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Thread: Dirac live vs Acourate vs Audiolense

  1. #1
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! dallasjustice's Avatar
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    Question Dirac live vs Acourate vs Audiolense

    These are the 3 top software DSP engines. Has anyone compared all of these fine DSP engines?

    I have been a very happy DIRAC Live user for a little while. Of course, I always am growing restless. I had previously demoed Acourate a year ago. I was using crappy test gear at that time so I don't think I was that impressed with the result.

    Earlier this week I tried again. I use a sound devices usbpre2 and earthworks m23 with calibration file. I am very impressed with Acourate. I think it's safe to say the final result is even better than DIRAC. I compared target curves that were exactly the same. Acourate also offers a stand alone convolution engine which makes it easier to load correction files. The stand alone convolver has a very good 64 bit dithered FIR volume control controllable over IP.

    How does it sound better? Everything is more clear. The bass is VERY tight and resolved. There's 0 overhang! The filters are even more transparent than DIRAC.

    Acourate takes some learning. It's very advanced. Good thing Uli is willing to teach!
    I have very little experience with audiolense so I have no way to compare it with Acourate.
    MUSIC IS GOOD

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    Acourate's product that automates the creation new, pre-processed/convolved, files (with tags intact) to put into a library would solve my dilemma of using J River as a DLNA device (at least until they add the ability to apply dsp in MC20) vs. using drc.

    My questions: (1) Does Acourate handle 176k and 192k sample rates? There's a picture on their website that suggests those might be available. (2) Does Acourate "automatically" create filters for all the sample rates it supports and does J River automatically switch between them during playback? (I recall when I played with Audiolens that worked well.)

    Thanks.

  3. #3
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! dallasjustice's Avatar
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    Yes it does all SR up to 192k. You need to use a convolver. Jriver has one. But Jriver needs a .cfg file to connect the incoming sample rate with correct filter. Uli can show you an example cfg file. I haven't done one yet but it looks pretty simple.

    I use the acourate convolver. It has a very sophisticated volume control. It also has some pretty cool DSP features like ISO226. It also has a stereo imaging filter called "flow" control. You can control it over IP or via TCP commands. Of course, these are optional but fun. The Acourate convolver is very easy to add and switch filters. I plan on doing some NT FIR crossovers for my subs with acourate so I will need to compare filters on the fly after I measure.

    I read the Jriver forum. I have no reason to believe Jriver will have any DSP features in DLNA zone. Maybe there will be some way of doing it but I think DLNA presents technical limitations to real time DSP.

    The problem with convolving "offline" is that you need to do some work first to know you will like a certain filter. There's a learning curve with Acourate. It's not easy to use at first like DIRAC. However, it's much more powerful. I am still learning. Uli is very easy to communicate with and very responsive.

    Michael

    Quote Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post
    Acourate's product that automates the creation new, pre-processed/convolved, files (with tags intact) to put into a library would solve my dilemma of using J River as a DLNA device (at least until they add the ability to apply dsp in MC20) vs. using drc.

    My questions: (1) Does Acourate handle 176k and 192k sample rates? There's a picture on their website that suggests those might be available. (2) Does Acourate "automatically" create filters for all the sample rates it supports and does J River automatically switch between them during playback? (I recall when I played with Audiolens that worked well.)

    Thanks.
    MUSIC IS GOOD

  4. #4
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    Maybe this link is of use: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/co...e-walkthrough/
    Hell of a lot of parameters.
    BTW: Uli has been involved in the convoler as used by JRiver: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/inde...rofile;u=46987
    At least he is a Beta tester.
    Steve or Amir should invite him to join the forum.

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    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! dallasjustice's Avatar
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    He would be a great addition for sure. I'll ask him if he wants to chime in here. One thing I would like to know more about is his "cleaner" and the "flow" control. The "flow" is explained in his manual. I couldn't post his illustrations though:

    "AcourateFLOW

    In general we do not have problems to localize an original sound source we are listening to in front of us. All frequencies sent by the sound source are localized at the same position.


