Sim VS Smaart

Jan 19, 2011
898
25
28
39
Oslo, Norway, Norway
drbentsen.no
I recently attended a Sim 3 training and system design seminar with Bob McCarthy, something I wish I'd done years ago. I found it really interesting, Bob is a great teacher IMHO. Thanks to Meyer for arranging these kind of seminars.

Now, I'm currently running Smaart. Happy with it s far, but I couldn't help noticing that a couple of things seems more slick and faster on Sim than Smaart. I also got the impression that measurements on Sim were more accurate, we did some measurements in difficult environments and the resolution Sim could archive was impressive.

I guess there's a few people here who have used both platforms. Is Sim really worth the extra expense compared to Smaart?

A decent laptop and a multi-channel interface is a small amount of $$$ compared to Sim. I have a usable laptop and a two-channel interface now, but I'm planning on replacing both during 2013.
 

Rasmus Rosenberg

Freshman
Jul 21, 2011
41
0
6
Re: Sim VS Smaart

Its very hard not to get impressed by Sim 3 especially in the hands of Bob! He is an amazing teacher, and funky person. Im bias (as you know) in my comments as im close connected the "the competitor", but have however had a chance to use most systems out there under different conditions. As you also know, Timo has a cool section in his blog, where he compares things directly, and Im sure there will be much more to come, Im doing a "shootout" soon too, and will share if anything comes out of that. Here is a link Comparing 3 FFT analyzers (powerpoint). « Timo's World all around the globe
There is no doubt that Sim 3 is a really good system, but I have yet to see it do something that I can't do with its competitors, for what i get paid for. You mentioned the prize, your self, and all though your country have more money and pays better, I feel we are much in "the same market". In that market its really hard to sell your self, for more money, just because you will bring a Sim 3 system (or Smaart for that matter) It might be required of you to be able to use it to get the job, but I have yet to see a raise in pay for bringing your own measurement gear. Yes its very sad, but fact of a hard pressed market, hopefully the more people that push for more pay, it will go up some day. And that we all get so good results from adding an analyzer, that we no longer be haunted by the people that does as good or better with out. So that leaves it up to you if you want to bring less money home from the gig?
My best advice would be to wait for Sim 4 and in the mean time test Smaart out some more (since you allready have a license) with an new computer and or interface. Let me know, i might either have time to swing by or send an interface not being used or better yet hook up with some of the guys up there all ready up and running! Also PM me your email on facebook, i will let you know when we do some measurement workshops (beginning of next year) It would be a blast to have you in.
 
Re: Sim VS Smaart

Sim vs smaart ?
Sim has 1 or 2 things that smaart can't do as far as i know and the main thing is the on/off switching of processor channel/mic channel wich can help you make less mistakes (on the bigger jobs with a lot of delays and in/out fills i would allway choose SIM because of this function). It takes a while to programm the measurement branches but if done correctly it can help you get trough a job faster and hopefully with less mistakes .
SIM can give you harmonic distortion measurements (i'm sure smaart can do this 2 but i have had no time to figure out how)
Via various modes it's easy to compare various sections of the system under test without mistakes if all goes well

Smaart on the other hand has some nice features 2 that sim doesn't have .
For one SIM only gives you a Z(?) weighting so only pure SPL . Smaart gives you dBa/c and Leq measurements . With SMAART 7.4 Stipa alcons% and a bunch of other stuff is included within the program .
With SIM you only see the -180°/180° or 0°/360° and with smaart you can "grab" the live trace and pull in down or push it up to get a clearer view of the area of interest .
Smaart also can give you more than 4 tracese on screen wich is the maximum on sim
There's 1 function within smaart that if not executed correctly can make you make mistakes and that is avaraging a bunch of measurements . I use this function but only with coherence enabled within the avaraging and only on a limmited area . Meaning i take a bunch of traces (8 or more depending on the time i have for the tuning in totall) within 1 or 2 square meters and do a avarage on that . I repeat this procedure for different areas as many times as needed depending again on the time factor .

