Posts

Message Steps Tutorial

These 3 training videos provides guidance on how to use message steps in sequences. Message steps enable dialog between the sequence and either the operator or external devices. These fall into 3 categories, each with a short instructional video.

Part 1 – Operator Message steps
– messages between the sequence and operator, for example to advise the operator to do something, or to request the operator input a value or yes/no input.

Part 2 – External control messages
– messages that enable communication with external hardware such as DIOs and RS232 devices.

Part 3 – Listen Hardware Control messages
– messages that enable control over Listen and Portland Tool & Die hardware.

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/

Denmark SoundCheck Training May 2019

We are excited to announce our first major SoundCheck training event in Denmark in Copenhagen on May 1-3, 2019.

Basic 2 day SoundCheck training

Wednesday May 1st & Thurs  May 2nd, 8.30am – 5.30pm

This two-day class is designed to accelerate the learning curve for novice and basic level SoundCheck users. A combination of teaching, demos and hands-on exercises begin with the basics of system setup and calibration, using virtual instruments, and creating and modifying basic test sequences. On the second day, the sequence writing progresses to more complex techniques such as sequence loops, statistics and advanced post-processing.
Course Outline
Register

Advanced SoundCheck training

Friday May 3rd, 8.30am – 5.30pm

This is designed for users who have already attended the basic class or who need to make more complex measurements and want to take their SoundCheck use to the next level. This course will include topics such as simulated free field measurements, open loop testing of smart devices, advanced distortion measurements, selecting an appropriate test stimulus (including speech, music and compound stimuli), advanced sequence development including conditional branching and looping, advanced post-processing algorithms and more.
Course Outline
Register

Scroll down for full class outlines.

Location: Clarion Hotel Copenhagen Airport, Ellehammersvei 20, 2770, Kastrup, DENMARK

Costs:
Each day is the same cost and you can combine any number of days, with a discount for each additional day that you take Although please note that the basic training is intended as a 2-day course). In addition, support contract holders and multiple attendees from the same company receive additional discounts

1 Day: $495 / 3250DKK ($350 / 2300DKK with valid SoundCheck support contract)

2 Days: $950 / 6235DKK ($665 / 4365DKK with valid SoundCheck support contract)

3 Days: $1350/ 8850DKK ($950 / 6235DKK with valid SoundCheck support contract)

 

Multi-person discount:

2-3 people from one company: 10% discount;

4 people will receive a 15% discount

5+ will receive a 25% discount.

Note: to qualify for the discount, all attendees must register together, but do not need to attend the same days.

 

2-Day Basic SoundCheck Training: Class Outline.

Wednesday May 1st & Thursday May 2nd.

Instructors: Mark Latshaw (Listen, Inc.), Steve Temme (Listen, Inc.), Introduction from Michael Trolle (Vibrakustik)

In this class, we start with the basics – how to set up your system, calibrate your hardware and use the virtual instruments.  We then focus on how to develop and modify test sequences, starting with stimulus, analysis and display options, and progressing to more advanced functionality such as sequence loops and jumps, statistics, and advanced post-processing. The class is a combination of classroom-style teaching and hands on practical sessions, so that when you leave the class you will be ready to go in practice as well as in theory.

This hands-on class covers all the major features of SoundCheck, including writing sequences, test signals, analysis, distortion measurements and more. The class is a combination of presentations interspersed with hands-on exercises to ensure that you are comfortable with all the concepts and methods taught before you leave the classroom. Although no previous SoundCheck experience is assumed, the course still offers plenty to users familiar with writing basic sequences.  Content includes:

