Digital Noesis

Running Audyssey Using the MultEQ Editor App



This tutorial will take you through running Audyssey using the MultEQ Audyssey Editor App. My hardware is a Denon X6400H, but Audyssey works similarly across receivers. The process is fairly straightforward and the main value of this tutorial will rest upon some of the tribal knowledge and tips I've learned along the way. If you have never used Audyssey and the MultEQ Editor App, this tutorial will walk you through the whole process.

I highly recommend using Audyssey in combination with a MiniDSP for the LFE channel, as detailed in this tutorial. If you do, it's a judgement call wether to run Audyssey before or after EQing with MiniDSP. Many times a good plan of action is to EQ with REW and MiniDSP first, and then let Audyssey fine tune everything.

Preparations & Equipment

I should note that measurements need to be taken in a quiet setting. Cool (or heat) your room to the desired temperature and then turn off the air conditioning and silence your mobile. I'd also recommend running any measurements during the early AM hours of a weekend (provided others in the house will allow it!) because external sounds that may interfere will measurements will be less (dump trucks, landscapers, helicopters, etc).

Be aware of any external EQ in the signal chain before running Audyssey. Determine if you want it present or not. It's quite common to first apply manual PEQ using MiniDSP and then let Audyssey do the fine during, but we need to remember and note what is getting measured and in what state any external EQ is. If you are using MiniDSP, the existing program may be maintained but disabled by using the "Bypass" function in the PEQ dialog box for each channel being used.

For equipment, you'll want to use the microphone that was included with your receiver and a microphone stand. This is what I use:

Initiating Audyssey with the MultEQ Editor App

I highly recommend using the Audyssey MultEQ Editor App, which is currently $20 in the app store. This opens up significantly more features for Audyssey and allows for saving profiles. The process works by the receiver collecting the data and sending it to your phone, which does the processing, and then after any adjustments you'd like to make, the profile is loaded into the receiver. This requires that your receiver be on the same network as your phone or tablet. To begin, load the app and follow the dialogs to run Audyssey.

The part that isn't straight forward and takes a bit of tribal knowledge is setting your subwoofer levels. Typically the levels that Audyssey sets for subwoofers are significantly lower than where end users want them set, and so it's not uncommon to add 4 to 6dB to the level adjustment after. Because of this, you ideally want your post-Audyssey subwoofer level to be between about -11.5 and -10. This will give us much more pre-amp headroom to work with if we want to level boost the subwoofer channel after. It has been found through experience that positive levels of subwoofer trim within the receivers potentially can cause the pre-amp section to clip, so by starting with a -11 level and then boosting +6dB, for example, we land at -5dB which is still well in the safe zone. It's important that the subwoofer level doesn't come out at -12 though, because that's the minimum level available so it is possible that Audyssey actually wanted -13 or -12.5, but just can't cut that much. So we want to stay on the low end of the range, but not bottom it out.

Unfortunately, despite the channel levels being set from the first position, the levels aren't shown until after all the measurements have been taken. This means that if you have a 13 channel system you'll be doing a lot of measuring before realizing if you need to adjust your subwoofer gain knob(s)! Therefore, I recommend doing just three measurements at first, at which point Audyssey offers you an option to stop after three measurements. See where the levels are, and if they are good then re-run Audyssey completing all eight measurements points. If they aren't good, then adjust according and re-run the truncated measurements until you're in a good spot.

Let's get started. Load up the MultEQ app:

If it's your first time, you'll have no profiles. You can see I have a few from previous use. Select "Create New."

Your receiver should be seen provided that you're on the same network as it. I highly recommend hardwiring your receiver if you can.

Confirm that the speaker settings you have in your receiver are correct.

Place the Audyssey microphone, pointed straight upward, at the main listening position.

Now connect the mic wire to the front of your receiver or pre-processor.

Next is that sub level checking phase. Remember that we want it a bit hot so Audyssey sets the subwoofer level(s) to our target of -11dB or so.

Your icon may venture slightly into the upper red zone, or at least be toward the top of green.

After the measurements have been taken at all 8 positions, you'll have the option of enabling and disabling various Audyssey technologies. I recommend turning these all off at this point, you can always turn them on later after determining what your setup will most benefit from. We for sure want these off if we're going to be doing any EQ post-Audyssey.

Enter a descriptive name. I like to put the date and then the reason I ran it. In this case it was swapping for a different amplifier (hence "ATI").

Reviewing Results & Settings

We'll now find the most recent measurement on our MultEQ home screen.

