LATEST NEWS

FIR Creator EX Adds SMAART® Control + New IIR Modes

FIR Creator EX integration with Smaart, Q-Sys and Symetrix

FIR Creator EX 1.4 includes SMAART® Control and two additional IIR filter modes (Q-SYS and Symetrix). Until now, this functionality was only available in FIR Designer and FIR Designer M.

SMAART Control enables loudspeaker measurements in Rational Acoustics’ SMAART software to be controlled by FIR Creator EX, captured in real-time & seamlessly integrated into the FIR Creator EX workflow for use in filter & preset creation.

The new integration will be of particular benefit in time-limited live sound applications, enabling fast measurement capture and creation of FIR filters for system optimization. (See a list of FIR-capable amplifiers & processors on the FIR-capable brands page). Learn more about SMAART Control or check out the video to see how it works in FIR Designer (functions identically to FIR Creator EX).

The inclusion of IIR filter modes for Q-SYS and Symetrix provide accurate, built-in emulation of each of these brand’s unique IIR filter behaviors. The addition of these two modes mean users now have five emulated IIR modes to choose from. (Linea Research, Powersoft & “General” IIR Filter modes are already available in FIR Creator EX).

IIR filter parameters and raw coefficients can be exported to text files, & the parameters copied to the desired control software. This process is automated (via Direct-To-Processor functionality) for Powersoft & Lake Processing. (Note: the Lake FIR 3-way module can accept raw IIR filter coefficients generated by any of the IIR modes).

When using IIR filters in FIR Creator EX for brands not listed, we recommend trying all five modes within the IIR tab, & comparing the plots displayed with the IIR plots generated by your own control software to determine which mode produces the closest match. The “General” mode is the default option and offers IIR filter types common to all three modes as well as Chebyshev & Elliptic high-pass and low-pass filters and Neville Thiele notched crossovers.

Download a free demo of FIR Creator EX to experiment with the SMAART Control and the new IIR filter modes.

FIR Creator EX 1.4 Release Notes

SMAART is a registered trademark of Rational Acoustics LLC, Connecticut, USA.

FIR Designer SMAART® Control | Moving Mic Measurement

Our recently released SMAART® Control in FIR Designer (& FIR Designer M) includes support for the “moving mic measurement” method. This method is often used as an efficient way to take a spatially averaged measurement with a single microphone, rather than averaging the response of multiple microphones at fixed positions.

To use this method, follow these steps:

  • In SMAART, choose a spectrum or transfer function measurement & set its Averaging to infinite (Inf).
  • In FIR Designer, open the SMAART Control dialog & enable live streaming of the measurement to the SMAART Streaming plot.
    • Set the “Reset delay” to the time it takes to walk from the computer (running FIR Designer) to the measurement position.
    • Check “Auto grab” and set the “Grab delay” to the measurement averaging time. (This is the length of time SMAART will be averaging the microphone response before the measurement is captured.)
  • To take a measurement, select “Reset Average,” then walk to the measurement position and begin moving or waving the microphone around. After the Reset delay + Grab delay time, the grabbed measurement will appear in the Grabbed measurement list.
  • Any measurement in the list can then be selected & transferred with one-click to FIR Designer’s ‘Import’ tab for use in FIR Designer’s workflow.

There are several articles available online which explore this method in more detail, including the AES Paper “Moving Microphone Measurements for Room Response in Cinema” by Paul Peace (Community Professional Loudspeakers), Shawn Nageli (Harman International) and Charles Sprinkle (NXC Systems). (The link will require an AES login.)

To learn more about SMAART Control in FIR Designer, check out this video or download a free demo to experiment with the new feature.

FIR Designer is compatible with a wide range of loudspeaker measurement tools in addition to SMAART. See all supported import file formats.

 

moving mic measurement method using SMAART control in FIR Designer

SMAART is a registered trademark of Rational Acoustics LLC, Connecticut, USA.

 

FIR Designer Now Includes Live SMAART® Control & Measurement Capture

FIR Designer’s new SMAART® Control feature enables loudspeaker measurements in Rational Acoustics’ SMAART software to be controlled by FIR Designer, captured in real-time & seamlessly integrated into the FIR Designer workflow for use in filter & preset creation. FIR Designer customers who use SMAART for loudspeaker measurements no longer need to manually export measurements to file & import the files into FIR Designer.

