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Old 10th December 2007, 03:47 PM   #1
Secips is offline Secips  United States
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Question LAUD Soundcard

Does anyone know of/have a soundcard that will work with LAUD? PCI preferably.

I lost my soundcard, must have been throw out with the rest of my old junk. I'm returning to this hobby after a long absence.
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Old 10th December 2007, 06:28 PM   #2
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I think the people at Liberty Instruments can help you. However, according to their site you cannot use Laud with WinNT/2k/XP or modern hardware.
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Old 10th December 2007, 08:07 PM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I have Laud and it will not even work with PCI sound cards as far as I recall. There were only a few very specific isa sound cards that worked and they had onboard DSP. I had a card from Turtle Beech that I used with LAUD, incidentally that card cost more than some low end pcs these days. (AND it failed)

Liberty will not do much for you, this software is more than 10yrs old now and runs only on obsolete hardware. It was ok back in the day, quickly obsoleted and now it is a dinosaur - one of the stupidest investments I ever made.

For a lot less money you can get ARTA and any good 24bit/96K or better sound card under winXP (I use the MAudio Audiophile 2496) and get far better results.
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Old 10th December 2007, 08:14 PM   #4
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Arta has an evaluation version that is fully capable, but won't save or print the captures. Something like screenprint32 will do an excellent screen capture to several different graphics formats allowing you in the short term to at least save graphs of things you are measuring.

Fully enabled Arta allows you to do all sorts of things with the saved files which is not possible with the eval version, and is well worth the money.
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Old 10th December 2007, 08:15 PM   #5
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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I recently built a DOS computer (256M RAM, 245M HDD!) just to be able to run LAUD again. Call me quirky if you like, but I liked the things it could do. I had to find a motherboard with an ISA slot to take my Orchid soundcard. Here's a measurement of an LS3/5a
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Old 11th December 2007, 03:28 AM   #6
dlr is offline dlr  United States
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Default LAUD still one of the best systems

Quote:
Originally posted by Secips
Does anyone know of/have a soundcard that will work with LAUD? PCI preferably.

I lost my soundcard, must have been throw out with the rest of my old junk. I'm returning to this hobby after a long absence.
I bought LAUD in 1998. I had used LMS and MLSSA on loan, but for my money at the time LAUD couldn't be bettered (one third the price of MLSSA back then), way better than LMS and still isn't bettered today for basic SPL/impedance measurement. It is to this day my mainstay and may be so for another 10 years. I bought a couple of used cards as backups, but my initial card is still going 10 years later. I used it in a 350MHz machine and have it in a 550 today since the "faster" system I bought with a 1.2G Pentium died (motherboard). So the card went into a 550 and is there today. Nice thing is that since the measurement is done entirely in the programmable card, it won't run any faster in a 3Gig machine that I now have up and running for multiple uses than it does in a 350MHz machine. The 3G machine has an ISA slot and runs under Win98, very stable for running LAUD in a window. Post-processing is a few seconds slower, but I can easily live with that.

Obsolete hardware, yes. But the mutli-thousand dollar PCs that were "fast" back then are in the trash today for the most part. Today's multi-thousand dollar PC's will be so in a few years as well, such is the normal state of computers and associated hardware.

LAUD has a key advantage that most new software today does not have, inherently calibrated measurements because it has a built-in microphone preamp. The "sophisticate new software" in many cases cannot even provide for reliably calibrated measurements without going through a calibration process for mic and preamp, some not at all. Change any gain settings and a new calibration is required. I can take a measurement that I made 10 years ago and have full confidence that it will be comparable in relative sensitivity to a measurement I make today.

In fact, since LAUD has an auto-correlation scheme using the fact that the cards don't require calibration, I can measure at any signal level and the result is adjusted to be for 2.83v @1m. Measure at a different distance and you just have to adjust the level accordingly, easily done. The only issue is the signal-to-noise ratio, but that is within my control. Most measurements don't require high volume for the usable passband, so I don't have to crank it up for testing if I don't want to.

I have SoundEasy as well, but do not measure with it since LAUD does a better job due to its ease of use and self-calibration. I measure in LAUD, use Jeff Bagby's Passive Crossover Designer spreadsheet to get the initial crossover, move it into either CALSOD (yep, another old DOS program that has some modeling and optimization features lacking in "new, advanced" CAD programs) or SoundEasy to optimize, then use the digital filter in SoundEasy to audition. All work together very nicely.

Enough of my lauding of LAUD. The card I use is the Turtle Beach Fiji. They were showing up on ebay up to a year or so ago, but I stopped tracking it with nightly searches. It will be sparse, yes, but one may still show up. LAUD does require either the Fiji/Pinnacle or one other (I forget the name) because they are programmable cards that actually run the measurement.

These cards were and still are so popular amoung those who have them that the web site was updated after several years with instructions on how they could be installed in NT4, 2000 and XP. I found the info early this year and have installed a card in a 2000 machine. Works just fine. It would make an excellent card today for measuring with SoundEasy (as I've done) or other software. It's limitation is the need for an ISA slot, of course, but fast ones can be had. It may only sample up to 48K, but this is enough for measuring for system design. 24K limits on tweeters aren't an issue for design work.

dlr
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Old 11th December 2007, 03:39 AM   #7
dlr is offline dlr  United States
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Default Re: LAUD still one of the best systems

Quote:
Originally posted by dlr

I bought LAUD in 1998. I had used LMS and MLSSA on loan, but for my money at the time LAUD couldn't be bettered (one third the price of MLSSA back then), way better than LMS and still isn't bettered today for basic SPL/impedance measurement. It is to this day my mainstay and may be so for another 10 years. I bought a couple of used cards as backups, but my initial card is still going 10 years later.
dlr
Make that 9-1/2 years later.

Dave
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Old 11th December 2007, 04:01 AM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Laud was available without the (very expensive) microphone pre-amp so I had the same calibration issues that exist with the newer programs running on current hardware.
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Old 11th December 2007, 11:40 AM   #9
dlr is offline dlr  United States
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Default Which preamp?

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Originally posted by kevinkr
Laud was available without the (very expensive) microphone pre-amp so I had the same calibration issues that exist with the newer programs running on current hardware.
I didn't buy a preamp, it was built into the Fiji card. What card did you use that required a separate preamp?

Dave
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Old 11th December 2007, 01:44 PM   #10
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I had the Fiji, couldn't remember the name of the card I was using..

I was using a B&K with mic pre-amp and calibrator - all borrowed from work. This set up used the line amplifier inputs, and was very accurate.

These days I use a Behringer instrumentation mic with a homebrew low noise mic pre-amp with phantom power, however I don't have a calibrator. This isn't really an issue as I'm not really interested in spl levels per se, but in the response of my speaker system in the room.
I do have a calibrated spl meter which I can use to set the reference point when needed.

The only way you could consider the LAUD setup calibrated is if you bought a microphone and Fiji card that Liberty had measured and created calibration constants for (at that time, no longer in cal after this length of time) or you had a mic calibrator that was known to be in calibration that you use for calibration prior to performing measurements. Technically it would be good to verify calibration before taking measurements each time it is used. The microphone is one variable (its sensitivity, and response flatness) that by definition LAUD cannot know anything about - it has to be provided.
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