100 Things #100: Production Line Audio Measurement With SoundCheck

Everyone knows SoundCheck is a versatile and flexible R&D audio test system. But did you know it’s also fast and cost-effective for production line audio measurement, and offers unrivaled integration with larger factory test environments?

End of line testing is nothing new to us. We started the global trend from human listeners and expensive hardware analyzers to software-based test systems back in 1995. Many of the measurements we introduced in the 1990s are still used today. Besides introducing newer and better measurement methods like perceptual algorithms, we’re driving the integration of audio testing within a larger factory test environment. Let’s take a look at some of the things that make SoundCheck great for end-of-line tests.

Production Line Audio Measurement with SoundCheck

 

Learn More About SoundCheck’s Production Line Features

Seminar Recording: External Control of SoundCheck. Detailed information about controlling SoundCheck as part of a large factory automation system.

Video: 100 Things #85: Integrate SoundCheck with your Database.

Video: 100 Things #11: External Control Using TCP/IP

Transitioning Audio Tests from R&D to the Production Line. An article by Steve Temme, reprinted from the March 2023 edition of AudioXpress.

 

Video Script: Production Line Audio Measurement

Everyone knows SoundCheck is a versatile and flexible R&D audio test system. But did you know it’s also fast and cost-effective for production line testing, and offers unrivaled integration with larger factory test environments?

End of line testing is nothing new to us. We started the global trend from human listeners and expensive hardware analyzers to software-based test systems back in 1995. Many of the measurements we introduced in the 1990s are still used today. Besides introducing newer and better measurement methods like perceptual algorithms, we’re driving the integration of audio testing within a larger factory test environment. Let’s take a look at some of the things that make SoundCheck great for end-of-line tests.

Most importantly, SoundCheck’s fast and reliable. Every test algorithm we’ve designed has speed and noise immunity at the forefront, from our unique stepped sine wave stimulus, Stweep, and Harmonictrak analysis back in 1995 to the second generation of perceptual distortion measurements in more recent years. And all our production line measurements, use the same stimulus to ensure fast throughput with simultaneous measurement of all parameters.

Soundcheck is hardware-agnostic, and compatible with many audio interfaces from our own custom designed all-in-one hardware to off the shelf soundcards. It even supports audio over IP with Dante. It works with any brand of amplifiers, microphones, couplers and test jigs. It’s also easy to control footswitches, PLCs, barcode readers and other production line equipment through a custom step in a test sequence. This gives you total flexibility, whether you are re-using existing hardware or building a system from scratch.

Both hardware and software are modular, so you can get the production functionality you need, without paying for anything that you don’t. Although a production system is significantly cheaper than an R&D SoundCheck system, it’s still fully compatible – you can create tests on an R&D system and send them to your production systems, or bring results from your production system back into an R&D system for detailed analysis.

However, it’s the seamless integration with custom factory test systems that really differentiates SoundCheck.

Full TCP/IP control lets SoundCheck communicate on any operating system, via any TCP/IP-supportive language including python, c-sharp and Labview. TCP/IP commands can trigger a test, pass the output back to an external program, or even pull in externally stored sequence parameters such as limits and stimuli. This allows the same test sequence to be used for many different products, reducing the sequence maintenance burden.

SoundCheck is just as flexible for saving data. Standard data formats include text, csv, Excel, TDMS, Matlab and SoundCheck’s open source binary file format. There’s also a plugin for WATS Test Data Management software. You can use an autosave step in your sequence to write curves, values, results, or waveforms directly to an SQL database each time a sequence is run, and industry standard tools can then be harnessed to run analytics over large data sets. If these options aren’t enough, all the data, curves, and other  items saved in SoundCheck’s memory list, can always be accessed directly via TCP/IP, so you can write your own customized program to collect exactly the SoundCheck data you need.

SoundCheck’s built-in security features provide peace of mind if you share your tests with manufacturing partners. Sequence protection locks and hides all the information in a sequence so that it can be run, but not viewed or altered. So you have confidence that your products are tested exactly how you intended. No-one can adjust the limits to achieve higher yield, and it removes the risk of  your tests being modified and re-purposed for use on other product lines. To add further security and measurement confidence, a sequence can even be configured to only run on a particular SoundCheck system, or block of system hardware keys.

