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Old 01-25-2011   #26
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesayso View Post
Couldn'you just set the distance to the sub first and go from there?
I have a HU with distance too and I figured I'd start with setting real distance to sub an work my way back.
i was under the impression that doing things this way is the more conventional way of doing so and the way the author explains this method is in fact quite different.
i started off using actual distances as well and did adjust from there. by reading the instructions and all a few times i got the feeling that this way was supposed to be better than just using math with the distance and delay method since it's based off of how things actually sound to you, and not by what the data presents and in turn allows whatever t/a processing to take effect.

does the music cause us to do what we do, or do we cause the music to do what it does?
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Old 01-25-2011   #27
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

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Originally Posted by hottcakes View Post
i was under the impression that doing things this way is the more conventional way of doing so and the way the author explains this method is in fact quite different.
i started off using actual distances as well and did adjust from there. by reading the instructions and all a few times i got the feeling that this way was supposed to be better than just using math with the distance and delay method since it's based off of how things actually sound to you, and not by what the data presents and in turn allows whatever t/a processing to take effect.
Yes, sure I agree. But what I ment was setting the sub the actual distance from your seat position to start and then adjusting passenger mid to that sub position and move on from there using this method. You could also max out the sub distance and start from there. After you're done you could substract the shortest distance from the speaker closest to you from all drivers distances obtained with this method to set that one to zero.
Anyway, that's how I'll try to do it I think. No need to convert distance to miliseconds that way.

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Old 01-25-2011   #28
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Guys,
It doesn't matter if your head unit adjusts by time or distance. The method involves simply clicking up and down and listening for sound changes. Don't even pay attention to the numerical values - in fact they will usually come out less than you expect. You don't need as much delay as you think. The figures in milliseconds were just for examples, for approximations and guidelines. I would actually remove those if I could still edit the original post. At no point are specific distances or times going to come into play.

PLEASE, don't ever measure distances and figure them into my method. Measuring distance is an absolutely worthless way of determining time alignment. Everything you need to know is in the write up, just follow it step by step and if you have questions or problems, post them here and I'll do my best to help.

It's not about buying the best equipment, it's about getting the most out of it.

Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Last edited by Greg200SE-R; 01-25-2011 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 01-25-2011   #29
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Well my results are not exactly what I expected.

My HU even though set to mono will only output sub signal on the Left Channel. So when you fade to the right, and isolate the sub & midbass you only get midbass. This totally screws my ability to configure those speakers for Step 1. So what I did was used music to TA the L/R midrange & tweet (they are tied together on the same passive crossover, and are installed next to each other on the same plane, also R midrange & tweet is furthest away from Driver). From there I faded to the Right and matched up the midbass w/(midrange & tweeter) using white noise. I did the same for the Left side. Then I switched to pink noise and brought the sub back into the mix and aligned it.

I have a pretty musical set of ears. I have very good relative pitch, and good awareness of tonality. I had a hard time differentiating the doppler effect. I can hear the kind of tapping sound and how it beats irregular, or steady. I can hear the harmonic overtones as I adjust TA.. but I just came to the conclusion that I should be adjusting it till the tone is most steady and uniform between the 2 speakers? Sort of a good blend w/out obvious cancellation issues.

As I adjusted the TA dial it seemed like the more delay that was added the lower (in pitch) the harmonic overtone would be. There was a couple points where you would notice some massive cancellation or what seemed to be a 'sweet spot'. This is where I left it.

Have to say after all is said and done.. for 40 min of just playing around I think it does sound better. There's defiantly a bit more bass/midbass.. and a bit crisper highs.

My Old settings was as follows:

LF (Mid/Tweet): 1.3ms
RF (Mid/Tweet): 0.0ms
LR (Midbass): 1.5ms
RR (Midbass): 0.0ms
SW (Dash Sub): 0.6ms


New Settings:
LF (Mid/Tweet): 1.5ms
RF (Mid/Tweet): 0.0ms
LR (Midbass): 1.7ms
RR (Midbass): 0.2ms
SW (Dash Sub): 0.4ms


I also followed up the TA tuning by bouncing around between 6db @ 125hz for a sub -> front stage crossover point, and 12db @ 100hz. Both have some +/-.

Neat tuning method though. Would of never thought of using pink/white noise.

I still have a shit ton of EQ tuning to go.. but this is a good start.

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Last edited by BowDown; 01-25-2011 at 01:26 PM..
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Old 01-25-2011   #30
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

^^^ BowDown, my compliments on your install, what a great read. I thank you for trying the procedure. The improvements you gained are just scratching the surface. Can you make the following changes to your method to extract the remaining potential?

- Don't use the fader to isolate channels. If your HU can't mute individual channels, can you disconnect RCAs? Complete isolation of 2 channels at a time is needed.
- Can you get the sub channel to play with both the L+R midbass channel? Can you switch RCAs or use a Y-connector on the back of the HU to do so?

