IK Multimedia ARC System vs Acoustic Treatment???
Old 12th January 2009
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renk900 View Post
I am interested in what ARC can do because the price makes sense to me if it works - i'd be interested to see your results if you tested it, do you know anyone that has one you could borrow?
I don't know anyone with ARC, but I tested the Audyssey system which is supposed to be the same thing.

Quote:
I'm not expecting ARC to recreate this but if it can improve imaging and clarity in my programming room then I'd get it no questions - the portability is also a bonus to me.
First, the best you can hope for from can EQ like ARC is to correct the first one or two lowest frequency modes. An equalizer simply cannot improve imaging, though cleaning up the low bass can help with clarity. Second, it's impossible for any EQ or other advice to "fix" the response all around the room. It's just not possible, because a peak at one location can easily be a null only a few inches away. So if the EQ reduces a peak to be flat at your left ear, the null at the same frequency as heard by your right ear will now be even worse. This is just the way it is in small rooms.

If I were a smarter businessman I'd sell an inexpensive parametric EQ and bundle it with the free Room EQ Wizard software.

--Ethan
Old 16th January 2009
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

If I were a smarter businessman I'd sell an inexpensive parametric EQ and bundle it with the free Room EQ Wizard software.

--Ethan
Hey Ethan,

I've been reading your site and i noticed you mentioned... this line:

"In contrast, for about $150 you can buy a Behringer parametric equalizer and use the freeware Room EQ Wizard software to automatically control the EQ from your own computer. "

let's say i pick up this equalizer for $150... then downloaded room eq wizard...

If i'm not mistaken...I'd probably run my output from the CPU through Behringer to get a usable sound for my mixing...

so would i need to buy any bass traps and reflection diffusers if I've Eq'd it to a great response based on EQ wizard reading?

Here's my current setup


I know you've mentioned in one of your articles you should go longways but in my case how much diff would 1 1/2 feet would make. since i'm very limited in space.... :(

i was thinking about picking up a few bass traps in the corner and something to snatch the sound that would be bouncing off the wall... but it all gets fuzzy when trying to figure out how to proceed.

I'm a newb when it comes to mixing and I just want the music in my head sound good in my car... and right now... when it sounds good in the house... it sounds like crap everywhere else....

thanks for all that you do. you're providing me substantial crash course in learning how to make my room sound decent....
Old 16th January 2009
  #93
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Originally Posted by dredre View Post
so would i need to buy any bass traps and reflection diffusers if I've Eq'd it to a great response based on EQ wizard reading?
EQ is not a substitute for bass traps and other treatment. See my Audyssey Report linked in post #71 above.

Quote:
how much diff would 1 1/2 feet would make.
Not much, but probably a little better.

--Ethan
Old 25th January 2009
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayman View Post
I also asked him if there was a way to strap it on the main output for your computer, not just the mix buss of your DAW. He said that on a mac, there's an AU thing that can go on your main core audio out. Only problem was, he didn't know what the program was that could do that. This is important to me cause I ref. itunes music while listening and would def. want to be hearing the ref. files run through ARC as well. So, if anyone knows of a way to do this that doesn't use something like Soundflower which would route itunes into your daw, that would be great. I'm looking for some way to just strap this thing onto the core audio output.
You can get MachineCodex and it will run AU plugins. I downloaded the trial and was able to get ARC loaded into it. MachineCodex also will show your iTunes library, so you can have the ARC in your FX chain and then play songs as you like, hearing correction from the ARC. If you get it, you might prefer this player over iTunes anways.

MachineCodex :: Software : AudioCodex

Best,

Swaff
Old 28th January 2009
  #95
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Hi guys,

i have a question about ARC.

I have try ARC in my room but I get this strange left speaker dip around 70hz.