These features let you bring the power of SoundCheck into pretty much any large automated test platform, no matter what software and operating system it is running on. Talk to your sales engineer to learn more.

 

 

100 Things #99: Calibrate Signal Paths with Any Interface

Calibrating signal paths is a critical part of any audio measurement, and SoundCheck offers the ultimate flexibility for calibrating audio interfaces. Whether you need two channels or sixty-four, analog or digital, each has its own unique configuration and there is no limit on the number of channels that can be calibrated. For example, its possible to have some channels calibrated with a 6-mic array for recording a response, while others are configured to measure motor vibration and RPM speed. Not only can you mix different devices, but each channel can be calibrated using different audio drivers so it’s no problem to combine something like a Bluetooth headset with analog ear simulators and a digital wav file. Learn more in this short video.

Calibrating Audio Signal Paths

 

Learn More About Calibrating Signal Paths in SoundCheck

Check out our calibration tutorials (section 2)

Read more about recommended audio interfaces to use with SoundCheck.

Learn more about AmpConnect 621 and AudioConnect 2, Listen’s self-calibrating audio interfaces

 

Video Script: Calibrate your Signal Paths with any audio interface

In any audio test and measurement system, your signal path begins and ends with your audio interface. Whatever software system and interface you’re using, it’s important to correctly calibrate all input and output channels to get accurate results

SoundCheck offers the ultimate flexibility for calibrating audio interfaces. Any number of channels can be calibrated, so whether you need two channels or sixty-four, each channel has its own unique configuration. This means it’s possible to have some channels calibrated with a 6-mic array for recording a response, while others are configured to measure motor vibration and RPM speed.

Not only can you mix different devices, but each channel can be calibrated using different audio drivers so it’s no big deal if you are combining something like a Bluetooth headset with analog ear simulators and a digital wav file.

This flexibility ensures your test system is future-proofed and can even calibrate hardware that doesn’t exist yet, so long as it conforms to digital audio standards. Over the years we’ve calibrated USB, Bluetooth, Dante, AVB, A2B and more, as well as the more standard types such as WDM, ASIO, Core Audio and WASAPI.

To calibrate an audio device, you need to measure both the Vp in and Vp out values as well as the latency at all the sample rates you will be using.

You can do this directly from the hardware editor itself. You’ll need an AC multimeter that’s accurate to at least 250Hz, and an adapter to insert it in the input / output chain of the audio interface during the calibration process. Should the need arise for field calibration, that can also be done using this method.

To avoid this step, when you purchase a 3rd party interface directly from Listen, we’ll determine the Vp values and the latency before it leaves our facility. All you need to do is enter the device values from the provided calibration sheet into the hardware editor, and you’re ready to start measuring.

Our own all-in-one audio test hardware takes this one step further with self-calibration. With both the 2-channel AudioConnect 2 and the 6-in, 2-out AmpConnect 621, hardware editor  values are measured during manufacture and stored on the device. These values are auto-populated in the hardware editor when it’s connected via USB, so you never need to manually calibrate these devices. If you swap hardware, the calibration is automatically updated.

To learn more about calibrating signal paths in SoundCheck, check out our online knowledgebase and user manual.

 

 

100 Things #95: Time Domain Waveform Filtering

Time Domain Waveform Filtering in SoundCheck lets you apply any filter to a signal in the time domain instead of the frequency domain. This enables you to apply a filter, such as an A-weighting filter, without affecting the peaks or crest factor of the signal. Filters can also be applied to any waveform in the memory list, such as the stimulus, response, or any intermediate waveform. Watch this short video to learn how standard and custom waveform filters are used.

Time Domain Waveform Filtering

Learn More About SoundCheck’s Advanced Features

Read on about more measurement features in SoundCheck.

More information is also available in the  SoundCheck Manual.

