CREW CHIEF vs DRE

Compare and see the differences between the best spotters for iRacing: Digital Race Engineer and Crew Chief (CC)

Main Differences

DRE offers a plethora of features and quality-of-life changes and does this with a heavy focus on sound.

Crew Chief uses pre-recorded voices and has support for various sim-racing titles.

DRE

  • Audio focused: Maximize your ears and free up your eyes to drive
  • Signals: Non-verbal sounds streaming info continuously
  • Ambiance and SFX
  • Sim UI navigation
  • Additional Tools: File Starter, Race Strategy, Action Camera, Gear Shift
  • Race Analytics & Graphs (Lap times, Fuel, Tire, Pit)
  • And much more, see the comparison below

Crew Chief

  • Overlay: Visual aids, charts
  • Sampled voices: Pre-recorded voices relay the information
  • Profiles (WIP in DRE)
  • Multi-Sim (WIP in DRE)
  • Pace Notes (WIP in DRE)
  • Corner Info (WIP in DRE)
Small DRE 2022
CrewChief 300x300 1

Feature Match

All features in Crew Chief are already included in DRE or planned work*

DRE Free alone covers 93% of CC features and extends with further 69+ free features

Comparison Crew Chief & DRE

Crew ChiefDRE FreeDRE EssentialsDRE PerformanceDRE Ultimate

General

Navigate UI & Black Boxes play button
Audio Controls play button
Setup Tips & Guidance play button
Profiles Use different sets of keybinds, configurations and options, depending on your type of racing, wheel on your rig, etc.
Switch automatically based on conditions, or manually when needed
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Multi-Sim Support for various sim-racing titles like:
ARCA Sim Racing
Assetto Corsa (AC)
Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC)
Automobilista
Copa Petrobas de Marcas
Dirt Rally
F1
Formula Truck
GTR2
Project Cars
Race Room
rFactor
Richard Burns Rally
Stock Car Extreme
WIPWIPWIPWIP
Feature Conditions - Track TypeEnable features based on track types (off, on, road, oval)
Feature Conditions - Session TypeEnable features based on session type (practice, qual, race)
Controller bindingAllows binding DRE commands to controller buttons
Controller POV bindingAllow binding DRE commands to controller POV hat movements
Support The Dev’s WorkLet me know that my development work is extra appreciated

App

Beautiful and Easy to navigate + Small downloadDRE utilizes a Downloable-Content-System (DLC) to only download what you need - nothing else. This saves on bandwidth and gets you racing as quick as possible
DashboardDRE at a glance
- Latest news and YouTube videos
- Latest racing results
- Overall racing stats
Localized App play buttonUse DRE in your language. Support for English, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, French, German, etc.
App Color ThemesChoose between themes Monokai, Dusk, Flat Dark, Miami Vice and more
Always on topSet DRE window on top of the sim window, to use DRE as an overlay

Voice Output

Radio Comms FX: Radio ClicksAdvanced audio filtering processes brings you realistic radio communication effects when DRE speaks to you. Hear clicks and pops when radios are used
Radio Comms FX: SignalAdvanced audio filtering processes brings you realistic radio communication effects when DRE speaks to you. Hear signal noises, and quality which degrades as your car moves farther away from the garage
Localized Voice Output play buttonHear DRE speak in your language. Support for Spanish, Portugese, French, German, etc.
3D VoiceOn selected speaks, you'll hear DRE speaking to you in spatialized 3D around your head. For example, Overtake Alerts are positioned "on" the overtaking cars, making it quicker to know where the overtake happens
Sample VoicesPre-recorded voices
Local TTS VoicesUse your own Windows Text-To-Speech engine with DRE. Set your preferred TTS engine in Windows and use it with DRE.
Neural TTS VoicesChoose between 6 natural sounding English voices with vibrant intonations and expression. Choose between male and female voices for US, GB, AU, CA dialects
Neural Words / month Neural words limits. You can opt-out by switching to Local Voice (Windows Text-To-Speech), or increase the limit by upgrading to Essentials, Performance or Ultimate. Once the limit is reached, DRE will automatically switch to using Local Voices. Neural Voices are unlocked and replenished after every 30 days.

