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Old 02-23-2013   #51
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

I can't possibly be the only one with this potentially stupid question but... How does such a decay plot tell me where I need to do some work with sound deadening?
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Old 02-23-2013   #52
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This is from my build log. It's a good example of how the impulse method gives you more insight in to your system.

Again, I'll document how to do this via video at some point soon. I'm just trying to get through some other stuff first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikinpunk View Post
After doing that, it's time to get back to the driver's seat and start measuring response from there.

One might choose to measure the system response as a whole and use the RTA that way, but it's a bit more conclusive to study each individual side's response (left and right side response). This is easy to do: just pan the balance to one extreme or the other and measure. When you do, you'll have the left side stereo contribution vs the right side stereo contribution.

So, here we have just that. Panned left is Green. Panned right is Purple. No EQ. 1/12 octave (to show the crappy little modal stuff that 1/3 doesn't get).




What this really shows me is that both the left and right side stereo contributions have their own problems. Notice that slight dip around 85hz at the driver's seat? Everyone has that problem to some degree because of their proximity to the speaker. Bottom line, that dip is a cancellation mode. There's nothing I can do to fix it, either. I can EQ it up but what will happen is I'll just keep applying more power to the driver's side midbass, causing distortion to ramp up and likely audible issues due to it. And while it may raise the response there, it'll also make resonant modes more problematic. The potential to damage the driver certainly exists. There's just not a whole lot you can do here. Some EQ will help but if you try to flatten it out by adding 4-5dB of EQ you'll alter the response curve in a negative way and create other issues. The only way to really fix a problem like this is to move from the boundary causing the null or move your driver(s). So, I just ignore this. Truth be told, it's not a real big issue when listening. And this is just one more example of why you should not rely entirely on the RTA. You should always use your own ears to accompany what you've measured. If you have a narrow dip it's not as audible as a broad dip; the same goes for a bump in response.

So, yea... I'm not going to sweat that dip at 85hz measured at the driver's seat. It's a lost cause and serious waste of time to try to flatten it. I just want to smooth it so a bit of EQ here and there will help that.


Now, look at the rest of the curves. That dip around 85hz on the left side is exacerbated by the rise in response around 125hz. After looking at the decay plot, measured by REW, I see why...




This is a plot of response over time, laid out in 2-D. The highest levels are closer to the initial response time. As the graphs change color below one another, you're seeing 'slices' of the response in time. Look at the legend. It shows time in milliseconds (ms). Each color corresponds to a time slice/section. Ideally want to see is each slice dying out quickly and contributing less and less to the results. However, what you actually get is modal issues showing up... these are the ones that linger around and don't taper off smoothly. Looking at these plots is pretty subjective and really should be used with some subjective listening as well. But, I'll give some thoughts on how I look at it...

The 125hz issue showing up in the left side FR plot... now look at the decay plot around that frequency. See how the darker blue looks pretty mountainous here with a dominant spike at about 125hz? Notice how the shade of blue just before this has the same spike? This is an indication of a modal issue. Luckily, I have an EQ band right here... I can cut it some. The problem, however, is cutting here also affects the tonality in other ways. With a parametric EQ, I can set a narrow Q and cut accordingly. But, I don't have that, so I have to cut here with the 31 band EQ. Here is the result when I use the EQ to cut 125hz by 3dB:




Not surprisingly, there was no miraculous alteration of the issue. It cut the problem by 3dB as it should but it didn't make the ringing issue go away. It did lessen the effect some. This is where subjective listening will tell you if it helped. The drawback here is you also changed the tonality of the system because the Q (bandwidth) of the 1/3 octave equalizer is so wide; it doesn't just change a single frequency.

This site is a great reference for what frequencies influence what you hear and can help you understand the tradeoffs you deal with when changing EQ bands to fix problem areas:
Interactive Frequency Chart - Independent Recording Network



There are other frequencies that do the same thing. 100hz definitely lingers. 83hz lingers as well. Remember earlier my bit about bumping up 80hz to fill in that hole caused by the left side response? What do you think happens when you do that regarding the modal issues? It's a nasty problem. What you really need is a way to target specific modes without negatively affecting the other areas you want to fix with standard EQ methods. This would be a really good intro in to why parametric EQs are so good. So, I'll stop here and pick up there when I have the chance.

Keep in mind I've only really discussed one component of the system response here. The right side response has it's own problems as well.


