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Smyth Research Realiser A16

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jgazal, May 7, 2016.
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  1. sahmen
    Thanks for the tips, but here is a question i have been meaning to ask someone for a long time : How does one set up angled ceiling/Atmos speakers, using this approach?
     
  2. arnaud Contributor
    After taking the 1in x 2out splitter (supposedly compatible with lpcm 7.1) out of the system (feeding the a16 with the 4 to 1 switcher output directly), I could actually get the a16 see the dts 6.1 soundtrack (forcing dts to lpcm conversion in the br player). The only issue is that the lpcm conversion assigned the 6th channel to surround back left speaker (instead of a mix of back L &R) and I could not figure out yet if/how I could possibly fix this in the a16 upmixer (not a big deal as this channel as barely no content during the movie).

    I wasn’t able to reset the A16 to then passthrough the a stereo mixdown to the optical out so just sent the binaural signal to the 2.0 speaker system (the kids haven’t noticed how weird it sounds yet...).

    From the above, I guess the most practical situation is to use a uhd player for all sources (from dvd to 4k uhd + streamed sources, doing dts 2 lpcm conversion when required) with 2 hdmi out (1 for the realiser, 1 for the a16). but are there such players that also have hdmi input capability (i am thinking about an apple TV 4k)?

    Arnaud
     
  3. Om ma Ni
    Wow, that sounds interesting! what about "simulating" the top speakers capture then?
     
  4. audiohobbit
    These were just thoughts and first impressions. Absolutely no guarantee there.
    Have to try out if this really works.

    What do you mean by simulating a top speaker? It has to be in the real top position relative to your head anyway.
    My only hope is that you can just use output 1 and 2 all the time and just reassign the labels in the PRIR room setup.

    By the way I used a cheap adapter from 3.5 mm stereo to 2 RCA jacks I already got here. The RCA jacks are labeled black and red. Normally red is the R channel and black or white the L channel. My AVR inputs are labelled equally.
    Turned out that the standard assignment of the A16 (I think 1 L, 2 R) was just the other way round. Confusing.

    On the output gain set by the speaker calibration process: 1.0 is max. So if it sets it to 1. 0 you can't be sure if it wanted to boost the output even more, so better reach something just below 1. 0.9 or similar.
    Calibration results were relatively unreliable when doing it several times and sometimes very uneven between L and R. You have to decide for an average overall value and if you think L and R speakers are setup the same (or you even measured them) then set both gains to the same value.
    Don't expect to get green bars over the whole frequency range. Same with auto HPEQ. I think some yellow bars have to be accepted otherwise it will get red in some frquencies and that's not so good.

    I tested one of the Test PRIRS I made yesterday and it was louder than the Surrey room. But I don't know if the HPEQ also plays a role here.
    To get good levels on auto HPEQ for my LCD2 I set the gain switch on high and had to lower the mic gain to 3 dB.
    For the PRIRs I will boost that to 9 dB I think, so I hope the speakers play 6 dB quieter, because it was really really loud.
    It has to have a certain level of course to get a good SNR ratio but this was too loud. I think thos sweeps are linear over frequency so could be dangerois for the tweeters.
    When you have the mics in your ears you don't hear that, everything is dampened then of course for your ears.
     
    Richter Di likes this.
  5. Om ma Ni
    when you said that the sweeps are linear and could be dangerous for the tweeters...it worry me a lot..
    Think that the Smyth should check that or prepare full detailled tutorial and video on how get PRIR done adequately..
     
  6. Richter Di

    Thank you for sharing. Good tip that the RCA jacks might even be reversed. Guess I will do a dirty version of the measurements before I prep the room too much.
     
  7. Richter Di
    Fully agree. A video would be in order.
     
  8. Rene Lou
    I thought so as well but unfortunately this will not work for creating a single 9.1.6ch PRIR file with all virtual speakers in it - or in other words: you will end up with a lot of PRIR files (for every pair of speakers a new PRIR file - if you save the 2 channel measurements separately in the PRIR measurement App).

    Problem that reassignment of speaker labels will not work to create a single 9.1.6ch PRIR file with just two speakers is this (with current F/W 1.75):
    • To change the labels of the speakers assigned to channel 1 and 2, you will have to leave the PRIR measurement App and go to the Settings -> PRIR Sound Rooms menu entry again. When you change the labels for channel 1+2 there and go back to the PRIR measurement App, the A16 has deleted your first two measurements (eg: L + R) and will start with a new (empty) PRIR file.
    I did a special PRIR sound room for 'multiply speakers' and will describe what I have done in a next post to create at 9.1.6ch PRIR with just two Stereo speakers (with current F/W 1.75).
     
