REW Measurements for Room Correction Systems (YPAO, ARC, Audyssey etc) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 163 Old 10-21-2012, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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There is a lot of chatter about the effects of the room EQ systems, but not a lot of objective measurements. It would be nice to have a thread that corrects this.

So I'll get the ball rolling.

Here is Yamaha's YPAO running from an A3000 receiver. It was a six position multipoint measurement, main plus sub (not that YPAO has done much to the sub).



With Waterfalls:



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post #2 of 163 Old 10-21-2012, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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And here is Anthem ARC via an AVM40. Main + Sub 5K cutoff.



With Waterfalls:




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post #3 of 163 Old 10-21-2012, 09:40 PM
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Very interesting topic. Measured in the same space? Need to knock the gain on the sub down 5 or 10 dBA on the Yammy. ARC looks to do a bit better, but that roll-off starts pretty low, I'd rather see 5 kHz and above boosted.
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post #4 of 163 Old 10-21-2012, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Same space, different speakers and positioning. It's more to show what the different RC codecs do (or don't do) to whatever signal is presented.

I'd love to see some Audyssey, MCACC and Trinnov measurements from other folk.
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post #5 of 163 Old 10-21-2012, 10:08 PM
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What is your set up for measuring with REW and your rig?

I'm getting ready to tweak my new room for acoustics and then move on to RTA the system. The setup is a new 7.1 screening room and 2.0 edit suite. I'm running a MacPro + MOTU HD Express to send HDMI video & 8 channels of audio to a Yamaha RX-A1020, feeding (7) JBL Control 5 monitors and a BIC PL-200. My audio inputs are thru a Focusrite Saffire 40.

I'm still trying to figure out if I should run REW on a 2nd computer so I can eventually route the REW signal to any monitor in the room thru the Saffire Mix Controls, mainly because REW can not see or access any of my outboard I/Os..

I have been temporarily running with YPAO calibration in the untweaked room while I have been getting gear on line. Then once I have all acoustic treatments dialed in I figured I would start over and use REW to manually set up the surround .

My 2.0 mix is on a set of Yamaha NS-10m monitors and I won't doing anything with their signal chain, just straight out of the Mac and into a Hafler amp. Only 2.0 consideration is acoustical panels to controlling some early reflection points.

I'd love any advice for how to best use REW with my workflow/set up.

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post #6 of 163 Old 10-21-2012, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I use a Behringer ECM8000, M-Audio Mobile Pre USB and Mac Mini using Bootcamp. But again, the main thing isn't so much the accuracy of these particular measurements, but rather the effect of the codecs.

I suspect you'll get a better result using the manual EQ on the Yamaha rather than YPAO.
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post #7 of 163 Old 10-22-2012, 10:25 AM
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Here's some data for Audyssey MultEQ XT32:
http://mehlau.net/audio/multisub_multeq_xt32/

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post #8 of 163 Old 10-22-2012, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice results. I don't suppose you did full range measurements as well?
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post #9 of 163 Old 10-22-2012, 07:06 PM
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mine are buried somewhere in the audyssey pro thread, i'll see what i can dig up...

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post #10 of 163 Old 10-22-2012, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dodds View Post

And here is Anthem ARC via an AVM40. Main + Sub 5K cutoff.



With Waterfalls:





How do your measurements compare to the Anthem Quick Measure ones?

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post #11 of 163 Old 10-23-2012, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dodds View Post

Nice results. I don't suppose you did full range measurements as well?

I did but I'm not sure what you want to show?

Here'sre preamp out measurements showing the magnitude response of two exemplary MultEQ XT32 filters (L and sub):


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post #12 of 163 Old 10-23-2012, 10:28 AM
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Looks like the YPAO hardly does anything

Noah
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post #13 of 163 Old 10-23-2012, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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It did nothing to the sub, and applied a couple of broad filters elsewhere. The waterfall is hardly different as well.
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post #14 of 163 Old 10-23-2012, 08:57 PM
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Before



Audyssey XT32



Hand dialed parametric EQ



I used to be really anti Audyssey but the XT32 is 'ok'. It still doesn't deal with modal ringing as well as a hand dialed parametric EQ that is precisely set to match the room mode's Q. Done properly this approach kills the modal ringing. BIG problem with Audyssey IMO is that it messes up what your speakers are doing by trying to apply an arbitrary target curve to the measurement above the modal region. Really in this region (>250Hz) we are correcting the speaker's response NOT the rooms. And far better here to measure the speaker nearfield ('anechoic') as then one can not only accurately correct frequency response issues but also phase and group delay issues. If your speaker is corrected nice and flat once measured nearfield and the response looks horrible at the listening position then you have a badly designed speaker with poor off axis response consistency and the only real solution is to passively treat the room with acoustic treatment.

