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Dirac Live

DougK

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Dec 8, 2013
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A question for you guys:

Current digital music playback set-up is: PC > Coax > DAC > RCA> AMP. Been doing a bit of research and a miniDSP box would seem surplus to requirements in this set-up, so was thinking that just the Dirac Live software running on the PC would be sufficient; it would yield the same end result without the need for an additional box.

Is my thinking correct or am I missing something?
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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DougK said:
A question for you guys:

Current digital music playback set-up is: PC > Coax > DAC > RCA> AMP. Been doing a bit of research and a miniDSP box would seem surplus to requirements in this set-up, so was thinking that just the Dirac Live software running on the PC would be sufficient; it would yield the same end result without the need for an additional box.

Is my thinking correct or am I missing something?
Correct. You should however consider the following:

1) Is my PC up to the job of Performing DSP?

2) Will I ever want a different source to run through my DSP, I.e a CDP?

3) Have I tried the alternatives? (Rune/Inguz for example)

I use Dirac Live in the way you describe and am very happy with the results.
 

insider9

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DougK said:
Foobar 2000
You could use a convolver with Foobar. You'd need to created FIR filters yourself with free software. The effects as long as you know what you are doing could be far better than that of Dirac Live. However you need to know what you are doing and it can be a timely process. So what you're saving in cash you will end up spending in your own time.
 

DougK

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Many thanks Gazzip.

1) Old PC but it does meet minimum specs for Dirac duties

2) Purely for NAS playback, don't play CD's that much any more and vinyl is for special occasions only

3) I'll take a look at these

Pressed the button on a UMIK-1 last night so either way the mic is on its way now.
 

DougK

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insider9 said:
You could use a convolver with Foobar. You'd need to created FIR filters yourself with free software. The effects as long as you know what you are doing could be far better than that of Dirac Live. However you need to know what you are doing and it can be a timely process. So what you're saving in cash you will end up spending in your own time.
Thanks Insider*good* As I'm a bit of a numpty that sounds like a lot of hand-holding over a lot of months and I wouldn't be prepared subject anyone to my level of numptiness *biggrin* I know Dirac isn't a simple quick fix but I'm guessing it's more on my level of competence.
 

insider9

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DougK said:
insider9 said:
You could use a convolver with Foobar. You'd need to created FIR filters yourself with free software. The effects as long as you know what you are doing could be far better than that of Dirac Live. However you need to know what you are doing and it can be a timely process. So what you're saving in cash you will end up spending in your own time.
Thanks Insider*good* As I'm a bit of a numpty that sounds like a lot of hand-holding over a lot of months and I wouldn't be prepared subject anyone to my level of numptiness *biggrin* I know Dirac isn't a simple quick fix but I'm guessing it's more on my level of competence.
No worries, if you change your mind happy to assist.
 

ellisdj

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I have made a complete guide video for running Dirac Live as software on a PC and once you have the UMIK 1 I am sure you can get a free trial period of the Dirac Live Software to have a mess about and see what you think.

Think its 2 weeks so I would wait until you get your UMIK1 and have some free time on hand

EDIT - I havent made the target curve adjustment video yet. thats on my agenda for the near future
 

DougK

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ellisdj said:
I have made a complete guide video for running Dirac Live as software on a PC and once you have the UMIK 1 I am sure you can get a free trial period of the Dirac Live Software to have a mess about and see what you think.

Think its 2 weeks so I would wait until you get your UMIK1 and have some free time on hand

EDIT - I havent made the target curve adjustment video yet. thats on my agenda for the near future
Many thanks Ellis. I'm guessing your complete guide will be on your youtube channel, yes? No!.... Found it! *good*
 

DougK

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UMIK-1 finally arrived yesterday so been having a bash overnight and this morning whilst the neighbours are out. Many thanks to Ellis for the excellent tutorial, had it up and running in no time *good*

Good bits: Very easy to set up once I'd sorted the internet connection out on my old music PC to download the Dirac software. Very clever piece of kit and the mic looks and performs brilliantly, all very professional, the software interface is very clear and easy to follow. Done a few passes so far, (I got some clipping on the eighth sweep on the first one), but there's still room for improvement so will press on when possible. I really like what the software can do and it does sound rather nice after applying the filter, the mids and highs are crystal clear. Also playing at higher volumes, (one reason for which is in the Bad below).

