AudioControl has introduced the Director 2.0 firmware that adds features and a better GUI for its line of Director Series and RS Series DSP amplifiers.
Along with creating a new GUI, AudioControl has added six additional parametric EQs for enhanced system tuning capability, channel metering for visual confirmation of signal levels (at the amplifier’s output stage) and a touch-sensitive webpage, enabling full system configuration from a phone, tablet or other touch-enabled devices. To simplify system tuning, AudioControl has included a pink noise generator available for all channels that is built-in to the software, enabling integrators to use the AudioControl Mobile Tools App or the award-winning DM-RTA to more efficiently calibrate their systems. Integrators will also have easy access to the Sound Partners DSP profiles for industry-leading architectural loudspeakers that optimize performance for every system at the touch of a button.
The Director 2.0 firmware will be available for all current Director and RS Series Models in August 2020 and will specifically upgrade the M6800, M6400, M4800, M4840, D2800, D4600 and RS Series models. You can download from the following links:
Initial Setup of your X9 / X7 processor or XR8 / XR6 / XR4 receiver and home network
First, make sure the AudioControl X9 / X7 processor or XR8 / XR6 / XR4 receiver and your computer are connected to the same network (SSID). For your AudioControl device, connect an Ethernet cable to the rear panel Ethernet port and then plug the cable into your home network router or network switch. We also recommend a wired connection for your laptop computer if possible, but a WiFi connection will also work.
It is recommended to have your AudioControl processor or receiver operating in DHCP mode while running Dirac so that it (and your computer) will acquire an IP address automatically from the network routers DHCP server. It also makes troubleshooting any connectivity issues much easier. DHCP mode is enabled by default in your AudioControl devices settings. If you want to assign a static IP address to your AudioControl device you can do so after Dirac calibration is complete.
To ensure that your AudioControl device is connected to your network you can use the front panel buttons and display to confirm that your unit has acquired an IP address from your network router. Select Menu > select Network > make note of the IP Address and MAC Address of your device.
In the setup menu, set the Control setting to IP so that Dirac Live software can communicate with your AudioControl device over the network using IP commands. On the front panel select Menu > General Settings > Control > set Control to IP. To exit the setup menu press the Menu button, your settings will automatically be saved. If you plan to control your processor or receiver with RS232 commands just remember to go back and change the Control setting to RS232 when you are done running Dirac Live calibration.
Next, configure your speaker types and speaker configuration for your specific installation. Dirac reads the speaker type settings from the processor or receivers menu settings and displays that configuration information in the Dirac software. From the front panel select Menu > Speaker Types > set your speaker types accordingly. To exit the setup menu press the Menu button, your settings will automatically be saved.
NOTE: Before you try to connect Dirac Live with your processor or receiver please disconnect any network enabled home automation system processors from the network, such as for Crestron, Control4, Savant, Elan, URC, etc. The Dirac Live software communicates via IP commands and the control system processors will interfere with Dirac being able to successfully connect with your AudioControl device.
Download the Dirac Live software and connect the microphone
Download the Dirac Live v2.5.x software from the Dirac website using this link, DIRAC LIVE.
Connect the microphone that came with your AudioControl device to an available USB Type A port on your laptop computer. A microphone stand will be required for proper positioning of the microphone during the measurement process.
DO NOT connect the microphone to the rear panel USB port of the processor or receiver.
Lauch the Dirac software
When you launch the Dirac software you will prompted to create a Dirac Live account, or to login to an existing account. If this is your first time running Dirac then click on the “Create or manage your account” link at the bottom left of the login page and follow the steps to create your account. Remember to make note of your login user name and password. Dirac has tied loading projects with log in information. Meaning, if you created a project when logged in, and then you attempt to load the project without being logged in, it will not let you load the project. Dirac also advises that if you are not logged in, certain functionality of the program will not be available.
After you have logged in, you can proceed with the calibration. Dirac Live should immediately find the X series processor or XR series receiver on your network. Select the device you are working with.
SELECT A RECORDING DEVICE
You will then be asked to select a recording device. This will be the calibration microphone that came with the AudioControl processor or receiver. Best practice is to plug the microphone into the computers USB Type A port BEFORElaunching Dirac Live. It will appear in the software like this:
NOTE: The Realtek Audio microphones listed are what are built into your laptop computer, Do not select these.
LOAD MIC CALIBRATION FILE
Next step is to load the calibration file for the mic. If you don’t load the file you can still run Dirac but the final EQ curve will be off and ultimately will not sound its best. Dirac doesn’t provide the mic calibration file with the installation of the software, download it here, or from the product pages on the AudioCOntrol website. After you have downloaded the file to your computer, click on No microphone calibration > select Load from file > select the file from the saved location on your computer.
MASTER OUTPUT, MIC GAIN, CHANNEL LEVEL ADJUSTMENT
This is arguably the most important part of the calibration. Setting all channel levels in the green will ensure the rest of the calibration will run smoothly. Setting the levels is specifically for the Dirac Calibration. You are NOT setting the final levels for the room. These level settings are JUST for the test. You have 3 main controls you will be adjusting:
MASTER OUTPUT – This is the overall output of the processor or receiver. You can think of this as the big volume knob on the front panel. Recommended setting is 25%.
