Introducing Dirac into my system


Can anyone tell me in which domain Dirac occurs? I want to use it within my system somehow but need to work out which component it is that I have to add/replace. Is it somewhere in the digital domain?

You can experiment with room correction in roon in the digital domain for very little outlay and without any physical device at all as roon supports software convolution in its DSP. To do that you need to purchase an inexpensive calibrated USB microphone and download REW (freeware room measurement software) to record and equalise the filters. It is all explained here by our very own @Magnus

It all looks a bit intimidating, but once you get your head around it, it is very simple. Using the RTA feature of REW and the moving microphone method (literally waving the mic around the listening area) I was able to record and equalise the zipped WAV files roon needs in about 20 mins. I cannot remember the last time any upgrade to DACs, amps. speakers, streamers has made such an impact to my perceived SQ.

The next step is hardware convolution where you can get both REW and Dirac enabled devices at various price points from miniDSP. Dirac uses a more complex fixed microphone recording method whereby 9 to 12 fixed measurements around the listening area are taken. If you are starting out I would just stick with REW and the much simpler moving microphone method until you get the hang of the process.

My experience has been so positive that I have an SDH from miniDSP on order, mainly so I can integrate my analogue sources as they are now essentially unlistenable after experiencing what room correction can do.

Unfortunately the miniDSP SDH has been swept up in the new stricter rules concerning “roon ready” certification. It is not currently roon ready and I don’t know what the timescales, if any ,are. I plan to use the device for my analogue sources so I am not concerned. I’ll be experimenting with roon and the SDH also, of course, but I already have a simple REW+roon solution for my streamed sources so it is not a major concern.

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Dirac works in the digital domain. In fact, it will resample the incoming audio for its own processing, I think, 24/48. However, that is something you should definitely investigate if high resolution matters to you.

Thanks Rugby. If it’s in the digital domain does that mean it has to be at some point before the DAC right?

It’s strange you can’t just buy some sort of room correction device or at least just a streamer with room correction included

But you can. There are many options and many price points. A popular entry-level “box” is this one from miniDSP. There are also many ways of doing this both “before” and “after” the DAC. See the network diagram in this link where the box is after the DAC (assuming your DAC has both digital inputs and outputs).

MiniDSP also have various all in one solutions that are streamer, pre-amp, DAC and Dirac room correction, eliminating a lot of boxes. This one, unfortunately is currently not “roon ready” (although I understand they are working on it) but it still (for the moment) works as a roon bridge.

There are many other brands replacing one or more of your boxes and at much higher prices. For example, there are quite a few amps now with room correction. In this case the room correction is also after your DAC.

If “roon ready” is important to you, you will have to do your homework with many of these manufacturers as roon’s stricter enforcement is making manufacturer claims, for a while at least, more uncertain.

With all these hardware solutions, you have to remember that you will still have to manually build, using a calibrated microphone, the filters, that describe the resonance characteristics of your listening room to the room correction device. In that sense, none of these hardware solutions work “out of the box”. Typically this is done with REW, Dirac or other manufacturer proprietary software.

Before committing to what may be a major expense, which depending on your listening room may not make much of a difference (or make things worse), you may want to consider going through the process of learning how to build these filters in software, before committing to purchasing a hardware device, as roon DSP can process these filters with no additional hardware required. HQPlayer can also do this. With both these software solutions, in effect, the software processing is done before your DAC.

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