Wonder why your mix sucks when you already got the best studio monitors? Whether your monitor is really good or not, when it is played on different systems, you can’t experience the sweet result you have been dreaming the most.
The most likely offender – is your studio monitors itself. Mixing without testing your monitors is pointless. It is like using something which you are not sure of. Trusting a music device without hearing a proper representation of music is not a key processing decision. In fact, even with the flattest speakers and acoustic treatment, you can’t get the best mix if you are not familiar with it. Remember that there is nothing flat in the real world, including your room.
How to quick test your studio monitors? It involves many things. Once you get familiar with them, it will very easy for you to test then.
The Quick Way
Fortunately, there is a number of improved room correction software which can make a big difference to your mix. One of them is known as Sonarworks Reference 3 software. It is super easy to setup with the included measurement microphone. It inserts into your monitoring chain making sure you can hear more neutral sound than the previous play. You can also use the newest and coolest pieces of headphone correction to correct many popular headphone brands.
Since the way you hear sound from your studio monitors may also be affected by your room, it is important to make it corrected before the mix is compromised.
Air Leak Detection
Air leak detection is a type of weighted white noise modulated by a low-frequency stimulus. It reliably detects leaks in enclosure probably due to poor seals, open jacks or issues from its construction. Air leaks can corrupt the performance of your speakers. It creates a big impact on the design parameters and generates unwanted noise artifacts that can be difficult to detect with the use of standard measurements.
Enclosure integrity becomes a problem that must be tested immediately to ensure sound quality. As compact integrated audio products push the sound pressure and bass response boundaries, such problem may occur. Product-mounted controls and jacks play a big role in giving leaked enclosures. This is how important it is to include Noise Air Leak measurement in the kit of an electro-acoustic designer.
Rub and Buzz Detection
Some things are not entitled to be repaired by our own bare ears. Human ears are exceedingly sensitive to noises such as rub and buzz. This is how important to use something can help things a lot easier. You can try to use APx Rub & Buzz because it finds defects characterized by a high crest factor being combined with a high peak ratio especially when driven by a chirp stimulus. The defects may also include misaligned voice coils, voice coil gap particles and incomplete adhesion of suspension elements.
Impedance or Thiele-Small Characterization
The Impedance or Thiele-Small measurement is designed to capture the complex impedance of studio monitors that are under test while delivers calculated electromechanical parameters. This will define the low-frequency performance of loudspeaker drivers. Impedance or Thiele-Small measurement may result to accurately describe the interactions between the monitor and the enclosure. Accurate interaction description is important to both speaker system design and to the production test as well.
When used, it is will result in the quick impedance problem detection. This is because once a system is designed any deviation that has been measured from the Thiele-Small results can identify defects quickly in its manufacturing or parts quality. This software also supports methods like the Known Mass, Known Volume which delivers accurate parameters and Added Mass which allows complete Thiele-Small Characterization even just for a single pass.
Waterfall and Polar Plots
The Waterfall and Polar Plots provide powerful visualization tools in order to understand electro-acoustic behavior better. There is the APx Waterfall Plot Utility which creates three-dimensional graphs that display multiple curves of data. The data can represent changes over time or the so-called frequency. The CSD or the Cumulative Spectral Display views are then available. It comes together with a variable FFT length, a number of slices and the samples per shift.
APx Waterfall Plot Utility works great when it comes to the studio monitor test because it displays response of loudspeakers as well as microphones relative to the position in a plane. This will support multiple brands of turntables for a full, semi or quarter circle and custom plots production.
The Quickest Way
You can use the APX-SW-SPK-PT option to facilitate high-speed production test of electro-acoustic devices. It provides key monitor measurements in just a single one-second sweep. With it, you do not have to test the speaker from the software above one-by-one. A single one-second sweep resulting to Rub and Buzz detection, Thiele-Small parameters, as well as impedance magnitude and phase.
The aid to detection air leaks is also provided by a proprietary modulated noise measurement.
Research and Development
To achieve a complete suite of measurements, the APX-SW-SPK-RD option is ideal. The results tailored to the needs of designers and engineers who are developing electro-acoustic audio products. This option is great for research and development as it includes key measurements and results such as the complete Thiele-Small characterization, time-gated and quasi-anechoic acoustic response, impedance analysis. Aside from that, the Loudspeaker Production Test measurement is also included.
The Bottom Line
Testing studio monitors in a quick way does not have to be weary. Audio Analyzers and software are the preferred choices by most music engineers and producer as it is great for designing and testing soundbars, pro-audio powered speakers and other products that integrate electronics and loudspeakers. Music enthusiasts are also using them for production test drivers as well as for reliable finished products.
The electro-acoustic test software options being mentioned above form a comprehensive solution when it comes to audio problems. It allows designers and production engineers to test electro-acoustic products in a flash.
With these, you can ensure quality sound from your mix even when separated by great distances.