ROON and DRC Software

FrantzM

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Apr 20, 2010
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#1
Hi

I love ROON Labs Music Player. It is a gift to music lover. I am also using TIDAL with it. For now my listening is headphones-based and I am slowly learning how to use ROON and TIDAL. I will move soon to a speakers-based system, although the headphones and their amps will go nowhere :).
Right now, ROON doesn't support VST plugins or any convolver. How does one uses ROON with software based DRC; I am interested in using Acourate or Dirac.. Do not know yet. A bummer I was/am so happy with ROON + TIDAL. :(
I understand that a mini-DSP DI or equivalent could be used between the DAC and the ROON player output but are there ways to avoid this?
 
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dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
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Dallas, Texas
#2
I use Roon with Acourate.

Hi

I have love ROON Labs Music Player. It is a gift to music lover. I am also using TIDAL with it. For now my listening is headphones-based and I am slowly learning how to use ROON and TIDAL. I will move soon to a speakers-based system, although the headphones and their amps will go nowhere :).
Right now, ROON doesn't support VST plugins or any convolver. How does one uses ROON with software based DRC; I am interested in using Acourate or Dirac.. Do not know yet. A bummer I was/am so happy with ROON + TIDAL. :(
I understand that a mini-DSP DI or equivalent could be used between the DAC and the ROON player output but are there ways to avoid this?
 
Apr 3, 2010
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Seattle, WA
#3
I used Dirac with it. Dirac emulates a sound device. You do your measurements. Tell Direc what your sound device is. It then wraps that device under its own name and applies EQ to it on the fly. That way, any application talking to that device through Dirac will get the benefit of EQ. Roon is just one such app.

In Roon you simply select Dirac as your output device and you are done. The changes to Dirac setting is done inside Dirac controller and its measurement suite.
 

dallasjustice

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Apr 12, 2011
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Dallas, Texas
#4
You can also use HQplayer's convolver but I don't know anything about it.

If you use Acourate, it makes the most sense to also use Acourate Convolver. In Roon, you select Acourate ASIO as output.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#5
Thanks People .. Way easier than I thought. I will look in to this. There will be more question concerning the use of those software. I will use multiple subs so more questions will come

Thanks again!
 

RayDunzl

New Member
Jun 26, 2014
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Tampa
#6
I use MiniDSP OpenDRC-DI in front of my DAC.

It takes digits from all sources and does its manipulations:

CD, Video Player, HDRadio, TV, and PC sources.
 
Jan 29, 2014
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Cape Town South Africa
#7
I just send output of roon/Tidal to my squeezebox which feeds my miniDSP dirac box
the pre outs of my devialet feed into a 4x10hd and that controls 4 subs
roon will see any device that your system/network sees is capable of outputting audio as an endpoint

I use dirac with my speakers and all 4 subs to sort of panel beat it all into place and then tweak with the 4x10
 

Brucemck2

Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
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Houston area
#8
I just send output of roon/Tidal to my squeezebox which feeds my miniDSP dirac box
the pre outs of my devialet feed into a 4x10hd and that controls 4 subs
roon will see any device that your system/network sees is capable of outputting audio as an endpoint

I use dirac with my speakers and all 4 subs to sort of panel beat it all into place and then tweak with the 4x10
Where in your chain do you apply volume?
 
Nov 3, 2014
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#10
I used Dirac with it. Dirac emulates a sound device. You do your measurements. Tell Direc what your sound device is. It then wraps that device under its own name and applies EQ to it on the fly. That way, any application talking to that device through Dirac will get the benefit of EQ. Roon is just one such app.

In Roon you simply select Dirac as your output device and you are done. The changes to Dirac setting is done inside Dirac controller and its measurement suite.
I am not myself even tempted by Roon at this point for several reasons, although it seems to be a big hit and it might well revolutionize PC audio. I could become tempted to change my mind someday.

Right now, I use JRiver feeding Dirac on the PC as my only "front end". My full "HTPC concept" setup incorporates my libraries, my player, my TV cable box replacement AND it also acts as my preamp/processor. That eliminates several items, sometimes costly and rapidly obsolescent, like the pre/pro, from my system. There are three main roadblocks to me using Roon in place of JRiver, at least as far as I know:

(1.) it does not do multichannel audio, my irreplaceable favorite of a lifetime.

(2.) it does not have "preamp/Mch controller" functionality, most notably bass management to a subwoofer, which Dirac also does not have. JRiver does a good job with that for me. But, does Roon do volume control integrated with my Exasound DAC? Can it handle my DSD library with conversion on the fly to hi Rez PCM for Dirac processing?

