HarmonicTrak Algorithm for Fast and Accurate Swept Sine Measurement
Author: Steve Temme
The sine generator in SoundCheck®, operates on the same principles as a traditional swept sine measurement system consisting of a sine generator, voltmeter, tracking filter, and level recorder. The main difference is that it is implemented in the software as a virtual instrument. The SoundCheck sine generator sweeps in discrete steps; each frequency step contains numerous cycles that are synchronously averaged to minimize the effect of background noise. Transducer settling (transient ringing) is also minimized by discarding the first few cycles at each new frequency step and providing a phase continuous transition between frequencies. This provides higher frequency, amplitude, and phase accuracy, as well as excellent noise suppression. Instead of using a tracking filter that can only measure one harmonic at a time, SoundCheck uses a proprietary FFT-based algorithm, called HarmonicTrakTM, which is equivalent to a parallel bank of individual tracking filters that measure all selected harmonics simultaneously. This parallel analysis technique saves considerable measurement time over the traditional serial analysis method.