Room Tuning without FIR….?

FIR Designer takes room tuning to another level by enabling the creation of arbitrary-phase FIR filters that perform room EQ, phase-correction and loudspeaker magnitude & phase matching.

But not all processors and amplifiers have user-accessible FIR settings.

In this step-by-step case study, see how FIR Designer (using averaged measurements captured in Rational Acoustics’ Smaart®) was recently used to tune a system using only IIR filters – no FIRs at all – at a newly-renovated church in Australia.

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

Room Tuning With IIRs using FIR Designer

In this step-by-step case study, see how FIR Designer (using averaged measurements captured in Rational Acoustics’ Smaart®) was recently used to tune a system using only IIR filters – no FIRs at all – at a newly-renovated church in Australia.

Biamp Tesira IIR filter mode added to FIR Designer

Biamp in FIR Designer's IIR Reference Editor

FIR Designer & FIR Designer M have been newly updated to include a Biamp Tesira IIR filter mode that provides emulation of 48kHz IIR filter behaviour in the Tesira range of Biamp products and aids mixed IIR+FIR Tesira preset creation. IIR responses in the new Biamp Tesira IIR mode can be converted to/from Lake, Linea ResearchPowersoft, Q-SYS, Symetrix, BSS & Marani IIR modes using the IIR Reference Editor.

The IIR Reference Editor (in FIR Designer 3.4 & FIR Designer M 2.5) enables the automated conversion of IIR filters between brands in a single click. This ensures IIR response matching when working with different amplifiers & processors, and solves the problem of standard filter settings producing different results on various amplifier/processor brands (learn more). Check out this video tutorial of the IIR Reference Editor to see how it works. (Note, the video demonstrates the original non-automated conversion process which usually required manual parameter adjustments to complete the match; these manual adjustment have been replaced by one-click conversion in more recent versions of the FIR Designer software).

FIR Designer M Release Notes

FIR Designer Release Notes

*When using FIR Designer to convert IIR filters for brands not listed, we recommend trying all 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.

 

FIR Designer Feature Update

New FIR Designer Features June 2022

Here’s a few of the features added to FIR Designer in 2022 so far…


More brands & file formats supported
. FIR filter export for Xilica TXT files & REW magnitude/phase text file import are both now supported. Lake XP modules can now have 96 kHz output channels (in addition to 12, 24 and 48 kHz). Marani Pro Audio specific IIR filters have been added to the list of brand specific IIR filter modes.

Automatic IIR Conversions
. The IIR Reference Editor now automatically converts IIRs from one brand to another in a single click, eliminating the need for manual adjustments entirely. Supported brands include Lake, Marani, Linea ResearchPowersoft, QSC Q-SYS, Symetrix & BSS. Learn more.

Independent FIR sample rate export. The exported FIR filter sample rate can now be set independently of the workflow’s Design Sample rate. This allows the FIR filter to have a different sample rate to the IIR filtering and delay; ideal for processors that use one sample rate for the bulk of core processing, such as 96 kHz, but only accept FIR filters at a different sample, such as 48 kHz. Learn more.

Workflow speed improvements.
Both the Auto Mag and Auto Phase computation can now be optionally paused to reduce program update lag while working in the IIR, Mag Adjust and Phase Adjust tabs.

Copy & Paste between windows & programs
. Easily transfer filter table data across windows in FIR Designer and FIR Designer M, and also between products. Copy and paste buttons are available on the Target Mag and Phase, IIR, Mag Adjust, Phase Adjust and Voicing tabs and work between matching tabs (eg. Mag Adjust -> Mag Adjust).

Enhanced plot display customization. Both the IIR Filters tab and the IIR Reference Editor now have a BW/Q selector with each filter table list, enabling rapid switching between the BW & Q without having to change the setting in Preferences. In addition, on the Import tab time delay adjustment can now be viewed in mm, feet and inches.

 

FIR Designer M release notes       FIR Designer release notes       Download FREE DEMO versions

NEW Automated IIR Filter Conversion Between Brands

 

One click automatic IIR conversion FIR Designer

Differences in IIR filter definitions continue to be a challenge when working with multiple brands of processors. The same Q or BW setting, for common IIR filter types, does not result in the same response across brands. Q or BW on one processor needs to be adjusted, often significantly, to match the response on another processor.

The IIR Reference Editor was added to FIR DesignerFIR Designer M in 2019, making it possible to convert & match IIR filter settings across brands with different Q or BW interpretations. The editor performed a quick and close conversion, with additional manual parameter adjustments usually required to complete the match. (This video demonstrates the original process.)

One click IIR conversion between brands

 

The latest update to the IIR Reference Editor eliminates the need for manual adjustments entirely by performing a precise, automated conversion from one brand to another in a single click.

When converting, FIR Designer automatically adjusts the BW or Q (and sometimes other parameters) to achieve an exact match, making it faster & easier to translate an IIR or mixed IIR+FIR preset from one brand of processor to another. The updates apply to parametric, LP and HP variable Q, all-pass, shelf and Bessel filters.