  • Overview of SoundCheck software
    • Software Options
  • Hardware
    • Configuring audio interfaces and external equipment
    • Listen Certified Sound Cards
  • Calibration
    • Calibration of different DUT types (telephones, speakers, etc.)
  • Virtual instruments
    • Spectrum Analyzer, RTA, Multi-meter, Signal Generator, Oscilloscope
    • Virtual Instruments – hands-on
  • Online forum, bug and wish lists
  • SoundCheck Steps & Sequences
    • Philosophy & Architecture
    • Creating and editing SoundCheck Test Sequences and Steps
    • Using the Sequence Wizard
    • Stimulus & Acquisition Step details
    • Basic analysis
    • Display
    • Data Management Hands-on
    • Limits
    • Sequence Development – hands-on
    • Printing
    • Serial numbers
    • Autosave and recall
    • Messages – user prompts, calling external devices
    • Post-processing
    • Sequence Development (part 2) – hands-on
    • Statistics
    • Sequence loops and jumps
    • Advanced sequence development

Note: This is intended as a 2-day class, but each day may be taken separately if wanted. The first day will focus more on setup, calibration, virtual instruments and some beginning sequence writing. The second day will focus on sequence writing in much more detail.

1-Day Advanced SoundCheck Training: Class Outline.

Friday, May 3rd
Instructor Steve Temme

This is designed for users who have already attended the basic class or who need to make more complex measurements and want to take their SoundCheck use to the next level. This course will include topics such as simulated free field measurements, open loop testing of smart devices, advanced distortion measurements, selecting an appropriate test stimulus (including speech, music and compound stimuli), advanced sequence development including conditional branching and looping, advanced post-processing algorithms and more. Content includes:

  • Stimulus and analysis – choosing the right combination
  • Open loop and Bluetooth testing methods in detail
  • Advanced distortion measurements
  • Advanced sequence development and post-processing
  • Simulated free field measurements and SoundMap
  • System and custom steps
  • External control including Python integration

 

West Coast Training Extravaganza! Feb 4-8, 2019

Listen is excited to announce its biggest ever training event on the West Coast the week of Feb 4th– 8th (Chinese New Year week) with 5 full days of training events.

Monday Feb 4th: Electroacoustics training with Chris Struck. This one-day course covers the fundamentals of electroacoustics and is ideal for anyone new to the industry or who wants to learn more about the electroacoustics theory behind the measurements they are making. You do not need to be a SoundCheck user to benefit from this class! Course Outline. Register.

Tuesday and Wednesday Feb 5th & 6th: Basic 2 day SoundCheck training with Steve Tatarunis. This two-day class is designed to accelerate the learning curve for novice and basic level SoundCheck users. A combination of teaching, demos and hands-on exercises begin with the basics of system setup and calibration, using virtual instruments, and creating and modifying basic test sequences. On the second day, the sequence writing progresses to more complex techniques such as sequence loops, statistics and advanced post-processing. Course Outline. Register

Thursday Feb 7th: Advanced SoundCheck training with Steve Temme. This is designed for users who have already attended the basic class or who need to make more complex measurements and want to take their SoundCheck use to the next level. This course will include topics such as simulated free field measurements, open loop testing of smart devices, advanced distortion measurements, selecting an appropriate test stimulus (including speech, music and compound stimuli), advanced sequence development including conditional branching and looping, advanced post-processing algorithms and more. More details to follow. Register

Friday Feb 8th:  Smart speaker testing seminar (half day plus networking lunch). By popular demand we are bringing our free smart speaker testing seminar back to the West Coast. Steve Temme will present this seminar covering many aspects of smart device testing including open loop measurement, telephony measurements and voice quality measurements. Although the demonstrations will be done with smart speakers, the techniques and methods are relevant to anyone testing voice-controlled devices including hearables, watches and other wearables, robots, smart home devices and automotive entertainment systems. FREE. Course Outline. Register.

Scroll down for full class outlines.

Location: Hilton Garden Inn, 10741 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014.

Costs:
We have simplified pricing this year so that each day is the same cost and you can combine any number of days, with a discount for each additional day that you take. In addition, support contract holders and multiple attendees from the same company receive additional discounts

1 Day: $495 ($350 with valid SoundCheck support contract)

2 Days: $950 ($665 with valid SoundCheck support contract)

3 Days: $1350 ($950 with valid SoundCheck support contract)

4 Days: $1725 ($1200 with valid SoundCheck support contract)

Smart Speaker Seminar: FREE

 

Multi-person discount:

2-3 people from one company: 10% discount;

4 people will receive a 15% discount

5+ will receive a 25% discount.

