rackmonkey

Re: Digilent Analog Discovery 2
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2019, 10:42:32 PM »
I found the freeware add-on not-so-useful. I think the project predated the AD2 and was written to address some shortcomings in the original AD software.  First, all of the functionality in the add-on is already there in the newer Waveforms software. More importantly, the tools in the add-on are less functional than what’s in the current Waveforms suite. Lack of flexibility - such as the inability to change window types (e.g., Blackman-Harris, Rectangular, Hanning, etc) and the lack of a smoothing function (which makes it impossible to actually see not-so-subtle differences between test results) - really hamper the tool and make it far less useful than REW or any software tools we commonly use.

In short, don’t bother.

That said, the AD2 itself is a great little tool, as is the newest Waveforms software. The bandwidth alone makes it worth having alongside  a soundcard+REW type setup. You can see things no average soundcard will see, such as high frequency ringing when evaluating zobel network part values. But I still would ‘t want it as my only testing tool. I find myself still going to REW for a lot of common tests.

Best features of AD2/Waveforms for audio testing:

- Add on impedance analyzer breakout board from Digilent. Quick and easy input/output impedance tests
- Curve tracer add-on board from Knack Supply is convenient for what it does
- Bandwidth far beyond soundcard capabilities
- Breadboard adapter addon board is handy for obvious reasons
- Logging/scripting capabilities
- Logic analyzer for digital work
- Of course, having a scope, FFT, two channel function generator and curve tracer (and more) windows to tile or toggle between for tests is great. Can’t do that with a soundcard + audio test sw.

Biggest knocks on AD2+Waveforms SW are that you don’t have the number of window functions you get with audio test sw (just Hanning and Blackman if I recall, correctly, but don’t quote me on that. Might have been BH and rectangular), and there’s no smoothing function. {EDIT: To be clear, I’m talking about the Digilent Waveforms software that comes with the AD2 here, not the freeware add-on I talk about above. It DOES support changing window functions (unlike the freeware) but the choices of window type are more limited than audio testing SW.} Because of the lack of smoothing, you just have to up the averaging to smooth out the graph lines, which takes a lot longer than hitting a smoothing command. Waveforms is miles better than the freeware add-on I talked about up top, but it still doesn’t have smoothing, at least as far as I can tell. And lacks the nice little conveniences for audio testing like a quick and easy THD+noise overlay window.

Edit 2: Bottom line:  IMO, AD2 is a great little scope and test suite that covers a lot of bases, but you’ll probably not fully replace your soundcard + audio test SW with it. If you don’t own a scope and/or function generator, it’s definitely worth a look. Even if you do own those tools, the SW and peripherals make it a very useful addition to consider for your kit. As a whole, it makes performing many types of tests a whole lot quicker and more convenient than if you had to set them up with traditional tools.
 
Hope this is helpful.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 09:32:06 AM by rackmonkey »
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right.


gyraf

Re: Digilent Analog Discovery 2
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2019, 02:52:28 AM »
..thanks for the update, still following from sideline..
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

Re: Digilent Analog Discovery 2
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2019, 08:52:00 AM »
thanks for the update.

12afael

Re: Digilent Analog Discovery 2
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2019, 03:29:36 AM »
AD2 and REW is a great combo. Other piece of software that is very useful is izotope RX 7
heavy metal is the law!!!