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Author Topic: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?  (Read 2020 times)

Mal Brown

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2019, 02:24:59 pm »

+1
to add to the above: IMO you'd be best to use your ears and tune the rig to the room when there are people in the room.
Make your ears happy, then the patrons' ears will be happy.



 

This!
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Scott Bolt

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2019, 03:31:15 pm »

I have NEVER heard a system that was set "flat" via measurements that sounded good. After you get a starting point you should use your own ears and taste to set the system to your own desires. In a dance system you typically don't have the feedback issues that a live system should have, so don't read the graph, close your eyes and make your ears happy.
THIS
Forget the graph!

I used to have a Drive Rack PA that had an auto-flat setup wizard.  It used pink noise and a flat mic to zero out the response curve of the system.  Problem was, it sounded awful when done (although it did show me that my old folded horns were putting out way too much mud and not enough thump).  I had to add to the bottom (Ivan's hay stack ;) ) to make it sound good again.
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dave briar

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2019, 03:54:13 pm »

+1
Make your ears happy, then the patrons' ears will be happy.
This actually sums up my entire mixing philosophy. Im really just selfish. I simply want to hear every last nuance clearly and distinctly. I consider myself lucky that patrons nearly always seem to agree. All the knowledge I gain here as well as analyses I employ are just tools to that end.  Not that a dual-channel FFT is useless, its just another tool.
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Bradford "BJ" James

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2019, 04:14:53 pm »

Use the SMAART traces to expose system anomalies, or odd room/system interactions. If the system is accurately reproducing what is being input into it, then all is good. Final tuning by ear.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2019, 07:16:52 pm »

This feels like a misapplication of FM curves - they tell us about the sensitivity of our hearing vs frequency and SPL, and I can't for a moment see why that ought to factor in to the frequency response of a PA system.

For me, the only curve that sounds good is flat. Anything else is an FX box.

Chris
I never said that it should be the response of a sound system.

I was just pointing out the how much more low freq it takes to "sound the same".

Of course if you look around the 3-4K range, you will notice that our ears are very sensitive there  (It has been theorized that we are most sensitive there, because that is where a baby screams, so that we can hear the screams easier).

At low levels flat through that region is fine and adds detail and clarity.  But at higher levels, the system will sound "Bitty" and harsh.

So the tuning should also consider the SPLs that it will be producing.

Once again, it is not as simple as it would appear
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2019, 07:20:48 pm »

So you think something like this should be the overall goal, especially since it's dance music???
Without a vertical scale, there is no way to guess what the actual curve would be.

It could be 1dB/division or 10dB.

Some people like a gentle rolloff of the highs above 1 or 2Khz, others like it flat.  Some like a boost.

It depends on their particular hearing, what their reference is etc.

Personally, when I am tuning a system, I will never add a boost on the high end, unless the customer requests it.
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Peter Morris

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2019, 07:40:02 am »

I'm in the process of dialing in our dance music Sound System, but it sounds way too bright if I have it EQed flat. I'm accustomed to much more sub-bass than mids and highs.

I'm wondering what you guys do when EQing a sound system with a measurement mic? Is there like a standard practice here for prerecorded / DJ music shows?

Josh Billings

Logically you would expect flat to sound perfect, but in practice it almost never does and sounds too bright as you noted.

There are various target curves out there that vary from about 3 to 6 dB roll off in the HF region from about 1KHz (+ LF boost) to the extremes of the X cure used for cinema applications. See below as an example of the -6dB curve.

I think there are various reasons for this The vocal mics we use are not flat and have a high mid peak of about 5-6 dB combined with a proximity effect in the low end that we usually counter with a high pass filter; distortion in the HF compression driver; the phase response of the system; the power response of the system and the space it is used in.

Bottom line expect to roll off the HF from about 1KHz and boost the bass if you want things to sound nice.
 


« Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 05:55:04 pm by Peter Morris »
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Luke Geis

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2019, 12:12:00 am »

I think we often misunderstand the difference between what is meant by flat vs that of linear.

When you use an RTA, you are measuring the sound in a space and this includes reflections, nodes, comb filtering ( mic placement matters here ) and losses due to distance. So you EQ tills it's flat and it sounds like ass because the bass is low and the highs are exessive. The system is flat though..... The problem is that you don't have a reference. It is just noise in the venue that you assume is correct from the source and the mic picks up what is hears and you see a reading.

Linear is a different animal. Linear can mean two things. It can mean that what goes in, is what comes out ( which is the basic idea ) or it can mean that the system is devoid of large irregularities that are obviously not intended. Let's say that all you have is pink noise and an RTA setup. If you can get the RTA data from the source media you can compare it to the RTA data you get from your room mic. If there is a large hole around 250hz in your room reading, that does not correspond to your source media, there is a reason for that. You have to decide if it is mic placement, room modes, comb filtering or otherwise. But if your RTA reading is relatively smooth and tracks the source media pretty closely, chances are good that if it sounds good in the room, it is fine. Linear system response is ideal and the general basis is that it corresponds closely to what the source media is. The challenge to acquiring a linear system is a way to monitor and compare your source media to your measurement of the PA.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2019, 03:29:52 am »

The bit I don't get is that everyone seems to think a "flat" system sounds bad. I find they sound great, but of course my reference (home HiFi) is also flat so it's definitely what I'm used to.

Chris
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Miguel Dahl

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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2019, 11:00:42 am »

The bit I don't get is that everyone seems to think a "flat" system sounds bad. I find they sound great, but of course my reference (home HiFi) is also flat so it's definitely what I'm used to.

Chris

Some years ago when I on occasion worked with philharmonics and other orchestras there was most often this one guy who mixed them. He came in early and set up his measurement rig and he was after a flat profile, like flat from bottom to top. Mic flat on the ground and sweeped and pointed at the screen and said "make this flat please".

He did this with acoustic bands also. It always sounded like a million dollars. It was how he liked to have the system set up before he started turning and pressing knobs.
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Re: What should a Sound System frequency response look like?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2019, 11:00:42 am »


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