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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am totally new to REW and have not even downloaded the program to my new laptop (HP Windows 7). I have a few very basic questions and any help would be much appreciated. I also have to point out I am not the swiftest with a computer as well:eek:.

My system consists of Ascend Sierra-1 LCR speakers, Def Tech BPvx surrounds, Outlaw LFM-1 Plus sub, Onkyo 886, Parasound 2100 (for 2 CH using the HT Bypass) and Boston Acoustics A7200 amp.

1. Is there a link here on the Shack that lists what is needed to get up and running with REW? I am totally clueless with all of this so the very basics would be needed:)!

2. Can REW be used with my 886 using the onboard EQ? I have only used Audyssey so I have no experience with using the manual EQ. Or would an outboard EQ be better so I can then be able to use the EQ with the 2100?

3. If an outboard EQ is the best alternative what are the best choices as far as least amount of impact on SQ (noise and distortion)?

Thanks in advance for any help:)!

Bill
 

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2. Can REW be used with my 886 using the onboard EQ? I have only used Audyssey so I have no experience with using the manual EQ.
It’s not clear from your post if you’re interested in full-range or subwoofer equalization, or both.

How well the on-board EQ will work will depend on the capabilities of whatever version of Audyssey your receiver has. If it’s a fully automatic version that has no provisions for the user to tweak the adjustments, then all REW is going to do for you is let you see before and after graphs, to determine how well Audyssey worked. Naturally, if the on-board is adjustable, REW can help get the most from it


Or would an outboard EQ be better so I can then be able to use the EQ with the 2100?
Again, that will depend on the capabilities of the particular version of Audyssey your receiver has. I understand the advanced versions can do a pretty impressive job. If you have one of the lower-tiered versions, outboard EQ can do a better job.


3. If an outboard EQ is the best alternative what are the best choices as far as least amount of impact on SQ (noise and distortion)?
As noted, it’s not entirely clear if you’re talking about equalizing full-range or your subwoofer. For subs, noise and distortion is not critical, which is why the low-end Behringer BFD is so popular. For full range use, you want a top-quality equalizer. If you’re looking for a parametric (recommended), Rane’s older analog PE17 and the Symetrix 551 or 552 models are suitable for full range. If you prefer 1/3-octave graphic, then I’d recommend another older model, the AudioControl C-131. Digital is also an option; some people have an aversion to inserting a AD /DA conversion in their signal chain, but the Yamaha YDP2006 digital parametric is quieter and cleaner than any analog EQ I’ve ever used. There’s also a 1/3-octave version of this equalizer.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The sticky thread at the top, Room EQ Wizard (REW) Information Index, includes links to the REW Connection and Cabling Basics. You can also find there an Online copy of the Helpfile, if you find that more usable than starting REW and accessing the helpfile on your laptop.
Bill,

Thanks for the advice! I will read through the links and see if it is something I will be able to handle. From what I have read REW has a little bit of a learning curve but once you do it a few times it becomes much easier. Thanks again:).

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It’s not clear from your post if you’re interested in full-range or subwoofer equalization, or both.
I would be more interested in a full range EQ.

How well the on-board EQ will work will depend on the capabilities of whatever version of Audyssey your reiver has.Again, that will depend on the capabilities of the particular version of Audyssey your receiver has. I understand the advanced versions can do a pretty impressive job. If you have one of the lower-tiered versions, outboard EQ can do a better job. If it’s a fully automatic version that has no provisions for the user to tweak the adjustments, then all REW is going to do for you is let you see before and after graphs, to determine how well Audyssey worked. Naturally, if the on-board is adjustable, REW can help get the most from it.
The 886 has MultEQ XT which is the most advanced version of Audyssey other than Audyssey Pro. The 886 is Pro capable but I'm not sure if I want to go that route.