 

Video Script: Using Time Domain Waveform Filtering in SoundCheck

Waveform filtering in SoundCheck lets you apply any filter to a signal in the time domain instead of the frequency domain. This is required when you want to apply a filter, such as an A-weighting filter, without affecting the peaks or crest factor of the signal, e.g. peak sound pressure level, A-weighted. It can also be applied to any waveform in the memory list, such as the stimulus, response, or any intermediate waveform.

Both standard and arbitrary filters are available. Standard filters include lowpass, highpass, bandpass and bandstop filters. You can select the cutoff frequencies, and control the slope of the filter using the filter order. SoundCheck’s standard filters are implemented as IIR Butterworth filters, and are ideal for most applications where you need to attenuate certain frequency ranges. For example, you can use a high-pass filter to remove some low frequency background noise or remove dc offset. Alternatively, you might use a lowpass filter to attenuate alias frequencies that could cause your amplifier to clip at very high frequencies that are not of interest.

You can also create your own arbitrary waveform filter by applying any curve from the memory list to the waveform. This can be used to apply weightings such as K-weighting for loudness or a bandpass filter  to a speech stimulus. Or you can even specify your own custom weighting or equalization, for example to see what happens to a customer’s speaker when they boost the bass.

 

100 Things #93: Group and Batch Processing of Data Curves

Group and Batch Processing is a really neat feature in SoundCheck that saves huge amounts of time when processing data. Curves, values and waveforms can be grouped and processed together, and the analysis, post processing or statistics runs almost as quickly as on a single piece of data. This can be done during a sequence, or offline with previously collected data. It even extends to imported data – for example, if you want to run a POLQA analysis on a batch of recordings made in a different system, you can simply import the wav files and calculate scores for hundreds or even thousands of waveforms all at once.

Save Time Processing Data with Group and Batch Processing

Learn more

Read our Knowledgebase Article on using batch processing.

Learn more about the POLQA module in SoundCheck (video contains a demo of batch processing).

 

Video Script:

Audio test and measurement involves collecting and analyzing a lot of data. You might have multiple inputs and outputs, or you need to collect data not just once but over and over again. Perhaps you’re averaging measurements on a single unit over multiple runs, or testing multiple units in a production facility. Handling and processing all this data efficiently, in realtime, can be complex.

SoundCheck processes large groups of data quickly and easily with its group and batch processing capabilities. Curves, values and waveforms are grouped and processed together, and the analysis, post processing or statistics runs almost as quickly as on a single piece of data.

This is useful, for example, if you’re repeating a series of sequence steps on a single device, to calculate the deviation in its response at various positions, or if you’re averaging sensitivity values of a batch of 15 microphones for a spec sheet.

Groups of data can be analyzed and processed either within a test sequence or offline.

In a sequence, groups of data can be automatically created, saved in the Memory List and automatically analyzed together the same way every time the sequence is run. Here’s a simple example sequence where I capture recordings using a 6 mic array, group the recorded waveforms and use a single analysis step to get responses from each of the microphones. The same process can also be used in post processing or limit steps. SoundCheck also makes it easy to keep track of your data by allowing you to append your data names with Signal Path and Input data names.

Data processing outside of a sequence is known as “offline mode” – let’s take a look at an example. Here, I’ll group the frequency responses of 5 microphones I measured previously and calculate their sensitivity values at 1kHz in a single post processing step, rather than using 5 such steps. Note how fast it is in both cases!

SoundCheck’s batch processing capabilities even extend to imported data. For example, if you want to run a POLQA analysis on a batch of recordings made in a different system, you can simply import the wav files and calculate scores for hundreds or even thousands of waveforms all at once.

SoundCheck’s batch processing capabilities handle large amounts of data extremely fast, helping both R&D labs and production facilities to reduce test times. To learn more about SoundCheck’s extensive audio measurement toolkit, check out www.listeninc.com.

 

100 Things #92: Continuous Log Sweep with Time Selective Response Analysis

Did you know that SoundCheck was the first audio test system to implement the continuous log sweep stimulus, way back in 2001. Also known as a frequency log sweep, or Farina sweep, this stimulus is used with time selective response (TSR) analysis. TSR analysis allows reflections to be windowed out, making it great for loudspeaker simulated free field measurements and room acoustics measurements. It’s also valuable as a smart trigger for robust open loop measurement testing. Watch this video for a quick overview.

