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kibo
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:08:13
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Hi Dr J,

thanks a lot. i will try getting the things that i need soon. i was just hoping if there is another alternative that would be cheaper other than smaart that i could use.

thanks a lot for your help.

kibo
Studiolive 1642, Tube Pre, QSC K12s, Imac 21.5 8GB 3.06 Ghz, MacbookPro 13" i5, Blue Spark Condenser Mic
Live Sound Audio
Prenoob
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Joined: 29/07/2010 04:13:34
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Location: Sacramento
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I'd try an iPhone app first. I use Faber but there are others.. May do what you need.
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TimmyP1955
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Joined: 29/07/2010 08:42:15
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Location: Indianapolis
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I use the Studio Six FFT app. My only complaint is that in Peak Hold, it freezes the frequency, instead of just having a peak dot remain at the highest level*. They also make a calibrated mic if you want more accuracy and a higher SPL capability.

* I saw a high res RTA app with this, but don't know what it was.
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funkafize
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Joined: 29/07/2010 06:28:43
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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for Studio Six Digital's Audio Tools. I've had it since it came out and they keep improving it. It's been helpful training my ear too.

BTW Using FFT or RTA? I know in RTA if you select "show min and max bars" It leaves a little blue bar at peak levels.
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Peary Forrest
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Joined: 28/07/2010 20:29:36
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I realize that I'm joining in on this thread kinda late in the game but I also need some help. I need a tuning your P.A. for dummies guide/tutorial. I just got the Studiolive 16.4.2 and I run a tri-amped pa (Peavey 3 way crossover)with a couple of Peavey DTH 2-18s and 2 pairs of sp2s for FOH and sp112s and 115s for monitors. A variety of Peavey and Crown amps to power everything with. All I have available for tuning is the FAT channel and 31 band eqs in the Studiolive. Looks like the Studio Six RTA app is affordable and maybe not too over my head... Is the general idea to run and analyze pink noise and balance low, mid, and hi outputs and eq until you get a flat response on the analyzer? I'm obviously clueless in Mississippi. (wondering why so much Peavey?) I used to work there and have a lot of friends in engineering that take good care of me as far as equipment goes.

Thanks!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 29/07/2010 17:29:29

I found a watch in a bush one time.
kibo
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:08:13
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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thanks guys for your input. i will let you guys know if i got stuff to really try it on my system.

@Peary, would love to have a guide.... tnx.
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cmebane
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Joined: 29/07/2010 21:27:06
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Perry, I just registered to get some info on the 24.4.2 and saw your post. Tuning a system is both and art and a darn religious war. You will get a lot of contradicting opinions but I will tell you what works for me. I did this full time for 6 years and well before there was ANYTHING written down except Mix Magazine. IOW - I had to figure it out by talking to folks and experimenting. I recently bought an RTA and have the iPhone S6D app and mic/interface. I have worked with both of my home stereos over the years so the technique I used in the 80s is still valid.

o make a mix tape of good reference material. Something that sounds good and that you know how it is SUPPOSE to sound. My first tune was, is and will always be "Hey 19" by Steely Dan. Why? It covers the entire frequency range, has great layering and separation of frequencies, and still sounds great against todays recordings. Use a variety of material that covers good lows, vocals, and crisp highs.

o I start by getting the system flat. Use the xover first (many overlook this). Next adjust the 1/3 octave. Attack peaks first, valleys second. Don't get too extreme but try to get flat within +- 3db. Allow for some rolloff at the extremes if your FOH can't support below 40 and above 16K.

o When flat as possible, I apply some additional low end. I'n my case I just turned up the subs a bit (18 db/oct @ 150). The resulting curve will show a shelf of 6-9 db with the corner around 125. Why? Just play some good material and you will see that records are NOT mixed to be played on flat systems.

o fine tune as needed. Flatness in the midrange will make a system sound very smooth, Good vocal recordings (male and female) will quickly point out peaks in the 400 - 2K range. Colbie Calliet, Brandi Carlile, Taylor Swift all sound awesome on a well tuned system.

o Note the ear will hear a peak of some frequency much more than it will a valley. A system flat except for some slight valleys will sound better then one with slight peaks.

o you ear is the final word. Once you know what your reference should sound like, you will know when the system is as good as possible. Don't forget to run the reference material flat.

o be aware that room reflections can make a great system sound average. Sometimes you have to do the best you can. New software like SMAART helps address this but a crappy sound room will always sound bad. Just get your system to sound as good as possible.

Good luck!

PS: Our system at one time had a ton of Peavey CS800s. Folks were in shock when they looked at the racks but they sounded as good as anything else - including Crowns. Only problem was the power switches failed soon after first use )-:

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 29/07/2010 22:54:52

Monolithent
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Joined: 28/07/2010 18:47:25
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I know we are all (or at least most of us) on some kind of budget these days so I'm only going to add two suggestions for you Peary.

