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SoundCheck® 19, the new release of Listen, Inc.’s flagship audio test and measurement system, offers additional functionality for multichannel measurements, including a new Multi-channel RTA, WASAPI-exclusive mode, and AmpConnect 621 control. Additionally, the inclusion of room acoustics measurements offers increased capability for those looking to evaluate devices in real-world situations. Many of these features also add value on the production line, minimizing setup time, reducing the chance of user-error, and ensuring smoother operation in automated situations.
In this release, the original ANSI S1.11-2004 Class 0 standard compliant, single-channel RTA has been enhanced to show multiple channels simultaneously. Settings for these can be configured independently, e.g. adding different weighting curves, and the power-averaged response displayed. This presents a convenient view of many measurements across a wide range of applications including overlaying left and right earphone responses to check for fit and seal, microphone array captures (e.g. in-vehicle cabin measurements), real time adjustment of active noise cancellation filter, and more. For maximum flexibility, spectrum settings are set independently for each channel, and all multi-channel RTA functionality can also be used within a test sequence for automation.
The optional RT60 Room Acoustics module enables measurement of the reverberation time and clarity of any room or space with fully calibrated signal paths. This is useful for quantifying how speakers will interact with the acoustics of a particular type of room. It can also help identify problems with room acoustics so that the floor, ceiling and walls can be treated accordingly. SoundCheck uses a continuous sine sweep with the Log TSR algorithm to obtain the impulse response. The reverberation decay curve is calculated from the backwards integrated impulse response. This method, conforming to ISO 3382-1:2009, offers extremely fast measurements, requires just one measurement at each location, and minimizes the effect of noise and distortion on the measurement.
Another enhancement is the option to use WASAPI-exclusive mode with Windows 10 audio devices. This advanced interface offers superior communication with audio devices, allowing SoundCheck to bypass the Windows audio engine, and send audio streams directly to the device. This delivers lower latency and ensures that sample rate conversion from the built-in Windows audio engine will not occur. It also enables SoundCheck to put an exclusive lock on the audio interface so that a measurement cannot be disrupted by system sounds. The ability to use multiple WASAPI devices simultaneously offers significant advantages for multichannel applications, particularly where the channel count requires multiple audio interfaces. WASAPI and ASIO devices can be combined to increase channel availability.
SoundCheck 19 supports AmpConnect 621, Listen’s new high resolution (up to 192kHz) multichannel audio interface. AmpConnect 621 has no front panel controls; it is exclusively configured via the SoundCheck 19 software. Set-up and configuration is extremely simple and fast with full plug-and-play functionality and TEDS support for automatic identification, configuration and calibration of microphones and accelerometers. The absence of front panel knobs also provides an added level of test integrity by ensuring that settings cannot be inadvertently adjusted outside of your test configuration. SoundCheck 19 with AmpConnect 621 is a simple and cost-effective solution for automotive measurements with a 6-microphone array, sound power measurements, or for measuring devices with multiple speakers such as smartphones or sound bars.
Also new is a diagnostic window which enables suppression of warning dialog windows when running a sequence, logging any errors, warnings, and information in a separate file. This is useful when Soundcheck is run in unattended or in highly automated situations (for example, on a production line) where dialog windows would interrupt the execution of a sequence. It also facilitates troubleshooting as the log is easily shared via email. SoundCheck also now allows the Drok USB Controller Knob to be used to adjust the SoundCheck Signal Generator, simulating the feel and control of operation of a traditional manual analog signal generator. Used with other virtual instruments such as the RTA, spectrum analyzer and distortion meter, this offers a rapid way to identify defects by observing the response while manually fine-tuning the signal generator.
More information (video, PDF, graphics, etc.): https://www.listeninc.com/products/soundcheck-overview/new-soundcheck-release-version-19/
Listen has strengthened its product development team with the addition of two new senior managers with a vast range of industry experience. Engineering Director, Teo Bal, and Product Manager Ed Srenger will collaborate closely to drive innovation and strategic direction throughout the product design and development process.
Engineering Director, Teo Bal, brings a wealth of experience in engineering practices, project management and innovation leadership to the team. He is a veteran of the automotive audio industry, having held senior engineering roles at industry leaders including Bose, Harman, Dura, and Marelli. He has a Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering from Tri-State University and is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Teo has taken on the direct leadership of Listen’s engineering and product development team, managing every software release and hardware product from conception to manufacturing. Outside of work, Teo enjoys soccer and skiing, and loves to benchmark the latest and greatest technology products – particularly audio and entertainment technology and VR.
Product Manager, Ed Srenger, brings significant expertise in voice-enabled solutions, hands-free systems, and infotainment systems, gained through software engineering leadership roles at Amazon, Nuance, Continental and Motorola. He holds a masters degree in speech and signal processing, as well as an MBA. At Listen, Ed will work closely with our customers as well as our internal engineering team to drive product and algorithm development and ensure that Listen’s audio testing innovations are synergistic with customer needs. Outside of work, Ed enjoys the great outdoors, particularly hiking, skiing, biking and traveling. Ed will be meeting many customers over the coming months to truly understand their needs.
