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To or Not To invest in SMAART.

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Tim Verhoeven:

--- Quote from: Matt Vivlamore on December 09, 2022, 10:30:06 PM ---Should I do it or talk me out of it?

After this weekend, seeing the FOH/System tech do his thing with SMAART and time aligned correct the PA (flown d&b) and heard it cleaned up the sound. And we got talking about my system (hes heard it before) and because Im mixing brands, were thinking that my tops and subs arent playing nice with each other and there is a time/phase alignment delay. In a few weeks well be on a gig together and Ill be supporting the C-Stage with my system and were going to check the time alignment.

I am running RCF TTP4A tops and JBL SRX828SP with an SQ5 at the front end. Depending on the situation/room, I either ground stack or I put the TTs on tripods & center cluster the subs. Im also thinking of investing in the fly hardware to hang the tops off an SL100 or Lifts.

So would it be worth it to invest in SMAART (will need to buy an RTA Mic and USB interface) and then pick up a decent DSP for delay adjustments.  Or am I over thinking this?

--- End quote ---

Have a look at Michael Curtis his Youtube channel. This playlist for example will get you through all the basics and shows you ways to start small: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9yCp3Q5vAs&list=PLqLfCybtxh0HTXmXl4nKZO64yHmQP0lRi

Measuring will definitely help, but first understand the process and what you are seeing. Smaart and similar software are just tools, you need to learn a process to use them correctly.

Nathan Riddle:
My take?

Play with OSM & REW for a while first.

Then get SMAART if it makes you money.

Tim McCulloch:
Recap of a previous story - my first SMAART class was in 2004 at EAW with Jamie.  I came home and made many, many invalid measurements, mostly because I didn't have a firm grip on what I was going to do with the measurement I was making.  Once I cleared that up it became much easier to see an invalid measurement on the screen, fix the mic position or delay, and remeasure.  Working out this kind of thing with a 'free' product makes sense because you'll not become proficient in measurement over night.

I haven't used my rig in a couple of years at least.  Last time I did a system alignment we used my ME's rig because he had it with him...

Most of our rigs go in the same place(s) in the venues we work.  We've made measurements for each placement and deployment over time.  If I've got the Smaart rig out, it's because something isn't sounding right.

Ivan Beaver:
Just having the tool doe NOT mean you will be able to get a better sound.

It is knowing what to do with the data that makes the difference.  Knowing what you can and CANNOT fix is key.

It is really surprising to me how meany people "say" they have/run Smaart, and the only thing they use is the RTA.

Such a waste.

There are various measurement systems out there, each with advantages and disadvantages and different operations.

But knowing what to do with the data stays the same.

When I first got Smaart (V3.6 on floppy disks) I took it home and hooked it up to my stereo and started playing and learning and questioning.

A hint, take a class (or 20) regarding system measurement, alignment etc.  It will be money well spent.

Russell Ault:

--- Quote from: Ivan Beaver on December 12, 2022, 08:07:09 AM ---{...} A hint, take a class (or 20) regarding system measurement, alignment etc.  It will be money well spent.

--- End quote ---

+100 to this. Normally my advice is "don't by Smaart until after you've taken the class"; the only reason I'd make an exception right now is because of the current "early-adopter" pricing on v9.

Equipment-wise, my current vote is for the EVO 4 (which is about to receive gain-tracking support in Smaart) and the cheapest measurement mic you can find that includes a calibration file (my last purchase was a Sonarworks "SoundID Reference Measurement Microphone", although bizarrely it doesn't come with a mic clip).

-Russ

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