Is it worth getting "monitor correction" software/hardware?
HLeon
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#1
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Is it worth getting "monitor correction" software/hardware?

Hi all,

Today I heard about Coneq, which is a new plugin that makes your monitors "flat", I don't know if it's the same as ARC ... my question is:

a. Will mixes really translate better on multiple systems because of this eq correction?
b. is it worth getting it or should I just train my ear to get used to whatever "color" my monitors have?

I appreciate any feedback
#2
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #2
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trying2mix View Post
Hi all,

Today I heard about Coneq, which is a new plugin that makes your monitors "flat", I don't know if it's the same as ARC ... my question is:

a. Will mixes really translate better on multiple systems because of this eq correction?
b. is it worth getting it or should I just train my ear to get used to whatever "color" my monitors have?

I appreciate any feedback
Well even if your monitors are now flat, you still have serious issues to deal with especially the acoustic response of your room. Personally, I would deal with treating my rooms first before moving forward to improve the flatness of the monitors.
#3
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #3
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cdog's Avatar
The biggest issue with poor room acoustics is usually weird bass phasiness, which is hard to overcome without a lot of deep EQ cuts and or boosts. IMO its better to get smaller monitors if you cant correct the problem with bass traps. I would imagine EQ is a last resort rather than a first choice.
#4
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
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double post
#5
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
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triple post!
#6
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #6
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trying2mix View Post
Hi all,

Today I heard about Coneq, which is a new plugin that makes your monitors "flat", I don't know if it's the same as ARC ... my question is:

a. Will mixes really translate better on multiple systems because of this eq correction?
b. is it worth getting it or should I just train my ear to get used to whatever "color" my monitors have?

I appreciate any feedback
if the playback systems are not perfect
then you gain nothing
just wasted time and money
#7
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #7
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Puffer Fish's Avatar
Okay, so the OP never said he was having any trouble with boominess or that room was un-treated or any of that. The question was "should I get the software?"

Now, the answer needs some qualifying, and the responses given thus far sort of allude to some needed clarification on the part of the OP: is your room treated? Do you feel like your monitors are not reproducing the audio correctly?

Here is my thoughts on the subject... Get ahold of an audio spectrum analyzer (borrow one if you can) with a measurement mic, run some pink noise through your rig and learn what is going on in your room. If the spectrum shows the signal drops off at places, that will likely be the limitations of your monitors (like if the signal drops off sharply below 80Hz). If there are spikes or peaks in the spectrum, that is likely where your room has flaws for the sake of producing flat audio.

Use more targeted treatment to address the flaws in the room. Different types of material will adjust high frequencies, mid frequencies and low frequencies. After you have analyzed the room, you can decide if the effort of more room treatment is warranted. Plus you will have objective information regarding just what you monitors are doing in the room you use them.

The software will, in theory, do all that for you. You would hopefully have an improved situation with the software. However, you will not have learned anything. With the software, you will still not really know what is going on in your room. I am all about trying to do things with as much control and thought as possible. If you can't make any of the analyzer/ pink noise stuff happen, then maybe the software is the right choice for you.
HLeon
Thread Starter
#8
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #8
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puffer Fish View Post
Okay, so the OP never said he was having any trouble with boominess or that room was un-treated or any of that. The question was "should I get the software?"

Now, the answer needs some qualifying, and the responses given thus far sort of allude to some needed clarification on the part of the OP: is your room treated? Do you feel like your monitors are not reproducing the audio correctly?

Here is my thoughts on the subject... Get ahold of an audio spectrum analyzer (borrow one if you can) with a measurement mic, run some pink noise through your rig and learn what is going on in your room.

The software will, in theory, do all that for you. You would hopefully have an improved situation with the software. However, you will not have learned anything. With the software, you will still not really know what is going on in your room. I am all about trying to do things with as much control and thought as possible. If you can't make any of the analyzer/ pink noise stuff happen, then maybe the software is the right choice for you.
Thanks for the responses... I was at a point of getting comfortable with my monitors/room and feeling that mixes were accurate (except for the really low frequencies- no sub ) when this discussion happened, so I started thinking "I don't want to get used to the wrong thing"

I'm all for learning as well, and frankly, I don't know if the "in theory" of the software is reliable. Do you think I can rent an analyzer? Is it a radio shack kind of purchase or more high end?
#9
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #9
Gear maniac
 

You can use an SPL meter from Radio Shack, and take the measurements manually. Simply calibrate the SPL meter, and start running a sine wave, moving up the freq range, though your DAW and measure how many db it goes up or down, and it will show a graph of your room response. Of course, that will take some time, and software can run a sweep and measure in about 3 seconds. Either way will work. My suggestion is to treat your room with traps as best you can, get it as flat as possible, then if you feel the need, use the eq solution for the final dips that you may have.
#10
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #10
These software solutions to evening out your room are a really bad idea and here's why.

