Here are three questions to ask yourself if you are an installer, or to ask your installer if you are a shop owner. If you can’t answer any of them, then you need a course in basic audio training, according to 12 volt experts.
- 1) What is the technical way to describe a frequency range of 100 Hz – 200 Hz?
- 2) If you double the power to a speaker, what is the maximum SPL increase you can expect?
- 3) Name the individual filters you would find in a 3-way crossover network
(We’ll provide the answers tomorrow).
With more consumers keeping their radios and with the rise of aftermarket digital signal processors, DSPs, as a solution to add better sound, car audio is getting complex and there’s an increasing need for acoustic training.
Without audio basics knowledge, it’s going to be difficult to determine the type of signal coming from the factory radio and how to best address it. And if you do decide to bring in a DSP, there’s an infinite number of settings, so training is key.
Trainer Ken Ward of Educar says, “If you’ve got a DSP that’s designed to make your car sound great it will have literally hundreds of different adjustments. If you are going to go in and use them, there’s a sequence you need to follow. If you do some things before others, you’ll get poor results. Companies don’t necessarily tell you how to get the results and our industry is expecting the manufacturers to be the source of the training and none of the audio manufacturers are large enough to take on that problem.”
“At the end of the day, we have customers and cars that leave a shop that may be just okay,” said Todd Ramsey of Ramsey Consulting Group. “We can’t be just okay, we have to be fantastic. We have to be expert and that’s what I’m worried about right now.”
Ramsey added, “I just think some shops may have a work force that doesn’t quite understand things; they may not know that their guys don’t quite get this and they are letting them set up DSPs and they’re doing okay but just okay and not fantastic.”
Suppliers such as Elettromedia, AudioControl, JL Audio, Audiofrog and others are offering intensive training programs. And there’s KnowledgeFest industry training events throughout the year from the MEA Group.
But for those retailers who seek out additional training, here are some providers:
Beaverton OR 97008
Additional part-time or occasional trainers:
The Ramsey Consulting Group, Inc.
Jackson Car Audio Inc.
Jackson TN 38305
Of Sound Mind Labs
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Sound Connection Inc
There are several other well-known trainers we were unable to contact. Feel free to add your name in the comment list if you provide 12 volt audio training.