As soon as you can afford it get yourself a Parametric eq with as many channels and the best signal to noise ratio as you can afford on it

I tried using FFT(Smaart) with just a Graphic eq. It was a royal pain cause I couldn't tune the exact frequency I needed.

If your crossover has an alignment delay on it I would recommend using it to get everything aligned as well. It surprised me how big a difference it made. I don't know if the iPhone app can help with that though.

And don't let anyone give you a hard time about owning Peavey gear.
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Peary Forrest
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Joined: 28/07/2010 20:29:36
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cmebane wrote:Perry, I just registered to get some info on the 24.4.2 and saw your post. Tuning a system is both and art and a darn religious war. You will get a lot of contradicting opinions but I will tell you what works for me. I did this full time for 6 years and well before there was ANYTHING written down except Mix Magazine. IOW - I had to figure it out by talking to folks and experimenting. I recently bought an RTA and have the iPhone S6D app and mic/interface. I have worked with both of my home stereos over the years so the technique I used in the 80s is still valid.

o make a mix tape of good reference material. Something that sounds good and that you know how it is SUPPOSE to sound. My first tune was, is and will always be "Hey 19" by Steely Dan. Why? It covers the entire frequency range, has great layering and separation of frequencies, and still sounds great against todays recordings. Use a variety of material that covers good lows, vocals, and crisp highs.

o I start by getting the system flat. Use the xover first (many overlook this). Next adjust the 1/3 octave. Attack peaks first, valleys second. Don't get too extreme but try to get flat within +- 3db. Allow for some rolloff at the extremes if your FOH can't support below 40 and above 16K.

o When flat as possible, I apply some additional low end. I'n my case I just turned up the subs a bit (18 db/oct @ 150). The resulting curve will show a shelf of 6-9 db with the corner around 125. Why? Just play some good material and you will see that records are NOT mixed to be played on flat systems.


o fine tune as needed. Flatness in the midrange will make a system sound very smooth, Good vocal recordings (male and female) will quickly point out peaks in the 400 - 2K range. Colbie Calliet, Brandi Carlile, Taylor Swift all sound awesome on a well tuned system.

o Note the ear will hear a peak of some frequency much more than it will a valley. A system flat except for some slight valleys will sound better then one with slight peaks.

o you ear is the final word. Once you know what your reference should sound like, you will know when the system is as good as possible. Don't forget to run the reference material flat.

o be aware that room reflections can make a great system sound average. Sometimes you have to do the best you can. New software like SMAART helps address this but a crappy sound room will always sound bad. Just get your system to sound as good as possible.

Good luck!

PS: Our system at one time had a ton of Peavey CS800s. Folks were in shock when they looked at the racks but they sounded as good as anything else - including Crowns. Only problem was the power switches failed soon after first use )-:


Thanks for taking the time and welcome to the forum. That's alot of good, practical, easy to understand, and useful information. That gives me a good foundation to work with. I've been able to get pretty good live mixes but getting the tuning down will definately take it to a higher level. Thanks again!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30/07/2010 15:34:05

I found a watch in a bush one time.
Peary Forrest
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Joined: 28/07/2010 20:29:36
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Monolithent wrote:I know we are all (or at least most of us) on some kind of budget these days so I'm only going to add two suggestions for you Peary.

As soon as you can afford it get yourself a Parametric eq with as many channels and the best signal to noise ratio as you can afford on it

I tried using FFT(Smaart) with just a Graphic eq. It was a royal pain cause I couldn't tune the exact frequency I needed.

If your crossover has an alignment delay on it I would recommend using it to get everything aligned as well. It surprised me how big a difference it made. I don't know if the iPhone app can help with that though.

And don't let anyone give you a hard time about owning Peavey gear.



Thanks, I'll definately get a multiband parametric on my priority list. Hopefully I can get some help out of the semi parametric on the FAT channel before resorting to the internal graphic. I'll do my best with that setup until I can get something else. I like the QSC stuff but it's a huge jump financiaaly to go that route and the Peavey stuff is decent and my friends there take good care of me with guitars, amps, etc. They really have some nice guitar amps these days and I have a custom shop Omniac that rivals any tele... Besides that they are a Mississipi company and I like supporting home boys. And Presonus is our next door neighbor!
I found a watch in a bush one time.
jonelli
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Joined: 28/07/2010 22:58:53
Messages: 31
Location: Orange County
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Another alternative for a cheap system tuning tool is a program called SysTune. Its a more modern competitor to SMAART and has a never-ending free version that gives you full dual-channel FFT, transfer functions with phase, live impulse responses for time alignment, and all the other "normal" stuff you'd expect from a high-end software tool.

Of course, you'll still need an audio interface and a measurement microphone. Here's a link to the free version:
http://download.cnet.com/EASERA-SysTune/3000-2169_4-10894099.html
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kibo
Presonic
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:08:13
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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@jonelli,

i downloaded it already. i just have to buy the reference mic and maybe audiobox interface for it. i will le toyu guys know if i have it. i should have bought the audiobox rather than a tube pre. i just bought it 3 days ago. anyway i will try to find ways. i saw they sell it for $750 if you buy the real thing. havent read it and tried it actually. just want to know what are the limitations for the demo version. would i still be able to use the important stuff to tune a venue?

thanks,

kibo
Studiolive 1642, Tube Pre, QSC K12s, Imac 21.5 8GB 3.06 Ghz, MacbookPro 13" i5, Blue Spark Condenser Mic
Peary Forrest
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Joined: 28/07/2010 20:29:36
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What about a VST plugin for Studio one or other recording software that could be integrated with the Studiolive/VSL That has or could have an RTA and multiband Parametric. Maybe you could use the talkback mic or a couple of input channels to send a reference mic from Studiolive to the recording software and use a parametric plugin on the master outputs to tune all by software? Is that reasonable or crazy? Maybe even a firmware update that would build something comprehensive into the studiolive? Be gentle waking me from my dream state as I am not so much of a morning person...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30/07/2010 15:44:10

I found a watch in a bush one time.
Jerryd
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Joined: 28/07/2010 16:01:24
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Kibo -- This is Dr. J. I guess I won't be able to use "Dr. J" anymore since Presonus made an executive decision. Anyway my name is Jerry. Just like one of the other guys stated -- system tuning, optimization....etc. is a touchy subject BUT there are some real principals here to learn that will help you a bunch.

First thing you need to know is that the audio spectrum has been typically describe as going from 20Hz to 20kHz. With the typical BAR PA is it most likely 40Hz-45Hz up to 15-16K. So now if you can imagine a GRAPH that has dB level running up the left side of a page at -15dB to 0dB & from 0dB to plus 15dB & across the page from left to right 40Hz on up to 16k. This is your audio spectrum. Sounds pretty basic so far right?

Now, your speakers are going to exhibit some kind of response across that spectrum. Since there are thousands of frequencies across the spectrum -- do you know where all of them are at and what their dB levels are? This sounds like a crazy question doesn't it. It is important because you have to understand that more than likely -- your speakers are going to demonstrate a response across that spectrum that IS NOT anywhere balanced in dB levels. In other words -- your speaker boxes may be really loud at 500 Hz and very low in volume at 300Hz, 3K....etc.

So what a lot of people do without knowing what the spectrum looks like FIRST is insert a graphic EQ and start tweaking. It makes sense if you don't know what else to do. So with the Graphic flat (which really isn't at this stage of the game) adjustments are made by ear.

The FFT programs like Smaart and Systune take into account everything that is electrical AND acoustical in your system. Part of it is going at the speed of light and the other at the speed of sound.

Tuning your system in a nutshell is making adjustments to your speakers response until the response has been smoothed out to where the dB levels are balanced with each other. The only way to do it is with a dual FFT program. I helped LowTech do his system and I think he really likes it.

The tool of choice for correction and is the STANDARD -- is the parametric. The Parametric EQ is powerful in the fact that it allows to specifically correct the part that needs correcting. Not everything will need to be corrected. You can use a Graphic EQ (GEQ) but it will be a nightmare. You will try to correct a certain area only to find yourself wrecking another area.

The best affordable tool I have run across for this is the Driverack. There are many others out there so get yourself what ever you want but the idea is the same -- Speaker Management. Your speakers will have to be told what to do. You can equally say they have to be told what not to do as well. To assume a speaker in a box is fine as long as my crossover is set right isn't good enough.

Many say "Science can never replace the ear!" So should you rely on your ear only or on what your FFT program says? The answer is BOTH. Your ears will be the final judge BUT the FFT program will help you figure out how to balance frequency levels for a flat smooth response. It will help you have balanced levels between amps (Amp volume levels) & help you to have a phase aligned crossover which makes a huge difference.

After you go thru all of this and your system sounds like garbage -- then something happened that you overlooked. If done properly -- your system will almost always sound better as a starting point. So YES use your ear as the final say.

Don't run Auto EQ's in venues where you push a button, run pink noise thru the system into the room until it completes and think you have just "Tuned" the system to the room. It doesn't work that way & the system will sound horrible and sterile. I can't believe companies market that & is their selling point.

If you are serious about doing this Kibo -- I will help you set it up. I have a list of action steps for you to get you started if you are interested.

JerryD aka: Dr. J

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30/07/2010 18:57:22

jonelli
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Kibo:
For doing system tuning measurements you don't need a very expensive measurement microphone. There are a handfull of sub-$100 microphones out there (don't want to mention any names), and they're all flat, just with different S/N levels which is fine for system tuning.
You can use any windows compatible hardware with SysTune, the help file is the user manual and explains how to setup and view measurements in great detail. As for the full version versus the free one, the full version will let you save/load files and let you use more averaging. I think the free one gives you a 1-second ish FFT size max and only 1 average. Still sufficient for EQing a system indoors.

J
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