    Richter Di likes this.
  9. Rene Lou
    This is strange since with my 3.5mm to RCA cable red is Right and white is Left as expected.

    Some posts before you said that you changed some of the channel assignments in the PRIR speaker rooms and reassigned different speaker labels in Settings -> PRIR Sound Rooms -> PRIR room 1 (or 2) speaker setup.

    I experienced some non-expecting behaviors as well when changing some of those values to find an easier way to create a 9.1.6ch PRIR without the need to reconnect cables. I reassigned different speaker labels to channel 1+2 to test if there was a way for multiplying speakers and use channel 1+2 all the times. I assigned to channel 1 R (instead of L) and to channel 2 L (instead of R) just as a test and generated some new PRIR files to play around. Later I assigned L to channel 1 and R to channel 2 again. Some tests later - when using the built in TEST to listen to single speakers - and pressing R or L, the wrong speaker was playing (eg: pressing R and the virtual speaker L was playing) - this was the case even with my older PRIRs which worked correctly before. What helped was a factory reset of the A16. Maybe you want to try this as well.
     
  10. Rene Lou
    I don‘t have made such an experience when making my first PRIRs with the A16. Just connected the 3.5mm to 2 RCA jacks converter cable (any will do the trick) and connected the red RCA to the right input of my Power Amplifier and the white RCA to the left input of my Power Amplifier (McIntosh).
    Started the ‚Calibrate speakers (CAL)‘ routine and then the ‚PRIR measurement (SPK)‘ - everything worked as expected (left channel was left and right channel was right). In terms of volume level of the measurement signal it was not very loud (similar to the levels when my Pioneer Receiver or my older Lexicon Preamp are doing their EQ measurements).
    Next thing I will have to do is connecting the A16 outputs to the Preamp input - to make a PRIR including the Preamp RoomEQ active.
    By connecting the A16 to the Power Amplifier directly, there is no RoomEQ of course and the resulting PRIR has to much bass (due to some room modes in my living room). With the headphone and the A16 it sounds similar as if I switch Preamp RoomEQ off and listen to the loudspeakers without RoomEQ applied (well, its just what I expected). I had to do a manSPK with the new PRIR to get good results (good in terms of: sounds similar as if I'm listening to my large stereo speakers). With just the autoEQ HPEQ my new A16 PRIR sounds to bright.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
    Richter Di likes this.
  11. Rene Lou
    What I did to create a 9.1.6ch PRIR with just two stereo speakers (as of today with current firmware 1.75):

    This will be a VERY long post.....

    I copied the 'multiply speakers' approach of my A8 to create virtual side and rear speakers (by looking backwards). For doing this with the A16, I had to swap the rear and side R+L channels in the PRIR sound room of the A16.

    In detail:

