FIR Designer M : Setup

Basic “system” configuration can be set on this view.

Number of output channels

Use the drop-down combo to select between 1 and 6 output channels for the multi-way speaker system.

Settings are stored in a System file and one or more output channel Project files.


For 1-way designs, a System file is not strictly necessary. To only use a Project file for 1-way designs, in the Preferences dialog in “Global Preferences,” check the checkbox next to “Don’t use system file when number of channels is ‘1’.” When checked, the System load/save buttons and load/save menu items are disabled when “Number of output channels” is set to 1.

System File

A FIR Designer M system file has the extension *.fds. The system file includes:

  • System and channel descriptive names
  • Input IIR filter settings and the sample rate
  • Voicing EQ filter settings that are common to all output channels. (On the Channels FIR : Voicing tab, common filters are denoted by the “Link” checkbox setting in the Voicing EQ Filter Prototypes table
  • Output channel filenames
Output channel Project Files

FIR Designer M channel project files have the extension *.fdp and are identical to projects use in FIR Designer 2. Output channels can be opened and edited in FIR Designer 2.

Name and Filename Table

In the Name column, enter descriptive text for the system and for each output channel.

The Filename column is updated automatically whenever the system and/or the channel projects are saved.

Loading an Output Channel File

Loading a channel project on any of the Output channel rows will result in ALL settings for the channel being replaced by the settings from the channel project file. Linked Voicing EQ settings will also be applied to the channel after the load.

Loading a System File

Use either the System menu or the load button (on the upper-right of the Name and Filename table) to open or load a system file.

During the system loading, all channel project files will also be loaded. If a channel project file cannot be found, a dialog will appear prompting you to find and select the channel project file.

Saving a System

Use either the System menu or the save or save as buttons (on the upper-right of the Name and Filename table) to save a system. When selecting “Save As,” a sequence of “save as” dialogs appear, first for each of the channels then for the system.

FIR Designer M stores both the most recent system directory (load or save) and the most recent channel directory (load or save) and uses these as the default directories in the “save as” dialogs.

Notes on file locations

When loading a system, FIR Designer M looks for each channel file in a multiple locations. If a channel file can’t be found, the user is prompted for a replacement channel file. The following priority order is used:

  1. The same directory as the system file
  2. A sub-directory within the system file directory (if indicated in the system file)
  3. The full file path (if indicated in the system file)

When saving a system, the program saves the following information in the system file.

  • The channel filename only, if the channel file is in the same directory as the system file.
  • The subdirectory path and filename, if the channel file is in a subdirectory of the system file directory.
  • If the channel file is outside the system file directory, the full path and filename are saved.

In this way system (with associated channel files) can be copied and/or moved to other directories, whilst retaining association.


By default, FIR Designer M remembers separate System save and Project save directories. This can be helpful when storing System files and Project files in different directories, however it can also create ambiguity when saving “changed” channel projects and/or the system. To have FIR Designer M remember only one directory from any previous System or Channel save operation, in the Preferences dialog in “Global Preferences” check the checkbox next to “Use common previous directory.”

Input IIRs

Input IIR filters can be set on the Channels : IIR Filters tab, however if you have a channel project containing input IIRs that you created, for example, when using the Lake DTP function in FIR Designer 2, use the Import from FIRd project file button to load this channel project. All IIR filter settings from the project will be applied to the Input IIR settings in FIR Designer M.

Use the Clear button to clear all Input IIR settings.

Creating a new system from an existing system

If the Preferences dialog “Use common previous directory” setting is checked, FIR Designer M uses the previous save directory as the default directory for the next save dialog in the save as dialog sequence. In this way, the system “Save As” function can be easily used to save all files to a new directory.

Alternatively, the Copy System and Channel files to a new directory button can be used.

System Navigator

The System Navigator is a signal flowchart that allows quick navigation to various settings pages. Clicking any of the buttons will show the relevant channel setting page for the selected output channel.

The System Navigator adapts to the selected number of output channels, up to 6-way.

Different sample rates can be selected for the input IIR filters and each of the output channels. (Different sample rates are used, for example, by the Lake FIR 3-way module: 96 kHz for input IIRs and 12, 24 or 48 kHz for the output channels.)