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Shoutout for Sonarworks Reference 4.
Old 7th January 2019
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
Aren't Sonarworks Reference also using time-domain correction algorithms?



I agree, but I'm trying to justify the benefit at the mix position only. I'm arguing that at the mix position, the software will most likely improve the balance and actually help you make mix decisions. Not perfect. But better than doing nothing due to not having the knowledge and the money.
On the first, I'm afraid I don't know. I don't know the specific product except by general reputation; I'm only speaking from the point of view of the physics of room acoustics as I understand them. I can't imagine how that would work, but then I couldn't imagine how that Melodyne polytonal reharmonizing thing could work, either.

With regard to your second surmise, yes, I think that's a pretty reasonable assumption, assuming the user follows the procedures carefully (and taking into consideration all the previously noted provisos).


PS... since I think that out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of someone asking above about using such software to do venue tuning, sound reinforcement folks have been using EQ to help tame venue sound problems for many decades. All the same acoustic dilemmas can pertain to venue sound, of course, but the complexities go up considerably. That much I think is safe to say -- but that's an area well outside any expertise I have, so others would have to weigh in on software for that use. (I will note that venues tend to go to great lengths to physically tune their facilities, because of the difficulties that arise in trying to use EQ alone.)
Old 7th January 2019
  #32
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I don’t think Sonarworks software is The Holy Grail and I never expected any kind of miracle.

My studio wall rooms are not parallel. There is almost two feet of length difference between both pairs of front walls. Furthermore, the ceiling is not flat but vaulted (as a scalloped guitar fretboard). As I previously mentioned the room treatment is rather good but far from being perfect. The result, at the listener position, is an obvious bump (+5dB) between 120/270 Hz with produce a nasty muddiness. This bump is accompanied by moderate dip at 540 Hz (-3dB) and a second very narrow dip 110 Hz (-2dB).

After calibrating the room and inserting the Sonarworks software in my main bus the listening experience at the listener position has become radically better.

I agree with you that It would be absurd to try to correct a whole room with a software and I think it has never been the Sonarworks purpose. In my particular case, to get only a good sweet spot is enough for me because my studio, although rather well equipped, is not designed for commercial purposes. And yes, when I want someone to listen to my mixes, I invite he/she to sit down in my own chair. It’s the only sweet spot in my room, although I should indicate that people in general doesn’t seem to be too much concerned by these “details”.

Finally, I’d like to respectfully mention that being a Doctor Mechanical Engineer (music is only a hobby for me) I have some idea about the nature of the standing waves.
Old 7th January 2019
  #33
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mamm7215's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelyDani View Post
I don’t think Sonarworks software is The Holy Grail and I never expected any kind of miracle.

My studio wall rooms are not parallel. There is almost two feet of length difference between both pairs of front walls. Furthermore, the ceiling is not flat but vaulted (as a scalloped guitar fretboard). As I previously mentioned the room treatment is rather good but far from being perfect. The result, at the listener position, is an obvious bump (+5dB) between 120/270 Hz with produce a nasty muddiness. This bump is accompanied by moderate dip at 540 Hz (-3dB) and a second very narrow dip 110 Hz (-2dB).

After calibrating the room and inserting the Sonarworks software in my main bus the listening experience at the listener position has become radically better.

I agree with you that It would be absurd to try to correct a whole room with a software and I think it has never been the Sonarworks purpose. In my particular case, to get only a good sweet spot is enough for me because my studio, although rather well equipped, is not designed for commercial purposes. And yes, when I want someone to listen to my mixes, I invite he/she to sit down in my own chair. It’s the only sweet spot in my room, although I should indicate that people in general doesn’t seem to be too much concerned by these “details”.

Finally, I’d like to respectfully mention that being a Doctor Mechanical Engineer (music is only a hobby for me) I have some idea about the nature of the standing waves.
Totally agree here. I can go between my Focal and Senn HD280 cans now and get a mix really close. Then using my main nearfields (APS Klasiks) my overall mix/eq choices have come way faster. That’s my experience. I have a smaller treated room and can’t believe how inaccurate it still is. Sonarworks has been a great revelation to me.
Old 7th January 2019
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelyDani View Post
I don’t think Sonarworks software is The Holy Grail and I never expected any kind of miracle.

My studio wall rooms are not parallel. There is almost two feet of length difference between both pairs of front walls. Furthermore, the ceiling is not flat but vaulted (as a scalloped guitar fretboard). As I previously mentioned the room treatment is rather good but far from being perfect. The result, at the listener position, is an obvious bump (+5dB) between 120/270 Hz with produce a nasty muddiness. This bump is accompanied by moderate dip at 540 Hz (-3dB) and a second very narrow dip 110 Hz (-2dB).