How Neural Words are counted:
Neural Words are counted when DRE requests new sentence parts from the cloud. If part of a sentence, like a name, isn't cached and needs generating, it counts as Neural Words. Over time, as more variations are generated and cached, fewer Neural Words are needed.

Example:
If the sentence to speak is “Your gap to Allan McNish ahead is 5.2” and DRE already has “Your gap to …” and “ahead is 5.2“, but it needs to generate “Allan McNish“, it’ll use 2 Neural Words.
After the first generation of eg. “Allan McNish” DRE might need additional generations depending on the intonation and pitch required for that specific sentence. After a few generations, DRE will have variations for all future speech containing “Allan McNish”.
This means your local cache grows over time causing you to use fewer Neural Words generations.
4000800015000
Neural Voice QualityNeural Voices generated in through comms / in garage, in Khz
8/168/1616/1616/24
Spotter Voice OverrideUse another voice for spotter messages like Proximity, Overtake, Flags, Pit countdown, Pit stall enter/exit, Pit stop complete, Pit lane speeding
Breath in pauseOccasionally pause for breath in messages
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Emotion DRE expresses disappointment, cussing and swearing, complains and encourages you
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Voice Interaction

500+ Voice Commands Control DRE and the sim using your voice
Command BindsBind one or more commands to any of your buttons

Examples of possible mappings:
- Map the command to clean the windscreen to a controller button
- Map a button to clean the windscreen, then change all tires
- Be able to hit a button to hear the average lap time for the car ahead for position
- Bind a button to go to iRacing Relative tab (F3)
- Trigger starting/stopping OBS recordings
- Trigger auto fuel calculations

A list of current commands binds is found in `Controls -> Command Binds`.
Make new command binds from `Commands -> Right-click a command -> Bind`.
See the `How to edit Controls` expander in `Controls` view for more information
Custom CommandsCreate your own custom commands that will send keybinds to other apps. This is useful to trigger actions in OBS, Racelabs, SimHub, etc.
Disable commandsDisable commands you don't need or experience false positive recognitions with
- Right-click any command in `Commands -> General` and toggle it using `Disable / Enable`
- Manually disabled commands will have a strike-through red phrase text:
- A list of manually disabled commands can be found in `Commands -> Manually Disabled`
Extend command phrasesCustom commands now allow to trigger built-in commands using phrases
- Example: You want to expand the command phrase variations to hear your last lap time
- Make a new custom command in `Commands -> Custom`
- Type the Voice Grammar like `Last lap`
- Type the phrase this grammar should trigger like `last lap time` which is a valid phrase to trigger the Last Lap Time command
- DRE will popup a message box to warn you if the phrase entered hasn't been found. Don't worry though, as some dynamic grammar (like DDLastTime used in this example) only activate once connected
Voice Input ModesVoice Activated, Hotword Activated, Push-To-Talk modes available
Localized Speech Recognition play buttonSpeak your language. DRE will support multiple languages such as Spanish, Portugese, French, German, etc.
Disable alertsShut up and leave me alone: Choose to silence DRE unless you ask it for info
Push-To-Talk Release DelayPush To Talk delay added when releasing the PTT button
Alias Name Override play buttonOverride your name to anything you like, or select a part of your name
Gender support: Male, Female & overrideLets you refer to other drivers with 'she', 'her', and similar, and hear DRE referring to drivers as females. DRE automatically figures out the likely gender.
Override to set your gender of preference, and DRE will respond in the appropriate manner
Speech Queue System play button
Speech Queue System: Advanced InterruptsBasic: Speaks can either be spotter only, important, or critical. Will down-prioritize non-critical speaks. Advanced: Speaks have gradual increasing priorities based on importance in the moment and may self-cancel based on various events while being queued
Radio static confirmationsHear signal noise as you speak to DRE. Heard when Push-To-Talk button is used, or when DRE detects speech using Hotword or Voice activations
Voice Command RecognizedHear a signal after speaking to DRE. Heard when the voice input matches a command phrase
'Say Again' play button
Automatic Minimum Confidence adjustmentsLet DRE find the sweetspot between signal-to-noise and adjust the speech recognition minimum levels. Use the Settings -> General -> Get Started Wizard to calibrate

