Simplified REW Setup and Use (USB Mic & HDMI Connection) Including Measurement Techniques and How To Interpret Graphs - Page 371 - AVS Forum
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post #11101 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 04:46 AM
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Thanks to everyone who answered my beginner questions.
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post #11102 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
My understanding is that the LFE channel in movie soundtracks on DVDs and BDs is recorded on the disc at a level 10dB below what one might expect it to be. This is because the peak LFE output is designed to be 125dbA, while the peak audio in all of the other channels is designed to be 115 dbA. By recording the LFE channel 10dB lower, it is given 10dB of headroom in the recorded audio channel. The amplifying electornics is designed to compensate by amplifying the LFE channel by those missing 10dB. (Historical note: some early DVD DTS soundtracks were accidentally mixed without that 10dB LFE decrease, causing lots of confusion.)
105dB for the satellites, 115dB for the sub.

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When you provide an audio signal over HDMI from a computer using REW, though, all of the channels are sent audio signals with the same digital amplitude, including the LFE channel. The LFE channel's signal hasn't been decreased by the expected 10dB. As a result, it comes out of the speakers 10dB louder than it should. I.e. it's the same "mistake" that was made in early DTS recording mixes.
That's not a mistake. LFE is recorded 10dB lower and is boosted by 10dB in the AVR. So for example, if you input a 80dB signal, it will come out as 90dB.

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post #11103 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 08:18 AM
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Oh my god—this behavior probably explains the "gremlins" I was battling until 2am this morning—THANK YOU!!

I’ll describe what I did so I can get confirmation this is the WRONG way to do it, followed by what I believe would be appropriate.

What I did:

Set REW to output on Channel 1 (HDMI). Set the level so -12 of pink noise (speaker cal) registered 0 on my receiver, and 90dB on the SPL. I did this for the left speaker alone, utilizing the speaker pot trim on the back of the monitor.

I now have 0 on my amp being 90dB (from the left).

I then switched to channel 4 to set the levels of my sub (this is what’s wrong?!). Set the same -12 pink noise tone (sub cal) and adjusted the volume knob on the sub until I hit 90dB on the SPL.

Switched back to channel 1, drove both my sub and left channel testing the crossover and found 80Hz to be the smoothest.

Switched over to CD and listened to music in “stereo” mode and my bass was non-existent. This was over HDMI. Played with my Oppo 970HD’s “bass management” and boosted it 10dB. No difference. I suspect this is because it doesn’t actually affect HDMI output, but just multichannel?

Boosted the subwoofer level in the amp by 12dB and that sounded much better.

What you’re describing above seems to explain this behavior!

Just to clarify what I SHOULD be doing:

Do all speaker SPL settings with bass management enabled (use 1 for Left(+sub), and 2 for Right). THEN when I play music I should not have to boost my AVRs subwoofer level when listening to stereo music, correct?

And the LPF of the sub (in the amp) should be set as high as possible? I see both that, and 80Hz as the two prevailing suggestions for LPF...
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post #11104 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 08:56 AM
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Following my use of REW and subsequent room treatment (lots of DIY panels, corner super chunks, etc.), it appeared most left the backs (i.e., fiberglass) exposed. In the spirit of complimenting REW and me getting ready for a extravaganza of measurments and moving this stuff around, anybody found a great fabric or cloth to wrap up all this fiberglass and/or to cover back of panels permanently? I suppose it would have to balance permeability and function to contain fibers adequately. Thanks alot.
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post #11105 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JW6 View Post
Following my use of REW and subsequent room treatment (lots of DIY panels, corner super chunks, etc.), it appeared most left the backs (i.e., fiberglass) exposed. In the spirit of complimenting REW and me getting ready for a extravaganza of measurments and moving this stuff around, anybody found a great fabric or cloth to wrap up all this fiberglass and/or to cover back of panels permanently? I suppose it would have to balance permeability and function to contain fibers adequately. Thanks alot.
I actually used plastic screen door mesh. I used Roxul in my bass traps, which I believe is a little less irritating if you end up inhaling it as compared to pink fluffy.

My two criteria--I knew it's acoustically transparent and they had it at Home Depot. If those fibers (seem to stay put to me) are a hazard perhaps I should cover them with something a little tighter.

