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Is there an all in one package for speaker measurement and design?

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  • Is there an all in one package for speaker measurement and design?

    I'd like to get something that is basically plug and play. I was thinking I could get a DATS, and something to measure frequency response - however, there are things ranging from the small phone mic to the Omnimic system. I really only need the ability to get .frd and .zma files currently, and possibly the ability to see power response.

    I'd most likely be measuring drivers in their enclosures. I can use PCD to play around with the crossover design.

    Reason being I like to make speakers using interesting looking drivers that don't have any published measurements etc to see what kind of performance can be had when you give them a proper enclosure and crossover.

    If I could use DATS and something like the phone mic for starters, that would be great. Otherwise, I'd be tossing up what the differences between Omnimic and something like SoundEasy are if I were to spend that extra $300.

  • #2
    Originally posted by jamikkim View Post
    If I could use DATS and something like the phone mic for starters, that would be great.
    That's what I have going on. In order to use the phone mic, you'll need a laptop or Windows tablet with an integrated headphone / mic jack. The Audio Tools app is not capable of making a FRD file, you'll need to use one of the free measurement software on Windows like ARTA or REW to do that. It's not as flexible as the full size mics that can use a proper stand, and it will give you trouble doing close mic measurements, but it will do.
    Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
    Wogg Music

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    • #3
      Hmm I wonder if it would work with a 3.5mm extension cable. At least I'd be able to fashion up some kind of stand for it then I have an old XP laptop that would be perfect for speaker design given some of the tools don't work on the newer version of Windows.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jamikkim View Post
        Hmm I wonder if it would work with a 3.5mm extension cable. At least I'd be able to fashion up some kind of stand for it then I have an old XP laptop that would be perfect for speaker design given some of the tools don't work on the newer version of Windows.
        You could rig it by creating your own cable, but a standard 3.5mm extension isn't going to work and your old laptop isn't likely to have a combined headphone / mic jack. The mic is designed for the 4 conductor 3.5mm jacks in the standard / Apple format in this image.



        I did see some 4 conductor extensions on Amazon, but that pre-supposes your laptop has that 4 connection jack.
        Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
        Wogg Music

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        • #5
          Technically it wouldn't be an extra $300, since you can get Omnimic and DATS together for $300- you'll need DATS either way and that's $100 (so it's an extra $200 to get a Omnimic). I've personally never used a phone mic to measure so I can't comment on pros/cons of that vs an Omnimic. That said, I use a Omnimic and wouldn't be without it. Loading the measurements into WinPCD is super easy, and the mic itself is fantastic. I'd say just spend the $300 and don't look back, you'll have everything you need to reliably measure speakers (down to about 200 Hz anyhow) and design xovers. My $0.02 FWIW.
          "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
          "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

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          • #6
            An added thought--Sound Easy is anything but easy. Very steep learning curve.

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            • #7
              I use:

              ​1. UMM-6 calibrated USB mic for frequency response measurements
              ​2. DATS for t/s and impedance measurements - though REW can do this for you if you make a simple jig for the purpose
              ​3. REW software (free) for all frequency response measurements
              ​4. XSim (free) for software design.

              ​Theoretically, you can build the REW impedance jig for a few $$, buy a good mic and have a pretty good toolkit for speaker measurement and design for $80. I like the DATS though because it's convenient to use.
              ​I suggest investing in a good USB sound card rather than relying on your PC's built-in sound. Primarily for protection - you don't want to end up accidentally blowing the sound on the mboard because you connected something up badly.

              ​I've tried WinPCD and PCD for x-over design and prefer XSim because it's a bit more versatile (you can basically draw out your x-over). The only thing it doesn't have is PCD's "target curve" feature, which can comes in handy from time to time.
              Brian Steele
              www.diysubwoofers.org

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              • #8
                The bundle shows "sale price" of 298USD, but when I click on it it's 347USD. I'm guessing I missed a sale on it? Even so, it's cheaper than the option in my country.
                Last edited by jamikkim; 11-01-2017, 09:59 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by skatz View Post
                  An added thought--Sound Easy is anything but easy. Very steep learning curve.

                  I think it is very straightforward to use. Chad Gray's videos and John Kreskovsky's design guide made it pretty painless: http://chadgray.info/soundeasy/ http://www.musicanddesign.com/Guide.html

                  There is NOTHING on the market that compares to SE for the price. Clinchers for me are dual channel measurement (don't have to fiddle around finding acoustic centers), active XO modelling, XO Optimizer (love that thing).
                  ~Brandon

                  Soma Sonus
                  DriverVault

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                  • #10
                    I think it has improved over time, however, if you are starting out (as the OP is) it is quite intimidating. If you look at the myriad of comments about people trying to learn it, they almost all refer to the steep learning curve. This goes back for years.

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                    • #11
                      SE is indeed a great package, but it is complicated, and the clunky user interface certainly doesn't help things. It does however have a lot of advanced features that I don't see in any other software package - the crossover optimizer certainly makes fine tuning part values a breeze, and I believe that you can simulate your passive crossover design using the built-in DSP functions and you soundcard as an input. There is also wavelet analysis, and something called "cepstrum deconvolution" which allows you to manually remove reflections from a measurement, so you can get a rather accurate full-range response from a single far-field measurement, no splicing required.

                      If you are willing to learn, the SE manual is freely available online to look at its features in detail. There's a lot that can be learned about measurements and speaker design from the manual alone.
                      Don't waste your money on a new set of speakers, you get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers. Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways it's still rock and roll to me!

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