In parallel with release 7.0, Audio Precision is also introducing APx500 software subscriptions, offering APx users an alternative in how they license APx software, and access nearly any software version and option.
“As a measurement platform, APx500 software is incredibly versatile and powerful. It is a platform we’re committed to continually enhancing,” stated Daniel Knighten, Audio Precision general manager. “The release of version 7.0 is the latest demonstration of that commitment, as is the introduction of APx subscriptions which provide greater choice to users in how to access the versions that best suit their measurement needs.”
Audio Precision software subscription is an alternative to perpetual software licenses. While a perpetual software license – which grants a permanent, non-exclusive, and non-expiring right to use the software – will still ship with each new analyzer, software subscriptions provide another path for existing APx users to access the latest software release and associated enhancements. Such subscriptions grant a time-limited (1-, 3-, or 5-year periods) license to use the software and provide access to all versions and all options (excluding PESQ and POLQA). When the subscription expires, the analyzer reverts to the software version and options for which it was previously licensed.
For users and organizations that prefer to retain perpetual licenses, software upgrades (SW-UPG), software maintenance (SW-MAINT), and extensions (SW-EXT, sold with new analyzers only) remain available, but only include software options purchased for a given analyzer. New hardware-based analyzers are always sold with a perpetual license, however APx500 Flex can be purchased with either a perpetual license or a subscription.
Support for GRAS SysCheck2
Developed by GRAS Sound & Vibration, also part of Axiometrix Solutions, SysCheck2 is a system designed to actively verify whether the sensitivity of a microphone has drifted since its last calibration. This capability is being introduced with two new ½” microphone sets: The 246AE pre-polarized free field microphone, and the 246AO pre-polarized pressure field microphone.
In the first collaborative effort by the GRAS and Audio Precision engineering teams, APx500 release version 7.0 enables an APx user, in conjunction with an APx517B, APx1701, or GRAS 12Bx power module, to run SysCheck2 and receive a pass/fail indication for each connected SysCheck2-capable microphone, without the need of a calibrator or physical access to the microphone.
From a microphone in production test fixture to an array of microphones in an anechoic chamber, the combination of SysCheck2 and APx allows the user to verify the accuracy of the entire signal chain without physical access or potential disruption of the test setup.
Open loop fast sweep
Earlier this year, Audio Precision introduced the Fast Sweep signal, a fast stepped frequency sweep that provides several advantages (e.g., the ability to sweep from low-to-high or high-to-low frequency) in comparison to a logarithmically swept sine (chirp) signal. With release 7.0, APx software now enables the use of Fast Sweep in open loop testing scenarios, such as the testing of smart speakers. Fast Sweep is the primary stimulus signal used when utilizing either High Order Harmonic Distortion (HOHD) or Rub & Buzz Loudness measurements.
Suited to anyone performing spectrum analysis, v7.0 also brings several distinct improvements to the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis capabilities of APx software: Arbitrary lengths, windowless analysis, and level triggering. By allowing arbitrary FFT/DFT (Discrete Fourier Transform) lengths, users can now always find a combination of transform buffer and sample rate to arrive at convenient frequency resolution. With windowless analysis, engineers can perform synchronous, windowless FFT analysis on non-synchronous signals.
Transfer unction in Bench Mode
Power users who prefer Bench Mode, and those performing real-time adjustments on the devices under test (DUTs), will benefit from the enabling of Transfer Function in Bench Mode. In v7.0, these Bench Mode-oriented customers now have access to the Transfer Function measurement, and the complex frequency response function for a device, including the magnitude and phase (or real and imaginary components), using any broadband signal (e.g., speech, music, or noise).
New APx audio analyzers will begin shipping with v7.0 software in December. Each new analyzer includes one year of software maintenance, effectively licensing that instrument for APx version 8.0 when it is released (as well as any minor 7.x releases that occur prior to v8.0). Release v7.0 is available now for download from AP.com.
Release 7.0 is compatible with all analyzers in the APx500 Series. An APx KeyBox is required to run v7.0 on Legacy APx analyzers. APx KeyBoxes already installed on Legacy analyzers are compatible with v7.0 and only require an updated license file once an upgrade is purchased (unless they are pre-licensed for v7.0 via an existing software maintenance contract, for example SW-MAINT-3).