Knowledgebase: Audio Analyzers
Room Acoustics 101 - "Ringing Out a Room"
Posted by Rick Shao on 13 November 2015 03:00 AM

With the ever increasing demand for better acoustics, correcting frequency response has become a critical factor in producing a cleaner, more natural sound. The frequency response in rooms and halls has many factors that play into the equation.

There are two primary ways to correct room acoustics. The first comes from the absorption coefficients of the materials placed on the walls and ceiling. While one material may be better at reflection of sound waves, another may be better at absorption. With that in mind, carefully choosing the right materials for a room is critical in controlling the frequency response in any given room.

Another way to correct room acoustics is to use equalization from an outboard signal processor. This has been termed Ringing out a room. What basically happens when you ring out a room is you try to achieve as close to a flat response as possible with an EQ. In the past, this has been done with a sound source and a good ear. With today technology you can be better assisted in setting the EQ for a flat response with a spectrum analyzer.

A spectrum analyzer will take the sound from a room and convert it into a readable display to better assist in determining problem frequencies. To correctly ring out a room using a spectrum analyzer, you first need to send pink noise through the PA system. Unlike white noise, pink noise bears a logarithmic characteristic and therefore represents a psychoacoustic equivalent of white noise, sweetened for the human ear. This is the signal often used to test speakers and set equalization in theaters and other venues. With all of that being said, there are many spectrum analyzers on the market to choose from. The PAA2 and PAA3 from Phonic is an incredibly compact, hand-held spectrum analyzer. With the PAA2/PAA3, ringing out a room has become a very simple and straightforward task.

The PAA2/PAA3 has a built-in pink noise generator which works in conjunction with an EQ average function. This will allow you to set an EQ to an almost flat response in a matter of minutes for a better overall sound in your hall or room. The PAA2/PAA3 makes ringing out a room extremely easy and much less time consuming.

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