(3.) it does not handle video formats, like my BD-A and BD-V libraries, as well as live TV video feeds and recording capabilities from my HD Homerun Prime/Cable Card replacement for my cable box.

So, if I am wrong about understanding Roon's capabilities vs. these requirements of mine, I would surely like to know.

Incidentally, for some of these issues, I can see the possibility of using Roon - JRiver via its WDM driver - Dirac - DAC driver, etc. all within the PC as "virtual sound cards". That could solve some of these Roon limitations for me, albeit with more software interconnections. But, the rest are killers for me with Roon at the current time. It is just a library system, and a very nice one within its limitations. I need a more comprehensive, full HTPC/Music system for what I need to do.
 
Apr 3, 2010
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Seattle, WA
#11
You are correct. Roon is being very focused on the problems they want to solve and no more. That makes the app architecturally simpler. For example when a new update comes, it asks you if you want all of your devices updated. I say yes and it updates my main Windows server in 3-5 seconds! No setup. No download. No wizard. It shuts down, and almost instantly restarts anew. If it supported a ton of features the image would balloon with tentacles everywhere making such experiences impossible.

BTW, Michael has all of your requirements just the same. Would be good then to hear how he is using Roon.
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
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Dallas, Texas
#12
I agree with you that Roon isn't right for folks who require an all-in-one player like Jriver. I use Roon and Tidal only for music and Jriver for all else. Roon simply does music much better than Jriver. Roon and Tidal will offer MCH soon.
I am not myself even tempted by Roon at this point for several reasons, although it seems to be a big hit and it might well revolutionize PC audio. I could become tempted to change my mind someday.

Right now, I use JRiver feeding Dirac on the PC as my only "front end". My full "HTPC concept" setup incorporates my libraries, my player, my TV cable box replacement AND it also acts as my preamp/processor. That eliminates several items, sometimes costly and rapidly obsolescent, like the pre/pro, from my system. There are three main roadblocks to me using Roon in place of JRiver, at least as far as I know:

(1.) it does not do multichannel audio, my irreplaceable favorite of a lifetime.

(2.) it does not have "preamp/Mch controller" functionality, most notably bass management to a subwoofer, which Dirac also does not have. JRiver does a good job with that for me. But, does Roon do volume control integrated with my Exasound DAC? Can it handle my DSD library with conversion on the fly to hi Rez PCM for Dirac processing?

(3.) it does not handle video formats, like my BD-A and BD-V libraries, as well as live TV video feeds and recording capabilities from my HD Homerun Prime/Cable Card replacement for my cable box.

So, if I am wrong about understanding Roon's capabilities vs. these requirements of mine, I would surely like to know.

Incidentally, for some of these issues, I can see the possibility of using Roon - JRiver via its WDM driver - Dirac - DAC driver, etc. all within the PC as "virtual sound cards". That could solve some of these Roon limitations for me, albeit with more software interconnections. But, the rest are killers for me with Roon at the current time. It is just a library system, and a very nice one within its limitations. I need a more comprehensive, full HTPC/Music system for what I need to do.
 

Nyal Mellor

Industry Expert
Jul 14, 2010
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SF Bay Area, CA, USA
#13
I wish every single integrated amp or pre-amp had good DRC. IMO that's the right place for it in the signal chain.
 

Kal Rubinson

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May 5, 2010
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#14
I wish every single integrated amp or pre-amp had good DRC. IMO that's the right place for it in the signal chain.
Mebbe but mebbe that's too late. If it is after the DAC, it will require redigitization. I think it belongs before the DAC or in the DAC the way DEQX does it.
 
Jan 29, 2014
983
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0
Cape Town South Africa
#15
Kal.. roon is limited compared to J river as you say .. it also does not do internet radio , but it does do tidal really well...
Its really the interface and metadata you pay for. and its music only right now.. now video etc
I was "rooned" by roon , tried it , loved it and then forced to cough up to become a roonlifer
However roon is evolving and a lot of the stuff on the wishlist will come to pass
I recon its a great system for those with vast libraries and who subscribe to tidal.
If J river had integrated tidal.. I would not have been tempted to jump ship
 
Jan 29, 2014
983
0
0
Cape Town South Africa
#16
Even just supplying a 2-3 band parametric on amps would be ideal
My bitch with the devialet is that they supply tone controls for bass and treble , but you can only set the hinge point..it would have been childs play to make these full parametric and thus MUCH more useful.
 