If SIM is worth the extra money : don't know and al depends on your budget . 1 of the main reasons for me to buy SIM3 was me getting fed up with all the driver related problems i had with windows and making the choice in either investing or paying a load of taxes (i hate to pay taxes so that was a easy choice).

The powerpoint rasmus shared the link of was made because i heard a (ex)customer of mine tell the owner of a system under test on wich he did the alignment first (did not sound to good to say it nicely) that after the tuning with SIM3 by me my equipment was more acurate . This is BS . The powerpoint has 1 very important sheet the last to be exact . Whatever programm you use doesn't really mather . You are making the discisions not the program so if something doesn't sound good or does not sound good in just 1 part of the venue figure out what's happening in that part and adjust settings provided you have time for it .

I just heard my SIM3 is out of the hospital and is on it's way back to the netherlands so now i can really do a comparisson of SMAART 7.4 (on a mac) and SIM3 .
And for the big jobs after that i should have a really monster set-up : SIM3 SMAART7.4 6 x DPA 4007's(matched set) and if needed some more mics out of my collection of DPA mics all working together . Can't wait :)

Are you going to compare SMAART to systune rasmus ? there is a little hint (the shoot-out?)
 
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Rasmus Rosenberg

Freshman
Jul 21, 2011
41
0
6
Re: Sim VS Smaart

Hey Timo,
Glad to hear your Sim system i recovering :) hope you get it back soon. At this point It depends on who is coming out to play, all I know so fare is that we just got the first Sim 3 sale to Dk and Lars (he was in the class with Helge) is dying to get out and use it. And im itching to learn something new, and have a few new cool topics to share too. Hopefully i can get Timo Leski to join and he has Systune. As you know your on my top priority list as instructor and honor guest. I need a few more weeks to brain storm, PM me if you have some great ideas, then I will ram things up and get more concrete.
/R
 

harrybrilljr

Banned
Jan 12, 2011
204
0
0
Central Florida
Re: Sim VS Smaart

I recently attended a Sim 3 training and system design seminar with Bob McCarthy, something I wish I'd done years ago. I found it really interesting, Bob is a great teacher IMHO. Thanks to Meyer for arranging these kind of seminars.

Now, I'm currently running Smaart. Happy with it s far, but I couldn't help noticing that a couple of things seems more slick and faster on Sim than Smaart. I also got the impression that measurements on Sim were more accurate, we did some measurements in difficult environments and the resolution Sim could archive was impressive.

I guess there's a few people here who have used both platforms. Is Sim really worth the extra expense compared to Smaart?

A decent laptop and a multi-channel interface is a small amount of $$$ compared to Sim. I have a usable laptop and a two-channel interface now, but I'm planning on replacing both during 2013.
First let me just say Smaart 7 is as high or higher res than SIM depending on frequency. At no point is the resolution lower. You can lower it of course. It's called SMOOTHING.

With a few tweaks under the hood you can get nearly the exact same measurement from Smaart as SIM3. I am actually MUCH MUCH faster on Smaart even with 5 mics, as the setup time on SIM takes too long. SIM does not have spatial averaging, neither live nor 1 mic at a time, which is something I use to do my final tweaks. 75% of the last 20%. SIM is NOT multi-mic in the same way as Smaart. You are never looking at more than 1 mic at a time in SIM. In Smaart and Systune you can see multiple mics at the same time. AFAICT Meyer fundamentally believe this is useless and so I don't see it changing soon, but I could be wrong.

One thing SIM has that I like. Extremely stable trace that updates quickly with changes. In Smaart we just hit the V key as we make changes to the system.

Accuracy? Pretty much the same. In Smaart you can turn off all smoothing and decimation so you can get extremely accurate almost useless measurements. Measurements like this are better left for the lab where you are doing scientific research rather than trying to make a PA sound good.
 

Ivan Beaver

Graduate Student
Jan 11, 2011
2,300
9
0
Atlanta GA area
Re: Sim VS Smaart

I remember in my 1st TEF class-a saying that has stuck with me-and I keep repeating to myself (and others)

"WHAT ARE YOU HERE TO DO?" Sure- you can do all kinds of things-make all kinds of measurements and waste a lot of time to actually accomplish nothing.