Situational Awareness

Busy Detection - Player SpeaksDRE won't start new speaks when you speak. It listens to active mic input
Busy Detection - CornersAlerts are delayed approaching corners
Busy Detection - Basic play button
Busy Detection - Mute ListeningPrevent DRE from listening to your speech while you are busy driving
Busy Detection - Teammates SpeakDRE won't start new speaks when your team mates speak. It listens to output of other apps and shuts up
Busy Detection - Teammates VolumeAdjust the speech detection volume level from your team mates
Busy Detection - Skip SpeechWhen team mates start speaking, DRE will immediately stop any speech happening

Camera

Camera Control play button
Auto Live ReplayWhen exiting the car or joining a session, replay automatically jumps to LIVE
Action Camera play buttonLet DRE control the replay cameras and pick the action for you. It smartly prioritizes action that important to you. Especially in team racing, watching Action Camera lets you have a great overview of important opponent racing that affect your team
Action Camera - Voice & Text AnnouncementsLet action camera changes be announced via speech and text in the Drive Log
Action Camera - Text Only AnnouncementsLet action camera changes be announced only through the Drive Log as text

Session

Session Info play button
Race Strategy DRE takes ownership of race strategy planning and execution during races.
Get forecasted pitstops fuel and tire predictions based on weather changes, congestion on track, tire sets available, and more.
Driver History Let DRE profile opponents from their historic performance in official and hosted racing and give you on-the-fly tips about their potential on-track behavior

Has the driver not driven for a while? They might be shaky and risky in close contact
Has the driver won in the last races or been on a good streak? Maybe it's better to let them by and focus on other battles
DNF'ing frequently? Hang back and let the driver make the mistake.
DRE to feature multiple alerts to present the driver analysis as you go.
WIPWIPWIPWIP
Split FinderWhen joining a race server, DRE tells you which split you’re in
Race Simulation play button
Next Race Warning play button
Mixed AI FieldWarns your if the driver field is mixed between real and AI drivers
Pace Car Gap AlertInterval to the pace car during cautions when first approaching it on track
Set a timerLet DRE alert you when the time is up. Set a time between 1 to 120 minutes
Set an alarmAlerts you at a certain time
Chat messagesLet DRE type chat messages into the sim racing chat. Use 'Say ...' and one of the following: good luck, no problem, okay, pass left/right, sorry, thanks
Dictate chatLet DRE type chat messages into the sim racing chat. Use 'Start chat ...' followed by your voice input. Once complete, you can confirm the message with 'Send chat'
Session endDRE gives a synopsis of the completed session
DRS Beeps Hear audio signals of DRS states:

- Armed (F1): DRS will be available at the next DRS marker (always in practice and qual, in races when within 1 second of the next car)
- Ready To Deploy (F1): When DRS is available crossing the DRS marker and it's possible to enable it
- Enabled: Confirmation of enabling DRS
- Disabled: Confirmation of DRS being disabled (from braking, lifting, pressing DRS again)

Formula Renault 3.5 has a certain amount of times you may enable DRS, and you can enable this anywhere during full throttle. FR3.5 will only hear the enabled and disabled states, however for this car there's the `DRS Count` and `DRS Remaining` commands available
Player Pit Exit WindowSee and hear who's close to you when exiting the pits
Opponent Pit ExitDRE warns you of opponents exiting pits whilst they are in pitlane or at pit exit
Pace notesWIPWIPWIP
Corner Info Track landmarks, names of corners can be read out loud
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Ambience

Pitlane Noises & Ambience - GarageAdd atmosphere to your sim-racing. Hear wheel-guns rattling, cars passing and crowd noise while in garage/replaying. Cars passing by are synchronized to the actual cars driving by your garage.
Pitlane Noises & Ambience - MicAdd the sound of the pitlane to DRE's microphone when it speaks to you. Cars passing by are synchronized to the actual cars driving by your garage.