Even if you use a calibration mic (usually included) and have the software make the position in which the mic resides perfectly even frequency-wise, as soon as you move an inch to the left or right everything will sound really strange, even if you might not blatantly notice it. The further away from that sweet spot the less accurate it will be.

There is no substitution or shortcut to properly treating your room with bass traps, diffusion, and ceiling clouds. The best idea is to start with a well treated room. Believe me, in an untreated room you are missing out on what a lot of gear (and monitors) really sound like.
#11
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #11
Gear maniac
 

Room correction should be the icing on the cake, room treatment should do the heavy lifting in terms of improving flatness. EQ won't make miracles happen.

I would only use a SPL meter to look at where your biggest problem areas are and see how much of an improvement you are making. I would only use filted pink noise as a source and not swept sine with a SPL meter for making precise adjustments as a SPL meter has its own freq response and some inaccuacies. If making fine corrections I'd go with a measurement mic. These too aren't terribly expensive.

via Gearslutz Mobile App
#12
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #12
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cinealta's Avatar
 

Fix your room.
#13
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
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Puffer Fish's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by trying2mix View Post
Thanks for the responses... I was at a point of getting comfortable with my monitors/room and feeling that mixes were accurate (except for the really low frequencies- no sub ) when this discussion happened, so I started thinking "I don't want to get used to the wrong thing"

I'm all for learning as well, and frankly, I don't know if the "in theory" of the software is reliable. Do you think I can rent an analyzer? Is it a radio shack kind of purchase or more high end?
I do not know if you can rent one. This is not a Radio Shack thing. You do not want to own one though--not if its only purpose will be to sweep your room. Do you know any pro audio people? If so, perhaps one of those folks will have an analyzer you can borrow.

If you have treated your room and you are getting comfortable with what is going on in there, maybe all you need at this point is to do more play back and listening. Play some material you are familiar with in your room and then someplace else and make mental notes as to what is different. Maybe you can do some more treatment to adjust for the differences and maybe that will be enough.
#14
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #14
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theblue1's Avatar
 

I'm echoing others here (it's kind of a flutter echo, really)...

If your monitors have an uneven response, you can try to fix that with EQ.

You cannot fix a room with EQ -- although you can attempt to fix your sweet spot. But the problem is that the overlapping reflections in the typical smallish room will cause comb filtering that produces 'alternating' loud and quiet spots at different frequencies in different places -- and sometimes the 'room response' can vary as much as 30 or 40 dB at a given frequency in just a few inches.

Trying to fix a room with EQ is like wack-a-mole. If you 'fix' one spot, it just makes other spots that much worse.
#15
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
These software solutions to evening out your room are a really bad idea and here's why.

Even if you use a calibration mic (usually included) and have the software make the position in which the mic resides perfectly even frequency-wise, as soon as you move an inch to the left or right everything will sound really strange, even if you might not blatantly notice it. The further away from that sweet spot the less accurate it will be.
however there is, on the surface at least, no obvious reason to me why it would not be like that without the room eq correction software also.

If your room/monitor combo suffers from eq problems as you move your head an inch to the left or right then you have other problems to deal with. solve those problems first... you need a stable image and you need to be able to move aroudn without excessive eq changes (other htan losing high end from tweeter beaming).

THEN, with software like this, it seems very highly improbable that there will magically be created any new issues related to you moving an inch 1 way or the other. And, in theory, that area you were able to freely move around within before the software was added, will now be more neutral and free of unwanted artifacts.

That is the theory behind the products - and they do work if you follow the common sense logic I just outlined.

But they have never and will never solve bass issues related to room effects - that's impossible to deal with using eq as the room itself is actually generating it's own sound in a matter of speaking so you'd need to have the eq software dynamically alter your walls also. :-)

so bass trap like mad, put in proper room treatment elsewhere, get a good sound stage for your working area where there aren't obvious issues as you move around, and then buy this product if you want to still.
#16
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #16
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After testing such a software I have to say- treating the room is the best you can do. Or use great linear HP for checking the mix in conjunction with such a software on the monitors. Anyway I cant wait until we have tamed down the last problems in the low en in my room via Helmholtz Resonators..... the work we have done so far was worth months of trouble.

Base-Absorbers in all four corners sides and top of the room.

Back wall - Diffusion.

