Velodyne SMS-1 Parametric EQ System Overview
We were introduced to the Velodyne SMS-1 system at the CEDIA show in Indianapolis last year and were instantly impressed with its potential for improving how subwoofers interact with the room. The SMS-1 is basically Velodyne’s flagship Digital Drive room correction software offloaded into a standalone system that allows it to be used with any (even *gasp* non-Velodyne) subwoofers. The SMS-1 is essentially an 8-band parametric EQ with variable frequency, Q, and gain that shows you a real-time smoothed graph of the room’s low frequency response from 15Hz to 200Hz via an on-screen display.
What does this mean for you? Well, in a practical sense, those of you desiring the most out of your subwoofer and room can make changes to your system in real-time and see the results on-screen. Additionally, once you’ve found the optimal positioning and phase settings, you can provide the final touches to your bass response using the integrated EQ system – taming room modes and eliminating some of the peaks and dips that are inherent to almost every system.
Using the System: The Basics
Setting up the SMS-1 is a simple process. Though the user manual reads more like a dictionary than a procedural instruction set, the SMS-1 is really quite easy to use. Here is a “birds eye” view of the entire calibration process:
- Connect the bass-managed “subwoofer” output from the receiver to the LFE input of the SMS-1 (do not disable bass management on your receiver as suggested in the SMS-1 manual)
- Connect the stereo RCA outputs and composite video out from the SMS-1 to an available input on your receiver
- Power up the SMS-1
- Position the included microphone at the main seating position and connect it to the front XLR input of the SMS-1
- Select a ‘Preset’ on the remote control (we suggest starting with #5). At the main menu of the SMS-1 system hit the ‘Menu’ button and press ‘12345’
- Ensure that the ‘LOW PASS XOVER FREQ’ is disabled
- Make manual subwoofer and room adjustments first to get the best possible room response (move the sub, close doors, move furniture and seating/mic position, select the proper bass management and crossover settings on your receiver, etc)
- Use the 8-band parametric EQ to make final tweaks to the room’s frequency response at the main listening position
- Test the other seating areas and make sure you do not drastically reduce quality in the secondary seats while optimizing the primary listening position