I'm interested in what others used that can be sourced locally...
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post #11106 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JW6 View Post
Following my use of REW and subsequent room treatment (lots of DIY panels, corner super chunks, etc.), it appeared most left the backs (i.e., fiberglass) exposed. In the spirit of complimenting REW and me getting ready for a extravaganza of measurments and moving this stuff around, anybody found a great fabric or cloth to wrap up all this fiberglass and/or to cover back of panels permanently? I suppose it would have to balance permeability and function to contain fibers adequately. Thanks alot.
For broadband absorption panels or bass traps I use burlap. Cheap and effective for containing the fibers. If your panels need to reflect any sound then this might not be the best choice and you might want to consider a more AT material (e.g. Guilford of Maine).
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post #11107 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 09:14 AM
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I'm asking this here in the hypothetical because I won't be able to work on my system for a bit (related to calibration via REW).

Does anyone know if the Onkyo 805 properly (automatically) applies the 10dB boost to digital PCM signals?

I'm reading that wasn't really sorted out in receivers until 2007!
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post #11108 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by HDgaming42 View Post
I'm asking this here in the hypothetical because I won't be able to work on my system for a bit (related to calibration via REW).

Does anyone know if the Onkyo 805 properly (automatically) applies the 10dB boost to digital PCM signals?

I'm reading that wasn't really sorted out in receivers until 2007!
I'm really only familiar with the LFE issue as it pertains specifically to DSD output for SACD's, as discussed in this thread.

I am unaware that the 10dB issue affected other sources. I know for a fact that it never was an issue on any of the Denon AVR's I have had over the last 10 years (4802, 4308, 4311, and now a 4520).

You seem to be struggling with using REW over HDMI4. Why don't you simply use HDMI1 + HDMI2, and disconnect the left and right speakers when you want to measure sub output. There is no LFE 10dB issue involved in this approach, which I use all the time.

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post #11109 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinJerry View Post
You seem to be struggling with using REW over HDMI4. Why don't you simply use HDMI1 + HDMI2, and disconnect the left and right speakers when you want to measure sub output. There is no LFE 10dB issue involved in this approach, which I use all the time.
I settled on this last night (HDMI1, HDMI2 & HDMI3), and things got so much better. I use a separate processor and amp, so it was very easy to turn the amp off when I wanted to just measure the sub, and turn the sub off when I just wanted to measure the speakers.

As you pointed out yesterday, HDMI4 works just fine, as long as you don't use that to set levels. The only problem, however, with running sweeps with HDMI4 is that it looks off, and my simple brain gets confused.
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post #11110 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 12:16 PM
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Okay, here's my first pass at sharing graphs and hopefully getting advice from the knowledge folks here. My room, as I mentioned previously, is horrible. With that in mind, here's what I've got going on:

Baseline FR of my sub:


Baseline waterfall of my sub:


Sub FQ after applying 4 filters in my PEQ:


Sub waterfall after applying 4 filters in my PEQ:


Finally, if it's of any use, a FR with the two measurements overlaid:


I've got vacation coming up over labor day, and a buddy has volunteered to help me build bass traps. If anyone has suggestions for really good plans, I'd love to see them. I've found several online, and it's hard to tell which are the best.
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post #11111 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 12:42 PM
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My thoughts:

- The PEQ had some positive results. As expected, it pulled down the peaks nicely, but had little effect on that null in the 50-60Hz range.

- To assess overall bass response, it is normally more useful to measure the combined response of the subs+center, or subs+mains. It doesn't look like that is what the measurements are. I would be interested how the addition of the center or the mains addresses that big suck-out at ~120Hz.

- The waterfalls are not showing significant issues above 35Hz, although the convention here is to use 450ms as the time window, not 600ms. How about a fresh waterfall using 450ms, and including the center or mains?

- If you are planning on trying to address bass ringing below 35Hz with bass traps, be ready to build a ton of traps, and make them VERY thick. Taming resonances below 35Hz is very difficult.

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post #11112 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
My room, as I mentioned previously, is horrible. With that in mind, here's what I've got going on:
Doesn't look too bad to me. I would worry more about the wide dip around 110Hz. How does the sub sum with L and R?

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I've got vacation coming up over labor day, and a buddy has volunteered to help me build bass traps. If anyone has suggestions for really good plans, I'd love to see them. I've found several online, and it's hard to tell which are the best.
I would first analyze the acoustics of your room further before building anything. Did you take measurement of the satellites around the listening position?

