Browsing Archive December, 2011

Car Sound Staging and Acoustics

Focal No. 7

The Stage is Set

Many people are convinced that buying high quality car audio equipment will automatically guarantee them a top notch sounding system.   Fact of the matter is, there are many factors to take into consideration when installing aftermarket sound components in your vehicle.   Sound staging is one of the most important aspects in that it can make the difference between a good system and a great one.  The basic concept of sound staging can be best described as trying to recreate a stereo recording as a live performance.  Think of the basic format of a band:  You have a singer, one or two guitarist, a bassist and a drummer.  Someone who has proper sound staging should be able to listen to the recording and hear the singer in the center, the guitarist on the left, the bassist on the right, and the drummer behind the singer.

Speaker Placement

Sound Staging

The placement of a vehicle’s speakers can drastically affect its sound staging. Common vehicles usually only have a standard 4 speaker system.  This can often result in poor sound staging creating a very artificial sound.  However, this can be improved by adding speakers such as the Infinity Reference 6032cf. The Unipivot feature allows the tweeter to be pointed at the listeners location even when the speaker is mounted off axis. Passionate audiophiles will go above and beyond to ensure that their speakers are in locations that will provide optimum performance.  This might include modifying door panels or building custom kick panels to accommodate midbass drivers and tweeters.  Some may create mounting devices which allow them to raise the speaker above the dash for improved imaging and staging.  Installers might achieve better sound staging by adding additional speakers to the equation in locations such as pillars or under seats.

Interior Acoustics

Sound StagingA vehicle’s interior characteristics can help determine sound staging as well.  Different surfaces will have various responses to sound waves depending on how they absorb or reflect them.  For instance, a surface such as glass will be reflective and cause sound waves to bounce around.  A surface such as upholstery will cause sound wave to be absorbed.  This can greatly affect how your speakers and subwoofers reproduce music.  For example, if you were to put identical sound systems in a Rolls Royce and a Toyota Corolla, they would sound very different.  Adding a digital sound processor such as the JBL MS-8 can improve staging significantly with its automatic time correction feature, allowing the sound from each speaker to reach the listener simultaneously.  Audiophiles will often apply sound dampening material to door panels and trunks in order to control interior surfaces and reduce unwanted vibrations.

Let’s be honest, there is no perfect sound system, but understanding how to take advantage of every small detail can mean a world of difference.

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Roland R-05: Handheld Recorder for Musicians, Engineers & More

Roland R-05
The Roland R-05 field recorder has arrived at Sonic Electronix! This little darling packs a lot of great features in a small (read as “affordable”) package. It certainly defies those nasty old connotations behind the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” How would you like the ability to record audio at professional studio quality resolutions without the hassle of carting around a bunch of gear? The R-05 can record uncompressed WAV files at 24-bit/96kHz for just under an hour on the included 2 GB SD memory card.

Or, if you’d be satisfied with CD quality audio at 16-bit/44.1kHz, you can record up to 88 min. per GB: the length of several albums worth of material. You can even record both WAV and MP3 files, for quality and sharing purposes respectively, without the tedium of dumping the files onto your computer and converting them manually. Pretty convenient, eh?

What About The Musicians, Man?

This unit is packed with some real handy features for musicians. The R-05 comes with Looping and Speed Change features that can help vocalists and guitarists to practice by looping or slowing down pieces of audio without altering the pitch. You could conversely speed up the audio 150% to quickly skim through a song in order to start jamming as soon as possible.For the more eager (read as “impatient”) of us out there who want to start playing immediately, the R-05 has a feature called Rehearsal Mode that will automatically set an optimum recording level – no need to spend lots of time messing with input levels. With this convenient feature, there’s no need to worry about overloading the input(s) and ending up with a remarkably high-resolution recording that’s sadly distorted beyond recognition.

 

Did You Fall Asleep In Class AGAIN?

 

While certainly no substitute for a good night’s sleep or for the highly respectable behaviors of actually staying awake and paying attention in class, the R-05 can serve as a real handy backup study aid for students. Simply set the recording quality to 128 kbps MP3 (lectures don’t necessarily need to be recorded at astounding, crystal-clear quality, you know), and hit record. Backups like that can definitely be life savers, especially if you’re not too good at taking notes.After you’re done studying, feel free to give your left brain a rest, load up some tunes onto the memory card and rock out for the next 30+ hours or so. The R-05 has quite the extensive battery life – perfect for you insomniacs out there! Hey, if KISS could rock and roll all night, why shouldn’t you? Make sure to check out our handy list of optional accessories when you pick up your R-05!
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Pyle Blue Label Series Car Speakers

 
Affordable speakers are easy to find, but cost is not all you should consider when it comes to picking out new car speakers. The Blue Label series by Pyle Audio is an affordable lineup of speakers that deliver good quality music superior to most factory speakers.

What Makes a Blue Label Speaker?

