Dirac Live is a powerful solution that helps you get the best from your speakers. Dirac Live and its various features use research-driven acoustic processing algorithms to analyze your room and reduce its impact on sound quality, resulting in speaker performance that would be physically impossible otherwise.
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Dirac Live® Room Correction
Hear your music – not your room
No matter how much or how little you’ve invested in your sound system, the room will always impact the sound quality – an all too often overlooked fact. Dirac Live Room Correction software deals with these challenges in a unique way. It addresses issues that no other product on the market can. That’s why it’s been adopted by the world’s leading manufacturers of high-end audio-video equipment and praised by audiophiles and music creators all over the world.
The importance of timing
Room correction solutions have been around for decades. Still, at Dirac, we realized they only act as advanced equalizers, smoothing the frequency curve but totally missing the timing aspect. Room reflections and misaligned speakers cause sounds to arrive at your ears with different time delays. These time shifts blur the sound image. That’s why we developed Dirac Live. Based on patented technology, Dirac Live optimizes the sound with respect to frequency and time. It does so not only in one sweet spot but over the whole listening area, be it a chair, a sofa, or an auditorium.
Key benefits of Dirac Live
1. Improved localization of sound events, so-called staging.
2. Better clarity and intelligibility in music and speech.
3. A deeper and tighter bass free of resonances throughout the entire listening area.
Who needs Dirac Live® Room Correction?
Dirac Live® is designed for both home and professional audio applications. For instance, Datasat and StormAudio use it for their high-performance cinema and audio processors; Arcam and NAD use it for an ultimate sound experience in home cinema. Car manufacturers like Bentley, BMW, Rolls Royce, and Volvo also use Dirac Live® technology. But you don’t have to be a wealthy audiophile to enjoy Dirac Live Room Correction. We empower any consumer to enhance their sound systems without breaking the bank.
Dirac Live Room Correction features
Dirac Live Room Correction combines cutting edge technology with a focus on usability.
- Impulse response correction: Where other room correction solutions deal only with the magnitude, Dirac Live will improve the entire impulse response of the system through our patented mixed-phase technology.
- New Auto Target Curve: The new Auto Target Curve replaces our old one-size-fits-all model and is automatically generated based on your speakers’ performance. It more faithfully reflects the inherent character of the measured system, minus the adverse acoustic effects of the room. You can now enjoy drastically improved sound without having to make a single adjustment.
- Multiple filter profiles: You can create different settings depending on where you sit, the content you’re listening to, or even one for each family member.
Dirac Live Room Correction tiers
Dirac Live adds value to any sound system, be it an entry-level soundbar, a high-end home theater system, or a professional recording studio. To offer our business partners flexibility for licensing Dirac Live, we’ve developed three tiers.
- Ready: The system is prepared for Dirac Live Room Correction. Just purchase an end-user license to activate it.
- Limited bandwidth: The system can perform room correction up to 500 Hz, and the target curve can be tailored within this range. This correction is sufficient to deal with the bass and voice areas but not the entire audible spectrum. Upgrade Limited bandwidth to full bandwidth.
- Full bandwidth: This is the top tier of the room correction feature. It allows the system to be corrected across the entire frequency range while giving you full control of the target curve.
You can choose between the stereo and the multi-channel version if you purchase a Dirac Live Room Correction Suite license that runs on your PC.
Dirac Live Calibration Guide
Dirac Live® Bass Control
The challenge of multi-subwoofer bass management is finally solved using software!
While room correction software improves your speaker system, subwoofers – which produce the low-frequency bass tones – have historically gone unaddressed. As a result, these sound waves bounce throughout a space, interfering with each other to create an uneven bass distribution in a room – good bass in certain areas and no bass in others. As a result, the listening experience varies depending on your position in the room.
With the unique Dirac Live® Bass Control feature, we’ve solved the bass challenges with software, and it’s easy to use. Just set the target curve, and our algorithms will make sure that all your subwoofers support your full-range speakers to achieve it – no more guesswork or trial and error.
Bass Control features
- Correction of areas with sound gaps (bass decline)
- Smoother bass reproduction in the crossover area
- Bass Management on multiple subwoofers
- Flexible subwoofer placement in the listening space
- Visual representation of the predicted bass performance (subwoofer and speaker summation)
Dirac Live Bass Control tiers
Dirac Live Bass Control is offered to our partners in different tiers to allow business flexibility.
- Ready: Standard bass management, but you see the predicted in-room response in our room correction software.
- Single Subwoofer: Measurement-based filter design seamlessly blends your single subwoofer with the full-range speakers that need bass management.
- Multi Subwoofer: Measurement-based filter design seamlessly blends all your subwoofers with the full-range speakers that need bass management. It also has a unique AI-based algorithm that co-optimizes all your subwoofers so that variations in the bass between the different measurement points are minimized.
“When you run Dirac Live, it doesn’t really matter what studio you’re working in. The design of the space doesn’t matter; its construction doesn’t matter. The software compensates for the nuances of each studio so that, as a producer, I hear that true, faithful sound I’m trying to achieve.”
How does Dirac Live® Room Correction work?