Why ARC can't fix it?
Attached Thumbnails
IK Multimedia ARC System vs Acoustic Treatment???-arc.jpg  
Old 28th January 2009
  #96
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Well... Looking at the orange "before" curve in the left chanel, it seems like there is some kind of TOTAL null below 100 Hz. It's hard to see, since the lines are covering each other. But if you have a null this severe, no software in the world can fix it. The white line tells you that the speaker is playing below 100 Hz, otherwise ARC would have rolled off. What speakers are you using? Is there a sub involved?
Old 28th January 2009
  #97
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Genelec 1031A,no sub
Old 28th January 2009
  #98
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Franz's Avatar
 

ARC works best in combination with bass traps. I have no other sollution...
Old 28th January 2009
  #99
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this is a rought sketch of my room.

Notice that the back and front wall also have a wall to ceiling Sc.
Attached Thumbnails
IK Multimedia ARC System vs Acoustic Treatment???-untitled.jpg  
Old 29th January 2009
  #100
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Your problem is probably caused by the assymetric front corners. You seem to have a bass trap to the right, and a door to the left. Have you taken the ARC meassurement with the door open or closed? There could be difference.
Old 29th January 2009
  #101
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Hi Franz,

the door was closed.
Old 29th January 2009
  #102
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Hi

I've read that the ARC system is huge improvement when your room isn't treated. And since i'm not a producer but more of a composer, i'm thinking that ARCsystem might be a good solution for me. I don't do acoustic recording, it's all trough midi and line-in, and i also work a lot with effects.

It's for creating demo's and when i really want to finish a song properly, i hire someone to mix it right. I only do a little mixing because i still want it to sound listenable.
Old 5th February 2009
  #103
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I'm a hack basement hobbyist. I have about a dozen Ready Bags filled with OC 703 hung on the walls in my recording area, at all of the spots that conventional wisdom says they should be (corners, first reflections). These clearly helped, but I was still having a significant low-mid problem, and there were few remaining opportunities for improving the room (I guess I could have hung a cloud, but there is already a drop ceiling).

I bought the ARC system, and I must say, it has made a noticeable difference. I'm still getting used to not hearing that familiar mud, but I like what I hear so far.

The thing that really helps with the adjustment is being able to feed reference CDs and other music through the ARC plug-in. I just route the computer audio through my ITB mixer, into Reaper, then apply ARC to the master bus. Until they come out with a stand-alone version, this is a reasonable and easy way to get everything to go through the ARC.

I wouldn't recommend this plug-in for a completely untreated room, but when you apply a fair amount of treatment and still have problems, I think this is an OK way to address them.
Old 9th March 2009
  #104
Gear interested
 

Just my two cents:

I have a working project studio where I derive all of my income from. I have thrown all possible funds towards treating the room, but it is not a purpose-built studio so there was only so much I could do with the space.

I was continually frustrated with how my mixes translated elsewhere, and since I could additional treatment was not an option, I decided to give it a try. If it works, than great - if not, well I've spent $400 in many worse ways.

Initial thoughts:

I took about 26 measurements, just shy of the max 32, but frankly my listening area is quite small. The setup took little time and was painless.

The sound? My room didn't suffer from too many outrageous peaks and nulls, but there were some distinct issues on the plot that would explain some of the difficulties I had in the low mids. - and a nasty dip at 50hz which ARC will not be able to do anything about (my primary income is dance music, so this is a critical freq range, but I didn't buy ARC for the lows)

What was surprising is how much of a stereo imaging issue I had. Once activated, the processed signal immediately made me realize how much one side of my monitoring setup was twisting my perception of the image as a whole. I had been so used to it that it felt normal. But I had noticed that things seemed wonky when played elsewhere.

Once bypassed, the original signal is immediately heavy on the left and there are some phase issues that I think I got so used to that they became part of my brain's audio vocabulary.

So, considering that I was out of treatment options, so far this was a good purchase for me. At the very least I have a better idea of what was holding me back and I can try to adjust the room and setup accordingly. Ideally, not having to use ARC would be better than using ARC. But in the meantime, this was worth the $399.