As noted, it’s not entirely clear if you’re talking about equalizing full-range or your subwoofer. For subs, noise and distortion is not critical, which is why the low-end Behringer BFD is so popular. For full range use, you want a top-quality equalizer. If you’re looking for a parametric (recommended), Rane’s older analog PE17 and the Symetrix 551 or 552 models are suitable for full range. If you prefer 1/3-octave graphic, then I’d recommend another older model, the AudioControl C-131. Digital is also an option; some people have an aversion to inserting a AD /DA conversion in their signal chain, but the Yamaha YDP2006 digital parametric is quieter and cleaner than any analog EQ I’ve ever used. There’s also a 1/3-octave version of this equalizer.
I would hope to EQ full range if possible. If Audyssey MultiEQ XT has the capabilities to do a full range EQ then that is the route I would like to take. But maybe an outboard parametric would be a better choice. It is a lot of information for me to wrap my head around:).

When you say full range would that encompass all speakers in a 5.1 setup?

Thank you for your time!

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I have been reading the REW Help guide and I have been starting to grasp it somewhat:). I have a very basic (stupid?) question about calibrating the soundcard I bought (Sound Blaster X-Fi 5.1). I am assuming you connect a USB cable between the soundcard and my laptop, correct?

I see mention of an optional loopback connection. I am just taking measurements for my sub to get my feet wet before buying a BFD or other type of sub EQ (SMS-1 or Anti-Mode 8003). So will a loopback connection be required for just taking measurements from my sub?

I am sure I will think of other questions but I will start with the basics:). Thanks in advance for any advice for a complete REW noob.

Bill
 

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Welcome to the Forum, Bill!

Yes, the USB cable connects to your computer. The loopback cable is only required during the soundcard calibration routine. After that it is removed, and those same connections will then be utilized for the measurements. The SPL meter (assuming that’s what you’re using) will plug into the input, and the output will go to your AVR receiver, or perhaps the subwoofer directly (your choice).

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome to the Forum, Bill!

Yes, the USB cable connects to your computer. The loopback cable is only required during the soundcard calibration routine. After that it is removed, and those same connections will then be utilized for the measurements. The SPL meter (assuming that’s what you’re using) will plug into the input, and the output will go to your AVR receiver, or perhaps the subwoofer directly (your choice).

Regards,
Wayne
Wayne,

Thanks for your help:)! I appreciate your patience as I know my questions are very basic. A few more questions if you do not mind. Having never used a soundcard I must load the program for the soundcard on to my laptop using the setup disc, is this correct? Also to measure my sub can I use the test tone for setting the subs level with my prepro or do I need a calibration disc? Thanks again!

Bill
 

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Having never used a soundcard I must load the program for the soundcard on to my laptop using the setup disc, is this correct?
Yes, most sound cards have drivers that must be loaded. There might also be some updated drivers from the manufacturer’s website as well.

Also to measure my sub can I use the test tone for setting the subs level with my prepro or do I need a calibration disc?
The REW program provides the necessary test tones.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wayne,

Thanks for your response :). Another question though. How do I get calibration files for the RS 33-4050 to my laptop so I can input them into REW? I am able to open the calibration file with no problem but I am lost on how I should import them to REW (Word etc.???).

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The file is loaded in REW's "Settings" window, "Mic/Meter" tab. You'll find the "Browse" command there to upload the calibration file. Look for the calibration file in our "Downloads" thread.

Regards,
Wayne
Wayne,

Once again thanks :)! It worked like a charm so now I will be ready. I was totally in the dark when I first starting reading about REW here. With the Help tutorials and the help here I feel that I can actually ultilize REW. Without this help I would have just bought something like the SVS AS-EQ1 or the Anti-Mode 8033. Now I have to start reading up on the BFD 1124P :D.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I am trying to calibrate the sound card and I have hit a brick wall :(. I am following the Help guide but I am just not understanding many of the settings. Both the output and input volumes are grayed out so I can not adjust them. I am confused by the many settings and trying different ones do not change anything. I just do not understand where I am supposed to adjust the volume. Use the volume on the sound card or the volume of the laptops speakers?

On my intial measurement I got a decent calibration but I decided to try it again. Now everytime I get "Very Low Signal" at -78.3dBFS when it should be at least -10dBFS. I thought I might do well with this but I have to say it is way above my head. I'm sure it is a few simple settings but I am not that gifted with computers but I would really like to make this work.

Just to be clear I am trying to calibrate the sound card without everything connected to the SPL meter or my system (on break at work). Is this wrong should I have everything connected as if doing a in room calibration. Any help would be much appreciated :).