Note: to qualify for the discount, all attendees must register together. Multi-attendee discount is only applicable to Mon-Thurs training since the Friday Smart Speaker Seminar event is free.

 

1- Day Electroacoustics Class Outline. Instructor – Christopher Struck (CJS Labs)

Introduction

    • Transducers & Reciprocity
    • Subjective & Objective Tests
    • Loudspeaker and Microphone Test Systems

Basic Acoustics and Measuring Sound

  • Sound Pressure & Sound Pressure Level
  • Wavelength & Frequency
  • The Decibel and Working with Decibels
  • Weighting Networks
  • Detectors, and Time Constants

Sound Sources and Sound Fields

  • Ideal Sources, Sound Radiation, and Sound Fields
  • Transmission, Reflection and Diffraction
  • Elementary Room Acoustics
  • Anechoic Chambers and Reverb Rooms

Psychoacoustics & Hearing

  • Frequency and Dynamic Range
  • Masking & Critical Bands
  • Directional Effects
  • Anatomy of the Ear
  • Detection and Signal Processing within the Ear
  • Loudness & Hearing Loss

Measurement Microphones

  • Principles of Operation
  • Frequency & Dynamic Range
  • Microphone Types, Selection and Applications
  • Field Calibration

Frequency Analysis

  • Signal Types
  • Filters and Filter Analysis
  • Confidence Limits, and Averaging Time
  • The FFT
  • Time Windows, Overlap & “Real Time” Analysis

 System Analysis

  • Time & Frequency Domains
  • Causal Linear Time-Invariant Systems
  • Analysis Methods: Dual Channel FFT, MLS, TDS
  • Stimulus Signals

Simulated Free Field Measurements

  • Sound Paths, Correlated and Uncorrelated Noise
  • Quasi-Anechoic Test Methods
  • Near Field Measurements
  • Time Selective Techniques

Distortion & Non-Linearity

  • Non-Linear Systems & Distortion Order
  • Distortion Audibility
  • Transducer Defect Detection
  • Harmonic, Intermodulation & Difference Frequency Distortion Tests
  • Measurements of Band-Limited Systems
  • Multi-Tone Distortion
  • THD + N
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Non-Coherent Power
  • Time Variance and Linearity Measures

2-Day Basic SoundCheck Training: Class Outline. Instructor: Steve Tatarunis (Listen, Inc.)

In this class, we start with the basics – how to set up your system, calibrate your hardware and use the virtual instruments.  We then focus on how to develop and modify test sequences, starting with stimulus, analysis and display options, and progressing to more advanced functionality such as sequence loops and jumps, statistics, and advanced post-processing. The class is a combination of classroom-style teaching and hands on practical sessions, so that when you leave the class you will be ready to go in practice as well as in theory.

This hands-on class covers all the major features of SoundCheck, including writing sequences, test signals, analysis, distortion measurements and more. The class is a combination of presentations interspersed with hands-on exercises to ensure that you are comfortable with all the concepts and methods taught before you leave the classroom. Although no previous SoundCheck experience is assumed, the course still offers plenty to users familiar with writing basic sequences.  Content includes:

  • Overview of SoundCheck software
    • Software Options
  • Hardware
    • Configuring audio interfaces and external equipment
    • Listen Certified Sound Cards
  • Calibration
    • Calibration of different DUT types (telephones, speakers, etc.)
  • Virtual instruments
    • Spectrum Analyzer, RTA, Multi-meter, Signal Generator, Oscilloscope
    • Virtual Instruments – hands-on
  • Online forum, bug and wish lists
  • SoundCheck Steps & Sequences
    • Philosophy & Architecture
    • Creating and editing SoundCheck Test Sequences and Steps
    • Using the Sequence Wizard
    • Stimulus & Acquisition Step details
    • Basic analysis
    • Display
    • Data Management Hands-on
    • Limits
    • Sequence Development – hands-on
    • Printing
    • Serial numbers
    • Autosave and recall
    • Messages – user prompts, calling external devices
    • Post-processing
    • Sequence Development (part 2) – hands-on
    • Statistics
    • Sequence loops and jumps
    • Advanced sequence development

Note: This is intended as a 2-day class, but each day may be taken separately if wanted. The first day will focus more on setup, calibration, virtual instruments and some beginning sequence writing. The second day will focus on sequence writing in much more detail.