Depending on the situation, I will take different approaches, looking for different "things" and try to learn what to "ignore" and not worry about.

There is no reason to worry about things you cannot change-nor need to change.

Sometimes we have to open up our window of "accpetance" and other times we need to narrow it down.-it just depends on the situation.
 

Merlijn van Veen

Freshman
Jun 17, 2013
26
0
1
Both analyzers use multiple FFT sizes to create the complete transfer function. AFAICT SMAART uses fewer FFTs over wider frequency bands in comparison to SIM. One could also say that SIM uses more but shorter time constants allowing less opportunity for reverbant energy and even echos. To me this makes SIM feel more "accurate". Like many of us however, due to the expensive price, I work happily with SMAART which is very user friendly.
 

Bennett Prescott

Just This Guy, You Know?
Staff member
Jan 10, 2011
10,846
12
38
35
Wallingford, CT
www.bennettprescott.com
Re: Sim VS Smaart

Thorsten,

This post was reported as spam, and I almost checked the box that would report you to the global forum spam database, ban you, and erase all your posts. Because this post IS spam.

We are well aware of your predilection for SATLive, if you were any more of a cheerleader for that program one wonders if you'd still have time to eat and breathe. That is all well and good elsewhere, but if you think you can come on THIS forum and do nothing but write several page posts full of no content but links and german text, you are wildly out of touch. You may certainly not go into threads about competing products and spam them, especially not our friends at Rational who are long time forum supporters and advertisers. No fucking way.

This is your only warning. The next time you spam up this forum you will be permanently banned. I have removed your other posts on this topic.
 

David Karol

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 10, 2011
2,080
20
38
San Francisco, CA
www.davidkarol.com
Re: Sim VS Smaart

Accuracy? Pretty much the same. In Smaart you can turn off all smoothing and decimation so you can get extremely accurate almost useless measurements. Measurements like this are better left for the lab where you are doing scientific research rather than trying to make a PA sound good.
I know a lot of guys (myself included) who have used Smaart in a lab setting. Quick and easy!
 

Ivan Beaver

Graduate Student
Jan 11, 2011
2,300
9
0
Atlanta GA area
Re: Sim VS Smaart

I know a lot of guys (myself included) who have used Smaart in a lab setting. Quick and easy!
I use Smaart all the time in loudspeaker development. I also use TEF all the time.

It depends on what I need to do at the time-ie what I am trying to accomplish for THIS measurement session. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
 

Adam Black

Freshman
May 17, 2011
67
0
0
MA
www.rationalacoustics.com
Re: Sim VS Smaart

I use Smaart all the time in loudspeaker development. I also use TEF all the time.

It depends on what I need to do at the time-ie what I am trying to accomplish for THIS measurement session. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
+1

Smaart is a tool, and not the only one available. Of course I'm biased to a certain degree. But I'm also a proponent of having a large array of tools at my disposal. And a devout believer in using the right tool for the task at hand, whatever it may be.

This may seem an odd sentiment coming from someone who is financially bound to the success of Smaart. But this parity doesn't change my belief. I see threads of this comparative nature somewhat frequently and they always leave me bemused as they often turn negative. Why must choice of measurement tool be limited to only one? Why must using one tool (seemingly) disparage the use of another? They are just tools, use what works best for the task at hand.

-A
 

harrybrilljr

Banned
Jan 12, 2011
204
0
0
Central Florida
Re: Sim VS Smaart

Some things are more convenient to do with a SIM, assuming it's already set up of course. That is only because the hardware is known and never changes. These tasks can be done with Smaart as well. The same result can be had with both systems but it may not be with the same settings on screen. The point was made with end over end averaging compared to overlapping averaging. With Smaart, 4 seconds equals about the same stability you get with 16 fifo averages on SIM. This could be misconstrued as SIM being more stable when setting both to 16 averages, but it's a choice that was made by Rational to use overlapping averages. A thread Smaart (or SIM) vs AP would definitely get a "why not both?" response from me because they are each very good at different things, but they are both measurement systems. Smaart and SIM3 are much the same, but the more expensive, typically heavier and bulkier, more labor intensive to set up on show site, of the two, has fewer features and the features they share can achieve the same result so I don't personally see the point in owning both. If Smaart was a less accurate, "good enough for R&R" version of SIM then I could see having SIM at the shop or install and Smaart at the live show, but that simply isn't the case. Smaart is every bit (no pun intended) as capable as SIM and only folks justifying money spent would argue that point. I own 5 earthworks mics. I like them. I don't feel I need to justify them. Someone in class asked me, if the cheaper mics will yield a result just as good then why did you buy those. I said "I wanted them." If you want a SIM machine, have at it. I used to feel the same way about it, before Smaart 7.
 