After calibrating the room and inserting the Sonarworks software in my main bus the listening experience at the listener position has become radically better.

I agree with you that It would be absurd to try to correct a whole room with a software and I think it has never been the Sonarworks purpose. In my particular case, to get only a good sweet spot is enough for me because my studio, although rather well equipped, is not designed for commercial purposes. And yes, when I want someone to listen to my mixes, I invite he/she to sit down in my own chair. It’s the only sweet spot in my room, although I should indicate that people in general doesn’t seem to be too much concerned by these “details”.

Finally, I’d like to respectfully mention that being a Doctor Mechanical Engineer (music is only a hobby for me) I have some idea about the nature of the standing waves.
You, I'm not worried about.

That does, indeed, sound well-reasoned. You're obviously aware of the issues -- and you appear to have done pretty good work in setting up the architecture of your studio (or you were lucky to find such a room). It sounds like the room was pretty good to begin with. (Room response in a poor room, as I suspect you already know, can vary by much larger ranges.) By starting with a relatively 'even' room, of course, you also minimize the 'complementary damage' that would affect nodes further suppressed by cuts or antinodes aggravated by boosts used to fix the sweet spot.

And, as you say, you've adjusted your practice to minimize issues resulting from residual problems. It looks like your set of solutions is working pretty well for you.
Old 7th January 2019
  #35
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SteelyDani's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
You, I'm not worried about.

That does, indeed, sound well-reasoned. You're obviously aware of the issues -- and you appear to have done pretty good work in setting up the architecture of your studio (or you were lucky to find such a room). It sounds like the room was pretty good to begin with. (Room response in a poor room, as I suspect you already know, can vary by much larger ranges.) By starting with a relatively 'even' room, of course, you also minimize the 'complementary damage' that would affect nodes further suppressed by cuts or antinodes aggravated by boosts used to fix the sweet spot.

And, as you say, you've adjusted your practice to minimize issues resulting from residual problems. It looks like your set of solutions is working pretty well for you.
Thank you very much for your comments.

To be sincere I was lucky to find such a room when I bought the house 30 years ago.

Later I had the walls and floor lined with wood and had the acoustic treatment installed. As a whole, medium and high frequencies are reasonably well controlled, but as usual, it leaves to be desired as far as the lower frequencies are concerned.

The RT60 is a compromise between a performance and a control rooms as I only have one. The room is extremely quiet including the silent PC (no fans and four SSD drives).
Old 7th January 2019
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelyDani View Post
Thank you very much for your comments.

To be sincere I was lucky to find such a room when I bought the house 30 years ago.

Later I had the walls and floor lined with wood and had the acoustic treatment installed. As a whole, medium and high frequencies are reasonably well controlled, but as usual, it leaves to be desired as far as the lower frequencies are concerned.

The RT60 is a compromise between a performance and a control rooms as I only have one. The room is extremely quiet including the silent PC (no fans and four SSD drives).
Sounds like it should sound pretty good, to be honest.

Few rooms in 'conventional buildings' (with parallel walls/floor/ceiling) would present with such a relatively flat response (pre-EQ) without considerable treatment. You were canny to recognize the room's merits for your purposes. Most normal folks would just throw up their hands and say, What am I going to do with this odd-shaped room? -- maybe even putting up false walls to bring things back to 'square.' (I've seen that before; I recall a fellow setting up a recording space in a house who was able to rip out a bookshelf that had been added to 'mask' an oddly angled wall in an added-on area of the house he'd bought. He still had a bunch of other work to do, but it was a big step in the right direction.)
Old 7th January 2019
  #37
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SteelyDani's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Most normal folks would just throw up their hands and say, What am I going to do with this odd-shaped room? -- maybe even putting up false walls to bring things back to 'square.'

Old 5th February 2019
  #38
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hi all, trialing the headphone software the past few days. Think I will purchase but did anyone just try running a similar EQ plugin that matches your headphones, or is Sonarworks doing something else behind to make it more accurate ?
Thanks,

Tim
Old 5th February 2019
  #39
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e-are's Avatar
My mixes have been translating very well since I started using Reference 3 then 4. Couldn’t imagine not using it. I can mix on headphones from start to finish just as easy as monitors. Love it.
Old 5th February 2019
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by igetnosleep View Post
hi all, trialing the headphone software the past few days. Think I will purchase but did anyone just try running a similar EQ plugin that matches your headphones, or is Sonarworks doing something else behind to make it more accurate ?
Thanks,

Tim
Sonarworks Reference 4 is just a convolution based FIR filter with either minimum or linear phase architecture. It can correct for timing differences between asymmetrically positioned speakers, but that's basically all. No other stuff happening behind the scenes.
Old 28th February 2019
  #41
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Hi all,

I wanted to use Sonarworks for the final bit of improvement in my home studio. I first looked for the best position for the monitors, invested in room treatment and bought Reference 4 with a mic.