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post #15 of 163 Old 10-23-2012, 09:39 PM
 
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+1 a manual calibration is still best if you have a knowledgeable calibrator. None of the auto EQs do a better job with tuning a room. The only exception to this is Trinnov's remapping feature not its EQ. Calibrator's can't remap but if the system is set up well it is not needed.
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post #16 of 163 Old 10-24-2012, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

BIG problem with Audyssey IMO is that it messes up what your speakers are doing by trying to apply an arbitrary target curve to the measurement above the modal region. Really in this region (>250Hz) we are correcting the speaker's response NOT the rooms. And far better here to measure the speaker nearfield ('anechoic') as then one can not only accurately correct frequency response issues but also phase and group delay issues. If your speaker is corrected nice and flat once measured nearfield and the response looks horrible at the listening position then you have a badly designed speaker with poor off axis response consistency and the only real solution is to passively treat the room with acoustic treatment.

A lot of assumptions on how we perceive direct and reflected sound. There's simply not enough conclusive psychoacoustic data available to support authorative statements as to what is best. There are also uncertainties arising from the lack of proper standards in music production.

Markus

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post #17 of 163 Old 10-24-2012, 01:31 AM
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+1
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post #18 of 163 Old 10-24-2012, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

How do your measurements compare to the Anthem Quick Measure ones?

Pretty well actually, making allowances for different mics, slightly different positioning and different scaling of charts.

The 'after' results ARC shows are as wildly optimistic (if not flat-out deceptive) as those Audyssey shows, but the before charts seem pretty good and QM is better still because it uses one position.

I have to redo my room due to addition of treatments and can try and do a screen grab of Quick Measure v REW if you like.
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post #19 of 163 Old 10-24-2012, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

Before


Audyssey XT32


Hand dialed parametric EQ


I used to be really anti Audyssey but the XT32 is 'ok'. It still doesn't deal with modal ringing as well as a hand dialed parametric EQ that is precisely set to match the room mode's Q. Done properly this approach kills the modal ringing. BIG problem with Audyssey IMO is that it messes up what your speakers are doing by trying to apply an arbitrary target curve to the measurement above the modal region. Really in this region (>250Hz) we are correcting the speaker's response NOT the rooms. And far better here to measure the speaker nearfield ('anechoic') as then one can not only accurately correct frequency response issues but also phase and group delay issues. If your speaker is corrected nice and flat once measured nearfield and the response looks horrible at the listening position then you have a badly designed speaker with poor off axis response consistency and the only real solution is to passively treat the room with acoustic treatment.

Agree 100%.

When I had an Audyssey equipped prepro I (and my mic) liked what it did to the sub and the low bass, but not so much above that. The higher up the worse it sounded. At least I had a Denon and so coud choose not to use it on the mains.

Whilst I hope this thread remains a place for objective measurements so people can make their own decisions, I personally wouldn't pick an EQ system that cannot be restricted to a certain range.

That's why I don't have XT32 measurements to add.
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post #20 of 163 Old 10-24-2012, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

A lot of assumptions on how we perceive direct and reflected sound. There's simply not enough conclusive psychoacoustic data available to support authorative statements as to what is best. There are also uncertainties arising from the lack of proper standards in music production.

My opinion is of course based on my knowledge and experience.

IMO correction in the non modal region CAN work if one knows the anechioc speaker response, both direct, early reflection and sound power. Harman use such an approach in their JBL Synthesis line. But they have measured each speaker in the line and when when the correction runs it takes into account the speakers anechioc measurements when generating the correction filters...I also believe that correction can work if you have speakers with constant or at least constantly increasing directivity.

