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Metering the services?

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Kevin Maxwell:
I am working with a pastor at a church and he is looking to have his sound volunteers have a point of reference (for a target to shoot for) as to the levels at certain times in the service. And he also would like to figure out what peak and overall average levels they presently are at for the songs/music parts of the services. This isnít for keeping things at an unreasonably low level but he want to make sure that they are pushing it enough at certain times. And also so the transition from the walk-in playback music to the band starting up is at a decent enough level so the band level isnít a shock for those attending. He said he DOESNíT want the walk-in music at a level where people can comfortable have a quiet conversation he said they can take that out to the lobby. They also have different types of services on different days and they may want a different set of target levels for those services. 

 I was thinking that maybe a Cheap tablet with the right app would do what they want. Sound levels (SPL) with a peak readout and at the same time a slightly averaging readout. Also if it could do an averaging level that could be done by pushing a rest button and then a stop button to see how loud a song might have be overall.  Also an RTA display so they can see where in the frequency response it might be sticking out.

I have an android app (Audio Tool) that gives me the RTA the SPL as either Peak or average. But it is short average. There are a lot of things it can do but it doesnít display them at the same time. I think displaying the desired things at the same time so they just have to glance at it would be helpful. I donít know if maybe it would need to be a couple of different apps running and displaying at the same time, if that can be done.

So I am looking for the best device (?app) to be able to do what I mentioned for a reasonable price. It doesnít need to be a calibrated device just one that will give them reverence levels. But at least somewhat close to reality.

Brian Jojade:
The more you try to overcomplicate this, the more useless it becomes.

The simple short average peak in audio tools would be enough to gauge what the volume level is right now when you need it.

Measuring average over a longer period of time may be useful for measuring chances of hearing damage, but is otherwise generally not useful for setting levels in a show.

Relying on an external app for this might be too complicated too. Why can't you just make the measurements and observe the levels on the meters on the mixer? Then, make sure you're hitting those same levels when you want to repeat that volume?

Scott Holtzman:

--- Quote from: Kevin Maxwell on April 16, 2024, 11:34:12 PM ---I am working with a pastor at a church and he is looking to have his sound volunteers have a point of reference (for a target to shoot for) as to the levels at certain times in the service. And he also would like to figure out what peak and overall average levels they presently are at for the songs/music parts of the services. This isnít for keeping things at an unreasonably low level but he want to make sure that they are pushing it enough at certain times. And also so the transition from the walk-in playback music to the band starting up is at a decent enough level so the band level isnít a shock for those attending. He said he DOESNíT want the walk-in music at a level where people can comfortable have a quiet conversation he said they can take that out to the lobby. They also have different types of services on different days and they may want a different set of target levels for those services. 

 I was thinking that maybe a Cheap tablet with the right app would do what they want. Sound levels (SPL) with a peak readout and at the same time a slightly averaging readout. Also if it could do an averaging level that could be done by pushing a rest button and then a stop button to see how loud a song might have be overall.  Also an RTA display so they can see where in the frequency response it might be sticking out.

I have an android app (Audio Tool) that gives me the RTA the SPL as either Peak or average. But it is short average. There are a lot of things it can do but it doesnít display them at the same time. I think displaying the desired things at the same time so they just have to glance at it would be helpful. I donít know if maybe it would need to be a couple of different apps running and displaying at the same time, if that can be done.

So I am looking for the best device (?app) to be able to do what I mentioned for a reasonable price. It doesnít need to be a calibrated device just one that will give them reverence levels. But at least somewhat close to reality.

--- End quote ---


The paid version of Audiotools has several SPL apps.  You also need the calibrated USB microphone, the built in mic is meaningless.  They sell a mic for that purpose.

Mike Caldwell:
Way over complicating things that you can use your ears for!!
My guess is that the operators would get too focused on watching the numbers and miss hitting cues ect.

As for walk in music I'm guessing an SPL meter would be measuring the ambient level of people talking and not "hearing" the walk in music.....unless the walk in music is crazy loud!!

At best if it's a loud rocking type of service there is an SPL meter to look at for a not to exceed number.

John Schalk:

--- Quote from: Kevin Maxwell on April 16, 2024, 11:34:12 PM ---So I am looking for the best device (?app) to be able to do what I mentioned for a reasonable price. It doesnít need to be a calibrated device just one that will give them reverence levels. But at least somewhat close to reality.

--- End quote ---
As others have already commented, you can use the AudioTools app by Studio Six Digital to do this.  There is a charge for the basic app and then you'll need to do an In App purchase to use the SPL Pro digital sound meter.  This SPL utility includes a Leq function which can help your operators see the SPL averaged over time.  Unfortunately, the app doesn't allow you to specify a time period to average over, but it does have a reset button next the the Leq Time counter.  Since A weighted noise is already frequency band limited, using the internal mic on an iPad is fine for SPL purposes, and the developers have calibrated the app for Apple's products.

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