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Old 6th May 2012, 05:32 PM   #1
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Default the ACTIVE CROSSOVER DESIGNER (ACD) tools thread

I'm excited to announce the release of version 1.0 of the Active Crossover Designer.

Please use the following link to download a zip file including all of the components necessary to set up and use the tools:
the Active Crossover Designer web page


Overview:
The ACD tools, comprising two types of spreadsheets for Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc, allow the user to design high-performance active loudspeaker crossovers, for both analog and digital (IIR) hardware. The spreadsheets are free, and open-source. All cells can be viewed and formulas are not hidden. The tools are expandable to accommodate any number of drivers in a loudspeaker, or to develop custom add-ons or extensions.

Motivation and Design Concept for the ACD Tools
These tools have grown out of my own needs for an active filter loudspeaker crossover designer. The DIY community in which I participate is filled with people who are willing to share their knowledge with others, and I want to continue on with this theme. By keeping the tools “open source” I am hoping that others will learn the inner workings of the tools, make their own modifications and additions, and in turn share these with the community. The spreadsheets do not use macros or VBA routines - everything is coded as formulas. This helps the tools to be transparent and portable.

Capabilities of the ACD Tools
The tools allow the user to perform the essential steps that are needed to develop a high-performance loudspeaker crossover. Measurements of the drivers installed in the loudspeaker cabinet are used to determine the relative acoustic offset of each driver, and then a wide variety of filters can be used to create the crossover. Several types of plots of phase and magnitude as a function of frequency (e.g. the frequency and phase response) are provided. When the crossover design phase is completed, the designer can use data presented in the tools to implement the crossover using a variety of active crossover hardware, both analog and digital. This approach results in excellent agreement between the ACD model of the loudspeaker crossover and actual measurements of the completed loudspeaker.



Thanks to everyone who has given me feedback while I developed the tools.

-Charlie
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Old 6th May 2012, 07:57 PM   #2
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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I'll give it a run. Thanks. Excel is a fantastic platform. People forget. Just wish they included log-log graphs nativity.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:40 PM   #3
Pallas is offline Pallas  Pakistan
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Cool stuff. Just downloaded it. Won't have a chance to play with it for a little while, sadly. Maybe I'll be the Excel for OSX guinea pig

Though I will likely make time when the miniDSP 8x8 is shipping, and the one I'm going to buy gets to me
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pallas View Post
Cool stuff. Just downloaded it. Won't have a chance to play with it for a little while, sadly. Maybe I'll be the Excel for OSX guinea pig

Though I will likely make time when the miniDSP 8x8 is shipping, and the one I'm going to buy gets to me
Thanks Pallas. I will be releasing an OpenOffice version that might work better for you...

Also, I contacted MiniDSP because I don't see any an "advanced" plug in (that allows the programming of the biquad coefficients) for the 8-output platform. Since that has a higher sampling rate (and maybe bit rate?) I know that many people are really excited to use it. My tools are really at their best when you do all the MiniDSP crossover programming via the advanced biquads because that insures that the model in the tools and the implemented crossover are exactly the same.

-Charlie
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:08 PM   #5
Davey is offline Davey  United States
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Very nice!

Cheers,

Dave.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:24 AM   #6
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Thankyou. I will give this a try for sure.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieLaub View Post
The spreadsheets do not use macros or VBA routines - everything is coded as formulas. This helps the tools to be transparent and portable.
I like this approach.
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Old 8th May 2012, 12:44 PM   #8
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miniDSP 2x8 and 8x8 plugins all include advanced biquad programming feature. So there is no separation between "normal" and "advanced"
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Old 8th May 2012, 04:41 PM   #9
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Ah, you beat me to it! I was going to follow up and re-post about the advanced plug ins... you are correct - those do include the advanced biquad programming. It's not clear when you look at the MiniDSP plug in screen... This is great news!

The sampling frequency is different for the 4 output and 8 output boards, and the frequency is controlled from one cell in each spreadsheet. That reminds me, I need to add this to the manual.

-Charlie
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Old 11th May 2012, 06:15 AM   #10
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Default Two Driver Phase Tracking Extention ver 1.0 released!

I've posted the first EXTENSION for the tools!

Announcing the Two-Phase driver phase tracking extension:

TWO-DRIVER PHASE TRACKING
The two driver phase tracking extension provides a plot of the phase angle for each of two drivers as well as a plot of the relative phase angle. See screen shot (below). This information is extremely useful for monitoring the phase behavior around the crossover point. Because of the way the core ACD tools are designed, this functionality can only be provided as an extension. For more than two drivers, use multiple versions of this spreadsheet in your project.

The plot of relative phase angle is much easier to understand than the plot with the phase of both drivers shown together, and I hope people find this useful.

I'd like to thank Sasha Jovanovic, who suggested this functionality and provided an example and reference to similar plots available in PCD.

-Charlie



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