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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Audio Measurement and Testing => Topic started by: Thomas Dameron on August 01, 2013, 01:25:02 pm

Title: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Thomas Dameron on August 01, 2013, 01:25:02 pm
I'm advising a multi-site church on how to best help their volunteer audio techs.  I find quick and accurate frequency recognition to be the most commonly lacking skill, and I'm planning on recommending a basic laptop, audio I/O, and RTA program to each site.  They do not need anything as sophisticated as SMAART or Systune.  All of the system setup and alignment is taken care of and well in hand. I'm just looking for something to act as a crutch for the volunteers mixing.   

I've poked around at some of the RTA programs mentioned here, and find most of the free-bee's to be lacking in one way or another.  The one thing that I really miss is the spectrograph in Smaart.  I'm aware of the new DI license, and this likely would be the way to go.  The Rational guys are awesome and I like supporting them, but it's still winds up being a lot of money by the time I buy three licenses, three laptops, and three I/Os, especially since they don't need any FFT abilities, just the single input.  It seems like what they built into the Presonus consoles is spot on for this application, but since they are not using those consoles it does not apply.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?

thomas d.
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Tom Young on August 01, 2013, 01:33:28 pm
Are you sure you cannot install the Smaart software in question on two computers, per license ?

That would reduce the overall cost by 1/3.
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Thomas Dameron on August 01, 2013, 03:05:21 pm
Are you sure you cannot install the Smaart software in question on two computers, per license ?

That would reduce the overall cost by 1/3.

Thanks Tom, that's a good point.  I still need to do my homework on if buying a full license and sharing it is more economical that buying additional upgrade licenses to my full version of 7 I already own.  They're running a discount on the 2nd option until Labor Day.

I'm still grumpy that all I need is a spectrogram where I can mouse over to find specific frequencies.  I'm being asked to pay the same price as an annual license for the full Adobe Premier suite, give or take.

thomas d.
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Tom Young on August 01, 2013, 04:39:05 pm
I'm still grumpy that all I need is a spectrogram where I can mouse over to find specific frequencies.  I'm being asked to pay the same price as an annual license for the full Adobe Premier suite, give or take.

From my perspective, the cost for Smaart (and other software-based complex measurement) is extraordinarily low. It wasn't that long ago that such capability cost close to 20-times as much and required a station wagon to schlep around.

Comparing to something like Adobe is not "apples-to-apples", as (for just one example) they sell MUCH larger numbers.

The Smaart license is not restricted to one year. It is basically "for life".

When I buy Rational Acoustics product I am helping to support a small number of passionate, dedicated and "just plain folk" types who are significantly helping to redefine how we do live sound. And none of them is driving a brand new German sports car, nor do they winter in the Bahamas.

Well, except for Calvert   ;) :o :P
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Tom Young on August 01, 2013, 09:18:38 pm
From my perspective, the cost for Smaart (and other software-based complex measurement) is extraordinarily low. It wasn't that long ago that such capability cost close to 20-times as much and required a station wagon to schlep around.

Comparing to something like Adobe is not "apples-to-apples", as (for just one example) they sell MUCH larger numbers.

The Smaart license is not restricted to one year. It is basically "for life".

When I buy Rational Acoustics product I am helping to support a small number of passionate, dedicated and "just plain folk" types who are significantly helping to redefine how we do live sound. And none of them is driving a brand new German sports car, nor do they winter in the Bahamas.


edited to appear more mature   ;)
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Matt Lillie on August 01, 2013, 10:04:22 pm
Thanks Tom, that's a good point.  I still need to do my homework on if buying a full license and sharing it is more economical that buying additional upgrade licenses to my full version of 7 I already own.  They're running a discount on the 2nd option until Labor Day.

I'm still grumpy that all I need is a spectrogram where I can mouse over to find specific frequencies.  I'm being asked to pay the same price as an annual license for the full Adobe Premier suite, give or take.

thomas d.

Have you looked at the Studio Six app for iPad?
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Arthur Skudra on August 01, 2013, 11:09:47 pm
Thomas,

In addition to the excellent advise Tom has given you, here's a strategy you might want to explore....

