The AP High Speed Tester (HST) application was originally developed to test playback only devices on the production line. The objective was a fast, accurate and easy-to-operate test station with a limited graphical user interface that just indicated the test results and had the ability to save results to a log file.
In addition testing play-back devices, HST 2.0 can use the instrument's generator to drive the input of the device under test. Both input and output can be set to digital or analog, and limits, user prompts and sample rate can be defined easily via a new setup utility.
This flexibility allows HST 2.0 to test almost any type of audio device - amplifiers, DACs, ADCs, signal processors, MP3 / DVD players etc. - quickly and easily.
TechNote 101 describes the basic principles and techniques needed to operate System Two / 2700 Series instruments using the Audio Precision control software as an Active X automation server within the LabVIEW environment. Although it is possible for LabVIEW to directly control GPIB versions of Audio Precision instruments, GPIB control of Audio Precision systems is not the subject of this TechNote. Instead, TechNote 101 deals with the capability of LabVIEW to control the standard APIB versions of Audio Precision PC-controlled instruments via the instrument control software, using Microsoft ActiveX automation.
Technote 104 discusses methods of making a set of basic measurements using an Audio Precision 2700 Series or ATS-2 audio analyzer.These are Level, Frequency Response, THD+N, Phase, Crosstalk, and Signal-to-Noise Ratio
This utility determines the signal polarity between the Analog Generator Outputs and the Analog Analyzer Inputs. A common error in manufacturing of loudspeaker systems is to connect voice coils with reversed polarity. Even when all drivers in a multi-way system are phased correctly with respect to one another, it is possible to have the interior wiring to the external connection terminals of the cabinet reversed. An individual driver reversed will cause a dip in frequency response near the crossover frequency to the adjacent driver, since the two speakers are then producing acoustical output of nearly identical amplitudes but out of phase. An entire system wired out-of-phase would presumably be undetectable in a monaural application, but unacceptable in stereo systems. With minor adjustments, this procedure can be run as a stand-alone test, or it can be incorporated into other test setups. The procedure can test a single path, or it can test stereo channels. Equipment required is DSP or Dual-Domain version of System One, System Two, or System Two Cascade, and a microphone if you are testing acoustic paths such as loudspeakers.
Group delay is a property of a device or a system: a plot of the change in phase of the response as a function of frequency; it is the negative derivative (slope) of the phase-vs-frequency characteristic of a device. Constant group delay across the frequency band means that all portions of a wideband signal arrive simultaneously. A pure time delay, equal at all frequencies, gives a level straight-line plot of phase versus frequency. In an audio component, this plot may vary with frequency, and the component is said to produce group delay distortion. Group delay is of interest to audio engineers, particularly in the design and test of low-pass filters used in digital audio and in loudspeaker design areas. For instance, an anti-aliasing filter will typically have a phase response curve which slopes sharply down at high frequencies. This means that the high-frequency components will be delayed longer in their passage through the filter, resulting in a loss of precision in musical transients and a more diffuse stereo image. It is possible to correct the group delay distortion of such filters by using an all-pass network, but this is seldom done in practice.
Some measurement situations place the measurement equipment at some distance from the operator. Many broadcast applications require that System One be located at a distant, possibly unattended site. This Technote describes how to set up a modem communication link between the distant measurement PC and a local operator PC to enable manual or automatic transfer of measured data. The set up for two commercial communication programs, PC Tools Commute and Norton pcAnywhere, are described.
This APWIN utility allows you to load any .wav files compatible with the Microsoft RIFF file format into APWIN and analyze them in the frequency or time domain.
Tests of recorded or transmission media often require an equalized generator signal. Modifying the response of a swept generator to reciprocate the pre-emphasis or de-emphasis characteristics of the device under test will prevent overload and yield a flat response at the output. This Technote includes a BASIC program that will compute a data file based on user supplied time constants. The data file can then be used as an S1.exe EQ curve.
System One produces data files that are two or three columns wide with as many rows as measurement steps. Usually the first column is the source data and columns two and three are measured data. There are some applications where it is desirable to use some data from one file with data from another file to produce a third file. This Technote includes a C program that allows columnar data to be exchanged, moved or combined to produce a new data file.
