LATEST NEWS

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.

SMAART® Control | New Measurement Usage Options

Send captured SMAART measurements to FIR Designer's Import, Target or Averaging tabs

SMAART® Control, recently introduced in FIR Designer, FIR Designer M & FIR Creator EX, enabled loudspeaker measurements to be captured in real-time for use as the starting point in FIR filter & preset design. This functionality has just been expanded to support the different ways in which loudspeaker measurements can be used for system tuning and optimization.

In FIR Designer (or Designer M), SMAART measurements can now be sent via a single click to one of three destinations: the ‘Import’, ‘Target’ or ‘Averaging’ tabs. (FIR Creator EX offers the first two options, as it doesn’t include built-in measurement averaging).

On the Target tab, one loudspeaker measurement can use used as the target response. The IIR+FIR filter design workflow can then be used to match the response of another loudspeaker to the target.

On the Averaging tab, an unlimited number of measurements can be combined into a single response, which can then be used for more accurate filter design and smoother overall system response (learn more about measurement averaging). FIR Creator EX users interested in creating averaged responses can do so with our stand-alone ‘Averager‘ software, which also loads TRF and SRF files from SMAART.

FIR Designer is compatible with a wide range of loudspeaker measurement tools in addition to SMAART. (See all supported import file formats.) Other measurements can be manually imported from files.

Check out this video to see how the new SMAART Control works, or download a free demo of our software to experiment with the new feature.

FIR Designer M Release Notes | FIR Designer Release Notes | FIR Designer EX Release Notes

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

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

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