Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums > Audio Measurement and Testing

Spectrafoo vs Smaart

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Dave Jones:
Hi There,

I was about to pull the trigger and buy Smaart 7 (for the Mac) but I then I thought I should just check what else was out there before I did so. This lead me to Spectrafoo which seems to be very feature rich.

I was after opinions on what other preferred and why? I plan to use it for live work using FFT, RTA and SPL.

My interface is a Sound Devices USBpre 2 with an Earthworks M30.



Langston Holland:




Jason Raboin:
I use Spectrafoo.  I'm curious what you see Smaart doing that Spectrafoo doesn't.  I have on several occasions had system techs and house guys wish that they could make Smaart look that same as Spectrafoo.  I usually have it set to the highest sampling rate and view the transfer function in 1/12 octave or 1/24th octave.  The color fading based in phase coherence is quite useful as well.

I am using it to tune systems, not to align drivers or roll my own crossover settings.

Arthur Skudra:
Hmmm, here's a few reasons to consider Smaart 7:

48th octave resolution (and even higher resolution from 60Hz up)
Multiple measurement engines (as many as your CPU can handle, which with modern laptops is plenty--I run as many as nine simultaneously, the limitation being the number of inputs on my interface, not the quad core i7)
Live averaging of multiple measurement engines (this is really important to get a representative measurement using spatial averaging)
Live Impulse Response, extremely valuable for setting delays and figuring out where in time you are
Delay tracking, will update the delay time on each measurement cycle, you can move the mic around and it keep updating
Microphone compensation/correction curves (yes, you could use cheapie test mics and leave the M30 at home well protected, heck get a bunch of cheapie test mics, you won't believe how fast and better you can tune and optimize a sound system with multiple measurement engines and live averaging)
Upcoming acoustical measurement tools in the Impulse Response window, shhh, can't say more...
API supporting 3rd party devices and control, an upcoming iPad app allows you to control Smaart remotely
Great support and practical training classes all over the world

Don't get me wrong, Spectrafoo is a fantastic program, and there are a few features that I find attractive, but it's undeniable that as strong as MHLab's focus is on the recording market, Rational Acoustics' focus is on the live sound market.

You can call me biased since I'm an instructor with Rational Acoustics.

Curt Sorensen:
I'd be very interested in something a little more than two pictures to substantiate the snark in that message. As the moderator, I feel your response was way too inside. For me, if all I did was tune PA systems [and I don't mean to belittle that in any way], I'd use SMAART. As I do a lot of different kinds of work in audio, I'm very happy with Spectrafoo. Now I'm still interested in learning as much as I can, so if there's a problem with accuracy, or anything else that makes one technically superior to the other, let's hear it. If one is better than the other at certain tasks, that's no surprise. I too have had a number of engineers, many far more talented than I, say that either works well, or that 'foo can do most everything that SMAART can do, and many things SMAART can't. I've never heard either platform's makers disparage the other. Langston, I know you get a lot of respect here, and I'm pretty much a nobody, but please elaborate.
And sorry if I've taken this too seriously,


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