100 Things #9: Use Your Own Customized Color Scheme

A customized color scheme let you have your graph any way you want it! You can customize SoundCheck’s desktop settings, curve colors, graph colors, and save any number of color palettes and configurations for frequent use. Watch this short video to learn how.

Use Your Own Customized Color Scheme in SoundCheck

 

Learn More About SoundCheck’s Customization Capabilities

Watch a longer video on how to customize your SoundCheck desktop and color palette.

Knowledgebase article on how to randomize curve colors in a display.

 

Video Script: Use Your Own Customized Color Scheme

Did you know in SoundCheck you can customize desktop settings, curve colors and graph colors, and save any number of color palettes and configurations for frequent use?

 You can change the background color of SoundCheck, display an image, or no image at all

The color palette section allows you to define 8 colors. When you have your setup configured to use this palette, it will always use color 1 for the first curve, color 2 for the second and so on. You can configure and save multiple palettes. This is useful,  for example, if you sometimes want graphs configured in color for on-screen viewing or black and white for printing reports.

These palettes can be manually applied, or set as defaults. Within a test sequence, you also have complete control over graph and line colors.

You can also customize the background color of your graphs  –  black, white, or whatever else you like, and change the appearance of the gridlines.

Your configurations can easily be shared with your co-workers, by email or via a shared directory.

 

100 Things #8: Display Multiple Curves on One Graph

In SoundCheck, it’s easy to display multiple curves on one graph – simply drag and drop a set of measurement data, or even a group of data from multiple devices. This saves considerable amounts of time when comparing a batch of devices, or even testing multiple transducers within a device (e.g. microphone array). Watch this short video to see just how easy it is!

Display Multiple Curves on One Graph

Learn More About SoundCheck’s Customization Capabilities

Check out our SoundCheck tutorials on display (section 12)

 

Video Script: Display Multiple Curves on One Graph

Sometimes we take for granted how easy it is to perform certain tasks in SoundCheck until we see how difficult it is using other test systems.

Let’s say I wanted to measure a batch of devices and display the results on a single graph.  Other test systems might require you to go through a multi step process involving exporting, editing and re-importing data But in SoundCheck, all that’s required are a few mouse clicks. Let’s take a look, shall we?

I’m going to measure 5 speakers and show the results on the same graphs. My test sequence measures frequency response and distortion and writes them to SoundCheck’s memory list, and plots each response on their respective graphs. Here is my first measurement.  I have auto-protected the data so it remains in the memory list and doesn’t get over-written when I run the next test. Now let’s measure some more speakers.

As you can see, the data from each additional speaker is automatically added to the graphs so you have a convenient way of comparing devices.

Protected data remains in the Memory List until SoundCheck is closed. When the sequence is closed, the user then has the option to save or discard the protected data as they see fit.

And, like virtually all SoundCheck functionality, this can easily also be incorporated into test sequences for even greater automation.

This convenient functionality has always been available in SoundCheck, right back to the early days when it was just a 2-channel system. Of course with today’s multichannel, multi-transducer devices, it’s more important than ever.

 

 

Production Testing Seminar

In this short seminar, Les Quindipan explores the use of SoundCheck for end-of-line electroacoustic production testing. He discusses typical test configurations and the type of measurements that can be made, how to set pass/fail limits and how to optimize tests for high throughput.

He also explains how SoundCheck is easily scaled for high volume electroacoustic testing, with such features as external control via another program and auto-saving data to databases, and how SoundCheck’s capabilities are easily expanded through the use of custom steps to control all types of devices and test fixtures.

This seminar will interest anyone considering a production line implementation of SoundCheck, or curious as to how to transition R&D measurements to fast and effective end-of-line test.

