Embed Size px x x x x Compared to using pseudo-noise signals, transfer function measurements using sweeps as excitation signal show significantly higher immunity against distortion and time variance. Before investigating the differences and practical problems of measurements with MLS and sweeps and arguing why sweeps are the preferable choice for the majority of measurement tasks, the existing methods of obtaining transfer functions are reviewed. The continual need to use pre-emphasized excitation signals in acoustical measurements will also be addressed. A new method to create sweeps with arbitrary spectral contents, but constant or prescribed frequency-dependent temporal envelope is presented.
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Embed Size px x x x x Compared to using pseudo-noise signals, transfer function measurements using sweeps as excitation signal show significantly higher immunity against distortion and time variance.
Before investigating the differences and practical problems of measurements with MLS and sweeps and arguing why sweeps are the preferable choice for the majority of measurement tasks, the existing methods of obtaining transfer functions are reviewed. The continual need to use pre-emphasized excitation signals in acoustical measurements will also be addressed.
A new method to create sweeps with arbitrary spectral contents, but constant or prescribed frequency-dependent temporal envelope is presented. Finally, the possibility of simultaneously analysing transfer function and harmonics is investigated.
Measuring transfer functions and their associated impulse responses IRs is one of the most important daily tasks in all areas of acoustics. The technique is practically needed everywhere. A loudspeaker developer will check the frequency response of a new prototype many times before releasing it for production.
As the on-axis response does not sufficiently characterize a loudspeaker, a full set of polar data requiring many measurements is needed. In room acoustics, the IR plays a central role, as many acoustical parameters related to the perceived quality can be derived from it. The room transfer function obtained by Fourier-transforming the RIR may be useful to detect modes at low frequencies.
In building acoustics, the frequency dependent insulation against noise from outside or other rooms is a common concern. In vibroacoustics, the propagation of sound waves in materials and radiation from their surface is a vast field of simulation and verification by measurements with shakers.
Profiling by detection of reflections sonar, radar is another area closely linked to the measurement of IRs. While many of these measurement tasks do not require an exorbitant dynamic range, the situation is different when it comes to acquiring room impulse responses RIRs for use in convolutions with dry anechoic audio material. Because of the wide dynamic range of our auditory system and the logarithmic relationship between sound pressure level SPL and perceived loudness, any abnormalities in the reverberant tail of a RIR are easily recognizable.
This is especially apparent when speech, with its long intermediate pauses, is used for convolution and when the auralization results are monitored with headphones, as required for virtual reality based on binaural responses. Even under optimal conditions, with a supposed absence of time variance, very little background noise, appropriate pre-emphasis and an arbitrary number of synchronous averages, it seems impossible to achieve a dynamic range superior to that of, say, an analogue tape recorder.
The reason for this is that in any measurement using noise as the excitation signal, distortion mainly induced by the loudspeaker spreads out over the whole period of the recovered IR. The ensuing noise level can be reduced using longer excitation signals, but it can never be isolated entirely.
Although distortion can be reduced using lower volume, this leads to more background noise which contaminates the results.
Hence, some compromise level must be carefully chosen for each measurement site , often leaving the power capabilities of the driving amplifier and the speaker largely unexploited. In contrast, using sweeps as excitation signals relieves the engineer to a great extent from these limitations. Using a sweep somewhat longer than the RIR to be measured allows the exclusion of all harmonic distortion products, practically leaving only background noise as the limitation for the achievable SNR.
The sweep can thus be fed with considerable more power to the speaker without introducing artifacts in the acquired RIR. Moreover, in anechoic conditions, the distortion can be classified into. Sweep-based measurements are also considerably less vulnerable to the deleterious effects of time variance.
For this reason, they are sometimes the only option in long-distance outdoor measurements in windy weather conditions or for measurements of analogue recording gear. Quite a number of different ways to measure transfer functions have evolved in the past century. Common to all of them is that an excitation signal stimulus containing all the frequencies of interest is used to feed the device under test DUT. The response of the DUT is captured and in some way compared with the original signal.
Of course, there is always a certain amount of noise, reducing the certainty of a measurement. Therefore, it is desirable to use excitation signals with high energy so as to achieve a sufficient SNR in the whole frequency range of interest.
Using gating techniques to suppress noise and unwanted reflections further improves the SNR. In practice, there is always a certain amount of non-linearity, and time-variances are also commonplace in acoustical measurements. We will see that the different measurement methods react quite differently to these kinds of disturbances.
One of the oldest methods of bringing a transfer function onto paper already involved sweeps as excitation signal. The DUTs response to a sweep generated by an analogue generator is rectified and smoothed by a low-pass filter.
The resulting voltage is input to a differential amplifier whose other input is the voltage derived from a discrete precision potentiometer which is linked mechanically to the writing pen. The differential amplifiers output controls the writing pen, which is swept over a sheet of paper with the appropriate scale printed on it.
The potentiometer may be either linear or logarithmic to produce amplitude or dB readings on the paper. Obviously, this method does not need any digital circuitry and for many years, it used to be the standard in frequency response testing. The excitation signal being used is a logarithmic sweep, which means that the frequency increases by a fixed factor per time unit for example, it doubles every second.
As the paper is moved with constant speed under the writing pen, the frequency scale on the paper is correspondingly logarithmic. Every octave shares the same energy, but this energy spreads out over an increasing bandwidth. Therefore the magnitude of each frequency component decreases. We will later see that this excitation signal, which has already been in use for such a long time, has some unique properties that keep it attractive for use in the digital word of today.
One of these properties is that the spectral distribution. While the level recorder cannot really suppress neither noise or reflections, a smoothing effect is obtained by reducing the velocity of the writing pen.
The ripple in a frequency response caused by a reflection as well as any irregular movement induced by noise can be flattened out by this simple means. If the spectral details to be revealed are too blurred by the reduced responsiveness of the writing pen, reducing the sweep rate helps to reestablish the desired spectral resolution. This way, measurement length and measurement certainty can be compromised, just as with the more modern methods based on digital signal processing.
The evident shortcomings of level recorders are that they do not show phase information and the produced spectra reside on a sheet of paper instead of being written to a hard disc for further processing. Clearly, the horizontal accuracy of displayed frequencies cannot match the precision offered by digital solutions deploying quartz-based clocking of AD- and DA converters.
On the vertical scale, the resolution of the dB or amplitude readings is restricted due to the discrete nature of the servo potentiometer, which is composed of discrete precision-resistors. TDS is another method to derive transfer functions with the help of sweeps.
Devised by Heyser  especially for the measurement of loudspeakers, it is also appli. Home Documents Aes Swp English. See Full Reader. Post on Jul 7 views. Category: Documents 1 download.
Moreover, in anechoic conditions, the distortion can be classified into 3 single harmonics related to the fundamental, allowing for a simultaneous measurement of transfer function and frequency-dependent distortion.
One of these properties is that the spectral distribution 4 is often quite well adapted to the ambient noise, resulting also in a good SNR at the critical low end of the frequency scale.
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AES Convention Papers
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