    The speaker label assignments have to be done in Settings -> PRIR Sound Rooms -> PRIR room 1 (or 2) speaker setup. I used PRIR sound room 2 for this measurement and kept PRIR sound room 1 as a reference. I swapped channels 5<->6 and 7<->8 compared to PRIR sound room 1, so my PRIR sound room 2 looks like this:
    • channel 1: Spk = L, Size = L
    • channel 2: Spk = R, Size = L
    • channel 3: Spk = C, Size = L
    • channel 4: Spk = SW, Size = L
    • channel 5: Spk = Rss, Size = L
    • channel 6: Spk = Lss, Size = L
    • channel 7: Spk = Rb, Size = L
    • channel 8: Spk = Lb, Size = L
    • channel 9: Spk = Lw, Size = L
    • channel 10: Spk = Rw, Size = L
    • channel 11: Spk = Ltf, Size = L
    • channel 12: Spk = Rtf, Size = L
    • channel 13: Spk = Ltm, Size = L
    • channel 14: Spk = Rtm, Size = L
    • channel 15: Spk = Ltr, Size = L
    • channel 16: Spk = Rtr, Size = L
    After creating PRIR sound room 2:
    1. connect the 16-ch Line Output connector 1-2 with a 3.5mm to RCA cable to your stereo system (Poweramp/Preamp/active speakers - make sure to power off your amp before connecting) - Red connector goes to the right speaker and white connector goes to the left speaker. Power on your amp.
    2. Go to Apps and
      -> "Subject" and select your user
      -> "Room" and select the PRIR sound room 2
      -> "Phones" and select your headphone
    3. Connect the blue grounding wrist-strap to the A16 and ground yourself
    4. put the microphones in your ears, connect the mics to the A16 and sit in your listening position
    5. Go to Apps -> Calibrate speakers (CAL) -> Speaker select and switch channel 1 (L) and 2 (R) on (green), all the other speakers to off (white)
    6. press BACK, go to CAL PRIR Gains and press ENTER, press CAL and then speaker level calibration begins (see manual if the bars are never green or are sometimes red to correct the speaker level)
    After level calibration has been done:
    1. press BACK and go to PRIR measurements (SPK) in the Apps menu
    2. go to Speaker select to check if channels 1 and 2 are still selected and all the others are off, press BACK
    3. go to Config look angles and configure the required angles (see manual for configuration options, for me Look azi (+/-30 deg x 1) was ok), rest is switched off, Look angles is fixed, press BACK
      (the procedure below is valid if you measure +/-30 degrees as well, otherwise you will have to adapt)
    4. Mode is set to All, Sweep type is set to 12sec overlap
    Now we are ready to begin with the PRIR measurement:
    1. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements (eg: 'look center' -> look center (0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (typically face your left front speaker) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (typically face your right front speaker) and keep still
    2. After the 1st measurement (channels 1+2 = L+R) has been done, press BACK

    3. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 1+2 and switch on channel 3 and 4 (center and subwoofer), press BACK
    4. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 3-4 and switch your amp on again
    5. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, but this time at 'look center' -> look 30 degrees to the left (face your left speaker - this will become your virtual center speaker) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 60 degrees and keep still -> 'look right' -> look center 0 degrees (straight ahead) and keep still
      (by doing this, you just created a virtual center speaker which will sounds exactly as your left front speaker, but in front of you; your right front speaker will become the virtual subwoofer).
    6. After the 2nd measurement has been done, press BACK

    7. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 3+4 and switch on channel 5 and 6 (Rss and Lss), press BACK
    8. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 5-6 and switch your amp on again
    9. Take a chair and sit between your front speakers, facing backwards (180 degrees, looking away from your screen/TV)
    10. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, this time at 'look center' -> look 180 degrees backwards and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (approx. where a right rear speaker would be) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (approx. where a left rear speaker would be) and keep still
      (by doing this, you just created virtual side speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the side of you. Your left front speaker will become the virtual right side speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual left side speaker)
    11. After the 3rd measurement has been done, press BACK

    12. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 5+6 and switch on channel 7 and 8 (Rb and Lb), press BACK
    13. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 7-8 and switch your amp on again
    14. sit on your primary seating postion, but facing backwards (180 degrees, looking away from your screen/TV; I have a couch and was just kneeling on it looking backwards)
    15. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look 180 degrees backwards and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (approx. where a right rear speaker would be) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (approx. where a left rear speaker would be) and keep still
      (by doing this, you just created virtual rear speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the rear position. Your left front speaker will become the virtual right rear speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual left rear speaker)
    16. After the 4th measurement has been done, press BACK

    17. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 7+8 and switch on channel 9 and 10 (Lw and Rw), press BACK
    18. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 9-10 and switch your amp on again
    19. Starting from your primary listening position, move somewhat closer to the screen/TV, so that your front speakers will be at approx. +/- 60 degrees from you (and will become wide speakers - take a chair again)
    20. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look center (0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees and keep still
      (by doing this, you just created virtual wide speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the wide position. Your left front speaker will become the virtual left wide speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual right wide speaker)
    21. After the 5th measurement has been done, press BACK

    22. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 9+10 and switch on channel 11 and 12 (Ltf and Rtf), press BACK
    23. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 11-12 and switch your amp on again
    24. Sit on your primary listening position and lower your head (tilt it downwards looking towards the floor) so that your front speakers will be at approx. 45 degrees "above" your head (and will become top front speakers)
    25. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look center (still looking downwards to the floor, 0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (still towards the floor) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (still towards the floor) and keep still
      (by doing this, you just created virtual top front speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the top front position approx. 45 degrees upwards. Your left front speaker will become the virtual left top front speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual right top front speaker)
    26. After the 6th measurement has been done, press BACK

