"A game changer for the industry"

Rami Yacoub, Music Producer/Songwriter

Dirac Live Processor

The Dirac Live Processor is a software interface for processing audio data through Dirac Live filters. The processor itself cannot generate filters, only store and process them, and therefore requires an external software, the Dirac Live audio calibration software, for the measurement procedure and filter design. In this guide we will go through the process of creating and using a filter with Dirac Live Processor.

Install

Follow the install procedure in the Dirac Live Processor installer

After having run the installer without any changes to the install paths the plug-ins should have been placed in the normal folders for your operating system. These are:
• Windows
Program Files/Common Files/VST2
Program Files/Common Files/VST3
Program Files/Common Files/Avid/Audio/Plug-Ins

• MacOS
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3
/Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-Ins

Using Dirac Live Processor

Start your DAW and locate Dirac Live Processor plugin in the plugin menu, depending on your DAW you might need additional steps to activate the plugin.

When you first start the Dirac Live Processor plugin no filter exists. You need to create new filters using the Dirac Live audio calibration software.

It is important that the audio stream is active when connecting Dirac Live audio calibration software so make sure to press play in your DAW

Dirac Live audio calibration software initial setup and device detection

  • If you have not already installed the software, download Dirac Live from live.dirac.com/download. your computer also needs to be connected to the internet for licensing purposes.
  • A microphone must be connected to the computer running Dirac Live Processor
  • In the first screen after launching Dirac Live, you will be able to enter your account details. Login is required in order to use purchased features, but also to save/restore any project.
  • Dirac Live will scan the network for compatible devices – the resulting list can be refreshed by clicking the refresh icon. Clicking the device selects it and proceeds.

Select recording device

  • Select the microphone that you wish to use, either the one connected to the device or the one connected to his computer
  • Please avoid the computer’s built-in microphone
  • All available recording devices will appear in this step. If available, a microphone calibration file (.txt) can be loaded by pressing the button with the text “No microphone calibration” in the illustration.

Volume calibration

In this step the output volume of each speaker is set. This is important as too low or high volumes can result in poor or failed measurements, excessive volume could possible even damage the speakers.The following procedure is meant to make sure that the playback volume for all speakers is reasonable. It is sufficient that the speakers are approximately of a level since the software will automatically adjust this.

  1. Place the microphone in the middle of the listening area.
  2. Make sure the master output level is at a low setting.
  3. Select a speaker, for instance front left, and press the “play” button for that speaker You should now see a reading above the play/stop button that represent the recording level. If you slowly increase the Master Output level you should see the level bar for the selected speaker increase. If not, go back and check the microphone connection.
  4. Increase the Master output until either the level bar for the selected speaker is in the green area, or  The output level is loud, but not uncomfortably.
  5. When the process is done the level bars for all speakers should read roughly the same value, as in within 15dB.

Select Studio arrangement

Measurements

  • Make sure there is a clear line-of-sight between microphone and speaker, no background noise (tv, radio, AC, etc.) while doing the measurements and remember to keep the microphone still, preferably using a stand or similar. A sweep will be played in turn through each speaker and a final sweep will be played through the first speaker once more.
  • The main position: This is where you head is most likely to be, and it is the most important position to place correctly.
  • Spacing and order: In general, the positions should be 40 – 60 cm apart, however the exact placement or order of the remaining positions is not crucial, and the position layout is there only as a guide.
  • Number of measurements: You may do fewer measurements than the full set before proceeding to Filter Design, but we recommend going through the full set for best results.

There is an autosave function to prevent losing work, however, after completing the measurements would be a good time to save your project by selecting Save project in the hamburger menu (upper left corner).

Potential problems and workarounds during measurement:

  • Clipping: If the level is too high during measurement, the signal will clip, and the measurement will be terminated. Return to Volume calibration to reduce the gain of the corresponding speaker or master volume of the system.
  • Low SNR (signal-to-noise ratio): If the level is too low during measurement, it is difficult for the application to discern signal and background noise. Return to Volume calibration to increase gain of the corresponding speaker or master volume of the system
  • Lost samples: the buffer size might be too low in your DAW settings.

Filter Design

After completing the measurements, Dirac Live will automatically generate suggested target curve(s) (frequency response) and resulting filters intended to make the sound image in your room as even as possible. These curves can be adjusted to your preferences.

  • Add/delete control points by right clicking on the curve
  • Modify any target curve by dragging the control points
  • Modify the frequency range that Dirac Live will compensate by dragging the curtains (left/right). The dotted lines indicate the automatically detected sound thresholds. Outside of these limits no correction will be applied, i.e. the audio signal will not be adjusted in the frequency area on either side of the curtains (shadow area).
  • The frequency response will be calculated in real-time in order to continuously see the expected result and to be able to continue to make adjustments before settling on a filter design.
  • Custom target curves (.txt or .targetcurve format) can be loaded, see option in hamburger menu (top left).
  • Take snapshot function will create a snapshot of the current state – if a change is made to a target curve, it is possible to switch between snapshots without having to save/load projects.
  • Zoom in/out by using pinch zoom on touchpads and scroll wheel if using a desktop mouse, panning can be achieved by hold+drag.
  • Select different display options depending on preference in the lower right corner.

The impulse response illustrates the precision and distinctness to the sound before and after Dirac Live compensation.

  • To inspect the impulse response, you can compare the measured and corrected response side-by-side or separately and more, by selecting the different options in the lower right corner.
  • Zooming in/out works the same way as in the target view

Filter export

The last step is to export the filter for a listening test. Select a slot and save under desired name (there may be an auto-generated name, which can be replaced). When export is complete, the application will return to the Filter Design view. Do not forget to save your project before closing the application.

General tips

  • You can save the project at any time by selecting “Save project” in the hamburger menu, upper left corner.
  • The down arrow icon in the left side panel will list the current configuration and sample rate.
  • Depending on your device, changing the configuration may clear the filter list or switch to a configuration-specific filter list. You should never change device configuration while performing a room correction
  • You can always get a context aware help by pressing the question mark “?” in the upper left corner.

 

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