Anyone know how to calibrate a Transducer (Buttkicker, Clark Synthesis)

Discussion in 'Room Acoustics, System Layout & Setup' started by jay21112, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. jay21112 Audioholic

    jay21112
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    So I'm moving around my theater room in preparation of adding 2 new subs, and I spend 2 hours calibrating it last night with a tape measure and an SPL meter, making sure everything is perfect.

    Then I go to calibrate the 2 buttkickers I have hooked up to the LFE and the 2 Clark Synthesis Transducers I have hooked up to the rest of the speakers, and my only way of calibrating them is with my butt. ...seriously, I sit on the couch, put in a movie and go..."yup, that feels right."

    For someone as "type A" as me, this drives me nuts. Do you know of any equipment or methods for calibrating transducers. As long as it wasn't insanely expensive, I would definitely deem it worth it to by some calibration equipment if it meant I could actually get some measurable, repeatable, accurate results.
  2. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    It's your butt, the reason it's so difficult to calibrate by feel is the same reason it's not that important. Do you have any solid issues with them, or just general worrying?
  3. jay21112 Audioholic

    jay21112
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    General Worrying. The fact that I have no idea what it's supposed to be. It's like changing speaker levels by listening to your favorite song, saying "That sounds right." Or calibrating the picture just from your favorite movie, saying "That looks right."

    There is no neutral point to strive for. Just a shot in the dark saying "That feels right." I mean I spent so much time and money to make everything sound and look right, to just randomly stab in the dark at the transducer calibration kills me. I feel like getting it wrong takes away from the audio and visual aspect that's been dialed in perfectly.

    There has to be some test equipment out there somehow. Maybe a motion sensor that's somehow calibrated to the equivalent of the 75 db audio level?
  4. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    There really isn't a correct level. It just really depends upon how strong you want it to be.
  5. jay21112 Audioholic

    jay21112
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    Unfortunately that's the only answer I've found, and I don't accept it. I think it's the only answer out there "right now." But one day, if transducers become more common, there will be a standard for them, and a way to measure and calibrate them to that standard. Guess I'm calibrating from my butt for now.
  6. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    If you had a sub properly calibrated you would not need a dumb *** butt kicker!
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  7. jay21112 Audioholic

    jay21112
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    False. You are trying to use a sub for something other than what it was intended to do. Subs are not made to reproduce the "Feeling" of an explosion. They were made to reproduce the "Sound" of the explosion. Yes, high enough, they also produce tactile sensation, but that is a by product, and not something the piece of equipment was made to do. It's like trying to use a surround speaker for a front speaker. You could do it, but it wasn't made to do it, so the results will never be what they should be.

    A tactile transducer is a completely separate piece of equipment made for a specific purpose and "should" be able to be calibrated to a standard just like every other.
  8. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    If you get your sorry backside too close to a real explosion, it will blow it off.

    What would blow it off. It's a pressure wave of course, and that's what a sound wave is.

    Of course a good sub and speaker will produce a sound (pressure) wave big enough to shake you in your pants.

    My rig rumbles the whole floor and chair without even breaking a sweat or sounding in any way boomy.

    I can assure your bottom shaker should be superfluous.

    Just dial it in to get whatever rumble effect you want in your derriere. In any case you could only calibrate your device with a transducer implanted in you. Everybody's anatomy is different.

    [​IMG]

    I was just trying to calibrate my Butt kicker, honest doc!
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  9. jay21112 Audioholic

    jay21112
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    I still don't believe that a good sub does the same as a transducer, but I won't argue the fact. What about the transducer setup to the rest of the speakers. How loud would the surrounds have to be to actually impart vibration to you? So in this case (surrounds) you must be able to see that a transducer and a speaker are very different and can't possibly be one in the same.

    ...but ok, ok, ok...I'll go sit in my chair and guess...
  10. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    Actually the speaker at a distance will be the most realistic, as it vibrates everything else as well.

