Here too, the sound quality recorded during the creation of a movie is almost always well beyond that which is reproduced in the home theatre. So often, installers crank the base up so that the room rumbles and shakes and this usually impresses the home owner for a short while until it becomes unpleasant and annoying.
The correct setup for a sound system is to bring the audio structure (both the audio path and the room parameters) under control in order to recreate, as best possible, the original recording dynamics. Knowing what is possible along with professional audio tools enables us to find the errors in your system and minimise their impact on sound quality.
All sound systems will benefit from a thorough “tune-up”. Upgrading equipment may well not be necessary when a proper setup may be all that is required.
Common errors in sound systems that can be corrected:
- poor dialog intelligibility.
- harsh or wishy-washy sound.
- bass either excessive or recessive.
- poor surround sound definition.
- lack of realism.
- poor clarity.
These errors are often caused by:
- “Fiddling Fingers Fred” who has manually messed with the equaliser settings.
- the use of automatic sound calibration technologies including Audyssey which usually leaves the sound system in a highly suspect state.
- poor subwoofer settings.
- poor audio source device settings.
- poor option selections in the receiver or preamp.
- incorrect surround mode selection in the receiver or preamp.
- wrong speaker placement.
- incorrect speaker level balance.
- frequency response strangling somewhere in the system.
- speakers (including the sub) being out of phase with other speakers.
- poor or no calibration tools used by the owner.
- poor or no calibration tools used by the installer.
- room acoustics and dimensions precluding correct sound reproduction.
- the speaker system is simply not up to the job.
A significant improvement in the quality of sound reproduction can be achieved even when less than favourable equipment and sub-optimal room dynamics are present. To achieve this, the system must be tuned using sophisticated test equipment and reference sound tracks.
The capabilities of our diagnostic technology far exceeds those available from automated calibration systems like ARC and Audyssey because:
- the over processing of audio data using complex mathematical algorithms found in Audyssey and other similar auto calibration systems reduce audio clarity.
- poor quality microphones supplied for automatic calibration results in poor frequency measurements. Our reference microphone is individually and uniquely calibrated and must returned to the manufacturer for recalibration every 3 months.
- receivers and preamplifiers today have sophisticated manual adjustments that deliver superior results to those done by automated methods.
- there is no way of incorporating how the seating is arranged and used.
- equipment limitations and capabilities are not factored into the calibration.
- no guidance is provided for adjusting the phase, level, Q, crossover frequency, filters or equalization for the subwoofer.
- there is no guidance with surround processing modes.
- there is no guidance with optimising source settings.
- there is no guidance with optimising preamp or receiver option settings.
- speaker placement and settings are not factored at all.
- there is limited cognisance of room acoustics because of the inferior microphone provided.
Our laboratory grade testing system can identify issues with the listening room acoustics and provide a possible solution (if a solution is in fact possible).
Fee for this service: CODE 4-D
Note: Audio calibration can take up to 2 days to achieve with some systems.