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Author Topic: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.  (Read 1829 times)

Eugen Jeličić

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Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« on: January 26, 2017, 07:34:51 am »

Hello!
I need an advice. I wanted to buy myself a measurement microphone for live needs. I have smaart 7 on my laptop and i'd like to be able to do a general pinknoise system flattening with the microphone in the sweetspot in front of the PA.
I would also like to be able to do a phase response measurement to align the subs with the top boxes.

So i had a few options in mind. I can buy a used Behringer ECM8000 for a good price here in my country. But i heard it's not very flat above 8k and i heard it's not any good at measuring phase response.
The second option is stretching a bit and buying a dbx RTA-M from thomman. It's not that expensive.
The third option is stretching a bit more and buying the beyerdynamic MM1 witch seems to be really good in reviews but i'm not sure if i'm going to benefint from a mic that expensive in comparison to the dbx one.
I'm not going to be eq-ing L'acoustic systems in treated auditoriums, i'm usually working with yamaha/EV crap in concrete basements.

The third option is buying a used IK Multimedia Arc 2 system. That option was not planned in the first place but i came across a guy living in my city selling the ARC 2 set for half the price of a new one.
This is a room correction set for home studios and it might come in handy because i have some yamaha HS7's in a not treated room and i mix quiet a lot on them so if this could help me EQ my room a bit it would be a nice buy.

But on the other hand 1. I don't know how good is the measurement mic that i get with this set and can i use it Live with smaart. 2. If i simply buy a dbx RTA-M there is nothing stopping me from using it together with smaart to correct my bedroom modes just like i would with the ARC 2 system.

So which option do you thing would be the best bang for the buck here?

Thanks.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2017, 01:20:58 pm »

At a Smaart class I took we compared several mics provided by the students and instructor (hey, Harry!).  They were surprisingly similar from around 40Hz to 8kHz.  If you're not aligning the very top octave I'd not be terribly concerned.

As for measuring phase response - that's part of info being derived via the Fast Fourier Transform.  Any inherent phase problem would also manifest itself as a magnitude variation and should be apparent.  In the Smaart class we observed no such things with the ECM8000.  What we did observe is the amount of variation between individual mics, and again that was predominantly in the top octave.

I own the Audix measurement mic and 4 of the RTA-420 that are sold by various dealers (sometimes with different model number).  They are not identical in response but sufficiently close that I can align front fills, mains, subs and side hangs without great concern.

The dirty little secret is that pretty much all of the inexpensive measurement mics use the same capsule (Panasonic?) and the pre-amp/impedance converter use nearly identical circuits.  I suspect the differences in perceived quality are mostly in unit-to-unit variation (or similarity) of response and/or brand name.

If I were buying today, with the choices you have, I'd get the dbx.
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Laurence Nefzger

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Re: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2017, 02:04:15 pm »

I suggest looking at Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone. It comes with an individual calibration that is kept by the manufacturer so if you lose your paper sheet you can look it up at any time based on the serial number.

I have done direct comparisons to my Earthworks TC40K and find that the small differences (primarily above 8K) are not worth fretting about. Especially in terms of speaker optimization.

They can be found for around $50 (US).

After one of my matched pair of TC40K hit the concrete floor during a measurement thus creating a very unmatched pair I decided to look for less expensive alternatives that I could afford to lose if a catastrophe occurred during a measurement.


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Eugen Jeličić

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Re: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2017, 02:14:18 pm »

At a Smaart class I took we compared several mics provided by the students and instructor (hey, Harry!).  They were surprisingly similar from around 40Hz to 8kHz.  If you're not aligning the very top octave I'd not be terribly concerned.

As for measuring phase response - that's part of info being derived via the Fast Fourier Transform.  Any inherent phase problem would also manifest itself as a magnitude variation and should be apparent.  In the Smaart class we observed no such things with the ECM8000.  What we did observe is the amount of variation between individual mics, and again that was predominantly in the top octave.

I own the Audix measurement mic and 4 of the RTA-420 that are sold by various dealers (sometimes with different model number).  They are not identical in response but sufficiently close that I can align front fills, mains, subs and side hangs without great concern.

The dirty little secret is that pretty much all of the inexpensive measurement mics use the same capsule (Panasonic?) and the pre-amp/impedance converter use nearly identical circuits.  I suspect the differences in perceived quality are mostly in unit-to-unit variation (or similarity) of response and/or brand name.

If I were buying today, with the choices you have, I'd get the dbx.

