FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

SETUP

What is required to run The DRE?

See the requirements on the Download page

How do I know when The DRE is properly set up?

When iRacing is running and you load Voice Attack with “Initialize The DRE” as the default auto-executed command, the following should show in the Voice Attack console after about 10-20 seconds. Make sure you are using the correct Voice Attack version, latest DRE plugin as well as the latest DRE Profile. The last line “Initialization Done” only appears when connected to iRacing. You may start Voice Attack before or after joining any iRacing server, that doesn’t matter.

How do I update The DRE from a previous version?

It is fairly simple to update The DRE from a previous version. In the Setup Manual PDF found on this page, if you scroll to the last page, there’s a detailed instruction on this. Basically you can overwrite both the plugin and the profile.

After updating, DRE doesn’t work. What should I do?

Make sure to inspect the Voice Attack Console output. It should tell you if something wrong with the DRE setup.

Try re-importing the new DRE profile into Voice Attack. Also, make sure the “Initialize The Dre” command runs on start of the profile. Set this in the Profile options.

I run Windows in another language than English. Can I still use The DRE?

Unfortunately The DRE does not support other languages than English. You need a Windows with English language, but there might be guides out there on the Internet to make it work. One iRacer has shared a short tutorial on how to make it work (iRacing Forums access needed)

I cannot open Voice Attack after installing The DRE plugin and profile

See in Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del -> Task Manager) if Voice Attack is running as a process not closed. Unfortunately, when closing Voice Attack with The DRE profile loaded while not being connected to iRacing, it won’t shut down Voice Attack properly. This is a known bug, but is easily dealt with by ending the Voice Attack process for now. Then try opening Voice Attack again.

I don’t see “Plugin support enabled” or I don’t see the “Plugin ‘The Digital Race Engineer’ initialized. How to enable this?

Make sure you have downloaded and extracted the plugin into the apps folder as per the Setup instructions. Make sure you in Voice Attack Options has enabled “Enable Plugin Support” and restarted Voice Attack.

I hear multiple voices on top of each other while using Voice Attack and The DRE

In Voice Attack options under “System / Advanced” make sure the option “Single TTS instance” is checked on.

Do I need to enable telemetry in iRacing for The DRE to function?

No, The DRE uses key-commands and the iRacing live data without you needing to enable anything. Just start iRacing, start Voice Attack with The DRE plugin and profile, set the “Initialize The DRE” command as the startup command and you’re set.

I can’t see the ini files or, it won’t generate the DRE.ini and Keybinds.ini files

Make sure to run the DRE profile in Voice Attack at least once after installing DRE. It will then generate the INI files needed.

Also, make sure you are running Voice Attack in administrator mode. To do this, right click on the Voice Attack application icon before opening it, go to properties. In the Voice Attack Properties window go to the Compatibility tab and check the “Run this program as an administrator”.

I get ‘Unable to get a target for command ‘xxx’ when trying to command

Find the command in the Keybinds.ini that is shown to you in the error message. This keybind is probably not correct in terms of structure. Refer to the Voice Attack Help PDF and search for variable keypress as well as Quick Input and Variable Keypress Key Indicators in that document.

I get ‘ERROR IN DRE.INI …’ when starting Voice Attack and DRE

Some value in the DRE.ini file is most likely wrong. Make sure to only use number values where required. Alternately, make a backup of the INI file somewhere else, then delete the original and restart Voice Attack with DRE profile running. It should then make a fresh INI file without errors in, that you can adjust.

How can I use DRE with a Voice Attack installed via Steam?

When installing DRE, make sure to install DRE in the Voice Attack Apps folder located in eg.:

…/Steam/Steamapps/Common/Voice Attack/Apps

If you already installed DRE in a different folder, first uninstall DRE. To do that, press the Windows Start button and type “Add or Remove Programs” and locate “The Digital Race Engineer” in the list to remove it before installing it in the correct folder.