When several plots of a parameter are acquired, it is often useful to reduce the large volume of data to statistical summaries such as maximum, minimum, average or delta. This Technote includes a program that will operate on an S1.exe nested sweep file to produce the statistical data mentioned above. The program can be run in an S1.exe DOS shell.
System One SWR series switchers are normally controlled via the APIB interface and S1.exe software. This Technote describes the APIB interface used on the switchers and explains how to control them from a generalized parallel port. A sample BASIC program is included to program the switchers from a PC parallel printer port. This Technote assumes programming and hardware knowledge.
S1.exe *.tst files save instrument setups and test data in a binary format for space and speed efficiency. It is possible to examine such a file (or *.lim, *.eq, *.swp and *.ovl files) to extract this data. This Technote explains the internal structure of these files. It assumes intermediate programmers knowledge and is intended as a reference source, not a step-by-step explanation.
This Technote describes how to setup communication between AP Basic and GPIB instrumentation (using the National Instruments GPIB Interface.)
System One DSP programs allow a SAVE WAVEFORM operation to store the time record data to disk. This Technote describes the internal structure of the *.wav files so produced. This would allow a knowledgeable programmer to extract data from this file for external post processing. It assumes intermediate programming expertise.
Describes how to generate Impedance versus Frequency swept data using System One. This is of particular interest to loudspeaker designers where the impedance response can provide very useful information on the performance of a speaker. Includes a BASIC program that does the calculations.
Frequency response measurements on a Multitrack tape recorder are best made by successively measuring each track at the first frequency, then step to the second frequency and measure all tracks, and so on until all frequencies are measured. This produces a nested sweep file that plots amplitude versus track rather that amplitude versus frequency. This Technote contains a program that will restructure such data into the preferred format
This Technote describes how to set up the PC that controls System One to be able to automatically send a fax to a designated fax machine with the results, in both tabular and graphical form, of the measured data. The measuring PC can be at a remote unattended location as the fax capability can be configured to operate completely automatically on time, event of data out-of-limits conditions. The description shows how to integrate commercial fax modem cards and software.
System One DSP can produce signals based on a stored waveform loaded into its memory. A file with a .wav extension is downloaded to the DSP memory in System One to create the output. A utility called MAKEWAVE.exe is supplied With System One DSP that will convert an ASCII file that contains a time record into the .WAV format for use with the DSP generator. This Technote describes the format of the .waa ASCII files and how to create arbitrary waveforms. It assumes some programming knowledge.
The multimedia expansion in the PC industry has created the need to test the audio performance of sound cards. This is a classic dual-domain application requiring testing of the D-to-A and A-to-D sections. This utility will translate either direction between the Microsoft RIFF .WAV file format and the Audio Precision DSP.WAV file format. This allows a System One test signal created by MAKEWAVE to be played back though the D-to-A, and a captured PC .WAV file to be analyzed on System One.
Reduced bit rate codecs cannot be properly tested using conventional sine wave test signals. Using multitone test signals and FFT analysis, the codec can be stressed to properly characterize how it will perform with program material. CODEC.dsp uses multitone testing techniques and internal automatic masking curve generation to facilitate objective and repeatable evaluation of codecs.
Conventional analog total harmonic distortion tests are made with a notch filter that removes the fundamental and makes a root sum square summation of all of the harmonics. FFT techniques, on the other hand, provide the absolute amplitude of each individual harmonic. This program will extract the necessary harmonic data and the fundamental amplitude, compute the rss summation and express the result as a conventional THD ratiometric value.
This Technote describes the Makewave utility, an AP Basic procedure that simplifies the process of creating multitone waveform files to use with the analog and digital generators in System One and System Two instruments. The download includes the utility.
This Technote is a rewrite of Technote #1 to support System One and System Two using Windows APWIN software. An additional method using an external amplifier and current sense resistor is provided.
This Technote describes how to set up and use the dBr unit as dBSPL. Automated AP Basic macros (procedures) are available to facilitate the calibration. These macros apply to the instrument analog analyzers. Additionally, two computational methods are described to help you understand the macros, and to help you calibrate a measurement microphone without the macros.
In this technote, we discuss how to test the analog sound quality of FM radio receivers using an Audio Precision APx500 Series audio analyzer. We also discuss how to test the Radio Data System (RDS), which allows text, such as song title and artist, to be transmitted digitally as part of the analog radio signal.