Created by record producer Alan Parsons and designer Stephen Court, the SOUND CHECK 2 CD contains 99 tracks of practical material compiled as result of careful research and investigation into the needs of studio engineers, audio technicians, serious audiophiles, record producers and musicians.
The disc has been designed not only to help assess the technical performance of a wide range of sound recording and reproducing equipment, but also to offer the best available musical, vocal and effects sources for experimentation and demonstration.
The disc was mastered at London's Abbey Road Studios
CONTENTS OF THE SOUND CHECK CD
PINK NOISE 1/3 OCTAVE SPECTRUM ANALYSIS
This section is intended for loudspeaker frequency response analysis. System response can be plotted and graphic equalisers can be set by reading each band on The Sound Check Response Analyser (or a conventional sound level meter). Track 1 is the reference tone and lasts 30 seconds. All other tracks in this section are at the reference level and last 10 seconds.
Tracks 1-32: 1kHz reference tone, 20Hz, 25Hz, 31.5Hz, 40Hz, 50Hz, 63Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 125Hz, 160Hz, 200Hz, 250Hz, 315Hz, 400Hz, 500Hz, 630Hz, 800Hz ,1kHz, 1.25kHz, 1.6kHz, 2kHz, 2.5kHz, 3.15kHz, 4kHz, 5kHz, 6.3kHz, 8kHz, 10kHz, 12.5kHz, 16kHz, 20kHz
PINK NOISE TEST TONES
These tones are intended for equipment alignment and are especially designed for active speaker set-up. Track 33 is a 1kHz reference tone lasting 30 seconds. Monitoring equipment should be set to a useful working volume and measuring equipment set to read 0dB. All other tones in this section are at the reference level. Phase checks are on Index 2, where appropriate, in 5 second bursts.
Track 33: 1kHz sine wave reference tone @ -14dB FS
Track 34: Pink Noise - Left channel only
Track 35: Pink Noise - Right channel only
Track 36: Pink Noise - Both channels & phase check
Track 37: Bass band - 0-200Hz & phase check
Track 38: Low mid band - 200Hz-1kHz & phase check
Track 39: High mid band - 1kHz-Infinity & phase check
Track 40: High Band - 7kHz-Infinity & phase check
These are intended for sweep response measurements and are especially useful for checking system resonances. Track 41 is the reference warble and lasts 20 seconds. The sweeps are in one octave sections down from 1kHz and in one octave sections up from 1kHz - for easier frequency identification.
Track 41: 1kHz reference warble for sweeps
Track 42: Sectional sweep tones down in 1 octave steps: 1kHz-500Hz, 500Hz-250Hz, 250Hz-125Hz, 125Hz-20Hz
Track 43: Sweep tones up in 1 octave steps: 1kHz-2kHz, 2kHz-4kHz, 4kHz-8kHz.
Track 44: Sine wave sweep 20Hz-20kHz
SINE AND SQUARE WAVE SPOT FREQUENCIES
This section is for recording and reproduction equipment line-up, analysis and fault finding. The square wave spot frequencies are also useful for bandwidth assessment and loudspeaker phase and time alignment. Track 45 is the reference tone, lasting 10 seconds. All other tones in this section are 10 seconds. All sine waves are at the reference level, -14dB FS. The square waves are at -20dB FS.
Tracks 45-56: 1kHz reference tone @ -14dB FS, 60Hz, 100Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 3kHz, 5kHz, 10kHz, 12kHz, 15kHz
Track 57: 1kHz square wave @ -20dB FS
Track 58: 5kHz square wave @ -20dB FS
While the sonic complexity of music is widely recognised, the human voice is equally difficult to reproduce accurately and a voice recording that one is familiar with is a useful reference source. Before Sound Check came along, a good, unprocessed voice recording was very difficult to obtain, especially under test conditions. These 4 tracks provide that reference and start with Alan Parsons' spoken voice. The rarely available dry, uncompressed voice of Luciano Pavarotti recorded live and Soprano Catherine Bott in a natural acoustic together with the dynamic voice of rock singer Steve Oveland complete this section of valuable reference recordings.
