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Sound Software for EQ

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Techy670, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Techy670

    Techy670 Member

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    Hello,

    I was wondering if there was software you could get that would help EQ a sound system. and if so how would I go about hooking my computer up to the system to test the EQ.

    Thank You for any response

    Techy670
     
  2. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    It sounds like Real Time Analyzer (RTA) would be useful to you. SMAART is a great program that is useful (although not cheap). For any RTA, you would need a reference mic plugged into a decent sound card. The mic reads the signal (either a test tone, white / pink noise, or your actual music / sound) coming from the pa and displays it on the screen so you can see a vsual representation of your sound by frequency. This combined with a 31 band graphic eq or parametric eq would be a good way to balance a system.

    EAW: Software
     
  3. Techy670

    Techy670 Member

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    Thank you very much.
     
  4. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    A couple of clarifications. If you are using Smaart simply as an RTA there are many more cost effective tools, just do a search for "RTA" or "Real Time Analyzer", there are many free or inexpensive RTA programs out there. Programs like Smaart, EASERA SysTune, SpectraFoo, MacFOH, WinMLS and Praxis or devices like TEF and SIM are much more powerful than simply being an RTA, which is part of the reason behind the cost for them.

    Programs like Smaart and SysTune are most effective as two channels systems where instead of just looking at the mic, they are comparing that measurement signal to a reference signal so that what you see is the difference between them, called the transfer function. That is what potentially allows you to use sources such as music or live program material, something you cannot do with single channel systems. Obviously, the more linear and transparent each signal path the more you see the actual differences in the signals and not in the equipment. You can use any mics, soundcards, etc. and likely get a usable result, but the better those devices are, the more accurate the results.

    But most importantly, these programs and devices all also take some specialized knowledge and skills to use effectively. Any of them, including RTAs, are just tools, they can be applied effectively to great benefit or poorly to great detriment. They can show you what you have and maybe provide some information to help point you in the right direction, but they do not tell you what is the right result or how to get there. Not understanding what you are seeing and if it makes sense or not knowing how to properly apply these tools can lead to getting misleading results and/or your misinterpreting what is presented. Just having the software is one thing, knowing how to use it effectively is another and unless you have used such programs before, if you have to get a usable result right away I would plan on attending a class or spending some time with someone familiar with them.
     
  5. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    It would be prudent to note that simply tuning a system to give a flat FFT response can lead to a system that sounds like rubbish. Heck, I've heard stories of manufacturer reps doing shootouts where the system sounded less than ideal, but the line was flat and that was good enough for said rep. And this was no small manufacturer mind you. As Brad said, they are tools, nothing more, nothing less.
     
  6. hsaunier

    hsaunier Active Member

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    The best tools you have for EQ are on the side of your head. You may need to do some training to understand what they are telling you. Start with a simple feed back generator. Test your skill at locating frequency numbers by the tone that is generated. Then play recordings of all types of music and speech, slide frequencies up and down on your EQ to see what indeed changes that are made. I once had an engineer tell me that your ears lie to you. Hummmm. Interesting. He must go to sleep with the sound of pink noise flowing through his head. He had his machine (computer) listen to it for an hour tuning a rig for a concert. Once finished he had changed 3 frequencies about 3 db from our left over EQ.
     
  7. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    In the vein of hsaunier's post, may I direct your attention to this thread. There's a link to a simple feedback trainer for ear training.

    Beyond that, I must second Chris15 and Mr. Weber; SMAART, SpectraFoo, et al are simply tools rather than solutions (though they are solutions to certain problems, beyond the scope of simple EQ'ing). They can also be easily fooled if you don't know what you're doing. That being said, they are a great set of tools when used properly, but don't simply EQ by what you see on the computer screens.
     
  8. mixmaster

    mixmaster Active Member

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    As a couple others here have pointed out, It is possible to EQ a sound system to death if it's not done right. The best tool you can have is the one that you know how to use. BTW, are you asking this hypothetically, or do you have a specific application in mind? If we knew more about what you are trying to accomplish, perhaps we could provide more specific ideas.
     
  9. 1kfresnel

    1kfresnel Member

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    If you've have access to a Mac platform, I've had good experiences with Farber Acoustical's products. I've found their SignalScope Pro useful for helping students visualize changes in the audio path, and gain a better overall understanding, and provides a good basis for them to use their noggins.
     

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