    27. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 11+12 and switch on channel 13 and 14 (Ltm and Rtm), press BACK
    28. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 13-14 and switch your amp on again
    29. Sit on your primary listening position and lower your head even more (tilt it downwards 90 degrees, looking to the floor) so that your front speakers will be at approx. 90 degrees "above" you (and will become top middle speakers)
    30. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look center (but still down to the floor, 0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (still to the floor) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (still to the floor) and keep still
      (by doing this, you just created virtual top middle speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the top middle position approx. 90 degrees above you. Your left front speaker will become the virtual left top middle speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual right top middle speaker)
    31. After the 7th measurement has been done, press BACK

    32. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 13+14 and switch on channel 15 and 16 (Ltr and Rtr), press BACK
    33. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 15-16 and switch your amp on again
    34. Sit on your primary listening position and lower your head even more (tilt it further downwards, looking to the floor below and behind of you) so that your front speakers will be at approx. 45 degrees "above and behind" of you and will become top rear speakers (I have to say this is a quite uncomfortable position - lucky nobody else sees you when you are doing this....)
    35. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look center (but still down to the floor behind of you, 0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (still to the floor) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (still to the floor) and keep still
      (by doing this, you just created virtual top rear speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the top rear position approx. 45 degrees behind and above you. Your left front speaker will become the virtual left top rear speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual right top rear speaker)
    36. After the 8th measurement has been done, press ENTER to save your 9.1.6ch PRIR !
    • With the microphones still in the ear canal, do a proper HPEQ (autoEQ)
    • Do not forget to copy the PRIR and HPEQ files from the circular recycle buffers to the permanent storage and/or SD card
    • Remove the microphones and - if you can - do a HPEQ (manSPK) and compare the L+R speakers with the virtual L+R speakers
    With this procedure, your head movement will be always the same - looking center and then 30 degrees to the left and 30 degrees to the right (30 degrees being relative to the position you where looking at the 'look center' position - be it backwards or towards the floor).

    Enjoy !!!!!!!!

    You can improve accuracy of the head tracking when switching on head tracking during measurements and watch the actual angle of your head position. On the A16 display in the right top corner there are small head tracking angles updated whenever you move your head. To be able to watch those tiny HT numbers at the same time you move your head, a "remote display" of the A16 display will come in handy. For doing so I tested the following: point the camera of an iPad towards the A16 display and use FaceTime (video call) to call an iPhone. Use the iPhone as remote display of the A16 display. This works - but with all those cables, head tracker on your head, lowering your head looking center, left and right and watching your iPhone at the same time you will look like a complete freak to others..... But what the heck - the final result will rock you !

    One additional remark: The A8 has a 'multiply speakers' routine for creating a virtual speaker system (eg: 7.0) with a pair of stereo speakers. The A8 creates a virtual center channel by combining the R and L measured front speakers (as if you would listen to a mono source over your stereo speakers). This A8 virtual center speaker sounded well. After creating my first A16 PRIR and (just out of curiosity) using my left front speaker and measure it as a real center speaker as I described above, I have to say that this virtual speaker sounds better compared to the virtual center speaker the A8 created virtually.

    Final remark:
    Thank you to Smyth Research for allowing me to create a virtual system in my headphone I could never ever built in real live !! It sounds fantastic !!

    Just watched some movies and it's brilliant :) - never heard a T-Rex like this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
    hadron70 and Richter Di like this.
  12. audiohobbit
    Of course you end up with 8 PRIRs when doing it without all the unplugging and replugging, when creating 16ch from 2ch.

    So what?
     
  13. Rene Lou
    Well, it get‘s messy - eg: measuring just three 9.1.6 systems you will end up with 24 PRIR files already. But of course it can be done like this as well.
     
  14. Richter Di
    Okay here are some new issues.
    A) Suddenly "Dolby Atmos for Home Theater" is not selectable on my laptop. Plugging the HDMI cable in and out did not help. Also not de-installing the Dolby Access app. Any ideas?

    B) Wanted to show my daughter the A16. Now I have put here on User B. Plugged in the Headtracker etc. but the headtracking did not work although HT mode optical enabled etc. Also not green lights on the headtracker unit on the laptop. Only shortly showing initialization but then black (although I turned the green light to max). I then switched the headphones and the headtracker over to User A. And it worked perfectly. Any ideas?
     
  15. audiohobbit
    Optical headtracking only works for user A at the moment. Should be working for both users in a future FW Update.
     
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