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Last edited by markus767; 08-24-2014 at 12:55 PM.
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post #11113 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 01:35 PM
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I did measure my mains in conjunction with the sub. I wanted to post those as well, but my wife pointed out we were already late getting out of the house. I'll post them this evening. If I remember correctly, the massive dip around 125 looks quite a bit better with the front three channels.
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post #11114 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 01:40 PM
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Post the .mdat as well if you can.

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post #11115 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 08:26 PM
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Okay, here are some main speakers graphs.

Left + sub:



Right + sub:



Center + sub:



.mdat file:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/05pkzf34z4...4%29.mdat?dl=0

I'd really like to understand how to translate these measurements into actionable information. I need to go back and read about ETC measurements, as I'm pretty sure reflections are a problem in my room.

Are there other measurements I need to make before I jump into room treatments?

Thanks for the help!
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post #11116 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
I'd really like to understand how to translate these measurements into actionable information. I need to go back and read about ETC measurements, as I'm pretty sure reflections are a problem in my room.

Are there other measurements I need to make before I jump into room treatments?

Thanks for the help!
OK, here is what I see:

- In the frequency response, if you look at the combined mains + sub without any smoothing, they are still very choppy below 300Hz. The smoothed response above 300Hz doesn't look too bad.





- The waterfalls below 35Hz show quite a bit of ringing, but there is not a lot you can do about that, as I said before. There is a peculiar issue right around 55Hz that shows up on all three waterfalls, don't know what that is.

- Room reflections are not that bad, actually. The general objective is to reduce all reflections to -20dB (the cursor on the graph) in the time range up to 20ms. Your center looks very good. the other two speakers have a couple of reflections you could try and fix.








So, how to address what I think is the area most deserving of attention, i.e. the choppy frequency response below 300Hz? Room Eq like Audyssey MultEQ XT32 might produce a measurable improvement. I don't see where any of the issues would benefit significantly from additional room treatments, but others may have a different opinion.
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post #11117 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 10:06 PM
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OK, here is what I see:

- In the frequency response, if you look at the combined mains + sub without any smoothing, they are still very choppy below 300Hz.
Any ideas what might cause the choppiness/comb filtering? I guess I'd hoped the narrowness of the spikes meant it was minimally audible.

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So, how to address what I think is the area most deserving of attention, i.e. the choppy frequency response below 300Hz? Room Eq like Audyssey MultEQ XT32 might produce a measurable improvement. I don't see where any of the issues would benefit significantly from additional room treatments, but others may have a different opinion.
Is this something that a PEQ would help with , or do I need to wait until Dirac is released for my processor?

I'm surprised and a little disappointed to hear that room treatments won't help much. I've read so much about them here and at HTS, I suppose I'd started thinking of them as panacea for all that ails my room. Is your thought that I'd need far too many bass traps to be practical, or are the problems more likely to be structural?

I've tried moving my sub around, but regardless of where I put it, I seem to have a problem around 50hz. I also tend to have a null somewhere between 80 and 150. In this location I can *mostly* counter it with the main speakers. Maybe it's time for me to move my sub around again and see what happens.
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post #11118 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 11:12 PM
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I'm reading up more on low frequency bass traps. I didn't realize just how hard it is to do much below 50hz. I think I'll probably spend the labor day week trying to move stuff around rather than building traps or other panels. I understand the measurement process quite a bit better now that I did before. I also have a better understanding of aligning phase between my main speakers and my sub. Maybe I can find a better spot in the room for the sub.

I suppose I should probably also accelerate the savings process for sub #2 . My wife will not be happy.
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post #11119 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
Doesn't look bad. How do the EQ curves look like? Could you upload the data without EQ? Did you also measure at other locations close to the main listening position?

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post #11120 of 11719 Old 08-24-2014, 11:45 PM
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Doesn't look bad. How do the EQ curves look like? Could you upload the data without EQ?
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vve6rfwd6j...4%29.mdat?dl=0

Baseline measurements are individual speakers.

Did you also measure at other locations close to the main listening position?[/QUOTE]

I have in the past, but I didn't last night. This will be a good exercise for me to do in the near future, since I feel I have a better understanding of what I'm doing.
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post #11121 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 12:05 AM
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The center has a very different magnitude response than L/R. What kind of speakers are these?