If someone gave me an unlimited budget to build a studio, I wouldn't touch it - but if someone asked me if it would help in their bedroom studio, I would be inclined to say yes.
Old 10th March 2009
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yiannis View Post
this is a rought sketch of my room.

Notice that the back and front wall also have a wall to ceiling Sc.
Dimensions? That looks like a pretty small space...

Frank
Old 10th March 2009
  #106
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My mixing space is well treated, but I was still having problems with mixes translating well. I wasn't expecting much out of ARC, but I have to say it has delivered, at least with respect to the low-mids and above, where my mixes now very reliably translate (thanks to ARC). It doesn't help me much at the deep low end, though. All and all, though, I'm happy I bought it.
Old 3rd April 2009
  #107
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Hey Frank, Have you guy s tried this system firsthand?

Also on another point I'm still kind of confused as to why it only goes to 16 khz. Doesn't common sense say it should go to at least 20? And what are they doing to compensate the difference? Or are they even doing anything up there at all?
Old 20th April 2009
  #108
Gear interested
 

I tried ARC with the following :

Mic : SHURE KSM44 ( OMNI mode )
Mic PreAMP : PRESONUS MP20
Audio Interface : RME Fireface 800
Cables : PROEL Die Hard
Monitor Speakers : ADAM S3A
SubWoofer : B&W ASW 1000
Monitor PreAMP : SPL Model 2489

..and it made my sound more clear than before.
The Low freqs tightened, some low freq spikes i had before around 65Hz where lowered at a discent level, some instruments seemed to have come forward in ready mixes i tested, and the high freqs came UP and not DOWN like others seem to claim when using with a mic different than the ARC's one.
I sense that i can trust what i hear now more than before. It seems to have covered many of my room's problems.
If you have any other questions just ask..
Old 20th April 2009
  #109
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConPsycon View Post
I tried ARC with the following :

Mic : SHURE KSM44 ( OMNI mode )
Just out of curiosity, why didn't you use the microphone that came with software? I was under the impression that the software was calibrated to work specifically with that mic.
Old 21st April 2009
  #110
Gear interested
 

Calibrated?? It is strange.. It needs a SPECIFIC specially calibrated Mic, but it doesn’t matter what Mic PreAmp you use, what cables you use, and any other part of the audio chain.. Well it just doesn’t seem right to me.
There are people out there that unlike me don’t have the money to buy the ARC system, or the money to have an acoustically good room for their PASSION. For those people piracy is a blessing, and the company doesn’t loose any money out of them simply because otherwise they could never acquire it. Some of them have found it and cared to buy a cheap measurement mic or rent a good one to fix their sound, and so they did. But in the process they discovered that the software, when combined with a different mic than the one included, tended to unnecessarily lower the higher freqs, and therefore damaging their overall sound quality.
So I checked the specs in the ARC’s manual and saw that the capsule of the Mic they include reaches only as far as 16kHz, ant that when it is combined with the software it reaches 20kHz….(!) So I assumed that when you use a mic that reaches 20kHz, the software assumes that the levels it reads are way up (since they suppositively derive from a mic that has a lowered sensitivity on them), and therefore it lowers them.
So I wanted to see what happens when you use a VERY GOOD audio chain, and tell them about my conclusions. And it seems that this is the problem and not the absence of a “specially calibrated” Mic.
That’s why.
Old 21st April 2009
  #111
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConPsycon View Post
Calibrated?? It is strange.. It needs a SPECIFIC specially calibrated Mic, but it doesn’t matter what Mic PreAmp you use, what cables you use, and any other part of the audio chain.. Well it just doesn’t seem right to me.
First, I understand your interest to measure and correct the frequency response in your room. The reason I asked my question is because the mic that you used is not a reference mic used for measurements. From the frequency response chart that I saw for that Mic in omni mode, there is a subtle boost at about 3k cycles and then a relatively large boost starting at 8k cycles and peaking at about 4db at about 12k cycles. That type of boost is normal for mics that are intended to flatter the material being recorded, but not for reference mic's intended for measurements. Since the software wasn't intended to be used with that type of Mic, it will not be able to correctly interpret the measured results at the areas of the frequency that your mic is not producing a flat response.

