When calibrating should I point the SPL meter towards the speaker

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason Bell, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. Jason Bell

    Jason Bell Stunt Coordinator

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    Should I point the meter towards the speaker that the pink noise is coming from or just leave it pointed towards the TV. The way I have it right now is the SPL meter on a tripod in my seating position pointing forward. When calibrating the surrounds it makes a huge difference if the meter is pointing forward or pointing at the surrounds. Which should I do, Forward or towards each individual source? Thanks
     
  2. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Video essentials says to hold it in an upright angle pointed towards the cieling slightly towards the front. I would say adjust it till the display is perpendicular to the floor since it is angled slightly downward.

    It might be a 45degree angle or so.
     
  3. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Jason,

    Do you turn toward a speaker every time sounds come out of it when watching a movie? If not (like most of us I suspect) then I would do as Jeff stated above. Calibrate the speakers from a single location since that is where you will be sitting.

    KyleS
     
  4. Mike_T_

    Mike_T_ Stunt Coordinator

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    What about the rear speakers? I would suspect you would have to set them much higher then the fronts if your sound meter is facing forward, then wouldn't this be too much sound coming from the rears?
     
  5. Roger Kint

    Roger Kint Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, good point. The SPL meter has somewhat of a cardiod pattern and this does not match exactly to the pattern of our ears. I prefer to point the meter directly at each speaker so that at a single point in space, all levels from all speakers will be exactly the same. Besides, everyone will hear differently, some have bad left ears, some can't hear low freq, some have hair on one side, etc. but if you calibrate by pointing at each spearker you won't have to worry about all that. And you can't really approximate the HRTF (head related transfer function) with the cardiod pattern of the SPL meter.
     
  6. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Like Jeff, ... I do it so I can playback my DD 5.1 DVD's like it was Recorded/Encoded @ Dolby 5.1-Channel Recording Studio.
    FYI:5.1-Channel Production Guidelines (PDF file)
     
  7. Roger Kint

    Roger Kint Stunt Coordinator

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    Phil, thanks for the post. Coming from Dolby, that would be the definitive answer.
     
  8. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I put a cardboard box on my couch that's nearly the same height as my ears, and place the meter on top. Then, I stand aside with my remote (being sure to stay out of the way of the soundwaves from the speaker being calibrated and the meter), and commence calibrating.
     
  9. Jason Bell

    Jason Bell Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Everyone,
    I ended up calibrating the Dolby way with the meter facing forward at ear level and tilted 45 degrees. This made my surrounds have to be 3db louder than the mains for everything to be even. When actually watching a movie I noticed the surrounds to be a little overpowering so I just backed em off to 2db louder than the mains and now it seems perfect to me. I'm so happy with the balance of my system I'm afraid to walk to close to my speakers and have one move a millimeter in any direction[​IMG]. One thing I have learned from this calibrating experience is a tripod is a must it made it so much easier to get out of the way of the sound for whatever speaker was coming up next in the test and its also easier to adjust levels on my remote as I go.
    Thanks again.
     

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