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post #1 of 15 Old 10-21-15, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Dirac Live Setup Tips

Dirac Live Setup Tips


Except where noted, the following information assumes that Dirac Live is followed by an AVR with Bass Management and that a subwoofer is in use.
  • Do not try to use Dirac Live along with Audyssey. Use one or the other.
  • The Dirac Live target curve for the LFE channel will only affect the frequency response of the LFE information coming straight from the source. It will not affect the Bass Management crossover frequency or content that is mixed into the LFE channel in the AVR. The upper limit of the Dirac Live target curve for the LFE channel can be set independently of the Bass Management crossover frequency.
  • Target curves for mains and surrounds should be left full range. The Bass Management crossover in the AVR will send the information below the crossover frequency to the LFE channel and to the subwoofer.
  • Level and distance settings in your AVR should be set at a fairly accurate and convenient setting and then, for the most part, not changed. Dirac Live will not be able to access the AVR settings to change them directly, but will add its own offsets to those settings. Dirac Liveís ability to change timing and level for each channel is much finer than your ability to make adjustments in your AVR.
  • The finest adjustments available for timing in most AVRs is 0.1 ft increments. Dirac Live can adjust timing in much finer amounts than this. Dirac Live does an excellent job of creating images between speaker pairs with surround mixes. Any significant level changes will disrupt that imaging and the resulting soundstage. There is no reason or benefit to adjust the AVR timing once Dirac Live calibration has been completed.
  • Level trimming should be done with extreme care. If all AVR speaker level settings are changed in the same direction by the same amount, to make up for the Dirac Live system loss, for instance, this would be acceptable.
  • Your AVRís subwoofer setting can be changed if needed to get more subwoofer level, but a better way to accomplish this is with LFE channel target curve in Dirac Live. Subwoofer distance setting can be changed, as with Audyssey, to accomplish better integration between mains and subwoofer, but this is rarely needed.
  • With miniDSP's nanoAVR-DL, the Dirac Live processor handles only PCM signals. Most modern Bluray players, even those that can handle SACDs, can be placed into PCM-only output mode. Conversion to PCM is then accomplished inside the Bluray player. These conversions generally involve high bit rates and bit depths. Some may claim those conversions to be adding distortion, but the amount would be so miniscule that, in my opinion, these arguments are purely academic, and there is likely to be no discernible difference due to the conversion.
  • With the PCM requirement, Dolby, DTS and other processing possibilities in oneís AVR are not available, and this may be a consideration in some cases. Most modern media includes PCM sources so DTS processing is usually not a necessity.
  • With miniDSP's nanoAVR-DL, which is HDMI 1.4 capable, audio/video switching, 3D video, and HDCP are supported. 4k video is currently not supported. Since the 4k limitation is in the nanoAVR-DL, following it with an HDMI 2.0 AVR would not solve this issue.
  • At this time, ATMOS processing along with Dirac Live is only possible with a unit like the DDRC-88A, which would be followed by amplification and speakers and would cover 8 channels of processing, including the LFE channel, but then bass management would not be an option in the AVR. It is always possible that a unit similar to the DDRC-88A with built-in bass management might become available. Then Dirac Live with Bass Management could follow an ATMOS AVR.

Other conditions to consider:
  • If bass management is implemented before Dirac Live, the Dirac Live target curve for the LFE channel will affect the frequency response of the LFE information coming straight from the source AND the content that is mixed into the LFE channel by bass management. This will usually make it necessary to set the upper limit of the Dirac Live LFE target curve at the same frequency as the Bass Management crossover frequency.
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-22-15, 09:39 AM
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Re: Dirac Live Setup Tips

A pleasant surprise to see yet another useful topic on your plate! Great write-up for what was no doubt an iceberg of research/experimentation under the surface! Thank you.

Quote:
AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
Target curves for mains and surrounds should be left full range. The Bass Management crossover in the AVR will send the information below the crossover frequency to the LFE channel and to the subwoofer.
Hopefully not taking this out of context (or confusing it with Schroeder Frequency issues):
I was under the impression that it's best not to process the uppermost frequencies (approx 10kHz-20kHz) in all but the most acoustically unacceptable rooms. With all due respect to auto-EQ suites everywhere, and recognizing that no auto-EQ can correct for all of a room's acoustic deficiencies, microphones don't hear the way humans do. Granted, an advanced auto-eq suite like Dirac Live can apply many more filters and compensate in both frequency and time domains, which presumably allows it to tame the upper frequency range more effectively than others.

Question: What are your thoughts on clamping down on Dirac's control over the mains & surrounds upper limit?

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post #3 of 15 Old 10-25-15, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Dirac Live Setup Tips

Quote:
Lumen wrote: View Post
A pleasant surprise to see yet another useful topic on your plate! Great write-up for what was no doubt an iceberg of research/experimentation under the surface! Thank you.


