So you’ve bought the best equipment on the market. You’ve installed all your speakers and subwoofers. You’ve hooked them up correctly to your receiver. But things still aren’t sounding exactly how you envisioned it. After all, isn’t a home theater supposed to immerse you entirely in a film? Every room is different. Whether it’s the furniture inside, the material on the walls, or just the dimensions of the space, there’s a lot that can impact the acoustics of your cinema.
Enter Dirac Live. Dirac is a software we use to optimize home theaters, media rooms, or any space where audio quality matters. This is what takes your space from good to great and transforms your home theater into an immersive cinematic experience.
What is Dirac?
Dirac “applies state-of-the-art, patented algorithms to analyze and digitally reduce room impact and enhance speaker performance.” Put simply, Dirac is software that optimizes the sound anywhere you have speakers and an audio receiver. While it’s most often geared toward home theaters, it can be used in any space with audio equipment, such as a media room or music room. Commercial movie theaters have been utilizing audio calibration for years. Before software like Dirac, this would require a professional audio technician. They would calibrate each speaker individually so the sound is optimized at every part of the room. Dirac has changed the game. What used to take hours of tedious calibration can now be automated in a matter of minutes.
Perfection for every scenario
Another advantage Dirac has is pushing multiple EQ files to an audio receiver. Maybe you have a home theater that uses a projector screen when watching films, but it’s rolled up when you’re listening to music. Or you have a music room where you rearrange the furniture depending on its current use. Dirac can measure each space and lets you toggle between EQ files depending on the situation.
Especially beneficial when going invisible
One particular area where Dirac can make a huge difference is with invisible speakers. While they have excellent sound quality, the material the speakers are hidden behind can change drastically. Invisible speakers are often installed behind wood, plaster, or other materials, and each has its own levels of sound absorption and acoustic properties. Dirac can adjust for this and ensure your speakers sound as best as possible while remaining completely invisible.
How does Dirac work?
Using a microphone that you move around the room, the Dirac software analyzes the acoustics of different locations and uses EQ settings to optimize the speakers in every direction. Not only does this give you the immersive experience you’re looking for, but it also means that there isn’t a bad seat in your home theater.
When Dirac is listening for the tone and pitch of each sound, it’s also measuring the distance between the speakers and you. This is a big part of optimizing your home theater. Room reflections and misaligned speakers can cause sounds to arrive at your ears with different delays. These time shift blur the sound image. Dirac finds the sweet spot of how far the speakers are from you. It delays the sound so everything hits just at the right time.
Is Dirac the only option for room correction?
No. While Dirac may be our preferred option, there are plenty of companies with their own version of audio correction software. Audyssey is one of the options available, Biamp has their own version called Launch, and Bose has ControlSpace. The version we use has largely to do with what equipment already exists in your home theater. Though, in our experience Dirac has proven to be a cut above the competition.
Can I do this myself?
While Dirac is a lot simpler than manually adjusting each speaker itself, it’s best left in the hands of a professional. Not only can a professional integrator ensure your speakers are installed correctly and in the right spot, they can recommend acoustic treatments or additional speakers if your space needs more correction than Dirac can offer. If you’re spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on a home theater system, you owe it to yourself to ensure it’s operating at max performance.
Does it actually make a difference?
We certainly notice a difference! Our Secret Cinema in our Experience Lab is tuned with Dirac, and is the only private cinema in the area to earn a JBL Synthesis certification. If you’d like to hear for yourself the difference Dirac optimization makes, contact us for a private tour of our Secret Cinema! We’d love to show you a few scenes from some new films that highlights the immersive experience Dirac optimization delivers. We’ll bring the popcorn!