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Confused about SMAART

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Jake Scudder:
I've seen plenty of guys doing more harm than good with SMAART.  Eq WILL NOT fix time alignment issues.  In fact if you have a comb filter from a 1 ft offset your first cancellation will be around 500Hz.  If you go and try to boost 500Hz on a graph you will actually make the problem worse in most cases.  Like was said earlier, I usually start with the transfer function and compare the phase traces of the subs and array (or tower).  To provide a direct answer of how to fix the alignment you need to have a multitap delay or a strong back to physically move things into alignment.  Once the subs are aligned to the mains I locate the delays of the backline, frontfill and the now-aligned "PA" in impulse mode.  You can save the impulse peaks and hit compare and it will tell you how much more delay you need to add to the FF, mains, and subs.  Most boxes like the DriveRack or the Brooks Sirens stuff can be adjusted directly from SMAART with the appropriate midi connections.  If not input the data directly.  Once I get the system aligned I move to the RTA for room eq.

All of this is great but don't forget to use (and trust) your ears in this process.  It's not likely that the audience members are going to be using analyzers to listen to the show.

Jake

Matt Leonard:
Ditto on what other folks have said - for me in the real world, I primarily just use SMAART for time alignment of various components.  Yes, you (and I) can do this without smaart - but it's much faster and more accurate (I've found), and thus a great tool.

The biggest situation where I'll use Smaart for EQ'ing purposes (AFTER dealing with alignment/phase/crossover stuff) is when I'm in a room with accoustics that I know will change substantially with a crowd.  In some rooms, when empty, your ears CAN'T alyways tell you exactly what is the PA and what are room reflections. In  rooms where I can't get a good feel on my own on PA-versus-reflections - I'll use SMAART to take several measurements at various points (all within the critical distance) of the PA - and use Smaart to identify any big holes or peaks in the PA that are consistent at different measurement locations.

I'm not big on using Smaart mid-show - because I want to get good measurements from many different audience positions, not just at mix position. Walk around, try to hear what the crowd hears, and continue to use your ears....

-Matt

Josh Evans:


Great Comments!!!!!!

Andy Peters:
Lorne Hastings wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 06:29
I was looking into Smaart and came to realize this software DOES tell you what problems your rig may have, it does NOT tell you how to fix it (correct me if I am wrong).


In this respect, Smaart is similar to any other piece of general test equipment.

Your voltmeter may tell you that the mains are measuring 140VAC, but the meter cannot tell you how to remedy this.  The meter cannot distinguish between genny power (maybe it's running too fast?) or utility service (maybe everyone on the block just turned off their air conditioners?).

My logic analyzer tells me that I have a timing issue on my memory bus but it can't tell me which lines of VHDL need to be changed.

Yngwie's guitar tuner may indicate that whatever string he just plucked is making an F#, but it can't tell whether it was his G string that was flat, or some other circumstance.

The test equipment gives you visibility into a problem that you ordinarily wouldn't have.  This visibility, combined with experience and/or training, enables you to fix the problem.

-a

Gian P. Portanova:
Andy Peters wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 17:01
Lorne Hastings wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 06:29
I was looking into Smaart and came to realize this software DOES tell you what problems your rig may have, it does NOT tell you how to fix it (correct me if I am wrong).


In this respect, Smaart is similar to any other piece of general test equipment.

Your voltmeter may tell you that the mains are measuring 140VAC, but the meter cannot tell you how to remedy this.  The meter cannot distinguish between genny power (maybe it's running too fast?) or utility service (maybe everyone on the block just turned off their air conditioners?).

My logic analyzer tells me that I have a timing issue on my memory bus but it can't tell me which lines of VHDL need to be changed.

Yngwie's guitar tuner may indicate that whatever string he just plucked is making an F#, but it can't tell whether it was his G string that was flat, or some other circumstance.

The test equipment gives you visibility into a problem that you ordinarily wouldn't have.  This visibility, combined with experience and/or training, enables you to fix the problem.

-a


-AMEN!

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