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Chris8sirhC 14th December 2008 12:41 AM

Shopping list for RTA
Assuming one has a laptop PC running Windows XP, what all would one need to purchase in order to run RTA from that laptop?
From what I have gathered you would need, an external soundcard, a microphone, and RTA software. Am I missing anything, and what would be the best solutions for these different parts that are needed.

AndrewT 14th December 2008 07:59 PM

is an external soundcard necessary?

Chris8sirhC 14th December 2008 08:25 PM

Thats one of the things I am wondering about.

mightym 14th December 2008 09:04 PM

Have you been here?

this should answer most of your Q's

Then go here:(no particular slight or offense intended)

Also look here:

I would search for the Mic. ghost supply on DIY Forums, Here's one I found:

search the Forums the electret Mic. is just a capsule mic you can get from digikey, or mouser.

Hope this helps

Chris8sirhC 14th December 2008 09:53 PM

Ive been looking around, and i think this will fit the bill for a mic preamp and a sound card of decent quality.
outside of that, all i will need are cables, the microphone, a mic stand, and the software, correct?

bwaslo 15th December 2008 01:51 AM

You can get SynRTA free,
and I at least think it works really well and better than a traditional RTA.

But I'm biased, its my software. (But FREE, so should be fair to point it out, right?)

littlemike 15th December 2008 10:19 PM

Here's what I use:

Dell Latitude D600 (under $400)
E-mu 0202 USB Sound Card (Under $100)
Radio Shack 33-2050 Analog SPL Meter - Modified per Wallin's Article with a Panasonic Capsule (+/- 1 dB from 10 Hz to over 20,000 Hz) (under $50 with mods)
Assorted cables and such that you probably already have

SynRTA for mids and Highs (free like free beer) - See above post
RoomEQ Wizard for Lows (free like free beer) - Available at Home Theater Shack
Frequency Response Plotter for Lows (swept sine) (google freqresplot) (also free like free beer)

The modded SPL meter was the hardest part to do, it took me several hours to take it apart and solder in all the new capacitors, as well as rework the mounting point for the remote mic capsule - but it worked when I was done with it. I got my SPL meter on Ebay, think it was about $15 shipped. I spent another $26 to get the required capacitors and mic capsules from Digikey. The recommended modifications are meticulously detailed on Eric Wallin's website.

I like my external sound card - the onboard sound has no line in and the frequency response really sucks on my laptop. I chose the Emu 0202 because it was cheaper than the often recommended M-Audio Transit USB and received a good review on the Liberty Instruments site. Either works well. Mine measures flatter than the Mic and SPL meter when connected via a loop cable, which is plenty good for me.

I really don't see a reason to buy software at the hobbyist level. There are plenty of free options out there that we can use, and most of it works very well.

Since I had the laptop already, I'm into the rest of the setup for less than $150. I have not got true absolute SPL calibration like pro-type gear, but as I am primarily interested in relative comparisons anyway, I'm pleased with what I can accomplish, especially given the investment I have made.

Between this setup and my WT2, I'm set to go, now I just need to find the time to make some speakers to measure....

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