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Recommended gear and software

Good Morning. Some of you know that I sold a huge pile of gear and XO parts thinking it was time to exit the hobby. Well....... a couple of years later.... and I need to replace the gear and software. Looking for recommendations.

I have WinPCD and VitiuxCAD running on Windows 10 and Office 365. I'm not inclined to build a dedicated platform to support Jeff B.'s spreadsheets as they age - though I was quite comfortable with them. I can work with WinPCD a bit, and with box design in VitiuxCAD, but have explored that no further.

Q1 and Q2. What will Jeff's spreadsheets do that is missing in the above software? How would you recommend I close those gaps?

Q3. WT3 got to be useless on later Windows and machines. What are your recommendations for T/S measures that will work well with Windows 10.

Q4. Any alternatives to Omnimic you would recommend for acoustic measurements?

Thank you so much!




  • Hi Maynard!

    I like XSim, but I also use WinPCD to confirm things sometimes. I've been looking at VitiuxCAD, but still need to take it for a test flight.

    ARTA & LIMP will do for most of your measurements. I've only used it a few times to get T/S parameters, but I know a few folks around here use it for that.

    I just found my old copy of Office Home & Student 2007. FRD Response Blender seems to run fine with that on Win 10.

    I've been happy with my Cross Spectrum calibrated mic. Simple XLR type, so I have an Audient interface to get it into the computer.

  • edited February 20

    Hi Maynardg,
    There's a couple recent threads that I have done some show and tell on my measurement setup here:

    Q1, Q2 I really don't think there's anything in Jeff's spreadsheets that can't be done in VituixCAD, it'll do everything that those old spreadsheets do including everything you're currently doing in WinPCD.

    Q3, Q4 For acoustic and electrical measurements I use an ARTA jig, see the threads above. ARTA can do a lot for free, license is about USD$100 which will unlock the ability to save impulse response files, also the developer deserves it, it's pretty good software. Saving these files is not only convenient to avoid remeasuring anything you've already done just to reprocess, but the impulse response files can be loaded into VituixCAD for bulk processing of all the off-axis measurements at once.

    Omnimic is great for certain tasks, but for speaker design the full 2 channel measurement capability of ARTA is a huge benefit, determining "z offset" will be a thing of the past. I use a Dayton EMM-6, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have another known good mic to calibrate it against, as the calibration provided by Dayton is just bunk noise. So if you don't have another known good calibrated mic, I recommend literally any other calibrated XLR microphone for use with the ARTA jig.

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • edited February 20

    Q1 and Q2: Jeff did release version 8 of PCD that is supposed to work better with Windows 10 and Excel 2016. I’ve found that almost all of Jeff’s programs work well in Windows 10 if you install the 32 bit version of Office instead of the 64 bit version. I still like PCD, but the fixed crossover schematic does have limitations.

    Q3. I’ve used DATS V2 for years without a hiccup. The current version is V3 and has a few more features. Others prefer to build a jig and use LIMP (part of the ARTA package). Personal preference.

    Q4. Both ARTA and REW (free) are widely used. REW supports both single and dual channel measurements. I use REW and am very happy with it. Like dcibel said, it really comes down to choosing a single or dual channel measurement system. If you plan on using Vituix I would highly recommend a dual channel system because many of Vituix’s features assume dual channel measurements. If you decide on a single channel system then I’d recommend REW (single channel mode) or Omnimic for measurements and XSim or PCD for crossover design. And I use Cross Spectrum mic.

  • For the dual channel measurements, looks like a xlr mic is required - no go for usb ones?

    any recommendations for mics? Cross spectrum has only the minisdp usb mics in stock (which i already own).

  • USB mics are problematic for dual channel measurements where phase is important. In a single channel measurement you're going to make a minimum phase version so it doesn't really matter. Here's a snippet from the REW help file:

    " Long sweeps may be problematic when the input and output are on different devices, such as when using a USB mic, as their sample clock rates will differ. Over a long sweep a significant difference in clock rates could cause severe distortions in the shape of the impulse response and affect the phase response. "

    REW does have a special option for USB mics called an "acoustic timing reference". I've never used it so I can't say how effective it is.

    I think Cross Spectrum will still calibrate the EMM-6 if you buy it from PE and mail it to Cross Spectrum. I'd call them and check it out. I do know Cross Spectrum quit calibrating the ECM-8000 because the newer ones were all over the map.

  • edited February 20

    Just for clarify - REW isn't a true 2 channel measurement system, the reference channel is used for timing reference only, where true 2 channel software like ARTA or SoundEasy will compensate for any non-linearity of anything prior to the reference probe which has additional benefits, like being able to add in a protection cap without any effect on measured response. REW will work, but is not the best solution.

    @ani_101 I though we went over this in another thread of yours. Something about Holmimpulse and it's questionable reliability of timing lock? USB is single channel input, so where does the reference channel come from? XLR mic is required so you can plug into one channel of an audio interface and use the other channel for a reference input of the electrical signal going to the speaker. In order to keep timing references exact between the measurement and reference channels, the same audio device should be used for both, which will ensure not even 1 sample error between the channels.

    There's lots of options for mics, I couldn't tell you which is "best", but what is "cheapest" appears to be from Sonarworks:

    There's also Beyerdynamic MM1, Audix TM1Plus, Earthworks has several options, NTI has several options, B&K, Audiomatica Clio mic, Neumann MA 1,

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • I mostly use Omnimic and XSim these days with LIMP for impedance files. Sometimes I'll bust out the ARTA setup - I do really like the ARTA display of THD as a percentage. If I was 10 years younger I'd probably learn Vituix.

    Don, Donno, or "Hey you" all work for me, But never "Mr Johnson"
  • Thanks Ed, Decibel.

    I am planning to build the two channel, amp powered measurement jig for limp, but as i mentioned, i only have two usb microphones, one dayton, one minidsp clibrated by cross sprectrum. Was looking for a good option for phantom powered xlr.

    Thanks for the clarification on the usb microphone on it's unsuitability for 2 channel measurement. I'll check out the sonarworks and also check with cross spectrum

  • Thanks, Everyone. I’ll work with VitiuxCad and do some more reading. I did not really get along that well with the Omnimc software. Looks like maybe ARTA. We’ll see.

  • @maynardg said:
    Thanks, Everyone. I’ll work with VitiuxCad and do some more reading. I did not really get along that well with the Omnimc software. Looks like maybe ARTA. We’ll see.

    Charlie Laub wrote up a getting started guide for ARTA that really helped me. It's a PDF, and I probably have it if you need it.

    Don, Donno, or "Hey you" all work for me, But never "Mr Johnson"
  • Hi Maynard,

    Don’t throw out that WT3 just yet!

    You can use DATS V2 software with it in Windows.

    You’ll need to download the software-

    And setup as below (read last page) V2 Quick Start.pdf

    Works for me.

  • My Windows 10 PC that it...

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