One thing bothered me from the beginning. How can Sonarworks present an almost perfect flat response as a result? This is almost impossible since they measure multiple positions and average out the curve to get a broader sweet spot (if I understood it correctly). How can it be flat? And furthermore, they present the curve after applying the correction, but without any measuring! It's only an assumption. I wanted to know if the corrected curve was real, so I did the following: I measured the same listening position with another piece of software (Fuzzmeasure). I did this before and after applying the correction curve (Systemwide) and guess what? The corrected curve wasn't even close to flat. It looked much more like the original curve. It still had a lot of bumps and dips, some even way more than 10db. There was some improvement visible and audible for sure, but still, nowhere near the presented flat curve.

PS. I know I have to consider the microphone correction curve which was applied to the Sonarworks measurement and not to the Fuzzmeasure software, but this curve was never more than 3db off, so while it's not a scientific correct measurement, the results are very clear. The flat curve presented by Sonarworks is not real or accurate.
Old 28th February 2019
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roonan View Post
Hi all,

I wanted to use Sonarworks for the final bit of improvement in my home studio. I first looked for the best position for the monitors, invested in room treatment and bought Reference 4 with a mic.

One thing bothered me from the beginning. How can Sonarworks present an almost perfect flat response as a result? This is almost impossible since they measure multiple positions and average out the curve to get a broader sweet spot (if I understood it correctly). How can it be flat? And furthermore, they present the curve after applying the correction, but without any measuring! It's only an assumption. I wanted to know if the corrected curve was real, so I did the following: I measured the same listening position with another piece of software (Fuzzmeasure). I did this before and after applying the correction curve (Systemwide) and guess what? The corrected curve wasn't even close to flat. It looked much more like the original curve. It still had a lot of bumps and dips, some even way more than 10db. There was some improvement visible and audible for sure, but still, nowhere near the presented flat curve.

PS. I know I have to consider the microphone correction curve which was applied to the Sonarworks measurement and not to the Fuzzmeasure software, but this curve was never more than 3db off, so while it's not a scientific correct measurement, the results are very clear. The flat curve presented by Sonarworks is not real or accurate.
It might be interesting to redo corrected and uncorrected measurements with REW which would allow the use of the mic correction curves.

I've just ordered the Sonarworks Xref20 mic so I'll be taking some REW measurements and then trial Sonarworks to see if it works in my situation.
Old 1st March 2019
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LesC View Post
It might be interesting to redo corrected and uncorrected measurements with REW which would allow the use of the mic correction curves.

I've just ordered the Sonarworks Xref20 mic so I'll be taking some REW measurements and then trial Sonarworks to see if it works in my situation.
Thanks for the tip, I'll do that. Please share your results too.
Old 1st March 2019
  #44
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PS. I read a very interesting blog about the impossible flat curve and why you shouldn't want that in the first place. Was a real eye-opener for me. It also explains why some people get worse results when mixing on corrected monitors.

An Inconvenient Truth About Room Acoustics (The Myth Of The Flat Frequency Response) — Acoustics Insider

Last edited by Roonan; 1st March 2019 at 11:20 AM.. Reason: Forgot link
Old 2nd March 2019
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roonan View Post
PS. I read a very interesting blog about the impossible flat curve and why you shouldn't want that in the first place. Was a real eye-opener for me. It also explains why some people get worse results when mixing on corrected monitors.

An Inconvenient Truth About Room Acoustics (The Myth Of The Flat Frequency Response) — Acoustics Insider
That is interesting. I think that's why most software such as Dirac or Sonarworks offers some kind of "house curve" which is fairly straight but slopes slightly down from low to high frequencies. This will help reduce the tendency to overly increase bass and reduce treble, giving a mix that translates better.
Old 29th April 2019
  #46
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I just tested the correction software on my Beyerdynamic DT 990 HP and i must say the sound of the headphone becomes more pleasant (less highs, clear mids etc)
But, when i focus on the highs of a simple saw wave the representation of the sound is imo not correct anymore compared to my monitors (Neumann KH120) because the upper highs are completely gone.

