by Nathan Lively of Sound Design Live

Audio Calculators for Sound System TuningIn this episode of the Sound Design Live podcast I talk to Bob McCarthy, Mauricio Ramírez, Merlijn Van Veen and Daniel Lundberg about the best audio calculators for sound system design and optimization in the categories of desert island, design work, field work, and education.

Desensitize Yourself"When a loudspeaker is reproducing sound with a wavelength considerably larger than the size of its enclosure, we all know that it should be essentially omnidirectional and send out sound waves spherically."

John Vanderkooy
(BEng, PhD – Distinguished Professor Emeritus)

And yet, when we walk around a subwoofer we can clearly hear that it's directional. So what's going on? The devil is in the details.

Realistic GoalsWhy a specification like "We need a sound system capable of delivering full range 103 dB(A) of clear and undistorted sound at the front of house position" makes me scratch my head.

Because, typically the mix doesn't exhibit an A-weighted spectrum.

SPL loss rates depending on capsule depthfigure 1A lot of people feel that condenser microphones are more sensitive than dynamic microphones and therefore pick up “everything” e.g. stage wash and noise.

Sensitivity however, is nothing but a constant conversion rate from pressure to voltage and more important, it is distance independent. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the reason for picking up “everything”.

In this video I explain why the delay locator hardly ever locks on to the impulse response of the subwoofers and if it succeeds, it's unlikely it syncs to the very frequencies we're trying to align our main speakers to.


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