With SMAART open locally or on any networked computer, FIR Designer’s ‘SMAART Control’ dialog can live-stream any available SMAART Spectrum or Transfer Function measurement. SMAART’s signal generator on/off and measurement magnitude & phase banding or smoothing can all be controlled remotely. A snapshot of a measurement can be taken from SMAART’s live measurement stream and stored locally in a ‘grabbed’ measurement list. Then any selected measurement can be transferred with one-click to FIR Designer’s ‘Import’ tab for use in FIR Designer’s workflow.

The new integration will be of particular benefit in time-limited live sound applications, enabling fast measurement capture and creation of FIR filters for system optimization. (See a list of FIR-capable amplifiers & processors on the FIR-capable brands page).

SMAART Control is available in both the newly-released FIR Designer 2.12 and FIR Designer M 1.4.

FIR Designer is compatible with a wide range of loudspeaker measurement tools in addition to SMAART. See all supported import file formats.

Check out the video below to see how the new SMAART Control works, or download a free demo of FIR Designer to experiment with the new feature.

FIR Designer M 1.4 Release Notes

FIR Designer 2.12 Release Notes

SMAART is a registered trademark of Rational Acoustics LLC, Connecticut, USA.

FIR Filter Guide in Live Sound International Magazine

Our ‘Audio FIR Filtering’ guide features as the ‘Tech Topic’ in the November issue of ‘Live Sound International’ magazine. A huge thanks to the folks at LSI for their support.

The guide has been split in two with the second half to appear in the next issue. It discusses digital signal processing basics and fundamental FIR filter concepts & applications in loudspeakers.

Download a digital copy of the November issue – we’re on page 52 to 55 – or  read the guide on our website (a PDF download is also available).

Sign up for the ‘Live Sound International’ print and digital editions at https://www.livesoundint.com/

 

 

 

Match IIR Responses Across Brands | New IIR Filter Reference Editor in FIR Designer update

FIR Designer’s new IIR filter reference mode and editor enable fast conversion of IIR settings from one brand to another and ensure IIR response matching when working with multiple brands of amplifiers & processors.

In the past it’s been difficult to use common, matched IIR DSP settings across multiple brands, as some standard IIR filters produce different results on various amplifier/processor brands (learn more). Brands also have different filter parameter limits.

Linea Research, Powersoft & “General” IIR Filter modes were introduced to our software earlier this year, providing accurate, built-in emulation of each brand’s unique IIR filter behavior. This latest release adds Q-SYS and Symetrix IIR filter modes, as well as introduces a completely new IIR reference mode & editor functionality.

It’s now possible to set any one of these brands as an IIR ‘reference’, and adjust any other brand’s IIR filters to match the reference response on a plot that updates in real time. Also, a measurement (in a supported file format) of an IIR response from a processor can be loaded into the Target tab, and any of the IIR filters modes (including the reference) can be set to match the target. These new features enable the creation of presets or tunings with identical IIR performance when used across different brands.

IIR filter parameters and raw coefficients can be exported to text files, & the parameters copied to the desired control software. This process is automated (via Direct-To-Processor functionality) for Powersoft & Lake Processing. (Note: the Lake FIR 3-way module can accept raw IIR filter coefficients generated by any of the IIR modes).

When using FIR Designer to convert IIR filters for brands not listed, we recommend trying all five modes within the FIR Designer IIR tab, & comparing the plots displayed with the IIR plots generated by your own control software to determine which mode produces the closest match. The General mode is the default option and offers IIR filter types common to all three modes as well as Chebyshev & Elliptic high-pass and low-pass filters and Neville Thiele notched crossovers.

In the future, we hope to add IIR modes for additional brands, streamlining the conversion process even further. (One-click conversion is the goal!)

The new IIR reference editor & mode is available in FIR Designer M 1.3 & FIR Designer 2.11, and is only accessible to software licensees. (It’s not available in demo versions of the software.) Check out the video to see how it works.

FIR Designer M 1.3 Release Notes

FIR Designer 2.11 Release Notes

FIR Filter Rewindowing | New in FIR Designer, FIR Designer M & FIR Creator EX

Rewindowing provides user-adjustable shortening of a FIR filter – from sources other than FIR Designer – so that it can be loaded into FIR-capable amplifiers & processors with specific tap length limits (and with a minimal change in filter response). Rewindowing is available within FIR Designer’s DTP (direct-to-processor) functions, which currently support Lake and Powersoft.

