Waves Audio Announces Waves Nx – a Virtual Mix Room Plugin - Page 4 - Gearslutz
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Waves Audio Announces Waves Nx – a Virtual Mix Room Plugin
Old 25th January 2016 | Show parent
  #91
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSt0rm View Post
The smyth has custom tailored respones to you in a space. I highly doubt they can do that for you as a generic impulse. The thing that falls apart the most is the center channel. Your mind recognizes things directly in front of you in part to the shape of your face and the unique way this filter the sound.
Agreed. The center channel is tricky since it's not "just mono"; it's something else that makes us perceive it as center and in front of us. Also, all room simulations (and I am sure Waves NX) so far have the most trouble with pretending that things are behind you. They can get it "sorta" right but it sounds kinda fake and weird, as if it's more off to the sides. It's getting there, but it's not quite right yet.

Science just hasn't caught on to what exact timings/frequency magic makes our ears detect that something is behind us. It's a tough job (place mics in our ear canals and brains to figure out what the brain is doing?), but it's advancing fast and I am sure we'll have perfect surround simulation in the near future.

For now, the main advantage of all these room simulation products is to give you a virtual reference room for making better panning decisions etc, since headphones alone are awful at that. Rely on these room simulators for Stereo for now. The ability to sorta hear Surround is cool, but isn't ready for prime-time yet.

I really look forward to NX and have marked its release in the calendar. 3 more days...
Old 25th January 2016 | Show parent
  #92
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JSt0rm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temptin View Post
All room simulations (and I am sure Waves NX) so far have trouble with things behind you as well. They can get it "sorta" right but it sounds kinda fake and weird.

Science just hasn't caught on to what exact timings/frequency magic makes our ears detect that something is behind us. It's a tough job, but it's advancing fast and I am sure we'll have perfect surround simulation in the near future.

For now, the main advantage of all these room simulation products is to give you a virtual reference room for making better panning decisions etc, since headphones alone are awful at that.

I really look forward to NX and have marked its release in the calendar. 3 more days...
We wont have perfect simulation because everyone's bodies are different. The pinna of your ear filters sounds behind you in a unique way. I' own a smyth realizer and have heard other peoples bodies and rooms and some of them are good and have good surround imaging. The center channel though is the hardest. It always has collapsed into "stereo" with other peoples impulses. With my own impulses the smyth is amazing. But you need access to amazing spaces and you need to know how to set it up to record correctly in those spaces. This will always be a tiny market.
Old 25th January 2016 | Show parent
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Temptin View Post
I was just pissed off by you calling me fuzzy-brained, and it looked like the kind of Gearslutz user who just gets off on arguing and never backing down. I made the "winning" comment to say that I am not interested in "winning" and don't want to derail this thread any further. Since you've apologized, I think there's been a miscommunication and you might not have meant the phrase the way it sounded. As for your edit; you initially just called me "fuzzy-brained" (or whatever), without anything else in the post, before you edited it to add more info. That is why it looked extra rude and inflammatory. Just an attack and nothing else in your post (before the edit) made me angry for obvious reasons. You edited it so maybe you realized how bad it looked, too. Thanks for apologizing, and I'm sorry as well. I've rescued a cat and it kept me up all night so the headache means I was extra sensitive to what looked like a pure trolling/hate post before the edit.

Either way, you can see the explanation for why headphone correction goes at the headphone output stage; it belongs "together with the headphone", as a single, coherent unit: The source (the mix+waves NX) going to the "Output+its corrective EQ to make sure the source is perfectly reproduced by the output". It makes no sense to apply headphone EQs to the speakers before you've even recorded the room they're being played in. The speakers will add non-linearities that affect that EQ, and the room color itself won't be corrected at all since the EQ went too early in the chain.