GENERAL FUNCTIONALITIES

How can I improve speech recognition using Oculus Rift?

Using Oculus Rift, you can turn off Automatic Gain Control (AGC) as an attempt to better give commands. The microphone in the Oculus Rift CV1 is quite sensitive and letting software constantly change gain on the input is not always ideal. To turn off AGC, search for “Sound” in Windows Start -> Run. Open the Sound settings and switch to the “Recording” tab. Open the “Microphone Rift Audio” settings, here in the “Custom” tab you can turn off AGC. Even though you can’t press Apply, pressing OK stores this setting.

Voice Attacks detects a lot of words that I don’t say and without me saying anything. How can this be improved?

You can train your computer to better understand you. Go to Control Panel -> Ease of Access -> Speech Recognition. Click on Train your computer to better understand you. This will make it know how you sound and will be able to better distinguish your voice from noise from eg. steering wheel or other people nearby. Do this training at least twice! Also over time, the recognition gets better as it learns as you talk to it.

Voice attack sometimes doesn’t understand me fully. How can this be improved?

If the speech recognition detects faulty commands, you can optimize it for these exact words or sentences. Go to Start and search for Start Speech Recognition. Right click on the Speech bar on top of your window and click on Open Speech Dictionary. Here you can prevent a word from being detected or add a new word to optimize understanding. Eg. if it has a hard time understanding the word ‘garage’, you can add this as a new word by checking on Record a pronunciation upon Finish. Be sure to turn on listening in the Speech bar before pressing Record.

When I ask for information, all it gives me is ‘None’ or ‘Not set’. Or, I cannot see DRE Licensed despite having Voice Attack full?

Make sure you have initialized The DRE. This is the start up command needed to connect to iRacing first, and it’s called “Initialize The DRE”. To make it easier for you, In Voice Attack open the Edit Profile, and then click on the “Options and overrides for this profile”. In “Execute a command each time this profile is loaded” you can set it to “Initialize The DRE”. This way it will start searching for iRacing every time you open this Profile or start Voice Attack.

Commands are unrecognized when I want to write sentences in the chat, or remind myself about something.

You need to say your sentence immediately after the command. So if you want to write “sorry” in the chat, you need to say “Start writing sorry”, without any pauses. This goes for all your unrecognized commands. Since VA cannot compare your sentence with any command it already knows, it relies on Microsoft Speech Recognition services which is less than optimal. This may be why it often misinterprets your input for these types of commands. It’s recommended to add your own commands in case you often write certain sentences.

My Text-To-Speech voice does not sound anything like yours. Where can I get that or other great Synthetic voice packs?

Check out our TTS Tip video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVGIV-kM_cc. The voice we’re using in our videos is Amy by Ivona: http://www.deskshare.com/text-to-speech-voices.aspx

Which units are supported by The DRE?

Both metric and imperial units are supported by The DRE, and it will automatically switch to the units used in iRacing.

Is the Pro version needed to run The DRE, and are there any restrictions, like trial periods on the Free version?

You can run the Free version as long as you like, but the Free version comes with some limitations compared to the Pro version. In the graphic below, you can see which core features are support in both versions. Click here to acquire the Pro version.

DRE Free vs Pro features

The volume of DRE is low. How can I turn it up?

The fix is to turn up DRE relatively to the iRacing volume. This means turning down iRacing and then turning up the overall volume.

  1. Start Voice Attack
  2. Start an iRacing session, then alt+tab to the desktop.
  3. From here go to the system tray in the bottom right corner of the screen and find the speaker icon.
  4. Right click the speaker icon, and then select the “Open Volume Mixer”.
  5. Slide down the volume of iRacing (to eg. 40%)
  6. Make sure Voice Attack volume is at 100%
  7. Turn up the overall gain/volume of your speakers. Do this either on the hardware turnknobs itself or left-clicking the Speaker icon in the system tray.