ArrayCalc: Predicting Audio

Gone are the days when rigging or commissioning a PA meant pointing the speakers in the right general direction and relying on a good ear.

Good ears are still important but so are modern predictive tools.

The folks at d&b audiotechnik takes the responsibility of reaching every set of ears in a venue with even, high-quality sound very seriously indeed. d&b has poured considerable resources into making its predictive software, ArrayCalc, one of the most sophisticated going around. ArrayCalc helps installers and system techs predict how a system will perform in a given space, plus it offers tools to aid with acoustic design, alignment, rigging, and safety parameters. You can even calculate the phase response of a flown system and a ground-stacked sub array at a definable reference point.

Let’s say you’re an integrator tasked with fitting out a performing arts centre with a d&b V-Series line array system. Using tools in the ArrayCalc’s Venue tab, you can draw up  a plot of the venue specifying the audience geometry data. Wizard functions help you bring in more accurate data from laser distance and angle finders.

The Source tab is where you mock up the system — how many units per flown array, outfills, sub stacks, etc. ArrayCalc responds with an accurate readout of the sound disperse in the venue, SPL, headroom amounts, and safety information. Information is presented in the form of highly accessible graphs and plots.

The Alignment tab shows the interplay between main FOH and fills, or main FOH and subs. Virtual measurement mics can be placed anywhere in the space to determine arrival times and phase response of different system components so you can be aware of sonic pitfalls even before you set foot in the venue. And go to the 3D Plot tab to see detailed visual display of SPL throughout the space at selected frequency points. 

d&b audiotechnik ArrayCalc