Grid

Pre-Race Checklist play button
Gridding Started (Qual And Race)Get notified of qual and race sessions beginning their gridding process
Grid CountdownRelax yourself during gridding as DRE makes sure you get on the grid in time. DRE calls out 30 seconds intervals
Get ReadyDRE calls out before red lights into green, or just before the pace car starts rolling
Grid Low Fuel Warning play buttonDRE warns you if it detects less than ideal fuel loads when entering the car on grid.
Grid Low Fuel Warning DetailsHear how much fuel you should have on the car to be able to finish the race
Grid Low Fuel Warning ThresholdAdjust the treshold for the low fuel warning when gridding

Lap

New Lap InfoHear the last and best lap times, deltas to others and more at the start of every new lap

DRE prioritizes cleverly and randomizes between:
Session Laps Left
Session Time Left
Session Track State
Player Last Lap Time
Player Last Lap Time Delta To Best
Player Fuel Left
Player Fuel Laps Left
Player Fuel Time Left
Player Fuel Used Last Lap
Player Fuel Used Average
Player To Opponent Last Lap Time Delta
Player To Opponent Average Lap Time Delta
Player To Opponent Gap
Opponent New Best Lap Time
Opponent Last Lap Time
Stint Laps Elapsed
+ more
Customize New Lap InfoChoose what DRE randomized between and says when crossing the S/F.
DRE weighs the various pieces of information available and selects the most valuable
New Lap Command TriggerEnter command phrases that you want to trigger on every new lap

- Find exact command phrases in the `side-menu -> Commands`, or use the global search to find them
- Delimit commands by commas
- Example: `Last lap time for the car ahead on track;Do tear off` triggers every new lap to tell you the lap time ahead on track (if available), and attempts to tear off your visor or clear the wind screen
Joker Lap Count And ReminderIn dirt racing with jokers, DRE will keep track of jokers needed and completed
Practice & Qual Laps Left play button
Race Laps Left play button
Laps Left IntervalAdjust how often the laps left countdown should trigger. For example every 5, 10 or 50 laps

Flags

Flag AlertsHear when being served various flags, like black, slow-downs, checkered and much more
Improved Yellow Flag DetectioniRacing yellow flags are not always correct or timely. DRE fixes this by looking at slow or stopped cars and warns you about these. If they are rolling again, DRE will clear these
Blue Flag AlertEnable or disable the blue flag alert separately. Requires Flag Alerts enabled

Position

Real-Time Positions play button
Position Change AlertHear your new position once confirmed in all sessions. Possible to disable for qualification focus
Projected Position AlertUnderstand your performance along a hotlap. Useful especially in practice and quals
Estimated Irating AlertAt position changes, enable this to allow for a probability that DRE announces the estimated iRating to get for the position ahead
iRating Gain Position play buttonHear which position in this session equals or gains iRating
Projected Finish PositionDRE extrapolates current performance of all drivers and estimate your finish position at the end of the race

Incidents

Offtrack AlertGet an incidication when you went outside the track limits
High-Incident Count AlertBe warned when approaching the incident limit
Incident CountGet your total incident count in the session (offtracks, crashes included)
Offtrack CountGet your total offtrack count in the session. This differs from total incidents, which also counts contacts, where this is only counting the offtracks
High Incident Count CustomizationAdjust the incident count buffer which triggers the alert

