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Iowa DIY 2017

SAVE THE DATE!! Iowa DIY 2017- October 21st - Grinnell College - Harris Center. Details and event website to follow.
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  • Thanks Bryan!
  • I'm content with keeping the format similar to past Iowa events.  If anyone wants to chime in with new ideas/thoughts,  let's do it now!!  ....and don't be shy.   If you have an idea, speak up.  We don't bite (hard).

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  • One idea......... was thinking of asking folks via forums/social media, to chime in on their thoughts for the house track.  I know in past events, we have covered stuff fairly well.  I'm gonna probably piss off a couple great guys.  However, when you've been involved in the industry for many years (in whatever capacity), it's like wearing blinders.  I speak for myself right now.......I can cut up and make any track sound great, but that doesn't make it a DIY-worthy house track.  What do you guys think?
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  • Hi Bryan,

    FWIW, here are my thoughts. I'm an advocate of very clean cuts of music for DIY test tracks. IMHO, the purpose is to test the speakers ability to reproduce the following aspects of the speaker not play a favorite song;
    1. treble
    2. midrange
    3. bass
    4. male vocals
    5. female vocals
    An observation,some genre play better than others in large environments like the Harris center. If the cut is from a recording made in a big hall that is played in a big hall, I find it difficult to get much out of listening to it regardless of how good the recording is. The flip side of that is, you can't make a crap recording sound good on any speaker.

    Whatever you do, I won't be pissed off. I think you guys are doing a great job and hope you keep doing it. ;)

  • As I am currently working 60-70hrs a week for the foreseeable future, I will have minimal input this time around. 

    One thing I like to do is include a track that has a passage that replicates something a speaker with certain of various compromises would do. At Dakota this year, that track contained a certain horn passage that had a lot of energy centered at 800Hz - and it sounded completely different on every speaker. In some cases, it was very obvious. The culprit for those differences is primarily panel resonance. 

    On some demo tracks I have mixed, there is an abundance of energy in the 1-3k region, which can replicate or exacerbate a tweeter crossed too low or a woofer breakup not tanked enough, for example. It will also cause the "bloom" common in LR4 2-way systems to be exaggerated. 

    I have also included tracks in the past selected exclusively because they will make BSC choices jump out at you. 

    There are a lot of aspects into a challenging demo track than meets the eye. Demo music should be difficult to render properly, should be deceptively simple at first blush, and should offer at least one challenge to the cabinet and crossover point in addition to overall tonality and bass tuning. 

    BK - to your point about ideas, I think it would be great to have a typical 85db demo session, and then a Barbie Girl level demo session. 
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  • One of my favorite things is to make my own track for demoing speakers at Iowa.

    That said, I’d give it up if we could do back to back speaker house track comparisons.

    What would also help is to know what drivers are in the speaker playing.

     John H, thanks to JP I did get that email
  • It is hard to say what needs to be improved on, I think keeping with the digital playback with everyone's test track preloaded with level matching helps a lot with time.

    It would be nice to project the list or order that the speakers are going to be in so the next presenter would be ready.

    Maybe selectively choose the order so that two really good speakers could play back to back like John suggests.  Maybe play the personal demo firsts, then house track, then next speaker, house track, then personal demo.

    The other thing would be more of a teaching moment, but open with a know set of speakers playing the house track and while the track is playing explain what to listen for and why each track was selected.

    The last one might be a little over the top.
  • The music I listen to is very limited, both in dynamic range, quality, genre, etc. So the house tracks and the individual demo tracks are very enjoyable to me, and if some track jumps out at me, i will note it and hunt it down.... Sometimes, it would be the only track in the album or of that artist that i would like, sometimes i would like a lot more tracks...

    so whatever you do, i am sure there is going to be something for me to look forward to. I also like it that once (forget when) there was also a movie track. Movie special effects / dubstep / EDM can also have a high level of low and tactile bass that a usual musical composition may not have. The lindsey stirling track comes to mind. The Infected Mushroon track provided some light moments and so did the baribie girl track
  • I've not had a problem with any of the demo tracks you've put together.

    That said, I could put something together for you if you want to step back from making the house cut for a bit.
  • Dang.  I've got a business conference that weekend . . . :(
  • Event website is up.  Feel free to register - it's never too early to register, especially if you're presenting. Figure 28 projects will be the absolute maximum, so get your info in early.

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  • Done! B)

  • FYI - If we do get overbooked, there will be plenty of opportunity to demo speakers at the hotel, as in previous years.  We do have the Best Western Pioneer Inn again and they have agreed to let us use the breakfast nook on Friday and Saturday.  There is a new manager at the hotel this year and while I was talking to her, I don't believe she understood what our group was all about even though she looked everything up on their system.  Yes, hotels do keep track of folks like us.  At least we don't have any negative remarks pinned on us....let's try to keep it that way.  LOL.
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  • I am registered, although I have not even started a new project yet. I did find time last weekend to stock up on some birch handi-panels and I have a nice selection of drivers to pick from. 

    I took some time off around Labor day - I plan on assembling a new pair that weekend, which gives me several weeks of testing and listening before Iowa. 

    I have been working a lot of hours lately, and along with some other stuff in my life going on means I have simply not had time to even really think about DIY since DakotaDIY. 

    What that means in BK and JP are doing all of the heavy lifting for this upcoming event, and I want to thank them in advance for their patience with me this summer. 

    P.S. It is looking like a SB/Viawave monitor for me this year. Cross your fingers, should be sweet. 
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  • jr@mac said:

    P.S. It is looking like a SB/Viawave monitor for me this year. Cross your fingers, should be sweet. 
    Ooo that would be sweet. I don't think i can complete mine, so will be regurgitating some old build
  • 15 projects registered in just under one week!!  I know of several folks who will be presenting but have not yet registered. Please get your registrations in early if you're showing a project. We don't want to turn anyone away from experiencing a Harris Center presentation slot but unfortunately we are limited by time and human ears, the latter of which are easily fried after about eight hours of speaker demos. 
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  • Up to 20 projects so far - FYI.  We should be rolling out the Xdemo upload link soon, so get your demos produced and get ready to rock Grinnell!!  
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  • If you reach the max number of entries that time will allow maybe you should limit one entry per person?  As you mentioned, there is always the informal hotel time if a second design wants to be demo'd.  Don't want this to turn into a InDIYana type show...
  • One per for the main event sounds fine.

    ............. could you hum a few bars.
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