While I appreciate the ability for Roon 1.3 to support PEQ and convolution filters as well as the efforts many here have gone through to advise and instruct on how to use REW and rePhase with Roon – and I plan to do just that (REW) this weekend, I imagine that many users would love to see a more user-friendly calibration/correction process that could be built into the Roon apps.
I just read about the Sonos Trueplay feature that was recently released, and while I have no idea how sophisticated or effective it really is, it is idiot proof. And this part-time idiot finds that option appealing.
Perhaps Roon could offer a simple/basic process using iphone/ipad built in mics and the iOS app for quick results and a more hardcore process using the desktop application and the UMIK-1 for a best of both worlds approach.
i think this would be highly desirable for most users and will attract many new customers to Roon. Assuming the results are good.
i am not sure about that – especially in the case of apple devices that have more uniformity between units of the same model.
i have the AudioTools app from Studio Six Digital on my iphone and ipad. while they do offer their own mic add-on, it has also been calibrated to work with the built-in mic. i may be wrong, but i suspect that even using the built in apple mic will be significantly better than no correction at all. again, i may be wrong.
Eventually there comes a time when one has to spend more money on better equipment and room treatment to improve the sound. I can’t see how this will ever change.
When we put on live music we pay a very experienced live sound engineer with very sophisticated equipment who is capable of fingerprinting the room and adjusting the audio accordingly including altering the front rear delay during the show as the temperature changes. Admittedly he has the extra tasks of balancing the live sound from individual musicians ensuring we get a powerful lively sound without just turning it all up to 11. (We use Mackie Digital 32 Chanel on the Master Fader App)
So the point I’m making is that audio is complex and simple solutions only go so far. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them, you may get lucky.
Enjoy the music…
I think it’s a good idea in principle, although personally I think Dirac native or via it’s AU plugin is the holy grail - easy and great results - and fits the user base better. But yes, it costs (I think it’s worth it).
I read an article about the Sonos system. I think they went iPhone exactly because the measurements were consistent across phones - i.e. decent build quality / QA - unlike some other more fragmented brands/OS’s. How effective it is compared to something like Dirac I’m not sure - don’t have any Sonos.
Unless they open source it I don’t see Roon developing one of their own to implement. Designing software that just lets the user wave an iPhone around and then sets up an EQ is far from trivial, and Sonos have a lot of resources and sell a lot of devices so the added USP likely generates revenue. The other advantage they have is it only has to work with a small range of products, and Ines who’s measurements and limitations are well known to them since it’s their own hardware. I really like the idea though - everyone should have access to good room EQ.
I have toyed around with TrueSound, but it is not something you would want to employ in any critical listening environment. It somewhat works, but then again – Sonos boxes are hardly in the audiophile ballpark.
I totally agree with you, but I think that that vast majority of users have (very) acoustically compromised spaces, and while some of us would love to slather them in absorbers, diffusers, and bass traps in every shape and color, the reality is that we are very limited in what we can get away with – often because the listening space also serves other purposes or we or our partners/families care about aesthetics. So room correction is a compelling option.
In some markets you can hire a pro to come in with their high precision mics and other kit and perform all the measurements and adjustments on your behalf, but that is not something I find appealing to me – not that it is an option in my country. But I also feel that Roon has done such a great job in reigniting the passion and pleasure of “playing” and engaging with our music, that it would be an amazing extension of that experience to also help fix our spaces and allow us a simple/simpler way of compensating for our listening spaces. Ideally with better mics – hopefully my UMIK-1 arrives today, but even with basic mics from iOS devices that many/most of us have lying around OR can be borrowed easily.
Even if there is an aspect of trial and error and perhaps less than ideal results with the iOS mics, it will likely still be an improvement with some rooms (like mine). And if users see even slight improvements, they may be encouraged to then run the advanced setup with a better mic with better confidence. This would also be an aspect of Roon that In my opinion would be able to draw in a completely new range of customers to Roon.
And if the results are terrible, you can always disable the filter – but at least you would have not gone through too much trouble and cost to get there.
I’m trying to enjoy the music, but my damn rooms keep getting in the way!
I have also been monitoring Dirac Live. But I’m not certain how to get it into my chain uniformly without it getting in the way. Some amps and AV receivers (e.g. Arcam) come with DL built-in. But I’m not sure I am ready for that investment. I am also not convinced that DL should be limited to hardware implementations. I would love it if it was implemented in Roon so that the filters could be applies to all my zones without requiring dedicated hardware in each location.
Unfortunately, it does not seem that Dirac is very proactive or flexible in terms of their their licensing options, so I am not sure if we will ever see this.
I am also not familiar with what is possible with AU plugins and what impact that might have on the chain. MQA decoding adds it’s own complications to the mix as well, but perhaps (almost certainly) software decoding in Roon + convolution/DL filters will outweigh full DAC decoding of MQA.
I read an interview with the designer of Elac speakers / subs where he explained why the mic in the iPhone was good enough for the Elac equalisation app that controlled the EQ in their sub. Ive just had a quick look and couldn’t find it. If I find it later I’ll post below.
Excuse me for replying to myself. I compared the SPL readings in REW when using my UMIK-1 with the calibration file and SPL & SPL Pro iOS apps from AudioTools / Studio Six Digital on my iPhone 6s and iPad Air 2. There was about a 20dB difference when measuring the ambient room noise (45dB regardless of weighting on the iOS devices vs 65dB on the UMIK-1). I have not compared it to my actual dedicated SPL meter yet, but I suspect that the results would agree with the UMIK-1.
This does not mean that the UMIK-1 and iOS devices are completely off, though. I currently am experiencing noise in the 20Hz - 50Hz range from a source that I cannot identify. It might be that the iOS devices are not effective in at least some of those frequencies. I suppose I could compare RTA plots to better determine if that is the case, but I have not had time to do so.
The video with Andrew Jones demonstrates how they implemented their solution based on mobile/tablet built-in mics. It includes near field and seating position measurements.
The process is very simple, but I have no idea how well it works or if:
it can measure L/R separately (not shown in the video)
it can measure more than one seating position and average results
it can add any house curve or additional EQ
That said, the above are not the core challenges, it is more simply being able to use the built-in mics accurately on all iOS and Android devices. I would love to know if they have really solved that with a reasonable amount of accuracy.
is what i read though i dont remember reading it on the ELAC site at the time - maybe another site had copied idk. In any case its Q5 specifically and as you say uses the difference in the 2 x measurements.
I still hope that Roon can deliver something similar in the future. Since Dirac mentions that this Mobile Dirac Live is intended for more basic consumer use rather than custom installers (and I assume they are referring to the quality/accuracy of the results rather than the simplicity), Roon might consider having their app allow plugging in the UMIK-1 for better results. I’ve seen this UMIK-1 + iPad combo used with the AudioTools:
It would be a neat feature, especially with a guide like Dirac to make it easy to get everything correct. Just frequency/amplitude correction is enough, at least for a first version. And then correct to a flat frequency curve and have a number of precreated (and modifiable) equalizer house curves to select from.
You will need an external mic though, the microphone in a smartphone is not enough.