Tag Archive for: database

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 #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.

SoundCheck 17 New Features Video

In this short video, sales engineer Les Quindipan gives a brief overview and demonstration of the new features and functionality of SoundCheck 17, including the new level and cross-correlation trigger, average curve/waveform post-processing functionality, new color palettes, save to MATLAB option, and more.

Listen Releases SoundCheck 17: New Features for Multichannel and Voice-Controlled Testing

Save to MATLAB

Listen is excited to announce the release of SoundCheck Version 17. This new Windows/Mac release offers many features to simplify multi-channel and voice controlled testing, such as a new level and cross-correlation trigger, average curve/waveform post-processing functionality, the ability to easily read and work with multichannel wavefiles, multiple DC Connect control, and enhanced database options. On the usability side, SoundCheck 17 offers increased flexibility in color palettes, save to MATLAB option, and the ability to recall CSV formatted text files.

Today’s modern audio devices have two important testing requirements: the ability to test a voice activated device with no analog input, and the ability to control and test multiple channels simultaneously, for example, microphone or speaker arrays. SoundCheck 17 contains a host of new features to facilitate this. For voice-activated measurements on devices with no analog input, such as smart speakers, wearables, hearables and smart home devices, the new level & cross-correlation ‘smart trigger’ offers improved performance. By using a chirp-based conditioning tone and searching for the exact log sweep frequency, it is more robust and less susceptible to false triggers than simpler level and frequency triggers.

To save time when testing smart devices where it is necessary to test microphone or speaker arrays, SoundCheck 17 can now directly read multichannel WAV files from the memory list, signal generator and stimulus steps. Also for testing multi-channel arrays, multiple DC Connects can now be controlled, independently configured, and used for data acquisition within SoundCheck. The new Average Curve/WFM post processing function which allows the average curve (or waveform) of a selected group of data in the memory list to be obtained, is particularly useful for power averaging selected curves, averaging curves from different spatial positions (e.g. microphone arrays), and complex averaging of multiple measurements with background noise. Finally, the database module has been enhanced and is now it 4x faster and 3x more space-efficient than previous versions. This is particularly important for testing modern audio products with multiple transducers (microphone arrays, multiple speakers, etc.), as these often generate large volumes of data.

New Level and Cross-Correlation Trigger

Usability enhancements include improved color pallets which offer ultimate flexibility in defining colors for backgrounds, grids, cursors and graph lines. New default color palettes are included, and user-defined palettes can be saved as pre-set files which will be applied to any new display created. Multiple palettes can be saved, for example allowing different color sets for different applications. In addition, SoundCheck can now save any data (including memory list curves and Soundmap (time frequency analysis) data ) to  MATLAB for additional processing. Data is saved as a standard MAT file and can be manually or automatically saved in this format.

Additional new features include support for the new APTX HD codec for high resolution Bluetooth testing, a 64 bit Demo / Data Viewer which enables measured data to be recalled and viewed without the need to own a separate license, and the ability to recall CSV files as well as TXT files.

 

More Information: https://www.listeninc.com/products/soundcheck-software/specs/