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DIRAC confusion -2.1 setups, computer stereo vs. 3.1 AVR, subs, licenses

wheelbarrow

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Hey ASR forum - first post after hours of reading through Dirac stuff on here! After lots of searching, I still have some questions. I currently have a 3.1 setup with an Onkyo RZ50, as well as an office 2.1 setup with a NAD D3045+Mac Mini (intel).

My questions are:

Question 1:

If I want easy, simple Dirac measurement and setup, including setting a single subwoofer crossover automatically (meaning I leave the crossover knob on the sub as high as it will go or disabled and set sub volume knob to -10db or -15db), that means I require the newer Dirac Bass Management upgrade. I have no interest in multiple subs at this time, but do recognize the multiple benefits of Dirac Bass Control for single subs.

Is it possible to purchase this upgrade on the laptop and then use it on the RZ50, since it has the independent or LFE sub channel? Or does the RZ50 require some type of firmware or hardware update to support that? Unless it has to do with how the RZ50 implements a subwoofer channel in hardware, it doesn't seem to me like it couldn't be added via a software patch, right? For any Dirac employees here - I would gladly pay for this.



Question 2:

For the office 2.1 setup using the D3045 - I assume I cannot get the FULL benefit of Dirac Bass Management/Control without actually using an AVR that has a discrete sub channel (or running a complex multichannel dac/pre/power amp setup). I do not want that - I want easy. Set it and forget it. Am I right on this?



Question 3:
I have seen some discussion on using minidsp products in the chain for a 2.1 setup to add subwoofer correction, but don't have clarity on if they will actually allow full utilization of Dirac Bass Control. What exactly do I gain by adding a minidsp to my D-3045 setup?

I assume it just creates a third channel by taking low frequencies from the L+R, and then dirac can mess with that channel discretely. But minidsp stuff doesn't support Dirac Bass Control - so it seems not worth it for a ton of hassle.



Question 4:
Also for the office 2.1 setup w/D3045 - assuming I do not switch to an AVR/complex preamp setup w/Dirac Bass Control, is my only option here manually setting sub crossover after eyeballing the stereo license dirac curve measurements/listening to sub sweep tracks? I know learning to measure and adjust with REW is probably best, but I have zero interest in committing the time to do that. Again - easy button is what I'm after here.



Question 5:
For the Dirac license types - is the ONLY stuff you gain by upgrading from stereo to multichannel the ability to add Bass Control upgrade (along with all the multichannel options)? Or are there other features you get with the multichannel license beyond just more channels + option for Dirac bass control?


Thank you!
 

phoenixdogfan

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Try to do my best to answer your questions here. I have LS 50 Metas. a single SVS SB2000, use a PC, have used miniDSP 2 x 4 HD, and have Dirac Live multichannel on my PC, and use both JRiver, and DePhonica as software crossovers currently. So I've had a lot of experience with what you are wrestling with.

1. Dirac sells software for platforms. The PC is one platform and receiver, processors, are another discrete platform. The licenses are not transferrable across platforms. So if you want to use Dirac for your Onyko system and also for your PC+ NAD, you would need to buy it two licenses, one for each platform.

Currently DLBC is only offered on certain AV Receivers. Nothing for the PC and workstations, though Flavio, the DL spokesperson on this forum, has stated that it plans to roll it out for PC's in the 4th quarter of this year. Maybe they will, maybe the wait will be longer, as happened with the upgrade of the original PC version of DL which took years. As for miniDSP, no one know when, if ever, it will incorporate DLBC.

2. How do you plan to cross over your sub to you NAD? Does the sub have an internal crossover with both a high and low pass? Lots of subs these days only have the low pass which means they allow the high end to just roll off. I suppose Dirac would be of some benefit on the PC in this instance b/c it could smooth out the FR, but I doubt it would be a complete substitute for a system crossed over with both high and low pass.

You are correct, that without a discrete sub channel, you can only run the system as a 2 way (actually 3 way) and I don't see how DLBC could work even if available.

3. Already covered in point 1. MiniDsp is valuable b/c it does add the distinct sub channel with a digital crossover with selectable slopes, PEQ, timing delay adjustment, and a platform for Dirac Live for an added $200 price as a firmware update. The Flex is the sweet point, but if you want DLBC who knows when.

4. Depends on your sub. You have only two channels of output, so you have to feed the sub, and use the subs low pass, I would think. Generally, the high pass, if available on a sub is very limited. Dirac will help flatten out the result.

5. DLBC + multiple channels sounds like quite enough. You do realize that DLBC is also selects an optimized crossover frequency and slope for your subs and creates discrete sub channels, so you no longer need a mini DSP to do that provided you have a multichannel USB DAC to pass along the line level signal to the subs and amps?

Even a cheap multichannel DAC like, say, a Motu M4 would be great for that.
 
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wheelbarrow

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Thank you for the responses! Follow up questions:

A. So if I used a minidsp to get the sub channel on my 2.1 setup, Dirac Live would treat it as a third speaker in the mix (instead of treating it as a sub with all the added DLBC functionality), in addition to allowing me to run Dirac via the minidsp hardware instead of running it on the mac mini?

Or, if that is not the case, then I assume the benefit of the minidsp is the digital crossovers etc, but I have to manually tune them. Without the minidsp the only tool I have is the sub's internal crossover knob. (It's a Klipsch R110-SW).



B. For the sub - it just has the crossover knob and a two-position phase switch (and gain knob). It's got stereo RCA inputs coming from the D3045. The D3045 does have some high pass filter options, but they aren't flexible and I assume leaving them off and using Dirac would be better.