Cliffs:
  • Room modes suck. They muddy up system response as a whole.
  • When the midbass is muddy it overshadows everything good about the rest of the system.
  • All cars have modal issues smack in the midbass area.
  • Standard EQ can only go so far. But when properly used, EQ can help tame some of the modes which results in a much more tonally pleasing car stereo and much better blending with sub on the low end and midrange on the high end.

/



Hope this stuff helps you guys out!


- Erin

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Old 02-24-2013   #53
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Hey Erin,

Some thoughts and questions on video #1 (basic RTA).

Your technique for obtaining a smoothed and averaged plot is to take multiple individual measurements at the full spectrum, smooth them to an octave width, and then average them together over a few separate steps.

I've always had the software (True RTA or REW) do the smoothing and averaging while taking the data. Basically, I've set the mode in REW to measure directly in 1/3 octaves and set the averages to a high number. Then, while the pink noise is playing, I move the mic slowly around the headrest to get a continuous average until the curve stabilizes (30-60 seconds). I've found it to be very reproducible.

Does the more manual method you've described offer any advantage to this? I've always liked my approach because I can get my output in one step versus multiple steps otherwise. When I'm tweaking the EQ for small changes, I can see my results relatively quickly this way without having to do a lot of software manipulation.

Thanks and great vid! I'm looking forward to part 2 because I think I've reached my limits with basic RTA. I've gotten a pretty good output with it, but there are just some things I cannot fix with the data I've got.

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Old 02-24-2013   #54
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They're similar, if not all but the same.

I honestly forgot to use the averaging method here. I typically set averages to high and measure multiple instances. The reason I do this outside the car method is simply that I haven't found an appreciable difference worth cramming myself in to the back seat. Additionally, I'd have to use my NetBook to be in the car. I can't do the sweeping average method with the PC simply because I'd have to get back out.

I will say I have measured all sorts if ways. I used to use omnimic with me sitting in the car. I still do sometimes. I really wanted the videos to be simplistic in nature. At least up through the point where people who are new get a handle on it. I don't want to scare folks always with all the crazy ways you can do it. Not yet.

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Old 02-24-2013   #55
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

If the null is truly a cancellation null then I won't worry about it. I'll tackle that when I get there.

Boosts will be attacked via PEQ if they are too large to treat by other methods. Which, they most likely are. It would take a good deal of space consumption for mechanical bass absorption (ie: bass trap, or helmholtz absorber).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunner
Now you are able to correlate your subjective opinion with an objective graph, is this what you mean by full disclosure in your build thread?
Yes. That's exactly what I meant. I'll try to document everything I can. I'll also post it here, if it fits.

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Old 02-24-2013   #56
 
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

After playing around yesterday, I had the feeling I was getting closer. Kid's upstairs taking a nap (valuable time!), so I figured I'd see what I could do.

First up, the left and right channels individually (no sub), before making any changes today:



And the stereo plot:


There were a couple areas I knew I wanted to tackle in particular, so I started going nuts with the EQ.

By the time the laptop battery died and the kidlet woke up, I got the plots to look like this:



Which is better, but the whole range between 160-500 especially is too loud and after listening for a while, I wasn't convinced I made much (if any) improvement.

One thing I've wondered about for a while is EQ. You don't see people post their settings, and there are a lot of comments out there that imply that with good equipment installed well, there shouldn't be a need for "much" (whatever that means) equalization. Then there's also the fact that when you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

By the time I finished, my woofer and midrange EQs looked like this:



I'm honestly not sure if that's a lot, a little, or just average. I thought (and think) it's more towards the high end. The muddied up sound also made me think I was just making things worse by screwing with the EQ too much.


Fast forward a couple hours, and I go give it one more shot, focusing especially on the mid-bass. Even more futzing with the EQ (nail, meet hammer...) and I get the RTA plots to this:



And I'm proud-ish of myself for that, but the DSP settings look even wonkier, so I have low hopes for this round of changes:



Sweet baby Jesus on toast! What. a. difference. Everything is better. Everything. It's like those Claritin commercials when they do the wipe effect and everything's clear and colorful. Finally I made some real progress. I still don't know if I'm doing any of this right or not, but damn am I ready for a celebration beer!
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Old 02-24-2013   #57
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Looks good

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Old 02-25-2013   #58
 
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

subscribed.

This is an excellent thread.

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Old 02-26-2013   #59
 
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Hmm... had some time to lay with REW today after my Dayton UMM6 USB mic arrived.

However I can't seem to get rid of spikes at 1000Hz from 2kHz and up?

