A guide how to do room correction and use it in Roon

For completeness I have done a combined L&R measurement 1/6 smoothed and overlaid over a ‘perfect’ house curve and also against a completely flat response as well as a 1/1 smoothed one. Note a perfectly flat response sounds pretty horrid to me - I have tried it using a convolution file and HQP - and it is pretty common for people to dislike a perfectly flat response hence the development of the so called ‘house curve’ which. I felt an L&R combined measurement pertinent as the reflections from both speakers together interact with each other.

The pale blue line is a flat response and the dark blue/turquoise line is the theoretical house curve and the red my measurements

The first graph is with my REW graph averaged to 1/1 octave which is the overall mean output from the speakers, the second is 1/6 smoothing to compare directly with the separate L&R graphs previously. The curve I used is the Harman curve and is available here for anyone that is interested - Harman Curve

The 1/1 smoothed one pretty much follows the ‘ideal’ perfectly. Sure I could tweak a bit with a convolution file but given I use other sources than digital it is nice having the room largely sorted.


Great guide! Tack @Magnus!

Would be wonderful with a REW integration into Roon. Any thoughts about this @danny? Maybe something to put on the roadmap? Like automatic transfer of convolution files to core and Roon as playback for test sounds. :blush:

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Since Roon supports convolution files directly from REW, I think the next step is to add full support for room correction in Roon (measurement, create filters etc). Even if it only handled frequency adjustment it would be a great help if the GUI was easy to use, like for example Dirac step-by-step guide (REW is not exactly easy to get into).

Or maybe a Dirac integration with a one-time cost for “Dirac Roon edition” which would enable Dirac and Roon to work together seamlessly (as opposite to Roon and Dirac today).

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Hi dannybgoode, could you describe the type of optimizations the acoustics expert did for you that worked?

Was it for example speakers placement “radical” type of changes (moving them more than 50cm) or “fine tuning” (couple of cm which several people claim have significant effect)?

Thx

I had got it pretty good already so it was minor changes and also tuning the sub to integrate much better.

There’s a lot of furniture in the room including a rather large wardrobe which was causing issues so it was a case of manipulating the modes and dips to counteract each other through repositioning.

It was an interesting process; a couple of hours of listening to my music as adjustments were made until I was happy. I could have ending up at a similar point through trial and error by having someone there who does this for a living made the whole process quicker.

That’d be a paradigm shift for Dirac: their entire model is based on a per-location license. There’s also the question of what their deal is with automakers, and user experience consistency: with the (hopefully, eventually) upcoming Roon-on-the-go, how do you deal with users who wouldn’t understand why they can’t use their nice and expensive Dirac license in their car ? Finally, there’s the, let’s say, aloofness : while @flak offered a way around Dirac’s limitations with the VST suggestion, which is great and exactly what one’d expect from a coms guy, he not only (and very admittedly) didn’t take the time to actually look at ROCK in-depth before answering, but also didn’t seem to care to address the specificities of the different products. It’s great for them that their business is so vibrant they can ignore a platform with tens of thousands of users, and a disappointing conclusion for Roon users, but given what we’ve seen, it’d seem like the logical conclusion is that Dirac consider that they’re on top of the world and that Roon are the ones who should come kiss the ring, and thus that everyone’s best interest would be better suited by NOT pushing for Dirac-Roon-Edition.

It was just a spur of the moment idea, maybe Dirac and Roon will never marry. But you also have Audiolense and Acourate. There are even open-source solutions with correct handling of time-domain corrections (but I forgot the name).

Personally I don’t like the way Roon seems to be going the last years, towards mainstream and away from focus on sound quality and sound quality features.

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Completely agreed. There’s a couple of other higher-end, closed-source solutions which might make good candidates as well (Trinnov is one, Illusonic another), and there’s certainly other stuff. One of the things that Roon has going for it is that you essentially have unlimited computing power. Assuming it’s of use, I don’t see how it wouldn’t be imaginable to have it quickly generate a good but not as good as can be filter, and then transparently do heavy math in the background over a few days to hone the result into something that’d be better than what a normal person would bear waiting in front of their screen to get, for example.

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Most of whats needed is in Roon already (but maybe not as good as it could be). DRC in Roon could for example be something like this:

  1. Measuring window in Roon, allows sweep measures or RTA moving mic measures
  2. A window for designing house curve, with a good H&K alike house curve as default.
  3. Generate PEQ filters from measurement and house curve
  4. Allow user to fine tune the PEQ while listening
  5. Once user is happy with result, generate and use a convolution file for normal listening

This would basically cover what I have in this guide, but much easier and without external software. If time domain corrections are involved, it could also produce better results than this guide does. And 3-5 is (more or less) already in place in Roon.