Merlijn van Veen

Freshman
Jun 17, 2013
26
0
1
Accuracy? Pretty much the same. In Smaart you can turn off all smoothing and decimation so you can get extremely accurate almost useless measurements.
I was more thinking of how much "room" is allowed into the measurement and the ability to discern room from speaker. Specifically the chosen time constants for MTW. Frequency resolution is of no concern.
 
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Ivan Beaver

Graduate Student
Jan 11, 2011
2,300
9
0
Atlanta GA area
Re: Sim VS Smaart

I was more thinking of how much "room" is allowed into the measurement and the ability to discern room from speaker. .
And that SPECIFICALLY address the whole "What am I here to do" question.

If you are wanting to measure the response of the speaker-then you want as little of "the room" to get into your measurement. An area where TEF excels due to its noise immunity.

However if you are wanting to "tune a system" for people to listen to-then you have to allow some of the room to get into the measurement (how much depends on the hearing mechanism).

So if some of the room is getting into the measurement-then you have determine what is important to address at THAT mic position-since it will be different at a different mic position.

The more "room" you allow in-the more important it is to do multiple mic positions and average the results-so you don't "fix" one location and screw up many other with the same adjustment.

If you want to "adjust the response of the loudspeaker" and then let the responses "fall where they may", then you want as little of the room influence as possible.

Personally I find I get better overall results by allowing some of the room to get into the measurement (relates to my ears better)-and by using multiple mic positions, paying attention to dips in the response and what the phase looks like at those dips- helps me to choose what to ignore and what I can "fix" with eq.

When people start "chasing" all the dips with an eq-they are asking for trouble overall-because they are not taking into account reflections-one of the MAIN problems with using and RTA to attempt to align a system.

And one thing that I feel is very often overlooked-there is no "correct" alignment.

Let's say I align a system. Then I come back a month later and do another alignment-after the DSP has been reset to 0. Will I end up with the same results-NO. Will they be pretty close-or very close? I hope so. But depending on my new mic positions-how I feel that day (especially when setting delays for balconies and so forth) the final result will be slightly different. How much low freq "hump" did I allow this time? How about HF rolloff? What about delays?

Which one is "right"-both are-AT THE TIME I WAS THERE. When you deal with multiple sources and multiple listening positions-there are all sorts of compromises that have to be made-and on any given day I may choose to make a different compromise.

In my opinion-anybody who says they do "perfect alignments" is simply fooling themselves and attempting to fool others as well.

Just like mixing a band. Create a mix-lets say from a multitrack so the source doesn't vary. Now come back a couple of days later and start with a 0 console. Let's see if you create exactly the same mix. A good engineer should be close-but if you store the scenes on a digital console and recall them-I bet they will sound different. So which one is "right"?

The biggest thing to learn with system alignments (and mixing) is when to stop adjusting and say "this is good enough".

Flame suit on.
 

Merlijn van Veen

Freshman
Jun 17, 2013
26
0
1
However if you are wanting to "tune a system" for people to listen to-then you have to allow some of the room to get into the measurement (how much depends on the hearing mechanism).
AFAICT based on the numbers, this is where SIM and SMAART differ from each other, the OP's question. Ergo, their respective manufacturers have different takes on said hearing mechanism, echo perception and such. This also affects the extent of "dips" and "humps". With no or equal smoothing, a kind post processing IMO if you will, SIM shows similar tonal envelopes as SMAART with overall less comb-filtering , due to late arrivals. This is why I feel SIM is more accurate.