If you look at other room simulation products (which I don't name, since I don't want to promote other products in a Waves thread but you can PM me for the name), they place the EQ at the last output stage since that's where the headphones sit.
Thanks for the apology in kind. I'm glad that we are past that unpleasantness. Way to go rescuing cats!
Old 25th January 2016 | Show parent
  #94
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Temptin View Post
Science just hasn't caught on to what exact timings/frequency magic makes our ears detect that something is behind us....
Actually it has.
Old 25th January 2016 | Show parent
  #95
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSt0rm View Post
We wont have perfect simulation because everyone's bodies are different. The pinna of your ear filters sounds behind you in a unique way. I' own a smyth realizer and have heard other peoples bodies and rooms and some of them are good and have good surround imaging. The center channel though is the hardest. It always has collapsed into "stereo" with other peoples impulses. With my own impulses the smyth is amazing. But you need access to amazing spaces and you need to know how to set it up to record correctly in those spaces. This will always be a tiny market.
Yeah, the head shape and width, ear shape, ear canal, body absorbtion, etc, all contribute to why nobody has made a perfect head model yet. But I am sure it can get very, very close within the near future. I'd say they get about 30% of the surround effect today, and even if they only get it to 60% it'd be good enough to be usable enough to bring surround music to the masses.

The center channel is tough, yeah, since it's not "just collapsed mono". There's lots of filtering that goes on with the ear to make it realize it's coming from in front of you.
Old 25th January 2016 | Show parent
  #96
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvalmont View Post
Thanks for the apology in kind. I'm glad that we are past that unpleasantness. Way to go rescuing cats!
It's never fun to argue. And the little cat is doing well. He had been abandoned for days in the snow, without any food or water and was screaming for help. He was so hungry that he gobbled everything down in seconds and started puking. Poor little guy. I've got him stabilized now and he's been able to keep his food down and is already starting to get comfortable and falling asleep in my lap. His sprawling body with paws in all directions makes it harder to type on Gearslutz, for sure. I'll take a break now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Actually it has.
Well, I didn't phrase it to imply that they hadn't figured out some of the science behind surround sound. Scientists know that micro-differences in sound timing and frequency response between the ears are how we perceive the location of the sound. That's not the same as (my phrasing) figuring out the exact timings and responses to make it sound perfectly accurate. Current products aren't good enough yet.

It's extremely difficult, since surround perception depends on such tiny micro-timings as the differences between the widths of human heads (and the tiny difference in sound delay caused by that width difference).

Most room simulation products just use impulse responses recorded using a binaural dummy-head microphone (which have fully shaped ear canals that capture the sound, I have attached an image of what they look like). Those microphones capture the "per-ear" frequency response and timing of the room, but it's limited to the ear spacing of the dummy, and it's unable to completely capture the tone and surround feeling of the room.

That's why algorithmic room simulations are being co-developed as a potentially better solution and are growing in complexity now. Adding the micro-timings and frequency alterations manually (instead of via impulse responses) means they can produce perfectly linear rooms. Waves NX is such an algorithmic product, and I am hopeful that it's the best one yet. But the challenges for creating believable, algorithmic surround simulations are huge, since the science behind spatial perception isn't nailed yet.

There's still a long road left both in impulse responses and algorithmic rooms. But I know someone will get it right someday within a decade. It's inevitable. I've got some surround simulation products that are already pretty mindblowing at simulating about 60 degrees of motion on either side of you, but they cannot simulate behind you or above you properly (it sounds fake). They can do a somewhat okay job of the front/center and a perfect job of the sides.

There's a lot of money up for grabs for the first scientists who can get surround emulation perfectly and manage to patent it. Imagine all the music player licensing, headphone products, speakers, etc they could sell. There's a lot of manpower invested in figuring this out.

I am sure that Waves NX hasn't achieved perfect surround yet either (since nobody else has; and Waves would market surround heavily if they'd been the first to nail it). I am not interested in it for surround. The reason I am interested in Waves NX is that I've been looking for a clean, algorithmic stereo room, and am really eager to hear what Waves has managed to accomplish there; particularly hearing if they've got a clean room reverb that doesn't muddy the mix. I'll definitely post my impressions of the sound on day one of release.
Attached Thumbnails
Waves Audio Announces Waves Nx – a Virtual  Mix Room Plugin-kemar.jpg  
Old 25th January 2016
  #97
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the technology is impulse responses. The issue is putting mics inside your eardrums to record those impulses in a space you want. That will never be something that everyone will be able to do. At best someone could make a system with "sliders" that you move to aline a sound. Not saying that exists or is even possible but you would have to get the end user some control.
Old 26th January 2016
  #98
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
Was looking at the Sonarworks headphone correction EQ support page (I was actually interested in the support articles for their SPEAKER correction), and the title of this support article stood out and reminded me of a recent discussion in this thread. So I clicked...