Buy a full license of Smaart DI.  This will give you two seats to work with.  Then buy an additional seat of Smaart at a reduced price (yes anyone can do this).  So now you have three seats of Smaart that certainly will be cheaper than buying three separate copies of Smaart.  This additional seat could be the full version of Smaart 7, in case you need the added functionality of IR mode and multichannel measurements for one of your seats.  Nevertheless, this extra seat can be had for less cost than a full license.

Or go the route of getting an iPad with Audio Tools software (with the Smaart 1 addon app), and an iAudioInterface2.

Arthur
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Jay Barracato on August 02, 2013, 12:03:45 pm
I'm advising a multi-site church on how to best help their volunteer audio techs.  I find quick and accurate frequency recognition to be the most commonly lacking skill, and I'm planning on recommending a basic laptop, audio I/O, and RTA program to each site.  They do not need anything as sophisticated as SMAART or Systune.  All of the system setup and alignment is taken care of and well in hand. I'm just looking for something to act as a crutch for the volunteers mixing.   

I've poked around at some of the RTA programs mentioned here, and find most of the free-bee's to be lacking in one way or another.  The one thing that I really miss is the spectrograph in Smaart.  I'm aware of the new DI license, and this likely would be the way to go.  The Rational guys are awesome and I like supporting them, but it's still winds up being a lot of money by the time I buy three licenses, three laptops, and three I/Os, especially since they don't need any FFT abilities, just the single input.  It seems like what they built into the Presonus consoles is spot on for this application, but since they are not using those consoles it does not apply.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?

thomas d.

I have the full version of Smaart 7. I use the spectrograph the most, but that doesn't mean the other functions don't get used, if occasionally.

I have absolutely no regrets about the amount I have invested in owning the software.
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Chris Johnson [UK] on August 10, 2013, 12:55:34 pm
For mac, have a look at LAMA (Little Audio Measurement App). It does do FFT measurements in addition to RTA style measurements.

Also, usefully for a church, it has a proper SPL meter and includes a built in HTTP server for monitoring sites remotely.

Its much cheaper than Smaart and very easy to use
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Adam Black on August 12, 2013, 10:43:33 am
My OCD has gotten the better of me despite a heroic effort to avoid posting this response. So please forgive the correction. It's just my inner geek showing, not trying to be snarky. ;D

A FFT converts a time domain signal (amplitude/time) to the frequency domain (magnitude/frequency).

A RTA uses a single time domain signal as an input, runs it through a FFT and plots the result.

A Transfer Function, used to measure a frequency response, uses two time domain signals, FFT's both, performs some further math and plots the result.

While the later is far more complicated than the former, they both use FFT's.


Knowledge is power.  8)
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Timo Beckman on August 12, 2013, 04:19:01 pm
My OCD has gotten the better of me despite a heroic effort to avoid posting this response. So please forgive the correction. It's just my inner geek showing, not trying to be snarky. ;D

A FFT converts a time domain signal (amplitude/time) to the frequency domain (magnitude/frequency).

A RTA uses a single time domain signal as an input, runs it through a FFT and plots the result.

A Transfer Function, used to measure a frequency response, uses two time domain signals, FFT's both, performs some further math and plots the result.

While the later is far more complicated than the former, they both use FFT's.


Knowledge is power.  8)
:D
Title: Re: Basic Measurement Program
Post by: Riley Casey on August 12, 2013, 09:02:54 pm
Is LAMA something you use personally?  I tried it out after seeing your post and deleted it in less time than it took to DL.  Crashed repeatedly pretty much after every attempt to interact with it.  Graphics choices made it pretty hard to assimilate data without a lot of concentration and the 'SPL' meter without calibration to a known external source that keeps its signal path gain fixed over time and many reconnects to the computer seems a stretch for non pro users.  My preconcevied notions come from years of using SpectrFoo and Smaart and suffer accordingly but this app seems to be iOS happy.  Just curious as how much luck you've had with it versus just knowing its on the shelf as it were.


For mac, have a look at LAMA (Little Audio Measurement App). It does do FFT measurements in addition to RTA style measurements.

Also, usefully for a church, it has a proper SPL meter and includes a built in HTTP server for monitoring sites remotely.

Its much cheaper than Smaart and very easy to use