The noise measured is only background noise, but it is the same with different background noise

I've downloaded the cal file from daytonaudio.com and loaded it into REW.

EDIT: measured my Bose Quietcomfort15 headset with pink noise
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Dayton mic spikes.jpg (47.1 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg qc15.jpg (37.6 KB, 76 views)


Last edited by Sonus; 02-26-2013 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 02-26-2013   #60
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonus View Post
Hmm... had some time to lay with REW today after my Dayton UMM6 USB mic arrived.

However I can't seem to get rid of spikes at 1000Hz from 2kHz and up?

The noise measured is only background noise, but it is the same with different background noise

I've downloaded the cal file from daytonaudio.com and loaded it into REW.

EDIT: measured my Bose Quietcomfort15 headset with pink noise
First picture looks like soundcard feedback issues. Run REW in loopback first and check your soundcard. If you got a Creative card, you might have issues in Win7 with the flexijack shit.

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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

I'm using a Samsung NP530U3B laptop runnning W7. However it hasn't got a seperat line out or mic in, but a combined jack with in and out on the same jack

So I'd need to make up a "shorting jack" to loop the line out into the mic in to calibrate the "sound card"?

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Old 02-26-2013   #62
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonus View Post
I'm using a Samsung NP530U3B laptop runnning W7. However it hasn't got a seperat line out or mic in, but a combined jack with in and out on the same jack

So I'd need to make up a "shorting jack" to loop the line out into the mic in to calibrate the "sound card"?
Uuh.. hate those combo jacks.

You should measure some speaker with a known frequency response in nearfield. And see if you get a reasonable flat response, otherwise you might have issues. Make sure the "listen on the device" is deactivated in the mic settings within the sound manager in Win7.

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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

I've got an old Bose Quiet Comfort 15 lead with mic that is broken. I might modify that so that the left and right line out is looped back into the mic line in. Just hope the wires are large enough to work with

That should make it possible to calibrate the sound card I guess?

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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonus View Post
I've got an old Bose Quiet Comfort 15 lead with mic that is broken. I might modify that so that the left and right line out is looped back into the mic line in. Just hope the wires are large enough to work with

That should make it possible to calibrate the sound card I guess?
Output on left channel and input on right channel (or vice versa). Should be possible, yes.

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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Erin,
Uncorrelated (stereo) or correlated (mono) pink noise? I always notice some dramatic differences at frequencies in the upper midbass, lower midrange region depending on which I use. Never knew which result was "right".
Thanks again.

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Old 02-26-2013   #66
 
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliekwin View Post
After playing around yesterday, I had the feeling I was getting closer. Kid's upstairs taking a nap (valuable time!), so I figured I'd see what I could do.

First up, the left and right channels individually (no sub), before making any changes today:



And the stereo plot:


There were a couple areas I knew I wanted to tackle in particular, so I started going nuts with the EQ.

By the time the laptop battery died and the kidlet woke up, I got the plots to look like this:



Which is better, but the whole range between 160-500 especially is too loud and after listening for a while, I wasn't convinced I made much (if any) improvement.

One thing I've wondered about for a while is EQ. You don't see people post their settings, and there are a lot of comments out there that imply that with good equipment installed well, there shouldn't be a need for "much" (whatever that means) equalization. Then there's also the fact that when you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

By the time I finished, my woofer and midrange EQs looked like this:



I'm honestly not sure if that's a lot, a little, or just average. I thought (and think) it's more towards the high end. The muddied up sound also made me think I was just making things worse by screwing with the EQ too much.


Fast forward a couple hours, and I go give it one more shot, focusing especially on the mid-bass. Even more futzing with the EQ (nail, meet hammer...) and I get the RTA plots to this:



And I'm proud-ish of myself for that, but the DSP settings look even wonkier, so I have low hopes for this round of changes:



Sweet baby Jesus on toast! What. a. difference. Everything is better. Everything. It's like those Claritin commercials when they do the wipe effect and everything's clear and colorful. Finally I made some real progress. I still don't know if I'm doing any of this right or not, but damn am I ready for a celebration beer!
Hey Charli,

I liked this part of your message: "One thing I've wondered about for a while is EQ. You don't see people post their settings, and there are a lot of comments out there that imply that with good equipment installed well, there shouldn't be a need for "much" (whatever that means) equalization. Then there's also the fact that when you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

The reason for buying high end equipment - at least in my point of view - is that you buy a product in which the manufactur spent a lot of time for R&D and it gets you the results with the smallest ammount of efforts to get it sound right.

