Test Tone

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AbelM, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. AbelM

    AbelM Second Unit

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    I have a test tone on my reciever for all speakers, what actually should I set the rears too? I mean should I make all speakers (fronts, center, rears) all the same sound lvl?

    I know this will only apply to music in 5 ch. since DVD's have their own mix in sound lvl form disc to disc.

    Thanx for the upcoming help!
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Me again...

    I like the surrounds a bit on the lighter side...

    Like, barely there.

    It's preference, but there's a reason the main speakers are called the "main" speakers. If the test tone was used to make all the channels equal, then any recorded material would be reproduced the way the engineer recorded it (if recorded as 5 channel). Usually that means a subtle but effective sound from the rears.

    I just run mine 1 or 2 db softer.

    Anyone else?
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Abel: We cannot tell you what to set the center and rear values to. It all depends on how far away you sit from them and if they are pointed directly at you or angled away.

    The test tones are a complex "hash" noise that allows you to use a SPL meter to measure the volume. As it moves from the L/R speaker to the others, you should use your remote (while sitting at the primary listening position) to add/subtract a bit of sound from the center and each rear so the volume is the same all around.

    Search this fourm for "Calibration" for more information.

    Good Luck.
     
  4. Lin Weiwen

    Lin Weiwen Stunt Coordinator

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    From your favourite listening position, play the test tone and listen carefully. Using the mains as a guide, take note of which speaker/s sound softer and raise the level for them till they sound balanced. Better yet, play a DVD movie that has good surround effects and move on from there. Eg. towards the end of Saving Private Ryan where Hanks get shot and starting shooting at the tank in a daze. The tank blows up and two planes soar over. At this point you should be able to hear the planes flying to the rear.
     
  5. AbelM

    AbelM Second Unit

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    Wait mixed opinons, you guys say equal, yet Colin says a littler softer...huh, have to try out both. do I need anything for this?
     
  6. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Read my post a bit closer....

    Levels matched = perfect reproduction.

    MY levels softer = My Preference.

    This hobby has a few absolutes, but it all comes down to how we like it.

    Test tones are for balancing. Laboratory style. Ears work but you may be suprised how off you may be.

    Don't like the way it sounds? Tweak!

    Think of sitting in the middle of 5 of your buddies, all 10 feet from you. All humming at the same loudness except for Jimmy over your right shoulder who's being a smart-a** and is 2x as loud. You can tell.

    Use your ears.

    Don't be too critical.
     
  7. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    And I should have been more clear -

    All should be the same loudness.

    Then tweak.

    k - bye
     
  8. AbelM

    AbelM Second Unit

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    damn Colin, you pop up everywhere for me...how much do I owe you!?
    So you guys' think I should us ethe test tone on my reciever? The rears, center, and fronts are all default...I haven't played with them since I got the speaker package.
    So should I leave it default or change it?
     
  9. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    When you get an SPL meter, you should adjust the individual levels for each speaker so that they all have the same reading on the SPL meter when using the test tone. That is a balanced system.

    If you set them all to 0s, they may not all have the same dB level due to placement of speakers and primary listening position. The ear is not usually good enough to tell the difference between a couple dB, which is why the SPL meter is required.

    For example, I redid my system today. I started by setting all the levels to 0s, master volume at -17. My initial readings were as follows:

    FL 75dB

    FR 74dB

    C 75dB

    SL 71dB

    SR 71dB

    Sub 78dB

    As a result, I had to go +1 on FR, +4 on SL and SR. I left the Sub as is (personal choice). Thus, everything was at 75dB from the primary listening position. (I'll redo it later at 85dB, my wife was sleeping).

    Does that make sense now?

    I tried to do it by ear once. When I bought the SPL meter, I was surprised how far off I was.
     
  10. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Actor

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    Calibrating your HT with a Sound Meter and test tone will make it sound like you did a major upgrade.
     
  11. AbelM

    AbelM Second Unit

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    Ok, but doesn't the test tone apply to only music? I thought DVD's had their own, which they do on their own?? Am I wrong...
     
  12. MartyK

    MartyK Agent

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    Abel,
    The test tones apply to any 5.1 channel material including DVD. As many have said its best to calibrate using a Radio Shack SPL meter.
    You might want to check out this link written by Vince Maskeeper on the Cheap Home Theater web site.
    http://www.cheaphometheater.com/audio%20calibration.htm
    Marty
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  14. AbelM

    AbelM Second Unit

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    Hey Marty, You callin me cheap? [​IMG]
     
  15. MartyK

    MartyK Agent

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    Hi Able,
    Nope. Just happens to be where the link is located. [​IMG]
    Marty
     
  16. AbelM

    AbelM Second Unit

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    Just kdding, and my name Abel.
     

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