Fine Tunes #2 Page 2
Whew, I'm glad that's over with. Even though I'll continue concentrating on things you can do for free, here's some computer software that can help you out:
You might try Visual Ears for Windows, $89 from KB Acoustics, P.O. Box 50206, Eugene, OR 97405, Tel: (541) 935-7022. You'll move simulated speakers and a listening chair around your simulated listening room, looking for best performance.
The left-hand screen in Visual Ears for Windows allows you to drag an drop your loudspeakers and your listening chair around a rectangular room, while the right-hand screens instantaneously show the effect on standing waves (top) and boundary reflections (bottom).
Then there's ETF (Energy Time Frequency), an application that works with a PC, a sound card, and a microphone. You record a test signal played through your system and let ETF analyze the data for you. You'll get information regarding room-related frequency response, room resonances, early reflections, late reflections, comb filtering, and lots more. The software will set you back $199.95, plus a sound card and an appropriate mike.
Next month we'll look into larger listening areas (such as my own loft space), and placement strategies for irregularly shaped rooms. Hint: This is where walking around clapping your hands (while no one's looking) can pay big dividends. And we'll take a look at toe-in and find out whether your speakers will sound their best cross-eyed or locked into a thousand-yard stare.