Author Topic: Getting DIRAC DRC to work with the Ultimate Preamplifier Plus -Success at last !  (Read 299 times)

Tranquility Bass

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This thread is about running DIRAC DRC on the Ultimate-Preamplifier Plus (UPP) so please feel free to add your experiences. With the help of one of my clients the generous  folks at DIRAC have kindly offered me a license to run DIRAC which I greatly appreciate. I'm no expert on Dirac so here is my experience with it to date. One of the things you will find is that once all of the hardware works with each other the process of correcting a loudspeaker is really quite streamlined and doesn't require any additional specialist help like some of the other DRC solutions. I have managed to get a lot of DIRAC working with the UPP but are still having trouble getting the audio stream from the UPP that represents the Preamplifier output into the DIRAC live stream application so any advice welcome on this front and for those attempting to use it with an Apple platform.

Now why would you want to run Dirac with the Preamp instead of something like Jriver on a PC etc ? For the same reason you would want to listen to your favourite CD player, vinyl playback on a turntable, a tuner, tape deck etc etc which can't be done on a PC alone and this is why the Ultimate Preamplifier Plus is unique because you now have the ability to apply this room correction to any source that is connected to the Preamp and not just limited to streaming music from a PC ;)

Dirac Website: https://www.dirac.com/hd-sound-loudspeakers

More References:

FAQ

How it works

Dirac installation guide

Quick Start Guide - English
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Tranquility Bass

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Re: Installing DIRAC on a PC
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2021, 10:22:08 AM »
A typical DIRAC install consists of a Dirac Live Streaming application running on specific vendors hardware or in our case it is running on the PC hardware. There is another app called DIRAC Live used to interface to the vendors hardware or PC over a network connection. This is the face of the DIRAC application and does all of the user interface and control of the DIRAC live stream engine including the room measurements and calculating the correction filters. In our case we have both the DIRAC Live Stream Application and DIRAC Live application running on the same PC. However we could use another PC on the network running DIRAC Live to connect to the Live Stream application. All in all it is a pretty slick package and DIRAC have gone to great lengths to simplify everything as much as they can.

In the following I will outline what I have done to get DIRAC running with the UPP. This will be a work in progress as we work through the procedures as outlined in the DIRAC manuals and try and solve issues with Windows audio devices and the DIRAC virtual audio device. In a lot of cases the use of DIRAC is fairly straight forward as the software has been written to be broken down into simpler steps so you won't need to pay a specialist to come out and do it for you.

Firstly you need a PC that you are going to install DIRAC on which preferably runs Windows 10 although in this example we used a DELL 6400 Laptop with a 1.7GHz Dual Cored Pentium running Windows 7 although DIRAC does stipulate the used of Windows 10. The UPP communicates with the PC using a USB cable connected from the 8-channel USB interface on the back of the Preamp to the PC using a type-B to type-A USB cable as shown in the image below.

Assuming you have purchased a valid license follow the DIRAC installation procedure and install both the DIRAC Live Stream and DIRAC Live App on the same PC.



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Tranquility Bass

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Re: Setting up the DIRAC Live Processor
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2021, 05:18:04 AM »
If you have installed the DIRAC Live Processor according to the instructions supplied then login with your email and password. You need to setup the audio options from the "Options" menu. If you have installed the drivers for the 8-channel USB sound device on the UPP then you should be able to select the appropriate ASIO channels from the Options menu as follows.

 

In the "USB 8-ch Setup Menu" on your UPP make sure you have the correct channel mapping as follows.



If everything has been setup properly clicking on the "Test" button should produce a tone through the speakers that are connected to a power amp that is connected to the UPP.
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Tranquility Bass

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Re: Running Dirac Live and Selecting the Device
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2021, 05:25:00 AM »
After setting up "Dirac Live" on your PC run it and enter in your account details and password and you should be greeted with a similar screen to the following. If you have installed "Dirac Live Processor" installed correctly then you should be able to see the Live Processor id as in the following screen grab. Select the Live Processor.



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Tranquility Bass

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Re: Selecting the Microphone
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2021, 05:38:22 AM »
In this example we used a UMM-6 USB microphone from Dayton but we could also use a Microphone connected to the UPP but that is a task for another day. The advantage of using the UMM-6 mic through the PC is that you can take advantage of the calibration file supplied.