Well i read somewhere online (this might be a misinformation) that the behringer mic has got some king of an EQ circut built inside. And it gives the mic a more flat/precise frequency response because the mic itself is not that flat, but it messes up the phase response. That does sound logical because an eq circut will mess up the phase response however it might be a bunch of crap since i found it by random googleing.

Yes i'm also thinking about the DBX... it's not very expensive. But then again, the behringer is less then half the price here where i live. Since i found a good used one.
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2017, 05:18:29 pm »

I suggest looking at Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone. It comes with an individual calibration that is kept by the manufacturer so if you lose your paper sheet you can look it up at any time based on the serial number.

I have done direct comparisons to my Earthworks TC40K and find that the small differences (primarily above 8K) are not worth fretting about. Especially in terms of speaker optimization.

They can be found for around $50 (US).

After one of my matched pair of TC40K hit the concrete floor during a measurement thus creating a very unmatched pair I decided to look for less expensive alternatives that I could afford to lose if a catastrophe occurred during a measurement.

A measurement mic needs a calibration file.  The relative merits of different mics is irrelevant without calibration files.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2017, 05:48:46 pm »

A measurement mic needs a calibration file.  The relative merits of different mics is irrelevant without calibration files.

If you are a speaker developer tuning your product this is probably true, if you are a live sound operator trying to tune a PA not so much.

Mac
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2017, 06:23:38 pm »

The responses regarding the top octave are correct.

And if you "really wanted to get picky", simply compare identical models of loudspeakers-looking at the top octave.
,
You will often quite a bit of variance there.

As you higher and lower- "everything" gets harder.

Consider that the "fundamental tones" of most sounds are 8Khz and lower.

It all comes down to "What am I here to do" and "What am I looking for", "What am I going to do with the information presented"?
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Eugen Jeličić

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Re: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2017, 06:39:02 am »

The responses regarding the top octave are correct.

And if you "really wanted to get picky", simply compare identical models of loudspeakers-looking at the top octave.
,
You will often quite a bit of variance there.

As you higher and lower- "everything" gets harder.

Consider that the "fundamental tones" of most sounds are 8Khz and lower.

It all comes down to "What am I here to do" and "What am I looking for", "What am I going to do with the information presented"?

Yes, that last sentence...

But i wrote what my needs are. Live RTA flattening some club PA systems with pinknoise.
Phase aligning different boxes. Trying to flatten my yamaha HS7's at home since my room is not treated.

However regarding the last one, i should apply treatment to my room, i know...

I mean the used behringer would be great for the start but i don't want to find myself a year down do road with SMAART thinking how i should have bought a better microphone...

If the dbx is worth the extra money i'll buy it.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2017, 08:06:21 am »

Yes, that last sentence...

But i wrote what my needs are. Live RTA flattening some club PA systems with pinknoise.
Phase aligning different boxes. Trying to flatten my yamaha HS7's at home since my room is not treated.

However regarding the last one, i should apply treatment to my room, i know...

I mean the used behringer would be great for the start but i don't want to find myself a year down do road with SMAART thinking how i should have bought a better microphone...

If the dbx is worth the extra money i'll buy it.
I have 3 Behringer mics and an Earthworks for PA tuning. We compared the mics at a SMAART class and found what others have mentioned.
The Behringers work just fine for the PA work.
The results you get  tuning the PA with SMAART should far outweigh the difference in the +8k response of various mics.
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Eugen Jeličić

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Re: Suggestions for SMAART measurement mic.
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2017, 08:31:23 am »

I have 3 Behringer mics and an Earthworks for PA tuning. We compared the mics at a SMAART class and found what others have mentioned.
The Behringers work just fine for the PA work.
The results you get  tuning the PA with SMAART should far outweigh the difference in the +8k response of various mics.

So basically it's not that good above 8k but that's it. Realisticaly the hardest part for me to get right when i'm tunning the system by ear is 1.5 - 5k. It's always the same in concrete holes. One song suffers badly if you cut that too much.
The other one sounds harsh as hell if you don't because of the presence boost in reverbant rooms. But again... very soon you start noticing how much damage you have done by taking out a few dB at 2.5-3k. There is too much important info in there.
That's why i'd like some help from Smaart. I want to learn the difference between "correct" and "subjetctively nice" in far from perfect rooms... I wan't my main mix EQ to be the one that flattens the PA as much as possible.
Then i have another parametric one if i want to change the overall balance if i want that from some reason.
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