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Home/Computer Audio

Discussion in 'Cars, Coffee and Computers' started by [email protected], Jul 22, 2017.

  1. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    Any of you guys into home and/or computer audio? I'm fooling around with the computer system in the office. Granted my "computer system" is a little over the top. (BTW this is where I do 95% of the "[email protected]" posting... a 40" 4k main monitor, a 24 inch monitor on each side (2560x1440) and I don't think you can see it but a spray bottle to keep Walter the cat from spending too much quality time on my desk knocking shit over).


    -Parasound Zcd

    Parasound Zpre2

    Phase Coupled Activator Series III

    Crown XLS1502

    NHT VT-2

    Anyway, I had been using Equalizer APO and RoomEQ Wizard to smooth response and add a house curve. It is free and as long as you use a calibrated mic, you can get pretty good manual results... but nothing in the time spectrum. I upgraded to the minidsp 2x4HD so that I could use DIRAC live -any of you play with it? I tried the software only version and it was awesome but cost about the same as getting hardware and software to do the same thing... but it's way more flexible (can use it on any source, not just computer).


    So far it's pretty easy to set up. I'm not done -the lady is napping and I need to do about 20 very loud frequency sweeps for all the needed measurements. No good at the moment.

    If anyone cares I post the before/after listening responses when I get around to it.

    Anyone else have this same sort of sickness?

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  2. doublespaces

    doublespaces Administrator

    I've never gotten into computer audio much, unless you count the jump to sound blaster audigy. I tend to just slap on a pair of 5.1 headphones and call it a day. Do you have any surround speakers or just the 2.1 setup? I bet those can thump, they look pretty big.

    As far as home audio, I've avoided most of the audiophile equipment because...Well, frankly you can spend a fortune on that stuff as you know. Before I sold my house, in my loft I had a 120" motorized projector screen coming down in front of a mirrored plasma TV(for day time), a 1080p 3d gaming projector, and a 5.1 in-wall speaker setup running on a Yamaha RX-V667. Due to simplicity my downstairs living room was just an Onkyo receiver with a pair of yamaha floor speakers. I'm not someone who can tell the sound quality difference between $1000 speakers and $5000 speakers at normal volume levels, so I don't bother.
  3. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    High end audio is full of snake oil -worst I've ever seen. That said, very good clear and satisfying sound on a budget is totally doable. So much of it is proper setup and dealing with room-related sound issues. I've been making something of a hobby of getting excellent sound on a shoestring budget. Most people in audio do the equivalent of tuning a car via butt dyno only. You really need to measure things and analyze them. Once you start measuring you'll see that preciously few rooms are ok as-is, meaning some sort of roomeq is all but mandatory. Now that software development is at a point we can do this for a reasonable price, there aren't many reasons not to. It is a startling difference before and after... I believe maybe you can't hear the difference between 1k and 5k speakers but proper set up and eq'd vs out-of-the-box? Night and day.

    I don't do surround any more. Too many speakers, too much space, not enough reward. Properly set up it can be really nice though.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  4. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    So... did first round of measurements with DIRAC. I had to overcome a few niggling details with getting the software to work correctly but nothing big. I took 3 measurements in 9 separate locations to perform the calculations.

    The NHT's are set up for nearfield listening. On to results....

    NHT VT2 Average response before:

    NHT VT2 AVG Before.jpg

    NHT VT2 Average response after DIRAC (note that low end bump is my house-curve preference):


    Anyone can EQ, but how about time alignment?

    Impulse response before:


    Impulse response after DIRAC:


    So you can see how it works; you can't go in negative time (yet haha) so it delays the rest of the audio signal appropriately so it all hits your ears at the same time.

    The increase in imaging and clarity is startling.

  5. doublespaces

    doublespaces Administrator

    I know nothing about this stuff, so basically, you're normalizing the audio so that all frequencies come out at a similar db? And then the second thing you're doing is getting the speakers to all fire so that the sound arrives wherever you put your mic simultaneously?