Rock and Pop engineers will find track 62 an ideal test source for limiters and compressors.
Track 59: Spoken word (mono)
Track 60: Tenor (mono)
Track 61: Soprano (stereo)
Track 62: Male Rock (mono)
This section contains closely miked instrumental recordings without electronic processing such as limiting or compression. They contain subtle transients which define true high fidelity and which are often lost in the reverberation and processing of commercial records. These tracks are therefore invaluable for assessing the transient response and fidelity of audio equipment and for experimentation with effects units. These are original studio master recordings and in some cases intrument overspill may be heard.
Track 63: Piano (stereo)
Track 64: Acoustic steel-strung guitar - finger style (mono)
Track 65: Acoustic steel-strung guitar - strummed (mono)
Track 66: Nylon strung Spanish guitar (mono)
Track 67: Electric guitar - clean sound (mono)
Track 68: Electric guitar - distorted rock sound (mono)
Track 69: Bass guitar (mono)
Track 70: Flute (mono)
Track 71: Saxophone (mono)
Track 72: Bongos (mono)
Track 73: Tambourine (mono)
Track 74: Kick drum (mono)
Track 75: Snare drum (mono)
Track 76: Cymbals and hi-hat (stereo)
Track 77: Toms (stereo)
Track 78: Whole drum kit (stereo)
Track 79: Violins (stereo -1st violins panned left, 2nd violins paned right)
Track 80: Cellos and violas (stereo - starting with cellos only panned right, joined by violas panned left)
Track 81: Woodwind emsemble (stereo)
Extracts from selected master recordings, specially selected to assess the various qualities of loudspeakers and sound equipment. Limelight, for example, has a very even frequency and dynamic balance throughout the audio spectrum and therefore is an ideal reference for overall sound quality. By contrast, Luv 4 Luv contains extremely high bass and sub sonic energy and is an ideal test for low frequency loudspeakers and their power amplifiers.
Track 82: The Race by Yello
Track 83: Limelight by The Alan Parsons Project, featuring Gary Brooker.
Track 84: Luv 4 Luv by Robin S.
Track 85: Seasons Of Our Lives by Graham de Wilde and Mitch Dalton.
Track 86: Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Daniel Chorzempa, organ.
Track 87: Rigalleto transcription by Liszt. Jean Yves Thibaudet, piano.
Track 88: Rite Of Spring by Igor Stravinsky: Deutsches Symphonie Orchester conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.
These sound effects provide extreme tests of dynamic and frequency range. The steam trains, the sub machine gun and the Chieftain tank are historical analogue recordings which have been digitally re-mastered.
Track 89: Sub machine gun - Chieftain tank target ranging (mono)
Track 90: Chieftain tank: Firing - shell detonation - the target (mono)
Track 91: Thunderstorm (stereo)
Track 92: Steam trains (stereo)
Track 93: F-16 and Tornado jets: flypast with afterburners (stereo)
A series of useful tools - a left/right channel ident; invaluable for multiple unit hook-ups, digital black for noise assessment, a tuning reference and timecode in all three standard formats for checking timecode-based equipment and striping code onto tapes.
Track 94: Left/Right channel indent.
Track 95: Digital Black - i.e. silence - all bits at 0
Track 96: A-440 tuning reference.
Track 97: EBU 25 frame timecode 09:59:45 to 10:05:00.
Track 98: Left Channel SMPTE non drop frame timecode 09:59:45 to 10:05:00. Right Channel SMPTE non drop frame timecode 09:59:45 to 10:05:00.
MAXIMUM TONE LEVEL
Warning - This track is at the theoretical maximum recording level, 0dB FS.
THIS IS A VERY LOUD TONE - USE WITH CAUTION
Track 99: 1kHz sine wave at 0dB FS (Duration 20 seconds)