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TOPIC: Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below?

Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47475

I note the strong suggestion in the Forum to set targets that only CUT levels and never to BOOST them.

However I also note that DEFAULT Dirac Live Targets use a kind of "Average of the Above and Below".

I'm not playing Music at a level that threatens any of my gear, I'm ONLY concerned not to create distoriton within my SHD Studio.

Which should I use? Existing Forum advice or more like the Dirac Live recommended Default?

I'll share my 4 Target Files and the RESULT screen shot to show you what I'm doing at the moment.
I designed the 200Hz upper level for the "Bass Area" specially since the majority of Root notes that a Bass Player uses will fall below that. ABOVE 200Hz and the Bass player is Soloing. If he/she is soloing then he/she will have to fight with all the others.
The only "Compromise" here is that the Harmonics of the notes are also mostly above 200Hz. I haven't noticed any failuere to be able to hear the tonality of the Bass! I can hear the difference between different Basses. Fretted, Fretless, Upright, Slap Style, Warm Fender P style, etc. But there will always be a compromise here till Recording Engineers set the various sliders in a way similar to a Concert Sound Engineer who knows to give the crowd the music that they WANT!

The Concert Sound Engineer has to get "Bums on Seats" so he does his job properly! The Recording Engineers seem to be mostly full of prejudice, and get away without doing their job properly. They currently have a virtual monopoly of the market for their totally BRASH Recordings and "Re-Masters" which are generally not as good as the originals, back in the 70's when the Sound Engineers were "into" the Music I like...

Foir most music I prefer the 7db "Bass Boost" - although they're really "Treble Cuts". I'm a Bass Player and Maker, so I like my Bass and I find that Classical Music seems to have a stranglehold on both the recording industry AND the Amplifier Industry - (No Tone Controls!)

I like the Flat "Bass Area" especially for Walking Bass lines. I prefer the Flat "Mids and Treble". Overall a VAST improvement so far!

Regards Greg
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Last Edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by Greg the Yeti. Reason: More detail and "Chip on Shoulder"?
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47476

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Greg the Yeti wrote:
...I find that Classical Music seems to have a stranglehold on both the recording industry AND the Amplifier Industry - (No Tone Controls!)...

Interesting comment given that the classical music industry accounts for 1% of album consumption in the USA. The only genres that account for less are childrens (0.6%) and new age (0.5%).

www.statista.com/statistics/310746/share...lbum-sales-us-genre/
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47477

Yes - I get the statistics. Yet despite that, just listen to recordings of recent years of anything Rock, Pop or Club (that last not my style) and COMPARE with the experience you will get at a live concert and I feel that my comment holds?? How many of you are using some kind of "Bass Boost"??

I can find no other reason for this rather vast difference other than that many of the Recording Engineers have no understanding of the music that they are recording. This would place them in the Classical Camp - No?

In the Classical Music (that I grew up with) they do have the Double Bass, which is capable of notes just as LOW as the Four String Bass. However generally in a Classical Concert, the Double Bass is NOT providing Driving-Body-Thumping-Bass!

I know a little of the Industry and know that, at least those that I have encountered, do have noses stuck up in the air at anything Rock/Pop/Club...

PLEASE pardon any offence! It's just that I get stuck on the irony of being dished up with recordings that despite top flight digital gear are just "Not Recorded Right" and then with an Amplifier that has no tone controls - "You WILL listen to it the way we like and not the way YOU like".

This is why I bought my SHD Studio!
Last Edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by Greg the Yeti. Reason: Apology and Reason
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47479

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I use my SHD Studio with integrated amp. Therefore I use it set at - 1 dB. This way I get distortions when the target curve is > 3 dB above the measured curve. I could have lowered the whole target curve. But I didn't like the lowered overall volume. So I designed the target curve to follow the deepest dips in the measured curve. Also I kept most of my speakers signature.

You can find a lot of info on desired house curves. Most boost the base and let the highs slope downward a few dB.
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47480

Hi, thanks for your reply. That info is useful.

When you say that "I get distortions when the target curve is > 3 dB above the measured curve", did you mean an AVERAGE of 3db above or just "any peak of the curve above 3db"?

Yes I too don't like the overall drop in volume with the "Cut frequencies Only" curves that I'm currently using.

I've seen some of the "Desired House Curves". I don't think there as good as what I already have set up. So I won't go back to that!
I want to get as close to the "impossible" as I can. It's technically impossible to get EXACTLY the music "as if the Recording Engineer used a higher setting for the Bass Guitar". I just want to get as close to that as possible!

Lastly when you say " I use it set at - 1 dB", what setting are you talking about, it isn't obvious.

Thanks Greg
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47482

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Hi,
I’m only a novice here so happy to be corrected. My understanding is dips are generally when direct and reflected sounds of just the right frequency meet and a sine wave peak meets a sine wave trough. Dips can’t therefore be cancelled as increasing the amplitude of the sine wave simply increases both peak and trough. Result: Same cancellation. Now I’m fascinated to know the technique Dirac uses to boost dips that avoids this.
Now setting your target curve to intersect the lowest dips lowers all your other frequencies. You’ve made the volume of all the frequencies as low as the dips. Your overall starting volume is now lower. To increase volume back you use your integrated but do all frequencies then get louder? Probably not. Don’t the original dips reappear as the volume of all the other frequencies is increased by your amp. But the dips can’t increase at the same rate.
I also read somewhere that we shouldn’t get too hung up about having dips as they occur over a very narrow band and our ears aren’t great at discerning them.

As I say, happy to be corrected and keep learning along the way
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47483

Hi asx77,

I'm afraid we seem to be talking about different things here.
What you say may well be true - I don't frankly know! It's technicalities about HOW Dirac Live does it's magic, which I'm happy to let Dirac just get along and do.

All Praise and Hail to Dirac - our Lord and Master! The Living God!

I'm talking about how to Design the Curve for how you want the sound balance between Bass, Mids, Treble, and Ultra Treble.

I'm getting conflicting information from the advice I've read on the Forum and from the Default "Target Curve" that you can either just "Accept" or "Design your own". Should the Target Curve ALWAYS be below the 0db Line, or can you AVERAGE a boost in the Bass with an equal Cut in the rest?

I've read people on the forum saying that Boosting is "Verboten" and causes Distortion, even in Digital Signals.

If that's so then why do Dirac give a Default that does what is "Verboten"?

I'm really needing a reply from one of the Elecronic Design Guys on whether Dirac Live's Default can cause "Clipping" of the Digital Signal within the SHD (or my SHD Studio).

Clipping was a big problem in old analogue systems. I just don't know enough about Digital Signals and Circuitry to know if this also applies to Digital Signals. It isn't in the manual, so please an answer from someone!

To be frank, I was surprised to see the posibility of Boosting various Signals or Frequencies in Digial Signals above 0db! If that's so then it isn't REALLY 0db. Then what IS 0db?
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47484

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Greg the Yeti wrote:
Hi, thanks for your reply. That info is useful.

When you say that "I get distortions when the target curve is > 3 dB above the measured curve", did you mean an AVERAGE of 3db above or just "any peak of the curve above 3db"?

Yes I too don't like the overall drop in volume with the "Cut frequencies Only" curves that I'm currently using.

I've seen some of the "Desired House Curves". I don't think there as good as what I already have set up. So I won't go back to that!
I want to get as close to the "impossible" as I can. It's technically impossible to get EXACTLY the music "as if the Recording Engineer used a higher setting for the Bass Guitar". I just want to get as close to that as possible!

Lastly when you say " I use it set at - 1 dB", what setting are you talking about, it isn't obvious.

Thanks Greg

Hi Greg,

I mean when crossing a valley in the measured curve my target curve should be max 3 dB above the deepest point of the valley.

With - 1 dB I mean the output volume as set with the knob on the front of the SHD Studio.
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47485

jaaptina wrote:
I mean when crossing a valley in the measured curve my target curve should be max 3 dB above the deepest point of the valley.
.

Hi Jaaptina,
I have a BAD room. I live in a Cave in Andalucia Spain and the walls are SOLID Clay. Some of them 2 meters thick! The Wolf Notes in the Bass are BAD and I get a really nasty Peak just below 20 kHz. I think if I tried to keep within 3db of the "Measured Response" that it would not be a good workable Sound.

My room is roughly 6m x 3m x 2.5 high. I put those measurements into a Frequency Formula and lo and behold those are the frequencies of those Wolf Notes - no surprises really. The good is that I have four large Door openings, three of which are permanently open, plus a large window recess, which helps, plus the Ceiling is actually an arch shape. These all mitigate the Wolf Notes a bit, but I'm relying on Dirac to do the rest!

Looking at the Screen Shot I posterd above, there's a lot of it that is way more than 3db from the Measured response. But it's all Cutting Frequencies, so perhaps that's how I'm "getting away with it" Certainly I have no audible distortion at the moment - and I'm a musician...

Certainly the corrected sound sounds great. Clear even Bass, Cristal Clear Mids and Treble. I'm very pleased with the result. It's just that:-

To do the settup for Dirac, at the measuring stage I turn the Amp and Sub combo up to the highest I can conceivably tolerate, but then if all adjustments are CUTS, then I can never access those kind of volumes - I'm stuck at a maximum of 7db BELOW, what I would like to be the maximum volume. It's a very "Safe" sound and settup. Too safe! But to get the Watts which my Amp Speakers and Sub are genuinely capable, I would have to abandon the Dirac Live setup.

I was hoping to be able to do some actual BOOST in the Bass area, perhaps just +3 db, and leave about a -4 db CUT in the rest. That would give me the 7db difference that I know I like!

I'd realy like one of the Elctronic Engineers to explain why I should - or shouldn't do this!
Last Edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by Greg the Yeti. Reason: Spelling
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47486

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I'm a retired EE and former bass player. I use the standard Dirac target. As long as the measured dips below the target are less than 10dB below the target Dirac appears able to correct them. Hence as far as I'm concerned, in terms of how both my SHDs appear to operate and after reading all the Dirac info, as long as your target is never more than 10dB above your measured response Dirac will properly compensate. Dirac can attenuate peaks of any amount above target so don't worry about peaks, just dips.

In order to achieve this, Dirac appears to attenuate the signal by 10dB. This doesn't mean what you hear has to be quiet, turn the SHD output volume up or the amplifier volume up until you attain the desired level. The level you hear depends on the gain structure of your SHD and amplifier combination, Dirac works within this gain structure to modify the frequency response of the system.

Dirac setup does not need to be done at the loudest levels so that my be one issue. Also note the SHD plugin may apply gain to each output, so if your overall gain structure is poor this can allow you to retrieve some gain, Ultimately though, the sound pressure level you achieve should be solely down to the settings of your amplifier.
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47487

Hi, finally a reply to get my teeth into. This seems to be very different to the advice of some on the Forum - but I was not confident of their opinion, which is why I asked. I've just stuck to what I KNOW to be safe, till I get an answer I trust...

Turning up my amp is a problem. The amp has PLENTY more juice, that's not the problem. I have Stereo Speakers on this amp on two of the four channels of the SHD and my Sub on the Other SHD Channels. If I alter either volume from when I "Set it up" with Dirac, then I loose all the SHD Plugin Setup, (with Balancing and Linkwiz-Riley Crossovers) plus the Dirac setup!

So once I've done a "measurement" (with the levels of amp and Sub Balanced and "Crossed over"with the SHD plugin) then I'm TIED to those Volume control settings - unless I want to do it all over again.

I understand all of your reply EXCEPT for "The level you hear depends on the gain structure of your SHD and amplifier combination, Dirac works within this gain structure to modify the frequency response of the system."

I'm afraid tht "Gain Structure" doesn't mean much to non electronic experts.

Could you do me the favour by explaining this in as brief a way as you can. I DID do "A Level" Physics and Maths. That's the highest qualification in the UK below University standard, so I might be able to understand? But though I've tinkered a bit with electronics, I'm no expert there!

Thanks Greg
Last Edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by Greg the Yeti. Reason: Clarity and Spelling
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47488

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www.minidsp.com/applications/dsp-basics/gain-structure-101

OK, you have 2 amplifiers, one for stereo speakers, one for sub if I understand you. So you can't vary just one without messing up the balance with the sub? OK, increase gain somewhere else in the chain. The SHD plugin output gain is often useful when you have lost gain somewhere. Each individual output has its own gain so its easy to add 7dB gain to every output. As long as the output signal level is below 2V the outputs won't clip. That should be enough to drive most power amplifiers very well.

The key pont is that you can add gain in several places as long as the DSP levels don't clip. If your audible sound pressure level is too low you probably just need more gain somewhere within the gain structure.

One reason advice differs on the forum is that Dirac don't document what exactly they do to gain.
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47489

Thanks again Emperor "Maximus Entropius"!
Or should that be "Maximus Tripius"?? (depends on whether we're talking Physics or Biology here!)

I have a multimeter, should I just measure the outputs direct from the SHD Studio?

Remember I've got the All Digital Model, so there's no actual Audio Amplification onboard the SHD Studio. Can I measure a digital signal in the same way as I would an analog one? This is the area I actually know NOTHING about!

But yes - on your say so I'll gradually increase the Output gains and see what happens and if at any point I hear any distortion I'll back off a couple of db. Does that sound OK?

I note that Multimeters have a setting for DC volts or AC. I suppose a digital signal is gonna be AC? And yet I did actually know that an analog signal was supposed to be within 2 Volts! I didn't expect that for Digital as well.

Regards Greg the Yeti (Yeti was my nickname at school, but I liked it so I've kept it!)
Last Edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by Greg the Yeti. Reason: Details
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47490

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I don't think the full SHD has any analogue gain control, it's like the SHD studio with a 4 channel DAC.
So the plugin output gains should work the same. Increasing them gradually is wise indeed.
Don't bother with a multimeter on the SHD studo though, only useful for analogue.
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Target - 0d and Below or Average above and Below? 5 months 3 weeks ago #47491

Hi again - so soon! (I've been watching Arnie and Stalone escaping from a ship prison, while I've been on-line... 'So I may have been delayed!

I edited my last post, but it crossed with your reply - you replied so damn soon! But no matter those details are now irrelevant.

One last question if I may. If I CAN gradually increase the overall Gain in the SHD Plugin, then coulc I not do the "Effective Equal" by edging my Target curve up. I edit the Target curves in a text editor (as was recommended on this forum elsewhere) so moving the whole lot up a bit is just as easy as using my calculator and adding a bit to each point on the text file. It would take longer though...

It brings me back to my original question and in some ways it would be my prefered solution if it could be done that way. I.E. I haven't TAKEN away anything from the signal that can't be recovered.

What I'm getting at is that if I've Reduced the Gain by means of my Target Curve in Dirac Live, then the MINIMUM levels may have cut off a chuink of musical detail - right down there at the limits of hearing. But if I THEN Boost in the SHD Plugin I will recover the Upper levels of db but I may have LOST dynamic range and detail in the very quiet passages?

That's my reason for prefering to up the levels in Dirac rather than the SHD Plugin. Any ideas?

Regards Greg
Last Edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by Greg the Yeti. Reason: Spelling and Detail
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