Does anyone know of a simple dB Meter?

Discussion in 'Windows Applications' started by Quartersndimes, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Quartersndimes

    Quartersndimes Complete Genius. . .

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    I am the sound guy in my church, and I was wanting to know if there is a simple decibel meter for windows. We are trying to figure out a cheap way to make a meter that will give us the comfortable level for people to hear, but we want to keep the audio maxed out. So my question is: is there a cheap or free dB meter for windows? Where is it located?
     
  2. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    You can't really do that with a home PC. Two reasons:
    1) The system has to have a microphone with response that is flat, or calibrated across the hearing range 40-18Khz and be linear or calibrated across the sound level range. Sound level test equipment will meet these requirements.
    2) Even if you have a very good microphone the whole rig still needs to be calibrated to a baseline sound level. If not all you will get is relative readings and you won't know if the absolute sound level is above the damage threshold.
    3) You need to make sure you have a microphone that "hears" in the proper pattern to simulate air pressure on an ear. Sound waves will be reflecting and coming in from all directions. If the mic is directional it may not see the same levels the ear will see.

    If you haven't you need to do the research on how to determine damaging sound levels. There is not just one number. Frequency, duration of exposure, spikes in level all affect cumulative damage. A few seconds at one level can blow an ear drum, a lower level you can stand for minutes without cumulative damage, even lower you can stand for an hour long concert. Then if you do the same exposure level several times in an hour or a day less sound will still cause cumulative damage.

    There are sound level meters for as low as $60 but considering you are risking personnel injury a better unit that can also act as a docimeter to get time average readings for cumulative damage is really a must. Decent ones run $300 and up.
     
  3. trukkmann

    trukkmann OSNN Addict

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    I agree with what Leegend says but since it's a church...
    I have been using Audacity to convert cassettes to mp3, it has a simple db meter in it, if you have a decent mic to plug in you might get a ballpark reading of how loud it will be from front/back of the church. Oh, and it's free.
    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
     
  4. Quartersndimes

    Quartersndimes Complete Genius. . .

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    trukkmann, I have audacity, but i dont know where the db meter is. I will investigate.
    |,,|^o^|,,| rock on, thanks. Oh, found it. but as leejend was saying, the is not really a damage threshold meter. But thanks
     
  5. tdinc

    tdinc █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User

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