Production Testing demonstrations with SoundCheck include:

  • How to scale for high volume electroacoustic production testing, saving time and money
  • Typical audio measurements used in production testing
  • Production test setups
  • Optimizing test times and accuracy
  • Setting pass and fail limits in a test sequence
  • Auto-saving data
  • Custom Step Applications
  • Controlling SoundCheck externally from another program

Presenters: Les Quindipan
Duration: 18 Mins

More about Electroacoustic Production Testing with SoundCheck

A read on about at using SoundCheck for Production, as well as the transition of testing in a production environment from SoundCheck in the R&D Lab.

Take a closer look at the hardware used in this seminar, the AmpConnect 621.

Resources for Production Testing with SoundCheck

Learn more about the  WATS test data management system referenced in the video.

100 Things #7: Measure Device Characteristics Over Time with the Chart Recorder

Many of the virtual instruments available in SoundCheck have a strip chart recorder option that allow you to plot the instrument’s data over time. In this short video we take a quick look at how it is used with the multimeter, distortion analyzer and frequency counter. This functionality is directly equivalent to connecting a paper chart recorder to a classic, stand-alone hardware instrument.

Measure Device Characteristics Over Time

Learn More About SoundCheck’s Chart Recorder

More information about SoundCheck’s virtual instruments.

Watch a more in-depth video demonstration of SoundCheck’s virtual instruments.

 

Video Script: Measure Device Characteristics Over Time

Did you know that many of the virtual instruments available in SoundCheck have a strip chart recorder option that can allow you to plot the instrument’s data over time? Let’s take a look.

The Strip Chart Recorder was introduced in 2017 with the release of SoundCheck 16.  This module provides the multimeter, distortion analyzer and frequency counter the ability to plot measurements over time on a virtual strip chart.

This functionality is directly equivalent to connecting a paper chart recorder to a classic, stand-alone hardware instrument.

The Strip Chart Recorder can plot continuously or for a predefined amount of time with a scrolling or fixed y-axis. It can plot instantaneous results or repeating averages.

Results from the Strip Chart Recorder can be saved to the memory list and used inside a sequence just like any other virtual instrument.

This is an invaluable feature for environmental and reliability testing, as well as for any engineer that needs to characterize the behavior of a device over time.

 

 

 

100 Things #5: Test Devices Using Speech or Music

SoundCheck can test devices using any .wav file as a stimulus. This enables real signals such as speech or music to be used in any audio test. Speech signals are used for telephony and voice activation and in testing to IEEE and ITU standards that use P50 speech and ITU Real speech recordings. These ‘real world’ test signals are also valuable for measuring devices that include nonlinear signal processing such as cell phones and hearing aids, as these often do not test accurately with sine waves.

Test Devices Using Speech or Music

Learn more

Read on about all of SoundCheck‘s stimulus options and more, with features perfect for R&D and Production.

Video Script:

SoundCheck can test devices using any .wav file as a stimulus. This functionality, available since 2004, enables real signals such as speech or music to be used in any audio test. Speech signals are used for telephony and voice activation and in testing to IEEE and ITU standards that use P50 speech and ITU Real speech recordings. These ‘real world’ test signals are also valuable for measuring devices that include nonlinear signal processing such as cell phones and hearing aids, as these often do not test accurately with sine waves.

Testing devices using music as a stimulus enables measurements, such as non-coherent distortion, to be made with test signals that simulate the product-use, returning results that correlate well to listener experience.

The use of wav files also means that in the rare case you want to use a custom signal that cannot be created using SoundCheck’s stimulus editor, it can be made in another program and imported as a WAV file for use in SoundCheck.

All Wav files can, of course, be calibrated and equalized in SoundCheck, ensuring reproducibility and compliance to standards.

More recently, in 2019, we added the capability for SoundCheck to open multichannel WAV files into the memory list, signal generator and stimulus steps. This enhances the testing of smart devices and microphone arrays, conveniently auto-naming and grouping the channels together.

So there you have it, wav files introduce the ultimate in flexibility to your test stimuli.

