I know an RTA is just one tool (one that I think is a very good), and you have to use your ears as another tool, but I was wondering what the technical shortcomings are of RTA alone. A discussion with a sound engineer about transfer functions and their measurement highlighted that you can see a “lot more” about your system with additional objective tools like transfer function measurement, but can anyone help explain the technical reasons why an RTA doesn’t show you everything?

I know recently we have talked about the need for RTA of individual drivers, then pairs of drivers, etc, so that is one example where an overall RTA can fall short (if your process using one isn’t good), but I’m wondering about what is missing even if you are doing a RTA following a correct process.

For example, are reflections accounted for in RTA? Do you miss out by only using one microphone? If so, what are you missing and are these things partially or completely addressed by moving the mic around and averaging measurements?

As I start to target deficiencies of a tune done solely by RTA, now using my ear with things like band passed pink noise, I’m wondering what the known shortcomings (hopefully their are technical reasons for these?) are of RTA.


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