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TOPIC: DDRC-88A known bugs being fixed

DDRC-88A known bugs being fixed 3 years 7 months ago #17599

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Dear All,

Nobody like bugs! Unfortunately they are part of our daily life on these complex Software + Firmware systems. As easy as miniDSP tries to make room correction affordable and available to all customers, the product is actually quite complex behind the scenes... For knowledge sake, it's always good to know what's behind the scenes of a product I think... There are 4 elements to the DDRC/nanoAVR DL Dirac platforms:
- Hardware element: i.e. the PCB, the chipset, the connectors. While we don't have any issues here, there are some controls (e.g. Analog DIP switch/gain..) that we need to keep in mind when we hear of an issue...
- Software element: Dirac Live software as licensed from Dirac team. We have no control over the software compilation/GUI/processing but the good news is that it's a very solid platform backed by a great team @ Dirac HQ.
- Firmware element:That's the embedded software residing inside 2 chipsets: The DSP (doing audio processing only) and the MCU (microcontroller handling all communications, loading presets etc). There are 2 MCU on this board and 1 x DSP. Each having a firmware to make sure we keep ourselves busy.. :-)
- DLL: Finally, a key element to any Dirac product is the so called DLL. That is a bridge between the software and the firmware. Think of it of a translator so Dirac Software can talk to our firmware. That is the key element doing all the magic and a lot of hardwork went into it on this specific project...

At least you know a bit more of the 4 key elements of a Room Correction product and can understand a bit more when our team is asking one to update the firmware or software .. :-)

Down to what we've learned thanks to the valuable feedback from the field. There are currently 3 bugs on the DDRC-88A/nanoAVR DL platforms. Not all of you have them (i.e. many people happy with their platforms we shall say) and it wasn't as easy to reproduce due to the architecture of the software. Here are some symptoms.

- Level issues: The OUTPUTS&LEVEL tabs is a very important TAB. It controls the levels for each channel and while DIRAC algorithm does automatic level control during optimization, there was a bug that we were able to reproduce on how levels are being polled/set on the unit post calibration. This applies to some of you having a channel higher or a sub with a higher level. Knowing that this page is "polling" levels from the unit, we just couldn't easily reproduce the configurations some of you had. Now that we know, we've nailed the bug and been able to fix the issue in the DLL. It is now being packaged by Dirac and here is more info on how OUTPUTS&LEVELS page will work starting from this new build. The OUTPUTS&LEVELS page will now control the level of the SWEEP signal. i.e. faders being used to make sure you're on the green when playing with the fader. Since Dirac does auto-level & time alignment as part of the algorithm, there is no need to use these others than making sure the "SWEEP level" is high enough. The rest is down to Dirac magic. If you do feel that you want to get more center channel, it is easier for you to do it either downstream or upstream, simply because we can't (and don't want to) override the level alignment done by Dirac. It's here to optimize your system such that it perform as a unified/well balanced setup. Making sense?
Once the new Dirac Live package is out, you will unfortunately need to perform a new set of measurements to be able to set your levels correctly. Loading an old project will "not" work since levels are part of the old project.

- Clearing Presets: When one is reloading a new preset to a specific slot, there was a chance that levels of previous configuration weren't cleared correctly. It's actually related to the above bug. We did hear of that issue from some of you and the workaround was to "restore to default" the unit before loading a new preset to a bank. That issue on the DSP firmware is now solved. It will be packaged to a new DDRC 88 utility requiring you to "refresh" the DSP program. A simple click that won't require any complex update.

- Master volume: Finally, there was a way to get the master volume in a state where the dB settings of the master volume weren't read correctly. Bug fixed and packaged as part of the new DLL.

All this goodness will arrive hopefully by Monday/Tuesday as a beta we're just waiting for Dirac to ship us the packaged file.
Thanks to all of you who've been very good at communicating with us and helping us fix these bugs! We're very grateful to be part of a fun community...
There is a lot of talking happening at AVSForum and key members like Markus, Jerry, Mike, Stephen and Dan (we're most likely missing some names.. :-) were great at making sure they shared their findings with us.

Have a great week end,
The whole miniDSP Team
MiniDSP, building a DIY DSP community one board at a time.
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