5.1.2 Dirac Live Volume Calibration and Measurement Understanding

C

Cdubb

Audiophyte
(edited to attach freq response measurements screenshots from Dirac for each speaker)

Hi All,

There's a lot to unpack here. If I should make separate threads please advise.

Speaker Configuration: 5.1.2
AVR: Onkyo TX-RZ50
Room EQ Dirac Live latest version 3.3.3
System OS: macOS Monterey
Measurement Mic: UMIK-1

Problem:
Previously I had a Denon receiver and used Audyssey EQ. As a newcomer with untrained ears. It sounded great to me. I knew I was bottlenecking my system though with the receiver I had (S760 75W, 2channels) so I decided to get a Onkyo TX-RZ50 with a larger amp and preouts. I set it up. Installed Dirac on my Mac watched and read numerous "How to use Dirac Live" tutorials. I tried it for the first time, not really understanding the volume calibration that well, and it was lifeless. If the Audessey + Denon was a 6.5/10, Dirac Live + Onkyo sounded subjectively to me like a 2.5/10. My speakers were sounded quieter, my surrounds were almost non existent, and I had zero bass. I downloaded and applied a +10db Lowfreq Harman target curve to all channels and still did not hear any presence of bass or life and color to my L,R,C and surrounds the seemed to sound flat. I level matched my speakers in the Onkyo setup tool but still not much improvement. I know it could be a multitude of things, but I'm learning towards Dirac Live and error on my part for something.

I'm not sure what is going on, would anyone be able to give me some things to look into and try?

On to understanding Dirac Live Volume Cal. After connecting my UMIK-1 and loading the 90degree cal file. I get to the volume calibration screen. I set the master Volume low and Mic gain to +18dB. First of all. I don't understand if I should be setting Mic Gain. On the input selection in Dirac Live the UMIK shows 18dB. In tutorials I've watched and read, the mic gain is set to 100%. I don't really know what I should be setting that to. When I click play on any of the speakers I have to increase my Master volume by what seems like a unnecessary amount The readout of a SPL meter is usually 85dB or higher to see any kind of reading and the reading is usually very low at -45dB when I play the noise from each speaker. Why is this? I've watched other videos and tutorials and they say use a "comfortable listening volume" Then I see their readings for speakers at -25dB or even -16dB. The way I've been able to achieve a reading from my sub is to set the gain to zero on the sub, then after matching the other speakers to around -43dB I use the sub gain to increase gain which usually would go from -60 all the way to -9 to achieve -43dB. I feel like my microphone is not reading something right or I have a giant misunderstanding or setup something incorrectly. I'm also curious to know if this would effect my experience after doing the measurements and applying it to a slot in my receiver. I feel like I am missing several things here. Anyone have some gotchas or newbie mistakes that I'm probably making?

Thanks for taking the time to read and help!
L-C-R.jpg

SR-L_SR-R.jpg

topMidLeft_topMidRight.jpg


Sub.jpg
 
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C

Cdubb

Audiophyte
I was able to do a volume calibration and do another measurement. I thought I'd post the measurement and Dirac correction, to see if anyone could tell why things sound flat or lifeless still.
LR_Corrected.jpg

Center_Corrected.jpg
.
SRLR_corrected.jpg

heights_corrected.jpg

Sub_Corrected.jpg
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Don't think we've got much from the purchasers of these avrs/setup as yet. Might check in with @PENG at least think he's dived into the 2ch setup quite a bit.....
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I was able to do a volume calibration and do another measurement. I thought I'd post the measurement and Dirac correction, to see if anyone could tell why things sound flat or lifeless still.
View attachment 56901
View attachment 56902.
View attachment 56903
View attachment 56904
View attachment 56905
As HD said, I have only used the PC standalone stereo version but in my case Dirac Live has more bass vs Audyssey XT32 based on their default target curves. You can see some of my FR graphs Dirac vs Audyssey XT32 shown below.

1657885895038.png


If you have already read the available tutorial videos and the user manual, you should be able to do it right but do check/try the following.

