Sunday, May 27, 2007

Simulation programs

Loudspeaker simulation/modelling programs are indispensable! One of the most important pieces of advice I could possibly give regarding loudspeaker simulators is: get one!

Calculators and formulae for working out box volumes are better than nothing, but they don't give you a 'feel' for what happens when you alter various parameters. For example: a Javascript based calculator might recommend an "optimum" box volume of 50L for a certain speaker, whereas a simulator might suggest that there's very little practical difference in the performance between 50L and 35L.

I've found programs such as Subwoofer Simulator and WinISD to be extremely useful, and not just for building a loudspeaker and getting the project "over and done with" more quickly. They help to create a better understanding of the mechanisms involved so you can make better decisions, choose more appropriate speakers for the job, consider variables that you might have overlooked and more. How does the cone excursion vary according to frequency? What's the maximum power that can be applied before the Xmax is exceeded?

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