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sonarworks, dirac, acourate

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#1
Has anyone opinions about how sonarworks compares to the other two apps listed above? Sonarworks generates a curve and this curve can be implemented systemwide with a plug in for either pc or mac. Interestingly, they also have a headphone calibration tool - whatever that could be. I haven't used it yet but really don't know how you measure a headphone with a mic.
 

amirm

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#2
I have Dirac and can try to compare it to Sonarworks. It seems though that Sonarworks only comes in plug-in format for pro audio software, not as a device driver emulation like Dirac. Where do they say that it can be a global filter for the OS?

On acourate, member Dallasjustice has thrown out Dirac in favor of Acourate. Maybe Michael can reply if he sees this.
 
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#4
I have Dirac and can try to compare it to Sonarworks. It seems though that Sonarworks only comes in plug-in format for pro audio software, not as a device driver emulation like Dirac. Where do they say that it can be a global filter for the OS?

On acourate, member Dallasjustice has thrown out Dirac in favor of Acourate. Maybe Michael can reply if he sees this.
http://sonarworks.com/2016/03/system-wide-calibration/
 

amirm

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#5

amirm

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#7
Huh, never tried it with Soundflower.

Too bad that's only local and doesn't work for streaming.
It looks like a sound card so all apps should work including streaming. Did they say it does not?
 

watchnerd

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#8
It looks like a sound card so all apps should work including streaming. Did they say it does not?
On OSX, Soundflower shows up as a device much like an external DAC.

But I don't think Roon Core, for example, goes through any devices at all (virtual or otherwise) if I'm only streaming and not playing anything locally.

I can try it out and see.
 

Theo

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#9
Did anyone tried Sonarworks? From their website, it seems that they have standalone apps which do not require a DAW. I have tried it a couple of years ago in their DAW version, but it induced some drop outs, probably a bug. It did improve the HD800 significantly ... between the drop outs...
 

Gabs

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#10
I'm working with sonarworks for several days.
I can say that at the moment I have a big problem.
I use the Mojo, so my Wasapi system is upsampled to 32 bits 384 Khz.
I think sonaworks does not like that. I can hear a severy drop in audio quality when using sonarworks system wide.
When used as a VST in Foobar (ASIO mode + VST wrapper), is seems better, but the audio is still less good thant without it.

But I find this software very interesting (I'm a newbie) to understand response curves, linerarity, etc. All my headphones are listed (Porta Pro, HE400i, PM3 and SR80e) so it's a joy to tweak and compare !
The linear phase mode is reassuring.
 

Theo

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#11
Thanks Gabs. That does not sound very encouraging... I'm not very familiar with the Wasapi to Mojo process: where does the upsampling take place? Is it within the Soundworks app, or after, in the Wasapi system? Have you tried keeping the original sampling rate at a standard 16bits - 44kHz ?
 

Gabs

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#13
...I can't find any info of it's 16 or 24 or 32 bits...so I will try in 24 bits mode...
 

Gabs

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#14
OK here is what I found :
Sonarworks create a sound peripheral that I can configure up to 32 bits 192Khz.
What is worrying is that the user guide asks the system to be configured in 44.1Khz mode to calibrate the speakers...so I assume that all calibration profiles are base on a 44.1Khz reference.
Maybe I'm wrong but my understanding is that Sonarworks systemwide is working in 192Khz mode so all the adjustements are less destructive to the source signal.
In foobar, vst mode, ASIO mode, Windows ("systemwide") is bypassed so that the sampling rate matches Sonarworks. When I play a 44.1 file, it display 44.1. When I play a 192khz file, it displays a 192Khz file.
And the sound to my ears seems nice.
At the moment I cannot play files above 192Khz, and DSD.
 

Gabs

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#15
(sorry for all the posts)
What is more disturbing is that is a switch on/off in the software. But the "off" as nothing to do with the software really shut down. It seems there is a default filter applied to the sound even if the software is turned off. You have to really close the software to find back the "real "sound of your headphones.
 

Theo

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#16
In foobar, vst mode, ASIO mode, Windows ("systemwide") is bypassed so that the sampling rate matches Sonarworks. When I play a 44.1 file, it display 44.1. When I play a 192khz file, it displays a 192Khz file.
And the sound to my ears seems nice.
Just to be sure that I understand. When you say it sounds nice, are you refering to what comes out of Sonarworks into the Mojo into your headphones or is Sonarworks by passed? As you were saying before :
I can hear a severy drop in audio quality when using sonarworks system wide.
Question to Amir : Have you been able to compare it to Acourate?
 

Gabs

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#17
As you say Theo, I'm refering to what comes out of Sonarworkds into the Mojo into my headphones. It's windows which is bypassed.
 

Olli

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#18
Any update on this? I would be even more interested in if anyone has compared Acourate vs Dirac.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#19
I have not tried Sonarworks. I have used the Mch PC version of Dirac quite happily for years. The do have a VST plugin for playback, but technically it is still a Beta available only on special request, although it has been out for a couple of years. I have been very happy with the VST plugged into JRiver.

Dirac 2.0 is also currently in Beta, but they are doing a really terrible job with the Beta. Functionality has been stripped down in major ways, like no Mch yet. Supposedly, it will be fully and officially VST-oriented and it will support up to 384k sampling on a PC, up from 192k currently in 1.0.

Dirac is much more of a consumer and semi-pro package than others. Limited versions of it even appear in some luxury cars. It does support extensive target frequency curve editing. But, it lacks many user control features and options that Acourate, Audiolense, etc. do have, if you feel you need and want them. Dirac's algorithm appears to be very sophisticated internally, although something of a proprietary black box, but it is still quite easy to learn and to use. Others seem much more complex to learn, calibrate and use.

It is also entirely predicated on multipoint averaging, unlike many other tools which are single point. This makes it difficult to perform accurate, independent post-calibration measurements, if you feel the need. And, arguments do rage about single vs. multipoint, inconclusively in my view. Calibration is still fairly quick, in spite of the multiple mic positions.

For my use and from a sonic standpoint, I am highly unlikely to switch from Dirac. I have recommended it to others, and they have similar levels of high satisfaction with it, replacing Audyssey+Audyssey Pro, for example. But, for those who like to tinker and fine tune things, other choices may be the way to go. I personally prefer to spend more time listening to music and less time learning a complex software suite and tinkering.
 

Olli

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#20
Thanks! But so you haven’t tried acourate yet, right?
 

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