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Author Topic: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information  (Read 7346 times)

Mario Pollio

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Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« on: September 19, 2014, 02:17:18 pm »

I have a few newb questions regarding more advanced/complex sound systems, so bear with me. I'm a week end mobile DJ that is also very passionate about sound and am looking to take my mobile DJ sound system to the next level. I've never calibrated a professional sound system other than with the onboard dsp some powered speakers may have in them. I currently own JBL PRX speakers I'm looking into getting a Danley set up in the future (TH118's and SM80's) I already know what amps I'm probably going to get (most likely Crown I-tech/XTi) but I was wondering what should I be looking at for signal processing, eq, etc? How would I measure and calibrate a system like this? What software/hardware would I need? Any information or links anybody can provide me with would be greatly appreciated. We all have to learn sometime.

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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 02:32:32 pm »

I have a few newb questions regarding more advanced/complex sound systems, so bear with me. I'm a week end mobile DJ that is also very passionate about sound and am looking to take my mobile DJ sound system to the next level. I've never calibrated a professional sound system other than with the onboard dsp some powered speakers may have in them. I currently own JBL PRX speakers I'm looking into getting a Danley set up in the future (TH118's and SM80's) I already know what amps I'm probably going to get (most likely Crown I-tech/XTi) but I was wondering what should I be looking at for signal processing, eq, etc? How would I measure and calibrate a system like this? What software/hardware would I need? Any information or links anybody can provide me with would be greatly appreciated. We all have to learn sometime.

Your first step in learning about how to measure and calibrate a system should be reading this book at least twice.

http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Systems-Optimization-Techniques-Alignment/dp/0240521560
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Chris Tsanjoures

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 03:37:56 pm »

Your first step in learning about how to measure and calibrate a system should be reading this book at least twice.

http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Systems-Optimization-Techniques-Alignment/dp/0240521560

+1 many in the industry consider 606's book to be the 'bible' of system optimization. I've slogged through it in sections - it is by no means a weekend read.

You may consider taking a Smaart Seminar (rational acoustics.com/training)

Even the experts in the industry will tell you they are still learning. So - as long as you are committed to absorbing information and committed to actually using that information in practice (by measuring and making decisions in the field) then you will make progress.

Now would be a great time to dispel a misconception that you may have - there is no such thing as a universal EQ that will work for every application and room you find yourself in - so if you think that you can eq a preset into your digital amps and it will sound the same in every environment, it just doesn't work that way. Presets are useful for setting the initial tuning, or voicing, of a loudspeaker. They are there to optimize driver to driver relationships at xover - and generally supplied by the manufacturer - 'rolling your own' xover settings is not as common a practice as it was in days of yore.

The use of measurement and Eq (in concert with real-world practical knowledge) is primarily to 'tune' your system so that you achieve a desired response. Consider looking into the Presonus SL line of mixing consoles as well if you don't already have a desk - it offers a TF wizard that is a great starting point for someone such as your self who is relatively new to measurement.

full discloser: I am an employee of Rational Acoustics, though I would give you the same advice regardless of my affiliation with the products mentioned above.
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I am employed by Rational Acoustics. Besides being a Product Manager for the Smaart Platform, I operate as a fully deployable Smaart Ninja (aka Instructor/System Guy).

Mario Pollio

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2014, 03:46:54 pm »

Your first step in learning about how to measure and calibrate a system should be reading this book at least twice.

http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Systems-Optimization-Techniques-Alignment/dp/0240521560

Order placed, thanks for the link!

+1 many in the industry consider 606's book to be the 'bible' of system optimization. I've slogged through it in sections - it is by no means a weekend read.

You may consider taking a Smaart Seminar (rational acoustics.com/training)

Even the experts in the industry will tell you they are still learning. So - as long as you are committed to absorbing information and committed to actually using that information in practice (by measuring and making decisions in the field) then you will make progress.

Now would be a great time to dispel a misconception that you may have - there is no such thing as a universal EQ that will work for every application and room you find yourself in - so if you think that you can eq a preset into your digital amps and it will sound the same in every environment, it just doesn't work that way. Presets are useful for setting the initial tuning, or voicing, of a loudspeaker. They are there to optimize driver to driver relationships at xover - and generally supplied by the manufacturer - 'rolling your own' xover settings is not as common a practice as it was in days of yore.

The use of measurement and Eq (in concert with real-world practical knowledge) is primarily to 'tune' your system so that you achieve a desired response. Consider looking into the Presonus SL line of mixing consoles as well if you don't already have a desk - it offers a TF wizard that is a great starting point for someone such as your self who is relatively new to measurement.

full discloser: I am an employee of Rational Acoustics, though I would give you the same advice regardless of my affiliation with the products mentioned above.

I'm definitely interested in taking a seminar or any course that will teach me.

I learned that about EQ-ing with my home audio stuff with calibrating home audio equipment, acoustic treatments etc. Every room effects sound differently, and every room has it's own sound. When EQ-ing a sound system, you are basically eq-ing it for the best sound in the room that it is in.