Where do I need to insert the plugin?

"The headphone correction plugin must be the last plugin on your output. Keep it on your master output as the last plugin."

In a two-sentence article, they phrased two strongly worded sentences using the word "last" twice for emphasis so that nobody misunderstands how to use headphone EQ calibration.


@ waves NX: When you add EQ calibration to NX, I hope the higher-ups at Waves will let you have the budget to do it correctly. If I was going to measure headphones, I would get 2-3 units each of the ~20 most popular studio headphones, then I'd be sure to break them in for a while with sound playing (to loosen the stiff, factory-new drivers), and finally I'd be measuring the response of the 2-3 units of each headphone type, and averaging their EQ curves to get something that's more general for that headphone. Otherwise you risk getting and measuring a single unit with an individual error that isn't representative of those headphones as a whole. Here's an alternative route if the idea of owning and measuring 40-60 headphone units isn't appealing: Maybe you can license the measured curves from Sonarworks. They've already measured the most popular headphones and did a very thorough job, creating averages from several units of each model.

Here is the list of the 25 most popular/best studio headphones, measured by Sonarworks (http://sonarworks.com/headphones/sup...-headphones/):
Quote:
AIAIAI TMA1 (PU foam pads)
AKG K141 MKII
AKG K240 Studio
AKG K271 MKII
AKG K701
AKG K702
AKG K712
Audio-Technica M20x
Audio-Technica M40x
Audio-Technica M50x
Beyerdynamic DT770 80 Ohm
Beyerdynamic DT770 250 Ohm
Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro
Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro
Focal Spirit Pro
KRK KNS8400
Sennheiser HD25-II
Sennheiser HD280
Sennheiser HD598
Sennheiser HD600
Sennheiser HD650
Sennheiser HD800
Shure SRH840
Sony MDR7506
Superlux HD681

Two more days to Waves NX!
Old 26th January 2016 | Show parent
  #99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temptin View Post

Where do I need to insert the plugin?

"The headphone correction plugin must be the last plugin on your output. Keep it on your master output as the last plugin."
When you are trying to emulate a room, which is supposed to be as flat as the engineer can't have designed it, you can't alter the perception of what you are going to hear or you are not going to get the most accurate out of it. This is the reason why Sonarworks Preference needs to be first and Waves NX after. If you put Sonarworks first you are going to have a flat and accurate hearing, if after that you put Waves NX you are going to hear the room/speaker emulation as its best. If you use in the other way, If you put Waves NX first you are going to hear the room/speaker emu altered by the freq response of your headphones, and if you put Sonarworks after that you are going to change it again and probably have even phase problems depending of the headphones you are using.
Problem solved
Old 26th January 2016
  #100
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Temptin's Avatar
Smile

This will be a long post, to end the derailing and arguing and spreading of misinformation once and for all, so that we don't have the next 5 pages derailed with pointless arguments. I tried brief explanations earlier but it didn't work. In typical Gearslutz fashion, we've already lost 1-1.5 pages to this pointless argument, which was started by people challenging a single-sentence statement, and who then kept challenging the brief explanations meant to help them understand. So let's try a long, final explanation even though I'm not in the mood for going over this yet again! So I brought in Sonarworks...

People want to know about NX, and they want to know about EQ correction, but they don't want to read pages of pointless arguments about it!

---

Since it's clear that some people won't stop arguing their own guesses (like the strange, incoherently jumping-all-over-the-place mumbo-jumbo reasoning of heraldo's post above passing itself off as fact), and since it's clear that certain people will argue no matter how clearly I've explained things, I decided to lay the whole situation out to Sonarworks themselves so that the misinformation and 1-1.5 pages of ongoing thread derailing can hopefully end at last.

