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Know For Sure What You Are Hearing & What Your System Can Do.
Drew's How Much
Are You Hearing Of your Music?
Test Tone Generator Tutorial
Test & Tune Your Sound Path –
Your PC/Amp To Your Speakers To Your Room/Car To Your Ears
.

The Test Tone Generator Is An Added Option Of The Advanced Editor Version Only.
How much are you hearing of your music? Are your computer speakers reproducing all the way down to 20hz or even down to 100Hz? You might be surprised.

Is there anything coming into your room above 16,000Hz or even 10,000Hz? Now you can know. Now you'll hear it for yourself. Now you can decide about that subwoofer. Now you can determine the best speaker placement. It really does matter.

Now you can see if you still do hear 16,000Hz, 14,000hz, or even 12,000hz in your room, in your car or with headphones. Now you can actually set presets in your EQ to give you music that's actually flat for you, custom sculptured to your room, to your headphones or in your car.

Or, you can separately equalize CDs and MP3s for the environment you're going to play them in. Now you really can have custom sculptured sound for the specific environment you are going to listen in. And you can know how to custom taylor the sound to what your ears actually hear.

Not A Medical Device - There are all sorts of laws about testing people's hearing. We aren't doing that here. I'm not an audiologist. So do your tests and enjoy, but if you've got a problem, see a doctor.

The DAK Test Tone Generator turns your PC into a full function professional tone generator and gives you the power to validate, test and tune your audio systems. You can simply play the tones for testing or record them in groups and burn them to CDs for testing away from your computer.

You can plug a mic into your computer and measure different parts of your room, or you can simply listen to determine what you can and cannot hear. So you can test from your computer or amp to the speakers, to the room to your ear. Now you really can determine what you are hearing and what you're not.

You Can Do So Much. Here are a few examples:

Podcasters and recording studios can put reference tones before the content you send out.

Tune instruments. 442Hz is what orchestras normally tune to.

Left/Right Calibration Are all your connections correct? Is Right, Right and Left, Left? Are the left and right channels equal?

Do simple quick room evaluations testing a range of generated frequencies.

Compare speakers fast and easy. Which really is best?

Compare MP3 files to Wav files. How good is MP3 really?

Position subwoofers. Aim speakers. Near a wall will give you the most bass. Is it doing what you want? Measure it as you move the subwoofer. It's amazing what 6" can do. I love the deep, deep bass. If you do too, try moving your computer's subwoofer toward the wall. You'll be amazed how much the standing wave can affect your deep bass.

Important Turn Down The Sound BEFORE YOU START Caution:
Not all frequencies can be heard on all systems. So always start with 1000Hz which you can hear. Always reduce volume before beginning to avoid damage.

Don't turn up frequencies you can't hear. Likely your system is reproducing them and if you turn them up you can cause damage or injury. All the frequencies that are generated are simply part of your music. So don't worry. But, if you can't hear the frequencies, you might turn them up loud enough to cause damage. Don't do it. Start with 1000Hz, then run all the frequencies you want at about the same volume. Remember, all real tests are run at -20VU which gives the best overall response.

Click To See Tuning Your Room Below.

Click To See What Frequencies Do You Hear Through Headphones?

Click To See The Actual Frequency Ranges Of The Instruments You Listen To.

You Can Instantly Generate Any Test Tone You Need.
This easy to use but super powerful Test Tone Generator will let you generate precision test tones to test your computer, stereo, headsets and even what you hear coming through your speakers and headphones.


Nothing Hard To Do. Just Generate Tones.
All You do is 1st turn down the volume and then click the play button. If you have a nice clear, low volume 1000Hz tone, you're ready to go.

Arrow 1.) Type in Any Frequency you want to use for testing. Always use 1000hz at a low level 1st.

Arrow 2.) Click Play to start the test tone.

Arrow 3.) Click Stop to stop the tone.

Arrow 4.) Click Default if you've used the Plus or Minus 10db level buttons. Otherwise it will always be set to Default.

Arrow 5.) Decrease the volume output of the Test Tone Generator by 10db. The Generator must be stopped to use this button.

Arrow 6.) Increase the volume output of the Test Tone Generator by 10db. The Generator must be stopped to use this button.

