Very interesting read. Thanks Jason.
Often however, it seems to be an ego thing with engineers to think they can tune or ring out a system without using measurement or spectrum tools. I've actually seen engineers ringing out feedback "by ear" calling off frequencies to people (with me with an audio spectrum analyzer on my phone watching) and most of the time they are off. And what is the result of this error? Equalization in the wrong frequencies and more times than not, excess equalization as they are on the wrong frequency.
The nice thing with the X32 is the parametric on your mix busses (monitor sends). Using a spectrum analyzer with a fine resolution you can get the EXACT frequency and notch it on the parametric. You aren't going to do that by ear.
I've also seen musicians criticizing the engineer for using a spectrum analyzer to ring out a system, "Dude, you can't do that by ear?". I simply respond with, "Do you tune with a guitar tuner? Thought so.".
Don't be "that guy" whos ego gets in the way. Use the tools. There is nothing wrong with it. Your system will sound better, you'll tune your system faster and have a happy customer.
Last edited by Jason Grooms; 06-20-2013 at 09:07 AM.
Again thanks Jason. You've given much read and to think about.
What would you suggest for a portable spectrum tool, and inexpensive training to be able to interpret what you see and adjust accordingly? Currently I'm just using the DEQ2496 RTA and knotching for feedback control on my analog rig. When the X32 Rack is available, I'm wanting to be able to step up a few knotches in proper EQing. But after looking at some of the spectrum tools, it is clear that I need training to be able to use them. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.
Formal training would be the best answer. I'm lucky and am in driving distance to Los Angeles, San Francisco or Las Vegas so my options are good. I was lucky and caught a SMAART training class in Las Vegas. Was a great opportunity. Meyers Sound also has formal training. Check out these sites:
As far as tools go, I use SMAART v7.0 and Audio Tools on my iPad/iPhone. Pretty much does what I need.
But for simple feedback identification any spectrum analyzer would probably work for you.
I did have a look at the class schedules for the SMAART 7. The closest one is in Chicago (which I don't particularly like - same with Detroit). Maybe I should tell my wife I need to go to Paris to take this course (that won't fly).
I did watch their introductory YouTube videos and had a look at SMAART. But the price is beyond my reach at this point. You also mentioned Audio Tools. They also have it for the Android platform ($8.24) and looks very interesting. It does have more than the RTA Pro that I currently use. Do you find the Audio Tools adequate for what you had described previously?
Because of limited setup time (typically 2 hours - at best) and space (small to medium sized venues - halls, gyms, some outdoors), and the accoustic quality (poor to average at best) of the venues, I'm limited to how much correction I can actually do. But with the X32 Rack, the actual setup time requirement should drop dramatically. That frees up some more time for proper EQing. That along with the multiple parametric and graphic EQs built in the X32, I do want to move beyond the simple feedback control scenario I find myself currently in. So this transition is the right time to learn to do it right.
Paul, we use both Audio Tools on the iPad/iPhone as well as a laptop with SMAART 7. SMAART is much more comprehensive than Audio Tools, however, if you are ringing monitors and having a problem with the 1 frequency Audio Tools is a great product. As far as good user friendly apps Audio Tools is great. If you really want to get to the nitty gritty of the of the situation you can't beat SMAART 7.
That's my two Canadian Nickles worth. Now get back to work and clean up that mix young man...
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