Digital should not remain a barrier for diyAudio beginners. Before the digital age, diyAudio was about designing a PCB and soldering through-hole components on it.
Nowadays, diyAudio encompasses digital. It requires designing a PCB hosting SMD (Surface Mounted Devices), and it requires creating a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) program. Those are the two new difficulties.
Ten years ago, most diyAudio enthusiasts would have failed building a digital audio system from scratch. The situation has changed. There are more and more hobbyists dealing with 32-bit microcontrollers. There are more and more hobbyists overcoming the SMD difficulty.
Here is a digital audio system built from scratch. Diptrace got used for drawing the schematic and converting it to a PCB.
The PIC32MX2 gets debugged and programmed using Microchip MPLAB ICD 3 ($189.99) . A simple experimental application would read the stereo audio entering the WM8731, apply some processing like filtering, equalizing, splitting, dynamic compression or expansion, then deliver the processed audio on the WM8731 stereo outputs. (continue reading…)