The question to Sonarworks (which goes through all details again, and asks where to place their corrective EQ plugin):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Temptin's email to Sonarworks
Greetings, I am thinking about buying Sonarworks for speakers and headphones and a custom calibration. I have a question for you.

Waves has invented a virtual room product, Waves NX, which plays your mix in a virtual room and records it with a virtual microphone, and plays the result on your headphones so that it sounds like you are mixing in a room.

People want to add EQ correction to this so that the headphones will hear the room accurately.

It's totally obvious to me as an intelligent engineer that this is the only correct signal flow:

Source (the mix), played completely as-is so that it resonates naturally -- Played via virtual speakers -- Echoing and resonating naturally in the virtual room -- Recorded by the virtual mic -- Finally doing Sonarworks EQ headphone calibration to flatten the sound reproduction of the headphones as the LAST plugin before the headphone output -- The headphones hearing an accurately-played version of that room, thanks to the final EQ correction correcting THEIR uneven playback capabilities (so that the headphones can produce a flat, correct playback of the on-disk room recording).

But many, many, many people are telling me that the HEADPHONE EQ correction should go BEFORE the room simulation. I keep telling them that this would happen:

Source (the mix) -- Headphone EQ curve applied to the music, causing massive (often +/- 20 dB) resonant peaks and valleys that only make sense for final output on headphones -- The virtual speakers play the "weirdly EQ'd" music into the virtual room, causing the unnatural "corrected" peaks and valleys to resonate, amplify themselves, and create other harmonics at other places in the spectrum, totally destroying the frequency balance -- The room color itself (reverb) would simultaneously be totally uncorrected by the EQ correction since correction was placed too early in the chain -- The virtual mic captures that total mishmash mess of screwed up EQ and resonances -- Finally, it outputs the messed up room simulation to a totally UN-corrected headphone which does even further damage by playing it all incorrectly, without a flat spectrum.

But multiple people have now kept arguing that headphone calibration must go BEFORE the room simulation (like in the second scenario above).

What's the correct usage of Sonarworks together with virtual room simulation? Before the room recording? (Which seems mentally insane and shows a lack of logical thinking), Or as the last output step during headphone playback (To correct the uneven frequency balance of the final playback system; the headphones - so that the sound of the virtual room can be heard perfectly in the headphones, exactly-as-recorded on disk).

I'd be grateful for your advice.

Sincerely,

Johnny
The answer from Sonarworks:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonarworks email reply
Hi Johnny,

We had a discussion about your question in the office, and the verdict is that you should put the headphone correction plugin last in the chain as usual, for the exact reasons you specified.

Happy mixing!

Regards,
Karl
Sonarworks
If anyone wants to keep arguing against logic and the physics of how EQ correction works (like how your "correction" will just be causing weird, super-resonant room peaks if you try to use headphone correction curves before the speaker, etc), then please do it elsewhere and stop derailing the thread. Create a separate thread if you want to argue that the Earth is flat.

Corrective headphone EQ is always the final step which flattens the peaks and valleys of the headphones so that they can play an equal-energy result across the whole frequency spectrum. It belongs together with the headphone itself, correcting its frequency balance. Imagine it like the EQ being built-into the headphones to make them flat at playing their input audio. Or imagine it like the internal crossover processor for the headphones. That's how closely tied the signal flow is for corrective EQ. It must happen in the headphones, and not earlier. That final corrective EQ is what allows the headphones to play back the room recording exactly as it sounds-on-disk. Putting headphone-correction before a room's loudspeaker and having zero correction whatsoever on the final headphone playback is just plain wrong and totally illogical.

I thought this was clear enough and had been settled after my brief, previous explanation, but maybe some people needed Sonarworks' own word for it, so there you have it. The official confirmation.

Please no more derailing about this topic. Waves NX will get built-in correction someday (it was confirmed by the Waves representative here), and it will also need to sit after the room simulation, just like it does in my other room simulator product that also has built-in headphone EQs. Anything else makes zero sense, regardless of whether some people can understand these facts about the signal flow or not.