Is bass management engaged for the fronts? I would go for a 24dB slope for L/R (if the sub slope permits) and EQ the peak at 95Hz more aggressively.

You might also want to create an overall curve that falls off. Currently your setup might sound a bit bass shy. The Harman curve is a good starting point (see attachment).
Attached Files
File Type: txt REW_house_curve_JBL-01-2014.txt (187 Bytes, 18 views)
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post #11122 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post


Is this something that a PEQ would help with , or do I need to wait until Dirac is released for my processor?
What processor do you have? If a Dirac upgrade is/will be available, then I think it might be more effective than the PEQ. Tuning your room's audio is an exercise in trying a number of approaches. There is nothing wrong with trying both the PEQ and the Dirac approachs.

I agree with Markus, what you have now is not too bad. When you take time to listen, how does it sound to you? Are you hearing something that you think needs to be fixed? You are correct--some frequency response issues are not significant enough to be immediately audible. How it sounds is the goal.
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Last edited by AustinJerry; 08-25-2014 at 05:34 AM.
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post #11123 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post
^
The center has a very different magnitude response than L/R. What kind of speakers are these?
2 Rocket RS750 Signature Editions for the main speakers, and a RSC200 for the center. They are matched in theory, but I can attest to the fact that they have a different sound signature.

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Is bass management engaged for the fronts? I would go for a 24dB slope for L/R (if the sub slope permits) and EQ the peak at 95Hz more aggressively.
Bass management is indeed engaged. I tried the 24dB slope initially, but had a much harder time getting all three front speakers in phase with the subwoofer. I tried 60hz, 70hz, 80hz, 90hz and 100hz, both with 12dB and 24dB, and best I could manage was 90hz at 12dB. I'll revisit this again.

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You might also want to create an overall curve that falls off. Currently your setup might sound a bit bass shy. The Harman curve is a good starting point (see attachment).
I took a look at the text file you provided, but I'm not sure what I'm looking at. Is your recommendation that I purchase the paper linked in the file?

One of my concerns is I don't know how much EQing is safe. When I first started playing with JRiver, I EQd very aggressively, and things just sounded horrible. When I use the EQ filter generation within REW, it often gives me 10 or 15 filters, some of the with Q values above 10. At this point I feel like I know just enough to be dangerous, but not enough to actually be effective.
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post #11124 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 08:06 AM
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When I first started playing with JRiver, I EQd very aggressively, and things just sounded horrible.
JRiver? So you're using an HTPC? You should check out Equalizer APO:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/

Aggressive EQ, whatever the process, is never a good idea. Start by just flattening the peaks. And a "house curve" helps.

BTW, your wife will be much happier with a second sub than with a room full of huge bass traps.

Good luck.

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post #11125 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 08:29 AM
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What processor do you have? If a Dirac upgrade is/will be available, then I think it might be more effective than the PEQ. Tuning your room's audio is an exercise in trying a number of approaches. There is nothing wrong with trying both the PEQ and the Dirac approachs.
I have an XMC-1. Dirac is not available yet, but will be shortly. I plan to use it, since I had great results with the trial version on my HTPC. I don't have REW graphs, but what Dirac did in my system was much better than the mess I made myself in JRiver.

I've been a lot more restrained with the PEQ built into the XMC-1, and the results are quite a bit better.

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I agree with Markus, what you have now is not too bad. When you take time to listen, how does it sound to you? Are you hearing something that you think needs to be fixed? You are correct--some frequency response issues are not significant enough to be immediately audible. How it sounds is the goal.
It sounds pretty good, but subjectively I feel like there's a bit more high energy than I'd like. I've got plenty of low end, and there's a very tactile feel from the LFEm but I find the higher frequencies are a bit irritating at volumes where the bass feels right.

I tend to eschew most audiophile lingo, but for lack of a better description, I'd like it to be a tad warmer. This might jive with what Markus is saying about my system sounding bass shy.
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post #11126 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
I have an XMC-1. Dirac is not available yet, but will be shortly. I plan to use it, since I had great results with the trial version on my HTPC. I don't have REW graphs, but what Dirac did in my system was much better than the mess I made myself in JRiver.
Interesting. There has been quite a bit of discussion around the XMC-1. It will be very interesting to see what Dirac does to your frequency response. I hope you will share the results here.