100 Things #4: Modular Audio Test System Evolves With Your Needs

SoundCheck has always been a fully modular audio test system – both software and hardware. This means your test system can be specified and configured for your exact requirements and budget. It’s also future-proofed, as you can add modules at any time if your measurement needs expand, usually at fairly minimal cost. In this short video, we explain how this works.

 Modular Audio Test System Evolves With Your Needs

Learn More About SoundCheck’s Options and Modules

More information about SoundCheck packages and modules.

Evolution does not just apply to your testing needs. We’re constantly refining algorithms and adding new functionality. Check out our new features by version to see how SoundCheck’s capabilities have expanded over the years.

 

Video Script: Modular Audio Test System Evolves With Your Needs

Since its inception in 1995,, SoundCheck has always been a fully modular audio test system – both software and hardware. This means your test system can be spec’d and configured for your exact requirements and budget. It’s also future-proofed, as you can add modules at any time if your measurement needs expand, usually at fairly minimal cost.

Let’s take a look at how this flexibility works.

SoundCheck software is available in 4 different base packages, each of which has a pre-configured set of modules which define the stimulus, analysis and post-processing capabilities of your software. Additional modules can be purchased with any base package, either at the time of sale or at a later date, to expand the functionality. You can check the configuration of your system at any time within SoundCheck via Optional Modules in the Help menu.

Hardware is similarly modular. SoundCheck works with any soundcard or audio interface, and in addition to our own single and multi-channel interfaces, we recommend and supply a selection of suitable 3rd party products. Bluetooth and MEMS interfaces are sold separately for easy upgradability, and SoundCheck is compatible with audio test accessories from pretty much any vendor.

This flexibility makes it really easy to standardize on SoundCheck company-wide, even in large organizations across R&D and production. With just one system for the whole company to be familiar with, learning curves and ramp-up times are minimized, yet every test system is optimized for budget and performance.

Upgrading your system in the future is simple. Software modules are shipped electronically and usually available same day, and new hardware is easily substituted and configured.

We have many systems out there in the field that were purchased 10 or even 20 years ago as basic 2-channel speaker test systems that now handle multiple channels, bluetooth tests and advanced analyses for testing smart devices!

 

 

 

 

100 Things #3: Multichannel Audio Test with up to 64 Channels Simultaneously

Multichannel audio test is simple in SoundCheck with up to 64 channels of simultaneous acquisition; in reality, your channel count is only limited by your hardware interfaces and computer processing speed. Both hardware and software channels can be added at any time after purchase, enabling your system to truly expand with your needs. In this short video, we demonstrate the flexibility of Listen’s multichannel setup, using multiple interfaces and driver types can be used in the same setup. We show simultaneous play and record on different devices, and introduce some of the features recently introduced for multichannel testing.

Multichannel Audio Test with up to 64 Channels Simultaneously

Learn More About Multichannel Audio Test in SoundCheck

Many additional multichannel features have been added in the past few versions of SoundCheck, including the multichannel FFT and RTA, multichannel signal generator and more. Check out the ‘What’s New in SoundCheck’ page for detailed information.

Learn more about AmpConnect 621, our newest multichannel audio interface.

 

Video Script: Multichannel Audio Test with up to 64 Channels Simultaneously

SoundCheck handles up to 64 channels of simultaneous acquisition. We’ve offered full multichannel acquisition with a steadily increasing number of channels since 2007, reaching 64 measurement channels in 2015! The reality is, that these days, your channel count is limited by your hardware interfaces and computer processing speed rather than the number of channels that can be configured in SoundCheck.

Listen’s multichannel setup is extremely flexible. SoundCheck can play and record simultaneously on different devices. Multiple Listen audio hardware or 3rd party interfaces can be used in the same test setup. You can even use devices with different driver types concurrently e.g. WDM, WASAPI, ASIO, Core Audio & NI DAQ.

