Application Practicum: System Alignment

The System Alignment Practicum is the practicum included with the majority of 3-day Smaart Training Class sessions.  This practicum examines the application of Smaart in the “real world” pro-audio task of sound system evaluation and alignment.  Specifically, it focuses on the implementation of the information presented in the Smaart Operator Fundamentals class –Smaart’s measurement capabilities, control parameters, data reading and measurement rig configuration skills – in the process of aligning simple and multi-channel sound systems. It presents the use of Smaart in a methodical process of evaluating and adjusting the individual system components, and the subsequent combination of multiple subsystems into a multi-channel / distributed sound system. Throughout this alignment practicum, the session seeks to reinforce the necessary collaboration of measurement and listening skills.

Topics Covered (but not limited to):

Fundamental Sound System Alignment Concepts

  • Goals and context of sound system alignment decisions
  • Overview of a systematic process for approaching sound system alignment
  • System design requirements for “alignability”

Anatomy of a Smaart measurement rig

  • IO devices
  • Microphones overview – type, variance, calibration and performance evaluation
  • Typical connection scenarios and basic rig troubleshooting

Measurement Position Choice and Microphone Placement

  • Measurement position selection – choosing our system alignment decision points
  • Microphone placement and coping with boundary conditions (e.g. ground bounce)
  • Single vs. Multiple position

Measuring and Tuning an Individual Speaker System

  • Determining proper loudspeaker operation – near field measurements
  • Evaluating loudspeaker coverage
  • Measuring and adjusting speaker response in coverage area

Extension of Coverage: the Addition of Fill and Delay Systems

  • Alignment checklist for each system – Freq. Response, Level, Delay and Polarity
  • LTC: Level – Time – Combine, a systematic process for combining systems
  • The 5-minute delay: a quick procedure for setting initial delay system parameters

Subwoofer Mania

  • The curious issues involved in measuring sub woofers in the “real world”
  • Timing the crossover between main systems and subs
  • Cardioid subwoofer arrays – controlling / steering sub energy

Smaart Application Practicum requires the prior attendance of a Smaart Operator Fundamentals course. Students who wish to attend the Practicum course but do not meet this pre-requisite must obtain Instructor/session Host approval prior to registration.This session does not require prior measurement / system alignment experience, however it does assume a working knowledge of professional sound system engineering practices and basic audio fundamentals. If you have any questions concerning course prerequisites, please do not hesitate to contact Rational Acoustics prior to registration.