FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions for The Digital Race Engineer
Learn more about The Digital Race Engineer here
Requirements are as follows:
Windows 7+ with English language
Voice Attack Full version (1.6+)
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.
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, but bear in mind that you may have to redo key binds etc. in the updated The DRE commands. The changelog will show which commands have been affected since the last update.
Some older DRE files or profile commands might be hanging. Please find the Voice Attack installation folder and enter Apps folder. In this folder, remove all DRE related files. Open Voice Attack and select the DRE profile in the profile selector dropdown list. Delete this profile. Then download and extract the plugin files to the Apps folder, and import 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.
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)
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.
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.
In Voice Attack options under “System / Advanced” make sure the option “Single TTS instance” is checked on.
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.
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”.
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.
Some value in the DRE.ini file is most likely wrong. Make sure to only use number values where required
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Both metric and imperial units are supported by The DRE, and it will automatically switch to the units used in iRacing.
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.
Free vs Pro features of The DRE