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We have some GuitarKitBuilder articles coming up that test gear using noise sources, both white noise and pink noise, so we’ve created this reference article in our Kits 101 area for the reader that wants more information on the meaning of these terms. Compared to a white noise signal, the noise spectrum with equal power per octave will have relatively more power in its lower frequencies, analogous to a source of light with pink or red tones. One last point – while pink noise is useful for electronic testing of amplifiers, microphones and speakers, it is not terribly useful for listening tests, which need instead to use something that is memorable and can be analyzed by the listener.
Asher Crane: I have one of the newer TS9 pedals, and when I turn it on its just a constant buzzing. This is, hands down, one of the most important meters you should integrate into your live system. While there are plenty of RTA apps for your smartphone out there, a solid and accurate Spectrograph is a must. Ideally, you want equal volume across the spectrum so that no one band of frequencies is particularly louder than the others. Recall that the Fletcher-Munson Curve tells us that lower frequencies need more energy than higher frequencies to appear to be the same volume, and vice versa.
Again, how far your mix deviates from this curve greatly depends on the music you are mixing. A low end meter is a specialized spectrograph that measures frequencies generally below 200 Hz at 1 Hz intervals.
While a typical spectrograph gives a great overview of the entire spectrum, it’s very useful to be able to zoom in to particular areas such as the low end to see what frequencies are peaking.


You’re probably able to hear these, but singling out sub 100 Hz frequencies can be tough to do by ear.
Any engineer mixing on a stereo system should be checking the stereo balance and this meter is indispensable for doing just that. An unbalanced mix will cause the stereo field to appear shifted farther left or right, which means some of your audience may be hearing more or less, depending on where they are in the venue. Of course, in live sound, audience position varies wildly, so you’ll probably want to keep your mix closer to mono. If you’re interested in what your live rig is actually doing to your audio and what’s changing between the source and the output, then this meter is worth a look. Send some source audio to one channel of the meter, then set up a reference mic and send it to the second channel of the meter. In the same way that we set up a source and reference for the Compare Spectra meter, we can see how phase is affected with respect to frequency between source and output. Pink noise normally isn't just tested alone in a audio lab because different microphones have different gains. The common test in audio labs is to first play a 1KHz signal, which is the signal that the microphone should amplify fully.
Headset A records the least amount of pink noise, so it's the best noise-cancelling headset. This test setup is the most basic and fundamental way of setting up pink noise in an audio lab for noise cancellation testing.


Pink noise is randomly generated noise whose power or energy is inversely proportional to the frequency.
Two completely coherent signals would create a single vertical line in the meter signifying that the signals are identical or mono. There are plenty of other variables at play here, but cleaning up your stereo image goes a long way to a great mix. If the level at a frequency appears higher, it means there is more power from the first channel.
Get the source and reference mic volumes (to the meter) to be as close to equal as possible and you’ll quickly identify what frequencies are being boosted or cut between the source and your live rig. I've got a passion for the nuts and bolts behind the scene, but love everything music and audio.
This can be very useful for audio engineers trying to improve the performance of a headset.
Dance and Hip-Hop shows are obviously going to have a lot of constant low end while guitar-centric shows will have a lot of 2-4 kHz.



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