Weather

Weather Info & Alerts play buttonBrief weather info as you enter a new session, when asking for it, and when DRE detects changes
Weather Change Thresholds - BasicAdjust thresholds for weather changes (air temp, track temp, wind strength) and how often checks should happen
Weather Change Thresholds - AdvancedAdjust thresholds for weather changes of air pressure and humidity
Headwind AlertIndicates the headwind direction when driving into it the first time after a change. Use this to better position your car behind opponents
- Whenever a smoothed wind direction changes more than 22.5 degrees, this is triggered again
- This is triggered on new servers
- This is only triggered between sessions like qual -> race if the wind direction differs more than 22.5 degrees
Wind & Gust SignalHear an enhanced wind effect to know where to brake before corners. Headwinds make you able to brake later as well as position yourself behind opponent cars
Rain & PrecipitationIndications of wet track parts, incoming rain and severity
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Car

In-Car Controls play button
Car Info play button
Engine AlertsOil, water temperatures and levels, voltage, manifold pressures
Engine Alerts Threshold CustomizationAdjust the thresholds for engine warnings
Pedal Deadzone Checks play buttonHear if your pedals hang. Adjust the amount of deadzone on each pedal

Team Data

Shared Team Data - Receive play buttonGet team data from other DRE drivers in your team, every 10 Seconds
(Fuel Levels, Oil + Water Temperatures)
Shared Team Data - Send play buttonSend team data to other DRE drivers in your team, every 10 Seconds
(Fuel Levels, Oil + Water Temperatures)
Rapid Team DataGet and send near real-time team data (updates every 2 seconds)

Gear

Gear Shift RPM LimitNon-verbal sound beeps when reaching the RPM limit on each gear
Gear Shift ConfirmationsNon-verbal sound beeps confirming up- and down shifts

Fuel

Fuel Strategy GraphsVisualized Fuel data:
- Historic sampled fuel data
- Current Live Fuel data
- Predicted Fuel Strategy using Early-pitting strategy
Fuel Info play button
KWh support play buttonSupport for electric vehicles, that use kWh as fuel
Auto Fuel play buttonAutomatically calculates and sets the fuel for the next pitstop. Enable for practice, qual, race or any combination. Choose to apply the Auto Fuel when running light and/or when entering the pit lane
Auto Fuel Override play buttonOverride the automated fuel added by DRE (iRacing's Auto Fuel, or other 3rd party). When this happens, DRE acknowledge you overrode the fuel amount in the fuel black box and stays off those controls until after pitting
Set Pit Stop FuelSet, increase or decrease the fuel set for the pit stop
Fuel Buffer play buttonAdditional fuel to add on every pit stop or at the last stop, determined by either:
- A percentage of an lap's fuel
- An absolute fuel value
Fuel Window AlertGet a heads up the earliest you can come in to top up the car with fuel to make it to the end of the race
Low Fuel Alert play buttonDRE warns you when you have to enter the pits to fill fuel. This happens before pit entry on the last possible lap. DRE checks if you have enough fuel to complete another lap and stay above the fuel splutter level.
Fuel Lap TargetDrive to a certain fuel amount each lap. Adjust it on the fly or in the app
Pit Stops Left AlertHear when the number of pit stops changes from the current fuel strategy
Auto Fuel AlertGet notified when DRE changes fuel on the car before a pit stop
Fuel Data PreservationDecide whether to include fuel data into races from practice or race warm up
Green-White-Checkered (GWC)DRE factors in potential GWC laps at the end of the race when doing fuel calculations. You can customize the expected number of GWC laps
Fuel Average ModeChoose the way fuel average is calculated.
Laps during cautions, in-laps, out-laps are automatically omitted from calculations.

Select between:

All - Every completed lap from this session

Last N - Eg. the last 10 laps completed

First N - Eg. the very first 10 laps driven in this session

Top Consumption 10% - Of all laps in this session, DRE takes all laps within 10% of the lap with the highest fuel consumption
Fuel Average Modes - Median & Stint First NMedian 30% - First finds the median fuel lap of all laps in this session, then takes all laps within 30% of that lap's consumption

Stint First N - Eg. the first 10 laps driven in this stint
Fuel Average Modes - Stint Top Consumption & Stint MedianStint Top Consumption 10% - Of all laps in this stint, DRE takes all laps within 10% of the lap with the highest fuel consumption

Stint Median 30% - First finds the median fuel lap in this stint, then takes all laps within 30% of that lap's consumption

