Upmixer technology gives extra polish to in-car audio

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Swedish digital audio developer Dirac has introduced an updated version of its Virtuo automotive system, which now features the company’s Upmixer technology, Intelligent Audio Platform and multichannel content support.

Dirac Virtuo leverages what is claimed to be the industry’s most sophisticated audio algorithm to envelop drivers and passengers in high-quality, immersive sound. With the addition of multichannel content support, Dirac Virtuo ensures faithful reproduction content, even in the challenging environment of a car cabin.

“Today’s vehicles serve a much greater purpose than simply transporting occupants from place to place; they’re remote offices, home theaters and entertainment centers, all of which rely on high-quality, immersive sound,” stated Lars Carlsson, head of business development, automotive at Dirac. “For 20 years, Dirac has pioneered the technologies that have pushed the boundaries of automotive sound – and our Upmixer technology and Intelligent Audio Platform only add to this legacy. We look forward to showcasing the upgraded version of the Dirac Virtuo automotive solution at the AES conference.”

Dirac says that its Upmixer technology transforms any stereo content into flexible, customizable, immersive listening experiences, free from artifacts and without requiring any hardware upgrades. Unlike similar upmixing solutions, which create audible distortions and artifacts that were not part of the original stereo recording, Dirac states that its upmixing technology employs new patent-pending algorithms to minimize such effects, so the results sound accurate, natural and immersive.

“Stereo has long been the dominant format in music recording, and the majority of music content accessible to consumers today is still stereo,” continued Carlsson. “With the upgraded Dirac Virtuo, passengers can enjoy their favorite two-channel stereo content in a much more immersive, spatialized way.”

The Intelligent Audio Platform is an evolving software platform upon which all Dirac solutions are built and integrated with shared infrastructure and components using a streamlined workflow. It includes tools and software for audio optimization and audio development, and Dirac’s patented audio optimization algorithms are integrated into easy-to-use filter design tools.

It is modular, scalable and customizable, allowing manufacturers to develop, optimize and integrate their audio experiences with high reproducibility and efficiency. It is fully data driven, 70% of the audio development and optimization work can be done virtually, and all results can be shared globally throughout an organization. Moreover, the Intelligent Audio Platform is supported by the industry’s most common chipsets and frameworks.

The Virtuo automotive solution also includes cabin sound optimization with advanced sound field control technology, which achieves better speaker performance and minimizes cabin colorations; target sound management, which achieves signature sound with greater consistency and ease; and center image optimization, which enables a stable phantom center for each listener with improved staging and localization.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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