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TOPIC: DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac

DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16847

  • stephenting99
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Guys,

Opening a thread for the new DDRC-88A unit that's about to be released on 23-Dec-2014. This is a game changer for those of us who are interested in Dirac for the home theater and want a reasonable cost solution.

I'm sure there's going to be lots of questions related to this exciting new product.

Will there be another version of the DDRC series with more than 8-channels input/output? The reason for asking is that the new multi-dimensional audio such as Atmos/Auro3D have more than the traditional 5.1/7.1 setup to include height speakers. One can get two DDRC-88A units to cover for this, but with just one 8-channel DDRC-88A unit, the maximum speaker configuration for Atmos is 5.1.2 - the very basic layout.

Remote control of the DDRC-88A. Will there be support on the Harmony database? Would like to have a universal remote to control this box of tricks and switch things into action.

How about having sampling frequencies greater than 48kHz? This is to suite the audiophools (like myself) who have paid through the nose for hirez download from the likes of HDTacks for their 192kHz/24bit music? If it's a processing issue, maybe just allowing a software switch to just two of the eight channels for up to 192kHz/24bit resolution to satisfy the stereo setup would be nice.

Thanks to MiniDSP for bring this to market. I'm interested in getting one.
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by stephenting99.
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Re:DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16848

  • DS21
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Re the Harmony issue, use the Apple Remote codes.
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Re:DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16849

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DS21,

Thanks for the tip. Got an aTV connected to the receiver and concerned about using the same remote codes that will activate both the aTV and DDRC-88A.

Think it would be better for MiniDSP to have a separate set of codes for the DDRC series and not interfere with popular devices made by well known manufacturers.
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Re:DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16850

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Ah then yes the Apple code is a bad idea. :)

Still, they list several possible codes.
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16859

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@ Stephen,

Will be happy to answer your questions:

"Will there be another version of the DDRC series with more than 8-channels input/output?"
ANS: Our policy is to not talk of products in R&D but put it this way. To get more than 8ch out (e.g. 16ch) , we'd be needing double the DSP power, i.e. double the DSP chip used now. Simply because 8ch Dirac Live already takes a lot of DSP resources. No plans as you can see based on our platforms so not something at the time being on our priority list. Using 2 units would be the work around.

Remote control of the DDRC-88A. Will there be support on the Harmony database?
ANS: All our products have a "learning" capabilities so when you have a Harmony remote it's really easy. Grab a profile of a device that you already don't have in your list of device and providing it's Sony/Philps/NEC IR standard. Just get the DDRC to "learn" the IR commands from that profile. An IR remote learning an IR learning device.. interesting.. :-)

How about having sampling frequencies greater than 48kHz?
ANS: Same as above. Any doubling of the sample rate will only happen with doubling the DSP power. 192k processing = quad miniSHARC required. Sure it's technicallly possible, is everybody willing to pay double the price is another question.. :-) There are already some great solutions at the top end (e.g. Theta/Datasat) so it's something already out there.. We tend to believe that room correction brings something else to the equation that is a lot more obvious than the higher sample rate race that has been going on for all DACs.. In a way increasing from 192 to 384 was the only trick some manufacturer could do. What's next? 768kHz/1.536MHz sample rate? :-) For DSP, the Higher the sample rate, the worse off the issues for low frequency tuning actually... So it's not the same math I'm afraid...

DevTeam
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16894

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Hi devteam,

Thanks for the answers and got a few more.

(1) What will be the audio processing delay of the DDRC-88A in the chain?
(2) Will a 12VDC power be provided with the DDRC-88A? How many mA is required for the DDRC-88A to function properly?
(3) How is the volume control (at the front face plate) implemented? Is it in the digital or analogue domain?
(4) If I connect up both the un-balanced and balanced inputs, is there a way to switch between the inputs? Will there be a default? Can it be user selected default?
(5) How much power does it consume when ON all the time? Is there a standby mode? If standby mode is available, how much power does the DDRC-88A consume?
(6) Is there a way to trigger the unit to go from OFF to ON or standby mode to ON?
(7) Concerned about the thump to downstream amp. This happens with my MiniDSP 2x4. How would you enable a soft ON feature for the analogue outputs?
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by stephenting99. Reason: additional questions
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16907

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Hello,

Ok, let's try to answer in line:

(1) What will be the audio processing delay of the DDRC-88A in the chain?
ANS: It will be circa 20~22ms. It will be published shortly in the user manual.

