# A simple Sound Pressure Level Meter (SPL) dB audio meter using AVR ATmega

A s**ound level meter** or sound meter is an instrument which measures sound pressure level. Sound pressure level (SPL) or sound level is a logarithmic measure of the effective sound pressure of a sound relative to a reference value. It is measured in decibels (dB) above a standard reference level. The commonly used reference sound pressure in air is = 20 µPa (rms) which is usually considered the threshold of human hearing. Keep in mind that 1 pascal will equal an SPL of 94 dB. Because the frequency response of human hearing changes with amplitude, a weighting have been established for measuring sound pressure. Usually the A-weighting curve is used. A weighting curve is a graph of gain across the frequency range (10Hz to 20kHz).

SPL level is defined as

given *p_rms* as the sound pressure measured, and *p_ref* as the reference sound pressure.

Once we have got the RMS value of the signal (*actualRMS*), we can transform it to *SPLdb* using this formula:

given *refRMS* as the reference RMS value for the input board at a know *refSPLdb* SPLdb level.

To compute SPL measurements, the meters loop is:

- collects N samples
- do FFT for the
*N*samples collected, the signal is now transformed in the frequency domain - apply A-weighting (in freq domain)
- get magnitude of the signal
- get RMS value of the signal
- apply a time-weight filter to RMS value
- compute the SPL using the RMS value
- output data

**Every sample is collected at a fixed time**, a timer interrupt impose this timing, this is because we need to know the sampler frequency, to built filters and output signal magnitude.

Runnig @16Mhz i’m able to collect samples at almost 22050Hz.

For FFT i’ve used **Radix-4 FFT library** you can find it here http://davidegironi.blogspot.it/2013/06/avr-atmega-audio-input-rma-using-fft.html.

The method to weighting the signal proposed here just use a **weight table** that contains the weight of the signal in the frequency domain, this table shoud be FFT size/2, because we can retain frequencies below Nyquist rate.

For more detail: A simple Sound Pressure Level Meter (SPL) dB audio meter using AVR ATmega

#### Project Ratings:

#### Related posts

#### Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.