Designing a box for a car with WinISD - Realm of Excursion



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Old 07-26-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Step 1: Determine the response you want.
The response of a subwoofer is entirely dependent on the box it is in. The goal of your system will determine what kind of response you want. Also what sounds good to one person might not sound good to another. So you need to know how low you want to play with authority. Does a large peak at 45Hz sound good to you? Some people like it, hence why nearly every amp in production has bass boost centered around this frequency(or one close to it).
  • For SPL a response that has a large peak close to or at the cars resonant frequency is a good start.
  • For SQ you usually want as flat of a response as possible. This is achieved by rolling the sub off at exactly the same rate as cabin gain. For many cars it's more or less 12dB/oct. This is convenient since sealed and 4th order bandpasses roll off at this rate. Also it's important that they start rolling off at the same frequency that the cabin gain starts at. Otherwise there will be a hump or dip in the response.
  • For daily, in my experience, most people like a reponse with a gradual rising low end. In home and pro audio it's similar to a house curve. Thanks to cabin gain this can be achieved easily even with modest subwoofers.
  • For ground pounders/low end monsters etc the response in the low end is quite a bit higher than the 40-80Hz range.

Step 2: Collect the T/S Parameters of potential subs and enter them into WinISD
Now that you know what kind of response you want, it's time to start modeling responses in WinISD. To do that you'll need some electro-mechanical parameters known as the Theile Small Parameters. These allow WinISD to model the response of the driver. It's important to keep in mind it models it in Half Space at 1m away. This is important because:
  • Your dash is probably more than 1 meter away from the subs
  • But more importantly, a Car is not half space. There are walls all around the listener. This means there will be a considerable static gain.
  • Because the car is also more or less a leaky sealed box, there will also be a increasing gain as frequency decreases. ie Cabin Gain.
  • There will be standing waves inside the car. These will cause destructive and constructive interference. One reason why the back seat often sounds much different than the front seat. And also why the kick might peak at a different frequency than the headrest or the dash.
Luckily we can apply filters in WinISD to simulate some of these effects.
In winISD open up the Driver Database Editor (CTRL+D).
Fill out the name, manufacturer etc in the 'General' tab. Then click the 'Parameters' Tab
Entering the T/S parameters can be tricky. This is because many of them are actually based on other ones, and rounding errors(or inaccurate measurements) will cause problems. WinISD can auto complete many of these values. Thus it is best only to fill in the ones that can be measured accurately, and let it calculate the ones that are difficult to measure.
I usually enter them like so:
  1. FS
  2. qes
  3. qms
  4. VAS
  5. mms
  6. RE
  7. SD
  8. xmax(optional, but handy)
  9. Le(not too important for subs)
Make sure the units are correct, otherwise the response will be wrong.

Then click save to save the file.
Repeat this until all the subs you plan on modeling are entered. Then close the database editor.
Step 3: Setup Model
To start modeling subs you will want to click 'New Project' or CTRL+N.
You will be prompted to select a driver from a drop down menu. Choose one of the drivers you plan on modeling and click next.

Then you will be prompted for the number of drivers. Enter the number of drivers and click next. For an Iso-barik enclosure select isobaric and choose the number of pairs. This article will not deal with Iso-barik enclosures.

Next choose the type of enclosure. WinISD can do sealed, ported, 4th order bp, 6th order bp, and passive radiator enclosures.
Pay attention to the EBP(Efficiency Bandwidth Product), this will give you a rough indication of what type of box to put it in. EBP in the middle of the range can be used in most types of enclosures effectively.

Finally you will choose your alignment. This is only a beginning alignment, you'll want to fine tune it later.
Case in point: A DD9512e in a QB3 alignment is only .326 cuft tuned to 48Hz. This in not a suitable box for in a car. But in halfspace it will give the sub the smoothest roll off. It will completely lack the typical peaky SPL sub response.
Step 4: Apply Cabin Gain, SSF and LPF
In this step we will be applying some filters to simulate cabin gain, the sub sonic filter on the amp, and the high pass filter on the amp. This should give us a rough idea of the in car response.
It is not incredibly accurate, since it does not take the vehicles geometry into account, but it is better than just assuming the response is in half space.
The shape of the curve will be close, but the actual magnitude of the graph will be incorrect. There is an additional 8-12dB or so of static gain. All we really care about is the shape of the graph.
To apply filters click the EQ/Filter tab on the enclosure editor window.

Then click add. You'll be prompted to select the filter type.
The order is the rolloff of the filter. 1st order is 6dB, and it adds 6dB for each order after that. A 4th order filter rolls off at 24dB/Octave.
Lets enter a LPF at 80Hz and 24dB/Octave.