I'm glad I'm not a total stranger to sound in general, I'm just a complete novice when it comes to calibrating pro stuff, the equipment that is used to calibrate pro stuff and how it is done. I'm looking forward to getting that book, it looks like a good read.
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Alfredo Prada

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2014, 04:43:13 pm »

Order placed, thanks for the link!

I'm definitely interested in taking a seminar or any course that will teach me.

I learned that about EQ-ing with my home audio stuff with calibrating home audio equipment, acoustic treatments etc. Every room effects sound differently, and every room has it's own sound. When EQ-ing a sound system, you are basically eq-ing it for the best sound in the room that it is in.

I'm glad I'm not a total stranger to sound in general, I'm just a complete novice when it comes to calibrating pro stuff, the equipment that is used to calibrate pro stuff and how it is done. I'm looking forward to getting that book, it looks like a good read.


I back up what Chris said, to me the Smaart class was a life changing experience!
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Mario Pollio

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2014, 05:47:35 pm »


I back up what Chris said, to me the Smaart class was a life changing experience!

I'm definitely very interested in taking it. Hopefully it is somewhat local. When I get home later, I'll read more up on it.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2014, 09:34:48 am »

I have a few newb questions regarding more advanced/complex sound systems, so bear with me. I'm a week end mobile DJ that is also very passionate about sound and am looking to take my mobile DJ sound system to the next level. I've never calibrated a professional sound system other than with the onboard dsp some powered speakers may have in them. I currently own JBL PRX speakers I'm looking into getting a Danley set up in the future (TH118's and SM80's) I already know what amps I'm probably going to get (most likely Crown I-tech/XTi) but I was wondering what should I be looking at for signal processing, eq, etc? How would I measure and calibrate a system like this? What software/hardware would I need? Any information or links anybody can provide me with would be greatly appreciated. We all have to learn sometime.
The question is what do you mean by "calibration"?

It appears as if you are talking about system alignment-not calibration.

Calibration is something you do to a device so as to have a reference to measure OTHER things.  System alignment is getting the system to work together as a single unit.

When you have a piece of test equipment calibrated-you are not actually measuring anything practical.  You are comparing it to a know reference-this could be voltage-SPL-weight-length-cubic volume etc.

The only time you calibrate a mic is if you are going to make absolute measurements-like for a spec sheet or to go to court.  Any other times (what most people do most of the time) it is all relative and if using the same mic-who cares if it is 100dB off or not.

I think you have your terms mixed up. It happens.

If you are using a Danley DSLP48 DSP-we can send you the basic "starting" settings to get a good alignment.

Other DSPs may require changing some or all of the parameters a little bit-as different DSPs have different "meanings/values" assigned to different functions-but the Danley settings would still be a good "starting point".
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Ivan Beaver
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Mario Pollio

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2014, 10:20:11 am »

The question is what do you mean by "calibration"?

It appears as if you are talking about system alignment-not calibration.

Calibration is something you do to a device so as to have a reference to measure OTHER things.  System alignment is getting the system to work together as a single unit.

When you have a piece of test equipment calibrated-you are not actually measuring anything practical.  You are comparing it to a know reference-this could be voltage-SPL-weight-length-cubic volume etc.

The only time you calibrate a mic is if you are going to make absolute measurements-like for a spec sheet or to go to court.  Any other times (what most people do most of the time) it is all relative and if using the same mic-who cares if it is 100dB off or not.

I think you have your terms mixed up. It happens.

If you are using a Danley DSLP48 DSP-we can send you the basic "starting" settings to get a good alignment.

Other DSPs may require changing some or all of the parameters a little bit-as different DSPs have different "meanings/values" assigned to different functions-but the Danley settings would still be a good "starting point".

You're right, I have my terminology mixed up.

What DSP equipment would I need for system alignment (what equipment would I be putting in your basic settings as a starting point)? I'm assuming a Driverack? That's the part I need to learn, the equipment needed for system alignment and how to use said equipment. I've only used the onboard DSP in powered speakers before. The amps are gonna be crown XTi/I-tech amps.

I'm sorry, I know I sound very newb-ish, but that's because I am when it comes to a professional system alignment with a passive rig. I've only done this with home audio stuff using home audio processors. 
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2014, 08:42:16 pm »

You're right, I have my terminology mixed up.

What DSP equipment would I need for system alignment (what equipment would I be putting in your basic settings as a starting point)? I'm assuming a Driverack? That's the part I need to learn, the equipment needed for system alignment and how to use said equipment. I've only used the onboard DSP in powered speakers before. The amps are gonna be crown XTi/I-tech amps.

