Tag Archive for: automation

SoundCheck 18 Released: New Features for Large-scale Integration and Multi-channel / Voice-activated Device Testing

SoundCheck 18, the latest release of Listen, Inc.’s flagship audio test and measurement system, contains many new features focused on automation and simplicity. Some of these are specifically designed for large-scale integration in factory environments, while others are designed to accelerate R&D testing, particularly where multiple channels are required and/or voice-activated devices are being tested.

Test configuration data, such as limits, test levels, and test signals, can now be passed into SoundCheck from external programs using TCP/IP commands. By externally storing parameters, 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. This functionality is also useful for applications where a sequence needs to be run many times with different parameters, for example, testing voice recognition with a range of voices or test levels, or where SoundCheck tests are run as part of a larger automated test framework controlled using Python, C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW, etc.

Setup time is reduced with true plug’n’play hardware configuration. Listen and Portland Tool & Die interfaces are simply connected via the USB cable, and the software automatically creates input and output signal paths and populates parameters such as sampling rate and calibration values. Furthermore, when substituting devices of the same type, SoundCheck will re-use the configuration pre­viously set up, either manually or during a sequence, so that signal paths and sequence configurations do not need to be updated. This offers significant time-savings when deploying a sequence over multiple stations accelerating set-up time for large-scale operations. New TEDS Support (with compatible Listen hardware) enables automatic identification, configuration and calibration of TEDS microphones and accelerometers, also saving time on initial hardware setup or whenever hardware is changed.

The development and optimization of test sequences has been simplified with improvements to gain control selection. Similarly, sampling rate management has been streamlined with automatic latency rate adjustment for devices where latency varies with sampling rate, and the ability to set sampling rate in the stimulus editor. Sampling rate when using WAV files is also now automatically adjusted, making it simpler to make measurement with wave file signals such as speech or music.

For MEMS microphone tests, the Portland Tool & Die MEMS interfaces can now be controlled from within SoundCheck for faster setup as well as greater measurement reliability as the device settings can be built into the test sequence. Se­quences using the R&D grade DCC-1448 interface will also work seamlessly with the production-grade PQC-1448, making it much simpler to transition sequences from the R&D lab to the produc­tion line.

Additional new features include WASAPI driver support for improved multichannel capabilities, and enhanced digital I/O control for easy conversion of sequences between hardware options.

Watch the New Features Video   

External Control of SoundCheck via TCP/IP

TCP/IP control of SoundCheck provides a powerful and expandable command format for controlling and interacting with SoundCheck via any programming language (C#, C++, MATLAB, VB.net, LabVIEW, Python, etc.), on any operating system, either locally or through a network. This is valuable for anyone wishing to control SoundCheck from an external program, e.g. as part of an overall test plan or for factory automation. Using this feature, a single computer can control multiple SoundCheck systems, simplifying production line measurements.

The ability to connect to, and control SoundCheck via TCP/IP first appeared in SoundCheck over 3 years ago, but for version 18, it has been enhanced with the ability to pass test configuration data into the memory list from external programs. This means, for example, that by externally storing parameters such as limits, test levels, and test signals, a single sequence can be used for multiple products, or testing the same product multiple times, simplifying sequence maintenance, and reducing test configuration time.

This application note and accompanying demo scripts walk you through how to use Python to:

  • Control a simple loudspeaker test setup, launching SoundCheck and running a sequence
  • Run a simple frequency response sequence from a command line interface, creating placeholder curves, values, results and waveforms in the MemoryList and pass values into the placeholders via external control.
  • Read a WAV file and use it as a stimulus for performing an FFT Spectrum measurement in SoundCheck

More