Continuous Log Sweep with Time Selective Response Analysis

Learn more

Read on about stimulus and analysis capabilities in SoundCheck.

 

Learn more about Simulated Free Field Measurements

Short Video Demonstration of free field measurements without an anechoic chamber

Full-length Demonstration of free field measurements without an anechoic chamber

Article explaining simulated free field measurements (reprinted from Voice Coil Magazine)

The Original 1992 paper introducing the Simulated Free Field Measurement Technique

 

Learn more about room acoustics measurements using the Log Sweep Stimulus

Full-length Demonstration of Room Acoustics measurements

 

Video Script:

Did you know that SoundCheck was the first audio test system to implement a continuous log sweep stimulus? We introduced it back in 2001,  shortly after Angelo Farina’s landmark AES paper on the subject. Let’s take a look at how it works and how it’s used.

A continuous log sweep, sometimes known as a frequency Log sweep or Farina sweep,  is a continuous sine sweep with equal time and energy in every octave. Since it sweeps slower at low frequencies but speeds up as the frequency increases,  it’s a great choice for fast measurements. It differs from a conventional stepped sine stimulus, in that the continuous log sweep plays across all frequencies in the range with a defined sweep rate per decade, whereas the stepped sine sweep “steps” through different frequencies across the range.

Both stimuli can measure frequency response and harmonic distortion, but the analysis methods differ. A continuous log sweep uses a time selective response, or TSR analysis. This involves calculating an impulse response and applying a user-defined time window that can isolate or  remove any reflections caused by the test environment. A stepped sine requires a HarmonicTrak analysis. Only the continuous log sweep with TSR analysis can window out reflections, allowing a simulated free field measurement even when you are not in a fully anechoic environment.

Let’s take a look. In the TSR analysis step, we’ll enable this checkbox here to output an impulse response to the memory list so we can view it. It can be displayed either on a linear or logarithmic scale.  The window size at the top is where we define the start and stop points of the window that’s applied to the impulse response. We can look at this in SoundCheck to help us decide which points to use. Here, we can clearly see a large impulse that has been autodelayed to 0 seconds to show the direct sound from our sound source. And because we’re in a non anechoic environment, just a normal room, you can see reflections from the walls, floor, ceiling, table etcetera.  in the impulse response. We can adjust the window to remove them, and you can see the frequency response updates. 

This technique is very powerful, but like all techniques there are tradeoffs. So Log TSR analysis might not be the best option for all applications. The measurement resolution is affected by the window size – as the window size narrows,  the frequency resolution reduces, and you can see the effects on the frequency response. This is particularly noticeable at the lower frequencies where  the lack of resolution can make the data inaccurate if the window is too small. We need to be careful to configure the window size to capture the direct sound but be wide enough to get the greatest frequency resolution, without any reflections due to the test environment.

TSR Analysis  offers significant benefits for several applications. We use it for the high frequency measurements in a loudspeaker simulated free field measurement, which we can then splice together with the low frequency Stepped Sine Sweep stimulus measurement. It’s also valuable for room acoustics, for example, for calculating RT60 and clarity measurements. And if you’re running open loop tests, our cross-correlation smart trigger uses a continuous log sweep to provide a way of triggering an open loop measurement that is extremely robust and far less susceptible to false triggers than other methods. 

To learn more about the applications of a continuous log sweep stimulus, check out the technical papers and demo videos on our website.

100 Things #90: Curve Smoothing

Curve smoothing in SoundCheck allows for non-destructive processing of data, resulting in smooth and easy to visually understand curves. Curve smoothing can lessen the effects of reflections in the test space, reduce noise, or make curves less jagged for publishing data. The smoothing post processing step in SoundCheck features an array of different, to facilitate different levels of the smoothing process, including various smoothing widths and windowing options.

Curve Smoothing

Learn more about SoundCheck post processing options

SoundCheck has a full suite of post processing capabilities including curve smoothing, resampling, resolution, curve arithmetic, and more.  Read more details in our SoundCheck features and applications section.

Each sequence uses a stimulus configured to the device under test, and recommended hardware.