1) Make sure in the volume calibration step you set the master volume high enough, I think I had my set to about -13 dB.
2) Use REW to see what the actual frequency response is, then you will know if you ran your calibration right or messed something up. If the REW graphs look similar to those shown by Dirac then you just need to custom the target curve to your liking. Personal preference is by nature subjective, may be you just happen to prefer what Audyssey XT did to the bass in your room/speakers.
3) Contact the Dirac help desk and ask any remaining questions after 1) and 2).
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
.. Personal preference is by nature subjective, may be you just happen to prefer what Audyssey XT did to the bass in your room/speakers.
..
Audyssey XT does not do much for the bass and his Denon S760 have only MultEQ that is even worse.

 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Audyssey XT does not do much for the bass and his Denon S760 have only MultEQ that is even worse.

Excellent point! That could explain a lot about his perception of lacking bass vs Audyssey, because if MultEQ did not do much to the bass then he might have tons of bass boost from room gain that Dirac Live would have removed, until he applied a sort of Harman curve.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Excellent point! That could explain a lot about his perception of lacking bass vs Audyssey, because if MultEQ did not do much to the bass then he might have tons of bass boost from room gain that Dirac Live would have removed, until he applied a sort of Harman curve.
Then there is the Dynamic EQ that Audyssey has that can compensate quite a bit in real listening situations when not in full blast hair dryer mode. To be honest, I still don't understand why Dirac does not work with the manufactures to have loudness compensation of some kind that works on all content whatever codec, and as I understand it that is not even part of the PC software suite either. It for sure will make me more than a little hesitant to use Dirac unless I get loudness compensation another way like with my desktop RME ADI-2 DAC FS. Perhaps I'm digressing :)
 
C

Cdubb

Audiophyte
As HD said, I have only used the PC standalone stereo version but in my case Dirac Live has more bass vs Audyssey XT32 based on their default target curves. You can see some of my FR graphs Dirac vs Audyssey XT32 shown below.

View attachment 56907

If you have already read the available tutorial videos and the user manual, you should be able to do it right but do check/try the following.

1) Make sure in the volume calibration step you set the master volume high enough, I think I had my set to about -13 dB.
2) Use REW to see what the actual frequency response is, then you will know if you ran your calibration right or messed something up. If the REW graphs look similar to those shown by Dirac then you just need to custom the target curve to your liking. Personal preference is by nature subjective, may be you just happen to prefer what Audyssey XT did to the bass in your room/speakers.
3) Contact the Dirac help desk and ask any remaining questions after 1) and 2).
Thanks for the suggestions, Peng.
For 1) I'm curious why this is, the Dirac official tutorial on YouTube says adjust to comfortable listening volume. Does the Volume Calibration in Dirac have an effect on the end result?
2) Got it, I did apply a +10dB low freq curve to the Dirac correction but seems like something is still missing. I don't know how much more I can tweak the curve. Maybe I just got too accustomed to all of the bass that I was hearing with Audyssey + Denon receiver that applies a lot of bass gain? or left bass when Dirac removed it? Wouldn't adding the +10db low freq curve add it back in? Or am I misunderstanding that. If I could tweak the Dirac curve or do something with the Onkyo to get a similar result I'd love that. But I'm not really knowledgeable on that. I'm not certain but I think it could be the difference in AVRs

My crossovers are set to 40Hz in the Denon. With the onkyo I've played around with setting the speakers cross over everywhere 40,50,60,70,80, full band and set the "Double Bass" feature of the onkyo. Still didn't really notice any change.
 
C

Cdubb

Audiophyte
Then there is the Dynamic EQ that Audyssey has that can compensate quite a bit in real listening situations when not in full blast hair dryer mode. To be honest, I still don't understand why Dirac does not work with the manufactures to have loudness compensation of some kind that works on all content whatever codec, and as I understand it that is not even part of the PC software suite either. It for sure will make me more than a little hesitant to use Dirac unless I get loudness compensation another way like with my desktop RME ADI-2 DAC FS. Perhaps I'm digressing :)
I have noticed that If I crank it up with the Onkyo w/Dirac things start to become a little alive..but it's uncomfortable volume levels like in the 85+ dB range. I think there's a setting in the Onkyo similar to Dynamic EQ, that I've tried but didn't seem to have an impact.
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I have noticed that If I crank it up with the Onkyo w/Dirac things start to become a little alive..but it's uncomfortable volume levels like in the 85+ dB range. I think there's a setting in the Onkyo similar to Dynamic EQ, that I've tried but didn't seem to have an impact.
Are you sure you applied the filter with the bass biased target curve? How's the bass if you select Dirac off, such as direct mode?