The modularity of the SoundCheck platform means channels can be added at any time, so if your testing needs change after you purchase a system, it’s simple and cost-effective to increase your channel count and add interface hardware.

The software has also gained many new multichannel testing features in recent years. Back in 2012 we introduced batch processing to handle data from multiple channels simultaneously.

In 2019, we added the capability for SoundCheck to open multichannel WAV files into the memory list, signal generator and stimulus steps, conveniently auto-naming and grouping the channels together.

This year, we introduced our Multichannel RTA, which allows real time measurement and  viewing of multiple signal paths simultaneously to present a convenient view of  multiple signal paths across a wide range of applications. Settings such as signal path gain, octave band resolution, weighting, averaging and time-weighting can be set independently for each channel for complete measurement flexibility. The RTA also has a calculation module which allows the user to Power Average the spectra from two or more signal paths.

We also launched our own 6-in 2-out high resolution audio test interface, AmpConnect 621 which further simplifies multichannel measurements with TEDs compatible inputs, integrated amplifier and impedance measurements, and simple plug and play operation.

One thing that’s for sure… with today’s voice-activated devices, advanced headphones and hearables, automotive audio and more, multichannel testing is here to stay, and SoundCheck has all the functionality you need to implement multichannel tests across a wide range of devices at a cost effective price.

 

 

 

 

 

100 Things #2: SoundCheck Works With Any Audio Interface

Since its inception in 1995, SoundCheck was designed to use any audio interface from a professional sound card to a high precision National Instruments data acquisition card. In this short video, we explain how this flexibility permits high channel count, portability, high accuracy or low cost. This is particularly useful where you have differing needs within your organization, yet would like to all use the same measurement system. It also makes it easy to transition measurement configurations from one audio interface to another, as often happens when moving an R&D test into production.

SoundCheck Works With Any Audio Interface

Learn More About hardware to use with SoundCheck

Check out our Hardware Compatibility List to see our suggested tried and tested audio interfaces.

Check out our own audio interfaces, the AmpConnect 621 6-in, 2-out interface, and AudioConnect 2, a budget 2-in, 2-out interface. our newest multichannel audio interface.

 

Video Script: SoundCheck Works With Any Audio Interface

Since we first launched SoundCheck in 1995, it has been designed to use any audio interface from a professional sound card to a high precision National Instruments data acquisition card.

This philosophy offers immense configuration flexibility, whether your needs are high channel count, portability, high accuracy or low cost. The SoundCheck software itself allows additional channels to be purchased, so it’s easy to match (and even change) your number of software channels with your interface needs.

This is particularly useful where you have differing needs within your organization, yet would like to all use the same measurement system. It also makes it easy to transition measurement configurations from one audio interface to another, as often happens when moving an R&D test into production.

While you can use any audio interface, we provide a list of tried, tested, and supported products with up to 64 channels. These all meet strict performance and latency criteria, and, when purchased through Listen, are supplied fully calibrated and ready to connect to your system.

Although this flexibility has always been integral to our product philosophy, since 2009, we’ve also offered our own audio interfaces. We’ve designed these specifically for measurement applications, adding functionality such as microphone power, amplifiers, impedance measurement, digital I/O, and signal routing, as well as high resolution options,  in a single unit with just a USB connection to the computer.

We’ve also eliminated most on-unit controls for simple error-free operation. The tight integration that our own products offer with SoundCheck enables automatic configuration for rapid set-up, and additional features such as automatic gain control, TEDS transducer calibration compatibility and more.

And naturally, our audio interfaces, as well as any recommended 3rd party products have always offered silent operation so as not to interfere with acoustic measurements.

We’re always happy to advise on the best audio interface to use with SoundCheck for your application, whether that’s one of our own products or something else.