C. I get that DLBC creates discrete sub channels - but I'd rather not add another box under the desk when the D3045 is integrated DAC already. However, DLBC does so much that I could never do on my own, it might be worth doing it to get the DLBC using an M4 or similar as you mention.


D. Finally, in my Onkyo settings I see that after running Dirac, it changed the crossover settings for all of my speakers. I thought DLBC was required to change the crossover? If not, what exactly do I gain by getting a DLBC AVR crossover wise for a single sub? (I know DLBC fixes phase and timing and lots of other stuff)



P.S. - Flavio, if you read this, could you let me know what the limitation is for single-sub DLBC and the Onkyo rz50? Is it a licensing issue, a lack of willingness from Onkyo to do the work and create a software update, is it a business issue/product segmentation, or is it a hardware issue?
 
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wheelbarrow

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Ah, two last questions I forgot:

I. For the Dirac microphone positioning, I see that they recommend pointing the mic at the ceiling for multi-channel, and pointing the mic straight at towards the speakers for stereo.

Does that recommendation remain the same for the stereo version on a 2.1 setup doing multiple measurement positions? Or are you supposed to switch and point it to the ceiling like multi-channel? If so, why?


II. For nearfield desktop listening (standing desk that I move up and down a couple times a day), does Dirac still make a big difference? Or will it be less evident since my ears are already exactly 1m from each speaker. (Speakers are Klipsch RP150Ms, when I stand at desk they are at about a 60 degree angle from me)

Thanks again.
 

phoenixdogfan

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Thank you for the responses! Follow up questions:

A. So if I used a minidsp to get the sub channel on my 2.1 setup, Dirac Live would treat it as a third speaker in the mix (instead of treating it as a sub with all the added DLBC functionality), in addition to allowing me to run Dirac via the minidsp hardware instead of running it on the mac mini?

Or, if that is not the case, then I assume the benefit of the minidsp is the digital crossovers etc, but I have to manually tune them. Without the minidsp the only tool I have is the sub's internal crossover knob. (It's a Klipsch R110-SW).



B. For the sub - it just has the crossover knob and a two-position phase switch (and gain knob). It's got stereo RCA inputs coming from the D3045. The D3045 does have some high pass filter options, but they aren't flexible and I assume leaving them off and using Dirac would be better.


C. I get that DLBC creates discrete sub channels - but I'd rather not add another box under the desk when the D3045 is integrated DAC already. However, DLBC does so much that I could never do on my own, it might be worth doing it to get the DLBC using an M4 or similar as you mention.


D. Finally, in my Onkyo settings I see that after running Dirac, it changed the crossover settings for all of my speakers. I thought DLBC was required to change the crossover? If not, what exactly do I gain by getting a DLBC AVR crossover wise for a single sub? (I know DLBC fixes phase and timing and lots of other stuff)



P.S. - Flavio, if you read this, could you let me know what the limitation is for single-sub DLBC and the Onkyo rz50? Is it a licensing issue, a lack of willingness from Onkyo to do the work and create a software update, is it a business issue/product segmentation, or is it a hardware issue?
A. When I do stereo, I have Dirac treat each speaker as a 3 way for stereo music reproduction. So Dirac sits in front of the crossover and corrects two channels, even though each channel shares the one sub. I believe that is the most correct way to do music reproduction.

B. I would use the high pass on D3045. I will relieve the main speakers of the burden of reproducing the bass which will allow them to play louder and with less distortion. Dirac in your computer can clean up an frequency or phase irregularities introduced by this crossover arrangement.

C. You have to wait until DLBC becomes available. It might be a while. Best to use DL3 on your computer, Use your receiver + sub to create a genuine high/low pass, and let Dirac sit in front of the crossover and clean up what it can. It will be far superior to 99 percent of what's out there.

D. I'm not aware of Dirac changing crossover setting with anything else but DLBC, but I have zero experience of Dirac on a home theater receiver.

E, Just follow the guidelines with regard to mic positioning. The office is a stereo set up, so point the mic parallel to the ground to a midpoint between the two main speaker. The home setup is a home theater multichannel, so point the mic toward the ceiling. Make certain you are using the proper mic calibration file for each use case. The 90 degree file is for when you point the mic at the ceiling, and the other one is for when you are pointing the mic parallel to the ground.

F. Calibrate the desk in the nearfield, in the same place where you would have your head. Nearfield will have fewer room effects, but Dirac will still correct the FR and the bass which is highly room dependent.
 
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Dumdum

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Ah, two last questions I forgot:

I. For the Dirac microphone positioning, I see that they recommend pointing the mic at the ceiling for multi-channel, and pointing the mic straight at towards the speakers for stereo.

Does that recommendation remain the same for the stereo version on a 2.1 setup doing multiple measurement positions? Or are you supposed to switch and point it to the ceiling like multi-channel? If so, why?


II. For nearfield desktop listening (standing desk that I move up and down a couple times a day), does Dirac still make a big difference? Or will it be less evident since my ears are already exactly 1m from each speaker. (Speakers are Klipsch RP150Ms, when I stand at desk they are at about a 60 degree angle from me)

Thanks again.
For number 1

It’s to do with the polar response of the mic

With two drivers you would point the mic forwards at the centre of the stage perfectly between the two speakers, this way both speakers are equally off axis (30 degrees assuming a 60 degree split) to the mic and the mics response to both speakers will be identical

With multiple speakers you aim it up so all speakers are equally off axis at 90 degrees, that way the response of the surround, front, centre channels is all equal, and bass freqs are omni to a mic anyway so they don’t care if it’s pointed up, down, backwards etc… height speakers are somewhat an oddity, I think I’d measure the ‘floor’ speakers with the vertical mic and then move the mic so it’s at 90 degrees to the heights with the tip in the same place to be 100% anal about it

I hope this helps
 
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