 

1-Day Advanced SoundCheck Training: Class Outline. Instructor Steve Temme

This is designed for users who have already attended the basic class or who need to make more complex measurements and want to take their SoundCheck use to the next level. This course will include topics such as simulated free field measurements, open loop testing of smart devices, advanced distortion measurements, selecting an appropriate test stimulus (including speech, music and compound stimuli), advanced sequence development including conditional branching and looping, advanced post-processing algorithms and more. WE are finalizing content and a more detailed outline will follow shortly.

 

 

Free Seminar: Smarter Measurements for Smarter Speakers! Instructor Steve Temme (Listen, Inc.)

smart_speakersLearn how to test smart speakers, hearables, watches and other wearables, robots, smart home devices, automotive entertainment systems and other smart devices in our practical half-day seminar taught by industry expert Steve Temme of Listen, Inc.

Although acoustic testing of smart speakers and other voice-activated devices presents challenges such as injecting and extracting response signals, time delays, and triggering the system using voice commands, it is still possible to measure the same parameters as traditional loudspeakers, In addition we can also measure microphone array performance, speakerphone performance and more.

We demonstrate how to do this, focusing on:

  • Stimulating and capturing responses from a device where you don’t have direct access to the microphone or speaker (open loop testing).
  • Delays, asynchronous stimulus / acquisition, and working with the ‘cloud’
  • Testing with real world signals such as speech and music, and how to analyze results from these test stimuli
  • Voice Recognition – key word spotting, wake word testing, directionality, and the effect of background noise on voice recognition performance
  • Telephony – testing smart speakers for hands-free calling

There is no charge for this seminar and lunch will be provided.

Print

SoundCheck 16.1 Released – New Frequency Trigger for Open Loop Testing

Listen is excited to announce the release of SoundCheck 16.1. This minor release, which contains some exciting new features, is available free of charge to all registered users of SoundCheck 16.0.

Most significant is the inclusion of a new frequency trigger. This allows frequency-based triggering of acquisition from an external source using a pilot tone at the beginning of a test sweep. This allows for improved accuracy over previous level-based triggering when capturing responses from a device where you don’t have direct access to the microphone or speaker, especially in noisy environments. This technique optimizes open loop test methods for smart speakers and other voice-controlled devices such as smart phones, robots, automotive audio, smart thermostats, hearables and more. You can view a short video explaining this feature here:

 

We also have a free measurement sequence using the frequency trigger that can be downloaded from our website so that you can test it out right away! View Sequence.

SoundCheck now also fully integrates with the Mentor A2B interface for testing automotive audio connected via the Analog Devices A2B digital bus. The Mentor Analyzer, which handles the transmission of signal in to and out of the bus, is viewed as an ASIO interface by SoundCheck, enabling SoundCheck to read/write to the device and therefore analyze any transducer connected to the A2B bus. A custom VI permits control of the Mentor A2B interface configuration via SoundCheck. This means that it can be controlled from within a SoundCheck sequence, for example loading configurations and starting/stopping ASIO streams. This makes it an ideal R&D or production line test solution for automotive audio, or for anyone testing transducers connected via A2B bus. More.

Also available (additional cost) with this new release are two optional sequences – background noise simulation to the ETSI ES 202 396-1 standard, and the TIA-920B dual-bandwidth telephone test standard.