    With stereo playback a phantom sound source is created. Of course the target is to achieve the same localization. With a mono recording quite often a virtual position is defined by a pan-pot of a mixing console. Left and right speaker will each play with a certain level. This procedure is known as intensity stereo.

    Now the psychoacoustics shows that lower frequencies tend to be localized closer to the center between the speakers. Wheras high frequencies are perceived to be more close to the louder speaker. This means that a mix of frequencies will be recognized from a diffuse location, it is more difficult to localize the phantom soud source.

    The AcourateFLOW function tries to compensate for this effect. Depending on the frequeny the stereo image will be widened (low frequencies) or become narrowed (high frequencies). The transition takes place around 1 kHz. The compensation results in a less diffuse phantom source, it takes less effort to listen, the music is perceived more flowing, more transparent and with a better space.

    AcourateConvolver includes the AcourateFLOW function, it is possible to define the required parameters and to activate it during playback.

    The AcourateFLOW parameters can be set as long as AcourateConvolver is not started yet. The checkbox allows to switch AcourateFLOW on or off. The amount of compensation can be adjusted by the up-down edit fields, for low frequencies in the range 0 .. 6 and for high frequencies in the range 0 .. -10. The comboboxes define the two input channels to be processed, usually the channels for the left and right front spekers are the right choice.

    Recommendation: please be patient with finding the right setting. Stay relaxed and simply take care about how you enjoy the playback. Compare the sound with a playback and non-active AcourateFLOW."



    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Kars View Post
    Maybe this link is of use: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/co...e-walkthrough/
    Hell of a lot of parameters.
    BTW: Uli has been involved in the convoler as used by JRiver: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/inde...rofile;u=46987
    At least he is a Beta tester.
    Steve or Amir should invite him to join the forum.
    MUSIC IS GOOD

  6. #6
    I have used acourate in my setup for ~8 months or so now & am extremely happy with it. I have not compared to the other products for a few reasons; dirac seemed rather inflexible for my needs (I wanted to be able to use something on linux as well), I had read of some individuals moving from audiolense to acourate but not vice versa. The ultimate reason though was the acourate demo which just sounded fabulous.

    The reason I post here though is because I find the comparison to dirac interesting. Dirac seems to be the leading fully automated solution out there and the currently preferred algorithm for high end (AV) processors. On the other hand, Acourate is a semi automated solution that takes substantial investment in learning how to drive. It also is built for the PC where Dirac seems to target consumer electronics equipment first and foremost. I wonder how much of the difference between the two is found there or is it more fundamentally about the algorithm? For example, a Dirac filter seems to cost about 20ms or so which equates to ~25Hz frequency resolution (~4000 taps at 96kHz) whereas an out of the box Acourate filter is typically 64k taps so a few hundred ms latency but a frequency resolution of <1.5Hz. Does Dirac scale upwards to larger filter sizes? If you scale Acourate down to a smaller filter then does the SQ degrade to meet Dirac? If you had the time & inclination then that might be an interesting comparison to make (albeit of somewhat academic interest).

    FWIW I found the Acourate documentation, or lack thereof, the biggest stumbling block. It is a deeply confusing piece of software to the newcomer IMV. I don't know how you'd write docs for it either as so much of it is dependent on the situation. It is at least internally consistent software so once you do get going then it's quite easy to generate repeatable results. I have my own, 5.1, workflow down to 2-3 hrs these days (for reference it has been reposted on http://digitalroomcorrection.hk/http..._Workflow.html by another acourate user, great reference site btw) which is down from days (with various email exchanges or teamviewer sessions in the middle!).

  7. #7
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! dallasjustice's Avatar
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    Wink

    Wow! Your website is an awesome resources! I agree that Uli's documentation is limited. However, he is an excellent teacher. He spent almost 2 hours working with me on Saturday just to help me better understand the various settings and graphs. He's willing to answer any question, no matter how dumb.

