What exactly is rendering?

Can somebody please explain what rendering is?
I am currently running Roon core on Lenovo server 2012R2 through my network to a DSJ. I have found that the digital output from my cd player fed directly into the DSJ sounds much better than standard format Tidal, although I obviously use mqa as well. I am therefore planning:

  1. To upgrade to a dedicated server to run Roon.
  2. To feed it directly into the DSJ (via ethernet or usb).
    I am looking at the Antipodes products: either CX or EX. The EX can operate as a server but also is best solely as a renderer. Is my rendering currently being done on the computer by the Roon core or by the DSJ. If it is being done by the DSJ, perhaps the EX would be inappropriate, In which case would the CX be more sensible.
    Alternatively I would like suggestions for the best server to feed the DSJ.

Music arriving over the internet or put on a local ethernet network (by a computer or a NAS) is split into a series of packages. A renderer converts these discrete packages into a continuous stream of music ‘data’ that includes the necessary timing information etc. This music stream can be in several forms: SPDIF, TOSlink, USB, AES/EBU that can be converted to analogue form in a DAC.
Renderers can be stand-alone (Sonore Rendu, dCS Network Bridge etc), only fulfilling this conversion function, or built into a box with other functions e.g. a Server that has storage and CD ripping as well as a renderer.
The process of rendering requires a cpu with the necessary code to do the conversion. The cpu can be a dedicated chip (e.g. Convers) or a general purpose computer.


This might help. https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/a-roon-primer/?page=3
Roon nominclature tends to revolve around endpoints and core. You only ever have a single core and you can have 1 or more endpoints.
In your case, your lenovo is a cote and end point. Some streamers can perform both these duties. Roon officially recommends having a separate core and end point but I’ve had good results running a roon rock (NUC) as a core and endpoint feeding my directsream dac. Albeit with a singer su6 converting USB to i2s first turn feeding that into the directream.

A renderer is the word used in the UPnP/DLNA specifications to describe what ordinary mortals would call a network player

1 Like

okay, so as I understand it now. The rendering process only applies to music which has been transported over the internet or Ethernet, so is the following correct?

  1. When I use my cd transport to feed my my DSJ dac via co-ax, there is no rendering.
  2. If my Roon core server feeds tidal to my DSJ bridge via ethernet then the Bridge does the rendering and the DSJ becomes a Roon endpoint.
  3. if I connect my Roon core server directly to the DSJ via usb, then the server is the core and endpoint (renderer).
  4. If my Roon server plays music from its own ssd directly to the DSJ via usb then there is no rendering at all.

Correct on all counts.

1 Like