Bad bits: Where's all my bass gone? Either that or I'm a lover of flabby/loose bass. My little PMC's were very musical with punchy bass... a little too punchy sometimes but re-postioning isn't an option. Soundstage is different, not bigger or smaller, just different. Sweet spot isn't as well defined and there's a brightness issue that wasn't there before... the PMC/Marantz combo has always been quite lush but detailed. Dirac does lie - if you turn-off the filter in the audio processor window it sounds awful, but if you revert back to your pre-Dirac set-up then it sounds far better - easily switchable in foobar.

I'm guessing that after 14 days it's gonna be a pay-up situation, still got some more days to play with it but currently I'm doubting if I'll pursue this path for £345, unless something spectacular happens...

Bit cream crackered now so I'm gonna hit the sack soon.
 

insider9

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I guess I'd suggest you try a steeper than suggested house curve. That will improve bass and take care of brightness. You can set more than one profile and see what you prefer.

I also think you may need to take another set of measurements... Make sure they are very precise. That's because of your sweetspot comments. Dirac should add a lot of precision.
 

Gazzip

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Good write up. For me the great thing about Dirac Live is that you can put back in some low frequency on your filter curve if you think it is now missing. Always remember that a flattened frequency response may be "correct" but that doesn't mean it is right for you. There actually is no "right" other than that which produces a sound that you like, so don't get too hung up on making the sound of your hifi somebody elses idea of right for the sake of it.
 

Gray

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I thought it wouldn't take you long to get on it. Interesting results eh?

Does the corrected plot actually look that much flatter than your original?

Is it the ultimate graphic EQ? A tweakers paradise. No need to ever change speakers, just shape the sound till it suits? (probably not!)
 

DougK

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insider9 said:
I guess I'd suggest you try a steeper than suggested house curve. That will improve bass and take care of brightness. You can set more than one profile and see what you prefer.

I also think you may need to take another set of measurements... Make sure they are very precise. That's because of your sweetspot comments. Dirac should add a lot of precision.
I'll work on that. Fully intend to take more measurements as initial sweeps were with a new toy *smile* It does add precision and I guess it sounds clearer too hence the perceived brightness... sweetspot is there but not as precisely defined as with standard set-up. Maybe I'm not a fan of tonally neutral *unknw*
 

DougK

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Gray said:
I thought it wouldn't take you long to get on it. Interesting results eh?

Does the corrected plot actually look that much flatter than your original?

Is it the ultimate graphic EQ? A tweakers paradise. No need to ever change speakers, just shape the sound till it suits? (probably not!)
My lounge looks like a bomb has hit it at the moment as I've had to drag the PC out to get it closer to connect the mic... cables everywhere; PC was nicely stashed in a unit with all the cables hidden down the back.

Very interesting results, Gray, with a much flatter plot. A very clever piece of software and a tweakers paradise without doubt. The software sits between the PC and Foobar so it has to be running to use the filters. I've got twelve more days to play with it after which I guess it will lock me out of the interface and the actual use of the software unless I pay for the licence. I have to consider whether continued tweaking is worth nearly a weeks net basic income... it's a tough call, but I've wasted more money on worse things *smile*

I'll let you have a go on your system sometime this year mate, as you work with a laptop it won't be so chaotic in your listening room.
 

ellisdj

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Dec 11, 2008
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things to check

in the DAP select the left arrow and you have a gain that might need increasing.

second select the right arrow for balance settings this might be slightly off and sound better either disabled or with just the delay set to 0.

thirdly and most importantly where you look at the graphs select and look at the pre dirac freq plot(green) and see if you can live with it once you see it... better freq and impulse cant sound worse its not possible

the rest is there with dirac just need to work it out - or maybe other areas need to improve as they are now being displayed - just a thought.
 

ellisdj

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Dec 11, 2008
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couple other things bear in mind.

make sure you used the right calibration file for the UMIk1.

also make sure you take the measurements in a large area otherwise dirac live can over eq.

also someone suggested using the mic vertical instead of horizontal which does make sense. if you do this make sure to use the 90degree calibration file
 

ellisdj

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sorry one last thing if you or anyone else buys dirac live software I would appreciate you using one of my links to it. same price it just helps me out and helps make me make more tutorial videos. need do one for the graphs and filter page still

on the point of altering the filter shape I would suggest keeping the lines linear with the exception of the top end.
dont be scared to roll off the top or raise the bass but you need to check where your levels are now.

post a pic if you want help :)
 

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