MIC GAIN – This is the sensitivity control of the microphone. If you are getting a very high noise floor, turning this control down will help. Recommended setting is 100%.
CHANNEL VOLUME – Individual volume control for each channel. You will use this for fine tuning. For example, if all channels are measuring approximately in the same range, but the height channels are still a bit too low, you can use this control to boost or cut individual channels to get them in line with all the other channels.
When you move on to the Volume Calibration step the following information screen will be displayed:
The Master Output, Mic Gain, and each output channel have a black bar showing the dB value. Adjust the bar to bring the level up or down. To start, we recommend setting the Master Output at 25% and the Mic Gain at 100%.
Moving on to the output channels, at the bottom of each channel there is the Play button that will start the test tone for that channel.
When playing the test tone, the channel will show the level. The goal is to get the signal in the green zone. If any of the channels read above or below the green zone, Dirac may throw an error when it records the passes during the “measure” step. If the above test tones read in the “red”, the signal may clip, if it reads below the green, Dirac may have trouble discerning the test tone and it will need you to readjust levels and run the measurement pass again. Once all channels are measuring in the green, it’s on to the next step of selecting the Listening Arrangement.
When you move on to the Listening Arrangement step the following information screen will be displayed:
In this section, we select the kind of listening environment we are calibrating for. Choosing the arrangement dictates how many measuring points there will be. The three options are:
You can think of it as small, medium or large room. For example, if you are calibrating for a dedicated theater, you will be choosing the “Sofa-Wide Image”. After you have selected your arrangement, then it’s on to capturing the measurements!
When you move on to the Measure step the following information screen will be displayed:
We begin with placing the calibration microphone in the “MAIN position”. This is where the listener will be sitting the most. Center of the couch, middle row of a dedicated theater, etc…set the microphone at head listening height with the microphone oriented upwards. All other mic positions and measurements surround and relate to the MAIN position.
Once the mic is set in its position, select the “Measure selected position” button at the bottom right of the screen. Once the recorded pass is finished, it will then show the frequency response of that position to the right of the listening area.
After the Main Position has been measured the following screen will be displayed prompting you to measure additional positions for best results:
You can then select which position to measure next by clicking on any of the white circles positioned around the shadow figure and select the “Proceed with 1 measurement” button.
After recording all passes, it’s on to Filter Design.
When you move on to the Filer Design step the following information screen will be displayed:
The Filter Design section is where you will be able to review the frequency response for each channel and how it relates to the rest of the system. The top right section of the window allows you to view each individual channel.
The gray line in the middle is the “target curve” that Dirac will calibrate to. The points along that line are user adjustable. We recommend first trying the default curve. After applying that curve and listening to the results you can always go back and adjust the curve and reload onto the device.
Once you move on to the Filter Export step the following information screen will be displayed:
By selecting “proceed to filter export”, that triggers Dirac to create the curve. Once you see the screen below, Dirac is ready to take that curve and put it on the processor.
On the left there will be a slot labeled “1 – empty“. On the right hand of the screen, you can give the curve a name. Dirac auto fills the name thru some sort of random word generator. There will be a different name every time you get to this screen. Name the curve, and then click on “export filter”. NOTE: The AudioControl X9 / X7 processors and XR8 / XR6 / XR4 receivers now have three slots available to store EQ curves in.
Filter Export will take a few minutes, Dirac exports the curve thru the local network. Once it is finished, it will give a brief message saying it is done and then it will bring you back to the same Filter Export screen as if you didn’t export the curve. There is no “Finished!” or “Success!” message. It can be a little confusing.
You are finished! Save the Dirac project file to your computer and close Dirac. All that is left to do is to turn on the EQ curve for each input you will be using. You can turn the Dirac EQ settings on or off by using either the front panel buttons/display (Press Menu > select Input Config > select Room EQ > select on or off), the AUDIO button on the AudioControl IR remote, via the mobile app by selecting the MEDIA tab > AUDIO button, or via the web browser interface.
******SPECIAL NOTE********* You will notice that there will be a volume difference between Dirac being engaged, or not engaged. When Dirac is engaged, the volume will be lower. This is normal. This is due the increased energy requirement from the amplifier to conform to the applied Dirac EQ curve.
***SPECIAL SPECIAL NOTE*** You will need to manually engage Dirac for each input/source you plan on using. When engaged, the front display of the AudioControl processor or receiver will read “Room EQ On/OFF”. If you haven’t yet run Dirac the Room EQ setting the front panel will indicate “Not Calculated”.
***SUPER SPECIAL NOTE***Make sure you have a copy of the Dirac project file saved to your computer and remember where it is! Make backups! Any future firmware updates to your processor or receiver require a factory reset which erases any currently loaded Dirac EQ files so you will need to reload the Dirac calibration file when done with a firmware update.
The Bijou 600 and Rialto 600 amplifiers have a turn on volume feature that defaults the amp to a lower volume level each time you power the amp on. If you want the amplifier to turn on at the last used volume level you can bypass the default volume level using the Bijou or Rialto 600’s remote control. Follow the steps below: