VST Plugins. Do you use them?

I use plugins from Melda production (MFreeFXBundle | MeldaProduction) and Dirac Live (Dirac Live - Dirac).

While I agree that this is useful functionality to those that like to tinker with the sound, it’s like using the transport as an instrument.

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If room-correction is applied effectively via the plug-in architecture, it’s functionality is technically essential… as in the case of applying IKMultimedia’s ARC System 3 or others…

Essential it’s not. I‘d much rather go down the room treatment route than DSP.

If you have high end gear, you should be prepared to invest in room treatment.

How do you assess the results of your room treatment without technical analysis, so that it is not subjectively biased?
(edit): Most likely you will employ a plug-in for that analysis, if not just for the temporary reference analysis of your treatment or as a permanent mechanism to facilitate a precise level of correction, so to not color the final auditioned master product…
(edit): The problem with trying to employ any room-correction application, is that it seems there is no way to route a reference-microphone feed into the plug-in as the measurement device, through the Audirvana Studio architecture… This would have to be done with some other stand-alone system/devices…

The best room treatment results are achieved by combining technical measurements and empirical experimentation. In the end the result needs to suit you.


However, technically speaking… The precision of modern, advanced DSP based analysis and correction will produce results, in theory, that are free of subjective bias and electronic/mechanical and acoustical distortions… It may not sound right to one’s hearing, and this is where one’s subjective hearing acuity comes into play… Theoretically speaking, it is all “equalization”… just different means to a subjective level of appreciation.
(edit): The symbiotic application of physical room-treatments and DSP will always be best… The less digital EQ applied to the signal is the best recipe for a high-quality listening experience, in the acoustic environment.
(edit): An excellent example of DSP acoustic correction is demonstrated by the Smyth Research A16 Realizer headphone system…

That’s highly subjective. It’s impossibile to accurately define parameters to evaluate what is “the best”.

I was just corroborating your statement:

In the ideal world, I had a studio built on my estate. There I can record bands and in the master suite there is a set where I can also listen to music.

But in practice I live in a residential area with neighbors and I share the living room with my wife and children.

I managed to get two nice speakers, panels behind the speakers and on the ceiling. A carpet between the sofa and speakers.

And with Dirac I’ve been fine tuning endlessly to get as close as possible to the sound of the speakers, but get rid of the room mode.


How are you employing DIRAC in the Audirvana Studio architecture without being able to run a reference-microphone feed into it?

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You can use a microphone during the measurement. Why wouldn’t that be possible? I use the mic from mini DSP. Includes calibration file. But other/better mics are also possible.

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OK… but how do you route the output signal from the microphone into DIRAC, running as a plug-in in Audirvana Studio?

The Microphone feed does not need to go to the DIRAC processor in Audirvana. The measurement is done by the Dirac Live application.

You start a measurement (at 17 points around the listening position) in DIRAC live. Then the DIRAC processor will generate test tones in Audirvana. DIRAC Live measures this.

In DIRAC live you generate a reference file.
This is sent to the processor.

And then the processor can do its job during playback.

In my case, Audirvana and the DIRAC processor are on a Mac Mini. And the Live application on a MacBook on the couch.

So… I was reading the Quick Start Guide for the DIRAC Room Correction Suite Plug-in… What you are telling me is the initial room analysis and corrections are first established by the DIRAC application running either on your MacMini or on the MBP on the couch and then it is creating the data-file used by the plug-in running in Audirvana Studio… Did I get this right?

That’s correct.


All Audirvana has to do is play a music file. And the DSP must be in Realtime.

Then the application on the MacBook takes control of the processor.

It would be nice if you could insert the plug-in after sample-rate interpolation, it may more accurately represent the measured corrections…

I listen to almost everything in RedBook. And I also did the measurements in 24/44.1. no further resampling in Audirvana. The Hegel amplifier/DAC seems to perform that part quite well

There is also a standalone version of Dirac. It is available as a virtual sound card for Audirvana. I think it now only has a fixed sample rate.

It is possible to make a measurement at any sample frequency. And open a different preset for each application in Dirac.