You could say the monitors need also be corrected now but i think the difference is to big to do any good.
I mean if my monitors are exaggerating the >8K range similair to the HP it would be a nice coincidence.

I hope(d) that i could use this tool for my HP, but i am seriously doubting after my (quick) comparison.
Anyone else who feels the same?
Old 30th April 2019
  #47
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mamm7215's Avatar
You should definitely correct the monitors...
Old 3rd May 2019
  #48
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I have SW4 with HD600 headphones. Been using it for a while. Can't say it really helped much or anything, but I kept on using it because it's the right thing to do in my situation.

But it does something weird with the sound. For example on the familiar snare sounds like it has low midrange sucked out, feels like -10db or something. It doesn't sound like that on any of my speakers. I expect to hear changes/corrections to sub 150Hz range but nothing in 300-800 range. Very unnatural.

For the past few days I've been leaving it off. Feels much better that way and I don't really feel the mixes are getting any worse without it. I find HD600's sloping low end reminiscent of that of NS10s which I also have and use most of the time for mixing. I trust this kind of sound way more than superflat whatever.

Just my $0.02

PS. And btw I recently read Andrew Scheps's interview (or maybe he mentioned that here on GS?) that he doesn't use SW with his headphones and that he trusts their natural sound better.

Not really knocking on SW, great product, just perhaps not "cure-it-all" thing.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #49
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I think a lot of people misunderstand what Sonarworks is intended for (not necessarily in this thread)
your music is supposed to sound bad with it bypassed. it helps you make decisions you wouldn’t normally do (let’s say boost 10db at 250hz for example) due to the fact that an extreme boost like that might sound terrible without Sonarworks due to your room acoustics.

I now listen to everything with Sonarworks engaged: YouTube tutorials, gear demos, albums etc and everything sounds boomy and muddy with Sonarworks bypassed (in the same way my own mixes do) which I think, shows that it works.
Old 13th June 2019
  #50
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Disappointing

I tried Sonarworks 4 for a couple of days.

I have Neumann KH120 monitors and a heavily treated control room.

At first I thought it sounded much clearer, but in the end I realized it just has too many drawbacks for me:

1. Imaging (soundstage location of instruments) is smeared considerably

2. Transients are noticeably softened

3. I tried all the possible settings, tilt, curves, linear, minimum phase, etc. but no settings really convinced me as sounding better - just different

I've uninstalled the software and I'll be adding more acoustic treatment to my room.

Last edited by chrismeraz; 13th June 2019 at 01:12 PM..
Old 13th June 2019
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismeraz View Post
I tried Sonarworks 4 for a couple of days.

I have Neumann KH120 monitors and a heavily treated control room.

At first I thought it sounded much clearer, but in the end I realized it just has too many drawbacks for me:

1. Imaging (soundstage location of instruments) is smeared considerably

2. Transients are noticeably softened

3. I tried all the possible settings, tilt, curves, linear, minimum phase, etc. but no settings really convinced me as sounding better - just different

I've uninstalled the software and I'll be adding more acoustic treatment to my room.
What mic did you use?

Also did you actually try mixing something?
Old 13th June 2019
  #52
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After extensive testing of sonar works over the past month. I have deleted it from my computer lol.

It does improve the bass and low end balance of my mixes on an overall technical level... however, I found that it just sucked the life out of my mixes especially in the midrange and top end frequency. I have nice monitors (focal solo 6's) and a good converter (dangerous convert 2), and without sonarworks, I can really feel my endorphins firing when I listen to a good mix. when I pop on sonarworks, its feels more balanced yes, but it feels just like plain and gross and boring..When its sitting on the 2 buss as a plug in it makes my mixes sound boring and gross as well. but definitely a technically perfect FLAT boring. I really wanted to like it, but I'll take some low end issues and have a mix feel amazing then have a perfect balance and a boring ass mix.
some might say yeah boring is good, boring and flat is what you want. I disagree. If the sound isn't inspiring, whats the point of mixing??

nothing will compare to good monitors, with a good converter, in a treated room. Thats just my two cents. I was very disappointed. don't believe the hype and suffer from bland mixes.
Old 14th June 2019
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by curtmandoo View Post
After extensive testing of sonar works over the past month. I have deleted it from my computer lol.

