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Author Topic: Newbie question relating to the ToolBox  (Read 7805 times)

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andretoscano

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Newbie question relating to the ToolBox
« on: August 06, 2009, 10:22:49 AM »
Hi everyone.
I'll be beginning a practical electronics course after this Summer, mainly to update (and build) my knowledge on the subject, acquire some practical skills, solder and assemble a few pre-amp kits, etc.

This is probably a stupid question to all the knowledgeable people here, but I have to start somewhere... could the Electroacoustics Tool Box software replace the need for an hardware oscilloscope? What about signal generators and analyzers, like these? http://www.nti-audio.com/Home/Products/Minstruments/tabid/56/Default.aspx

I have an RME Fireface400 firewire soundcard which is pretty good. Could I just use that soundcard, my Macbook Pro and this software and replace the need for more hardware equipment?
If so, aren't these instruments obsolete? Do they just keep making them and selling them for "old school enthusiasts" or for physical convenience?

Thanks in advance for any replies.
I will be needing to buy some gear to equip my workshop in a near future, and it would be great to be able to use what I already have to achieve some results (like measuring THD+N from pre-amp outputs, noise, stuff like that).

Best regards.
André

FaberAST

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Re: Newbie question relating to the ToolBox
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2009, 09:54:02 AM »
Quote
could the Electroacoustics Tool Box software replace the need for an hardware oscilloscope?
It really depends on what your needs are. If you just want to analyze audio band signals, then Electroacoustics Toolbox with the RMA FireFace400 would make a great scope. However, you did indicated that you plan to work with electronics. For that, you would do well to acquire an oscilloscope that supports frequencies down to DC and higher bandwidths (tens of MHz is typical of affordable scopes). A primary limitation of working with audio interfaces is bandwidth.

Quote
What about signal generators and analyzers, like these?
Again, these are audio analyzers, so the Toolbox and your FireFace would make a solid alternative.

Ben

andretoscano

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Re: Newbie question relating to the ToolBox
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2009, 10:15:59 AM »
Hi Ben.

Thank you for your concise and clear answer. What you say makes a lot of sense.
I will buy an (hardware) oscilloscope when I feel the need to use one; and you will get a new customer for the Electroacoustics Toolbox later this month (NTi Audio boxes are cute and practical, but I'll go along your suggestion and use the Toolbox + RME interface).
Can I ask you what would your choice be for a decent measurement mic to work with a setup like this? (something in the $100 - $300 range)

By the way, congratulations on your blog and tutorials! It was a nice read for someone at the beginning of this learning curve.

Thanks.

Best regards and looking forward to buy your software soon.

André

SSIDevin

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Re: Newbie question relating to the ToolBox
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2009, 12:35:34 PM »
Can I ask you what would your choice be for a decent measurement mic to work with a setup like this? (something in the $100 - $300 range)

I don't know if I am too late, but you can check out http://www.testmic.com/ and http://www.rationalacoustics.com/store/microphones for some reasonably priced mics.

Most of those mics have plastic diaphragms, even the Earthworks. The only metal diaphragm mics are the ones at TestMic.com, which feature ACO Pacific capsules.

Hope this helps.