FIR Designer continues to expand the list of supported IIR filter modes and now includes Lake, Marani, Linea ResearchPowersoft, QSC Q-SYS, Symetrix & BSS.

The updated IIR reference editor is available in FIR Designer M 2.4 & FIR Designer 3.3, and is only accessible to software licensees. (It’s not available in free demo versions of the software.)

FIR Designer M 3.3.0 release notes
FIR Designer 2.4.0 release notes

 

 

Loudspeaker Preset Design | Independent FIR Sample Rate

 

Independent FIR output sample rate in loudspeaker preset

 

FIR Designer is ideal for creating complete single channel and multi-way loudspeaker presets (that include mixed IIR + FIR filtering). When creating a preset, both the workflow’s design sample rate and the export file format can be chosen to match those of the processor/amplifier being used.

Loudspeaker measurements of any sample rate can be imported into FIR Designer’s workflow, which supports design sample rates of 12, 24, 44.1, 48 88.2, 96, 176.4 & 192 kHz for all preset processing.

Previously, the chosen workflow design sample rate was used for all preset elements including delay, IIR and FIR filters. This created a challenge when designing filtering for processors that use one sample rate for the bulk of core processing, such as 96 kHz, but only accept FIR filters at a different sample, such as 48 kHz.

Recent FIR Designer and FIR Designer M updates offer enhanced flexibility & customization by enabling the export of the FIR filter at a different sample rate than the other preset components, such as IIR filters. On the FIR Designer ‘Export’ tab, at the end of the preset-creation process, use the new drop-down menu to choose the output sample rate for the FIR filter, before choosing the desired file format for export.

With a separate FIR filter output sample rate selected, FIR filter truncation and windowing are applied at the selected output sample rate. The FIR filter is then resampled back to the workflow sample rate for plots such as the Wavelet view.

 

 

Learn which loudspeaker measurement file formats can be imported into FIR designer for use in preset creation.

Download a free demo of any our software products or watch a video tutorial to learn how to use FIR Designer to design loudspeaker processing, including presets.

Download Averager loudspeaker measurement averaging software

AVERAGER now FREE | Loudspeaker Measurement Averaging Software (was $49)

Averager is a software application (for both macOS & Windows) that combines multiple loudspeaker measurements into a single measurement, for use in any audio & plotting tool.

FIR Designer has always included averaging functionality as an optional step in the filter-design workflow. In 2018 this functionality was made available as a stand-alone product in response to customer requests. Since then, Averager has become an invaluable tool for many audio professionals. To celebrate the 6th birthday of Eclipse Audio, we’re making it available to download absolutely free!

 

DOWNLOAD AVERAGER     PRODUCT INFO

Using Impedance Measurements to Inform Loudspeaker Filter Design

 

An impedance measurement gives useful information about how a loudspeaker driver behaves. It shows resonances (including box and driver), the port tuning frequency and apparent low-frequency extension. This can be very useful information to view when designing loudspeaker processing.

For example, knowing the LF driver port tuning frequency and adjacent resonances may aid in setting the high-pass filter frequency used to protect against over-excursion. At higher frequencies where the impedance may show driver or cabinet resonances, filtering (IIR or FIR) can be set to attenuate these frequencies so as not excite the resonances. These problematic frequencies could also be avoided by choosing crossover frequencies that effectively hand these frequencies to another loudspeaker driver.

In the most recent versions of FIR Designer and FIR Designer M, an impedance measurement can be loaded from file and viewed on almost any response plot in the filtering workflow. In FIR Designer M, a unique impedance measurement can be loaded for each channel.

Load the impedance data as a simple comma, space or tab separated two-column (frequency and impedance magnitude) or three-column (frequency, impedance magnitude and impedance phase) text (TXT) file. (Lines starting with non-numeric characters are ignored as comments or metadata. The impedance phase is not used nor displayed.)

On the right is a portion of an example impedance measurement file exported from DATS.

The screenshot below shows the new impedance file loading window in FIR Designer and FIR Designer M.

 

* This data was exported from the Dayton Audio Test System: DATS
*
* Manufacturer: 
* Model: 
D 0.0 [mm]
Re 0.00 [Ohms]
Fs 0.00 [Hz]
Zm 0.00 [Ohms]
BL 0.00 [N/A]
Qms 0.000
Qes 0.000
Qts 0.000
Vas 0.000 [liters]
L10k 0.00 [mH]
n0 0.00 [%]
dBSPL 0.00 [1W/1m]
Ms 0.00 [grams]
Cms 0.00 [mm/N]
*
*
Freq Impedance Phase
1.029 6.856 -2.745 
1.059 6.856 -2.745 
1.091 6.856 -2.745 
1.122 6.856 -2.745 
1.155 6.856 -2.745 
1.189 6.856 -2.745 
1.224 6.856 -2.745 
1.260 6.856 -2.745
...
...

This quick video shows how to load an impedance measurement and how the impedance appears behind other responses in the filter design workflow.