    I would not know how many taps DIRAC uses. I've heard that they are working on an improved version. However, I doubt there will ever be crossovers with DIRAC. I have a 4ch system. I use digital IIR crossovers now. I am looking forward to integrating my frontwall and backwall subs with acourate. I need to get an appropriate DAC/ADC first. I am thinking eg. lynx hilo.

    I like Uli's ideas about crosstalk. That's some interesting ****! I was thinking before I read that the flow setting makes my system sound more like tubes or vinyl (the good aspects). Where do I get the test track to setup flow? Uli set the initial parameters in AC for me. I like what it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3ll3d00d View Post
    I have used acourate in my setup for ~8 months or so now & am extremely happy with it. I have not compared to the other products for a few reasons; dirac seemed rather inflexible for my needs (I wanted to be able to use something on linux as well), I had read of some individuals moving from audiolense to acourate but not vice versa. The ultimate reason though was the acourate demo which just sounded fabulous.

    The reason I post here though is because I find the comparison to dirac interesting. Dirac seems to be the leading fully automated solution out there and the currently preferred algorithm for high end (AV) processors. On the other hand, Acourate is a semi automated solution that takes substantial investment in learning how to drive. It also is built for the PC where Dirac seems to target consumer electronics equipment first and foremost. I wonder how much of the difference between the two is found there or is it more fundamentally about the algorithm? For example, a Dirac filter seems to cost about 20ms or so which equates to ~25Hz frequency resolution (~4000 taps at 96kHz) whereas an out of the box Acourate filter is typically 64k taps so a few hundred ms latency but a frequency resolution of <1.5Hz. Does Dirac scale upwards to larger filter sizes? If you scale Acourate down to a smaller filter then does the SQ degrade to meet Dirac? If you had the time & inclination then that might be an interesting comparison to make (albeit of somewhat academic interest).

    FWIW I found the Acourate documentation, or lack thereof, the biggest stumbling block. It is a deeply confusing piece of software to the newcomer IMV. I don't know how you'd write docs for it either as so much of it is dependent on the situation. It is at least internally consistent software so once you do get going then it's quite easy to generate repeatable results. I have my own, 5.1, workflow down to 2-3 hrs these days (for reference it has been reposted on http://digitalroomcorrection.hk/http..._Workflow.html by another acourate user, great reference site btw) which is down from days (with various email exchanges or teamviewer sessions in the middle!).
    MUSIC IS GOOD

  8. #8
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    Can you get acourate for a trial?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Whatmore View Post
    Can you get acourate for a trial?
    You can take a measurement of your room and send it to uli along with a couple of tracks, he will then return the convolved versions for you to listen to. Details here - http://www.audiovero.de/en/acourate-...or-free--.html

    Quote Originally Posted by dallasjustice View Post
    Wow! Your website is an awesome resources! I agree that Uli's documentation is limited. However, he is an excellent teacher. He spent almost 2 hours working with me on Saturday just to help me better understand the various settings and graphs. He's willing to answer any question, no matter how dumb.

    I would not know how many taps DIRAC uses. I've heard that they are working on an improved version. However, I doubt there will ever be crossovers with DIRAC. I have a 4ch system. I use digital IIR crossovers now. I am looking forward to integrating my frontwall and backwall subs with acourate. I need to get an appropriate DAC/ADC first. I am thinking eg. lynx hilo.

    I like Uli's ideas about crosstalk. That's some interesting ****! I was thinking before I read that the flow setting makes my system sound more like tubes or vinyl (the good aspects). Where do I get the test track to setup flow? Uli set the initial parameters in AC for me. I like what it does.
    Completely agree re Uli, he is a very thorough and patient teacher who seems to have an answer for everything. It is not my site BTW, I just wrote the content in that particular page. It is a great reference site though, I found it a good way to judge whether I understood the software (ie if I could read the content on that site and it made sense then I was in a good place!).

    I am just changing to an rme fireface 800 myself. I initially used a cheap but effective device (focusrite saffire pro 24) to get going.

  10. #10
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! dallasjustice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whatmore View Post
    Can you get acourate for a trial?
    You will also need test gear to demo any of the softwares mentioned above.
    MUSIC IS GOOD

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