Video Script:

Curve smoothing, as its name suggests, is a useful post-processing option that turns your jagged lines into smooth curves. It  may be applied to a curve for a number of reasons – to reduce the appearance of noise in the signal, to minimize reflections and other artifacts from the measurement environment, or simply to make a curve look better for presentation in sales and marketing literature. When smoothing is applied, the points of the curve are modified so that individual points that are higher than the immediately adjacent points are reduced, and points that are lower than the adjacent points are increased.

SoundCheck uses sliding-average smoothing also known as “boxcar” averaging where each point in the curve is replaced by the average of n adjacent points where n is a positive integer known as the smoothing width.  SoundCheck supports standard 1/n octave smoothing widths from one octave to 1/24th octave as well as user defined log and linear values.  In addition to a default rectangular window, a Hanning window may also be applied during the smoothing function. Smoothing is symmetrical at the midpoints of the curve but tapers to zero at the curve’s end-points.  If the curve has uneven or non-standard spacing in the frequency domain, interpolation is used.

In addition to the standard Smoothing post-processing step, the smoothing function is also available in the Resolution post-processing step. This is useful when the final curve resolution is higher than or “not a mathematical factor” of the original resolution.

This feature’s been available in Soundcheck since it was launched in 1995. If you haven’t tried it yet, check it out!

100 Things #89: Apply Equalization To A Test Stimulus

Did you know you can equalize a stimulus in SoundCheck to remove the influence of hardware and components from your measurements? All of SoundCheck’s stimulus options can have EQ applied, include Stweep, waveforms, noise, and more. An EQ can also adjust a stimulus to focus on different frequencies, like boosting low or high frequencies for power testing. THD+N measurements benefit from this ability, as even applying a flat EQ curve to a Stweep smooths out frequency transitions.

Apply Equalization To A Test Stimulus

Learn more about SoundCheck stimulus flexibility

The stimulus is just one part of the completely flexible SoundCheck system. Learn more about SoundCheck’s features and applications.

If you want to try for yourself, our SoundCheck sequence library includes applications from measuring loudspeakers to microphones, VR headsets to cars, and more. Each sequence uses a stimulus configured to the device under test, and recommended hardware.

Video Script:

Did you know you can equalize any stimulus inside SoundCheck during its playback? In any test application, it is important to ensure that the inherent characteristics of the measurement hardware do not influence the measurement. For example, if you’re using a source speaker to measure a DUT microphone, you don’t want the loudspeaker’s frequency response to influence the measurement. You may also want to apply your own custom EQ curve to weight certain frequencies different, for example, boost low frequencies more than higher frequencies for power testing. You can import whatever EQ you prefer.

We can also equalize the source speaker using a reference microphone. First, we measure the speaker’s response, then invert it to give us the EQ curve. This curve can then be applied to any stimulus playing through the source speaker to correct for both magnitude and phase non-linearities.

When you check the ‘Apply EQ’ checkbox in SoundCheck’s stimulus step, the EQ curve is applied to the stimulus and saved to the memory list, ready for playback during the acquisition step.

This feature is available for all stimulus step types. For step-based stimuli such as Stweep and Multitone, where the stimulus doesn’t have all frequency components, EQ is applied only at those frequency points that are present. For Broadband stimuli like speech, music and Noise, ‘Apply EQ’ behaves like a time waveform filter.

There’s also another reason why you might want to use EQ in a step based stimulus such as a Stweep. When EQ is applied, even if there is no EQ curve, the transition from frequency step to frequency step is smoothed. This is particularly helpful for measurements such as THD+N, which are sensitive to ringing.

Naturally, ‘Apply EQ’ can be turned off if you want to characterize the speaker itself.

SoundCheck’s stimulus step provides many advanced options for a wide range of use cases. To learn more, check out our website or speak to your local sales engineer.

100 Things #88: SoundCheck Support Audio Over IP

SoundCheck supports testing audio over IP using Dante. Dante allows a connection between testing computers and devices over long distances, up to 100 meters. Audio over IP also supports large channel counts, which is perfect for multichannel testing across multiple rooms in a facility. SoundCheck flexible hardware compatibility means networked audio devices can be configured just like any other audio interfaces. In an R&D lab, multiple test labs can have data transmitted to a central SoundCheck system.

