEP.3 circuitThe ADEP circuit in the high-level input is intended to ensure that the factory car radio still detects a load when connected to one of our DSPs or DSP amplifiers instead of the original loudspeakers and thus does not generate any errors in the vehicle's main CPU. Some car radios have so-called "Class SB output stages", which work as "single-ended" output stages up to medium volume levels for improved efficiency and only behave like typical symmetrical BTL amplifiers at higher levels.
In order for such a class SB output stage to operate properly with a symmetrical high level input, the positive terminal and the negative terminal of each individual highlevel input must be connected to vehicle ground via high-Z resistors.
However, some factory radios detect this during power-up as a "short circuit to ground" and therefore switch off their loudspeaker outputs. The ADP.3 circuit can also outsmart the loudspeaker diagnosis of the factory radio by switching on the resistors required for Class SB operation with a time delay.
This delay time can even be adjusted in four stages between 1 and 10 seconds. Usually, however, a delay of 2 seconds should be sufficient in most cases:
4. Configuration of the “Virtual Channel Processing”If your device supports “Virtual Channel Processing”, this mode can be activated here for the selected setup.
IMPORTANT: If the “VCP” is activated for a setup, it can only be deactivated by a complete reset of the respective setup.
5. Configuration of the DSP PC-ToolsVarious basic settings and display options of the PC tool can be made in this submenu.
5.1 Source Volume ControlIf the various input sources have significantly different basic volumes, these can be adjusted in the IO matrix, provided the checkbox has been activated in the DCM menu (default):
In the "Input & Output Configuration" a dB gauge appears behind each input, which allows the basic gain to be changed by +/- 10 dB in pecise 0.1 dB steps:
IMPORTANT: A high gain of more than 4 - 6 dB will naturally increases background noise. It is therefore always better to reduce the gain of the louder sources than to increase the gain in the quieter sources. Only if the quietest source does not provide enough level for full-scale output of the DSP or amplifier it may be reasonable to increase the overall gain.
5.2 EQ Link Mode“Absolute” means that the set dB value of an EQ band is identical for all linked channels. “Relative” means that the difference in the dB value of an EQ band remains the same for all linked channels.
Important: Make your choice for “Absolute” or “Relative” before you start linking channels – otherwise this may lead to undesired EQ settings.
Further information about the link function can be found here: Linking of channels.
5.3 EQ View ModeThis menu item defines the display of the equalizer and filter curves in the "Main" menu:
If "normal" is set, the amplitude response is displayed, which is the sum of all EQ bands including high-pass- / lowpass filters:
If you set to "point" , in addition to the amplitude response, the center frequencies and boosts / cuts of the individual EQ bands are also displayed as "dots":
When choosing "drag & drop" you can move these points (and thus of course the center frequencies or boosts / cuts) with your PC mouse.
5.4 Time MachineWhen setting up a digital signal processor, it is common to try different sound settings. And it is quite usual that you change a number of parameters during this process that do not lead to an acoustically satisfying result. Since it is hardly possible to remember all changes, the "Time Machine" allows you to simply “turn back the clock”.
All settings are saved in the background every single minute, so that any configuration from the "past" can be retrieved with a click of your PC mouse. If you do not need this function, set the "Time Machine" in the DCM menu to "disabled".
5.5 Channel and EQ Gain ResolutionIn this submenu it is possible to vary the resolution of both the output level controls and the EQ sliders in the “Main” menu. The standard step size of “0.25 dB” can be increased to “0.5 dB” or “1 dB” or even reduced to “0.1 dB”.
In practice, a step size of “1 dB” is completely sufficient for most applications, since only very experienced listeners are able to detect volume differences smaller than 1 dB.
5.6 Allpass ControlIf this feature is activated, you can not only use each EQ band as "FineEQ" or "ParametricEQ", but also define it as an all-pass filter:
In addition, after activation in the EQ graph, the electrical phase response can be displayed by clicking on the “P” in the channel selection on the right side.
5.7 EQ Band AutoSortTypically, the EQ bands are shown according to frequencies in ascending order of the equalizer. However, if one or more bands are defined as "Parametric EQ", there is the possibility of setting a frequency so that the ascending order is no longer given. If you get confused by this disorder in the EQ display, then simply activate the "AutoSort" function in the DCM menu. This then always automatically corrects the order of the EQ bands:
Order according to "swapped" – the 2 kHz band was defined as "Parametric EQ" and the frequency was manually changed to 1.3 kHz:
When "EQ Band AutoSort" is activated, the order is automatically corrected:
5.8 Password ProtectionThe self-created sound setups can be protected with a password of your choice (3 - 8 characters). This means that only those who know the password can open the setup saved this way in the DSP PC-Tool.
You have to enter the password twice – if both passwords are identical, they appear in green font, otherwise they are displayed in red:
3.2 Auswahl des Setups über den Druckschalter einer URC Fernbedienung
3.3 Abschalten des Remote-Ausgangs beim Umschalten eines Setups
3.4 Konfiguration des ADEP.3 Schaltkreises
4. Konfiguration des „Virtual Channel Processing"
5. Konfiguration des DSP PC-Tools
5.1 Source Volume Control
5.2 EQ View Mode
5.4 Time Machine
5.5 Channel und EQ Gain Resolution
5.6 Allpass Control
5.7 EQ Band AutoSort
5.8 Password Protection