(2) Will a 12VDC power be provided with the DDRC-88A? How many mA is required for the DDRC-88A to function properly?
ANS: Yes, of course it is. Estimated power draw will be circa 1.5~2A.
(3) How is the volume control (at the front face plate) implemented? Is it in the digital or analogue domain?
ANS: It's digital domain, like all miniDSP products. The Analog vs Digital volume control battle is something from the 16bit/44.1k CD player era we'd say. These days, miniSHARC processors running @ 32bit floating point don't run into the same issues.
(4) If I connect up both the un-balanced and balanced inputs, is there a way to switch between the inputs? Will there be a default? Can it be user selected default?.
ANS: No you can only connect unbalanced OR balanced. Having both sources loaded to the inputs isn't recommended.
(5) How much power does it consume when ON all the time? Is there a standby mode? If standby mode is available, how much power does the DDRC-88A consume?
ANS: More info to be provided later.
(6) Is there a way to trigger the unit to go from OFF to ON or standby mode to ON?
ANS: I'm afraid not.
(7) Concerned about the thump to downstream amp. This happens with my MiniDSP 2x4. How would you enable a soft ON feature for the analogue outputs?
ANS: Not sure which rev you're running since there has been many revs on the 2x4, but the 8x8 latest batch has automute that has been confirmed with a lot of end users now. No issues on our side either.

Hoping this info helps.
MiniDSP, building a DIY DSP community one board at a time.
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16914

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devteam,

Thanks again for your response. Further clarification if you would please.

(1) Audio delay. If the unit is in bypass mode, what is the audio delay?
(2) Estimated power draw will be circa 1.5~2A. Is this at 12VDC?
(3) Digital volume control. How much of the volume can be turned down (from 0dBFS) before information on the original signal is lost?
(6) Remote trigger support. Most modern receivers and pre/pros have a 12VDC trigger out function to turn ON external devices such as amps. Would MiniDSP consider providing such a feature? If this feature is not going to be provided, will there be discrete IR codes for switching the device ON/OFF?
(7) How does the DDRC-88A handle the initial power ON sequence? Since the DDRC-88A is going to be always ON and sitting between the receiver and amp in the signal chain, when the receiver is turn ON, it will also turn ON the associated amp downstream of the DDRC-88A. The amp will see a signal from the DDRC-88A which will cause an initial surge before dropping off - hence the 'thump' from the amp.
(8) Will there be an Ethernet port available? This is for IP control & monitoring using a web browser interface. Can also be used for Dirac software setup and configuration.

Thanks
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16925

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Can I use the RCA input, then use the phoenix outputs? I'm just worried about gain matching and hiss.
Example:
AVR with RCA preouts >>(RCA)>>DDRC88A>>(Phoenix)>>Pro Amp with phoenix inputs
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16937

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My primary use would be for multi-zone room EQ for 4 rooms. Are all the channels identical? I assume the .1 channel works the same as the others, correct? And is there anything else preventing this kind of use?
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16938

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Hi John, Dirac Live Calibration Tool assumes a single listening area, so the process is:

* Put mic in position 1, run measurement sweeps through ALL channels sequentially i.e. channel 1 -> channel 2 -> ... -> channel 8.
* Move mic to position 2, run measurement sweeps through ALL channels sequentially.

Hope that makes sense. The manual shows a screenshot with the time domain graph. If I understand what you are asking, your multi-room EQ won't be possible because you won't be able to move the mic to different rooms within each series of measurement sweeps.
I am not miniDSP support.

"You must ask the right questions." - Dr. Alfred Lanning's hologram.
-> Have you read the User Manual??
-> Have you drawn and posted a diagram?
-> Have you posted a screenshot?
-> Have you posted your config file?
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16940

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Well, I suppose not if there's no available pause between speakers, which is typical. But this could be fixed in software, maybe having a "mutli-zone setup mode".