Today for HU's and Amplifiers - I don't see the need to spend so much money as most HU's today, even the most simple and cheap ones (for example 2din multimedia untis that are carpc based - excellent RCA signal, very clean) and as well you can get extreemly strong amps with very low disturtion at a funny cost comparing to good few years behind.

BUT! when it comes to speakers and install -> this is where it all goes CRAP

And this is exactly where high-end speakers would be better sounding on basic installs and basic tune up.

At this point the DSP with all its features - especially the equalizer comes in to picture and does its "magic" - if you have cheap speakers which are detailed enough and percise, with a good work done on your install and DSP (eq) you can get amazing results, most probably, with high end speaker - you will have much easier work getting there.

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Old 02-27-2013   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooch91 View Post
Erin,
Uncorrelated (stereo) or correlated (mono) pink noise? I always notice some dramatic differences at frequencies in the upper midbass, lower midrange region depending on which I use. Never knew which result was "right".
Thanks again.
Use uncorrelated (stereo) for FR measurements.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy 3 via Tapatalk.

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Old 02-27-2013   #68
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

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Originally Posted by eddieg View Post
quoted stuff
please dont quote images like that. it really clutters up threads.




i should have taken some shots of what i did with tintworx's sutff. it took a while to get use to the quirks in the mosconi 6to8... im not a huge fan of the software. backing out and going back into the other menus to mute and what not is really annoying after a while... but it is powerful. the fact that there are different eq types for each pair of channels kind of sucks though.

this is all i took with his car



the video was helpful because the menus are kind of located in wonky spots - so yea. i would say get a tripod or something to mount your iphone to in order to make it less weird - or just download some screen-cap video software and do it that way.

once i get moved into my house and i can put my car in the garage and do that sort of thing i should be able to be more involved in this thread though

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Old 02-27-2013   #69
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Anyone know if it's possible to set T/A with RoomEQ somehow? (Impulse response always end up at "0" ms.) Need to see the relative time.

Haven't figured it out. Quite easy to do with HOLMimpulse or ARTA.

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Old 02-27-2013   #70
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

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Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
Anyone know if it's possible to set T/A with RoomEQ somehow? (Impulse response always end up at "0" ms.) Need to see the relative time.

Haven't figured it out. Quite easy to do with HOLMimpulse or ARTA.
Not sure, but isn't this possible with a reference measurement at the same time? Ref comes first hardwired from pre-out or amp or pc and marks the 0.0ms, then the acoustical measurement comes later.

I know holm is inaccurate sometimes as you set to zero so a measurement with hardwired reference is most accurate in my opinion.

If you just mean with a click on a button : I don't know

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Old 02-27-2013   #71
 
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Well I did my first RTA using REW on the new system. I just got everything installed and running last weekend so have had no time to do any tuning but wanted to see what the response was from the initial setup of the 3sixty.3.



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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
Anyone know if it's possible to set T/A with RoomEQ somehow? (Impulse response always end up at "0" ms.) Need to see the relative time.

Haven't figured it out. Quite easy to do with HOLMimpulse or ARTA.
Any chance of posting a how-to on doing it with ARTA? I tried it, but I always got an identical delay for every driver. Figured it was an issue with the hardware and/or how I set it up and couldn't find much help online. Went with a tape measure instead.
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Old 02-27-2013   #73
 
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
Anyone know if it's possible to set T/A with RoomEQ somehow? (Impulse response always end up at "0" ms.) Need to see the relative time.

Haven't figured it out. Quite easy to do with HOLMimpulse or ARTA.
Try this:
preferences -> analysis -> uncheck set t=0 at IR peak.

Agree, ARTA is easier
Love the grid in ARTA.
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Default Re: The RTA Walkthrough and Usage thread. With Video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliekwin View Post
Any chance of posting a how-to on doing it with ARTA? I tried it, but I always got an identical delay for every driver. Figured it was an issue with the hardware and/or how I set it up and couldn't find much help online. Went with a tape measure instead.
If you see the same peak at around 5-6ms for all measurements, look for another peak after that one. Usually after 8ms or more. That's the signal from speaker.

See the pic:

Last edited by masswork; 02-27-2013 at 03:54 PM..
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Default

You may also need to make sure you're doing a loopback measurement so your soundcard can reference the signal going out in time vs when it's actually sent out of the soundcard. This tells the system the internal delay.

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