One thing that Roon needs though is a PEQ and convolution engine that sounds better. I have compared same convolution in Roon and in HQPlayer and HQPlayer does produce better sound quality but with more latency (the difference is very noticeable on a transparent HiFi system).

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I just tried the latest beta from REW, and it seems auto-correct has changed to the better. Much fewer filters used now. It can still go a little crazy at the higher frequency but that can easily be corrected manually.

On a related note, if you want to lower or raise treble, I have had good success with a filter at 20khz with Q value or 0.1 to 0.2 and a few dB up or down. It gives a nice smooth slope that ends at around 1-2Khz (depending on Q) and does not seem to give any changes in sound quality except the wanted change in treble.

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Chris - do you know of any that can do this stuff for you? Like use Acourate or something similar and get the best result in your room? Makes sense to those that don’t have any experience in this area.

You will find all sound engineers are out of work right now and it would be worth finding one local to you. Perhaps contact a local venue or the local live music magazine publishers.
We have a free mag called The Grapevine.

The one downside to this route is that you’ll need to call your engineer back the moment you upgrade equipment or rearrange your room. Depending on your habits that might be once every few years, which is fine, right up to every few weeks, which could get expensive.

I spent a while playing with REW for Roon with some good results, and a UMIK mic isn’t expensive. I certainly learnt a lot and got the DIY confidence to go it alone. In then end I bought a miniDSP Dirac box as I wanted room correction for the TV and the guest Bluetooth feed that bypasses Roon. While the Dirac box isn’t plug and play simple, it’s not far off. The results are pretty good.

That said I like @Chrislayeruk’s idea of passing some work to folk who’ve been left without it…

There are people who do professional measurements and corrections, but they mostly works for studios and will cost a fair chunk of money. And as noted, as soon as you make some changes you need employ that guy again.

I think there are a couple of better options for the typical listening room, if you want to take the next step up from a guide like this:

  1. Buy a professional and easy-to-use solution like Dirac
  2. The best option in my opinion: do sweep measurements and send to homeaudiofidelity, it will cost a little but much cheaper than what a professional guy visiting you will cost. And the results are very good.

If I built a special room for HiFi (like a studio or a very good listening room), I would consider a professional guy though, but then we are talking of a whole lot of more money in total probably way more than $10k).

Yeah I just came across homeaudiofidelity - he’s currently on vacations but will look forward to linking in when he gets back.

Thank you @Magnus for this great guide. I have have recently received a UMIK-1 so I can now dive into the world of REW with Roon as well. Although I am very curious about the results, it is quite complex stuff for a newbie to room correction. So thank you for creating this guide!

Hi @Magnus I am one of those folks who offers professional measurements and corrections remotely, both for studios and HiFi:

https://accuratesound.ca

The cost is well under $1k and that gets you up to 6 correction filter sets. Most folks don’t hit the limit and come back months later for another set if they happen to change something material, free of charge. If one goes past the limit of 6 filter sets, then it is a nominal fee, not the full charge.

I only use commercial DSP software like Acourate and Audiolense in which I have provided walkthroughs and a book on the how to use step by step if folks are so inclined. Or can call me for the service.

How can I do it remotely? If folks are after accurate sound, there is an “ideal” response, both in the frequency and time domain as discussed in this article on “What is Accurate Sound.”

Keep up the great work!

Kind regards,
Mitch

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Thank you so very much for this terrific guide. I got so inspired that I ordered a measuring mike, and am looking forward to trying this out next weekend.

One question please, if I may. On Step 14, is the sample rate number sacrosanct for some reason, or is this a variable?Also, I am not exactly sure what you mean by “each frequency.” What exactly do I do at this step, after doing all of the above, please? This is the only step that is not clear to this ignoramus after all the wonderful descriptions earlier.

Thank you!

It should match the music, if not than Roon will perform internal re-sampling oif the convolution file.

But the GUI has changed since I wrote the guide, it looks like this now and you can use these values (except for input):

This will create 4 .wav files with the sample rate in the file name, zip them together and use from Roon and then Roon will select the best one depending on input sample rate.

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Thank you so very much! Greatly appreciated. Just one more thing, please. Is there any reason you have not selected the other, higher sample rates, especially given that some of Tidal’s offerings are in those neighborhoods?