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Topic: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

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  1. #1

    Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

    I have relatively simple needs. All I want is to be able to measure the response of a room/speakers to impulses and sine-sweeps. I have measuring microphones, just no appropriate software.

    I was on a course a few months ago, where the lecturer did some measurements, and I'm sure he said the software he was using was free - but no amount of googling seems to be turning up anything.

    Anyone know any? Or an easy way to set up/calibrate SoundForge to do the same job?
    David

  2. #2

    Re: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

    There is no such thing as good free acoustic measurement software... BUT, depending on what exactly it is you want to see you can make a lot of the more important measurements for very nearly free, or even using tools you already own.

    If you are measuring frequency response in a space you do not necessarily need absolute measurements, you need good relative measurements. That means you don't need to know that you have X dBSPL referenced to 20 uPA... but you do need to know, with reasonable accuracy, that you have energy in a specific band that is louder or softer, than your predetermined (and possibly arbitrary) and by how much. That means you need a microphone with either flat, or documented amplitude vs frequency response.

    At which point Sound Forge, Wavelab, Audition, or even Audacity will tell you what you need to know, assuming your preamplifier and A/D converter don't introduce any errors.

    BUT, frequency response is only part of the story, and possibly not the most important part of the story!

    You also need to know how sound behaves over time... e.g. do you have reflections that are causing what appear to be frequency response problems?

    The two most common approaches to looking at time are the "Energy Time Curve" and the "Impulse Response". There are free and demo tools that you can use to do this stuff, but before you start any of the timed demos make sure you read the documentation thoroughly... 30 days is not as long as it seems!

    CATT Acoustics offers their free Gratisvolver, and a demo of their suite available at:
    http://www.catt.se/

    ARTA has a demo, and really, for the price it's a pretty remarkable tool:
    http://www.fesb.hr/~mateljan/arta/

    RoomCapture, from WaveCapture, looks interesting, but I have not used it:
    http://www.wavecapture.com/

    Smaart Acoustictools is a very nice package, but I am unsure of it's status:
    http://www.eaw.com/products/software...ols/index.html

    My personal favorite (not including the big guns) is RplusD, formerly known as ETF, you can get their demo here: http://www.etfacoustic.com/RPlusDSite/index.html

    Anyway, there's some ideas to get you started<G>...

    Bill
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  3. #3

    Re: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

    Thanks Bill, that helped enormously. Now to persuade my wife I need a late Christmas present.
    David

  4. #4

    Re: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

    This one is free.

    http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/

    I'm not sure it's what you're looking for, but, just in case...

    Greetings!
    -Dani-

  5. #5

    Re: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZareOne View Post
    This one is free.

    http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/

    I'm not sure it's what you're looking for, but, just in case...

    Greetings!
    Thanks Dani
    I signed up and downloaded it. It's certainly worth giving it a try before paying for anything. It's only for my students to learn about acoustic measurement, and they don't have to make any terribly precise corrections as a result; all they need to do is comment on obvious problem frequencies, so this may well do the job, or at least appear to.
    David

  6. #6

    Re: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

    Hope it serves your purposes.

    Have a happy new year!
    -Dani-

  7. #7
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

    Ethan Winer has a free download that can be run in any DAW and probably also any wav editor with a little work.

    It's a collect of sounds from lowest to highest frequency and it's the collection he uses to tune rooms.

    It's probably still available some where on his site:
    http://www.realtraps.com/

  8. #8

    Re: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?


  9. #9

    Re: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

    just a word of caution... if you are using these as teaching tools please be careful to differentiate between problems in the frequency domain and problems in the time domain... each can mask the other! Looking at only one is a sure-fire recipe for problems later!
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  10. #10

    Re: Anyone know any good, FREE acoustic measurement software?

    Thanks again guys.

    Has anyone used this one:
    http://www.ymec.com/products/dssf3e/index.htm

    I downloaded the demo, but I haven't managed to use it yet, since school has been shut by snow. My immediate impressions are that its looks are very clear and simple, which is good. But the blurb about the C/R license makes it sound as though you can't ever migrate the program to a different machine, and it's kind of an expensive license to lose when your laptop finally bites the dust. Maybe they'll operate like NI, and let you migrate as long as your oldest license is cancelled, but the wording isn't very clear.
    David

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