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The reciprocal relationship between time and frequencyFigure 1What constitutes a group of frequencies and how does that relate to the word "group" in group delay.

Artistic Impression of Time Smearing: Phase & Group DelayFigure 1Many seminar attendees are pretty indiscriminate at first about a loudspeaker's phase response. And tend to be shocked once you point out that typical full‑range loudspeakers (including studio monitors) with decreasing frequency are "smeared out" in time by a couple of dozen milliseconds (Figure 2).

In part 2 of this article series, we will explore how filters — that invariably change level or phase as a function of frequency — can affect crest factor. Towards the end, you can download a MS Excel Workbook for free that contains all relevant calculations and graphics used in this article.

Crest factor is an important metric associated with phenomena such as (but not limited to) headroom, distortion, instantaneous power consumption, and loudspeaker driver excursion.

In part 1 of this 4‑episode series on crest factor, we will begin by defining crest factor first. Towards the end, you can download a MS Excel Workbook for free that contains all relevant calculations and graphics used in this article.

Subsequent episodes will cover crest factor and filters, crest factor and power consumption, and crest factor in the air: measuring sound levels.

White and Red Pulse in AudacityFigure 1A short story about my favorite audio signal (at the time of writing) for auditioning time smearing in sound systems.

"Transient"

Lasting only for a short time.
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