Advanced, yet easy to use
You don’t have to be an expert in signal processing or computer science to enjoy the benefits of Dirac Live. We make it easy for all users. Our software sends a test signal through your system. It analyzes the response and builds an acoustic model of the room to detect deficiencies. After careful analysis, Dirac Live® corrects for both the timing and amplitude aspects of the sound to deliver a uniquely pristine listening experience. Advanced users are free to edit the target response as desired using a simple graphical interface. Otherwise, just press “Optimize” for the most lifelike reproduction of your favorite music.
What makes Dirac Live® superior to other room correction technologies?
Unlimited computational power
Most other room correction solutions are integrated in the equipment. Dirac Live combines the CPUs in your PC or smartphone with our cloud backend when calculating the absolute best solution. The resulting room correction filters run in the equipment. That means almost unlimited computational horsepower. Dirac Live isn’t limited by the chipset that a manufacturer designed into their equipment.
Rich user experience
Running Dirac Live on your PC or Smartphone provides a much richer user experience and better interactivity – much better than an on-screen display with a remote control. Dirac Live lets you design your sound with your fingertips.
Impulse response correction
The computational horsepower enables Dirac Live to perform highly advanced calculations that optimize both the frequency and impulse response over the listening area.
Why impulse response correction matters
All room correction systems try to even out the amount of energy present in each frequency band, usually referred to as equalization. Measuring the system supplies the information needed to understand how a specific audio system alters the tonal balance. It’s well known how to calculate a filter to restore the balance. So far, so good, but this isn’t enough to make sure the system sounds good. Here are a few examples, some silly, but revealing nonetheless, as to what tonal balance means, and doesn’t mean, for perceived audio quality:
- Your system plays all music in reverse. The music is the same, and the instruments are the same, so the tonal balance must be the same. But it sure doesn’t sound right.
- You’ve connected one of your front speakers out of phase. The out-of-phase speaker will have the same tonal balance, but the combination of two speakers playing stereo content will have a horrible sound stage. This conflict occurs because everything is spatially
- Your bass is booming all over the place and has no detail at all. Again, the system’s tonal balance doesn’t take into account when a sound is played, only that it’s reproduced somehow. Therefore, it’s often recommended to have sealed subwoofers for music listening. They tend to have better phase behavior (basically faster response). On the other hand, ported subwoofers tend to give you much more bass for their size but aren’t as well controlled as a sealed box.
The list could go on, but the message is clear. Phase and timing may be tricky to understand, and interpreting phase plots can be confusing. Still, they play a vital role in making sure we can enjoy good audio.
Technical deep dive
White Paper — Room correction and equalization of sound systems
What is the time domain, and why is it important?
At Dirac, we believe that the reproduction of transients is critical for a truly natural and transparent sound. For example, the stereo image is critically dependent on the time-domain differences and similarities between the sound at the left ear and the right ear. Dirac’s impulse response correction improves the depth, positioning, and distinction of individual voices and instruments.
Mixed-phase room correction technology
Using a look-ahead buffer enables impulse response correction. Minimum-phase and linear-phase room correction filters can’t physically perfect the acoustic impulse response in a room. At best, they can minimize problems caused by the application of a filter. Room-acoustic responses are non-minimum-phase, which is why Dirac Live® uses mixed-phase correction. Dirac Live® is unique in that it improves the impulse response throughout the listening area, not just in a particular zone.
Dirac Live® uses several measurement positions (typically 9) in the listening room, making it possible to find and correct acoustic problems accurately. In terms of the impulse response, this means optimization of the direct wave and early reflections. Generally, at higher frequencies, there’s less consistent time-domain behavior. Dirac Live® room correction automatically finds consistent problems in a frequency-dependent way and corrects for them. However, after addressing consistent time-domain behavior, there may still be some late reverberation in the room that causes subtle coloration. Dirac Live® corrects these in the frequency domain to achieve just the right resolution.
Impulse response correction
A loudspeaker’s impulse response affects clarity, detail, and all spatial aspects of the sound. Dirac Live® is unique in that it corrects the impulse response throughout the listening area, not just at a single point. By focusing on consistent problems across the measurement positions and correcting only these anomalies, Dirac Live® can achieve a faster decay time. Typically, the power ratio between the direct wave and the tail (later-arriving echoes) is improved by 6 dB or more, resulting in a vastly improved overall sound.
Frequency response correction
Why is it that the same frequency response can sound so different from room to room? To a great extent, the answer lies in the time-domain aspects of the measured frequency response and with critical differences in the spatial (angular) domain. Frequency response correction becomes more effective by addressing time-domain problems as such and not as minimum-phase spectral problems. After having conducted time-domain correction, we then treat the spectral colorations in a room. By paying particular attention to the variations across different measurement positions – not just the average – we can make sure not to overcompensate.
Implementation for best accuracy
Traditional EQ uses IIR filters for the lowest processor usage. Many room correction filters use FIR filters for ease of implementation and sound optimization. IIR and FIR filters both have their pros and cons. At Dirac, we use a proprietary filter structure that achieves maximum performance at much less processor usage than regular FIR filters. This filter structure also has great numerical properties and thus doesn’t produce any digital noise – thereby achieving enhanced sound optimization.
Choosing a target response
A flat frequency response does not necessarily sound neutral due to the ratio between direct and reverberant sound and the frequency-variable propagation loss. Dirac Live® can’t remove late reflections because they change too much between various positions. Therefore, a slight roll-off is often appropriate when listening at a distance. The Dirac Live® algorithm suggests a target response right for your listening environment and speakers. You can, of course, adjust to your taste using our simple graphical interface.