SuperMegaUltraGroovy FuzzMeasure 4 by Diogo C
Product: FuzzMeasure 4
Requirements: macOS/OS X 10.10+
DRM: Online authorization
Demo: Feature-limited version (click here for all restrictions)
Price: $99 personal license for non-professional use and $499.99
The scope: SuperMegaUltraGroovy’s FuzzMeasure audio and acoustics measurement software has been a marquee on the Mac since its introduction in 2004, and now this marvelous app arrives at its fourth version looking and working better than ever. At the heart of this new version there’s a brand new interface design with an entirely new concept and some further graphical embellishments, which are inline with the Apple’s latest OS versions (Yosemite and forward), and most importantly it offers eighteen graphs to thoroughly analyze your measurements and beautifully displays all the data acquired. Here goes the complete list of available graphs:
- Time Domain Graphs: Impulse Response; Step Response; Envelope Time Curve; Energy Decay (Schroeder) Curve
- Frequency Domain Graphs: Magnitude Response; SPL Response; Group Delay; Excess, Minimum, and Mixed Phase; Harmonic Distortion; Harmonic Distortion Percentage
- 3D Graphs: FFT Waterfall and Low-Frequency FFT Waterfall
- ISO 3382
- Acoustics Graphs: Reverberation Time (RT60 - T20/T30); Early Decay Time (EDT); Clarity (C80, C50, C30); Definition (D50)
In order to have all those nice graphs on the screen you need to take measurements, and FuzzMeasure handles this process with the same classy approach, with simple settings for the stimulus signal, which can last as long as 45 seconds and be attenuated down -80 dB. There’s a neat “averaging” feature that captures multiple stimulus signals to have an average in order to improve the signal-to-noise raise and take measurements in with less than ideal environments with background noise. It can also capture from as many inputs as your audio interface can offer, which is very useful feature that greatly speeds up the whole process. It can also handle multiple microphone calibration files, which can be selected from a drop-down menu once they’re imported. FuzzMeasure also provides optional templates when you start the program for most common applications such as studio acoustics, equipment measurement, live sound and others, so you’ll get a few select graphs right after you capture the stimulus. FuzzMeasure can also measure and automatically your input hardware through a loopback test (from output to input) to eliminate any delay or frequency response deviations there might be, which also helps to get accurate measurements.
FuzzMeasure's slick interface makes life a lot easier, which is great when we're dealing with an inherently complicated subject such as room acoustics.
Sound quality: this is not applicable here for obvious reasons, but I’d like to praise the excellent development work behind FuzzMeasure, it’s without a shadow of a doubt a high quality piece of software on all regards.
Ease of use: Arguably FuzzMeasure’s greatest feat is how easy it is to operate. The interface design is a work of genius, it’s really simple and most importantly it really works, offering an excellent workflow that makes it unrivaled when it comes to displaying data. Performance-wise it’s also an excellent app, the footprint it imposes on system resources is so small that you’ll hardly notice, which means that even the wimpiest of Macs will be able to run it as long as they have the necessary version of the OS. Needless to say that the FFT Waterfall graph can be pretty taxing depending on the setting, but that’s an exception rather than the rule. FuzzMeasure is also extremely stable and last but not least the documentation is also very good, with a concise and well-written help file that covers all the features.
Features: FuzzMeasure is well-packed with great features, there’s little to complain here other than the fact that it doesn’t offer more loudness calibration features, which is something miss coming over from REW. Needless to say that this can be easily sorted elsewhere with a simple blast of pink noise and a level meter, but FuzzMeasure does not leave us totally in the dark here since it warns the user about clipping or low recording levels, but it would be cool to have such calibrations inside FuzzMeasure in order to keep everything under the same roof. I’d like to see an option to export a “report” with all the graphs from one or more measurements as multi-page PDF, which would be awesome for presenting data on computers without FuzzMeasure or to print them to paper when required. Besides these two small requests (which may not apply to everyone) there’s nothing else to miss here, FuzzMeasure has all the tools necessary for proper audio and acoustics analysis.
Bang for buck: This is quite a comprehensive software that excels in all areas and arguably the most polished app in its category thanks to its ease of use. FuzzMeasure provides immense value if you’re into acoustic measurement, be it for studio, live sound venues or home theaters. It’s basically a no-brainer if you’re a studio freak (also known as Gearslutz) working with Apple computers, especially since there are no real alternatives out there, at least not as standalone app in this price range. For those folks coming from Windows the asking price might come across as bit steep because REW is offered for free, but $99 (personal license for non-professional use) is undoubtedly a reasonable price point for what it does and most importantly for how good it does. If you’re curious about room or equipment measure and have a Mac around then it’s basically a must-buy.
Recommended for: both novice acoustic treatment/equipment testing enthusiasts and seasoned veterans can benefit from what FuzzMeasure has to offer. Newcomers will find on FuzzMeasure a welcoming environment which is kind of a pleasant surprise for software in this category, while professionals working with studio design and acoustics treatment will definitely enjoy the workflow and how it elegantly presents all the data.
- Extremely easy to use
- Classy when presenting data
- Supports multiple inputs
- Affordable personal license
- I’d really like to see a “report” style export function for multiple graphs on a PDF.
- Only for Mac. It would be lovely to have FuzzMeasure on my Windows Laptop.
PS #1: In case you’re interested in the fascinating subject of room acoustics I loudly recommend a visit to our studio building/acoustics sub forum, and if you want to get up to speed with room measurement you should take a few minutes to read this excellent post.
PS #2: FuzzMeasure is first and foremost an analytical tool, but you can also get creative with it thanks to the fact that it exports ready-to-use impulse responses, which makes it great for making IRs not only from rooms and spaces but also guitar amp cabinets, exotic speakers and whatever your creativity tells you to. For this sort of application FuzzMeasure is particularly great thanks to the fact that it can capture from multiple mics with one single pass of the sweep, which as stated before helps to get those tasks done really fast. Now go out there (or inside?!?!) and take those measurements!
Example graphs below - scroll down and click on the attachments for 1080p screenshots: