Tuning is done after connecting all your audio equipment, for example, speakers, amplifiers, subwoofer, or players, to your vehicle. For every audiophile, adding extra components to your car stereo for better audio output is not new.
However, you might follow all the instructions given, but the music output will still be unpleasant. This is because this equipment gets the noise out of your audio system.
On the other hand, tuning reproduces the noise into a pleasant tune. Therefore, despite how costly and branded your equipment is, you must adjust them correctly to get the beats rolling.
Tuning, therefore, is important because it gives you an amazing sound quality. In this article, How Do You Tune a Car Audio System, we are going to outline how to tune a car audio system.
How to tune a car audio system
Steps to follow while tuning your car audio system
1. Turn on your stereo
First of all, turn on your stereo. Ensure that the faders, equalizer, tone controls, and balance are set to the middle or flat. It would be best if you never turn on your stereo while driving. Park your car aside first, don’t rush.
2. Play favorite music
Play a song you are very familiar with because you know how it is supposed to sound like. Ensure that there is abundant sonic variety in the song you choose (that is, a song with many high notes like brass, flutes, and cymbals, a lot of mid-range content like piano, guitar, and plenty of very low notes like bass and drums).
Ensure that you listen to the song several times repeatedly.
3. Tune the fade control
On the front-most speaker:
- Adjust the fade control of your stereo first. Observe the front speaker keenly and listen carefully to tell whether the sound is originating from that specific speaker or not.
- Make a left-right balance to adjust it depending on your musical preference.
Use the fade control to minimize the front speaker and to balance the rear one. Ensure that the sound is coming from the rear speaker. In addition, when making adjustments with the fade controls, have your phone in a notebook to note down the adjustment settings. Before proceeding, ensure that the front and rear speakers have the same balance.
4. Adjust the balance controls of the stereo
Slowly increase the volume of the rear speaker using the fade control until the sound gets a proper depth. The sound will originate from the rear speaker, but you will feel like the front speaker is delivering it.
Some stereos have a separate receiver that controls tonal differences. In this case, to get the same effect, you can reduce the treble of the rear speaker compared to the front one.
5. Adjust the tonal qualities
Determine whether the tones are perfectly balanced or not. To do this, you must sit patiently and listen to the music severally. Be keen on things like the presence of high notes, mid-range notes, and low notes.
- Check if all the notes are in the correct order and well-balanced.
- If it lacks clarity to your ears, then find out which note is causing trouble.
- Determine whether your stereo has tone-adjusting equalizer presets.
- If there is one, test the presets and make adjustments in the equalizer sound booster or bass booster to improve the sound quality.
- You can also try fine-tuning with other equalizer adjustments, mid-range controls, bass, and treble.
While attempting the various combinations on equalizer presets, cuts, and treble boost, try to note the following:
- After you are done with the adjustments, the high notes have to be clear, and there shouldn’t be any screech or piercing effect.
- The mid-range notes need to be flat and clear.
- Keep the bass full but steer clear from incredibly loud booms.
Moreover, when tuning your car audio system and matching your car’s audio condition to an ideal audio frequency, check the inconsistency. Therefore, tuning RTA will help you determine the extent of trouble your car’s exterior is causing for the audio system.
These are the things you need before you start tuning with RTA:
- Use the microphone to monitor frequencies. The microphone is a receiver that measures the music frequencies coming from your audio system.
- Next, you require software or an app to see the measurement on the screen. There is an app called Room Equalizer Wizard (REW) for those who want to use laptops, and iOS users can choose the RTA app.
- I would recommend you get some sound that produces pink or white noise. However, only audio enthusiasts can differentiate these fine sound waves, so you use the app if you are not familiar with them. Pink noise brings higher energy in low frequencies and lowers energy in high frequencies. On the other hand, white noise gives similar vibrations at each point of the frequency.
- If necessary, consider buying a mic stand, and if not, then hold the mic between the seat and the headrest.
Steps of using RTA are similar everywhere. Even if people might have varying views on certain steps, the core actions are not different.
1. Play pink noise and change the Equalizer settings.
- Put the reference mic in a position
- Set the pink noise over your car audio system
- Monitor the RTA ( do this while at the back so that you don’t alter the frequencies)
- Make adjustments to change the equalizer setting and check continuously.
Also, note that:
- The aim is to allow the RTA reading flow like water
- Avoid setting it too flat or too high. Note that it highly depends on your listening experience.
- Check the deviations in the graph and then try to flatten out the sudden ups and downs.
To sum up, there is a big difference between listening to music and feeling the music. Tuning makes you feel the music rather than just listening.
After going through the above ways and knowing how it improves the car audio system, you need to take your time for the best outcome.
Also, always remember to read and follow the product’s manual before applying and adjusting the features.