 

FIR Designer M Release Notes

FIR Designer Release Notes

New Marani IIR filter mode in FIR Designer M

Marani IIR filter mode

 

FIR Designer M version 2.2 now has a Marani IIR filter mode that provides emulation of IIR filter behaviour in Marani products and aids mixed IIR+FIR Marani preset creation. IIR responses in the new Marani IIR mode can be converted to/from Lake, Linea ResearchPowersoft, Q-SYS, Symetrix & BSS IIR modes using the ‘IIR Reference Editor.’

The ‘IIR Reference Editor,’ in FIR Designer and FIR Designer M, provides fast conversion of IIR settings between brands to ensure IIR response matching when working with different amplifiers & processors, and solves the problem of standard filter settings often producing different results on various amplifier/processor brands (learn more). Check out this video tutorial of the IIR Reference Editor to see how it works. (Note, the IIR Reference Editor is not enabled in demo versions of the software.)

We’ve also made available a brief tutorial showing how to load FIR filters – as TXT or CSV files – into Marani product control software. See Marani FIR Filters: How to load into Marani amplifier modules and processors

FIR Designer M Release Notes

(The Marani mode will soon be available in FIR Designer.)

*When using FIR Designer to convert IIR filters for brands not listed, we recommend trying all 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.

 

FIR Designer 3.0 Release | New Overview Video

FIR Designer version 3.0 is here! It includes a range of new features, making it faster & easier than ever before to develop custom FIR filters & FIR+IIR presets, as well as providing even closer integration with SMAART®.

To accompany the release we’ve developed a comprehensive new 18-minute video. The narrated video demonstrates how to use FIR Designer’s intuitive workflow to load a loudspeaker measurement and design a filter to change the measurement into a user-defined target response. In the example project used, we magnitude and phase-correct a passive 12-inch and horn two-way install loudspeaker.

Developed in response to user requests, the new video will shorten the learning curve for FIR Designer users as well as showcase the latest features in version 3.0, most of which are shared with the recent update of FIR Designer M 2.0, including:

  • A new “Supplementary Responses” window which displays the effect of processing on other measurements. This can be used to verify the effect of processing on polar or off-axis measurements.
  • Mouse control of filter parameters – frequency, bandwidth/Q and gain – as well as mouse control of frequency bands on the “Auto Mag” & “Auto Phase” tabs. When a filter in the table is highlighted, controls appear on the plot and can be adjusted with the mouse, providing a much faster alternative to the table data entry method.
  • “Loudspeaker Impedance” display option. Load and view the driver or loudspeaker impedance behind plots throughout the workflow. Set filtering with improved knowledge of the driver LF limit and port tuning, inferred from the impedance.
  • Target response export – for use as a target curve on SMAART® RTA plots. A user request!
  • An “Invert” setting option on all Mag Adjust & Phase Adjust filter prototypes gives more flexibility when setting filters.
  • Customisable plot colours that are retained at program close
  • Support for 88.2 kHz and 176.4 kHz, and the addition of Keele/Horbach filters in the “FIR Mag Adjust” tab.

Both Windows (64 bit) & Mac are supported.

You can download a free demo of our software to experiment with the new features.

Existing licensees can access the latest download on the “update available” dialog within FIR Designer.

FIR Designer Release Notes

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

FIR Designer M 2.0 Release | New Features & Functionality

FIR Designer M version 2.0 is now available!

This major update introduces a range of new features, making it faster & easier than ever before to develop custom FIR filters & complete loudspeaker presets, as well as providing even closer integration with both SMAART® & Lake. Many of the updates were developed in response to valuable feedback from loudspeaker designers and installers. Features include –

  • Support for the new Lake XP modules in the just-released Lake Controller v7. Push a complete loudspeaker preset directly to one of the new 1, 2, 3 or 4-way Lake XP modules via built-in DTP (Direct-To-Processor) functionality.
  • A new “Supplementary Responses” window which displays the effect of processing on other measurements. This can be used to verify the effect of processing on polar or off-axis measurements.
  • Mouse control of filter parameters – frequency, bandwidth/Q and gain – as well as mouse control of frequency bands on the “Auto Mag” & “Auto Phase” tabs. When a filter in the table is highlighted, controls appear on the plot and can be adjusted with the mouse, providing a much faster alternative to the table data entry method.
  • Loudspeaker Impedance display option. Load and view the driver or loudspeaker impedance behind plots throughout the workflow. Set filtering with improved knowledge of the driver LF limit and port tuning, inferred from the impedance.
  • Target response export – for use as a target curve on SMAART® RTA plots. A user request!
  • An “Invert” setting option on all Mag Adjust & Phase Adjust filter prototypes gives more flexibility when setting filters.

FIR Designer M version 2.0 also includes several user interface tweaks and improvements, such as user-customizable plot colors. Both Windows (64 bit) & Mac are supported.

You can download a free demo of our software to experiment with the new features.

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

FIR Designer M Release Notes

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

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