LAUD Soundcard

kevinkr

Administrator
Paid Member
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.
 

kevinkr

Administrator
Paid Member
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.
 

EC8010

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2003-01-18 7:57 am
Near London. UK
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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LAUD still one of the best systems

Secips said:
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:bawling:. 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
 
Re: LAUD still one of the best systems

dlr said:

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
 
I had the Fiji, couldn't remember the name of the card I was using.. :D

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.
 
The Fiji was nearly linear

kevinkr said:
I had the Fiji, couldn't remember the name of the card I was using.. :D

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.

I beg to differ. The Fiji card itself, though not perfect, had very good specs and did not require calibration unless the user needed the small correction of a calibration. I believe it was +/- 0.5db from 20-20K and was primarily the extremes that varied that also made a change of a few degrees in the measured phase response, very minor for most work. It's easy enough to get a calibrated Panasonic electret microphone (recommended by Waslo) for the Fiji mic input. LAUD then uses the supplied calibration file in its post-processing of the measurement that provides a calibrated response. The Fiji could go through a calibration procedure, but as Bill Waslo pointed out, it really wasn't necessary with the Fiji. A mic wand with a pre-installed, calibrated Panasonic electric mic is also available, it just depends on how much DIY you care to do.

I had to replace my first mic due to physical damage after several years and re-measured a driver to compare. The SPL overlay was nearly perfect. Variation in driver response from measurement to measurement has more variation in it than between these calibrated mics.

Dave
 

EC8010

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2003-01-18 7:57 am
Near London. UK
kevinkr said:
I had the Fiji, couldn't remember the name of the card I was using.. :D

Pinnacle Fiji? Perhaps Orchid? I used to use the microphone pre-amplifier design given in the LAUD manual to drive the line input of my Orchid but I now use a simpler and better pre-amplifier of my own design. Absolute levels are still dependent on the microphone capsule, but who cares? We're normally interested in frequency response measurements, not sensitivity.
 
Sensitivity as in frequency response for 2.83v @1m

EC8010 said:


Pinnacle Fiji? Perhaps Orchid? I used to use the microphone pre-amplifier design given in the LAUD manual to drive the line input of my Orchid but I now use a simpler and better pre-amplifier of my own design. Absolute levels are still dependent on the microphone capsule, but who cares? We're normally interested in frequency response measurements, not sensitivity.

I care, for one. If drivers are to be compared then the drive level has to match (can't really do this from person to person with the various systems) or the measurements need to be adjusted to some absolute reference value, such as the typical SPL for 2.83v @1m. It's useful to be able to provide data referenced to a known drive level such as this.

For example, I have a large number of raw driver measurements posted at my site for download. These were all taken on a 2mx2m board and taken at 0.5m. The auto-adjustment sets it as though it were @1m, so any using them need only subtract 6db to set the level for a 1m reference, easily done. The measurements I made years ago are fully compatible with any taken today insofar as relative levels (sensitivities) are concerned, though I do not keep track of the actual drive level. That, in fact, is not required.

I have at times substituted drivers, say a tweeter or a midrange, in an existing design. I only then have to measure the new driver for the new system design since the absolute frequency response result from LAUD for that driver will be appropriate for the other drivers' measurements, at times made years before. All I need do is make the measurement at the same distance, such as on the tweeter axis @1m. That information IS in the measurements since I (almost) always include that in the comments embedded in the measurement files.

Dave
 
EC8010 said:


Pinnacle Fiji? Perhaps Orchid? I used to use the microphone pre-amplifier design given in the LAUD manual to drive the line input of my Orchid but I now use a simpler and better pre-amplifier of my own design. Absolute levels are still dependent on the microphone capsule, but who cares? We're normally interested in frequency response measurements, not sensitivity.

Turtle Beech Fiji..

I use my measurement system for frequency response measurements and rarely for spl measurements which I have to reference to my questionable spl meter for a baseline cal.
 
Conflicting terms

kevinkr said:


Turtle Beech Fiji..

I use my measurement system for frequency response measurements and rarely for spl measurements which I have to reference to my questionable spl meter for a baseline cal.

Do you mean that you use it for things such as crossover transfer function or driver impedance measurements, but not SPL frequency response (SPL is a form of frequency response)?

Dave
 
I mostly use it for measuring amplifier performance, frequency response, distortion spectra (FFT) and noise measurements.

I run 24 bits and 96kHz sample rates pretty much across the board - eventually I will probably upgrade to the M Audio 24192 Audiophile, but for now I use the 2496 and it suffices. I can do measurements out to about 42kHz with this set up, almost high enough for bats.. ;)
(Well maybe not, haven't checked up on bat physiology for this post.. :) )

I do use it infrequently to measure my speaker system's frequency response, but usually don't know what the exact system spl is - usually high enough for good snr, and low enough to avoid amplifier compression/clipping. (System measurements are done with the system amplifier, driver measurements with a Dyna ST-80) I just make sure I set everything up the same way each time I do a measurement after making a change to the speaker system.

I can also do all of the standard ts parameter loudspeaker measurements using one of several setups in conjunction with audiotester.

I have a licensed copy of audiotester which I use for electronics mostly, and an eval version of Arta that I use for acoustic measurements. I plan to license it when I start to evaluate my latest cross-over redesign.

The 2496 lives in the media server and primarily serves music via spdif to my dac, but the analog I/O are available anytime I want to do measurements.
 

Secips

Member
2007-11-01 6:43 am
Thanks for the help.

However, Liberty Instruments is coming through for me.

Looks like I pre-date you guys. I got LAUD in its introduction right after IMP. I have the preamp and calibrated mic that comes with LAUD. You use an ECHO DSP card with it. I was hoping someone found another card to work with LAUD.

LAUD in its day was an EVOLUTIONARY product. It EMPOWERED hobbyist to develop audio equipment that was first rate. At the time, anything with LAUD's capabilities was 10 to 20 times more expensive. Companies who were using MLSSAs and LMSs were using LAUD as well.

Having the case of "Back-to-the-future" syndrome. I am disheartened upon knowing the demise of LAUD. I am coming from the prespective of a hobbyist/enthusiast. I feel akin to the DIY community as I consider them to be kindred spirits. IMP/LAUD was developed in that light, I remember issues of Speaker Builder magazine. Being in IT, I know how new releases just blindside you. Bill Waslo didn't want this to happen. The development and retraining cost is tremendous, let alone coming up with a product that would measure up to the old standard. In an email to me, Bill Waslo, expressed his disappointment that hardware and operating system upgrades, "Orphaned" LAUD.

Anyway, thank you for all the tips I sure appreciate them. I used LAUD for the development of speakers. During the time FFT transforms, impulse, close-mic measurement gave you data without an anechoic chamber for peanuts compared to what was available. Anyway, I gotta get back up to speed as I haven't done these things in, errrr... something years :).

Lastly, I must say that it seems that Bill Waslo, (Liberty Instrument) still "Kept the Faith" lending a helping hand whenever possible.
 

SY

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-10-24 10:19 pm
Chicagoland
www.SYclotron.com
I still have (and use) my IMP system. This was a real breakthrough for hobbyists and still does 90% of what I'd want a speaker measurement system to do, albeit with a DOS user interface. When I had some difficulties (software related), Bill sent me his home phone number, figured out the issue, and got me an updated version within a day. Very impressive.

I wish I could cost-justify Liberty's latest-and-greatest. Mmmm, maybe next year...