Episode 137 Test Tones
Hey friends - as promised, on episode 137, I'm going to provide you with some simple WAV Test tones for you to use to test your gear. Feel free to save them and use them for checking your gear. I have 4 different test tone files for you to use and hopefully they will be of help to you when checking out your rig for any issues.
So we've got a few test tones to go through, and I'll explain each one.
1. Solid 1kHz Sine Wave Test Tone
This test tone is useful for checking continuity, meaning, that signal is actually getting through. You can loop this waveform and run through your preamps and patchbay lines to make sure you're getting a consistent signal on each channel. This file is set to -12dBFS. It's a 48kHz / 32bit float file, so you may need to convert it to whatever sample rate / bit depth you're using. Also keep in mind, because of the pan law of most DAWs, this will be -12dBFS on the left and right, but -15dBFS if panned center.
2. Solid 440hz Sine Wave Test Tone
Same as above, except 440hz. Sometimes 1kHz can get annoying, so I included this one as an alternate option. Because the wavelength is larger, it's also a little easier to zoom in and see the phase and polarity.
3. 50hz-100hz-440hz-1kHz-10kHz Sine Bursts
This test tone series is great for loosely checking linearity on various pieces of gear such as EQs, compressors, preamps, etc. Every sine tone is level matched at -12dBFS (again, remember that pan law will make this -12dBFS if panned left or right, but -15dBFS if panned center). The 50hz and 100hz waveforms also make it easier to check for phase and polarity as the wavelengths are much longer.
4. Left - Right - Center Test
This is a simple robot voice that allows you to test left - right - center. A voice will say "left, right, center" and each is panned hard left, hard right, and dead center. The "Left" should peak at -6dBFS, the right should peak at -6dBFS, and center should peak at -9dBFS (again, because of the pan law). This is useful for checking stereo compressors, headphone lines, or any other stereo source that you're not sure if it's correctly wired.
If you have issues with the download links above, click here to download a single ZIP file that contains all of them.
Hopefully these test tones are helpful for you in checking your gear and diagnosing and issues, tracking down problems or miswired lines, or making sure the Left / Right are panned correctly. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions or issues.
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Kendal Osborne is the Host of the Recording Lounge Podcast and the Owner / Head Engineer at The Closet Studios