 

100 Things #1: The ‘Stweep’ – SoundCheck’s Optimized Stepped Sine Sweep Stimulus

The Stweep test signal, one of the most efficient, accurate, noise-immune and flexible audio test signals in use today, was engineered by Steve Temme, Listen’s founder. It has been included in SoundCheck since the first version was released back in 1995. In this short video, we explain how it is different from the conventional stepped sine sweep used in most test systems and how its unique features enable shorter test times and excellent noise immunity for production environments.

The ‘Stweep’ – SoundCheck’s Optimized Stepped Sine Sweep Stimulus

Learn more

Read on about all of SoundCheck‘s stimulus options and more, with features perfect for R&D and Production.

Video Script:

The Stweep test signal, one of the most efficient, accurate, noise-immune and flexible audio test signals in use today, was engineered by Steve Temme, Listen’s founder. It has been included in SoundCheck since the first version was released back in 1995. 

So how is this different from the conventional stepped sine sweep used in most test systems?

A regular stepped sine sweep is not a continuous sweep – rather it plays a sine wave at discrete frequencies, step by step, within a user defined frequency range, and the user sets a resolution value to determine how many steps there will be.

SoundCheck’s ‘Stweep’ is an optimized stepped sine sweep that generates an integer number of cycles at each frequency step, ensuring a smooth “zero crossing” transition from step to step. This reduces transducer ringing and decreases settling time which yields faster and more accurate measurements. 

What makes it unique is that it is phase-continuous from frequency step to frequency step, in fact because of this, it sounds more like a sine chirp than a stepped sine. The Stweep can be user-configured with different resolutions to optimize the trade-off between stimulus duration and resolution.

Although the Stweep has been included in SoundCheck since 1995, it has more recently been refined to include a fast continuous sweep from one frequency to the next to further smooth the transitions, especially when the steps are large or when equalization is required.

It is innovations such as this that maintain the value of stepped sine signals as one of the most fundamental and powerful test stimuli in the audio analysis toolkit – the Stweep’s high speed and noise immunity make it an excellent choice for extremely fast production line measurements of parameters such as frequency response, phase, harmonics, and distortion measurements such as THD, Rub & Buzz and Perceptual Rub and Buzz. We’re just surprised that it’s only in the past year or so that other test system manufacturers have started to pay attention to this versatile stimulus.

Welcome to 100 Things You Didn’t Know About SoundCheck

In this video, Steve Temme, Listen’s founder and president, introduces our new video series ‘100 Things You Didn’t Know About SoundCheck’. This series of 100 videos highlights some of SoundCheck’s best-kept secrets – innovations, algorithms, analysis techniques and more that you may not know about.

Welcome to 100 Things You Didn’t Know About SoundCheck

Learn More About Our Audio Test System

SoundCheck Main Page.

Check out the latest new features in SoundCheck.

See our Innovation Timeline – a historical run-down of the major innovations in SoundCheck.

 

Video Script: Welcome to 100 Things You Didn’t Know About SoundCheck

Hello, my name is Steve Temme, founder and President of Listen, Inc. I’d like to introduce you to our new video series 100 Things You Didn’t Know About SoundCheck.

Since I started Listen back in 1995, our software-based audio measurement system, SoundCheck, has constantly evolved, expanding its capabilities with each new release. We’ve also introduced many hardware products to complement the software and meet increasingly complex test requirements.

The challenge of such a long history is that it’s hard to effectively share all of the vast functionality. I’ve lost count of the number of times customers have commented on some capability they’d love us to include, only for me to share with them that we have been able to do that since the 1990s or early 2000s! For example, I was recently asked whether we could offer a log chirp stimulus since one of our competitors recently implemented it. We’ve had it since 2001! – in fact we were the first commercial audio measurement systems to use it!

Anyway, that brings me to the purpose of this video series. Over the next one hundred short videos we’ll highlight some of SoundCheck’s best-kept secrets –  innovations, algorithms, analysis techniques and more that you may not know about. Some of these features have been around for decades, while others have been more recently added. Join us in this video series as we show you why sound measurements make sound products.