But hey, if you are happy with your result... to each his own...
Old 2nd May 2009
  #112
Gear nut
 

from a german forum...ik mic vs behringer ecm8000 (ohringer

just lower during the measurment the high-shelving room EQ from your monitors
Attached Thumbnails
IK Multimedia ARC System vs Acoustic Treatment???-ik.jpg   IK Multimedia ARC System vs Acoustic Treatment???-ohringer.jpg  
Old 30th November 2009
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Exactly. The ARC system is based on Audyssey technology, which I have tested and found lacking (to say the least). Lookie here:

RealTraps - Audyssey Room EQ

--Ethan
Then why has everything I hear with Arc on (especially commercial release mixes), sound so much better than with it off?

I've just spent the day with it setting it up. I've fallen back in love with music. I don't feel like I am making blind judgments anymore.

Sure it won't be 100%, but if it gets me 95% there it's worth the money. You have to have room treatment as well otherwise it's like pushing noodles up a stream.
Old 30th November 2009
  #114
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Originally Posted by Captain Proton View Post
Then why has everything I hear with Arc on (especially commercial release mixes), sound so much better than with it off?
It depends on the specific room. The room I used to test Audyssey for my report linked above was almost a cube at 15 by 16 by 8 feet. So it had pronounced peaks and resonances related to those dimensions. The Audyssey applied cuts which did help to increase low-mid clarity. It didn't remove the resonances as claimed, so a $100 EQ would have worked just as well. But the larger problem in many small mix rooms is two or more deep nulls, and EQ cannot help that.

--Ethan
Old 1st December 2009
  #115
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[QUOTE=Captain Proton;4837130You have to have room treatment as well otherwise it's like pushing noodles up a stream.[/QUOTE]

That's the really important point right there. It's not that room correction software is *totally ineffective*, it's that it works much, much better in a room that's at least reasonably well treated.

Frank
Old 1st December 2009
  #116
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Yeah 100%, with no bass traps it would sound bloody awful in this room and Arc would have to work so much harder.

I'm sure Arc is not 100% fix all for sure.... but at the moment after getting my ears used to it on all the time when I turn it off I can truly hear how bad my room was even with all the bass traps.

As Ethan pointed out a small room like the one I have will have a lot more problems than a bigger room. If you look at the correction pic you will see just how bad my nulls are. With Arc on I can hear each and every bass note at the correct level. And also never realized how much louder the left speaker was than the right.

Sure it sounds very weird at first, it even sounds wrong... you think you've just wasted all that money. Then you leave it on and get used to the sound, play a few commercial well mixed cd's. Then turn Arc off..... and it hits you. You have been LIED to by your room.

It's lied through all those hard decisions about bass volume, eq and all those other hard judgment calls you've had to make agaonizing over 1db of 12khz boost on the hi hats. It was all WRONG!

I have this track where when Arc is off you hear the first bass line, then when it changes note it nearly dissapears all together. Then on the other key changes they all sound like the same note. Turn Arc on and the bass is a lot quieter but you can hear every note.

I'm sold! This is up there with my Eventide H80000FW and Ubk Fatso purchases on the contribution to studio sound.

VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Make sure you turn off the time align speaker trim in preferences. It's on by default and is for speakers that are not in a symetrical position. Turn it off as it seriously phases your audio.

Old 11th February 2010
  #117
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Ethan Winer:
Quote:
Short version - it doesn't work as claimed. The same number of dollars invested into either DIY or commercial bass traps will give a lot better return on investment.
Well I've now completed 4 instalations (and no I don't do it for a job, more as an eye opener for friends), in what most would call totally awful small boxy rooms using Arc room correction software/hardware.

