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Stories From the Road

By Allen Rowand

January 13, 2009

12: Louisville, or New Year, New Rig

The tour rang in the new year by going to Louisville, Kentucky and I decided to incorporate some ideas I had into making my measurement system better than before- and it's worked out better than I had thought it would.

First, I retooled my MIO Console setup to use the weighting curves I've been working on; I can now choose flat, A or C (approximated) weighting by recalling the appropriate Console document. I've had to do this using MIOStrip, since the interface on the tour doesn't have a +dsp license. The new signal flow looks like this:


By running 24 analyzer channels in 'Foo, I can route the 7 pre-insert mic signals and 7 post-insert (weighted) mic signals to any meter or analyzer I'd like, as well as having 7 time aligned instances of my console feed for transfer functions. It makes me laugh when I consider I'm doing 24 channels of analysis in realtime on an application running under Rosetta. B.J. knows how to write efficient code!

Next, I decided to take advantage of SpectraFoo's flexible screen layout. I recently purchased a 7" DisplayLink monitor; if you're not familiar with it, DisplayLink is a technology that lets you connect several monitors to a computer using USB for power and signal. All I had to do was install a driver and plug the monitor in, and I had an 800x480 baby monitor hooked up to my laptop. After I rotated it to portrait orientation, I realized what would look great on it:

'Foo meters!

By duplicating my 7 channels of level meters, I was able to create a remote SPL meter:


During tuning and soundcheck, our head engineer Michael likes to know what the SPL is in all our measurement zones, so that we can see how the room may be reacting to loud passages and to make sure that adjustments we make in one area don't adversely affect others.

Dual screens in use

The system works incredibly well. I now have seven weighted SPL meters on two monitors, and full bandwidth spectragram, spectragraph and transfer functions. Next up is to integrate a tablet computer… in Wisconsin in February. Do touchscreens work if you're wearing gloves?

Until next time,