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Configuration section

Non-audio settings.

Configuration and its sub-screens control the non-audio parts of Stereo Tool, such as performance, foreign language support, scheduling, interfacing, sound cards and FM/AM transmitter settings.

  • Software version

  • Uptime

  • Visit for information and updates

  • Bypass panel

    Turn all processing off.

    • Bypass processing
      Turn all processing off.

      If Bypass is enabled, Stereo Tool does nothing - the audio goes through unmodified. Bypass is useful to compare the original input with the output, or to turn Stereo Tool off without having to unload it.

    Language panel

    Settings for multi-language support.

    • Language
      Language selection.

      .stl (Stereo Tool Language) files must be placed in the same directory where Stereo Tool is installed. You can find language files in the Language/Translation files section of the forum. In the future, they will be included in the Stereo Tool installation.

    • Export language file Export.stl
      Used to translate Stereo Tool to another language.

      This button exports the current texts to a file named Export.stl. This file is generated in the same directory where Stereo Tool is installed. If that's not possible due to access rights, it is placed in the Users directory (normally C:\Users\yourusername\).

      This file consists of lines with the original text in English, an = sign, and the translated text. Example:


      If you want to edit this file, rename it to the language that you want to support (for example Nederlands.stl) and if needed copy it to the directory where Stereo Tool is installed. After restarting Stereo Tool, you will see Nederlands as a selection under Link error ''. Now you can start editing the file.

      Some texts are too long to fit in on the screen if you have a small display. For such texts, multiple versions are available:

      Startup minimized in system tray.0=Start geminimaliseerd in system tray
      Startup minimized in system tray.1=Start geminimaliseerd
      Startup minimized in system tray.2=Start min.

      Upto 3 texts can be provided. In case your translation is longer than the original text and you need more alternative texts than are provided in the generated file, you can just add them. If there's only one line, you can add the .0 yourself and create a .1 (and .2) version.

      If a new version of Stereo Tool comes out, new texts may have been added or texts may have been changed. If you load your old language file and then press the Export button, you get a file where everything that you have translated previously is available in the file, but things that you have not yet translated are there too - in English.

    System info panel

    Developer and debugging settings panel

    • Simulate error (causes crash!)
      FORCES A CRASH! Used to test watchdog and logging behavior.

      Pressing this button will cause an exception in Stereo Tool that would normally cause it to crash. This can be used to test if the logging works (see description above) and if the Restart on unsolvable crashes behavior functions properly.

      When this button is pressed, an attempt is made to write data to memory position 0. You will see an exception with code 0xc0000005, read/write=1, r/w location=0x0.

    Auto start panel

    Automatically start Stereo Tool when Windows starts.

    • Auto-start with Windows
      Automatically start Stereo Tool when Windows starts.

      Note that Stereo Tool is only started when the user under who's account this setting was enabled logs in. So, to make this work properly, make sure that this happens automatically when Windows starts.

    • Auto-start delay
      Delay the startup of Stereo Tool when Windows starts.

      Delays Auto-start with Windows. This is usually not needed and unwanted, but on some systems, sound card drivers take longer to initialize, and if Stereo Tool is started immediately, it can be that the drivers aren't ready yet. This is especially an issue with AoIP drivers that might need to access to the network first.

    Error recovery panel

    Automatic restart behavior when problems occur.

    Stereo Tool is made to run unattended for months or even years without human interference. And - as many people have reported over the years - it usually runs for years without a single glitch.

    Audio processing is very different from other types of programs: Once the processing runs, as long as the program is untouched it does not allocate or deallocate memory, it does not swap to or from the disk, it does not attempt to access servers, load or save files. All it does is continuously getting a same-sized chunk of audio from a sound card, run the same processing over it and send it to another sound card. This means that the vast majority of programming errors will cause issues immediately in the first second - if it runs for one second it will probably run for years.

    But if something goes wrong anyway, these settings determine what action is taken.

    Note that if something bad happens, you will always get a popup window with a notification, and if the directory C:\temp exists and is writable it is also written to a file, C:\temp\StereoTool_Exceptions_Log.txt.

    • Detect and attempt to fix sound card/VLC timeouts
      Automatically calls Restart sound cards if an input or output does not work.

      If no audio passes through a sound card input or output for over 10 seconds, if this setting is enabled Restart sound cards is triggered automatically.

      If after 4 restarts no audio has passed through it at all, Stereo Tool is restarted completely if Restart on unsolvable crashes is also enabled.

      Note that VLC inputs or outputs are not included in this (they might disappear for longer periods due to network issues etc).

