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I'm going to SMAART out a room in a few hours. This led me to thinking how many schools go through some sort of professional measurement process and how many have a guy "ear-eq" their systems.

I'm a big fan of doing this and I think every place should do it if their budget allows. Of course I don't expect everyone to hire someone to do a full-fledged TEF measurement and acoustical analysis (although it'd be great), but even a simple 4 point SMAART measurement will yield reat results.
EQ tuning has a lot to do with what you can control. If you're simply running a stereo speaker setup on a pair of 2 or 3 way cabs, it's not a great use of money to use SMAART. This is where MOST high schools are at too.
Almost any semi-pro live situation out in the wide world after high school will use smaart or some type of computer controlled analyzing system.
The reason almost no high schools do this is it isn't very practical. Especially in the situation where, let's say, there is no staffed teacher/TD in charge of the system. Someone comes in to use the space who isn't aware of the system, and settings get changed. And of course it's even less practical to keep a SMAART system in the rig.
Ear equing can be a pretty effective method. Just have to find the right ears, i guess.

I don't know about you, but every school i've worked with has problems understanding technical needs. How the hell do you describe that expendeture to them? Gotta have a place that's keen enough to have professional teachers/tech directors.

EDIT: For those who are interested in going this way (and it's a great idea), here are some good articles:
Well, I don't mean having an on-site SMAART rig. But I find many schools buy a system that is installed and never properly tuned, so it sounds like cr@p from day 1.
This is also part of the issue of how to suggest a god system over a cheaper one that someone else says will perform just as well.
Totally. And the problem around here is that there's no local pro audio vendor. Everyone goes to the local music store, who certainly doesn't have a wide variety of equipment and gouges customers.
With most schools, the key is suggesting equipment that can be expanded upon. They like the idea that they don't have to shell out a lot up front, but can build on their system.
A relatively cheap piece of equipment that would be good for most high schools is the Behringer Ultra-Curve Pro which allows you to plug a reference microphone into it and place the microphone in different areas of the auditorium and the machine will analyze the different samples and equalize to the room and then save it so even if changed you can revert pack to the previous EQ. The process takes about half an hour and the machine is pretty reputable, even if it is Behringer. I've used one many a time.
Yes this is like the dbx DriveRack. The problem with this is that it's based off an RTA, which doesn't take acoustical factors into account and has a 1/3 octave resolution.
RTAs were great years ago, but have since lost all credibility. They can create much more damage than good.
Foxinabox10 said:
A relatively cheap piece of equipment that would be good for most high schools is the Behringer Ultra-Curve Pro.

How cheap is cheap?
I still wouldn't put my eq'ing in the hands of behringer. Get a DBX Driverack PA, or have someone with a SMAART rig come in and set the deal up.
well you could take a stroll over to their website or any catalog in existence, but what the heck:
379.99 USD
They can be had for about $280 and $45 for the reference microphone.
I know when the vendor put the rig in where I went to highschool, they ran I believe what they termed "pink noise" through the system. The faders on the EQ I think were actually moved by an external computer. We threw a grill over the thing after this had to get done a second time after someone "tuned" it. I can't think of the brand of the thing now - been a while since I had call to twiddle with or look at it. System always worked and sounded great.
Some systems work, most don't. RTAs have phase related issues, and most importantly doesn't separate the reflected sound from the direct sound, which causes errors in the measurement.
It also pays to do a proper measurement if youhave a proper system. I SMAARTed a pretty crappy Bose system. I had to show them the problems they had.

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