Headroom management with Trinnov Altitude 16


I meant to post something about this last year when I got my Altitude 16, but just thought about it again recently. This post is just for info to other Altitude users.

When I first started playing Roon through the Trinnov I immediately noticed that the input levels were very high, and I had the Trinnov volume turned down quite a way from where it usually is with other sources. I also noticed that the sound quality wasn’t quite what I’d expected.

Looking at the Trinnov Processor page of Settings showed that the input level was often peaking in the red zone or even hitting 0dB, indicating it was clipping some louder transients. Putting a headroom reduction in Roon’s DSP of -9dB sorted it out just fine. With that in place, peaks typically fall in the amber zone of the input meters, and it sounds much more relaxed than it did at first. I was then able to also set up the upsampling (max factor of 2) without any issue.

I remember feeling surprised at the time that this headroom was needed on Roon but not on any of my other sources, but it’s no big deal. Anyway, I’m just mentioning this in case anyone else runs into the same issue.

Just out of curiosity what is the connection between the TA16 and your Roon core? Eithernet, USB, etc…

The recommended wired ethernet. Works very reliably. Only wish the connection to the Roon Control was as reliable!

Hi John,

It is quite common for recordings to dip into the “red zone” on a pretty regular basis. This is done to maximize the SNR and resolution of the recording. Good recording engineers usually leave 1-2 dB of headroom “just in case” but we certainly have seen some recordings that regularly hit 0 dBFS (maximum volume in digital). As long as they are just barely “kissing” 0 dBFS, there is no harm.

However, if the waveform goes even a tiny bit beyond 0 dBFS, the signal will be clipped in the recording itself and there really isn’t anything we can do about it.

I don’t know what recordings you listen to, but I listen almost exclusively to Roon and have never seen the behavior you describe. Can you email me at jon.herron@trinnov.com with a couple of examples that I can test myself? We’re happy to help you figure out what is happening.

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Thanks @Jon_Herron - I’ll drop you a line with an example

Hi y’all, pretty late I realise, but I have the same issue. I have a Lumin U1 that is connected thru AES/EBU XLR to a Trinnov ST2 Pro, which in turn is connected thru AES/EBU XLR to a Totaldac d12 stack. As almost all music is mastered at or close to 0dB there is not much room for the Trinnov to do it’s thing in the north direction. Lucky for me I have only peaks to worry about, so I only need the south direction. But still I have to attenuate the output of the Lumin at least 6dB in order to keep the Trinnov output at or below 0dB. Another lucky for me the Lumin has LEEDH volume control, which is pretty much the best there is. Ah well, I thought I’ld share this with y’all…

It’s well known that upsampling causes inter sample overs on material that originally stays at or below 0dB - it’s not clear to me if your problem had been caused by upsampling in Roon all along.
Care to clear that up for me?

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Sure! As you say, that’s well known about upsampling. But I found the issue arises without any upsampling or other processing in Roon. That’s why I posted in the first place.

Once I’d sorted that issue, I could then ensure there’s headroom as required for sample rate upsampling and other DSP. As an aside, multichannel codec upsampling (such as Dolby upsampling from stereo to surround) also needs headroom (for example, the centre channel signal will usually peak at a level higher than the original L/R, for obvious reasons).

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