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Old 02-04-11, 05:38 PM   #1
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Question Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


I've read through the various guides and a number of threads here, but most of the guides are a few years old, and it seems that the computer and audio industry both change quite a lot in that time span.

So now that it's 2011 and REW5 is out, what are people recommending from a hardware perspective to take good, full range measurements? It'd be helpful to have a baseline hardware configuration along with links that new users could simply follow to get a supported setup up and running without too much hassle or guesswork. Even more helpful would be a good/better/best configuration matrix to fit various needs and budgets.

Would anybody mind posting what you are currently using for mic, sound, mic amp (if necessary), and/or MIDI interface (for BFD control) with REW5?

The List so far

Microphones
SPL Meters
Pre-amps
External Sound Cards
External Sound Card + MIDI + Pre-Amp


Last edited by luma; 02-11-11 at 07:45 AM..

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Old 02-04-11, 07:24 PM   #2
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Re: Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


The mic question is easy. Go to http://www.cross-spectrum.com/ and pick up a calibrated mic. Many people use the Behringer ECM8000. There is also the Dayton Audio EMM-6.


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Old 02-04-11, 09:32 PM   #3
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Re: Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


Here's a question - when using one of the mini-mixers as a preamp, it has all sorts of EQ controls. How do we account for adjustments made there? That is, can we be sure that pointing all the knobs at 12 o`clock will actually be flat? It seems like this could throw the calibration straight off unless the whole thing could be manually defeated.


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Old 02-04-11, 10:42 PM   #4
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Don
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Re: Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


Great thread luma. Just what I was looking for. Newbie into the sound measurement game. Trying to read and digest as much info as I can. Right now I have two questions.

1. What is the difference between the CM-140 SPL and the RS SPL that a lot of people are using?

2. Is there a need for an SPL if one has a microphone?


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Old 02-05-11, 05:00 AM   #5
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Re: Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


Quote:
donnymac wrote: View Post
1. What is the difference between the CM-140 SPL and the RS SPL that a lot of people are using?
More repeatable and much better above 3kHz

Quote:
2. Is there a need for an SPL if one has a microphone?
Only to tell REW what the level is when calibrating its SPL meter, but you could just make a guess and use that.


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Old 02-05-11, 05:01 AM   #6
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Re: Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


Quote:
luma wrote: View Post
Here's a question - when using one of the mini-mixers as a preamp, it has all sorts of EQ controls. How do we account for adjustments made there? That is, can we be sure that pointing all the knobs at 12 o`clock will actually be flat? It seems like this could throw the calibration straight off unless the whole thing could be manually defeated.
Best way is to include the mixer in the soundcard calibration loop to calibrate any deviations out. You can also just make a loopback measurement of the mixer and see how flat (or not) it is.


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Old 02-05-11, 10:20 AM   #7
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Re: Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


I talked to the owner of Cross Spectrum lab, and his recommendation, after selling generating calibration files and selling many units of each was to get the Dayton. Though it does not come in as nice a storage box, or have as nice a clip, the microphones he's tested produced more linear results more consistently (that is, from unit to unit) than the Behringers, and there is less mike to mike variation on the Daytons than the Behringer. His take was the Dayton was the better mike, though the accessories were not as quite as nice. I bought the Dayton on that recommendation, along with the calibration files, and mine has turned out to be very linear and work very well with REW.


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Old 02-07-11, 10:01 PM   #8
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Re: Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


It seems that the SB Live! 24-bit don't work too well in Win 7 (lack of newer drivers). As this is the defacto OS for 2011 (), I would recommend SB X-Fi Surround instead.

BTW, an analog version of the Radio Shack SPL meter still does fine and gives user a cheaper alternative to the Galaxy. One caveat though - this SPL meter not ideal for full range


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Old 02-08-11, 11:57 AM   #9
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Re: Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


I recommend one of the following...

The calibrated ECM8000 from Cross Spectrum Labs and an M-Audio Fast Track Pro

or

The calibrated Galaxy CM-140 from Cross Spectrum Labs and a Behringer UCA202 ($29.99 off Amazon).

I own both setups. Both work great with REW and are extremely accurate.

doug.


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Old 02-08-11, 12:08 PM   #10
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Don
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Re: Current REW5 hardware recommendation?


Okay so if you use the ECM8000 you still need an SPL meter. If you use the calibrated CM-140 you don't need a separate mic. So what is the difference in accuracy between the CM-140 and the ECM8000.


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