It does improve the bass and low end balance of my mixes on an overall technical level... however, I found that it just sucked the life out of my mixes especially in the midrange and top end frequency. I have nice monitors (focal solo 6's) and a good converter (dangerous convert 2), and without sonarworks, I can really feel my endorphins firing when I listen to a good mix. when I pop on sonarworks, its feels more balanced yes, but it feels just like plain and gross and boring..When its sitting on the 2 buss as a plug in it makes my mixes sound boring and gross as well. but definitely a technically perfect FLAT boring. I really wanted to like it, but I'll take some low end issues and have a mix feel amazing then have a perfect balance and a boring ass mix.
some might say yeah boring is good, boring and flat is what you want. I disagree. If the sound isn't inspiring, whats the point of mixing??

nothing will compare to good monitors, with a good converter, in a treated room. Thats just my two cents. I was very disappointed. don't believe the hype and suffer from bland mixes.
So you’re saying that when you have completed a mix from scratch, with Sonarworks on, then bounce the mix with it off your mixes sound flat and boring, when played back on other systems?

Or they sound flat and boring whilst mixing?

Or listening to mixes you previously mixed without Sonarworks, sound flat and boring when listened to with Sonarworks?
Old 14th June 2019
  #54
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by curtmandoo View Post
After extensive testing of sonar works over the past month. I have deleted it from my computer lol.

It does improve the bass and low end balance of my mixes on an overall technical level... however, I found that it just sucked the life out of my mixes especially in the midrange and top end frequency. I have nice monitors (focal solo 6's) and a good converter (dangerous convert 2), and without sonarworks, I can really feel my endorphins firing when I listen to a good mix. when I pop on sonarworks, its feels more balanced yes, but it feels just like plain and gross and boring..When its sitting on the 2 buss as a plug in it makes my mixes sound boring and gross as well. but definitely a technically perfect FLAT boring. I really wanted to like it, but I'll take some low end issues and have a mix feel amazing then have a perfect balance and a boring ass mix.
some might say yeah boring is good, boring and flat is what you want. I disagree. If the sound isn't inspiring, whats the point of mixing??

nothing will compare to good monitors, with a good converter, in a treated room. Thats just my two cents. I was very disappointed. don't believe the hype and suffer from bland mixes.

I came to the same conclusion! Used it for 4 months bought it and it turns out that mixing without it sounds tighter, more balanced and overall better.
Old 15th June 2019
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
So you’re saying that when you have completed a mix from scratch, with Sonarworks on, then bounce the mix with it off your mixes sound flat and boring, when played back on other systems?

Or they sound flat and boring whilst mixing?

Or listening to mixes you previously mixed without Sonarworks, sound flat and boring when listened to with Sonarworks?
I'm gonna fill in the bubble for "all of the above"
Old 15th June 2019
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikola_Tesla View Post
I came to the same conclusion! Used it for 4 months bought it and it turns out that mixing without it sounds tighter, more balanced and overall better.
Well I'm glad I'm not the only one! Happy mixing!
Old 15th June 2019
  #57
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M.Retra's Avatar
I own Reference 4, and I am in the process of tweaking it to my needs. I'm still on the fence. Though my room is moderately treated with monster bass and corner bass traps, I still tend to mix heavy on the bottom-end, and I even use a sub. Maybe I'm just a basshead. Anyway, I want Reference to affect my bottom end LESS so I don't over-compensate for it and everything is muddy on other systems. The only way to get around this is to use the Bass Boost function, the Tilt function, or maybe a little Wet/Dry action.

But overall, the software is pretty nice, "Stay where you are! Measurement in progress!"
Old 15th June 2019
  #58
Quote:
Originally Posted by curtmandoo View Post
I'm gonna fill in the bubble for "all of the above"
Okay fair enough. Some of that makes no sense, and indicates you were not using it right, but we'll agree to disagree.

Regardless of that just because it did not work for you, does not mean it's hype. It does do what it says it does.

It won't totally fix a terrible room (it's not a substitute for room treatment) or totally fix bad monitors or even good monitors positioned badly, but if used right, it should improve half decent to good room set ups.

For me, in my room (which is small), with my monitors (I use a Sub as well!) and my room treatment, on most mixes I am 95% accurate with my mix first time. Then I use Span and Gulfoss to help get me to 99%.
Old 15th June 2019
  #59
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The difference with my ****ty mackies mr5 mk2 placed in a corner is huge. Maybe in a well treated studio with flat monitors it doesn’t make much sense. The only problem is how it deals with the high end. I wish they add a filter or something to correct only the lows and the mids.
Old 16th June 2019
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umulungu View Post
The only problem is how it deals with the high end. I wish they add a filter or something to correct only the lows and the mids.
I'm with ya on that. I believe this is a frequently requested item. Make it like a "multiband correction." Three bands would probably be enough. No sense in going overboard.
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