+1 on everything else you wrote

SMAART has some evident advantages over SIM, as has been mentioned numerous times before, with concern to multi mics and weighted averaging.

Delay tracking is also very handy.

I'd very much like to own both solutions and use them next to each other, in their respective area of expertise.
 

Merlijn van Veen

Freshman
Jun 17, 2013
26
0
1
Re: Sim VS Smaart

To clarify my previous reply, I've attached a picture illustrating the differences regarding time constants. I got the values from SMAART 7 by observation. SIM3 uses 8 time constants SMAART 7 uses 6 time constants. To me, the interesting part is the lower and upper frequencies of each span expressed in multiple wavelengths of the time constant. According to Bob McCarthy, signals arriving within 6 wavelengths are considered tonal, within 24 wavelengths spatial and anything beyond 24 wavelengths echos. As the amount of wavelengths increases the usefulness of equalization decreases and the need for alternative solutions rises. Anything arriving past the time constants is considered incoherent and shouldn't be equalized. I feel the choice of time constants is one way how in this case, Rational distincts itself from Meyer Sound.

"We chose, as our default, to use multiple time windows as we had done in the past. So . . . the next question was, what should the TC's be. In the past, we were confined to a short list of "power of 2" FFT/TC sizes. Now here in the future (where I hear everyone is gonna wear 1-piece jump suits) we can easily and efficiently use virtually any TC size. That meant we could choose our TC's with our focus on the resulting frequency resolution and the impact of the TC on our classification of reverberant energy. (What is signal, what is noise?)

Jamie Anderson"




Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 21.01.07 PM.png
 

harrybrilljr

Banned
Jan 12, 2011
204
0
0
Central Florida
Re: Sim VS Smaart

AFAICT based on the numbers, this is where SIM and SMAART differ from each other, the OP's question. Ergo, their respective manufacturers have different takes on said hearing mechanism, echo perception and such. This also affects the extent of "dips" and "humps". With no or equal smoothing, a kind post processing IMO if you will, SIM shows similar tonal envelopes as SMAART with overall less comb-filtering , due to late arrivals. This is why I feel SIM is more accurate.

+1 on everything else you wrote

SMAART has some evident advantages over SIM, as has been mentioned numerous times before, with concern to multi mics and weighted averaging.

Delay tracking is also very handy.

I'd very much like to own both solutions and use them next to each other, in their respective area of expertise.
So letting LESS information in is MORE accurate?
 

harrybrilljr

Banned
Jan 12, 2011
204
0
0
Central Florida
Re: Sim VS Smaart

To clarify my previous reply, I've attached a picture illustrating the differences regarding time constants. I got the values from SMAART 7 by observation. SIM3 uses 8 time constants SMAART 7 uses 6 time constants. To me, the interesting part is the lower and upper frequencies of each span expressed in multiple wavelengths of the time constant. According to Bob McCarthy, signals arriving within 6 wavelengths are considered tonal, within 24 wavelengths spatial and anything beyond 24 wavelengths echos. As the amount of wavelengths increases the usefulness of equalization decreases and the need for alternative solutions rises. Anything arriving past the time constants is considered incoherent and shouldn't be equalized. I feel the choice of time constants is one way how in this case, Rational distincts itself from Meyer Sound.

"We chose, as our default, to use multiple time windows as we had done in the past. So . . . the next question was, what should the TC's be. In the past, we were confined to a short list of "power of 2" FFT/TC sizes. Now here in the future (where I hear everyone is gonna wear 1-piece jump suits) we can easily and efficiently use virtually any TC size. That meant we could choose our TC's with our focus on the resulting frequency resolution and the impact of the TC on our classification of reverberant energy. (What is signal, what is noise?)

Jamie Anderson"




View attachment 7281
What's missing here is that the TCs that are chosen and where they change is for best intelligibility. Looking at your photo, and I have no idea where you got that or if it is even accurate, but assuming it is, you can see Smaart 7 has MORE PPO (more detail), and yet you continue to say it's less accurate than a ore than 10 year old measurement system? What will you say when the software version of SIM comes out and they are giving a lot more detail, that the new system is much less accurate than SIM3?
 
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