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Thread: Recommendations for a 16-bit audio DAC/codec IC?

  1. #1
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    Recommendations for a 16-bit audio DAC/codec IC?

    First post!

    I recently bought a teensy 3.2 with the intention to build a modal synth. I'm pretty excited about it, but I'm unsure how to choose a suitable DAC/codec for the output. Most examples use the audio board, which is great and I might go that route. However, I only want a single line-level output, so I figure it would make more sense to just get a good 16-bit DAC/codec instead. When I try to research this I'm instantly overwhelmed and confused by the plethora of options. I'm not an audiophile, but I do want 16-bit instead of 12-bit.

    So does anyone have any suggestions of a DAC or codec on a DIP IC? Presumably ones that works with the I2C library.

  2. #2
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    If you buy a codec chip you've got a whole lot of work ahead of you to do the hardware and software interface.
    Get an audio board and only use the left channel line-level output.

    Pete

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    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    The PT8211 is pretty cheap, easy to use, the quality is pretty good - and it is simple to use (has its own audio library output)

    But the easiest way (and the best for beginners, i'm sure) is to use the audio-shield.
    Last edited by Frank B; 08-30-2016 at 08:23 PM.

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    The PT8211 looks good, but they seem hard to find. Whereas various texas instruments DAC ICs are easy to find, but I don't understand the differences.
    I guess the audio shield is the way to go to simplify the process. I'm still interested to hear other alternative DAC/codec options, just for future reference.

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    I'm also thinking about this, for now i only have the dac connected to an output(dac pin and gnd). I know that this could lead into dc offset issues and some extra unwanted frequencies. Getting the Teensy compatible audio shield is the solution, but i also want to learn how to build a proper output because i can't buy one of these items directly where i live.

    Is there any option/tutorial to build a simple output to get proper 12 bit audio or 16 bit as mentioned in this post?.

    PS: I'm just getting started with Teensy and i'm loving it!

    Thanks
    Last edited by ulonix; 08-31-2016 at 02:34 PM.

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    I got a tonesweep sketch and a another synth sketch running last night using the onboard DAC with an inline capacitor. I was surprised how good it sounded at the lower frequencies. I was expecting a noticeable effect of the bit-depth. Maybe a side-by-side comparison with a 16-bit output would be noticeable.

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    Do you just plug in the capacitor to the dac pin?, does it have to be a specific one?. Cheers!

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    Is some other posts Paul mentions that a 1-10 uf cap can remove the DC offset. The orientation needs to be with the + end connected to the DAC pin, so I guess they have to be electrolytic? Not sure about that. I had a few 2.2 uf electrolytic caps laying around, and they worked just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whannah View Post
    Is some other posts Paul mentions that a 1-10 uf cap can remove the DC offset. The orientation needs to be with the + end connected to the DAC pin, so I guess they have to be electrolytic? Not sure about that. I had a few 2.2 uf electrolytic caps laying around, and they worked just fine.
    Thanks, i will give it a try!

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