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ODV2 Overdrive

Contents Section 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Section 2 2.1 2.2 Section 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 Section 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Section 5 5.1 5.2 Section 6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Introduction What is the ODV2 Main Features About the manual Conventions Installation Basic Installation Advanced Installation Running the software Starting the software from the desktop Starting the software from the command line Command line switches Operation The Graphical User Interface Audio connections using JACK The controls Keyboard shortcuts Presets Saving and Loading Configurations Current State Technical Data Configuration file format Example preset file Example preset file description Technical Specifications Page 3

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ODV2 Overdrive Section 1 - Introduction 1.1 - What is the ODV2? The ODV2 is a valve pre-amplifier emulation that provides a degree of boost to the signal and incorporates a soft overdrive characteristic that becomes more noticeable as the drive is increased. It can be used to add overdrive distortion to a signal or add some gentle 'warmth' to otherwise clinical digital recordings. 1.2 - Main Features: The ODV2 is a JACK application, it can be used as a stand alone linux application or to add signal processing in a Digital Audio Workstation by patching it in as a track insert. 1.3 - About the manual: This manual covers the installation and use of the ODV2 overdrive. Where possible, examples are used, although some aspects of installing and integrating the software with your system will be dependent on the particular combination of linux distribution and desktop / window manager you are using and in this case it is only possible to give generic examples that serve to show the principle rather than the actual steps necessary. Most examples are illustrated with screenshots of the features being discussed. 1.4 - Conventions used in the manual: Access to menu items are shown as follows: Menu -> Item -> Item A Monospacedfont Is used to illustrate commands as they are typed on the command line.


ODV2 Overdrive Section 2 - Installation 2.1 Basic Installation Installing the software simply consists of copying a single file onto your computer. Within the zip archive that contained this manual, are several versions of the software compiled for different processor architectures - as follows: For 32 bit processors: odv2_i386 odv2_i586 odv2_i686 For 64 bit processors: There is a separate folder within the zip archive called x86_64. This contains a version of the software built for 64bit processors: odv2_x86-64 To install the software you need to copy one of these files onto your computer. Which one you need depends on which type of CPU you have. If you are not sure which one, the i386 version will work on just about all 32bit machines. It is unlikely you will cause any problems by running the wrong version, most likely, if you choose the wrong one it will simply fail to start. Where you install the file is entirely your choice. If you want, you can simply drag it onto the Desktop, although for better integration into your system you may want to consult the advanced installation section.


ODV2 Overdrive 2.2 - Advanced Installation To make full use of the software's features it is necessary to install it in a way that integrates more with your system, rather than simply dragging it onto the Desktop. First you need to make sure that you copy the executable file to somewhere that is in your 'path' so that the system will know where to find it if for example you decide to run it from a command line terminal or a script. Typically this will be somewhere such as:

If you are not sure, you can open a command line terminal and type:

This will give a list of the directories (folders) that will be searched for the application if the complete path to the executable is not given when starting it from the command line or a script. You may need to have root or administrator permissions in order to copy the file to one of these locations. There are various methods for creating shortcuts and integrating the application into your desktop environment and menus. How you go about this is very much dependent upon the linux distribution you are using and the desktop / window manager you are using on that distribution. So much so that it is almost impossible to provide a generic 'Installer' which is why we have opted instead for a single binary executable file which can be run from anywhere in your system.


ODV2 Overdrive Section 3 - Running the software 3.1 Starting the software from the desktop: Once you have installed the software, you can start it by double clicking on the executable file. If the application fails to start, it may be that you need to make it executable (sometimes files lose their executable status when they are extracted from zip archives). To make the file executable again, right click on it and from the menu that appears, select Properties. In the Properties dialogue, select the Permissions tab and ensure that the 'is executable' checkbox is checked. 3.2 Starting the software from the command line: The software can also be started from the command line, and doing this will also allow you to use various 'command line switches' to enable or disable different default modes of operation. If you create a desktop shortcut to the application or a menu entry for it, your desktop / window manager configuration tools will typically let you set these options when you set the path to the executable file. 3.3 - Command line switches: The following options can be used when starting the application, they can be used individually or in any combination:
? j v

Displays a short help file listing the command line switches and their functions. Disable connection to the JACK audio server. This is mainly for diagnostic purposes. If the software fails to start correctly you can try this option to help track down the problem. Enable verbose mode - more output will be generated on the command line terminal when the software is run in this mode. This is also useful for diagnostic purposes if something should fail to function as expected. If you encounter an 'undocumented feature' you can use verbose mode and try to capture the output, then send it with a brief description of the circumstances that provoked it to: And we will try to diagnose the problem.