Lets enter a SSF at 20Hz and 24dB/Octave.

Finally Cabin Gain. This is entered an electrical filter, but in reality it is an acoustic filter. This has an undesired effect of causeing the excursion, port velocity, and pretty well any graph other than the transfer function magnitude and SPL graphs to be inaccurate. Keep this in mind when checking these graphs. It is simple to turn off this filter, to restore the accuracy to these graphs.
To simulate cabin gain in a typical sedan I use a Linkwitz Transform with the following parameters:
f0=60Hz
Q0=.707
fp=20Hz
Qp=.707

This adds a gain at 12dB/Octave starting at 60Hz and ending at 20Hz. This is similar to cabin gain.
At any time just unclick the check box beside the filter name to disable the filter.
Now we can see the approximate response of the sub. Not looking as nice anymore with WinISD's original suggestion eh?
Red in this case has no filters applied, blue has cabin gain applied

Step 5: Adjust the tuning and volume
Simply raise or lower tuning and box volume until you get a desired response.
Keep in mind that excursion will increase as box size increases. Also excursion is at a minimum at tuning.
Once the desired response has been obtained it's time to check the excursion graph.
In the signal tab enter the RMS wattage you will be sending to the sub.
Disable the cabin gain filter.
Click the top tab(probably says transfer function magnitude or SPL right now) and choose excursion.

If the sub is not going beyond xmax in the range of frequencies then everything is ok.
If the excursion is greater than xmax lower the box volume, change the tuning, raise the HPF(or in rare cases lower the LPF) or give the subs less RMS power.
Then check the excursion graph again until it is ok.

Now it is time to add the port.
The general rule of thumb is 16 sq in of port per cubic foot for slot ports.
This works well for medium powered systems. For low Power and high power systems it is overkill and insufficient respectively.
Click the 'Vents' tab. Clicking the shape allows you to change from circular to rectangular ports.
Enter a port size that will integrate well with the walls of the enclosure.
Now check the port velocity screen(Rear Port-Air Velocity). It is in the same drop down as the excursion screen.

For this cabin gain(linkwitz transform) must be disabled.
If the port velocity is above 30m/s the port will not function properly. For car audio I aim for 20m/s.
17 is more or less where chuffing begins to be audible.
Increase port area until port velocity is not excessive in the band of frequencies you wish to play.

Now take the enclosure volume+ port area*port length+subwoofer displacement and add it all up.
If it is greater than the gross working volume(=max X dimension-1.5*
Y dimension-1.5*Z dimension-1.5*/12^3) (assuming 3/4" wood) then you will need to go back and make the enclosure volume smaller, port area smaller, or increase the max dimensions. Then check all graphs again.
Wash Rinse Repeat until you are satisfied.
If you are not satisfied with the response, try another sub.
-Jud Tofflemire





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Old 07-26-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

biggest problem is not getting response you were looking for if you don't know the transfer function of your car since cabin gain isn't constant at each freq
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Old 07-26-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Thank you this answered a lot of questions for me fallen how soon could you do a design for me
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Old 07-27-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Guys...I wasn't finished.
Xander I'm getting to that.
dsktim, PM me. Or email me, if I haven't responded, send another one.



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Old 07-29-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

thats going to be very useful to alot of people
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Old 07-29-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Ugh must hurry... stupid work...



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Old 07-29-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallen View Post
Guys...I wasn't finished.
Xander I'm getting to that.
dsktim, PM me. Or email me, if I haven't responded, send another one.
I was just making sure it was mentioned since I have noticed alot of people think it's equal on all freq
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Old 07-30-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Done. Finally. Hope I didn't miss the deadline.

Oh and if anyone is wondering, this is the box that is currently in my car (the 8 cuft tuned to 33Hz, not the QB3 alignment)



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Old 07-30-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Finally it's done.



.....jk jk



I've got some stuff to try, never used the filter tab before
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Old 07-30-2010   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

I know right!
Just been working a lot lately.
So this kinda got put on the back burner.