I'm sorry, I know I sound very newb-ish, but that's because I am when it comes to a professional system alignment with a passive rig. I've only done this with home audio stuff using home audio processors.
You just need the dsp and a computer. You dump the program into the dsp via serial or USB or Ethernet

We don't have settings for the driverack dsps
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Ivan Beaver
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Mario Pollio

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2014, 01:39:56 am »

You just need the dsp and a computer. You dump the program into the dsp via serial or USB or Ethernet

We don't have settings for the driverack dsps

Which DSP's do you have settings for?
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2014, 09:59:33 am »

Which DSP's do you have settings for?
Just ours.
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Ivan Beaver
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2014, 10:31:43 am »

While there is a trend towards manufacturers only having settings for their boxes in their own DSP line rather than trying to create settings across all the possible lines of DSP s available, I would also note the better behaved a box is on its own, the easier that box is to work into a crossover for multiple boxes.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

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Jay Barracato

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2014, 01:08:12 pm »

I'm definitely very interested in taking it. Hopefully it is somewhat local. When I get home later, I'll read more up on it.
There are 2sides to measuring

One is knowing the hardware/system

The other and harder one is knowing how to measure knowing if have a good measurement etc

The deeper you in this the harder more complex it gets. You start to question all sorts of things that you never thought about before
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2014, 01:12:24 pm »

While there is a trend towards manufacturers only having settings for their boxes in their own DSP line rather than trying to create settings across all the possible lines of DSP s available, I would also note the better behaved a box is on its own, the easier that box is to work into a crossover for multiple boxes.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
Which is exactly why we put a lot of effort into making cabinets that sound good with no or minimal eq needed

When you have box that needs a lot of correction it gets very specific on that correction

Our opinion is that it should sound good right out of the box

Other people feel different and there are reasons for both approaches

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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Merlijn van Veen

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2014, 01:50:52 pm »

Which is exactly why we put a lot of effort into making cabinets that sound good with no or minimal eq needed

When you have box that needs a lot of correction it gets very specific on that correction

Our opinion is that it should sound good right out of the box

Other people feel different and there are reasons for both approaches

Dear Ivan,

Your last post has been reported by forum users as unsolicited advertising. All good intentions set aside, try to refrain from further similar remarks.


Dear Mario,

For further inquiries regarding Danley please contact Ivan or Danley directly and not by means of this forum.


Regards,


Merlijn van Veen

Mario Pollio

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2014, 02:50:53 pm »


There are 2sides to measuring

One is knowing the hardware/system

The other and harder one is knowing how to measure knowing if have a good measurement etc

The deeper you in this the harder more complex it gets. You start to question all sorts of things that you never thought about before

I need to learn both sides of this with PA equipment. I checked out the smaart website for their seminars and the only one close to me is already full.

Dear Ivan,

Your last post has been reported by forum users as unsolicited advertising. All good intentions set aside, try to refrain from further similar remarks.


Dear Mario,

For further inquiries regarding Danley please contact Ivan or Danley directly and not by means of this forum.


Regards,


Merlijn van Veen

Sorry, I didn't mean to break any rules. Just looking for more general information.

I've been researching a bunch of different DSP's and noticed the DBX DriveRack units have auto room correction where it plays pink noise and eq's itself trying to match a target curve that you pre select. How well does this work? I'm not looking for an easy way out, I'm just wondering how effective it is. I'm guessing it only eqs the system but doesn't set delays, phase etc?
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2014, 08:06:56 pm »



I've been researching a bunch of different DSP's and noticed the DBX DriveRack units have auto room correction where it plays pink noise and eq's itself trying to match a target curve that you pre select. How well does this work? I'm not looking for an easy way out, I'm just wondering how effective it is. I'm guessing it only eqs the system but doesn't set delays, phase etc?
This is generally considered a BAD idea.

The "auto function" will make a lot of assumptions and try to "correct" them. Even if the mic is in a bad position-or the loudspeaker cannot reproduce the "boosts" added.

In some instances it could work OK-but you have to be wary.

Nothing is automatic.  Even the transmission your car.

If it was truly "automatic", then when you sat in the car it would know whether to put the car in drive or Reverse.

It does not.  It takes a bit of user knowledge to put it in the correct starting gear.

The same thing applies to "automatic eq".  The USER needs to put some "sense" into the whole equation.
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2014, 08:09:03 pm »

Dear Ivan,

Your last post has been reported by forum users as unsolicited advertising. All good intentions set aside, try to refrain from further similar remarks.


Dear Mario,

For further inquiries regarding Danley please contact Ivan or Danley directly and not by means of this forum.


Regards,


Merlijn van Veen
I was simply responding to a direct question about our products.

I have been told by moderators that this is not against the rules.

A person (Mario) was simply asking questions about a product he was interested in buying.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Mario Pollio

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Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2014, 09:02:15 pm »

This is generally considered a BAD idea.

The "auto function" will make a lot of assumptions and try to "correct" them. Even if the mic is in a bad position-or the loudspeaker cannot reproduce the "boosts" added.

In some instances it could work OK-but you have to be wary.

Nothing is automatic.  Even the transmission your car.

If it was truly "automatic", then when you sat in the car it would know whether to put the car in drive or Reverse.

It does not.  It takes a bit of user knowledge to put it in the correct starting gear.

The same thing applies to "automatic eq".  The USER needs to put some "sense" into the whole equation.

Yeah I figured that. With the home audio stuff, I'll use the room eq to get into the ballpark of where things should be, then fine tune the settings the auto eq comes up with. I figured this would be similar. I just have to learn how to take the measurements.

I'll keep checking to see when there's another smaart seminar in my area.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Sound Measurement and Calibration Information
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2014, 09:02:15 pm »


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