    I did the mic setup with my last receiver, but never anything like this.
  6. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    Basically. This is significant because correcting in the frequency response world via conventional methods also screws with the timing. This helps adjust for both and it's very good at it.
  7. doublespaces

    doublespaces Administrator

    How many listening 'zones' do you have? You said you recorded from nine places, but how many of then do you intend to have listeners?
  8. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    It's set up for 1 listener (chair), but you locate mic dead center for first measurement, then a cube surrounding that point. It allows the focus to be on that spot plus or minus a little if you slouch/lean to the side etc.

    You can also select a couch option which increases the area over which you average. Finally, auditorium for large venues. It's very flexible.
  9. squeedle

    squeedle Lurker

    You should listen to a set of open baffle speakers some time if you get the chance. It'll be hard to go back to cabinets again. :)
  10. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    I have and love them. They're a unique sound for sure. I have a bunch of systems in the house, all different. I'm not really a fanboy of any main type; I've heard all of them sound fantastic when properly set up. These for computer speakers are going to be tough to beat. I just love speakers. I got problems. lol
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  11. ATL-IS-N54

    ATL-IS-N54 Sergeant

    its about tuning the room...
    i dabble myself ;) [​IMG][​IMG]
  12. ATL-IS-N54

    ATL-IS-N54 Sergeant

  13. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    Very cool! I don't make/mix/master music, just listen. Looks awesome!

    I just bought some new NHT's for the main system. M7's. Very excited to get them set up, although it'll be a while before they're optimized.

  14. ATL-IS-N54

    ATL-IS-N54 Sergeant

    at my home studio i use an APOGY DUET as my I/O, no tuning or anything, altho about to expand and do alllll sorts of crazy calibrating / construction.... but the apogee can do 96khz sample rate, which ive thought was overkill but some might say the same about your "listening haven" lol

    when i was doing live sound in college, and i cant for the life of me remember who made it, but it was a rack mounted digital (self-contained digital A/D-D/A) parametric EQ with a calibrated shotgun mic made for taking samples and calibrating the room response curve... basically you would tell it what you had, tell it what you want, and on its own would make the appropriate changes, simply put for room response... this was just a small FOH (front of house) rack that this certain place used in its system... one of the few places that didnt require me lugging my 800lbs of gear into, to make a show happen... Mackie also makes a graphic digital quad EQ that offers a lot of the same and many more functions... being all digital controls and display made it easy to toggle and or overlay, pre / post / actual room response... JBL has some cool "self calibrating" reference monitors, they have a shotgun calibration mic, and give a little doooooowop sin wave sweeap across the bands to calibrate... pretty neat, altho ive never personally used them... altho the mackie quad EQ is cool, and im not even sure they still make it, its limited as its graphic only... i have two of the quad digital compressors in my mobile rack which , like the EQ can each store 100 snapshot presets... which is super handy
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  15. ATL-IS-N54

    ATL-IS-N54 Sergeant

    if your into perfection, you might be interested in some speaker decouplers... the foam pads essentially, and now they have an inertia based decoupler called the "recoil stabilizer" from Primacoustic, seemed like snake oil to me, but the vets of the industry say otherwise...
  16. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    Check out Dirac. You need a calibrated mic (and the files) to set it up properly but they have a week or 2 week trial of the computer software version for free. It's obscene how much of a clarity difference it makes.
  17. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    Upgraded main system and have been enjoying stopping, as they say, to listen to the music.

  18. LessIsMore

    LessIsMore Specialist

    What are those, 18" subs? Geez.
    I just picture it being like this:
  19. doublespaces

    doublespaces Administrator

    Your house must bump!
  20. Chris@VargasTurboTech

    [email protected] Sergeant Vendor

    lol! Yes, they're 18's.

    The set up is more for fidelity than sheer output, but it can also play fairly loudly just as a byproduct of my design targets.