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Old 08-06-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: #1 - Designing a box for a car with WinISD

i would like to see a little reference to port area vs. cabin volume

other than that looks great man.
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Old 08-06-2010   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: #1 - Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Quote:
Originally Posted by profundus-sanus View Post
i would like to see a little reference to port area vs. cabin volume

other than that looks great man.
seems it would be a huge pita due to so many variables
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Old 08-07-2010   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: #1 - Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Quote:
Originally Posted by profundus-sanus View Post
i would like to see a little reference to port area vs. cabin volume

other than that looks great man.
Was not aware that mattered, I though it was just based off power and displacement...
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Old 08-07-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: #1 - Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Quote:
Originally Posted by mporettim View Post
Was not aware that mattered, I though it was just based off power and displacement...
it is certainly important... run 16 sq inch per cube in a suburban or excursion behind the 3rd row and you'll be sacrificing a bit of potential... espeically if you were to listen to it with the windows down..

those things do matter as well, however.
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Old 08-10-2010   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: #1 - Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Quote:
Originally Posted by mporettim View Post
Was not aware that mattered, I though it was just based off power and displacement...
Agreed.

Maybe in real world situations it matters, but in all the testing I've done it hasn't. As far as cabin volume that is. For power and port velocity sure. As the port velocity got higher Qp drops, and the peak output around tuning drops.



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Old 08-12-2010   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: #1 - Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Quote:
Originally Posted by mporettim View Post
Was not aware that mattered, I though it was just based off power and displacement...

+2. I have never heard of this or seen any data that backs it up. Can't really think of any physics that do either...
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Old 12-08-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: #1 - Designing a box for a car with WinISD

bumping this up for an awesome tutorial. definitely helped me out.
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Old 12-10-2011   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: #1 - Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Quote:
Originally Posted by cxa0897 View Post
bumping this up for an awesome tutorial. definitely helped me out.
Wow! Thank you for uncovering this. I forgot I wrote it!
I've rearranged it a little, to make it more visible.

So I left the original in the general discussion forum and stickied this one in the enclosure section. The original is now locked, and has had the comments cleared out, as they can be posted here



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Old 12-10-2011   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

i honestly wrote in my response "im surprised this isnt stickied" but erased it lol.

very very good info though. showed me my 6th order wouldve been a nightmare after cabin gain

fixed it up, checked out xmax(didnt even know i could do that!) and now it looks much better, and the volumes sound alot more reasonable.

one question on the linkwitz parameters, any reason why you use .707? would moving it up or down affect it?
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Old 12-10-2011   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Quote:
Originally Posted by cxa0897 View Post
i honestly wrote in my response "im surprised this isnt stickied" but erased it lol.

very very good info though. showed me my 6th order wouldve been a nightmare after cabin gain

fixed it up, checked out xmax(didnt even know i could do that!) and now it looks much better, and the volumes sound alot more reasonable.

one question on the linkwitz parameters, any reason why you use .707? would moving it up or down affect it?
.707 is for a butterworth response. So basically the transition from the one frequency to the next is smooth. You'll see 0.707 show up often, it's 1/sqrt(2). Essentially it is how sharp the transition is. Anyways it depends on which Q you're talking about. Increasing Qp will increase the gain at fp. Decreasing Qp will decrease the gain at fp. Increasing Q0 will the transition from f0 to fp more sharp. Decreasing Q0 will make the transition will be more gradual.
Grey is the typical Qp=Q0=0.707.

For car audio just stick to these Qs. If you want to you could use a sealed box to back calculate the Qs for your car, by measuring the frequency response and then tweaking the graph on winISD to match it. You may need to add static gain and also some other more advanced things to come close to the measured response.



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Old 12-10-2011   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Cool. I figured it would just change the rate of change , I was curious as to the reason for that exact value. I don't like to plug in numbers without knowing why
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Old 01-02-2012   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Anybody else having the WinISD Pro Alpha bug that you can't close it by hitting the X? It is quite annoying.

Is it normal for parameters not to match what is provided by the company... Say for example I was trying to model an Obsidian Audio 18 based on the TSPs they gave but no matter what order I did it in some of the parameters didn't match up and would give a lot of errors if I corrected them.
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Old 01-03-2012   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Alpha does not close. Ctrl alt del ftw. try plugging in only the t.s that fallen listed. The rest of them, more or less, are calculated. If you try to enter your own numbers and just one differs slightly it makes the whole thing go ape sh1t with errors
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Old 01-03-2012   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

Yeah if you have Windows 7 it takes a **** fit when you try to close it.
Just do what cxa said, or try ctrl+shift+escape to bring up the task manager to close it.(ctrl+alt+delete on mine brings up the screen to lock the computer)

It's normal for some of the parameters to differ from the manufacturers. Especially if they exaggerate certain ones. Try to stick to the ones I suggested entering, they tend to work best in my experience. (plus they are more or less the most commonly published ones as well)



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Old 01-03-2012   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Designing a box for a car with WinISD

im running vista and it flips out on me when i try to close it. im curious if it does it on all os
never knew about ctrl shift delete, your the man fallen. i hated having to go through the lock screen to get to the manager lol.
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