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post #11127 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
2 Rocket RS750 Signature Editions for the main speakers, and a RSC200 for the center. They are matched in theory, but I can attest to the fact that they have a different sound signature.
Normally I would recommend to equalize the magnitude average of L, R and C but in this case the center has to be equalized separately.

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Bass management is indeed engaged. I tried the 24dB slope initially, but had a much harder time getting all three front speakers in phase with the subwoofer. I tried 60hz, 70hz, 80hz, 90hz and 100hz, both with 12dB and 24dB, and best I could manage was 90hz at 12dB. I'll revisit this again.
I use EQ also to match a specific slope that is common to all speakers. That way it's much easier to get the splice to the subs right for all speakers.

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I took a look at the text file you provided, but I'm not sure what I'm looking at. Is your recommendation that I purchase the paper linked in the file?
You simply need to load the text file as a house curve in REW preferences.

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Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
One of my concerns is I don't know how much EQing is safe. When I first started playing with JRiver, I EQd very aggressively, and things just sounded horrible. When I use the EQ filter generation within REW, it often gives me 10 or 15 filters, some of the with Q values above 10. At this point I feel like I know just enough to be dangerous, but not enough to actually be effective.
Well, it depends. Below the room's Schroeder frequency it's ok to apply EQ aggressively in minimum phase regions when there's low spatial variance. Otherwise less is more. I also never equalize only single speakers at higher frequencies but always in pairs (L/R, LS/RS, etc.).
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post #11128 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post
JRiver? So you're using an HTPC? You should check out Equalizer APO:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/
I'll check it out, thanks. Is there any reason it's better than the PEQ in JRiver? I suppose allowing me to EQ windows all together is better than just Jriver. My goal, first, however, is to optimize my entire system. The majority of my content goes through the HTPC, but not everything. I want my PS4, and to a lesser degree my DVR, to also benefit.

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BTW, your wife will be much happier with a second sub than with a room full of huge bass traps.
My wife is fine with whatever I want to do with that room, It's dedicated, and she appreciates good audio. I thought it would be cheaper to build traps. Based on what I'm reading, and the sheer number of very thick traps I'd need, that may not be the case.

I was already planning on getting a second subwoofer (which is why I'm banging on Emotiva to get their dual sub implementation right). Now I feel like I need to move that up on the priority list.

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Originally Posted by AustinJerry View Post
Interesting. There has been quite a bit of discussion around the XMC-1. It will be very interesting to see what Dirac does to your frequency response. I hope you will share the results here.
Certainly. What I heard when I tested it on my HTPC was fabulous. It'll be good to look at what it's actually doing, and get input from the experts here.

So here's another question about equalization. Is the best way to determine what curve I need to measure at the three primary listening positions, average the responsem and then build my filters based on the averaged response? If that's the case, I can no longer generate waterfall or ETC plots, correct?
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post #11129 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 09:38 AM
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You seem to be struggling with using REW over HDMI4. Why don't you simply use HDMI1 + HDMI2, and disconnect the left and right speakers when you want to measure sub output. There is no LFE 10dB issue involved in this approach, which I use all the time.
I have now done exactly this. My speakers are monitors with power switches on them--very easy to shut them off.

However, the issue still rears its ugly head. REW is sending PCM signals, and later when I test music via PCM the bass is 10dB low. Calibrating with REW results in my subwoofer output being 10dB low for a) PCM music b) referencing my receiver's internal test tones, even though my sweeps and crossover point (80Hz) look OK in REW.

This is for PCM content in stereo listening mode on my receiver. I am very confused.
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post #11130 of 11719 Old 08-25-2014, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Bluescale View Post
So here's another question about equalization. Is the best way to determine what curve I need to measure at the three primary listening positions, average the responsem and then build my filters based on the averaged response? If that's the case, I can no longer generate waterfall or ETC plots, correct?
I think experimenting with various approaches is the best answer. If you can apply PEQ to each channel separately, I would certainly try that as well. I don't use PEQ--I rely on Audyssey for my equalization. Here is an example of what Audyssey can do:



I would expect Dirac to have a similar effect. What many of us are interested to see is if Dirac can even do better than Audyssey.
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