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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bruce,

I know you are pretty familiar with the mobilepre and I was wondering if you could help me with the initial loopback test. I have read so many methods that my head is about to explode :gah:

Would this be the correct method for making the calibration file?

1.) Connect channel 1 out to channel 2 in, using the 1/4" connections for the loopback

2.) Use a mono 1/4" to RCA adaptor to get from the MobilePre 1/4" output to the input of the processor.

3.) Use "Y" adaptor to feed both channels of the processor with the mono out from the MobilePre

Is there any advantage to splitting the signal to use 2 RCA inputs vs just using one? Which line-out would I use (1 or 2) once I make the calibration file? I would assume CH1 but that is the L-channel and from what I've read you do not use that one.

Thanks for the help in advance!

-Jonathan
 

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I know you are pretty familiar with the mobilepre
Not in the least. I simply downloaded the manual and read it.

Would this be the correct method for making the calibration file?
No, the soundcard calibration is carried out with a single loopback cable installed on the channel you want to calibrate. So, assuming the Right channel corresponds to Channel 2 on the soundcard, then install a 1/4" TS phone cable from line-out 2 to line-in 2 and do your calibration. Do a quick measure once the soundcard cal is saved in REW to be sure you get a flat line measurement result, then remove that loopback cable.

Now, use that calibrated channel for REW measurements. Channel 1 will never be used.

When you feed the channel 2 signal to your receiver (after the soundcard cal is complete), then you can use a splitter at the receiver to feed the left and right CD or AUX input.

brucek
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Bruce, I really can't tell you how much I appreciate the response. I did read the manual several times and how you said to calibrate it is how I did it. I found a post over at HTguide from another user that was preaching to calibrate the mobilepre the above method I posted so it confused me.

I was also confused about splitting the signal and if it was really necessary or not. Is there any benefit to splitting it or not?

Thank you again!
 

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So to check just the center channel
No, you can't check the center channel or any other speakers than the mains and sub. The REW signal is mono, and so, the soundfields to direct signals to other than the mains or sub will not do their job.

If you want to check other speakers, then you need to disconnect a main and substitute the center speaker for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Bruce: I got a good calibration file tonight (slight dip in the upper range but acceptable) and the output is -8db with the right speaker calibrated right at -8 db as well. When I create the cal file it says I have about 5db in the headroom. Everything is in the acceptable range according to the REW guide and I calibrated my MIC to my SPL meter. When I run a measurement it is telling me there is a low signal level detected -60 or -59db. I am also getting the same when I go to "check levels." I am running my Onkyo 805 receiver at -20 DB (0 is reference) and I am scared to go much louder because it seems pretty loud when running the sweep.

I am running a 1/4" stereo plug at the Mobilepre line-out that I calibrated to red/white rca ends and have it going into a stereo y-cable at the receiver to split the signal.

Can you offer some guidance as to what the issue could be? I can take some pictures if needed.

Thanks.
 

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it is telling me there is a low signal level detected -60 or -59db. I am also getting the same when I go to "check levels
Well, we know the line-out and line-in and level adjustments work fine, since the soundcard cal is good. You removed the loopback and hopefully are using that channel for the hookup from the mic and to the receiver.
We know that the line-out to the receiver is fine, since you hear the signal.
So, all that's left is the SPL meter and the cable from the meter to the line-in. Check the meter by plugging it into the receivers CD in, and talk into it - it's a microphone.

I am running my Onkyo 805 receiver at -20 DB (0 is reference) and I am scared to go much louder because it seems pretty loud when running the sweep.
Well, the level you are suppose to set, is 75dBSPL at the listening position, using the 80dB dial position on the RS meter (if that's the type you have). If you're checking the subwoofer, disconnect the mains, and be sure to use the Subwoofer test signal. 75dB is not loud...

brucek
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Almost there bruce. I had the gain knob on the mobilepre set to around 7:00 and that was the problem. If I bump it up to around the 12:00 position the levels check out to be ok around -12db (I assume this is acceptable) with a headroom of around 1.1db.

I have 2 more questions and I can stop bugging you :)

1.) I do have a Radio shack meter and I have it setup on my tripod and I put it on 80 and upped my receiver's volume until it read 80db on the RS meter. I had my ECM8000 directly beside the RS meter and dialed that into the REW. Does that mean from now on when I do my measurements I should use -21.5db on my receiver which is where the RS meter registered 80db?

2.) In order to get an acceptable calibration file I have to keep the gain knob on the mobilepre set on channel 2 (what I am using for my line-in, line-out, and MIC) around the 7:00-8:00 position or I get clipping. In order to get a valid sweep measurement I have to up the gain on the mobilepre to around the 12:00 position or it tells me my levels are way too low. When I up the gain knob during the calibration portion it changes the right channel's volume meter. Is it going to interfere with the calibration in any way if I up the gain knob from what I did the calibration with? It would seem you would have to use all the exact settings for measurements sweeps with how you created the initial calibration.