SoundCheck Support Audio Over IP

Learn more about Listen audio interfaces

Read on for more information and technical specifications of the AmpConnect 621AudioConnect 2. Audio interfaces can be used with a variety of test hardware including Bluetooth interfaces, turntables, accelerometers, and more. Check out all of SoundCheck’s compatibility with audio testing hardware.

Video Script:

SoundCheck is known for its flexibility to work with any soundcard or audio interface, but did you know it also supports Audio over IP using Dante?

Dante by Audinate allows audio to be transmitted over a standard local IP network. This offers simplified connections where your audio interface is located a long way from your SoundCheck computer, for example if it’s in a test lab or anechoic chamber. Connecting via a Dante interface and CAT 5E or 6 ethernet cable allows data to be transmitted up to 100 meters or more using your existing ethernet infrastructure – something that would be impractical and expensive with standard audio cables. It also offers high channel counts, and the network can be expanded with a high-speed network switch. 

The Dante Interface, for example the RME Digiface Dante,  is connected to the SoundCheck computer via USB and it routes the audio to and from any Dante device connected to the network, such as this Lynx Aurora. It also tracks latency over the Dante network. SoundCheck’s hardware editor displays all devices routed through the Dante Controller as Dante Channels in the SoundCheck Hardware Editor, where they can be treated exactly the same as any other input or output channels to enable a full range of audio tests.

Let’s take a look at how this might work for a speaker test. The Dante equipped Aurora interface is our test hardware, providing the output signal to the speaker, the microphone power, and receiving the signal from the microphone. It’s connected to the network via its ethernet connection.  At the other end, the networked Dante interface is connected to the USB port of the SoundCheck computer where it acts as a hub for any Dante-equipped devices – in this case the Aurora. These devices then appear as a single ASIO audio interface with a USB 3 connection to the SoundCheck computer. From this point, you can configure your audio test exactly the same way as usual, and the Dante controller will handle the signal routing and synchronization of all Dante devices, even if they are different.

Multiple Dante Audio Interfaces can be connected to increase channel count. This setup, for example,  allows for 32 balanced line inputs and outputs through the Lynx Aurora(n) with an additional 12 balanced microphone inputs with phantom power through the RME 12Mic-D. 

Audio over IP has many applications in both R&D and production environments. In the R&D lab, it’s a simple and cost effective way of transmitting data from a remote test lab to a central computer, or to enable a fully mobile audio setup that can be moved around the facility. In production applications it enables centralized data collection from many different production lines. Contact your sales engineer to learn more.

100 Things #87: Make Non-Coherent Distortion Measurements

Did you know that you’ve been able to make distortion measurements in SoundCheck with real-world signals such as speech and music since 2006? This is a valuable technique for testing modern devices with on-board DSP that filters out signals such as sine waves and noise. Non-coherent distortion measurements offer excellent correlation with perception and are easily implemented in SoundCheck. Steve Temme explains this technique in this short video.

Make Non-Coherent Distortion Measurements

Read more about making non-coherent distortion measurements

The 2006 AES paper on non-coherent distortion measurements is available to read from our technical papers library. This paper details all of the important considerations for making these measurements, including using a multitone versus music for a stimulus signal, understanding distortion measurement results, and more.

Video Script:

We talk a lot about harmonic distortion and transient distortion, but did you know SoundCheck also offers non-coherent distortion measurements? In fact, I believe we were the first audio measurement company to include this option.

Non-coherent distortion is a broadband distortion metric that includes harmonic and intermodulation distortion as well as noise. It offers better correlation to perception than harmonic or intermodulation distortion alone, and it can be used with real-world test signals such as speech and music as long as there is enough energy in the frequency range of interest. Otherwise, you might just be measuring background noise. I usually make these measurements in the nearfield to reduce background noise by placing the microphone close to the loudspeaker. This is particularly useful for the many modern devices that feature DSP that treats pure tones as noise and tries to filter them out.

Non-Coherent Distortion is a normalized cross-correlation measurement that determines the degree to which the system output is linearly related to the system input.