Back wall corners poly diffuser- base absorber and diffusion,


Self-made costs 780 $
#17
18th November 2011
Old 18th November 2011
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
however there is, on the surface at least, no obvious reason to me why it would not be like that without the room eq correction software also.
The reason is because a well treated and even room will have a much larger sweet spot, whereas with room eq software the sweet spot is limited to only where the measurement mic is placed during the tuning process.

Ceiling clouds are an excellent example of how to enlarge the sweet spot. I have an 8ft. ceiling cloud above my mix position and can freely move side to side without much of any difference, certainly nothing that would make problems for the mix.
HLeon
Thread Starter
#18
19th November 2011
Old 19th November 2011
  #18
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Thread Starter
Thank you again,

My room is treated with bass traps and diffusers, I agree that there's no shortcut to room treatment, and that's why I asked about that specific software. I guess it's best to have a mastering engineer's approach of getting really familiar with one's room/monitors.
#19
19th November 2011
Old 19th November 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
The reason is because a well treated and even room will have a much larger sweet spot, whereas with room eq software the sweet spot is limited to only where the measurement mic is placed during the tuning process.

Ceiling clouds are an excellent example of how to enlarge the sweet spot. I have an 8ft. ceiling cloud above my mix position and can freely move side to side without much of any difference, certainly nothing that would make problems for the mix.
that's not what I was talking about. I meant, no reason why the sweet spot would be any narrower with room correction software than without. The implication from the post I was originally replying to was that room correction software somehow brought out issues in moving your head around that weren't there before. But is theoretically not true imho.

We're all in agreement that none of it will work if you don't have a properly setup monitoring area with treatment where you can move your head around and retain more or less consistent tonal response and imaging.

Unless, of course, you're using near field monitors where hte image typically is crap as soon as you move one foot out of center :-) (but that is another discussion)
#20
19th November 2011
Old 19th November 2011
  #20
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

this is all hot air if your ears arent flat too

how do you measure and correct them ?

how many people have done that ??
#21
1st December 2011
Old 1st December 2011
  #21
Gear Head
 

Buy it!

I bought the ARC software and love it. My room is treated (obviously not to perfection), but the software has helped tremendously. The most obvious benefit is the bass correction. All the boominess in the mix has disappeared since using it (outside the studio control room!). It's not perfect, but again, I like it. It may not be a popular solution here, but I'd say give it a try. Is there a way for you to try it free prior to purchasing?

John
#22
22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
  #22
Gear & Hearhead
 

coneq

1. treat your room
2. get a decent speaker with a wide freq range, maybe a subwoofer if the speaker is too small.

THEN a correction is very helpful and might improve your situation dramatically.

btw, speaker/freq correction is a very common thing - I don't know a single professional, big studio where at least the main speakers are NOT eq'd.

After having tested it I bought a coneq APEQ Hardware system which has improved my workflow a lot, it is now easier and faster to make the right decisions.
Translation is so good that I prefer my own (small but nicely equiped) room
over any huge ssl-type studio at any time.
#23
22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
  #23
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Oh boy, I'm seeing so much misinformation it's not even funny. I love hearing testimonial from people who have never shot their room with a 'correction unit', tracked and mixed with it, yet they bash it. Makes a whole lotta sense if you ask me.

Yes, treating your room is ideal. Over time I've added a total of 3-2x4-4" bass panels behind my desk, 1 at each corner by the ground and 1 directly behind my desk where my subwoofer is located. These are true fiberglass panels that I constructed, not foam...said to be the best for bass treatment of all the materials that can be easily purchased by a consumer, not a contractor or someone with a special license. So anyway, above those in the corners I also have more 2x4 panels reaching the ceiling. These are 2" panels. I have 2-2x4-2" panels above me, 2 to the left framed by wood as well as 2 to the right. All panels above and to my left and right are angled in a specific way should the material I chose to cover the fiberglass want to reflect anything at all, so as to not have it hit my ears in a way that allows me to hear any weird reflections or phasing issues. My room is as right as it can be for not doing a buildout. The material I used was this: ATS Acoustics Rigid Fiberglass Board

If I had it to do again, I'd go with these and very well may swap them out over time, but they're of course more expensive. These actually have a better bass frequency coefficient and actually wipe the floor with Owens Corning: Roxul Rockboard 80

When I completed my room, I paid someone to come in and shoot it and tell me what was up. He gave me a graph that I have somewhere that tells where my room actually still has buildup. What he stated, in a general sense, (obviously he was trying to sell me on his services) what that in order to get much better, I'd have to do a buildout, which I'm not doing. This was a long conversation that eventually ended up at this conclusion although he spend some time(very professional and not pushy I must say, but it was still obvious) trying to get me to spend some more money with him to have him do 'something' else that he deemed would be helpful. At this time I had already shot my room with my KRK Ergo. When I hit the focus button(again we measured), and those larger, general bumps that he measured, basically went away. Were they perfect, no, but the fact of the matter is that I would need to spend upwards of about $20k to get it even a little better. Whats worse is that if I ever move anything if I do a buildout, things change. i can move amps or my desk inches as this would change the reflection scheme in the room. With the Ergo, I can simply reshoot the room, which takes all of 20 minutes to do right.

