Maximum Optimization: Using REW and Minidsp's 2x4 HD
In a past article I shared my experience and life with a MiniDSP DDRC-88A with bass management. One of the things that kinda irritated me while using Dirac Live was what seemingly was a push towards REW not only from fellow Dirac Live users but in many instructionals. REW was so intimidating to me and the vast learning curve and mountain of information had me frustrated. I had no desire or time to learn REW back then but here I am now half a year or so later. On this day I have no idea as to why anyone might purchase Dirac Live for a 2.2 channel system if desiring to learn or already familiar with REW. If you're not familiar about REW the software may be downloaded here: Room EQ Wizard
Once I learned that house curves could be loaded into REW I decided there's no sense at all for me to use Dirac Live in a 2.2 channel system. I mean if learning REW then why Dirac Live? After all, doesn't one want to verify actual results rather than only accept Dirac Live's "projected" correction?
I was fortunate enough to find a used MiniDSP 2x4 HD for only 80 bucks. I made the mistake of deciding to upgrade the 2x4 HD to the DDRC Dirac Live model. After upgrading I decided why bother w/ Dirac Live at all if using REW? Save some money and learn from my mistake tisk tisk. So I downgraded the firmware back to the 2x4HD firmware.
Please, if anyone has advice or wishes to chime in by all means feel free in the comment section!
Here're the instructional videos which I am following as these instructional videos are well worth the time to view.
First video provides instruction on how to align multiple subwoofers into one virtual subwoofer. I can't emphasize enough how final alignment is important. In the REW video one can see individual subwoofer frequency output and how adding a second or more subwoofers w/out alignment can actually be worse than one subwoofer!
I'm also including a parts list for everything I needed. All parts were purchased through Amazon. To note you may notice that the pricing on Amazon for the MiniDSP or UMIK-1 is more than the retail price direct from MiniDSP, but that's because custom charges are included in the Amazon price.
- MiniDSP 2x4 HD
- 2x: USB 32 ft Extension Cable with Repeater [Reason for such length is because I'll be using my home PC located in another room. This position is more appealing to me because I don't need a laptop or worry about affecting the measurement results if in the actual listening room. Two extension cables are needed 1 from Minidsp to PC and other Microphone to PC]
- Umik-1 Calibrated Microphone
- Microphone Stand
- 2x Unbalanced RCA cables - 1 meter [From DAC to MiniDSP]
- 2x Unbalanced RCA cables - 2 meters [From Minidsp to Main Amp]
- 2x Unbalanced RCA cables - 5 meters [From Minidsp to Active sub amps]
Bluesound Node 2i and SMSL M400 DAC send signals to the Minidsp. Note: I use a coaxial cable from the Bluesound Node 2i to the SMSL M400 DAC:
- Configuration and real-time control of the miniDSP 2x4 HD
- Streaming audio from a computer or other device such as a music streamer, at up to 192 kHz
- Streaming the processed audio (four output channels) from the miniDSP 2x4 HD to the computer.