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RTA


wmcalin

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Hi Folks

 

Hope you guys can point me in the right direction, I'm thinking of purchasing an RTA

Really want to try to keep things simple, just need the RTA to give me good starting point with room EQ hopefully this will reduce setup time would be also be really handy to use when the room starts to fill up with bods. Currently using OHM TRS 4 tops and same for bottoms. I've heared good comments about EAW's Smaart but I think this might be over the top for me.

 

Just wondered what you guys are using out there, any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

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Well, SMAART is an excellent programme and, for any serious work, it's the sort of thing you need. However, it does take some reading and practice to get the best from it...and it's not cheap.

 

At totally the other end of the spectrum, why not download the Allen & Heath RTA HERE. It's simple to use and, since the download is free, the price is definitely right. For the basic uses you mention, it might do the job. (It used to be a fiver or something to convert the trial to permanent but, if I read the site correctly, they've even waived this token amount.)

 

Anyhow, give it a try.

 

Bob

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That's how the are usually used. Most RTA's have a Pink noise generator built into them.

 

If you are looking for a cheaper option, look at the Samson D1500. When you link it with the Samson D2500 it automatically sets the closest flat EQ using the graphic EQ digitally when in RTA mode. You can connect them via midi or a digital interface card.

 

Edit - Spelling.

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To be brutally honest here,

 

If you have no need for Smaart then you also have no need for an RTA or seemingly the knowledge to use it correctly. As a simple RTA is timeblind you can end up trying to correct a "problem" area with eq when its not a problem that eq can really solve e.g room reflections phasing problems and so if you then use it to eq for a "flat" response you end up with a bad sounding rig. I'd suggest you do a little more reading on the topic and also learn to trust your ears as they usually lot faster than getting out a measurement mic and rta as in order to even make a half decent job of it you need to measure in several places round the room not just at your foh position and even then you need to fine tune to ear with some tracks you know well anyway. Either learn to use a dual channel fft package like smaart or just walk the room listening to your system and dont waste the money on an RTA.

 

Charlie

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To be brutally honest here,

 

If you have no need for Smaart then you also have no need for an RTA or seemingly the knowledge to use it correctly. As a simple RTA is timeblind you can end up trying to correct a "problem" area with eq when its not a problem that eq can really solve e.g room reflections phasing problems and so if you then use it to eq for a "flat" response you end up with a bad sounding rig. I'd suggest you do a little more reading on the topic and also learn to trust your ears as they usually lot faster than getting out a measurement mic and rta as in order to even make a half decent job of it you need to measure in several places round the room not just at your foh position and even then you need to fine tune to ear with some tracks you know well anyway. Either learn to use a dual channel fft package like smaart or just walk the room listening to your system and dont waste the money on an RTA.

 

Charlie

 

Agreed.

(I forgot to raise some of the issues here :()

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At totally the other end of the spectrum, why not download the Allen & Heath RTA HERE. It's simple to use and, since the download is free, the price is definitely right. For the basic uses you mention, it might do the job.

 

If you want to have a go with the A&H RTA on windows vista, you might have to right click and run as administrator so that it installs correctly. When I tried to install it by normal means I was faced by a barrage of errors :)

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Unless you know what the limitations of an RTA actually are then DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY BUYING ONE.

 

I'm with Charlie on this one...

 

Many years ago a friend bought a (cheap) graphic / pink noise / RTA box. We used it to eq the sound system, and it sounded dire. We didn't understand why this was, but knew we'd followed the instructions to the letter.

 

Fifteen years later I came across the original JBL Smaart, and discovered why a (so called) real time analyser doesn't measure time....

 

Put simply, most of the two channel FFT systems (Smaart etc.) will use a broadband signal (e.g pink noise) but split it into two channels. One is the reference, the other goes through the system under test. Once time synchronisation between the two channels is established, a transfer function is made of one channel against the other.

From the time domain data, frequency domain and phase data can be extracted and displayed. It's also possible to carry out impulse response measurements which allows precise arrival time data to be determined.

 

However, it does take a little time and knowledge to know what you are measuring and to know the difference between meaningful data and nice looking coloured lines on a computer screen. It's worth spending some extra cash and going to one of the Rational Acoustics Smaart training classes too.

 

Simon

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Meyer also run some good classes/seminars which are free as well. Thye gon into the whole analysis thing using their SIM 3 setup but most of the theory and techniques are valid for any analysis platform. The next UK ones are on 6th and 7th of April in Manchester I don't know if any places are left but just go to here to register. A warning for those with little or 0 knowledge this one is fairly advanced. I'll see anyone who goes there.

 

Charlie

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Unless you know what the limitations of an RTA actually are then DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY BUYING ONE.

I'm with you 100%, but don't forget there are some uses for a cheap plastic RTA. They are certainly useful for finding feedback frequencies for those blessed with better eyesight than hearing...

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Many thanks for the info, I appreciate this is a complex subject.

I've just booked a training session with d&b..

d&b trains you on products they don't make? Take the free Meyer SIM class, or take the Rational Acoustics Smaart class, both will teach you how to interpret the measurements from a dual FFT analyzer.

 

Mac

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