Dirac Live Active Room Treatment On StormAudio Gear!
We’ve been anxiously awaiting Dirac’s new Active Room Treatment technology since before it was even announced as a forthcoming product. At the end of 2021, Dr. Lars-Johan Brännmark, the Research Fellow and Chief Scientist at Swedish digital audio pioneer Dirac, wrote an article in audioXpress magazine outlining an entirely new approach to room correction that would allow all the speakers in a given system to work together to reproduce each input channel in an optimal way. This concept, called loudspeaker co-optimization, is at the heart of Dirac’s groundbreaking Active Room Treatment technology, which uses MIMO (multiple input multiple output) mixed-phase impulse response correction to calibrate all speakers as a unified system. Dirac ART promises to cancel out lingering bass and reduce room decay time, all while creating a larger and more uniform sweet spot and reducing the need for in-room passive acoustical treatments. On paper, this technology looks like it has the potential to be a true game-changer, and home theater enthusiasts everywhere have been champing at the bit to try it in their own systems. Now the wait is finally over, at least for users of the high-end home theater processors offered by France’s StormAudio.
The Dirac and StormAudio teams have worked very hard on the release of the ART add-on, and we are excited for our StormAudio ISP users to experience the technology for themselves now. With superb feedback from audiences at all our active demos over the past months, and our participants on the beta program, we know that this will be a revolution for home calibration — digital post-processing can enable dramatic improvements of the user experience, with no further hardware investment required.
— Olivier Thumerel, CEO, StormAudio
Dirac says that its Active Room Treatment enables “spatial optimization,” in which all speakers in a sound system cooperate “to accomplish what passive acoustic treatments struggle to achieve.” The algorithm can reportedly reduce a room’s decay time — this is something that ordinary room correction software has never been able to achieve — digitally “removing the limitations of the room” and allowing listeners to experience clearer sound without “boomy, smeared bass.” Even the best dedicated home theaters and home entertainment rooms can create bass problems that affect the overall listening experience, according to Dirac. Many Audioholics readers will know this to be the case. When bass takes too long to stop bouncing around the room, this extended decay time can result in ringing or booming. Dirac Live ART “automatically evaluates and adjusts the bass characteristics of the entire system,” according to the company, “(leveraging) the strengths of each speaker to make up for any shortcomings in other speakers or the acoustic properties of the room.” In other words, Dirac ART turns all of your speakers into active support units, strengthening the performance of the system overall.
Dirac Live Active Room Treatment represents a true breakthrough in digital room correction by, for the first time, processing audio as a unified system, not individual speakers, to eliminate boomy bass and deliver cleaner, tighter audio in any room. After years of R&D and product development, we’re proud to unleash this breakthrough in collaboration with StormAudio, a fellow audio industry pioneer that shares our commitment to pushing the boundaries of sound. With the launch of Active Room Treatment in all StormAudio processors, a new standard has been set in home theater performance.
— Fredric Tapper, Dirac’s VP of Home & Pro Audio
It should come as no surprise that StormAudio’s ISP home theater processors would be the first to adopt Dirac ART. The ISP platform is powerful, modular, and flexible enough to handle upgrades by both hardware and software, making it one of the most future-proof solutions out there. The Dirac Live Active Room Treatment tool is available now on all StormAudio processors and AVRs through the 4.5 firmware update. If you purchased your StormAudio product on or after January 1st of 2023, Dirac Live Active Room Treatment is included at no additional fee. If your StormAudio product was ordered before January 1st, you’ll need to purchase a license for $299 from Dirac’s online store. Dirac Live Active Room Treatment will remain an exclusive feature of the StormAudio product line until the end of Q4 2023. We suspect other Dirac partners, such as Denon/Marantz, Arcam, NAD, and Onkyo/Integra, will be adding Dirac Live ART to existing or future products. Gene DellaSala will be testing Dirac Live ART using the StormAudio processor in the Audioholics Smart Home, so keep an eye out for further coverage very soon!