With such a damn impressive system, it'd be a shame to get only a fraction of the benefit my procedure can provide.

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Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears
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Old 01-25-2011   #31
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Well the fader and balance control on the hu does isolate the channel down to inaudible levels. It is a limitation of using an older hu. The only work around is to pull rca lines as you suggested. If I do this I can just leave all balance/fader controls alone and yank as needed.

Still doesn't quite explain the doplar effect. Am I on the right track? Would have to say the results have been pretty good thus far. I can give it another go but I'll have to remove the HU to gain access to the rca's.

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Old 01-25-2011   #32
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

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Originally Posted by BowDown View Post
Well the fader and balance control on the hu does isolate the channel down to inaudible levels. It is a limitation of using an older hu. The only work around is to pull rca lines as you suggested. If I do this I can just leave all balance/fader controls alone and yank as needed.

Still doesn't quite explain the doplar effect. Am I on the right track? Would have to say the results have been pretty good thus far. I can give it another go but I'll have to remove the HU to gain access to the rca's.
Whichever drivers you're aligning, the Doppler Effect will be centered in their crossover region. You are hearing the correct harmonics, the ones that change with every delay step, but I have never heard the tapping sound you described.

Imagine 2 jets approaching you from directly opposing directions, passing by each other right over your head, and continuing on their way. Think about what the Doppler Effect would sound like. Now imagine their engines emit only white noise (bandwidth limited to the drivers' crossover region). This is what the harmonic "overtones" will sound like when you are close. Listen for this pattern, find the center of the effect and you're golden.

It's not about buying the best equipment, it's about getting the most out of it.

Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears
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Old 01-26-2011   #33
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Guess it's going to take me several tries to see how this method can work. Attempt one was tonight and after a lot of time trying I ended up reverting to my old settings as they sounded better to me with music. With pink noise I think I picked up some harmonic changes between the mids and subs, but hardly what I would call pronounced.

I am somewhat of a tuning novice though so I will probably give it a try again in a few days.

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Old 01-26-2011   #34
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

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Originally Posted by bikerider View Post
Guess it's going to take me several tries to see how this method can work. Attempt one was tonight and after a lot of time trying I ended up reverting to my old settings as they sounded better to me with music. With pink noise I think I picked up some harmonic changes between the mids and subs, but hardly what I would call pronounced.

I am somewhat of a tuning novice though so I will probably give it a try again in a few days.
Thank you for giving it a try, it can take practice. That first pair is the most difficult. Experiment with your mid and tweeter first to hear the Doppler Effect, then go back and apply it to the sub/midbass. Use all of the tricks to bring out the low-frequency Doppler Effect - because as soon as you can hear it, you are guaranteed an improvement in TA.

- fully overlap the sub and midbass (sub 0-250+ Hz, mid 40-300+ Hz).
- turn it up loud; work in complete quiet, without any ambient low-frequency noise
- click up the time delay steps quickly to bring out the Doppler Effect in the harmonic changes. Think of this in terms of the stock market - ignore the random daily changes (one click) and pay attention to the long-term patterns (many clicks). The pattern will emerge.
- refer to my "jet" example in an above post. Listen for the effect in the bass and midbass region.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg200SE-R View Post
Whichever drivers you're aligning, the Doppler Effect will be centered in their crossover region... Imagine 2 jets approaching you from directly opposing directions, passing by each other right over your head, and continuing on their way. Think about what the Doppler Effect would sound like. Now imagine their engines emit only white noise (bandwidth limited to the drivers' crossover region). This is what the harmonic "overtones" will sound like when you are close. Listen for this pattern, find the center of the effect and you're golden.

It's not about buying the best equipment, it's about getting the most out of it.

Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears
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Old 01-27-2011   #35
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Would it be an Idea to get a video of this up on youtube or something? With comments and sound so we know what's right or wrong to hear. I don't think you could record the sub/woofer that well but it might work for the tweeter/woofer to demonstrate the doppler effect with a soundbite... just an idea

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Old 01-27-2011   #36
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

The method seems logical and may make sense, getting the drivers in phase with one another by using TA. My question is this: Before this method, get the speakers gain correct for a nice centered image and not worry about phase for the speakers? (i.e. leave all speakers + to + and - to - [amps to speakers])

This method will force the speakers to be in phase with TA. Your thoughts on this Greg200SE-R

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Old 01-27-2011   #37
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

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Originally Posted by Scooter-Man View Post
The method seems logical and may make sense, getting the drivers in phase with one another by using TA. My question is this: Before this method, get the speakers gain correct for a nice centered image and not worry about phase for the speakers? (i.e. leave all speakers + to + and - to - [amps to speakers])

This method will force the speakers to be in phase with TA. Your thoughts on this Greg200SE-R

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It will be clearer and make sense when you hear everything the method describes. Practice with the mid/tweeter first to get a feel for it. As far as changing driver polarity, there's no need for this when you have time alignment. That's not to say it won't help, I just haven't tried it. Regarding L/R gain, it's a small factor in a centered image. Aligning the drivers to your ears greatly overrides the relative levels; with correct TA, you can have higher gain on the left and the center image will not be affected. Staging, however, would be.

