How to use the FIR filtering within the DP448
Before explaining our implementation of FIR filtering, please remember that this feature is designed to be used by speaker manufacturers and designers, and acousticians. It is NOT designed as an end user adjustable addition to the DP448. As such, end users interested in hearing the difference between FIR filtering in place of standard IIR filter implementations should contact the manufacturer of their speaker system(s) and ask for preset file(s) containing the FIR versions.
As mentioned in the introduction, FIR Filtering is not available on all DP448 units – for information about how to check if a unit will accept the update and be able to use it, please see the FAQs at the end of this document.
The FIR processing blocks are available on each output channel on the DP448, and utilise a combined pool of processing allowing different channels to have differing amounts of filtering (or no FIR filtering). The total number of taps available is 2900, or 4000 if the graphic equalisers are disabled.
FIR filter data is imported into a unit alongside preset data and as such, Library Manager is used to include it in preset files. When designing a preset, all the “traditional” filters associated with normal output memories are available, with the addition of an extra FIR data tab:
To include FIR filtering coefficient data on any particular output, the “Load New” button is pressed on the corresponding output. Coefficient data must be in a comma separated variable (.csv) formatted file, although the coefficients will still be recognised as long as each one is separated by a carriage return (so each one is on a new line).
A typical data file might look like this:
Loading this file into an output will immediately update the channel with the number of taps used, and the remaining reserve. If the number of taps exceeds 2900, a warning is also displayed to remind you that the input graphic equalisers will be disabled when this preset is used.
As explained earlier in the document, there is a time penalty to be paid when using FIR filtering and this varies dependant on the complexity of the filtering (more taps = longer delay). As each set of filter data is loaded into an output’s FIR processing block, Library Manager automatically calculates the processing delay that will be introduced on that particular channel, and adds a compensation delay across all other channels.
In the above example we can see that two different data sets are being used – one with 1344 taps, and one with 912 taps. Library manager calculates the longest filter’s delay and this is applied to all outputs. The delay applied to the output with the shorter filter is the difference between its inserted processing delay and the longest delay, so aligning it with all the other outputs.
In other words – 1344 taps causes 7.000mS of delay, and 912 taps causes 4.75mS of delay, so the output with the 912 tap filter needs an additional 2.25mS (7 – 4.75) of delay to keep it aligned.
These delays can be added automatically using the standard output delay lines in the preset, by ticking “Enable Auto Delay Correction”.
On the delays tab, these additional delay times can also be displayed by ticking the “Show FIR Delay Correction” (note that times shown are not related to those in the above example)
If the correction delay is shown, you will not be able to adjust the output delay times to 0mS.
Once the filter data has been added and all other adjustments have been made to limiters, and if necessary standard IIR filters, the preset file is assembled and built as normal.
Description of this process is covered in the Library Manager manual, available on-line here
So where does the coefficient data come from?
The implementation of FIR filtering on the DP448 has been designed with loudspeaker manufacturers and acoustic engineers in mind.
It is not recommended that end users should attempt to utilise this facility.
FIR filtering coefficient data is available as an output from either DSP filter design software, or from audio analysis software.
As an example, a simple package that has been used to test the system is available on-line here:
As stated previously, coefficient data must be in a comma separated variable (.csv) formatted file, although the coefficients will still be recognised as long as each one is separated by a carriage return (so each one is on a new line).
FIR filtering in AudioCore
All FIR filtering data is stored within the presets that are sent to the unit via out loader software, in the same manner as a standard non-FIR preset file. Note that a preset file may contain a combination of FIR only presets (all IIRS not used), FIR + IIR filtering, or standard IIR filters. This allows easy comparison between standard crossover methods and an FIR based corrective method.
With this in mind, when a preset is recalled in AudioCore, which contains any FIR filter sections, whilst AudioCore does NOT have access to the data, it is aware of the FIR filters, and shows this by colouring the corresponding output channel’s X-Over section on the device window in green:
Clicking on output 2 in the last example will jump directly to the output’s EQ edit screen – note the FIR filter message beside the device name, and the number of taps tip in the top right of the frequency response curve:
Note that the frequency response does NOT include the effect of the FIR filtering. This is also true of the global view.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know if my DP448 is compatible with this upgrade?
As this feature only became available after a hardware upgrade, and XTA reserve the right to improve the specification of the DP448 at any time, only units with a serial numbers in the range 3760-3798 and then from 3960 onwards will support the update.
Additionally, you can check when turning the unit on – if the unit is running the latest firmware (currently V1.22) then the display will show
+= AudioCore DP448 =+
=== Software V1.22 ===
if the compatible DSP platform is fitted or
== AudioCore DP448 ==
== Software V1.22 ===
if the incompatible older DSP platform is fitted. The “+” at each end of the top line instead of an “=” is the signifier of the newer DSP.
You can also check in the System Status through the System Sub-Menu – one of the scrolling messages will either show
= DSP TYPE=2 Number=1 =
if the compatible DSP platform is fitted or
= DSP TYPE=1 Number=2 =
if the incompatible older DSP platform is fitted.
What happens if I use the new firmware with an older version of AudioCore?
FIR filter data will simply be ignored and the unit will operate as normal otherwise.
We do not recommend this of course, as it may lead to confusing operation – see the FAQ below about graphic equaliser behaviour.
How does Copy and Paste work with FIR Filtering Data?
Copying and pasting either an output or a device will NOT copy the FIR filtering data. A warning will be shown to highlight this:
Pasting in data to a channel with FIR settings (even from another channel with FIR settings) will delete the FIR filtering on ALL outputs.
How are memories handled when there is FIR Filtering Data involved?
Recalling a preset including FIR data, adjusting the standard filtering (crossovers and PEQs on output) and saving this in a user memory location WILL “include” the FIR filter data. What actually happens is that the link from the user memory to the FIR data is preserved so when the user memory is recalled, the associated FIR data is also updated.
Recalling a user memory or preset which does NOT include FIR data will delete the FIR filtering associated with ALL outputs. Saving a user memory (based on a preset containing FIR filtering data) via the front panel menus will also preserve the links to any output FIR data.
How can I tell if a preset contains FIR filter Data?
AudioCore does not know until a preset is recalled, if there is FIR filtering data associated with it. Remember that FIR filter data is associated with Crossover memories only. We would advise you to name memories containing FIR filtering data with an “F” at the end of the name to remind you.
On the DP448 itself, indication of FIR filtering being in use is on an output channel’s GAIN adjustment screen – an “F” will be displayed as below on any output which has FIR filtering.
Out2 Output A Gain
Output Gain = +6.0dB F
What happens if I delete or replace the preset file in the DP448?
Downloading a different preset file will clear any links to previous FIR filtering data. Subsequently recalling any crossover settings stored in user memories that were previously linked to FIR filter data will still recall the presets, but the FIR filtering will of course not be present.
Where has my Graphic Equaliser gone!?
Using FIR filtering with more than 2900 total taps will bypass the input graphic equalisers on ALL channels.
They will not appear in the input editing list via the unit’s front panel, and clicking on them in AudioCore within the device window will jump instead to input PEQ editing (and the GEQ tab will be missing).
Recalling a preset or user memory with less than 2900 taps or with no FIR filtering data will reinstate the GEQs with their last used settings.
[i] Library manager is not available through our website, as it is designed for speaker manufacturers to create presets for their systems. Please contact your speaker manufacturer for more information on acquiring settings.