For example, a FIR filter with a tap length of 512 can be rewindowed to 384 so it can be loaded into a processor with a 384 tap-length limit.

Side-loaded FIR filters can be in almost any file format and are sample-rate converted to the output channel sample rate.

The rewindowed FIR filter can be sent – along with IIR, Gain, Polarity & Delay settings – via DTP to the target (Lake or Powersoft) device.

Rewindowing is only accessible to software licensees (since DTP isn’t visible in demo versions); this video shows how it works (using Lake as an example). Its based on FIR Designer but FIR Designer M & FIR Creator EX include identical functionality.

Existing FIR Designer 1 license-holders are eligible for a USD $100 coupon towards the first-year purchase of FIR Designer 2+ just contact us.

Short Learning Curve for FIR Designer M Users

Our most full-featured & complex product – FIR Designer M – is now also the easiest in our FIR Filter product range to learn to use, thanks to its integrated Help. Since the launch of FIR Designer in 2016, our focus has been on using all available development time on new features & functionality. Providing how-to-use documentation wasn’t a priority since most users were able to quickly master the software’s intuitive workflow, and could take all the time needed to experiment with a demo version prior to purchase. However, as we’ve released new, increasingly-complex features, there has been a marked rise in queries about usability, as well as multiple repeat visits by users to the instructional videos.

So, with the launch of FIR Designer M last November, we decided to divert some of our development time to creating an integrated web-based Help. Website statistics indicate high usage and it’s clear that the Help function is shortening the learning curve, as well as highlighting lesser known features and filter types. We’ve learned some lessons about the value of in-app documentation, and will look at expanding Help functionality in other products in the future.

Get a free demo of any Eclipse Audio software on our website.

FIR Designer M Help Page for the Channels tab

IIR Filters: Emulation Accuracy Across Brands

Some IIR filters may produce different results when used in various amplifier/processor brands. Common causes are differences in the way each brand’s software interprets some filter parameters, like Q and bandwidth (BW), and in the conversion between Q & BW. The differences typically appear in parametric (peaking) filters and shelf filters.

The plots below show various implementations of a 10 kHz 10 dB parametric filter. The upper row is for a sampling rate of 48 kHz and the lower for 96 kHz. There is no simple translation between the BW and Q in each implementation, so to help with the comparison, all have been manually & approximately matched by adjusting the BW or Q to give ~ +5dB at 5 kHz. Looking at the both the magnitude and phase, it’s clear that the implementations are different, particularly near the Nyquist frequency of 24kHz for the 48 kHz sampling rate. The 96 kHz implementations are more similar because Nyquist has been pushed out to 48 kHz. However even when overlaid there are subtle differences.

In the plots, the implementations in the right two columns (labelled Linea Research & Powersoft) each have unique equations to create 2nd order analog filters, which are then mapped to 2nd order digital designs using the Bilinear Transform with frequency warping. The plot on the left uses a method proposed by Sophocles Orfanidis which attempts to keep the digital filter shape close to the analog design near the Nyquist frequency. (This method is very similar to the implementation used by Lake Processing). For more details see the 1996 AES Paper “Digital Parametric Equalizer Design with Prescribed Nyquist-Frequency Gain.”

FIR Designer (& FIR Designer M) can be used to emulate IIR filters as part of a complete loudspeaker preset. Recent updates added three ‘IIR Filter Mode’ options (General, Linea Research & Powersoft) that address these alternative IIR implementations. The Linea Research & Powersoft modes accurately emulate IIR filters for these brands (for loading into System Engineer, and Armonia, respectively). The General mode is the default option and offers IIR filters common to all three modes as well as Chebyshev & Elliptic high-pass and low-pass filters and Neville Thiele notched crossovers.

When using FIR Designer to emulate IIR filters for other brands, we recommend trying all three modes within the FIR Designer IIR tab, & comparing the plots displayed with the IIR plots generated by your own control software to determine which mode produces the closest match. Note: the Lake FIR 3-way module can accept raw IIR filter coefficients generated by any of the three modes.

For all three modes, IIR filter parameters and raw coefficients can be exported to text files, & the parameters copied to the desired control software. This process is automated (via Direct-To-Processor functionality) for Powersoft & Lake Processing (and we’re hoping to have other brands implemented in the future).