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Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears
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Old 02-16-2011   #38
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Thank you for this, I am looking forward to trying this as well.
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Old 02-23-2011   #39
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Is there any hope to adapt this method to achieve the best possible results with a passive 2-way front stage?
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Old 02-23-2011   #40
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

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Originally Posted by ZAKOH View Post
Is there any hope to adapt this method to achieve the best possible results with a passive 2-way front stage?
Are your 2 drivers the exact same distance from your head?

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Old 02-28-2011   #41
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Well, as much as I don't want to be that guy that asks the stupid questions.....hopefully you all feel that the only stupid question is the one not asked.....

1) If the system has already been rendered 'linear' using an RTA (basic eq +/- at certain freqs to match up the left and right), and 'Levels' within the head unit (L - 1 or -2, R 0) that helped center things in the sound stage, and then a little TA was applied (mostly to the right mid range - everything else was kept at 0)........would you put the levels back to 0 for all drivers before implementing your method? I'm not sure where level matching (really between left and right - not between sets of drivers) come into play with your method of TA.

2) No one has asked yet, so here it goes - restating the obvious.....if one happens to have a 3 way front stage, then it would be the same - just add the step with the mid range / wide bander = sub + mid bass / mid bass + mid range / mid range + tweeter - is that what the method would look like?

I am certainly going to try this next weekend (trip this week) - I just got my power supply, so I can sit out there for hours burning my ears with pink noise. I am very intrigued with what your method.

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Old 02-28-2011   #42
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Hmmmm very very interesting. This sound like the process of aligning like side drivers I've used for some time and honestly I don't remember who i learn it from. But your write is bit more detailed, with listening for Doppler Effect.

Great Write up!

Now Please correct me if i'm wrong here. But this process of T/A seem to be put same side drivers in alignment (as I state above) with the Sub-woofer as the point of reference for both sides. As you never align opposite side drivers. You only verify the center image with both sides playing and if it is not correctly centered start the process over once more.

Meaning,

First your align both mid-bass to the sub/s. First passenger side then Drivers side.

Next. Your aligning the tweeter or midrange to the mid/bass as the mid/bass drivers have already been aligned to the point of Reference which is the sub. So T/Aing (putting to correct phase) the tweeter or midrange to the mid-bass is also Aligning the the next set of drivers with the sub/s and so on and so forth.

So at the end of the process the entire system should be in phase/Alignment, therefor the speakers/placements should seem to disappear from the listening experience and just the music should remain. Which is the goal of any well design system.

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Old 03-01-2011   #43
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Messed around with this last night.. got some unusual settings compared to my normal setup.
Old: (far side gained down.. pass side is always loud in this car)
HL (high left) 0db, 1.2ms -- HR -6db, 0.0
ML -3db, 1.1ms -- MR -7db, 0.0
Subs 0.0ms

New: gain settings about same, only time listed
HL 2.5s -- HR 1.3
ML -2.4s -- MR 1.3
SUBS - 0.

Interestingly, the delay between L/R is about the same as my old setup, only with delay added to the right side.. This definitely blends with the subs a lot better, and oddly, the overall tonality is better.

I had a lot of trouble hearing the doppler effect, especially on the mids..
When i initially set up using just the pink noise.. I had to make some adjustments when I listened to music.
On the tweeters, changes of 0.1ms sometimes made a BIG difference in sound:
HL- at 2.3ms there was a noticable reflection off the drivers side glass., 2.4ms there was another reflection in a different space, even worse.. 2.5ms, WOW, cohesive sound and the phantom sounds are gone..tweeter disappears.

Overall, a good technique.
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Old 03-01-2011   #44
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Quote:
Originally Posted by OSN View Post
Are your 2 drivers the exact same distance from your head?
They're probably not.
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Old 03-02-2011   #45
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZAKOH View Post
Is there any hope to adapt this method to achieve the best possible results with a passive 2-way front stage?
Assuming you can time delay your front stage channels, you'll see a lot of benefit. You'll still be able to precisely align your sub, left midbass, and right midbass. Which means correct sub integration, bass impact and likely improved synergy between L/R sides. What you'd be missing is the tweeter/mid integration. Follow steps 1 - 3 in the writeup.