Tires

Tire Wear Graph play buttonEstimated Current and future tire wear visualized on a graph:
- Live Estimated Tire Heatlh
- See historic sampled tire wear at pit stops
- Predict perfect tire change opportunities
Tire InfoRequest individual tire ages, compounds, sets used and remaining, and much more. Most info is available on all drivers in the session
Tire Health play buttonRequest wear, raceable laps remaining, expected wear on your tires, or opponents
Critical Tire Wear AlertDRE warns you when the estimated tire wear exceeds a customizable threshold
Change tiresTell DRE to change a specific tire, all tires or any combination
Change tire compound play buttonChange to a specific tire compound
Adjust pressures onlyTell DRE to adjust the pressures in the tires - without changing them

Proximity

Proximity Alerts play buttonHear about faster approaching cars:
- Player exiting pits: Hear if you'll rendesvouz with opponents
- Opponents exiting pits: Hear if you'll reach the merge point at the same time
- Player offtrack: Hear when you can rejoin the track, DRE will mention the number of cars and when to go
- Opponents closing in from behind: Improved Blue flag detection - hear only about those who are truly faster than you and ignore the rest
Proximity Alert CustomizationAdjust thresholds for drivers on track, off track and at pit exit proximity
Proximity Alert While SpottingGet alerted of drivers in the proximity of your team car when you are spotting for another driver

Overtake

Overtaking Alert (Cars Left And Right) play buttonAlerts you when cars are on your side. Advantage of using the DRE spotter:
- Longitudinal precision: Eg. left rear, left or left front, (more precise spotting than iRacing)
- 3D Spatialized: Hear the voice coming from the 3D position of the opponent car gives you an instant understanding of your surroundings
- Rapid response: Advanced algorithm to pre-detect overtakes lets you hear the overtake the moment it happens
Overtaking Signals play buttonSpatialized audio beeps during overtaking which places cars around you in a 3D audio scene with cars left, right or a combination. Supports up to three-wide in total

Constant Tone: You're gaining on the opponent
Beeping Tones: The opponent is faster than you
Pitch Change: The progress of the overtake (High pitch = Opponent is farthest ahead, Low pitch = Opponent is farthest behind)
Rapid Rattle: The opponent is at the padding zone just ahead or behind your car

Sector

Sector Performance play button
Optimal SectorAlerts when the previous sector was the personal quickest
Best Sector In ClassAlerts if previous sector was the quickest in class
Sector VulnerabilityInforms you about which sector you are quicker than the class car ahead on track, and which sector you are slower than the class car behind on track
Sector Drop-OffAlerts if next sector lately has been significantly slower than your best
Sector Drop-Off TresholdAdjust the time threshold which triggers the alert

Pit

Pit Info play button
Pit Lane LossSee or ask for the loss times of pitting
Pit Exit Window GraphVisualized running order of cars at player pit exit. Get a continuous picture of who's where after you've completed your pit stop.
This graph takes into account your pit lane losses and estimated time in pit stall.
Use the graph to understand when to pit to stay in front of opponents, or undercut them
Pit Limiter Toggled play buttonVerbal alert letting you know you engaged the limiter
Pit Limiter On (Signal)Audio Signal letting you know when the limiter is active. It continuous while the limiter in activated
Pit Stall Countdowns play button
Car In PitstallHear when your car has parked correctly in the pitstall
Pit Service FeedbackHear if you need to position the car differently, or if the car is unrepairable
Repair Countdown AlertsHear the time left of required and optional repairs
Pit Stop ChangesWhat is bound to happen in the pitstop. Triggers at the start of the pit lane
Pit Stop CompleteHear when the pit stop and repairs complete
Opponents PittingHear when the overall leader, class leader, and cars battling for your position pit
Pit Speeding (Alert) play buttonAlerts you when speeding in the pits. This may occur if you forget to turn on your pit speed limiter
Pit Speeding (Signal)Audio Signal when speeding in the pits (exceeding the limit)
Pit Approach SignalNail the perfect de-acceleration before pit entry with the gradual sound towards the pit speed, giving you instant feedback on your braking into the pitlane
Pit Shuffle play buttonLet DRE swap you out and into the car during pit stops to flush the live telemetry data, in order to get the most recent tire wear data.
If the pit stop is expected to be more than 3.5 seconds, DRE will escape you to garage and back in, which will release the latest tire telemetry