    What the butt kicker has to do is convert a gas pressure wave (sound) into a fluid pressure wave. Why a fluid wave? Because our bodies are 90% water. So the butt kicker sets up a fluid waves in the tissues of your backside which sets of sensory pressure receptors in the tissues and transmits them to your brain. So you could only calibrate with a transducer in your tissues. So you will have to use natures transducers, which responders told you to do in the first place.

    Now in an actual event the shock wave transmits through your body to set up the fluid waves. Fortunately this is inefficient, otherwise terrorists could blow a lot more people apart than they do now.
  11. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

    fuzz092888
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    All this tells me is that you have been horribly misinformed and you should've spent less money on gadgets and more money on proper subwoofers. Only someone who's never heard a real HT setup or been to a good IMAX can honestly believe this.
  12. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    TLSguy, though I agree with you that the sub could perform the same task I use mine because I don't like to run my sub loud enough to cause that much tactile sensation.

    Jay, how can there be a calibration? There is no "accurate" amount of butt shaking to be had, it's a completely artificial construction. Even if there was a standard, would you still stick with what was "correct" if it shakes enough for you to find it annoying and distracting?
  13. jay21112 Audioholic

    jay21112
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    Ok, this is getting interesting because I feel like I'm learning something. But I'm not fully understanding yet. Your post brings this question to mind: If I need a transducer in my bottom to acurrately calibrate it, how come I don't need a speaker in my ear to accurately calibrate my speakers?

    Here is my reasoning for asking that question:
    I have the sub setup to 75Db loudness at reference, so shouldn't the buttkicker be able to be calibrated to xx pressure at reference level. Yes, my body will perceive that pressure differently than someone else, but my ears will also perceive 75db differently than anyone else's ears.

    So shouldn't there be a standard to calibrate to? Let's say 75DB = 4lbs of pressure generated by the buttkicker.....etc...
  14. jay21112 Audioholic

    jay21112
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    I thought IMAX does have transducers...
    That's what got me interested in them in the first place.

    ...and I have 4 subs (2 right now and 2 Funk Audio 18.3 being made as we speak)
  15. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

    fuzz092888
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    Where are you getting your information from?

    Do you know what a transducer is?
  16. jay21112 Audioholic

    jay21112
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  17. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    None of the ones I've been to use such gimmicks. They good ol' fashioned horn loaded subwoofers and I guarantee you I felt the bass where I should feel it, my chest and whole body not radiating from my butt.

    My own HT setup will bounce you in your seat no buttkicker required. Waves and waves of real bass.
  18. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    There are many NOs to be had here. You're still talking about calibrating, but there is still nothing to calibrate to. Additionally, as I said, shakers are something that can very easily be distracting, or conversely not as strong as you'd like them. Even if there was a standard, why would you ever not trust yourself? Bass shakers only work to augment what you feel from a subwoofer, the subwoofer is most responsible for being accurate.
  19. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

    fuzz092888
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    So you have two funk 18.3's being built and you think you need buttkickers? Somehow is wrong with this picture.
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  20. jay21112 Audioholic

    jay21112
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    Fuzz - Again, I don't think there is anything wrong with this picture. I stick to my argument that tactile transducers and speakers are two different things and have different uses. I may not be knowledgeable enough in the world of HT to provide a valid argument to this, but I know the difference in my HT with the transducers and without them, even if I turn the subs up to the point where the entire room house shakes. It's still not the same. And I could never get that feeling from my other speakers without my ears bleeding.

    Grador - No, I don't trust myself at all. I have no idea what an explosion is supposed to feel like. I don't know what music is supposed to feel like. And even if I did, how could I calibrate it to be so? Who says that if I calibrate to let's say War of the Worlds, that that movie is the end all be all reference point. Who says I wouldn't have to re-adjust the intensity for the next movie. We can calibrate our speakers and our TV (or projector) to a standard. Tactile transducers are a 3rd part of (some people's) HT, and should have their own standard to calibrate too. ..I know, I'm going in circles. But that's what I feel like when I'm sitting there calibrating. Like everything I'm calibrating to is going to be wrong with the next movie I pop in.

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