SoundCheck 18.1 is now available. This update to version 18 includes a couple of new features and several bug-fixes. It introduces control for the upcoming AmpConnect 621 interface, an all-in-one multichannel interface (6-in, 2-out) that is exclusively controlled via the software for seamless integration with test sequences and virtual instruments. It also includes the new Auto Delay+ algorithm for increased accuracy of open loop measurements, especially in cases where the delay is longer than 1 second. It is particularly useful for measuring smart devices such as smart speakers, automotive audio, hearables, etc., where test signals are sent via the cloud. In addition, there are several bug fixes. Version 18.1 is available free of charge to all owners of version 18. If you have not received a download link from your sales engineer, please contact us.
2020 is Listen’s 25th anniversary! When Listen sold its first product in 1995, it was the first soundcard-based audio measurement system, and its competition was often human listeners. Now, with an installed base of well over 10,000 systems and the industry-wide adoption of both soundcard-based architecture and highly automated sequence-based measurement, Listen is still leading the way with new algorithms and product development to meet the changing needs of the marketplace. In this article, reprinted from Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook, Listen founder and president, Steve Temme, shares his story.
Listen has expanded its software team with the hiring of 2 new engineers Josh Thibeault (left) and Dan Donato (right).
Josh graduated from Tufts University in 2019 with a Bachelors Degree In Mechanical Engineering. While at Tufts, he played varsity football and was part of the Tufts Electric Race Team. Outside of work, Josh enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and listening to music.
Dan holds degrees in Computer Science and Economics from University at Buffalo. Prior to joining Listen, he has worked as a firefighter and testing video games. In his spare time he develops virtual reality games, plays roller derby, and plays the trumpet.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we are not offering in-person group training classes. These will be resumed when regulations allow and there is the demand for it.
In the meantime, we offer customized online training for groups of people from the same company, and can offer flexibility in timing, session length and schedule. Please contact your sales engineer for more information.
Additionally, we will shortly be announcing some scheduled online training classes and these will be posted here as soon as information is available.
Don’t forget to check out our collection of Working from Home with SoundCheck videos on our Youtube channel. Our support team has created this series of videos that demonstrate features of SoundCheck that can easily be explored offline without full access to your lab.
If you are a new user, our series of on-demand training videos is a good place to start. These cover much of the content from day 1 of our basic 2 day training.
Anastassia Tolpygo has joined Listen, Inc. as West Coast Sales Applications Engineer, based in the San Francisco Bay area and will be the main point of contact for our customers in California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. She has a strong background in vibration and FFT analysis, having supported sales and applications for Crystal Instruments the past 5 years. Prior to that she held positions encompassing sales, technical support and QA in a variety of high-tech companies, including Plantronics and Sena. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics from UCSC. This expertise in mechanics and acoustics, combined with sales and applications experience enables her to truly understand and appreciate customer needs. Anastassia happens to be fluent in Russian and is keenly passionate about audio. Outside of work, she practices various types of dance, critiques music online and enjoys time with family.
In this short video, sales engineer Les Quindipan gives a brief overview and demonstration of the new usability enhancements and features to simplify automation, multi-channel and voice controlled testing in SoundCheck 18. New features previewed include:
- Automation Enhancements: Test configuration data can now be passed into SoundCheck from external programs using TCP/IP commands. By externally storing parameters such as limits, test levels, and test signals, a single sequence can be used for multiple products, simplifying the number of sequences that a large organization needs to maintain, and reducing test configuration time.
- Plug’n’play hardware setup: Listen and Portland Tool & Die Hardware now auto-configure parameters such as sampling rate and calibration values, and create input and output signal paths, making setup faster.
- Simplified Gain Control Selection: auto read and auto range gain settings are now easily accessible as drop-down options in the gain menu in the acquisition step editor, and auto-read is available in virtual instruments. This makes it much faster to make quick gain adjustments while developing sequences.
- Improved sampling rate management: Improved communication with audio interfaces that have a sampling-rate dependent latency enables you to now specify the latencies for various sampling rates, either by entering them manually or importing from a file, and SoundCheck will automatically default to these. Sampling rate can also now be set in the stimulus editor.
- MEMS interface control: Portland Tool & Die MEMS microphone interfaces can now be fully controlled from within SoundCheck for faster measurement setup and greater measurement reliability as the device settings can be built into the test sequence.
- TEDS Support: When used with compatible Listen hardware, SoundCheck will automatically identify, configure and calibrate TEDS microphones and accelerometers, saving time on initial hardware setup and whenever hardware is changed.
- WASAPI driver support: WASAPI driver support in Windows 10 offers improved multichannel capabilities.