Competitors

Class Consistency GraphVisualized lap time consistency across drivers in your class.
This lets you easily see your true pace compared to opponents, and detect if you can improve your consistency
Competitor Info (Around You For Position) play buttonThere are many ways you can request information on an opponent around you for position. Some examples:
Last time for the car ahead?
Last time in front?
Competitor Info (Around You On Track) play buttonThere are many ways you can request information on an opponent around you on track. Some examples:
Last time for the car ahead on track?
Last time in front on track?
Competitor Info (Look Up Driver By #, Name, position) play buttonThere are many ways you can request information on an opponent. Some examples:
Where's P1?
Where's the 1st position?
Where's Verstappen?
Where's Max?
Where's number 33?
Competitor Delta TimesGet the difference in time (last, best, sectors) to the other drivers around you
Incident Count For All CarsEstimated incident count tracking for all cars. This is based on cars going off track
Advanced Competitor Pit Info play button
Marked Drivers play button
Delta Wave play buttonTake action on your driving - Hear where you gain or lose time using a continuous audio signal

Understand whether you are gaining time in entry, mid, or exit corner compared to yourself or others
- Flutter/tremolo effect when improving time - Sustained sound when losing time.
- Pitch change indicates the magnitude of delta time gained: Higher pitch means more time gained.
- Silence with no movement to the delta, as your delta performance is in an equilibrium state

Choose between session best or last lap time, or any competitor car.

Choose to override to a different mode during races

Competitor Events

Low Irating And Safety Rating AlertsKnow if cars approaching are a danger to you. Define your own iRacing and Safety Rating thresholds
Competitor TimelossKnow if cars around you have lost considerable time on the last lap
Striking DistanceGet alerts of approaching cars and when they are expected to meet you. Works both when you gain time on others in front, and when competitors behind approach you

Leaders

Leader And Class Leader Look Ups play button
Overall Leader ChangeHear when the overall lead changes
Class Leader ChangeHear when the class lead changes
Class Leader Launch Signal play buttonHear the class RPM before going green - Know instantly when to go by listening to the class leader response

- Heard on rolling race starts
- Heard on re-starts

DRE tells you 'Class leader Launch signal' and you will then hear a tone indicating the RPM of your class leader. This fade away once the class leader goes

File Starter

Auto start Apps & FilesLet DRE be your App Manager. Automatically starts selected apps and open files of your choice when the sim connects.
Choose to start the files when the sim process starts or when the sim connects to a session.
Sim Re-FocusAutomatically puts the focus back on the sim window after the files have been started
Sim Re-Focus DelayAdjust the wait time before the sim is refocused

API & Integrations

LynxExtend DRE with other applications using the Lynx module. Trigger DRE commands, retrieve DRE and sim variables and events from other programs with DRE as a mediator app. Currently available: VoiceAttack
Integration: VoiceAttackLynx integrates with VoiceAttack so you can control DRE (and the sim) from VoiceAttack
EventsSubscribe and listen for racing events and do with them what you want in the integration. Some examples:

- CommencedLastLap: triggers when the player starts the last lap (great for music build up towards the end)

- DriverClassPositionChanged: triggers when a driver changes position (gives you the driver car number and class position it changed to)

- DriverSwapped: triggers whenever any driver swap takes place (handy for strategic calls in your team)

- EnteredExitedCar: triggers when the player jumps in and out of the car

- And many more. Full list available through the integration documentation
VariablesRead live variables off the sim. Some examples:

- TeamRacing: True/False

- Hosted: True/False

- SessionLapsInt: Number

- CurrentLap: Number

- PitRepairLeft: Seconds (Float)

- And many more: See the integration documentation
ActionsTrigger actions in DRE from the integration. Some examples:

- CameraNext: Switches to the next camera in the sim

- CameraNextCar: Switches to the next car in the sim

- Recenter: Resets the VR view

- Set 8 down: Set the current black box option 8 steps down

- And many more: See the integration documentation

User review and comparison (iRacing Forum)

Jon Barton reviews DRE vs CC in Spring 2021 on the iRacing Forum.