Instead of we all guessing, can you post your REW graphs please.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Excellent point! That could explain a lot about his perception of lacking bass vs Audyssey, because if MultEQ did not do much to the bass then he might have tons of bass boost from room gain that Dirac Live would have removed, until he applied a sort of Harman curve.
Or he uses DynamicEQ with what RLO setting? MultEQ and MultEQ XT have the same filter sets for the sub IIRC....
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Or he uses DynamicEQ with what RLO setting? MultEQ and MultEQ XT have the same filter sets for the sub IIRC....
MultEQ has much less filter resolution for satellites than the XT version while still doing the wrong thing.

Any Audyssey MultEQ version other than XT32 is crap.

Once upon a time the audyssey site contained useful info about their room EQ, but after the buyout it is reduced to some worthless marketing blurbs. But post 3 in link below has a table from Audyssey showing the differences in filters.

1657923989221.png

 
W

Wardog555

Audioholic
Try a manual calibration with tape measure for speaker distance and spl meter for speaker levels. And factory reset before you start.
 
XenoChron

XenoChron

Audioholic
Just seeing this thread after questioning my ability to use Dirac properly on my RZ50. I’m not unhappy with the results except for the bass but as a neophyte at this if I understand correctly how Dirac works I should be getting a mostly flat curve from each speaker if I take REW measurements after calibration correct?

I have not run REW at all yet with this receiver but wanted to be sure I understood what I should be looking at.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Just seeing this thread after questioning my ability to use Dirac properly on my RZ50. I’m not unhappy with the results except for the bass but as a neophyte at this if I understand correctly how Dirac works I should be getting a mostly flat curve from each speaker if I take REW measurements after calibration correct?

I have not run REW at all yet with this receiver but wanted to be sure I understood what I should be looking at.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Right, but "mostly flat" are the key words. How "flat" it is going to be would depend on:

Your room, speakers, mic, mic positions and how much effort you put in.

For example, if your room mode resulted in some sharp dips, no RC systems can do much about it if anything at at all. Likewise, if your speakers has weak anechoic response at the low frequencies example, -12 dB or more from 20 to 40 Hz, DL would try to boost but not that much.
 
XenoChron

XenoChron

Audioholic
Right, but "mostly flat" are the key words. How "flat" it is going to be would depend on:

Your room, speakers, mic, mic positions and how much effort you put in.

For example, if your room mode resulted in some sharp dips, no RC systems can do much about it if anything at at all. Likewise, if your speakers has weak anechoic response at the low frequencies example, -12 dB or more from 20 to 40 Hz, DL would try to boost but not that much.
Thank you. That helps a lot. Going to give it a try as soon as I get a chance and see what I find.

I suppose doing REW pre calibration and looking for those artifacts and in particular spikes caused by room acoustics can help tell where some treatments may be warranted to help with the calibration and correction. Unfortunately I have a display cabinet and aquarium that are both all glass in the room and they don’t help with acoustics. Nothing like glass surfaces to help bounce the sound around a bit. :)

Appreciate the help!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
XenoChron

XenoChron

Audioholic
Reran Dirac and used the harman curves and have a definite improvement in base response. If I can get time this weekend to run REW I’ll see what things look like. Wish you could do what Dirac does and put the audio out wirelessly without the HDMI cable. Didn’t think to hook one up when I was putting it together.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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XenoChron

XenoChron

Audioholic
For what it is worth I took some of the advice in this piece (Post Calibration Tweaks (After DIRAC)) that Audioholics did about a year ago and it was helpful. I've been under the false impression that Dirac and others did a better job with level and crossover settings but what I thought was good after using the Harman curves was better after some adjustments using this advice.

Still haven't had time get things hooked and take the time to look at REW yet but I suspect that'll get even closer towards where the system should be.
 
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