The speaker cones are made from a poly-injected material, resulting in a very efficient sound output. The tweeters are made of a neodymium film material and shaped like a dome for maximum sound dispersion. Complete with stylish and protective speaker grilles, these speakers look fantastic in any vehicle. The Blue Label series has a number of different sizes to ensure a proper speaker fitment for the vehicle you drive, plus the speakers include accessories and mounting hardware for any installation. Replace your factory speakers with a set of these and you will notice the difference immediately. You will experience a warm mid-presence that blends seamlessly with the articulate highs that the tweeters produce. Most of the models within the series are equipped with a second ¾” piezoelectric super tweeter in addition to the 1” tweeter. The piezo tweeter introduces a super high frequency range that blends into the rest of the speakers sound. These characteristics make for an overall good value set of speakers.

Great Budget Speakers by Pyle Audio

It is hard to find a product that offers such an incredible balance of cost and quality. That is why we at Sonic Electronix are happy to have the Blue Label series speakers available in our catalog. For a truly non-fatiguing sound at a sensational price, look to the Blue Label series. For the shopper on a budget, trust Pyle to provide quality sound at a competitive price.

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Matching Subwoofers and Amplifiers

AmpliFinder Amplifier and Subwoofer Matching Tool

Earthquake Subzero SZ10 Subwoofer

Kicker ZX750.1 Amplifier

Making Matching Easier

One of the most common questions asked at Sonic Electronix is, “How do I know which amplifier I need for my subwoofer?”  This can be a hard or even intimidating question for some but fear not Sonic Electronix has your back!  Introducing our brand new AmpliFinder tool.  AmpliFinder is an amplifier finder tool that will take away the confusion of pairing a subwoofer with an amplifier.  Not only will it tell you which amplifier you require, but it will give you a complete list of every amplifier that is suitable for your subwoofer.

JL Audio W7 Subwoofer

MTX RT500D Amplifier

How it Works

AmpliFinder will lay out the possible wiring configurations for your subwoofer.  Depending on the ohms and number of voice coils of the subwoofer, different wiring configurations will be displayed.  AmpliFinder will also take into account the RMS power rating of each subwoofer to appropriately match that of the amplifier.   Just select the manufacturer, model number, and the number of subs you wish to power and prepare to be wowed by the abundance of possibilities.  For example,  the Earthquake Subzero SZ-10, when input into the AmpliFinder will give you the Kicker ZX750.1 as a choice which is a perfect match for the 750 watts RMS subwoofer.   Also, the JL Audio 8W7AE-3  when entered will give you the MTX RT500D which is a perfect match at 2 ohms as well.

  • Conveniently search for specific subwoofers with a user friendly interface
  • Displays complete list of compatible amplifiers
  • Visual wiring configurations included in search

Why wait? Give it a try now:

AmpliFinder

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Follow Your DJing Dreams With Numark’s iDJ Live

Numark iDJ Live (Box)

The holidays are almost over folks, and if you have any aspiring DJs in your midst, you should definitely consider putting a last minute call to Santa and his elves for the Numark iDJ Live! As stated in the product’s description, the controller is perfect for music lovers who have never tried DJing before. With its streamlined interface, the iDJ Live is designed for beginners and pros on the go and is very much plug-and-play. All you need is an iPad, iPod touch or iPhone (be sure to check the compatibility chart on the product page), the Algoriddim Djay app and you’re all set. Of course, you can always hook the unit up to larger speakers for a better experience, too.

Sounds great! But what would I need for that?

The iDJ Live comes with a dual mono 1/8″ (3.5 mm) headphone/speaker splitter cable, so all you would need is a male-to-male 3.5 mm cable like this: Aux cable
…and some sweet speakers like these:
(You’d be very wise to get a speaker system with a subwoofer.)
Limitless Creations x643

and you’re ready to rock!

About the unit

The iDJ Live comes with dual bass, treble and volume controls, sync and cue buttons to keep your mix tight and two large platters that can be used to either “scratch,” or search through tracks to set cue points. It also comes with a Browse knob that scrolls through your music library the way you’re used to doing with your “i” devices already, so there’s no need to learn a confusing new interface. You can even record your mixes or set Automix mode to let the iDJ Live and the Djay app mix your favorite playlist(s) automatically.

The iDJ Live includes a handy iPad stand as well, enabling you to keep an eye on your screen without having to bend over the controller or having to rig up a shaky DIY stand of your own. Also, as the iDJ Live unit does draw power from the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, it would be in your best interest to save some battery life by turning off 3/4G and/or Wi-Fi, turn off location services like GPS, and adjusting your display brightness. If you’re worried whether or not it’ll get to your house in time for Christmas, if you happen to live in the greater Los Angeles area, you can swing by and pick it up from Sonic Electronix’s will call area up here in Valencia.

That about wraps it up, so on behalf of the team at Sonic Electronix, I’d like to wish you all very happy holidays!

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