The background noise simulation sequence (part number 3121) is a cost-effective alternative to dedicated background noise generation systems. It calibrates a 4.1 speaker array to conform with the ETSI ES 202 396-1 Standard, providing an equalized, calibrated playback solution to stress devices in a standardized and repeatable way. The sequence includes a library of real world binaural recordings from the standard, and custom or user-defined binaural recordings may also be used. Applications of this sequence include evaluating ANC, noise suppression, voice recognition testing, SNR optimization of microphones, beamforming directionality studies of microphone arrays and more. More.

The TIA-920B sequence (part number 3111) tests to the TIA-920B dual-bandwidth standard that applies to both narrowband (NB) and wideband (WB) devices. It also allows a choice between Free Field (FF) and Diffuse Field (DF) as the Listener Reference Point (LRP). The current release measures digital communications devices with handset features, according to TIA-920.110-B and speakerphones, according to TIA-920.120-B. Support for headset measurements, according to TIA-920.130-B will be added in a future release. More.

SoundCheck/Mentor A2B for Auto Audio

mentor_a2bWe are excited to announce that SoundCheck fully integrates with the Mentor A2B interface for testing automotive audio connected via the Analog Devices A2B digital bus. The Mentor Analyzer, which handles the transmission of signal in to and out of the bus, is viewed as an ASIO interface by SoundCheck, enabling SoundCheck to read/write to the device and therefore analyze any transducer connected to the A2B bus. A custom VI permits control of the Mentor A2B interface configuration via SoundCheck. This means that it can be controlled from within a SoundCheck sequence, for example loading configurations and starting/stopping ASIO streams. This makes it an ideal R&D or production line test solution for automotive audio, or for anyone testing transducers connected via A2B bus. Contact your Listen sales engineer for more information.

Please see our knowledgebase article for download links and installation instructions.

Cupertino SoundCheck Training – Sept 10-11, 2018

training_chicago2017Unleash your audio test skills with our popular 2 day SoundCheck training course in Cupertino, CA on Sept 10-11.

In this class, we start with the basics – how to set up your system, calibrate your hardware and use the virtual instruments.  We then focus on how to develop and modify test sequences, starting with stimulus, analysis and display options, and progressing to more advanced functionality such as sequence loops and jumps, statistics, and advanced post-processing. The class is a combination of classroom-style teaching and hands on practical sessions, so that when you leave the class you will be ready to go in practice as well as in theory.

This hands-on class covers all the major features of SoundCheck version 16, including writing sequences, test signals, analysis, distortion measurements and more. The class is a combination of presentations interspersed with hands-on exercises to ensure that you are comfortable with all the concepts and methods taught before you leave the classroom. Although no previous SoundCheck experience is assumed, the course still offers plenty to users familiar with writing basic sequences.  Content includes:

  • Overview of SoundCheck software
    • Software Options
  • Hardware
    • Configuring audio interfaces and external equipment
    • Listen Certified Sound Cards
  • Calibration
    • Calibration of different DUT types (telephones, speakers, etc.)
  • Virtual instruments
    • Spectrum Analyzer, RTA, Multi-meter, Signal Generator, Oscilloscope
    • Virtual Instruments – hands-on
  • Online forum, bug and wish lists
  • SoundCheck Steps & Sequences
    • Philosophy & Architecture
    • Creating and editing SoundCheck Test Sequences and Steps
    • Using the Sequence Wizard
    • Stimulus & Acquisition Step details
    • Basic analysis
    • Display
    • Data Management Hands-on
    • Limits
    • Sequence Development – hands-on
    • Printing
    • Serial numbers
    • Autosave and recall
    • Messages – user prompts, calling external devices
    • Post-processing
    • Sequence Development (part 2) – hands-on
    • Statistics
    • Sequence loops and jumps
    • Advanced sequence development

Course presenters: Mark Latshaw, Cam Ruffle-Deignan – Listen, Inc.
Cost: $950 ($665 with valid SoundCheck support contract)

Location / Dates / Time
Hilton Garden Inn, 10741 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014
Sept 10-11, 2018. Coffee / snacks / sign-in starts at 8:00 AM and the training course runs from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM each day.