Guenter Villnow
Guenter Villnow

Digital Room Correction (DRC) is a set of processes and algorithms that correct for response problems caused by the room. Solving this is a complex problem that involves a lot of sophisticated mathematics. miniDSP's DRC-capable processors use the Dirac Live system from Dirac Research, considered to be one of the most advanced and (importantly) best sounding room correction algorithms.

This app note explains the basics of digital room correction with miniDSP and Dirac Live.

Step 1: Measurement [Top]

The first step in any room correction process is acoustic measurement. In Dirac Live, this involves first placing a miniDSP UMIK-1 or UMIK-2 measurement microphone in the center of the listening area. Each microphone is individually calibrated for accuracy:

UMIK-1 or UMIK-2 selected with unique calibration file

The Dirac Live software running on your PC or Mac generates test signals that play through your amp and speakers, which it captures with the UMIK. They are a "sweep" that starts at very low frequencies and increases through the whole audio range. It sounds a bit like a slow "whoop".

Measurement for digital room correction with miniDSP

Because room effects change depending on where the microphone is located, Dirac Live asks you to move the microphone and make measurements in different locations. A total of nine to 17 locations are measured, depending on the size of your listening area. This way Dirac Live gets as much information as possible about how your room affects the response.

Step 2: Filter generation [Top]

This step is where the advanced math comes into play! Fortunately, for the end user (you) it's pretty simple as it's all built into the Dirac Live software.

On the Filter Design screen, you can adjust the target curve – this is the frequency response that you want. Because the response varies in the different measurement locations, Dirac Live uses some clever algorithms to figure out how to best way to correct the response overall.

Target curve for digital room correction with miniDSP

If you wish, you can change the frequency range that is corrected by moving the "curtains" on either side of the graph:

Frequency range setting for digital room correction with miniDSP

While these controls are simple to use, there are a lot of digital smarts going on under the hood. Dirac Live also corrects the impulse response of the speakers. Essentially, this corrects the "smearing" in time caused by the crossover in the speakers. This correction is more subtle than the frequency response correction but improves imaging and realism. The Dirac Live app will show you the "before and after" impulse responses of your speaker:

Impulse response correction with digital room correction and miniDSP

Step 3: Processing [Top]

Once you've set up your target curve, you can download up to four different sets of correction filters into your miniDSP processor. You could have presets with different amounts of bass boost or correction frequency range, as in this example we set up in our system:

Presets for digital room correction and miniDSP

You could also have presets for solo listening and some for group listening (with a wider area for measurements).

Once your presets are all set up, all you need to do is play music! This time, all of the processing is done in the miniDSP processor – the computer is not needed any more. You can turn Dirac Live processing on and off with the remote control if you want to compare.

So what do I need?[Top]

miniDSP has a range of Dirac Live-capable processors:

  • Active crossovers. These processors have an optional Dirac Live upgrade.

  • Streaming HD Series. The SHD Series processors all come with Dirac Live included.

  • Dirac Live Series. The Dirac Live Series processors all come with Dirac Live included, and come in a range of stereo and multichannel units.

  • Car Audio DSP. Selected car audio DSP units include Dirac Live.

You will also need a UMIK-1 or UMIK-2 measurement microphone. Note that some processors include a UMIK-1 measurement microphone by default, and some do not. Please check the options carefully before finalizing your order.

If you have questions about the best miniDSP processor to choose, feel free to contact our support team and we'd be happy to help! You can also ask our customer community in our online forum.


Related Products - Room Correction