When I go to my windows/mobilepre settings there is no way to change just the MIC strength, it is grayed out in my windows control panel which I assume is because I am not using a standard microphone that goes into a 1/8" jack. I can up the output and input but they are set on max already.

Can't thank you enough for the help. I think I am making this out harder then it needs to be but I just want to make sure before I start testing.

-Jonathan
 

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1.) I do have a Radio shack meter and I have it setup on my tripod and I put it on 80 and upped my receiver's volume until it read 80db on the RS meter. I had my ECM8000 directly beside the RS meter and dialed that into the REW. Does that mean from now on when I do my measurements I should use -21.5db on my receiver which is where the RS meter registered 80db?
No, every time you use REW, you have to go through the Check Levels routine, etc, and set the level at the ECM8000 mic area with the RS meter. It only takes a second.

BTW, set the level to 75dBSPL at the listening position - not 80dBSPL.

Is that going to interfere with the calibration in any way since it was calibrated for the 7:00 position on the gain knob or does it not matter?
Matters not. The soundcard calibration routine was carried out to get the saved soundcard cal file. Once that's saved, that's it. Now all the levels are set with the mic plugged into the mic-in, with the line-out to the receiver, and with the levels set using the Check Levels routine.

When I go to my windows/mobilepre settings there is no way to change just the MIC strength, it is grayed out in my windows control panel
Yeah, it looks like the Mobile pre doesn't have a mic level adjust. It simply has a single level knob that controls the digital output level to the PC. That should suffice. As long as REW see a decent input level, you're fine.

brucek
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Perfect, I am good to go now :) I think these questions may help others that bought the mobilepre because they seem common across other forums and here time to time.

Graphs to follow tomorrow and you da man Bruce! :D
 

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Good.....

Oh yeah, in one of my posts above, I didn't remember that you had an ECM and so I said, 'So, all that's left is the SPL meter and the cable from the meter to the line-in. Check the meter by plugging it into the receivers CD in, and talk into it - it's a microphone..

Of course, that doesn't apply here because you're using an ECM. The ECM plugs into the mic-in and the SPL meter is only used to set a rough 75dB near the ECM when setting up the Check Levels.... but you knew that. :)

brucek
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Alright Bruce.. After testing today I have another question :coocoo:

So I have 4 home theater chairs, 2 on a back platform riser and 2 in the front on carpet but they are all centered in spaced accordingly. My question is in order to get readings from all 4 chairs I have to adjust the gain on the mobilepre's channel 2 input (what control the mic volume) and the headroom is different each time I measure. If I do not adjust the gain then it either says the db is too low or the signal is clipping.

My question is isn't that going to cause inaccurate results DB/SPL wise? If the gain is not consistent across the board for each seat then how do you know which seat may be in a null without testing influnces? It would seem to me by calibrating each seat to 75db inside REW from my RS meter reading that would solve this problem but apparently it does not. If I change the sweep level from -8db to -12db it will still complain about clipping at times so I wasn't sure if I should go much lower/higher in the given circumstance.

Here is the graph I came up with for all 4 chairs with 1/3 smoothing enabled (not sure if I needed to enable this or not because the graph was extremely hard to read without it.) Something doesn't seem right to me because I know for a fact the red line has a huge null under 50hz based on you can barely feel the bass in that seat.


 

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If I do not adjust the gain then it either says the db is too low or the signal is clipping.
Yep, very time you move the mic, you'll need to run Check Levels routine, especially if it clips the signal.. It only takes a second.

The objective is to take a reading, and get a relative response plot. If it happens to be at 72dB or 79dB, it matters not. That doesn't change the response for that position. If there's a null, then it will show a null.

If you want to compare responses against another for 'absolute' level, then you would need to be as accurate as possible in the Check Levels routine to set it to 75dBSPL. Even then, realize if the new position you move to has a huge peak within the bandwidth of the pink noise test signal, then the 75dB will be different. The best method of checking different positions is to concentrate on the relative response rather than the absolute level.

Take your multiple readings and examine them on the All Measured tab.

Your biggest problem is that you are using a poor scale. Use the standard of vertical = 45dB-105dB and a horizontal of 15Hz-whatever you want.

Then pick a spot on the various measured lines and adjust all the lines to overlay at that frequency (i.e. 1000Hz), using the Trace Offset feature. You have to select each line and adjust the Trace to overlay them. Now you can see where the nulls and peaks are in relation to other lines.

brucek
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Bruce: When you say "run check levels routine" you mean just to verify the signal is not too weak or too strong to clip? I wouldn't be changing any actual settings within the application other then the gain on my mobilepre correct?

