By Todd Anderson on Dec 6, 2017 at 11:13 AM
  1. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Dirac Research is Primed to Launch Major Update at CES 2018

    [​IMG]
    (Dirac Research)

    (December 6, 2017) Dirac Research is landing at CES 2018 with a new next-generation version of its vaunted Dirac Live platform in tow. The new release contains a refreshed and simplified user interface, a new correction algorithm, and multi-language support. The company says that changes are largely based on user input and newly available technical advances.

    “Dirac Live has been delivering the world’s best room correction for many years,” said Niklas Thorin (Dirac’s General Manager of High Performance Audio). “These updates broaden the market and deliver user-requested features including support for Spanish, French, Mandarin and Japanese languages, a new, more user-friendly interface and configuration process, and an even more advanced algorithm.”

    From a technical perspective, Dirac’s new algorithm further improves the software’s ability to create jaw dropping sound stage and imaging. The current version of Dirac Live measures the phase of each individual stereo speaker, while the new version also analyzes speakers in stereo pairs. This inclusion ensures that paired speakers have a matched phase response, which (according to Dirac) will “deliver an immediate and obvious improvement to all users.”

    Usability wise, the software’s new interface is designed to eliminate confusion. Dirac says an intuitive app based environment guides the next-gen software’s correction process, with oversite that confirms optimal settings have been implemented. This is fantastic news, making a complex process easier for less technically inclined audio fans.

    “With our refreshed interface and configuration, users don’t need to be technical experts to gain optimal benefits from the platform,” Thorin added. “And an equally important change is the move toward a more mobile-friendly UI. The Dirac Live interface is now as accessible on a midsize tablet as it is on a larger laptop, giving installers flexibility in which tools they prefer using on site. Together, these improvements reaffirm our commitment to providing the best product, developing ever-improving room correction tools, and keeping current with peripheral technological advances.”

    Following CEDIA 2017, we reported that Dirac’s technicians have been exploring multi-subwoofer and immersive sound solutions. As of now, the company hasn’t revealed any new plans in either of those realms. However, another a new upgrade package is expected to drop sometime during Q3 of 2018, leaving the door open for more exciting changes in the coming year.

    The new generation of Dirac Live is available for demo at CES 2018 (January 9-12) at Dirac’s Westgate Hotel Suite #630. The update is expected to become publicly available sometime during Q1 2018.
     
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Discussion in 'AV Industry News' started by Todd Anderson, Dec 6, 2017.

    1. tripplej

      tripplej Senior AV Addict

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      Thanks for the update. Good info. :)
       
    2. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      Awesome, can't wait to try the new system!
       
    3. bkeeler10

      bkeeler10 Member

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      Very interesting. Given how Dirac Live operates (on computers and their own servers rather than on a DSP chip), I'm going to assume that all Dirac-capable devices will enjoy the benefits of this improved algorithm, without need for a software update (other than perhaps the app that runs on the computer).
       
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    4. asarose247

      asarose247 New Member

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      Will it be addressing ATMOS? hope so . .
      this could be the go-to for my living room . .

      easier user interface and BM too . .
      I like easy . . .
       
    5. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Nothing definitive out of Dirac, but it sounds like there’s a pretty good chance it will work on legacy gear. Cross your fingers!
       
    6. Todd Anderson

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      It doesn’t appear as if Atmos is part of this update, but It’s definitely on their radar.
       
    7. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      I think there may still need to be at least a firmware update to allow this, but I'm sure Flavio could tell us.

      I don't have details on how the update differs but I'll just mention that one common limitation that makes it so that even a convolver inside a piece of hardware can't use newer higher precision correction is that the convolver still operates on a DSP chip which limits the number of taps it can handle. If this new edition increases the filter resolution through more taps or anything like that, then different dsp engines may or may not work with the update. Again I base that on no special knowledge of this update just an observation of what could be the case. Audyssey XT32 had this problem for example. The processor might have been able to generate the filter on older products but the dsp chip that ran the correction filters couldn't handle the higher number of taps. Theirs stemmed from using FIR in the bass though which eats up a ton of taps for simple filters.
       
    8. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Good point, Matt. Dirac, at CEDIA, pretty much said that future updates (multi-sub, Atmos, specifically) should work with older equipment/chips. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
       
    9. JStewart

      JStewart New Member

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      I'm going to hold out hope that this literally means that only the algorithm that designs the filters is changed, as opposed to the filters themselves or quantity of filters and that = works with existing hardware.
       
    10. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      I think that's a good stance!

      This phase matching is really huge in my opinion. A big deal has been made about the audibility of absolute phase, but this is different. Just as phase can be used to steer an image (and a pair of our of phase speakers sound diffused), matching phase ensures the best possible soundstage. Instruments are placed precisely. My mentor and designer of my speakers isn't a big proponent of phase matching, but I really believe it makes a difference. I've done experiments using FIR filter generation software to match the phase of my speakers before and found it made an audible difference, even thought everything else remained the same (i.e. the speaker response was the same). I've stated before that the biggest surprise for me was how much DIRAC improved the soundstage. Anything to further improve that will be great, and something unique in the market.
       
    11. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      @JStewart

      Alright, so I got some further info from Dirac and the outlook is actually quite good.

      Dirac is actively trying to make the update fully backward compatible because they want completely eliminate the old version. This may take some time (and may not happen in the first release). But, hang tight, because it's the company's end goal. There maybe some instances where middleware is needed, but it sounds like that might be a user option (not a total necessity).
       
    12. Tonto

      Tonto Senior Member

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      Thanks Tood, great info. Any hints at where their budget is expected to take it?
       
    13. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      Hey Tonto what is it your specifically wondering?

      There are limits on what we are allowed to divulge around upcoming products. What I can say is the future looks very cool.
       

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