Training and Education

 

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Tools like Smaart are incredibly powerful, and in the right hands can lead to some amazing results. Unfortunately, as with any tool, the outcome can vary greatly according to the skill of the operator.

One of Smaart’s greatest strengths is the user interface – it’s intuitive and efficient. However, knowing what button to push to make a squiggly line appear on the screen is really the easy part. Understanding what you want to measure, why you want to measure it and how and where to best gather  and view your data is what makes the difference between being ‘one of those people’ who listens to a slow motion train wreck while declaring all to be fine because ‘the computer says so’ and a true all-rounder who can not only listen critically, but can also use good quality data to make balanced, informed, accurate decisions about the required action.

We’ll be developing the training curriculum over the coming months, so please don’t be shy in letting us know if there’s a topic you’d like us to cover  or a region where you’d like us to hold a class.

CURRENT SCHEDULE:

ALL SMAART TRAINING CLASSES ENTITLE THE ATTENDEE TO A DISCOUNT ON SMAART SOFTWARE PURCHASES. THIS CAN BE REDEEMED EITHER IN GBP WITH A VAT RECEIPT AT THE TIME OF COURSE REGISTRATION, OR IN USD VIA A VOUCHER CODE FOR THE RATIONAL ACOUSTICS WEBSITE WITHIN 90 DAYS OF THE CLASS DATE.

WHAT: Smaart Fundamentals (3 days)

WHEN: August 21/22/23, 2017

WHERE: Belfast Waterfront / Ulster Hall, Northern Ireland.

 

WHAT: Smaart Fundamentals (3 days)

WHEN: October 16/17/18, 2017

WHERE: Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre, SCOTLAND.

Standard Session Length: 8 hrs / day.

Overview
The Operator Fundamentals covers the fundamentals of setting up a Smaart measurement rig and using Smaart to make basic RTA, Spectrograph, Transfer Function and Impulse Response measurements. Special attention is paid throughout the course to the subject of how to make valid and useful measurements, as opposed to simply making cool squiggly lines appear on the screen. This course begins with an overview of both the general system measurement theory involved as well as the operational context in which Smaart is used, namely in Sound System Engineering and Alignment. This course focuses on providing the attendee with a functional knowledge of how Smaart operates as a tool before expanding to the application of that tool in sound system engineering, and as much as possible, examines data interpretation as much as acquisition.

The first 2 days of class are primarily a classroom lecture and lab format, relying heavily on in-class measurements and utilizing a signal distribution system to distribute the instructor’s stereo measurement signals to the entire class.  The 3rd day involves a hands-on practicum focusing on the implementation of the information presented in the first 2 days.  It presents the use of Smaart in a methodical process of evaluating and adjusting the individual system components, and the subsequent combination of multiple subsystems into a multi-channel / distributed sound system. Throughout this alignment practicum, the session seeks to reinforce the necessary collaboration of measurement and listening skills

The Operator Fundamentals Class provides:

  • A fundamental description of the measurement concepts involved in dual-channel FFT based analysis (as used in our industry)
  • A systematic breakdown of how they are realized in Smaart measurement software
  • A detailed and hands-on (as possible) examination of the requirements for configuring and controlling a Smaart measurement rig.

Topics Covered Include (but not limited to):

Fundamental Measurement Concepts:
Single channel vs. dual-channel measurements / Time domain vs. frequency domain analysis / What the heck is an FFT?

Smaart Software Overview:
Software install/update & upgrade / Measurement Configuration / Measurement control & interface navigation

Anatomy of a Measurement Rig :
Hardware requirements / Standard Configurations / Basic Troubleshooting

RTA and Spectrograph Measurements:
Averaging and Banding / Feedback identification (& other cool things to do with Spectrograph / Calibration for SPL

Transfer Function Measurements:
Magnitude, Phase & Coherence traces: how they are generated and how to read them / Data Thresholding Functions and Improving Measurement Quality / Data Storage and Trace Averaging

Impulse Response Measurements:
Setting up the delay for Transfer Function measurements: Live IR and Delay Tracking / Measuring delay times for speaker system time alignment / Tips for improving IR measurement quality / The Impact of FFT Time Constant (window length) on Measurements

Measurement Position Choice and Microphone Placement

  • Measurement position selection – choosing our system alignment decision points
  • Microphone placement and coping with boundary conditions (e.g. ground bounce)
  • Single vs. Multiple position

Measuring and Tuning an Individual Speaker System

  • Determining proper loudspeaker operation – near field measurements
  • Evaluating loudspeaker coverage
  • Measuring and adjusting speaker response in coverage area

Extension of Coverage: the Addition of Fill and Delay Systems

  • Alignment checklist for each system – Freq. Response, Level, Delay and Polarity
  • LTC: Level – Time – Combine, a systematic process for combining systems
  • The 5-minute delay: a quick procedure for setting initial delay system parameters

Subwoofer Mania

  • The curious issues involved in measuring sub woofers in the “real world”
  • Timing the crossover between main systems and subs
  • Cardioid subwoofer arrays – controlling / steering sub energy

Prerequisites:
The Smaart Operator Fundamentals course is open to all interested persons.  Prior system alignment experience is not required, but is definitely helpful. This course does assume a working knowledge of professional sound system engineering practices and basic audio fundamentals. If you have any questions concerning course prerequisites, please do not hesitate to contact Rational Acoustics prior to registration.

All prices include VAT @ 20%.