I've attached an image showing what corrective EQ is: It's a technique of applying a strong EQ curve (often peaks/dips of +/- 20 dB) to the final playback device to flatten its frequency response so that it can play the source material correctly without coloring it. It belongs together with the final playback device and nowhere else.

I already knew what Sonarworks' answer was going to be, but realized that some people needed to hear it straight from the manufacturer. And the reason I laid out all the details in the email to Sonarworks was so that people who just see this final post by me will still see the whole reasoning and answer all in one post, so that they don't have to read this whole thread. We've got enough myths in the audio world and I am just doing this to make sure we don't create yet another one. This particular topic isn't even debatable. The headphone-neutrality EQ belongs inside of the headphones themselves, so that they can output a flat spectrum, and the closest way we can achieve that ("correction inside the headphones") is by always putting it *last* in the DAW chain. Nothing else makes any sense.

Sorry to sound like a broken record and over-explaining but I am trying to make this clear one last time so that the derailings stop. It clearly didn't work when I kept the explanations brief.

I won't debate this fact anymore. The answers are now in the thread for those interested in correctly calibrating their headphones, including post 98 above which shows how strongly worded Sonarworks' own help article is about this topic. This final post by me is strongly worded simply because I am trying to make sure everyone understands one last time, so that the derailings can stop, otherwise we will soon end up with 5 pages of derailings as usual on Gearslutz. I am not interested in wasting energy arguing about simple, logical facts like this, but I also don't like seeing derailing misinformation passed around with such conviction and thus misleading people; especially after the facts had been briefly but clearly explained earlier.

Please, let's get back to talking about the product now without further derailings, which is what this thread is for. It's for NX, I mean. Not derailings.


Back on topic!

2 days to Waves NX release... Soon we can hear if it's good or not! This is one of the only products I've been excited about lately, since I've been waiting for someone of Waves' caliber to create a clean room simulation. Got my fingers crossed and hoping it sounds good! Previous algorithmic room simulators have had bad reverbs and unconvincing stereo images. So if Waves beats all earlier products (and I suspect they will), NX will be a day one purchase. I'll post my impressions here when it's out.
Attached Thumbnails
Waves Audio Announces Waves Nx – a Virtual  Mix Room Plugin-audiolense.jpg  
Old 26th January 2016 | Show parent
  #101
Gear Maniac
 

Still one question:

How does this differ from the likes of Tb Isone?
Old 26th January 2016
  #102
Gear Nut
 
meric's Avatar
 

James was happy to hear NX

Old 26th January 2016 | Show parent
  #103
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by meric View Post
James was happy to hear NX
Hahahahha, what a cute reaction, smiling like he's just fallen in love, stuttering his words. Adorable. Here's a surprisingly accurate photograph of James' face in that video: "". I am now even more excited to hear NX for myself. It might even convince me to buy the head tracker unit after all (which I thought would be useless since head movements in the real world take you out of the equal-balance sweetspot and makes panning harder, etc). It seems like the head tracking added another dimension.

I'll wait for some magazine reviews of the head tracker though, to find out if it's a gimmick or if it actually helps the mixing process. My initial thoughts are that it will make the "headphone vibe" feel more natural as you move around in the room, but that it will hurt panning decisions since you won't have perfectly-equal loudness in each ear anymore. We'll have to wait and find out if it's really worth simulating that movement-aspect of real speakers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mannymac View Post
Still one question:
How does this differ from the likes of Tb Isone?
We'll be able to compare and find that out when NX is released in 2 days. For the record, I have tried TB Isone Pro years ago and cannot remember my impression, but clearly I didn't think it was worth owning since I don't own it.
Old 26th January 2016 | Show parent
  #104
Gear Maniac
 

James's reaction is priceless!

Oh btw. Templin: Great explanation about getting it together with Sonarworks.
I've been using Sonarworks with Focusrite VRM and can absolutely say you are right about the order.
I have the stereo output from the VRM going into my main interface via a y cable into DDMF Effect Rack so I can insert Sonarworks last. Otherwise you will run into the issues you described up there. Should be common sense but is definitely harder to setup with a solution like VRM.
Old 27th January 2016
  #105
Lives for gear
 

James doesn't have to sell the product to us, his expression does al, the work!! Haha!!