IMO, this has more sales potential because most people aren't really worried about their theater sound that much and if they are, they already have decent solutions for this. But there is no reasonably priced multi-zone solution. And there are a tone of multi-zone houses.
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16942

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1) From previous reply, it was said that one "can only connect unbalanced OR balanced. Having both sources loaded to the inputs isn't recommended." My current set up has the left & right output from my Onkyo PR-SC885 SSP to Odyssey 2 ch amp via RCAs. Center and four surrounds are all XLRs from Onkyo SSP to a Sunfire 5 channel amp. Long story short, this was the stable solution to get rid of a humming issue I had. Is it ok to have a mix like this with DDRC-88A ? meaning, as long as I don't have RCA and XLR for a specific channel at the same time (only RCA -or- XLR for a channel) ?


2) I have two subwoofers for LFE currently output from a Xilica XP-2040 Parametric EQ { SSP single XLR out --> Parametric EQ 2 x XRL out --> XLR in of Sub 1 & XLR in of Sub 2 . Can I use Phoenix to XLR --> XLR "Y" cable to two subs? Otherwise I don't have enough channels as I have left, center, right, and four surround channels.

3) Can someone confirm Hosa part numbers for the standard Phoenix to XLR (both genders) are
Hosa PHX-206F
Hosa PHX-206M
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by quack724.
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16944

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Does the DDRC-88A have splitting/routing function?
I would like to split the left surround into two left surrounds (surround array setup), and both must be perfectly time-aligned and equalized (both equalized together as a set/unity).
Can this unit do it? Can the nanoAVR DL do it too?
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by Skylinestar.
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DDRC-88A: 8 channel analogue input/output Dirac 1 year 11 months ago #16957

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Dear All,

Lots of questions, so let us try to answer by steps. Please note that we'll soon update the user manual when we start shipments so appreciate your patience.

@ Stephen:
(1) Audio delay. If the unit is in bypass mode, what is the audio delay?
ANS: Almost zero delay since we're essentially bypassing all processing.
(2) Estimated power draw will be circa 1.5~2A. Is this at 12VDC?
ANS: Yes, that's correct. 12VDC as per user manual/datasheet. (www.minidsp.com/images/documents/Product%20Brief-DDRC-88A.pdf)
(3) Digital volume control. How much of the volume can be turned down (from 0dBFS) before information on the original signal is lost?
ANS: not sure to understand what you mean by "information from the original signal is lost". Please clarify. Volume control is just done in the digital domain.
(6) Remote trigger support. Most modern receivers and pre/pros have a 12VDC trigger out function to turn ON external devices such as amps. Would MiniDSP consider providing such a feature? If this feature is not going to be provided, will there be discrete IR codes for switching the device ON/OFF?
ANS: There isn't a connector for trigger IN/OUT but the board does support it (i.e. miniDSP 8x8). I guess that if one were to want to setup a
Note that it's not controllable by IR though (and will never be due to electrical circuit)
(7) How does the DDRC-88A handle the initial power ON sequence? Since the DDRC-88A is going to be always ON and sitting between the receiver and amp in the signal chain, when the receiver is turn ON, it will also turn ON the associated amp downstream of the DDRC-88A. The amp will see a signal from the DDRC-88A which will cause an initial surge before dropping off - hence the 'thump' from the amp.
ANS: Thump from amp would typically (I guess it depends of setup) come from discharge of AC coupling caps. Since the DDRC will always be ON, it won't be an issue (even much more than the DDRC has turn on/off pop transient removal). Not sure to fully understand your comment but if you do see this on your setup (i.e. thump), then you could always deal with it with some power cycling sequence. We don't see it here though..
(8) Will there be an Ethernet port available? This is for IP control & monitoring using a web browser interface. Can also be used for Dirac software setup and configuration.
ANS: The hardware is USB, not exactly easy to replace a USB with an Ethernet unless there is a complete hardware change. However we do plan to find some time in 2015 to build a little USB to EThernet accessory so all our products can be Ethernet controllable (i.e. by our Android/Iphone app). That will indeed do the trick from above. It will be an add on though.


@ Skylinestar:
Sure, RCA in, Phoenix out is fine. Gain matching = gain structure. In most of times, especially if you're using consumer grade amplifiers, using balanced outputs (i.e. higher levels on this platform), you won't exactly benefit from Common Mode Rejection of balanced (i.e. very short distance). You'd have to pay attention that balanced signals have higher outputs and may create a mismatch for your gain structure. Each amp, each setup is different I guess.

@ John Ashman
Very good answer already from John Reekie. I guess that the idea of adding a pause in the sweep could be done but right now, this product is indeed only meant to be used in "one" space. i.e. can't have multiple rooms on one unit.
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