ODV2 Overdrive Section 4 - Operation 4.1 - The Graphical User Interface: When the application is started, either by double clicking it or starting from the command line, you should be greeted by a new window which looks like this

This is the ODV2 front panel. You control it by clicking and dragging on the knobs or switches. Click on a knob and drag upwards to increase the value (turning it clockwise) or down to decrease the value (turning it anti-clockwise). Some of the controls have indents these manifest themselves as areas in the control rotation where the reluctance to move is increased so you have to drag a bit 'harder'. The intention is to make them behave like real controls which may have a 'click stop' at 0dB for example.


ODV2 Overdrive 4.2 - Audio Connections using JACK Once it has been started, the software attempts to connect itself to a currently running JACK audio server. If you are running a DAW such as Ardour ( or any other JACK applications then there should already be a JACK instance running that it can attach to. If not, the software will attempt to start a JACK instance itself automatically. Once attached to the server, the software will provide a set of input and output ports which you can use to route audio in and out of the effect, for example either by using the patchbay application JP1, qjackctl or the routing options in Ardour.

In the above example, the JP1 patchbay has been used to connect one of the physical soundcard inputs to the input on the overdrive. The overdrive has registered itself with the JACK server as ODV2


ODV2 Overdrive 4.3 - The Controls The front panel controls let you make adjustments to the effect, here is what they do: Input Drive: This controls the amount of gain applied by the input stages of the pre-amplifier 'circuit' as you increase the level of drive (or the input signal level) the pre-amplifier will begin to gently overdrive and distort the signal in a similar way to an analogue valve circuit. At the 0dB position, the pre-amplifier contributes no additional gain to the signal.

Ouput Gain: This controls the output level from the pre-amplifier, it is designed to allow level matching between other plugins or effects processors, and contributes no distortion to the signal. You can adjust the output level by as much as +/- 20dB

Bypass: This switch puts the effect in or out of circuit, with the switch on (illuminated) it is in the signal path and will affect the signal, with the switch off, the pre-amplifier is removed from the signal path and the audio will pass through unaffected. Once you have found a level of overdrive that sounds right, use the output gain control to match the bypassed and effected levels.


ODV2 Overdrive Oversample:

The light next to the Output Gain control illuminates if oversampling is switched on. It is activated or deactivated by double clicking on the Output Gain control. Oversampling is used to reduce the amount of aliasing caused by the waveshaping that the plugin introduces. Aliasing is a digital audio artefact caused when frequencies that are outside the Niquist limit for the original sampled audio are introduced (as happens when the waveform shape is modified which introduces new harmonics). Although oversampling the audio to a higher sample rate for internal processing reduces the level of aliasing, it is a processor intensive operation which results in higher CPU usage. If you have lots of spare CPU and you want the best quality, switch the oversampling on, but for most situations you can switch it off and save some processing. Over sampling can be switched on and off from the keyboard by selecting the Output Gain control, and pressing <Alt><UpArrow> to switch it on or <Alt><DownArrow> to switch it off - see the section on keyboard shortcuts. Latency: The plugin introduces a small amount of latency into the audio path. This is a side-effect of the oversampling process. The latency has been kept consistent whether the plugin is processing audio or bypassed, and whether it has oversampling enabled or not. The latency is typically sixteen samples, and the plugin reports its latency to the jack audio server so it should not cause any problems with other jack applications that automatically account for processing latency. The latency has been kept constant regardless of processing, working on the assumption that it is easier to handle a consistent small amount of latency than one which varies as different processing options are selected. NOTE: When applying large amounts of boost to the signal, be careful not to damage amplifiers, speakers (or ears) this is not a 'fault' with the effect, it is just something you can do if you turn things up too loud. As with all signal processors, its best to start with small amounts of boost or cut and add more gradually.