Looking forward to checking out that review.
Old 27th January 2016
  #106
Great to see the big industry players finally getting serious about headphones! Throw some serious digital know-how at almost century old headphone tech and you've got something more than just grot-boxes on a headband.

Good luck, Waves!

P.S. And yes, keep our plug-in last in the chain. Think of it as a crossover for your cans!
Old 27th January 2016 | Show parent
  #107
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digital 1010's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrodulf View Post
Great to see the big industry players finally getting serious about headphones! Throw some serious digital know-how at almost century old headphone tech and you've got something more than just grot-boxes on a headband.

Good luck, Waves!

P.S. And yes, keep our plug-in last in the chain. Think of it as a crossover for your cans!
Great to see another company praise another company

Sonarworks is making a huge difference to how i perceive and mix my low end with the HD650 setting!!!! Cant wait to try NX in conjunction as well and see what happens.
Old 27th January 2016 | Show parent
  #108
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrodulf View Post
Great to see the big industry players finally getting serious about headphones! Throw some serious digital know-how at almost century old headphone tech and you've got something more than just grot-boxes on a headband.

Good luck, Waves!

P.S. And yes, keep our plug-in last in the chain. Think of it as a crossover for your cans!
Hi Sonarworks! Yes, that's why I am so excited! Waves has some "serious digital know-how", so I am hoping they'll finally nail the "virtual room simulation" sound. All previous room simulation products are made by homebrew developers (usually single-person brands operating with the standard "DSP cookbook" algorithms that everyone else uses) and they didn't impress me at all (bad/boxy room reverbs, bad/fake stereo image, etc).

The reason Waves is so exciting is that Waves NX is aiming at creating a very neutral, linear sound, which means it will basically take your mix and play it in a perfect room, with nice reflections and reverb but without any unnecessary non-linear color. Its goal is to give you the 3D sound + crosstalk of mixing on speakers, but with a perfect frequency response/sound.

That is why I brought up calibration earlier in this thread. Because it is a perfect companion for NX: To hear the perfectly balanced Waves NX room, you need perfectly balanced headphones (otherwise the frequency balance will still be wrong and extremely colored by the headphones). Sonarworks achieves that perfection. Putting it last in the chain (of course) after NX, means that the headphones play a balanced image of the clean room sound, which gives you the cleanest and most balanced monitoring system in the world.

For those who have not heard Sonarworks, I suggest downloading the demo (Headphone Calibration - Sonarworks). The result of correcting your headphones with Sonarworks is mind-blowing. Harsh and fatiguing highs vanish, shrieking mids become flat, and the bass becomes balanced. Details that were hidden behind boomy/peaky bass or treble are suddenly perfectly audible. Even "flat" headphones are far from flat (peaks and valleys of +/- 12 dB are common), and all headphones benefit massively from Sonarworks. Peaks will mask out adjacent frequencies, and dips will hide some sounds completely, so headphone calibration is a must together with Waves NX.

I would not be surprised if super-balanced headphones with super-balanced room simulation (like Waves NX + Sonarworks) becomes a new way of mixing which encourages some people to stop using speakers completely. Technology is certainly moving in the direction of making that possible. Real rooms, no matter how acoustically treated, are absolute hells of reflection and phase issues and can never compete with the limitless potential of algorithmic perfection inside of open-back headphones (to those considering buying headphones for virtual room mixing: open backs are necessary to avoid an enclosed, reflective "mini-room" inside the headphones too).


Lastly...

I'd like to see a Sonarworks + Waves collaboration, where they license your measuring-skill and technology for headphone correction into NX. They've agreed to adding their own EQ correction but there's a slight risk that it becomes a hasty afterthought (and then it'd be almost pointless). Whereas you guys at Sonarworks are basing your entire company on doing that single but crucial task to perfection.

I'd certainly like to see a licensing deal, which benefits Sonarworks with tens of thousands of extra customers (who would never have found Sonarworks otherwise), and benefits Waves with effortless access to the best headphone calibrations in the world plus the ability for professionals to get personalized calibrations via Sonarworks (something I don't think Waves would be able to offer on their own, but which would make NX an even better and more appealing product for pros).