Does it matter what the headroom is for each seat (is there a certain DB +- I should try to stay within for each seating position?)

I will be ready to write a "Room EQ Wizard Setup for Complete Morons" article pretty soon :D
 

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When you say "run check levels routine" you mean just to verify the signal is not too weak or too strong to clip?
Yes, whenever you move the mic, the level that it receives can change, and so the REW input level would be different (higher or lower). It only takes a second to run the Check level routine and the Calibrate routine to ensure it's still all OK.

Does it matter what the headroom is for each seat
Absolutely not. It only matters if it clips, or it's too low. So, if it is, you have to run the Check Level routine and Calibrate to 75dB.

Again, the concern is that the relative level is fine, not the absolute level.

brucek
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Man, every time I think I have this figured out something new pops up. I did exactly what you said, read the help file in the little box explaining to calibrate levels and I put my Onkyo receiver on -10db (0 is reference) and I used the sweep level DB to calibrate the signal to 75db on my RS meter which ends up being -22db on the sweep adjustment. I calibrated my mic so it is -24db (a value recommended in the help file) and everything looks great the output number on top is -9.7 with the bottom -22 and the right channel is between -13 and -11 on top and -23 on the bottom. The LEFT channel is measuring -68 on top and -81 on bottom (is this normal since I have the signal split so I can measure both my mains, or should it be the same output as my right channel?)

I calibrated my spl using the meter to 75db and run a measurement and it runs out of headroom after about 2 seconds into the signal. I went back and adjusted all the values to meet what the help file said with the MIC and there is no way to stay within the set parameters it wants me to in order to get a valid sweep measurement (I have to turn the gain knob down on my mobilepre almost all the way)

When I go to Make a Measurement>Check Levels it comes back Level ok -16.9DB and then it runs the sweep and goes 0.0 out of headroom.

What am I doing wrong Bruce :(
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ah, I think I may of figured it out. I was calibrating the MIC based on the number on the bottom, not the top.. I think that is the problem.

Question still stands on the right channel, should it be registering louder during the check levels or no?
 

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the little box explaining to calibrate levels and I put my Onkyo receiver on -10db (0 is reference) and I used the sweep level DB to calibrate the signal to 75db on my RS meter which ends up being -22db on the sweep adjustment.
No, it doesn't really say that. It says to set the sweep level at -12dB and adjust your receivers volume control to set the level to 75dBSPL at the listening position.

The sweep level is not touched unless by some strange situation that you couldn't turn your receiver volume control up high enough to get a 75dBSPL reading - would never occur.

Since you're measuring full range, and not just a sub, be sure to use the Mains speaker test signal and not the Sub signal.

Once the 75dBSPL is reached, adjust (in your case), the level knob on the soundcard to be about -12dB to -18dB on the input VU meter.

Then run the Calibrate routine.

Measure with a sweep from 0-20KHz (if you want full range).

brucek
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No, it doesn't really say that. It says to set the sweep level at -12dB and adjust your receivers volume control to set the level to 75dBSPL at the listening position.

The sweep level is not touched unless by some strange situation that you couldn't turn your receiver volume control up high enough to get a 75dBSPL reading - would never occur.

Since you're measuring full range, and not just a sub, be sure to use the Mains speaker test signal and not the Sub signal.

Once the 75dBSPL is reached, adjust (in your case), the level knob on the soundcard to be about -12dB to -18dB on the input VU meter.

Then run the Calibrate routine.

Measure with a sweep from 0-20KHz (if you want full range).
brucek
:hissyfit:

Ok, sweep level -12db I used my onkyo to get it to 75db no problem, that is not an issue at all. I am definitely using the main speaker test signal and I am watching the VU Meter for the Right Channel. The top number is registering -12db and dipping down into the 13's at time. No problem there, everything SHOULD be good based on what you are telling me and the help file. I run the "check levels" it tells me it is high -10.8db. I dropped it down to -18DB on the right channel same thing, it tells me the signal is too high. I set it to -23DB and it comes back registering Level OK -16.2DB in green. I click start measure and it pegs the meter 0.0 headroom in red saying it clipped.

The only thing I can think of is maybe my radioshack meter is messed up and giving me an inaccurate reading to 75DB which is causing this problem. I don't get why REW is telling me the signal is ok to measure at -16.2DB and then runs out of headroom on the MIC when it tries to measure. Should the MIC calibration file be loaded during all of this configuring of the levels or no? I have the soundcard cal and the mic cal both running when I am setting the levels.

Start FREQ HZ is 0 and End Freq is 20,000.
 
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