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Re: Volume Calibration
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2021, 06:05:35 AM »
Check the volume calibration and the levels are high enough otherwise Dirac will later complain the levels are too low. You may have to adjust the master volume control on the UPP for normal listening level for example -30dB.

 
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Tranquility Bass

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Re: Select Arrangement
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2021, 06:09:36 AM »
For this example we are using a simple two channel desktop studio setup with two speakers in close proximity to the microphone or listening position but it is possible to use a Home setup if that suits your needs. The idea here is just to go through the motions of using Dirac rather than an in-situ audio setup.   

 
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Tranquility Bass

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Re: Measure
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2021, 06:12:09 AM »
Now we do the measurement according to the Dirac instructions.

 

In this example we didn't bother with the multiple measurement sweep as we are just interested in the procedure at this present time rather than absolute accuracy.

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Tranquility Bass

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Re: Filter Design
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2021, 06:15:20 AM »
The uncorrected speaker measurements are shown below.



Now the calculated correction filter is applied and end result is shown below.

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Re: Filter Exported to Dirac Live Processor
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2021, 06:19:33 AM »
And now the calculated filter is running on the Dirac Live Processor which we have labelled as AP  ;) Dirac allows multiple correction filters to be selected too so this may help when running different speaker setups.

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Re: Running Dirac through the UPP
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2021, 06:44:46 AM »
Now we are only interested in using Dirac with the Preamp and not through any resident PC sound device. To do this Dirac facilitates this through a virtual sound device which can be found in the Windows Sound Control Panel. Make sure you set it as the default playback device as in the following.



In the recording devices we need to pipe the audio from the Preamp into the PC by setting the properties for UPP incoming audio device by right-clicking on it.

   

Set Playback through the default device or the Dirac Virtual Audio Device.



For the UPP to use the Dirac processed audio we need to enable loop-through mode on the UPP.



When Loop-Through mode has been enabled on the UPP a plus sign will be appended to the DAC Source on the Master Volume Control Menu. If you have implemented a multi-way active crossover on the UPP using Audio Weaver then it would show up as "Preamp (Multi-Ch)+" but in this case we were just using a full-way passive speaker as the simplest of examples.





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Re: Still not working !!
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2021, 07:07:01 AM »
There seems to be an issue getting the audio stream from the Preamp into the PC for Dirac to use so maybe some Windows Sound device aficionados might be able to chime in here.

I can route the audio from the Preamp into the headphones on the PC but as soon as I try to switch it to use the Dirac virtual sound device everything goes dead. Using it under Windows 10 doesn't help either.
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Re: Getting DIRAC DRC to work with the Ultimate Preamplifier Plus
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2021, 04:15:22 AM »
Ok some more progress. I can get audio out of the UPP into the PC and listen to it on the headphones connected to the PC. Here are the Windows sound device settings.

 


 
   

 

 



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hoschi

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I tried the Dirac Software too. But just for my two speaker setup. Dirac is capable to Measure Stereo or Home Theater Setups, Activ Crossover ist not really supported. So i decided to just use the 2Ch USB instead of the 8chl because there would be no difference in the result but it's easy to setup.


  • Install Dirac Live and the Dirac Processor Software
  • I Made a Audioweaver Script with a 4Way crossover and load it to the UPP.
  • Connect the USB 2 Channel to my Notebook
  • I did no change to the Sound Cards because its 2ch.
  • After the Setup you can measure with the Dirac software, this is easy to use and intuitive

With the setup loaded to the processor i was able to use my notebook as a roon player. I can use the DIRAC output direct in Roon and play Music.


The Filters sound great  and its easy to use but you will be limited to 24Bit
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.



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Re: Success at last !
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2021, 05:59:21 AM »
Once I matched the recording device settings of the UPP incoming sound device to the sample rate I used for the DIRAC processing then it all appeared to work !! It is also possible reinstalling the USB 8-channel driver may have had something to do with it as well. It is now the latest version 4.67 of the driver ;)

HINT: In the future it will be better to do all sampling and processing at 192kHz rather than 44.1kHz to take full advantage of the processing capabilities of the Preamp provided the PC can handle that rate which I don't think is an issue with most PC's and Laptops these days ;)

 


 


 


It works !! Shown here is a Pioneer PD-6 playing the very best of Fleetwood Mac through the Preamp with DIRAC DRC processing enabled !!

 




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