Making Measurements

Once the audio input and output have been chosen, the soundcard has been calibrated, the levels have been checked and the SPL reading has been calibrated REW is ready to make room response measurements.

Connections should be as explained in Getting Started, if connected to an AV processor, select the input to which the soundcard's output is connected.

Making a Measurement

The result of the measurement is displayed in the graph area, information about the measurement appears in the Measurements Panel. Measurements are given a default name of the date and time at which they are made, a more appropriate name can be entered in the box at the top of the measurements panel
Measurement Name

Notes relating to each measurement can be entered in the notes area, click the Notes button Notes button if the notes area is not visible
Measurement Notes

For details of the various ways of viewing the measured data, including averaging multiple measurements, refer to the Graph Panel help.

Measurement Headroom

The headroom figure on the measurement panel shows how far away the input is from clipping, and hence how much the sweep level could be increased before clipping would occur. The figure is red if there is less than 6dB of headroom (warning that the input is close to clipping), green between 6 and 40 dB (or between 6 and 60 dB for USB mics). A message is shown if the headroom is more than desirable, as increasing the Sweep Level or the AV processor volume would improve the signal-to-noise ratio in the measurement which in turn increases the accuracy of the impulse and frequency responses. Note that after making such a change subsequent measurements will be at a higher SPL on the graphs than those made before the change.

Low Signal Level

If the room's resonances are very large the input signal level may exceed the input range and cause clipping. If this occurs a warning is displayed, as input clipping will cause errors in the derived frequency response. The sweep level, AV processor volume or input volume should be reduced and the measurement repeated. Note that after making the change subsequent measurements will be at a lower SPL on the graphs than those made before the change.

Clipping warning

If the signal levels are very low this may indicate a connection problem:

Very Low Signal Level

After measuring the response of a channel you can look at adjusting EQ immediately, or make other measurements first.

Note that some resonances which are very pronounced when measuring a speaker alone do not appear if a pair of speakers (e.g. Left and Right) are run together - this is because the positioning of the speakers in the room can prevent some resonances being excited (in particular, the odd order width modes will not be excited by content which is the same on Left and Right speakers if they are symmetrically placed across the width). Such resonances can often be left uncorrected, to identify them compare measurements from individual channels with those made with two channels driven at the same time (achieved on AV32R DP or AV192R by setting the Repeat Sig. entry in the TMREQ filter menu to Yes and selecting the channel which is to repeat the test signal, or on other processors by connecting both left and right soundcard outputs to the selected AV processor input or using a Y lead to drive two inputs at once).

Measuring with a timing reference

REW can make use of a timing reference when it measures, according to the setting on the measurement panel or in the Analysis preferences. The timing reference selection controls whether REW uses a loopback on the soundcard as a timing reference, or an acoustic timing reference, or no reference. Using a timing reference allows REW to eliminate the variable propagation delays within the computer and soundcard so that separate measurements have the same absolute timing.

If a loopback is selected the reference channel signal must be looped back from output to input on the soundcard and measurements will be relative to the loopback timing. Usually this means measurements will have a time delay that corresponds to the time it takes sound to travel from the speaker being measured to the microphone.

If an acoustic timing reference is used REW will generate a timing signal on the output that has been selected to act as the reference before it generates measurement sweeps on the channels being measured. The level of the timing reference is set separately from the measurement level using the control at the top of the measurement dialog. The timing signal is a high frequency sweep to allow accurate timing, a subwoofer cannot be used as the reference channel. Measurements will have a time delay that corresponds to the difference in their distance from the microphone compared to the distance of the reference speaker - if the reference speaker is further away the delay would be negative. When an acoustic timing reference is used individual measurements taken from the same mic position will have the same relative timing, allowing trace arithmetic to be carried out on the traces in the All SPL graph. Note that multiple sweeps cannot be used when using an acoustic timing reference.

If using a timing reference REW can calculate the delay through the system being measured relative to the reference and show it in the measurement Info panel as "System Delay" in milliseconds, with the equivalent distance in feet and metres shown in brackets. For speakers the delay estimate is based on the location of the peak of the impulse response. Subwoofers have a broad peak and a delayed response due to their limited bandwidth so the delay is instead measured relative to the start of the impulse response. The start of the impulse response cannot be located as precisely as the peak, however, so delay values are less accurate for subwoofer measurements.

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