To Tune Your Room.
| Testing your room is really easier than you think. Since we
don't have an anechoic chamber, what we have to test is your computer room, den,
living room or car, so close is all we really need. And this is good because you
listen in your room, the real world so that's where we really want to text. Not
in some lab that has no relevance to your actual listening conditions.
You see, you'll have odd angles formed by furniture or room design. You'll have
either a 'hard' room (lots of hard surfaces) which enhances high frequencies or
lots of drapes and carpets that enhance bass and depresses highs.
So let's see if we can tune your room using just an ordinary microphone you have
at home, your computer and DAK's Test Tone Generator. You'll be amazed how close
you can get and how easy it is to do. It's easy. First, connect a mic to the pink
input jack of your computer. Launch the DAK wave editor or any recorder that has
input level metering like you see with waves in the editor.
Then put the mic facing your speakers where you normally sit. Play a 1000hz tone.
Remember always use 1000hz first to set your levels so you can get the volume
set properly. And don't make it loud. All testing is done at –20db because at
0db you don't get nearly as good results.
Then let's check 500hz, 250hz, 125hz, 64hz and 40hz. Did you hear each one? Without
adjusting the input level of the editor at all, did the level of the waves change?
Here's a tip. You can say what you are testing each time to give you a recorded
reference, like, "This is 64hz".
If you do have a drop-off, you can use an equalizer to make the correction, or
replace the speakers. Plus what's really important is, Do you hear the sounds?
So you have a double test going on. What does the system say you are getting and
what do you hear yourself.
Then do the same with the high frequencies. Test 2,000Hz, 4,000hz, 8,000Hz, 12,000hz,
14,000hz and 16,000hz. Again, what did the test results with the editor show and
what did you hear.
Now you know how easy it is to tune your room. You might be surprised by how different
the results will be if you move the mic to another location in the room. And for
the bass only, move the subwoofer or the cabinet with the woofers in it toward
the wall and you'll see how the bass changes. It really can be substantial. If
you have too much bass move the speaker away from the wall. If not enough, move
it to the wall.
For high frequencies all you can do is aim the speakers directly at your listening
position. High frequencies are very directional and if you're off axis at all,
you'll lose clarity and definition really fast.
Now you know how to do a quick, easy room test. Now you know what frequencies
you heard and which ones you didn't. And all these tones are really part of your
music. So, if you don't hear the tones, you aren't hearing that part of your music