Arrow 7.) Choose Sine Wave for all test tone frequency tests. Choose Pink Noise or White Nose for full frequency spectrum bandwidth tests.


Important Concept.
For Internet Recording.
Volume Matters - Which Should You Use?
For listening to and recording any type of Streaming Audio Internet Recording or Test Tone you have 3 different volume controls that you have to coordinate. This is something most people never think about, but it's important or it won't work.

To listen to and or record from the Test Tone Generator or Internet, you have to be aware of the coordination between the volume you have set using your Windows Sound Card, and the volume you have set on your Speakers.

You see if you set your sound card volume low and your speakers high, then you won't be generating enough volume for DAK's (or any) Recorders to record successfully. So, it's best to turn up your computer's volume a bit and turn down your speaker volume so that you have enough sound level playing in your computer.

But that's not all.

Then you want to be sure that your wave volume, (that's the power of the actual music being played from the Test Tone Generator or the Internet) is also set high enough to record. So, don't worry, it's no big deal, I'm going to show you how to do it right here. Just be aware that you need to do this and you'll be ahead of 99% of all computer users.

OK Let's See How To Do It.

Arrow 1.) Arrow 1 is shown for both XP and Vista, After you click Once on the little speaker Icon below it, gives you control of the output volume of your computer. Set it to about 1/2 or a bit more and then set your speakers so the volume is a bit on the low side, then use the Windows Slider (1) to adjust your volume from then on and you'll be all set. Of course you can experiment and see if with your sound card it should be more or less, but mostly 1/2 or a bit more for fairly soft volume should do it.

Arrow 2.) This is the volume control for your speakers. After you've set the computer volume, just use this so it's low normal and usually control volume form the computer from now on.

This couldn't be easier to do, but it does need to be done.
 
OK Now onto setting the Wave Level which is the incoming sound from the Internet.


Volume Matters - XP Source Play Setting
Arrow 1.) This is the speaker icon you use to control your volume to your speakers. But if you Double Click the speaker icon you'll get the Windows Mixer Window like I've shown above. Sure yours might have different names, but it will do the same thing. The Window is Windows, the names are from your sound card.

Arrow 2.) Play control is just a duplicate of the output volume control you set when you click the little speaker icon one time. So, you really don't have to do anything with it here.

Arrow 3.) Wave Volume is what you want to adjust. I'd set it AT LEAST HALF WAY UP and maybe even three quarters of the way up if you don't see enough waves or meter segments when you start recording.

That's it, now you know how to set your levels for Internet recording in XP.


Volume Matters - Vista Source Play Setting.
This is your Vista Volume Mixer. This is part of Vista, so you will have it. Yours might look a bit different because your sound card and the Internet source you are playing will determine the actual sliders that you'll see and the names of the sliders themselves. Vista will give you an added slider each time you open a program that produces audio. What it's called is determined by your sound card and what you open.

Arrow 1.)
After you click on the speaker icon in your tray you'll get the system output volume as normal. Click on the Mixer Link I've shown hear to open the Vista Volume Mixer.

Arrow 2.) This slider didn't exist till I tuned in an Internet Radio Broadcast. As soon as I did, I got this slider and I set it to about 3/4 on my computer because that's what it took when I started recording to see enough signal.

Now you know all you need to know to set your levels for recording Internet Audio.


Tune The Orchestra?

Arrow 1.) 440 or 442 is A for tuning an orchestra. You can choose any test tone you want. If you want 446 just type it in. There are no presets, choose any tone you need.


Testing Your System's Low End.
I'd probably start at 500Hz, then 250Hz, 125Hz and then,

Arrow 1.) Here I'm testing 64Hz. This is a lower tone than you probably think and hopefully your speakers will reproduce it.


30Hz Hooray

Arrow 1.) Here I'm testing 30Hz. If you hear this then you have good speakers and probably a subwoofer. You can also check 20Hz, but most computer speakers won't even get close. If you hear this well, or even 40Hz you will still have very pleasing bass.