Select that profile and we'll take a look at the results.

Let's start in the Speaker Detection Results. We can see if our distances make sense.

Audyssey will often set floor standing speakers to large, but we want to use bass management, so I often set them back to small and lift the crossover. There are circumstances where this isn't ideal, but generally all main speakers should be set to small with a crossover between 60-90Hz. Again, this is generally speaking.

Let's take a look at those levels as well...

...and confirm our LFE channels are around where we are happy in that -11.5 to -10 range.

We can then exit that page and take a look at the Room Correction results.

Keep in mind that the red graph is a TARGET curve, not an ACTUAL curve. We are going to measure using REW to see our actual correction after we finish with Audyssey. Next we are offered a target sound selection:

High Frequency Roll Off 1 is often best for smaller treated rooms, while High Frequency Roll Off 2 is often better in larger live sounding ones. The main reason for these choices is to compensate for direct versus reverberant sound in the room. In many homes the main listening position is far away and in a non-treated room, therefore the listener hears a lot of reflected sound. These selections help compensate for the difference between a reference treated theater (like the sound was mixed in) versus a realistic home setting. Typically smaller and more treated rooms need less roll off because the listener is experiencing more direct sound, and therefore choice 1 would be ideal.

Next, enter Midrange Compensation:

Midrange compensation is a dip placed in the 2kHz region (a.k.a a "BBC Dip") where many speakers have their crossover set. At this point, many speakers have major changes in directivity and may exhibit off-axis tweeter bloom. These variations can cause vocals to sound harsh. Tweeter bloom can be problematic with dome tweeters, for example. In reality, when working with quality speaker designs, solid loudspeaker designers are already aware of these issues and are able to design around them. I feel pretty confident in saying that if you are using well-designed speakers, that measure well (especially in polar response), then it's probably best to keep midrange compensation off. That said, it never hurts to try it both ways! If you do, play some vocal tracks and pay attention to how the voices sound. Midrange compensation sometimes works well for the surround channels in multichannel audio where voices might be more common and perhaps poorer measuring speaker designs are being used for budgeting purposes.

Let's take a look at the Curve Editor:

The curve editor can be used to adjust the target curve for any particular channel. This can be a nice feature if you want to add a house curve, for example.

Next, we can enter the MultEQ Filter Frequency Range adjustment page:

Here you may select a channel from the upper right and, with your finger, slide the range of correction for Audyssey to correct. A lot of experts recommend not correcting above the rooms transition frequency, which tends to be around 400-500Hz. There is some math you can do in rectangular rooms to determine this point. Others enjoy Audyssey above that range. I would try it both ways and see which works best for you, but I typically disable it above 500Hz.

If you wish to disable LFE correction and instead use REW, select Subwoofer and move the correction from 250Hz down to 20Hz/disabled.

Tap and drag all the way to 20Hz to disable.

Next let's take a look at Audyssey Settings:

Audyssey DynamicEQ uses a modified Fletcher Munson Curve to adapt the perceived loudness below reference volume at specific frequencies. For example, our ears are less sensitive to bass the volume goes below reference, therefore DynamicEQ will apply boost to compensate in the bass. Surround speakers may also be boosted slightly as the volume drops. This is often desirable, but sometimes can cause issues. Many choose to disable this and calibrate their own boost in using the MiniDSP and/or levels adjustment, especially if they often listen at similar volumes. This is worth experimenting with, different rooms and systems yield different results.

Audyssey Dynamic Volume and LFC are fairly self-explanatory. I've never found use for either, but you maybe enjoy turning Dynamic Volume on and off if you listen at low volumes often. I'd probably leave that off here and turn it on in the receiver as needed, though.

As a final, more general note, any changes done within MultEQ, be it Midrange Compensation, adjusting target curves, limiting EQ range are only applied if you choose the Reference setting within the receiver. If you choose Flat within the receiver, the full range EQ will be kept and no rolloff will be applied. My system usually ends up using Reference with EQ being limited to 400-500Hz and no midrange compensation (because I use three way speakers where the issues the BBC dip attempts to correct have been addressed by the designer).

We're ready to save and exit to prepare to send to the receiver!

Sending to Receiver

After saving select the box with an upward pointed arrow in the upper left.

Choose Send to AV receiver.

Press Send and the profile will load to the receiver.

Now your profile and settings should be loaded to the receiver.

Finishing Up

I always recommend making some notes about what settings you used. It can be extremely handy when referencing back a ways in the future.

2020.12.7 Initial Draft