2 of the rooms were treated with about 7 to 10 home made diy bass traps... and not the foam crap either.

The other 2 were plain old 7ft by 15ft boom box's.

I just have to call you on this one i.e your qote above as you are just wrong on that one. All of these guys produce and release records.... mainly dance music for a living and the difference Arc has made to the decision making process has been huge so it DOES work. It might sound a little phasey in some rooms at high frequencies but that does not work it's way into the audio. Without Arc in those rooms would be like trying to paint the Mona Lisa with 3d glasses on.

Here is the measurements from one of the rooms with 8 bass traps and some hi frequency diffusors. I have respect for some of your views especially the recent audio myth one... but wherever I find a topic with Arc in it I find you there putting the downers on it and saying that it just does not work.

It does! It works with your products so no need to be so threatend by it
Attached Thumbnails
IK Multimedia ARC System vs Acoustic Treatment???-arc-2.jpg  
Old 11th February 2010
  #118
Gear addict
 

I'll confess that I am still a little puzzled as well, having spent some time over recent weeks reading up on these kinds of devices. Here's where I'm still unable to align all the perspectives, data, and viewpoints (I'm assuming a logic shortcoming on my part):

First, I think that folks have suggested that the ARC system is decent enough for measurement, while perhaps not providing the most cost effective or highest resolution for that job certainly. Yes, you need to use the "special" mic and software that knows the mic's kinks. But, I haven't heard folks suggest that the measurements from ARC are blatantly incorrect. I read somewhere that folks have found similiar frequency curves using ARC vs some other FM, REW, etc. So, the measurements may be fine enough for what they are (freq plots only).

I have also read that, above all else, we need to trust the measurements that we are getting from a room to gain truth. Without room measurement software, monitor placements, trapping improvements, ETCs, ISDs - need to test out with your software to optimize.

Then it is said, and I follow, that you can't fill in nulls with EQ - maybe you can trim a few peaks without disasters, but nulls, not happening.

Yet then we have posted measurements/graphs from ARC pre/post - and, again, if we grant that the measurements are decent enough - where nulls have seemingly been filled. I've seen a bunch of posts/pics in a fairly exhaustive review of the message board info and user sharings that will show this - smoothing out of bass nulls and peaks in a freq plot. And, perhaps tipping a hat to dissenters, the low end nulls are never completely rectified, but "flatter".

So something doesn't add up for me. If the measurements are considered okay, and pre/post graphs show nulls (maybe not all lowpoints are nulls) and peaks being homogenized, and we are to be empiricists and follow the data, yet we hear that the tool is snakeoil and can't work, what is going on exactly in the pre/post graphs? Are those pre/post graphs incorrect?

Take the graph above - the measurements probably aren't total bunk, so what is going on there?
Old 11th February 2010
  #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Proton View Post
Ethan Winer:

Well I've now completed 4 instalations (and no I don't do it for a job, more as an eye opener for friends), in what most would call totally awful small boxy rooms using Arc room correction software/hardware.
Curious - do you have or can you post the WORST that you have seen from the tool?
Old 11th February 2010
  #120
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This one is probably one of the worst and it has a few traps in it.

I have though made a very quick mp3 using an Edirol R-09 stereo feild recorder. Now this is a recording of the room and monitors so you would probably have to listen on hedphones so as not to have your room influence the recprding.

Saying that it's not the best way to do this but it at least gives you an idea roughly what I am hearing whilst sat in the chair.

The first 4 bars are with Arc on and the last 4 bars are with Arc off. The thing this Edirol recorder doesn;t show is the stereo imaging and how much it has improved.

But it does show how the drums suddenly dissapear when arc is turned off and the whole thing goes a bit wooly. I'm most happy with the bass response though. No more single note bass lines regardless of how many different keys I play in lol. I think Arc had a hard time with my NS10M's and Sub in this little 7ft x 15ft room. But sounds great now.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/attac...om-arc-002.mp3

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