Up, Up and Away For Clarity.
The crisp clear highs are really what makes your music sound crisp and alive. I'd start at 1000Hz of course, but then I'd test 2,000Hz, 4,000Hz and
Arrow 1.) Here I'm testing 8000Hz. There are lots of speakers that will barely handle this so it's a good starting point for the high end. You really want to be able to have speakers that reproduce higher than this. I'm just warning you that you may or may not have them connected to your computer.


More Clarity Please

Arrow 1.) OK, I'd test 10,000Hz and then on to 12,000Hz. This is starting to be the high end. If you can hear this you're probably not too unhappy with your sound. But there's still more to go.


?

Arrow 1.) I know that none of us think 14,000Hz is really a very good high end goal. But in the days of cassettes, realistically, this was about as good as it got. With CDs we can go much higher, but 14,000Hz is higher than you'd think if you just listen to manufacturer's specs. Onward.


High End, Finally.

Arrow 1.) Here I'm testing 16,000Hz. This is really the upper high end. EQs normally don't have sliders above this level and for all practical purposes this is all you really need. If your speakers or headphones are great and if your hearing is that of a 20-30 year old, then you'll hear this. And feel free to go on to 17,000Hz and even 18,000Hz at which point most computers will start to attenuate the frequencies.

Remember don't be turning up the output here because even though your speakers and your ears aren't hearing this, your computer and circuitry is. So don't turn up the level. You're not going to hear this anyway

Pink & White Noise Too.
OK Pink Noise and White Noise contain all frequencies in the audio spectrum. You can choose to play either with the DAK Test Tone Generator. What you'll hear will sound like radio static or a rushing sound. What you need to use Pink and White Noise is a spectrum analyzer. If you have an Physical EQ with one, great. Just plug a mic into it and go.

If not, you can get a SPL Meter at Radio Shack, or if you open the DAK USB recorder and set it to playback sound and plug a mic into your computer you'll get a pretty good idea of what's going on. Our display is sort of an analyzer, but it's more geared to overall volume, but if it's the best you've got, use it. The top two elements don't activate for this, so don't worry, but it does a pretty good job in a pinch.

Arrow 1.) Just open this pull down box and choose Pink Noise or White Noise and click the Play button.

Now you know how easy it is to run all the tests you ever want to run. It's amazing just how powerful the DAK Test Tone Generator is and how much you can learn so you can tune and validate your audio systems and all you hear.


Here's a handy chart that you can use to identify instruments that you usually listen to. You can use the DAK Test Tone Generator to replicate these frequencies so you see how you actually hear them through your amp/computer to your speakers to your ears.
What Do You Hear Through Headphones?
First, turn down the volume control. And, always begin with the 1000Hz tone that the Test Tone Generator opens with as default. Remember never loud so we don't hurt anything.

Start the DAK's Test Tone Generator. You'll hear the 1,000hz Tone. Raise the volume to low normal. But keep it low. All professional audio tests are done at –20db or it's not a good test anyway. Higher volume gives poorer results so virtually all frequency tests of equipment are run at -20VU

OK now just start increasing by 1000Hz till you can't hear it any more. That's where the headphones or your hearing is falling down. Remember this isn't a medical test. And also to be fair, most headphones probably have better capabilities than our ears, but the music you will hear is a combination of your headphones and your ears so this is a fair test.

Anyway, work your way up to 16,000hz or so. Just stop when you can't hear the tone any longer.
Then do the same thing going from 500Hz to 205Hz to 12hhz to 64hz, 40hz and lower if you can still hear the tone.

Now you know what parts of your music you are hearing and which you are not. Now you can use an equalizer to slide up the frequencies you aren't hearing (a plug for our EQ). Or, simply know what limits there are. As we age, we for sure lose the abilities to hear high frequencies. We can use equalizers to correct for some or all of it. But I think it's best to know, one way or the other what we are actually hearing and what we're not.


How 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 either.


 
A few last things that I want to mention.

I love having a Test Tone Generator. I built one as a kit years ago and I still have it. Of course at DAK we've had professional generators with print outs and graphics that are suitable for framing and great for meetings. But this little generator does all I need and it's so super easy to use I'll just bet you have a ball playing with it and learn a ton about frequencies along the way.


Enjoy. . . Drew


Tutorial Review Please.
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