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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 Live’s 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 AVR’s 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 one’s 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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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. :T

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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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. :T


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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[*]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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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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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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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
 

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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.:huh:
 

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You guys think DL will be implemented on avrs like Denon, Marantz entry or mid level models?
It's quite probable that as manufacturers reap "economy of scale" profits from flagship models, that the technology will trickle-down to mid-level ones. Just my guess that, in some cases, Dirac Live will need to edge-out entrenched auto-EQ suites. I think it will have greater success replacing lesser-known, house brand EQ rather than firmly entrenched suites such as Audyssey, YPAO, etc.
 

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NANO AVR DL received and here's my first impressions

The physical install is no problems
Initial setup of software and calibration has been very problematic..here are some notes
1.NANO DL.exe cannot be installed with COMODO INTERNET SECURITY running - once Uninstalled it ran fine
2. Activation was not a problem
3 Once ready to calibrate is when the real problem started - we were getting no signal from the UMIK1 though it was the default recording device in Windows. After several attempts to correct this, the frustration level was getting pretty high.. As it turns out the USB cable from the UMIK1 to the PC was too long... causing more than one issue - I am aware that the manual states use the supplied cable... but our media equipment is in an adjacent room to the Home theater - being controlled by RF remote... so we had to use a longer cable than supplied to get the UMIK1 into the room to be calibrated...
4. The second issue with Windows is this . "Cannot open recording device" IF you have moved the UMIK1 from usb to usb to usb ports trying to get passed the no signal issue, you'll now have several recording devices in DEVICE MANAGER and these must be deleted along with the UMIK1 driver - then restart Windows and allow the UMIK1 to reinstall.
5 Finally got a successful calibration file uploaded last night and it was a tremendous relief... not only that it sounded very very good as we sampled several movies through the Media PC...
6 next problem - FIOS set top box when selecting VIDEO ON DEMAND loses audio completely and this problem has been confirmed repeatedly in this system ... waiting on tech support with this issue.
7 Tomorrow the new 5x1 hdmi switch will be installed hopefully all will go well... the switch is being implemented because we need discrete control over HDMI sources - the NANO learn function is only TOGGLE..
This simply wont suffice and I understand at some point there may be a firmware upgrade with Discrete HDMI 1-2 codes for us programmers - for many users though there is simply NOT enough HDMI ports - thus the need for a multi HDMI port....

We finally watched FURY last night and the resulting filter gave pretty incredible results - however we are still confused as to how to use the decoder on the Marantz AVR - stereo ? Auto ? DTS Cinema ?
any suggestions on the FIOS losing audio would be appreciated - my thought is that the On Demand is a standard defintion menu screen and this is throwing the NANO for a loop...
 

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3 Once ready to calibrate is when the real problem started - we were getting no signal from the UMIK1 though it was the default recording device in Windows. After several attempts to correct this, the frustration level was getting pretty high.. As it turns out the USB cable from the UMIK1 to the PC was too long... causing more than one issue - I am aware that the manual states use the supplied cable... but our media equipment is in an adjacent room to the Home theater - being controlled by RF remote... so we had to use a longer cable than supplied to get the UMIK1 into the room to be calibrated...
A buffered USB extension is usually needed when trying to go farther than 12 feet or so total with USB. This will not work at all with high-speed bi-directional devices, but seems to work fine with one-way audio devices at 44.1 or 48 kB/s, like a USB mic.

4. The second issue with Windows is this . "Cannot open recording device" IF you have moved the UMIK1 from usb to usb to usb ports trying to get passed the no signal issue, you'll now have several recording devices in DEVICE MANAGER and these must be deleted along with the UMIK1 driver - then restart Windows and allow the UMIK1 to reinstall.
This is not a problem you hear about very often. I recently ran into it in another context and found a free utility called USBDeview that lets you see all installed USB devices and delete at will.

7 Tomorrow the new 5x1 hdmi switch will be installed hopefully all will go well... the switch is being implemented because we need discrete control over HDMI sources - the NANO learn function is only TOGGLE..
This simply wont suffice and I understand at some point there may be a firmware upgrade with Discrete HDMI 1-2 codes for us programmers - for many users though there is simply NOT enough HDMI ports - thus the need for a multi HDMI port....
I see the 2-input capability of the nanoAVR as a minor convenience, it certainly does not qualify as a multi-HDMI control device. Adding a multi-HDMI port, any where from 3- or 4- port simple switch with remote up to a more sophisticated 6- or 8- or more port switch is pretty much a necessity for most systems.
 
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