Kal Rubinson

Active Member
May 5, 2010
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#17
Kal.. roon is limited compared to J river as you say .. it also does not do internet radio , but it does do tidal really well...
Its really the interface and metadata you pay for. and its music only right now.. now video etc
I was "rooned" by roon , tried it , loved it and then forced to cough up to become a roonlifer
However roon is evolving and a lot of the stuff on the wishlist will come to pass
I recon its a great system for those with vast libraries and who subscribe to tidal.
If J river had integrated tidal.. I would not have been tempted to jump ship
I know. I have been fiddling with it a bit with the SOtM and the exaSound PlayPoint. However, the lack of MCH and the difficulty of fixing metadata bother me.
 

Brucemck2

Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
240
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Houston area
#18
I used Dirac with it. Dirac emulates a sound device. You do your measurements. Tell Direc what your sound device is. It then wraps that device under its own name and applies EQ to it on the fly. That way, any application talking to that device through Dirac will get the benefit of EQ. Roon is just one such app.

In Roon you simply select Dirac as your output device and you are done. The changes to Dirac setting is done inside Dirac controller and its measurement suite.
I am setting up a music system at a new home. Straight two channel for now. Ideally:

Roon on screaming i7 desktop in a nearby office.
Dirac or Fab Filter Pro providing digital equalization. (Willing to try Acourate (again), despite the rough user interface issues)
All control via an iPad
MSB stack as my DAC, maybe feeding VTL preamp feeding active speakers
(Not yet sure if I will do volume control in the preamp, or at either the desktop or speakers)
Feed the MSB stack locally with a microRendu or similar Ethernet to USB converter

I know that Fab Filter is 96k limited. I suspect Dirac has a sampling rate at which it works best too. I will "sacrifice" bit and sample rate conversion "sonic losses" for the sonic gains from PEQ.

If I am going to have to resample everything to 96k (or 192k) for Dirac or for Fab Filter Pro, then I suspect I should add HQ Player to the chain? (I currently use J River's built in resampling functionality.)

So, if you were going to use Dirac or Fab Filter remote from the DAC, and wanted to use Roon, with local control via an iPad, what would you recommend as the best playback chain(s) to consider?

Appreciate the help!
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
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Dallas, Texas
#19
In use Acourate with Roon. If you are only needing 2CH, then Acourate shouldn't be that onerous. I believe all sample rates sound great with Acourate. But if you feel like you don't want any conversion at all, you could try measuring at each sample rate in Acourate. This way, your filter would never need to be converted to the sample rate of your music before convolution. I doubt you would hear a difference either way, but it's a nice solution that none of the other softwares you mention could offer you.

I select Acourate ASIO as my output in Roon and then Acourate convolver does the rest (eg. Applies filter and routes to my DAC). You could also use Hqplayer for convolution but I've not tried that in a while. If you are only using 2ch, hqplayer might be a simpler method if you wanted to use digital attenuation. With HQplayer and Roon, I believe you use the little volume knob in Roon and hqplayer does the filters in the background. In that case, your iPad interface would be super easy for anyone to use. I use 6CH so it's better for me to stick with Acourate convolver, although it may be possible to do the same setup matrix with HQplayer.
I am setting up a music system at a new home. Straight two channel for now. Ideally:

Roon on screaming i7 desktop in a nearby office.
Dirac or Fab Filter Pro providing digital equalization. (Willing to try Acourate (again), despite the rough user interface issues)
All control via an iPad
MSB stack as my DAC, maybe feeding VTL preamp feeding active speakers
(Not yet sure if I will do volume control in the preamp, or at either the desktop or speakers)
Feed the MSB stack locally with a microRendu or similar Ethernet to USB converter

I know that Fab Filter is 96k limited. I suspect Dirac has a sampling rate at which it works best too. I will "sacrifice" bit and sample rate conversion "sonic losses" for the sonic gains from PEQ.

If I am going to have to resample everything to 96k (or 192k) for Dirac or for Fab Filter Pro, then I suspect I should add HQ Player to the chain? (I currently use J River's built in resampling functionality.)

So, if you were going to use Dirac or Fab Filter remote from the DAC, and wanted to use Roon, with local control via an iPad, what would you recommend as the best playback chain(s) to consider?

Appreciate the help!
 

Brucemck2

Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
240
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Houston area
#20
Dallas, thanks.

Amir, what would you do if you wanted to use Dirac rather than Acourate?