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post #21 of 163 Old 10-25-2012, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

IMO correction in the non modal region CAN work if one knows the anechioc speaker response, both direct, early reflection and sound power. Harman use such an approach in their JBL Synthesis line. But they have measured each speaker in the line and when when the correction runs it takes into account the speakers anechioc measurements when generating the correction filters...I also believe that correction can work if you have speakers with constant or at least constantly increasing directivity.

Even that is just a crude approach. Steady-state measurements are blind to the important properties of the sound field in acoustically small rooms, i.e. its reflection pattern. Reflection angle, level, spectrum, delay is more or less ignored. But even if we were able to measure this in a meaningful way, what would we do with that information? There's simply not enough psychoacoustic data to provide a good answer.

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post #22 of 163 Old 10-25-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dodds View Post

There is a lot of chatter about the effects of the room EQ systems, but not a lot of objective measurements.

David Rich on the Secrets site is an exception.

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post #23 of 163 Old 10-25-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dodds View Post

The 'after' results ARC shows are as wildly optimistic (if not flat-out deceptive) as those Audyssey shows, but the before charts seem pretty good and QM is better still because it uses one position.

Quick Measure is indended for nothing more than assisting in speaker positioning, especially the sub. Multiple measurement positions are required for effective room correction even if there's only one listening position, otherwise peaks and nulls in that position will affect results adversely.

I don't know whether you're comparing smoothed graphs to unsmoothed but Quick Measure displays an unsmoothed graph from one measurement position whereas the final ARC graphs are smoothed, and use the average as measured from from five to ten positions.

By design, ARC doesn't waste resources trying to fix narrow troughs that are inevitable in-room and likely to be inaudible, therefore the displayed final graphs - the green curves - are indeed representative of what'll be heard. If someone sends us an ARC file we can view the unsmoothed curves for each position from 5 Hz to 24 kHz but this info is not very useful compared to what ARC already shows and could very well be misinterpreted (smoothing helps retrieve information and reject noise but that's another story).

On and off, posters in the Anthem threads have questioned why we don't include a verification phase where the correction is on while the speakers are swept for a second round to see whether the final response matches the predicted correction. For one, we know that it does match and for another it would lead to some people becoming obsessive about small displayed differences which make no real-world difference while listening. In other words, it would be a waste of time.

To qualify that statement for readers I dug up some old ARC v2 results sent by jayray, a regular poster on the Anthem thread who has run practically every ARC beta from the last few years. In this beta version he stumbled on a bug where the correction was left on during sweeps. The result is shown in the second set of graphs below, the ones without green curves. The two sets of measurements were taken nine days apart so temperature, humidity, and pressure might account for minor deviations but note how closely the red measured graph in the second set matches the target and the green corrected graph in the first set. Clearly, ARC is doing everything that's intended of it here, and the intentions were determined through many years of research using many test subjects in blind listening tests, bad speakers, good speakers, bad rooms, good rooms, at Canada's NRC, in-house, and in the field. The conclusion was that this type of correction benefitted all scenarios.

As a reminder, these are ARC v2 results whereas we are on v3, the recommended correction range is still 5 kHz since the "omni" mic becomes progressively directional above that, and jayray has since moved his sub by about eight feet resulting in its in-room corrected response being ruler flat to 100 Hz. Results are posted by him somewhere in the Anthem D2v thread in case anyone is interested. The dip in response shown here at around 115 Hz in the center channel isn't fully corrected because by design there's a 6 dB boost limit at any one frequency - ARC doesn't stress speakers by trying to make them play something they can't or shouldn't play.





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post #24 of 163 Old 10-25-2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
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The waterfall is hardly different as well.

Waterfalls are pretty but often overrated because if the frequency response graph already shows a spike, it's already showing that there's a resonance.

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post #25 of 163 Old 10-25-2012, 01:07 PM
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Even that is just a crude approach. Steady-state measurements are blind to the important properties of the sound field in acoustically small rooms, i.e. its reflection pattern. Reflection angle, level, spectrum, delay is more or less ignored. But even if we were able to measure this in a meaningful way, what would we do with that information? There's simply not enough psychoacoustic data to provide a good answer.