He reviews DRE3 which is different from the current standalone version, so have this in mind:

 

Crew Chief challenges

[…] I struggled and struggled with voice recognition in Crew Chief, and some other miscellaneous things like being able to change my Pit options once I’m already in the box. My experience with CC was that I would turn off Fast Repair in the first couple of laps, then when I needed it, I couldn’t get it turned back on, and the same thing for tires and fuel.

I retired from my first 4 League races after I started using Crew Chief because I couldn’t get CC to give me any gas. When CC *would* set the setting, I’d have to drive out of the pits, make a lap, then come back into the pits to get the gas I asked for.

Could be unique to me, could be that I only used CC for 2 weeks before getting frustrated and quit using it (so at least I could finish a race without running out of gas!)


Flexibility with DRE

None of those have ever been a problem with The Digital Race Engineer. I can drive all the way down pit road and park THEN ask for autofuel and all 4 tires and a fast repair and get them all immedately. The voice recognition is top notch, since it relies on VoiceAttack, which relies on Microsoft’s voice APIs – so when those get better (and they definitely have over the years) then DRE gets better.

An additional benefit is that DRE is ultimately a profile for VoiceAttack, which means you can add (or change) commands however you like. I’ve added commands to dynamically show/hide RaceLab Overlays in VR, because Racelab supports keybinds for those commands, and VoiceAttack allows you to send keystrokes to a specific application when a command is triggered. I’ve also added commands to switch to my Trucksim and Elite Dangerous profiles with a voice command (and commands in each of those to flip back to DRE, of course)


Features

In early 2021, the primary differences between Crew Chief and Digital Race Engineer are:

 

Simulator support

  • CrewChief supports a LOT of different racing games
  • DRE supports iRacing only (at this time)

Voices

  • CrewChief comes with a number of prerecorded voices for phrasing, and you’re locked into the specific recordings that exist.
  • CrewChief voices are prerecorded, so you can create new voice sets if you like and want to put in the work to create the recordings.
  • Conversely, CrewChief voices are usable only with CrewChief and can’t be used more generally.
  • CrewChief has only one Crew Chief voice available. The rest of the voices in CC are available as Spotters only.
  • Conversely – DRE uses software speech engines from Microsoft or others, like Ivona or Nuance.
  • Additional TTS voices like Ivona or Nuance can be used with other VoiceAttack profiles and commands for any (every) game you have, so long as you have/create a VoiceAttack profile for it.

Pricing

  • CrewChief is 100% free.
  • DRE uses VoiceAttack for recognition and response, and this represents a small additional one-time cost.

Voice Recognition

  • CrewChief has worse voice recognition overall.
  • DRE + VoiceAttack uses Microsoft’s speech engine as the back end, and the Microsoft Speech Engine has consistently gotten better over time (I’ve been using it since 2010),

Commands

  • CrewChief has an extensive, but limited, set of commands you can use.
  • DRE is ultimately a very very advanced VoiceAttack profile, which means you can edit it to add your own commands – for instance, to hide/show RaceLabs Information Panels, or to start/stop streaming in OBS, etc., with voice commands.

 

Conclusion

DRE is absolutely 10/10 for VR use. My biggest challenge is simply remembering all the hundreds of useful commands that are available. What a problem to have!

GET STARTED NOW WITH DRE

* Comparing Crew Chief 4.16.2.2 and DRE 2022.1 and excluding: Sample Voices, Shared Memory (DRE has Lynx, which is more advanced), Mute spotter immediately on FCY, Restrict info and commands to track/car type, Overlays

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