Powersoft Uses Earthworks Measurement Mics to Tune Their Amps

Photo by: Isabelle Smith

As the Senior Technical Sales Engineer at Powersoft US, Rick Woida helps to create industry-standard power amps that can be found in any performing venue — from small clubs to world-renowned stadiums. We sat down with him to learn just how important having the right measurement microphone is for taking acoustical measurements and why having a correctly tuned room matters for sound design.

Why does having a correctly tuned room matter?

What the audience perceives from your message greatly depends on room acoustics and the intelligibility of the source exiting your sound system. Issues with any of these components can significantly impede the intelligibility of your message, leaving your audience feeling disconnected.

What can happen when you do not have a correctly tuned room?  What specifically can happen with your amps if rooms are not acoustically measured well? What issues can arise?

Some issues that will plague a space can include:

  • Signal-to-noise ratio (level of direct sound vs. background noise)
  • Phase inaccuracy (time smearing or loss of articulation)
  • Reverberation decay
  • Frequency response variations

Such issues can give the listener fatigue or stress over time due to sensory overload. Another great importance is safety and being able to hear live safety announcements clearly and accurately.

How else does audio measurement factor into your work with amps — both for touring and for the installation markets?

Powersoft offers a very robust DSP that is integrated into our amplifiers. We have put a lot of effort into offering unique feature sets that make the measurement process of a system for both the touring and installation market a breeze.

Utilizing the API protocols from Rational Acoustics SMAART v8 and the recently released SMAART Suite, we are able to overlay both Spectrum and Dual Channel FFT measurements into our System Manager, Armonia+. This allows the operator to use an interactive tuning process that permits live and offline manipulation of the captured measurements in order to streamline the sound system tuning process.

Powersoft took this a step further with the use of our math feature, allowing the operator in-depth processes for completing things like quasi-anechoic measurements (great for preset creation) and system element-specific target responses (can be used for voicing separate elements of a sound system to complete a full range response).

Combining the Powersoft API protocols with multiple on and off-axis loudspeaker measurements, the M23R’s specific advantage is the consistency in the measurement plane. When averaging and summing these measurements, I am assured the data captured is clean, precise, and detailed.

What benefits do you get from using the Earthworks M23R? In your view, what makes it the best measurement mic for your needs? And how does it help to combat any of the issues discussed above?

Knowing that these microphones are matched within +/- 0.5dB of level variation, I can add multiple microphones into a space without worrying about their frequency offsets. I trust these microphones due to this feature as it helps me with my work by speeding up the measurement process and helps combat inconsistent measurement data. Since the microphones have a frequency response of 3Hz to 23kHz, I can be assured I will capture accurate data from any loudspeaker I encounter in the field.

Photo by: Isabelle Smith

Rick Woida has been working in the pro audio industry for over 18 years. He attended the Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis, MN. He has worked on many high-profile concerts and installations worldwide. Working alongside manufacturers such as Clair Brothers Audio Systems and Adamson Systems Engineering. He personally owns and operates an audio consulting business named Summation Audio, LLC. since 2010 and currently holds a position as Senior Technical Sales Engineer with Powersoft US.

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