These myths about the mic that comes with units and these units forcing you to always be in one spot of the room so that moving your head inches changes everything is all nonsense, otherwise, these units wouldn't have you shooting multiple points in the room. I shot about 8 different locations from just to the left and right of my keyboard location, right in front of my face, above my head in case someone is standing behind me, then I have a few feet to the left and right of me where people like to stand, then a few feet back left, center, right and then in the back of the room. My Ergo has logged 98% room recognition. KRK claims anything above 90% recognition will provide a positive improvement in your mixes and their translation.

I wholeheartedly support the Ergo system added to any room, even if you think it's already perfect and did spend $20k all the way to over $100k on your room, which we all know is possible. At the end of the day, my mixes do translate better with then without and I don't feel the need for anything more to get my mixes better. I feel like I'm at a place where I can hear deep into my mixes and what I'm refining and perfecting are my own skills as well as developing my own aesthetic for what I like, without the room being part of the equation. Well, maybe, but in a positive way.

Best wishes everyone, gotta go mix now...
#24
22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
  #24
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fastlanestoner's Avatar
 

It's all about your room.
#25
22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
  #25
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Fletcher's Avatar
 

You cannot affect acoustic anomalies with electronic solutions... software is not a solution for a building problem... more construction is a solution for a building problem [Helmholz resonators, etc.].

The only thing you can do with hardware or software is to correct the output of the monitors. Each and every driver will have a variance of some sort... these variances can be lessened with EQ.

To try to tune a room with an equalizer instead of building materials is like putting a Band-Aid® on a bullet wound and expecting the patient to live.

Peace
#26
22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
  #26
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trying2mix View Post
Hi all,

Today I heard about Coneq, which is a new plugin that makes your monitors "flat", I don't know if it's the same as ARC ... my question is:

a. Will mixes really translate better on multiple systems because of this eq correction?
b. is it worth getting it or should I just train my ear to get used to whatever "color" my monitors have?

I appreciate any feedback
EQ can even up/smooth out the response of speakers to some extent, it can even 'prop up' sagging bass response to some extent although things can get weird when you do (or treble response, for that matter, although that's not often a need, since treble is fairly cheap/easy to generate) -- but the problem is that the room is a huge part of the way the speakers sound, particularly when there are untreated flaws in the room that create a veritable 'grid' of standing waves that criss cross the room, reinforcing each other in some spots and cancelling each other out in others. Because of that, the apparent response of your speaker/room system can vary greatly by distances of only a half foot or so, by as much as 30-40 dB or more in a poorly or untreated room.

And, while your EQ fix could 'fix' one, very specific sweet spot, tilting, turning, or moving your head a few inches could radically change what you hear.

The problem is that if you target your EQ fix to one spot, it's likely to make another location, possibly only inches away, just that much worse.
#27
22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
  #27
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Arthur Stone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
...At this time I had already shot my room with my KRK Ergo. When I hit the focus button(again we measured), and those larger, general bumps that he measured, basically went away. Were they perfect, no, but the fact of the matter is that I would need to spend upwards of about $20k to get it even a little better. Whats worse is that if I ever move anything if I do a buildout, things change. i can move amps or my desk inches as this would change the reflection scheme in the room. With the Ergo, I can simply reshoot the room, which takes all of 20 minutes to do right.

These myths about the mic that comes with units and these units forcing you to always be in one spot of the room so that moving your head inches changes everything is all nonsense, otherwise, these units would have you shoot multiple parts of the room. I shot about 8 different locations from just to the left and right of my keyboard location, right in front of my face, above my head in case someone is standing behind me, then I have a few feet to the left and right of me where people like to stand, then a few feet back left, center, right and then in the back of the room. My Ergo has logged 98% room recognition. KRK claims anything above 90% recognition will provide a positive improvement in your mixes and their translation...
This describes my experience with the KRK Ergo and Focal CMS40's...with the addition of basic acoustic treatment it's really improved low-mid definition and focus in my less-than-ideal room. Compared to other posters I've never experienced the acoustics of a good recording studio so I guess this skews my expectations of what software/hardware solutions should achieve.
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