I 'kind of' agree. You are right in what you say.

However...

If you know the anechoic response of the speaker - on axis, early reflections and sound power and you know what the response looks like at the listening position then you can make a pretty good guess at where to put correction filters. I agree it is not perfect but it MAY sound better than not using correction at all. Likewise if the speaker is well behaved off axis then correction MAY well improve things. Not everyone has great speakers and a well treated room.

There are many full range room correction systems. Some are more clever than others. Of course if you have very well designed speakers with nice off axis response, an appropriately treated room, then you may be better off with no correction.

Personally at this time I do not use or advocate use of full range correction. When I set up client's systems and they have Audyssey on their receivers I always turn it off. Anthem's ARC does good things in the bass but has some peculiarities in how it manages sub to mains crossover.

I think we will see some real advances in this area in the next few years.

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post #26 of 163 Old 10-26-2012, 03:52 AM
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First we would have to get a better understanding how humans perceive sound in acoustically small rooms, especially when that sound is radiated by loudspeakers.

You probably know Blackbird studios. One of their rooms is more or less one big diffusor. One of the effects is that first reflections are 30dB below the direct sound. From there it decays very smoothly. A common notion in acoustics is to reduce reflections by 25dB to make them inaudible. This is supported by quite a few psychoacoustic studies. Nonetheless they now use absorbers at first reflection points at Blackbird. How can that be?

D'Antonio asks "Why doesn’t the room sound anechoic with room reflections 30 dB below the direct sound?" in http://www.rpginc.com/docs%5CTechnology%5CPresentations%5CStudio%20Design%20From%20Mono2Surround.pdf
While his explanation sounds reasonable it's nothing more than conjecture. We obviously need to learn much more.

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post #27 of 163 Old 10-26-2012, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

First we would have to get a better understanding how humans perceive sound in acoustically small rooms, especially when that sound is radiated by loudspeakers.
You probably know Blackbird studios. One of their rooms is more or less one big diffusor. One of the effects is that first reflections are 30dB below the direct sound. From there it decays very smoothly. A common notion in acoustics is to reduce reflections by 25dB to make them inaudible. This is supported by quite a few psychoacoustic studies. Nonetheless they now use absorbers at first reflection points at Blackbird. How can that be?
D'Antonio asks "Why doesn’t the room sound anechoic with room reflections 30 dB below the direct sound?" in http://www.rpginc.com/docs%5CTechnology%5CPresentations%5CStudio%20Design%20From%20Mono2Surround.pdf
While his explanation sounds reasonable it's nothing more than conjecture. We obviously need to learn much more.

I agree with your points, though at some point one has to stop being theoretical and get practical. Not knowing enough about the psychoacoustics of reflections as you say does not stop people building studios that integrate different approaches of dealing with reflections. Nor I think should our lack of a complete understanding of psychoacoustics stop us from experimenting with different approaches to DRC. In the end the only real way to be sure about anything is to physically implement whatever the theories are and see if they work in practice. It is not as if the consequences of implementing DRC in a system are life and death (though hanging around on the audio forums you might consider it is judging by some people's attitudes!). I mean even with clinical drugs no one really knows what will happen the first time a compound is put into a human. Got to try it to see.

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post #28 of 163 Old 10-26-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

I think we will see some real advances in this area in the next few years.

Some would argue that those advances are here now in the form of Trinnov and DiraLive.

Do you have any experience with either?

Trinnov is very pricey but there's a standalone 8-ch Dirac box for ~$2k that's supposed to be out right about now.

Noah
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post #29 of 163 Old 10-26-2012, 11:48 AM
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Some would argue that those advances have arrived in the form of Trinnov and DiracLive.
Do you have any experience with either?
Trinnov is very pricey but there's a standalone 8-ch Dirac box for ~$2k that's supposed to be out right about now.

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post #30 of 163 Old 10-27-2012, 08:53 PM
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Have used Trinnov and at some point will likely become a dealer...their stuff definitely works...got to get my demo room up and running first...when it's done you should visit Noah!

Dirac have not had a chance yet to use in anger...afaik it's only in Datasat and Theta processors?

Also check out Realsoundlab CONEQ...a very interesting approach...sound power correction

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