AudioTools update – Andrew Smith’s audio testing utility app new features

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Audio Tools logo 1As 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.

You can plot the frequency response of your room and, with a little trial and error, work out what difference your speaker placement and acoustic treatment make as you work on the room's acoustics....

You can plot the frequency response of your room and, with a little trial and error, work out what difference your speaker placement and acoustic treatment make as you work on the room’s acoustics….

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….

The app can generate a number of standard acoustic test signals so you can assess the frequency response behaviour of your studio space.

The app can generate a number of standard acoustic test signals so you can assess the frequency response behaviour of your studio space.

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.

AudioTools

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    Comments

    1. ConfusedKitten says:

      Awesome going to need this software for my upcoming studio build (after I’ve sorted the flooring and walls out etc)! I seem to remember there’s some great articles on ‘SoundOnSound’ regarding building things like bass traps (out of plywood box’s filled with rock wool) and appropriate placment of acoustic tiles etc. Excellent news about the update, its daunting but I’m looking forward to learning how to use it (perhaps I best start soon) lol :)

      • Happy to advise if I can having been through the same process just over a year ago…. and, yes, there is plenty of stuff on the SOS archives. All that said, in terms of a first round of acoustic treatment, the general guidelines are pretty straightforward….. Anyway, just shout and I’ll happily share my (very limited!) experience :-) best wishes, John

        • ConfusedKitten says:

          Thanks John, I really appreciate that! I need to prep the room 1st (as I’m just moving in currently) then plan out the space (wall lined tables likely as I need a lot of surfaces)! I’m really lucky it’s oblong though (not square which is the worst for acoustics from what I understand) and I think it’s actually the same dimensions as the room you mentioned in your article coincidentally circa 4m x 5m! I don’t expect it to be perfect as it’s going to be used as a creative art space/design studio/electronics lab @times (only requires use of desk space albeit); but if I can approach it thoughtfully, and try and avoid major nodes (and keep the acoustics reasonably balanced) I’ll be more than happy (even to have some actual creative space for a change) it’s exciting though! :)

    2. Kahl Rhoam says:

      Cool stuff.

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