There’s a lot of complex math behind this – if you want to know more about that you can read our 2006 AES paper. Here, I’m just going to show you a quick demonstration.

Configuring non-coherent distortion in SoundCheck is a simple checkbox in the transfer function analysis editor.

I have a good speaker, and a speaker that exhibits some fairly significant distortion. Let’s look at the good speaker first. I’m going to play a short excerpt of Bird On A Wire at 90dB SPL by Jennifer Warnes – this song is widely used as a test track as it has good dynamic range.

And if you look at the results, you can see non-coherent distortion in percent per square root Hertz (spectral density) versus frequency. Since non-coherent distortion uses a broadband test signal for measurement, there is no direct correlation to harmonic or intermodulation distortion in percent. Typically the distortion level appears much lower than harmonic or intermodulation distortion because the test signal energy is spread out over the entire frequency range and not a single frequency for measuring harmonic distortion.

Now I’m going to play the same song on a speaker that I know shows some fairly heavy distortion

Now, looking at these results, you can see the non-coherent distortion is considerably higher than the good unit, especially at low frequencies.

So that’s it. Non-coherent distortion offers a way of measuring transducers with real-world test signals that correlates well to listener perception. To learn more, check out our AES papers on the subject, or download our free test sequence for non-coherent distortion measurement.

100 Things #85: Integrate Soundcheck Data With Your Database

Using SoundCheck as part of your test setup and database is easy. SoundCheck’s data can be saved directly to Microsoft Access or an SQL database, all from within a sequence. This includes curves, values, results, and waveforms. SoundCheck’s autosave sequence steps can automatically gather, format, and export sequence data. Plus, with TCP/IP integration, SoundCheck’s data can be accessed and ready to use in your own program.

Integrate Soundcheck Data With Your Database

Learn more about SoundCheck integration

SoundCheck includes examples scripts for externally controlling SoundCheck via TCP/IP. C sharp, C++, LabVIEW, MATLAB, and Python examples are included.

Our SoundCheck tutorial series covers everything you need to know to get testing with SoundCheck, including how to configure SoundCheck autosave steps with a database. Check out the Autosave to Database tutorial, or the full tutorial playlist.

The SoundCheck manual gives detailed written instructions on setting up your database with SoundCheck, configuring TCP/IP connections, and more.

Video Script:

SoundCheck performs many measurements on your audio device – frequency response, sensitivity, harmonic distortion, perceptual distortion, transient distortion, directivity, pass/fail results and more. When you test hundreds, or even thousands of devices a day on a production line, that’s a lot of data. Everyone wants to manage this differently, so we offer several different database options for seamless integration with your manufacturing and business intelligence systems.

Directly in a SoundCheck step, you can save your curves, values, results, or waveforms to a database. Using an autosave step you can make a connection to a Microsoft Access or SQL database so that whenever your sequence runs,  the data is sent to the database. Industry standard tools can then be harnessed to run analytics over large data sets. For example, a procedure could be created to examine the frequency response on all measured devices on the database and create limits based on the average. 

Even if you’re not using a database, SoundCheck still has options to get your data into a format that’s easy to work with. In addition to the options shown directly in the autosave editor  – that’s text, csv, Excel, TDMS, Matlab .dat, .wfm, and.res, there’s also a plugin available to transfer data to WATS. WATS is a full test data management platform created by Virinco that can quickly and easily take production data and place it into dashboards to help see your production statistics at a glance. 

If these options aren’t enough, all the data, curves, and other  items saved in SoundCheck’s memory list, can always be accessed directly via TCP/IP. This means you can write your own customized program to collect exactly the SoundCheck data you need. Simply read the memory list items using a TCP/IP connection to the SoundCheck computer and you’ll have all the measurements ready to go in your own program. We have some very basic examples of this included with the Soundcheck installation in the external control examples folder, but the final product can be as specific to your use case as you need. 

Hopefully this brief introduction has demonstrated how SoundCheck’s flexible data management enables it to be easily integrated into your test environment. Check out the SoundCheck manual for detailed information on how to set up database connections, use TCP/IP and more.