As regular readers here will be aware, my iOS weapon of choice when it comes to audio analysis is AudioTools from Andrew Smith. OK, so this isn’t some sexy synth or creative multi-effects app. Indeed, as an audio testing utility, the only sound it makes and some pretty abstract test signals. However, if you care about the audio quality of the music you make using your iOS system, then – like acoustic treatment for your music making space – acoustic testing is well worth experimenting with.
This is an area that many home/project studio musicians often ignore…. but, even if you just uncover the key problems with your room’s acoustics, and are not really in a position to do anything about correcting them (your co-habities might object to lots of acoustic foam and bass traps in their otherwise pleasantly decorated living room), simply knowing what those issues are can make it easier to work around them. This is particularly true with mixing; being aware that your room emphasises the mids or cuts all your high-end, means you can at least compensate and be listening for these influences when checking your mix on headphones or in an alternative listening environment.
I used (and still use on a regular basis for checking how things are changing if I reorganise stuff within my recording room) AudioTools extensively when putting my own project studio space together. It helped me identify exactly what acoustic issues my 4x5m room creates and, as a consequence, I was able to tailor my acoustic treatment to best tackle those issues….. It’s a very useful utility app and, while I didn’t need to use anything but the most basic of its very full feature set, it seems (to me at least) to do a pretty good job.
Anyway, AudioTools has received a further update in the last few days taking the app to v.10.0. There are lots of new additions to the feature set including some of which I’m not really sure I will ever fully understand (I’m not a physics PhD!) but also some that I can appreciate (for example, some new options for the SPL graph display). Anyway, it’s great to see a favourite utility app continuing to get support….
AudioTools is a universal iOS app that will run on iOS8.0 or later, is a 215MB download and priced at UK£19.99/US$19.99. The app provides a number of audio and acoustics measurement options including an SPL meter (great for getting a general idea of whether you are listening to your mixes too loud and in danger of making yourself deaf) and a test signal generator/recorder (great for finding the frequency lumps and bumps your room creates at your mixing position). These tools – which are the only ones I used in testing my own room – are, along with a few others, included in the base price of the app. There are, however, a comprehensive suite of further options you can add via IAPs if you get the audio testing bug.
If you are serious about getting the best out of your acoustic space, AudioTools is a very useful utility to have around.