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Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears
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Old 03-02-2011   #46
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

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Originally Posted by bertholomey View Post
1) If the system has already been rendered 'linear' using an RTA (basic eq +/- at certain freqs to match up the left and right), and 'Levels' within the head unit (L - 1 or -2, R 0) that helped center things in the sound stage, and then a little TA was applied (mostly to the right mid range - everything else was kept at 0)........would you put the levels back to 0 for all drivers before implementing your method? I'm not sure where level matching (really between left and right - not between sets of drivers) come into play with your method of TA.
You'll find that time alignment overrides any level and frequency response adjustments as far as centering the image. I recommend to zero out your levels just for the sake of consistency and simplicity. After locking in your TA, you'll be working with an entirely different sound coming from your system - you'll find that you'll require considerably less EQ and level correction. Of course, you can fine tune as desired with levels and L/R EQ but this is more for stage width/balance. The center will not budge because arrival times will be set to your ears during the process.

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Originally Posted by bertholomey View Post
2) No one has asked yet, so here it goes - restating the obvious.....if one happens to have a 3 way front stage, then it would be the same - just add the step with the mid range / wide bander = sub + mid bass / mid bass + mid range / mid range + tweeter - is that what the method would look like?
Yup, you got it. Good questions. BTW, you've got a great install thread! I drive a 3series as well.

It's not about buying the best equipment, it's about getting the most out of it.

Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears
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Old 03-02-2011   #47
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

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Originally Posted by Audible Physics View Post
Hmmmm very very interesting. This sound like the process of aligning like side drivers I've used for some time and honestly I don't remember who i learn it from. But your write is bit more detailed, with listening for Doppler Effect.

Great Write up!

Now Please correct me if i'm wrong here. But this process of T/A seem to be put same side drivers in alignment (as I state above) with the Sub-woofer as the point of reference for both sides. As you never align opposite side drivers. You only verify the center image with both sides playing and if it is not correctly centered start the process over once more.

Meaning,

First your align both mid-bass to the sub/s. First passenger side then Drivers side.

Next. Your aligning the tweeter or midrange to the mid/bass as the mid/bass drivers have already been aligned to the point of Reference which is the sub. So T/Aing (putting to correct phase) the tweeter or midrange to the mid-bass is also Aligning the the next set of drivers with the sub/s and so on and so forth.

So at the end of the process the entire system should be in phase/Alignment, therefor the speakers/placements should seem to disappear from the listening experience and just the music should remain. Which is the goal of any well design system.
Thanks for all your contributions to this forum and the industry as a whole, I'm very intrigued by your wideband drivers.

You're correct regarding the method; my thought process was to choose one reference point and sync every driver off of it (and, by default, each other). Since the sub is the reference, alignment progresses from low frequency drivers to high.

It's not about buying the best equipment, it's about getting the most out of it.

Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears
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Old 03-18-2011   #48
 
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

GREAT thread.

I attempted to do this today. I could absolutely not tell any change at all when trying to align the sub and my L8's, even with the crossovers set to 300hz. I THINK I hear a difference when messing with the L1 and the L3 just to see if I could hear something.

The L1 and L3 difference was VERY slight. It sounded like part of the static "disappeared" so to say. It went from full static, then to getting quieter on the next 5ms increment, to going away on the next 5ms, to coming back on the next 5ms. Does that make sense? Do I want to set it to when the extra static sound is gone?

Thanks for the help in this!

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Old 03-19-2011   #49
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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

Thank you for the great write-up. I have a seemingly obvious question, hopefully not dumb:

Would this method also work if I play a sine wave at the xover frequency between sub/mid and at the xover frequency between mid/hi? I figure it may be easier to hear cancellation and maximum amplitude by just focusing on the frequency in question instead of using a whole spectrum of noise. Thoughts?

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Default Re: Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears

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Originally Posted by timmay77 View Post
GREAT thread.

I attempted to do this today. I could absolutely not tell any change at all when trying to align the sub and my L8's, even with the crossovers set to 300hz. I THINK I hear a difference when messing with the L1 and the L3 just to see if I could hear something.

The L1 and L3 difference was VERY slight. It sounded like part of the static "disappeared" so to say. It went from full static, then to getting quieter on the next 5ms increment, to going away on the next 5ms, to coming back on the next 5ms. Does that make sense? Do I want to set it to when the extra static sound is gone?

Thanks for the help in this!
The sub/passenger midbass alignment is the hardest one. It has immense benefits so keep trying - you're on the right track since you already hear the harmonics (static) and have an idea of what to listen for. The static you hear will sound the same - just at different frequencies. You heard it in the midrange around the mid/tweet. The bass drivers will cause a low frequency "static." The easiest way to start hearing it is to hold down your time alignment button and scan quickly up and down - the quickly changing sound can bring it out.

And yes, the static disappearing is exactly what you're looking for, keep at it.

It's not about buying the best equipment, it's about getting the most out of it.

Precision time alignment using only noise tracks and your ears
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