Dirac Live Bass Control

Tech Talk

Tech Talk

Dirac Live Bass Control

By Jordan Matthiass
Technical Marketing Manager

James Todd
Global Product Line Manager
HARMAN Luxury Audio

Many of you will already be aware that several of the best ARCAM and JBL Synthesis AVRs offer support for advanced Dirac Live Bass Control. However, you might not know exactly what Bass Control is, or how it works. Most importantly, you might not realize just how much time and effort you can save by using Dirac Live Bass Control to automatically calibrate subwoofers as part of the speaker setup—and we do mean ‘tune to perfection’ with no manual adjustments needed.

Jim Garrett

Dirac Live Bass Control is an expanded version of Dirac Live Room Correction. If you’re unfamiliar with Dirac Live in general, it is a convenient tool for measuring the response of a sound system in a room, and then improving its sound through patented digital signal processing. The impact of the room on the sound is reduced so that the system can be enjoyed with superior clarity and bass. Dirac Live will improve the perceived soundstage and imaging as well as calibrate multiple speakers so that they work together in the room rather than adversely impact one another. Dirac Live gives best-in-class results, with huge leaps in sound performance attainable for any user.

Bass Control, available on select ARCAM and JBL Synthesis devices, upgrades Dirac’s underlying algorithmic capabilities to take the guesswork (or more often, the hours of manual fine-tuning) out of installing and calibrating a subwoofer array. Instead of tweaking crossovers and distances in the AVR menu and performing exhausting rounds of manual listening tests, Bass Control allows you to connect to your AVR with your computer, measure your room response using a calibration microphone, click “Next” a few times, and within minutes, you have incredible sound with extremely little time and energy spent.

Bass Control, available on select ARCAM and JBL Synthesis devices, upgrades Dirac’s underlying algorithmic capabilities to take the guesswork out of installing and calibrating a subwoofer array.

Measuring the listening area.

For the technically inclined, there are three specific acoustic problems that Bass Control was designed to address, namely:

1. Reduce the spatial variability of the frequency responses in the bass region, meaning that bass is the same across the listening area.

2. Reduce out-of-phase behavior between channels so that speakers work together, and not against each other.

3. Reduce out-of-phase behavior between speakers and subwoofer in the frequency band around the crossover, so that speakers and subs work together and not against each other.

4. Bass Control achieves these results by virtually configuring the subwoofers as part of a unified system. When the subwoofers work together, each one can support another in its weakest performing areas. For example, if your front left sub has a large dip at 60Hz but your back left sub can support it at that frequency, your ARCAM or JBL Synthesis device with Bass Control will actively manage the power and timing of the soundwaves from both subs so that the 60Hz frequency is reproduced flawlessly at the listening position. These effects also help in fixing timing (phase) issues across the system. For the listener, the effect is like magic.

(For more details, see the white paper on Bass Control here.)

All this cutting edge acoustic technology, packaged inside an intuitive software experience that guides you through the calibration process, means you don’t have to worry about learning yet another tool. Here’s what Dirac Live Bass Control looks like in action:

Mark Levinson ML-50

Bass Control Filter Design with three regions highlighted:
A) Subwoofer region, B) Crossover (automatically set), C) Main speaker region.

Dirac Live Bass Control rolls bass management into a complete speaker optimization package, meaning you have the power to make your speakers sound however you want, irrespective of the space they’re in. Dirac Live knows how to optimize your entire setup to match your sound goals. Big bass for action movies? No problem! Subtle warmth for your music collection? We’ve got you covered.

But the best part is, you don’t need to touch or adjust anything. Just progress through the steps and Dirac Live Bass Control, now featuring the new Auto Target Curve , will do the rest. Dirac’s DSP algorithms deliver by default sound results on par with, and often even surpassing, manual adjustments. That’s because Dirac Live Bass Control is based on machine learning models that use the world’s best sound systems as guidelines, so the result in your room will match an ultra-high-end tuning easily and automatically. You don’t need to worry about crossovers or subwoofer location. Just let the Dirac Live software calculate the best sound for your space.

Bass Control using machine learning to calculate optimal performance for your speakers.

This unprecedented level of power and ease of use is available to you on compatible ARCAM units as a paid upgrade from Dirac’s Online Store. The following products support Dirac Live Bass Control (for Single or Multiple Subwoofers).

• AVR5
• AVR11
• AVR21
• AVR31
• AV41
• AVR10
• AVR20
• AVR30
• AV40

JBL Synthesis
• SDP-55
• SDP-58
• SDR-35
• SDR-38

Finally, we’d love to answer any questions you might have about Bass Control or Dirac Live in general! Just send them here and we’ll answer them in our next blog post.