ODV2 Overdrive 4.4 - Keyboard Shortcuts The controls can also be operated using the arrow keys on the keyboard - a useful feature when using a mobile device if operation using a touchpad proves a little awkward. Use the left and right arrow keys to select the control you wish to adjust. As you move the 'focus' you will see a red highlight around the currently selected control as shown. Once a control has the focus, use the up and down arrow keys to adjust its value. In the case of the switch shown here, pressing the up arrow activates the switch, pressing the down arrow deactivates it. For a rotary control, pressing the up arrow increases the parameter value, pressing the down arrow decreases it (The control will rotate clockwise and anti-clockwise as the keys are pressed). The preset Load and Save buttons can also be activated using the keyboard. Pressing F1 activates the load dialogue, pressing F2 activates the save dialogue. Focus Left Focus Right

Parameter Increase / Activate

Parameter Decrease / Deactivate

Load Preset

Save Preset



ODV2 Overdrive Section 5 - Presets 5.1 - Saving and Loading Configurations

When you have found a setting that you want to keep and use later, click on the 'Save' button in the button bar above the front panel. This will store your current settings in a file which can be loaded back later. When you want to load a configuration you have previously saved, click on the 'Load' button and browse to the preset file you wish to load. If you get an error when saving, the most common reason is that you do not have the correct permissions to write to the place you are trying to save the file to. 5.2 - Current State When you shut down the application, the current states of all the controls are saved. Next time you start it, these settings are restored automatically. The controls will be just how you left them last time you used the application just like real equipment. The settings are stored uniquely for each 'instance' based on the name assigned by the jack server, so for example, if you have four separate overdrive effects running they will all save their own settings and restore them next time you start them up. The state is stored in a file in your home directory within a hidden directory called .linuxDSP If it doesn't exist it will be created automatically. If you want to backup the last state of the effect, just copy this directory to somewhere safe.



ODV2 Overdrive Section 6 - Technical Data 6.1 - Configuration File Format When you save a configuration, it is saved as a plain text XML file. There is nothing to stop you editing this file but it is not recommended (or at least, if you do, make sure it is backed up). If you accidentally corrupt this file or you change something that the application doesn't like, that setup may become unusable. 6.2 - Example preset file:
<!PluginPresetFile> <preset> <name>ODV2_overdrive</name> <type>linuxDSP_jack</type> <plugin>ODV2</plugin> <parameter> <name>input_drive</name> <value>76.00000</value> </parameter> <parameter> <name>output_gain</name> <value>17.00000</value> </parameter> <parameter> <name>bypass_switch</name> <value>99.00000</value> </parameter> </preset>



ODV2 Overdrive 6.3 Example Preset File Description: Referring to the example, the first line describes the type of file:

The next lines describe a few things about the preset file, such as the type of plugin it is intended to be used with and the name of the specific plugin it is intended for:
<preset> <name>ODV2_overdrive</name> <type>linuxDSP_jack</type> <plugin>ODV2</plugin>

In this case<preset>specifies that this is an XML 'preset' document,<name>specifies a generic name for the preset in this case ODV2_overdrive,<type>specifies the type of plugin in this case 'linuxDSP_jack' and<plugin>specifies the name of the plugin this file is to be used with in this case 'ODV2'. If you alter any of these tags, the preset will probably fail to load. Next are the values for the front panel controls. These are stored as floating point numbers between 0 and 99. How these map to the internal controls depends upon the plugin and the function of the control. The setting of each control is stored as a<parameter>with a<name>and <value>e.g.
<parameter> <name>input_drive</name> <value>76.00000</value> </parameter>

Finally, the end of the preset file is signalled by the closing</preset>tag.



ODV2 Overdrive 6.4 Technical Specifications Frequency response: Internal Processing: Reference Level: Dynamic range: Oversampling: Latency: Input Drive Output Gain 0Hz to Fs/2 where Fs is the sample rate. 32bit Floating Point. 1.0f is assumed to represent 0dBFs Limited by internal processing resolution (32bit Floating Point) and progressive limiting after 0dBFs 4X switchable 16 Samples +20dB / - 6dB Progressively limited as the signal level reaches 0dBFs. +/- 20dB