24.03.2021

Process of creating FFB settings - OP Style

SC2 is a beautiful piece of hardware which is easy to use and feels extremely good already with the default profiles what Granite Devices provide. Sometimes though, if a driver can handle the advanced settings with all the cool adjustments available, racing experience might be tad more immersive. 

Let us check out Olli’s process of creating FFB settings. The process itself is rather straight forward and the primary target of it is to have the least number of filters in use for increased fidelity, reduced latency, and improved racing performance. Here are the steps to move forward:

  1. Load the default preset of the sim you're about to race
  2. Remove all filters
  3. Do a test run
  4. Add reconstuction filter
  5. Test the peak and notch filter if necessary
  6. Practice and race!
  7. Add other filters if the driving requires it
    • Damping
    • Friction
    • Inertia
    • Slew rate
    • Ultra low latency mode
    • DirectInput effects

Load the default preset

Granite Devices has created great set of default profiles in addition to upcoming online profile sharing system, which helps a lot to get started. It is important to start from a correct profile to create your FFB settings, as the default presets usually includes important details like which you might not know. These are things like for example steering range of 540-degress in Dirt Rally 2.0 and such.

Remove all filters

To have safe and enjoyable experience, Granite’s default profiles usually have some filters on by default. First step for Olli is to remove all the possible filters. This is done to see how the wheel base behaves together with car and/or simulator with everything in “raw”, unfiltered conditions. It is important to know how capable the combination is so that fidelity is not lost in the filters.

Do a test run

From this point onwards, it is very important to go on track and check how the changes behave and feel. Sometimes the test is validated after exiting the pits to verify a change, sometimes it is worth doing couple of laps if the change is not as clear. This process keeps you aware on what is going on and eventually you have learned to do these small changes even without testing.

In the first run you will most likely feel like the FFB and wheel base of yours is rather industrial and the signals coming to your hands are rather noisy. The next steps are then to add the least number of filters to have excellent signal without having distractions in the signal.

Add reconstruction filter

Reconstruction filter is an excellent, extremely low-latency tool for smoothing the peaks of the signal. It makes the FFB signal feel more natural and rubberier without adding noticeable latency. The best way to move forward is to increase the recon filter step by step together with doing test runs to find the lowest number you feel comfortable with. For reference, Olli’s preferred reconstruction filter is at 1 or 2 in most of the simulators.

Test peak and notch filter

The peak and notch filter is extremely handy tool when it’s used right. This is rather specific tool, and it can filter out noise from the FFB signal on a specific frequency spread with the Q-factor and attenuation dB. One should try using this filter if after adding reconstruction filter there is still some noise in the FFB signal which distracts the driving. Good way to start is to set Attenuation dB to -3dB, keep the Q-factor at 0.1 and start scanning the frequency to find the sweet spot where the noise is coming from.

Practice and race!

Most of the work is now done and there is no need to add filters yet until you go out on track and take a good feel on how the car behaves. Racing without the filters is important as it gives the best detail from the sim and cars so for example simple car setup changes can be felt easier and they are more logical to the driver.

Add filters if your driving requires it

There is a great set of tools still available in the TrueDrive. These are filters that should be used more on problem solving basis rather than for increased fidelity. Most of the filters adds latency due the FFB signal coming from sim will be processed, and the filters might be very strong making you feel less on what the simulator wants to tell you.

Damping

Damping makes the wheel feel a bit heavier to move against the force feedback signal and is a good filter to add in small doses. The damping adds latency so if there is no proven need for you to use this filter, Olli does not recommend using it.

The damping is handy especially in occasions where you find yourself turning the wheel too much. This is usually on an entry or mid-corner phase while racing. Turning too much while for example braking is poison for your tires as they lock up, overheat, and will start understeer. Using damping is good tool to make your driving performance better especially on entry phase of the corner.

Friction

Friction is a strong, latency free filter. As you might understand from the filter’s name, it adds friction making the wheel movements slower around the wheel shaft. This is handy tool in case you are having difficulties on corner exits or other phases around the corner where the wheel starts oscillating or you cannot hold the wheel steady like you should for better performance. Add this filter in small doses, just the amount you need and nothing more as the trade-off using this filter is losing fidelity.

Inertia

Inertia is a handy tool if you have acquired a very lightweight steering wheel. If the steering wheel is light and the force is strong, the wheel might be difficult to handle. Essentially, the tool tries to resist any attempts to current rotation speed of the wheel thus making the wheel feel heavier.

Static force reduction

If you want to keep the strength of the force feedback strong with your Simucube 2 wheel base, but the FFB created is too strong in the long, high G corners, this is a good tool to use. The filter reduces the FFB strength on those long and slowly changing conditions while producing majority of small details to your hands like kerbs and road surface, making it good to use on sims like for example rFactor 2.

Slew rate limit

Slew rate limits the acceleration of the FFB. This is very handy tool to use if you feel like the wheel base is really strong and rough for your hands in for example crash or corner exit situations and you have issues with keeping sim racing safe. Slew rate adds a bit of latency but is handy tool sometimes to increase fidelity as well, as some road noise can be removed with lowering the slew rate and in exchange you feel more on what the tires tell you.

Ultra low latency mode

Ultra low latency mode filter is something to be used in case you have used the filters above. The filter attempts to reduce the latency between the wheel base and PC thus reducing the oscillations in the simulator environment, which is usually caused by the latency. So in case you have added any filters adding latency, it is worth trying out adding some ultra low latency mode for increased fidelity and reduced oscillations.

DirectInput effects

DirectInput effects are effects which simulator utilizes. The most common effects for DirectInput are damping and friction, which can be controlled from the simulator itself.

Normally Olli does his filters from the Simucube’s signal processing feed and do not change settings on the sim side, but sometimes adding filters processed by the sim is worth trying. To see DirectInput effects working, one would need to add filter from the sim, e.g. damping to 5% in iRacing, which after on the TrueDrive you’ll go to DirectInput effects and increase the damping value which has a round dot on the right side communicating this effect is in use.

Conclusion

There is lots of adjustments to play with in sim world, and especially with FFB. Sometimes there is maybe too much to play with and one might get distracted on what adjustment to change and what not. Hopefully this tutorial helps you to find pace and win more races in the future. Keep on racing!