Bill
 

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What sound card are you using? If it’s an outboard sound card, did you make sure it was compatible with your operating system before buying it?


Both the output and input volumes are grayed out so I can not adjust them.
Did you select the sound card in the dropdown Input and Output windows? Select “Speaker” for output and “Line In” for input?

Is the loopback cable in place?


Regards,
Wayne
 

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... Both the output and input volumes are grayed out so I can not adjust them. ...
As Wayne suggests, the behavior depends on the operating system, sadly. On my Windows Vista system, the volume controls in REW are grayed out, but the controls in the Windows Control Panel --> Sound device properties work just fine. That is still with a built-in soundcard; with an external soundcard you might need to adjust the gain controls on the box itself.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

What sound card are you using? If it’s an outboard sound card, did you make sure it was compatible with your operating system before buying it?
I have a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi with a HP Laptop running Windows 7. The setup for the sound card went well with no issues.

Did you select the sound card in the dropdown Input and Output windows? Select “Speaker” for output and “Line In” for input?
For Output device I selected: Speakers (SB X-Fi Surround 5.1) with the default output. For the Input Device I selected: Line-in/Mic-in (SB X-Fi Surround 5.1) with the default input.

Output Device and Output: (drop down options)----- Input Device and Input: (drop down options)

Default Device----- Default Device
Primary Sound Driver----- Primary Sound Capture Driver
Speakers (SB X-Fi Surround 5.1)----- Line In/Mic In (SB X-Fi)
Speakers (Realtek)----- Microphone (Realtek)
SPDIF-Out (SB X-Fi)----- Stereo Mix (Realtek)
Java Sound Audio Engine----- What U Hear (SB X-Fi )

Sample Rate: 48 kHz Input Channel: set on Right Use Left Channel as Calibration: not checked

I tried each and every option and the Output, Input and Wave volume levels are always grayed out.

Is the loopback cable in place?
Yes. Using just the Right channel.

I am able to bring up my first calibration which I saved. Can you recalibrate the sound card again without deleteing the initial calibration? What I really do not understand is the first Help prompt at the bottom that says to "Set the Output Device and Input Device to Default Device to use the devices........" What I do not understand is why does it suggest the default setting when I thought (as you suggest) to set it to the soundcard and not to default. I am very confused.

Thank you once again for your help!

Bill
 

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Have you tried going into the Windows Control Panel --> Sound and setting the Creative Soundblaster as the default Playback and default Recording device? "Default device" in REW should direct it to use whatever is configured as the default in Windows.

I suspect it is a Windows Vista/Window 7 feature that is causing the Input and Wave volume level boxes to always be disabled. But I have only two data points, I see them on my XP box and they are disabled on my Vista system.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As Wayne suggests, the behavior depends on the operating system, sadly. On my Windows Vista system, the volume controls in REW are grayed out, but the controls in the Windows Control Panel --> Sound device properties work just fine. That is still with a built-in soundcard; with an external soundcard you might need to adjust the gain controls on the box itself.

Bill
Hi Bill,

Thanks for your advice :). I am sure it is total user error on my part. At first I could get the volume level of the soundcard to show up on the monitor but now it does not. I am going to pack it in for today and maybe try to hook everything up tomorrow and do a calibration with my sub. I really would like to figure this out but I think it would take someone that has done it to show me what I am doing wrong. Anybody in the Boston, S. Maine or So. NH area want to help a down on his luck REW newbie :D?

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well my persistance paid off :)! I was checking all type of settings I have never seen before then I hit the jackpot. The volume level for the sound card was disabled. So I enabled it and was then able to raise the volume and calibrate the sound card :D. I have a nice flat calibration measurement for the sound card.

But when I check to see if the calibration has been successful that measurement drops off rapidly at about 80Hz and goes off the chart at about 800Hz. I'm sure it is a setting off some where but I'm very happy I was able to calibrate the sound card correctly (I think :)). I will only be taking measurements for my sub anyhow. So hopefully I will be able to calibrate my sub tomorrow without as much difficulty as I did with the sound card. Thanks again to Wayne and Bill for your help :).

Quick question. I was so happy to get the sound card calibrated I did it about five times and saved them all. Should I delete all of them and just save one or does it matter?

Bill
 
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