Hopefully not taking this out of context (or confusing it with Schroeder Frequency issues):
I was under the impression that it's best not to process the uppermost frequencies (approx 10kHz-20kHz) in all but the most acoustically unacceptable rooms. With all due respect to auto-EQ suites everywhere, and recognizing that no auto-EQ can correct for all of a room's acoustic deficiencies, microphones don't hear the way humans do. Granted, an advanced auto-eq suite like Dirac Live can apply many more filters and compensate in both frequency and time domains, which presumably allows it to tame the upper frequency range more effectively than others.

Question: What are your thoughts on clamping down on Dirac's control over the mains & surrounds upper limit?
At those frequencies, processing almost always means attenuation, and a little phase shift with a wavelength of an inch or less seems unimportant. I have never played with it, the notion of using the DL controls to let those frequencies roam free-range is intriguing, almost organic in a way (organic, free-range certified room EQ anyone?). If the level there is much higher than at lower frequencies, then it might stand out.

True, mics do not hear the way humans do. For that matter, HUMANS do not hear the way humans do, half of the time. That is partly a pun and partly making a point argued recently elsewhere (not online). A highly trained ear can learn to hear well beyond the so-called proven "limits" of hearing, depending on the specifics in question. The area I have noticed this in is Haas effect, or precedence effect, which is the area I believe you are referring to.

But sticking (rather poorly so far) to the point, there is the tendency for the ear to be more affected by the precedence effect - the delayed sound appears to come from the same direction as the initial sound - at higher and higher frequencies. This does not mean, as some tend to misinterpret, that the delayed sound is not heard or is ignored, on the contrary, it is perceived but as part of the original sound, usually resulting in a timbre change to the sound. So a mic hears differently from our ears in terms of perceived direction at higher frequencies, but perhaps is more similar to the ear in terms of perceived tonal balance or timbre at those frequencies, which is what we care about for room EQ anyway. That is my understanding, anyway, and I have waded through technical details on that one several times to try to understand it accurately. I am open to correction, however. Except on the ear being trainable beyond the "limits," in some cases. I stick to my guns on that one.
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-25-15, 08:50 AM
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Re: Dirac Live Setup Tips

Quote:
AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
[*]The Dirac Live target curve for the LFE channel will only affect the frequency response of the LFE information coming straight from the source. It will not affect the Bass Management crossover frequency or content that is mixed into the LFE channel in the AVR.
[*]Target curves for mains and surrounds should be left full range. The Bass Management crossover in the AVR will send the information below the crossover frequency to the LFE channel and to the subwoofer.
These two statements are quite dependent on whether the bass management is accomplished before or after DiracLive in the reproduction chain. They seem to imply that bass management is implemented after DL. If before, as in my setup, the target curve for the LFE channel will affect both the direct LFE information as well as the bass-managed rerouted bass from the other channels.

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post #5 of 15 Old 10-25-15, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Dirac Live Setup Tips

Quote:
Kal Rubinson wrote: View Post
These two statements are quite dependent on whether the bass management is accomplished before or after DiracLive in the reproduction chain. They seem to imply that bass management is implemented after DL. If before, as in my setup, the target curve for the LFE channel will affect both the direct LFE information as well as the bass-managed rerouted bass from the other channels.
Thanks, Kal, I concur. Perhaps my statement of conditions at the beginning of the post:

"Except where noted, the following information assumes that Dirac Live is followed by an AVR with Bass Management and that a subwoofer is in use."

should have been highlighted, I see that it is easy to overlook. I will also add the stated conditions to the post as possible variations to be considered.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-25-15, 11:12 AM
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Re: Dirac Live Setup Tips

Good notes.

Not sure how it works with the XMC-1 considering the DRC Live is built in. I know I've literally only ran one test.... and have been super happy with the results.

I did a 4db @ 20hz and 0db at 80hz on the subwoofer and also ran a small curve on the mains.

The results have been amazing on Dirac integration of the surrounds. Completely happy vs. the Audyssey that I had before.

Now I'm just watching movies and concentrating on room treatment (which will require redoing the tests of course)

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-25-15, 04:18 PM
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Re: Dirac Live Setup Tips

You guys think DL will be implemented on avrs like Denon, Marantz entry or mid level models? I know higher end models like Arcam have it onboard.

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post #8 of 15 Old 10-26-15, 09:24 AM
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Re: Dirac Live Setup Tips

About to add the NanoAVR DL to my #1 client 7.2 system... We are VERY excited and will obviously be reporting the results....
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-26-15, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Dirac Live Setup Tips

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asere wrote: View Post
You guys think DL will be implemented on avrs like Denon, Marantz entry or mid level models? I know higher end models like Arcam have it onboard.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
Very tough to say. It would sure be nice, but Audyssey has sewn up that market for so many years, and some, like Onkyo, are coming up with their own auto-EQ offerings. I am aware of none that even hold a candle to Dirac Live.

Of course, if Dirac Research was planning a full release in a top-of-the-line AVR by one of those companies, they would never tell us ahead of time.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-26-15, 12:03 PM
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Re: Dirac Live Setup Tips

Arcam

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