Differences in IIR implementation between Powersoft & Linea

Useful links

New Linea Research & Powersoft IIR Filter Modes in FIR Designer

Subscription licensees can access the latest download on the “update available” dialog within FIR Designer 2 or FIR Designer M.

Now available in FIR Designer 2.9 & FIR Designer M 1.1: Eclipse Audio has recently collaborated with Linea Research to offer a “Linea Research” IIR filter mode which provides accurate emulation of Linear Research filters, including the unique Hardman crossovers filters, when creating mixed IIR+FIR loudspeaker presets. FIR filters can be exported as SFI files and loaded into System Engineer, for use in Linear Research processors and amplifiers. https://www.linea-research.co.uk/

Also available is a “Powersoft” IIR filter mode whose Q parameter (for all-pass and peaking filters) now exactly matches Powersoft Armonia. Using the Powersoft Direct-To-Processor functionality, mixed IIR+FIR processing chains can be exported to XML and loaded into Armonia for use in Powersoft amplifiers. https://www.powersoft-audio.com/en/

Both the Linea Research and Powersoft IIR filter modes enforce parameter limits – gain, frequency, bandwidth & Q – specific to each brand.

In FIR Designer and FIR Designer M, all IIR filters from previous versions are grouped under a “General” IIR filter mode and include bandpass, low and high shelf, low-pass and high-pass Bessel, Butterworth, Chebyshev I & II, Elliptic, Linkwitz/Riley & Neville Thiele notched crossovers.

For all filter modes, IIR filter parameters and raw coefficients can be exported to text files.

When switching between IIR filter modes, FIR Designer and FIR Designer M make a best-effort automatic conversion of all filters, although some manual adjustment of bandwidth or Q may be necessary. Where filter types are unavailable, a similar filter type is chosen.

FIR Designer & FIR Designer M can export FIR filters in a variety of formats for loading into most FIR-capable products, including Lab Gruppen (LAKE), QSC, MiniDSP, Electro-Voice, Symetrix, Dynacord, BSS, DFM, Biamp & Apex.

Download a free demo (Windows or Mac) of either FIR Designer or FIR Designer M.

Please note, the FIR Designer 2.9 feature updates apply to all existing subscription licenses and any new perpetual licenses purchased. Existing perpetual license-holders – 2.8 and below – will receive a bug-fix update only. For more details see the FIR Designer Release Notes.

FIR Designer Release Notes    FIR Designer M Release notes

Labelled screenshot of FIR Designer - New Linea + Powersoft IIR Modes

Screenshot of FIR Designer - New Powersoft & Linear IIR Filter Modes

New FIR Designer Pricing

To coincide with the launch of our new flagship product – FIR Designer M (a multi-channel version of FIR Designer) – the pricing options for the existing (single-channel) FIR Designer have been restructured.

A subscription license of FIR Designer now costs $299 (was $399) AND there is an alternative option to purchase a perpetual (non-updateable) license of FIR Designer for a $599 one-off cost.

COMPARE PRODUCTS        BUY or GET FREE DEMO

subscription license of FIR Designer requires an annual recurring payment to stay active. The feature set will expand over time, as license holders receive ongoing free updates to the latest version, including all new features & improvements. Our development efforts will continue to be focused on regularly updating FIR Designer to expand & improve functionality for annual license holders. Tech support is available & feature requests welcome.

A perpetual license of FIR Designer is a one-time purchase. The software can be used indefinitely with no additional payments, however the feature set will be ‘frozen’ at the time of purchase, with no access to any updates or new features for license holders. To upgrade to a newer FIR Designer version in the future, a new license would need to be purchased. Tech support is provided for bug reports only (critical bug fixes supplied if required).

The SUBSCRIPTION and PERPETUAL versions of FIR Designer are identical at the time of purchase, but will differ over time.

Already Own a FIR Designer 2 License?

Existing FIR Designer 2 license-holders will have their annual license payment automatically dropped to $299 per year when it is next due; alternatively license-holders can continue to pay $399 per year at the next-scheduled due date, but immediately upgrade to a FIR Designer M license. (Contact us to make the change to FIR Designer M).

Already Own A FIR Designer 1 License?

FIR Designer 1 was discontinued November 2017. Existing license-holders are eligible for a USD $100 coupon which can be used once towards a purchase of FIR Creator, FIR Designer (subscription/annual OR one-time license) or FIR Designer M. Contact us (providing your license key) to request a $100 coupon.

 

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