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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I just got back into using CARA (Computer Aided Room Acoustics) more and more for work and home. I originally just used it for speaker placement and got good at that, but now I'm trying to experiment more and more with room treatments, pre-build design, and the like.

The original CARA forums are shut down and if they moved anywhere, I can't seem to find them.

So I figured I would start a thread here for people to ask for advice, debugging, or how to interpret results. We are well "indexed" on google, so anyone else looking for CARA help can join up and participate.

Finally, I hate Mega-threads, so this is really an experiment. If it turns out a lot of people start asking questions about CARA, we can ask Sonnie for our own forum :daydream:

For all I know, there might only be four of us who use the thing!

Any thoughts on the program or experiences to share? I'll start:

Pros:
Powerful program, correlates well with observed measurements, models most wall and floor treatments, nice speaker library (including dipoles), cheap

Cons:
Steep learning curve, garbage in/garbage out, some results hard to interpret, large room calculations take hours to calculate (even on good computers)

Links:
Rhintek: http://www.rhintek.com/cara/cara21desc.php
CARA Homepage: http://www.cara.de/ENU/index.html
 

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I used to use CARA quite a bit, and still do on occation. I find it's decent for estimating reverb and decay, but not so good at positioning. Even doing a simple room with very many iterations often show some pretty inaccurate results. I LOVE the auralization (or whatever they called it, the preview samples). That give you a good estimate of what got better.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, I had the opposite results with placement. I spend several hours one day moving my sub through 20 positions running an REW sweep and repeating to choose the proper one. Did similar things with my mains, but with only about 6 positions each. Found the best places for all.

Then I got CARA about a month later and built a model of the room. Wouldn't you know, it picked the EXACT places I found experimentally. Since it was my first time, it took about the same about of time (2 hours or so), but with much less back breaking effort to move a 100 lb sub around :)

Now I have a dipole sub, which has been more of a challenge to model. I think I'm going to have to make my own fat panel and tweak its FR to match (even though it's a cone sub).
 

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I have used CARA as well. I just wanted to use it for sub placement, but when I built my room and ran the placement within the boundries I suggested, it had the subwoofer in the front third of the room, several feet from the front and side walls, and on a 45 degree angle to the seating. There was no way my wife was going to let me get away with that.. :whistling:

Awesome program though. Very fun to experient with. Still have troubles setting my speaker properties correctly.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Proving that they are still supporting this product, there is an update to both the 3d graphics DLL and CAD executable.

The CAD executable fixes a really annoying bug when you try to add speakers. The 3d graphics module made panning in a complex room much faster. Also, remember to make sure you have hardware acceleration on, if you graphics card is worth its salt. By default it is not on.

Also, there are more materials and a couple of stock absorbers available for download. Remember to add your furniture. My room was supposedly too ringy in the midrange (but I did not observe this). Added the couches and things looked pretty good (which is closer to what I've observed).

Downloads are here:
http://www.cara.de/ENU/patches.html

Materials and absorbers are available on the same site.
 

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Yes, thanks for the information about the patch. It has been quite a while since they've done anything with the program and I figured it was heading to be an abandoned product. On another note, has anyone installed this on Microsoft Vista? I've had problems with other older products and was just curious to have any information before I do the installation.

Thanks

Bob
 

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Yeah, me too! I'm installing it right now.
Actually... I'm not... :crying:

My CARA program disc is gone... :rubeyes: I've probably left it on my desk or something sometime. I have the other two, the training disc and the test disc. Anybody care to send me a zipped copy of the contents? :praying:
I realize maybe I'm violating some copyright rule on the forum here now :shh: , but I do own the software. I have the package and everything but the important program disc... :dontknow:
 

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It is not a problem if you actually own it.

We would be happy to host a forum for them if it is a popular enough program and the CARA owners are willing to work something out.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Discussion Starter #12
< runs upstairs to check on my disc and license code >

< runs downstairs to computer > whew! :)

Maverick, you have a PM, but I would contact the CARA folks directly. If you have your license code (which you would need anyways), they would probably send you a disc for the cost of shipping. I've had this happen with other software and usually the companies are pretty friendly about it. Most of the cost is in the license and not the packaging/discs/etc.
 

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It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure I've never entered any license code for CARA. I have the normal three-disc jewel case with a manual, the program disc (used to), a 59 track test disc and the training CD. There's also a registration form which I never used (yeah, I know....).

I've looked EVERYWHERE.... :scratchhead: This is annoying! :hissyfit:


This is what came in my box, in addition to the CARA disc:





 

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That's weird. Is your case the same as well? I have absolutely no recollection of any license. I have also moved my install several times between laptops and desktop PC's with no issues. I'll try to find out what the guy who sold it to me is called. The distributor for CARA in Norway is a single guy, not a company.
 

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Anthony , gooday . I have cara , have had it for years never worked out how to use it . If i can get enough info i would certainly use it . Kind regards . Alan .
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Alan, welcome to the thread. :)

I am definitely not an expert, but among all of here should be enough help to get you started. First off, the help files (at least in my 2.2 version) are fantastic as to getting you started. The CAD program could use a little refinement, but for the most part is pretty easy to pick up.

Did you have any specific questions? My advice would be to start with one of their default rectangle rooms and just play around in the CAD editor. Get a feel for how to drag things around, resize things, add textures, etc. I understand it can get a bit confusing (especially since some options are available on one tab and not another even though they are similar).

Definitely get the patches, though. It fixes a very annoying bug regarding loading speakers. Sometimes mine would crash altogether (with any changes I had made).
 

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That's weird. Is your case the same as well? I have absolutely no recollection of any license. I have also moved my install several times between laptops and desktop PC's with no issues. I'll try to find out what the guy who sold it to me is called. The distributor for CARA in Norway is a single guy, not a company.
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner but no, my case looks completely different. Perhaps the changes in the case included a change in the usage of a license number. I can't remember how long ago I bought it but if I had to guess, probably 2.5 years. I'll try and post a picture later.

Bob
 
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