    • Restart on unsolvable crashes
      Restarts Stereo Tool after an unrecoverable issue.

      If an exception occurs in Stereo Tool, it will first attempt to recover from it without restarting. If this keeps failing (more than 10 exceptions in a 10 minute period, for some parts of code immediately), Stereo Tool will close itself and start a new instance.

      The automatic recovery will be attempted regardless of whether this setting is enabled or disabled.

      See also Detect and attempt to fix sound card/VLC timeouts; if an audio input or output does not function after restarting it several times, Stereo Tool will also restart.

    • Restart on unsolvable sound card timeouts
      Restarts if a sound card keeps timing out.

      If a sound card keeps timing out (which happens if it's unresponsive), this will restart Stereo Tool after 4 attempts.

    User interface panel

    Switch between simple and more extensive settings.

    • Minimize to system tray

    • Start minimized in system tray
      Hides the Stereo Tool window upon startup.

      Normally, the Stereo Tool window is shown when you start Stereo Tool. Once you have configured it to your satisfaction, if you only want to hear Stereo Tool without seeing it, enable this option to auto-hide the window every time Stereo Tool is started.

    • Operating mode
      [Select how extensive the user interface is.]

      With this pull-down menu you can choose how extensive (and hence complicated to use) the user interface is.

      if you want to load a preset and only change some simple things, use Simple. For normal users, Basic should be fine. Advanced and Expert show a lot more settings that are difficult to use and can easily ruin the sound. Extreme Tweaker contains lots of obscure settings that you should probably never touch.

    • Show tooltips
      Shows tool tips in the Stereo Tool GUI.

    • Show deprecated settings
      Show settings that are flagged as being deprecated.

      If a deprecated setting is set to a value that isn't its default value, the setting is always shown. But as soon as such a setting is set to its default it will be hidden. To be able to change or view its value, enable this setting.

    • Clean up unused deprecated settings on preset load

    • Skin
      Selects a built-in skin for the Stereo Tool GUI.

    • Brightness
      Makes the GUI brighter or darker.

    • Full screen mode
      Switches to Full Screen mode.

      In Full Screen mode, the window bars are removed and the Windows start menu (if available) is hidden. Mainly useful if you have a small touch screen, or if you use nothing else on your pc except Stereo Tool.

    • Full height mode
      Switches to Full Height mode.

      Full Height mode is similar to Full screen mode, but only in vertical direction. Useful for example when you want to show a window beside the Stereo Tool window, like a music player.

    • Console visible

    • Draw scopes at half height
      Draws the scopes with more headroom.

      If you have overshoots, this allows you to better see them.

    • Center texts
      Centers texts in the GUI.

      This was the old behavior. The new alignment looks cleaner, but some people might prefer the old style.

    • Old mouse behavior
      Switches between old and new mouse behavior for sliders.

      The new mouse behavior makes the mouse work at a typically useful speed. You can hold Control or right-click when adjusting a slider setting to have very precise control, and you can use Shift to move faster, in bigger steps.

      The old mouse behavior was quite different from how most programs work. Holding the left mouse key long switches to a mode where movements are slower.

    • Enable Hear and Difference/Monitor buttons
      Enables or disables the Hear and Difference buttons in the software.

      The reason to disable these buttons is that they currently affect all outputs, including the signal that's going to a stream or to FM. To prevent accidentally sending bad audio to listeners, this setting can be disabled, which then in turn disables all the Hear and Differece buttons.

    • Title bar info
      Extra text shown in the title bar.

      If you are running multiple Stereo Tool instances on a pc, for example if you have a streaming server, this allows you to change the title of each Stereo Tool window to indicate which signal it is processing. The text is shown in the title bar and when you hover over the tray icon in Windows.

    Processing settings panel

    • Temporarily block processing chain when changing settings requires long recalculation

    Median displays panel

    • Show median levels

    • Reset medians

    Environment panel

    Computer info.

    CPU feature support panel

    • CPU SSE2
      Enables SSE2 hand-optimized code.

      Many processing algorithms were optimized using hand-written SSE2 and AVX2 code. This setting enables that code. Note that compiler-generated SSE2 code if not affected by this setting, it will be used whenever the CPU supports it.

      You should not touch this setting unless you have a very specific reason for it.

    • CPU AVX2
      Enables AVX2 hand-optimized code.

      Many processing algorithms were optimized using hand-written SSE2 and AVX2 code. This setting enables that code. Note that compiler-generated AVX2 code if not affected by this setting, it will be used whenever the CPU supports it.

      You should not touch this setting unless you have a very specific reason for it.