However, I'm not in charge at Waves or Sonarworks so all I can do is put forth the suggestion of a collaboration.

1 day to Waves NX!...
Old 28th January 2016 | Show parent
  #109
Gear Guru
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temptin View Post
Hi Sonarworks! Yes, that's why I am so excited! Waves has some "serious digital know-how", so I am hoping they'll finally nail the "virtual room simulation" sound. All previous room simulation products are made by homebrew developers (usually single-person brands operating with the standard "DSP cookbook" algorithms that everyone else uses) and they didn't impress me at all (bad/boxy room reverbs, bad/fake stereo image, etc).

The reason Waves is so exciting is that Waves NX is aiming at creating a very neutral, linear sound, which means it will basically take your mix and play it in a perfect room, with nice reflections and reverb but without any unnecessary non-linear color. Its goal is to give you the 3D sound + crosstalk of mixing on speakers, but with a perfect frequency response/sound.

That is why I brought up calibration earlier in this thread. Because it is a perfect companion for NX: To hear the perfectly balanced Waves NX room, you need perfectly balanced headphones (otherwise the frequency balance will still be wrong and extremely colored by the headphones). Sonarworks achieves that perfection. Putting it last in the chain (of course) after NX, means that the headphones play a balanced image of the clean room sound, which gives you the cleanest and most balanced monitoring system in the world.

For those who have not heard Sonarworks, I suggest downloading the demo (Headphone Calibration - Sonarworks). The result of correcting your headphones with Sonarworks is mind-blowing. Harsh and fatiguing highs vanish, shrieking mids become flat, and the bass becomes balanced. Details that were hidden behind boomy/peaky bass or treble are suddenly perfectly audible. Even "flat" headphones are far from flat (peaks and valleys of +/- 12 dB are common), and all headphones benefit massively from Sonarworks. Peaks will mask out adjacent frequencies, and dips will hide some sounds completely, so headphone calibration is a must together with Waves NX.

I would not be surprised if super-balanced headphones with super-balanced room simulation (like Waves NX + Sonarworks) becomes a new way of mixing which encourages some people to stop using speakers completely. Technology is certainly moving in the direction of making that possible. Real rooms, no matter how acoustically treated, are absolute hells of reflection and phase issues and can never compete with the limitless potential of algorithmic perfection inside of open-back headphones (to those considering buying headphones for virtual room mixing: open backs are necessary to avoid an enclosed, reflective "mini-room" inside the headphones too).


Lastly...

I'd like to see a Sonarworks + Waves collaboration, where they license your measuring-skill and technology for headphone correction into NX. They've agreed to adding their own EQ correction but there's a slight risk that it becomes a hasty afterthought (and then it'd be almost pointless). Whereas you guys at Sonarworks are basing your entire company on doing that single but crucial task to perfection.

I'd certainly like to see a licensing deal, which benefits Sonarworks with tens of thousands of extra customers (who would never have found Sonarworks otherwise), and benefits Waves with effortless access to the best headphone calibrations in the world plus the ability for professionals to get personalized calibrations via Sonarworks (something I don't think Waves would be able to offer on their own, but which would make NX an even better and more appealing product for pros).

However, I'm not in charge at Waves or Sonarworks so all I can do is put forth the suggestion of a collaboration.

1 day to Waves NX!...
Waves to achieve a perfect souding room must have used some headphone as a translator ....so unless it was completly linear , while your conlusion and reflection makes full sens , it will not work using some like soundarwoks .
Old 28th January 2016 | Show parent
  #110
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
Waves to achieve a perfect souding room must have used some headphone [to check that their room sound is neutral] ....so unless [their own headphone] was completly linear [during development and tuning], while your conlusion and reflection makes full sens , it will not [be a linear room even if] using some like soundarwoks .
I had to read your message above multiple times and think I've interpreted it correctly (all re-phrased interpretations are within "[brackets]" in the quote above). It seems like you think that Waves must have tuned the room via their own headphones during development, meaning that unless *their* headphones were neutral during development, the room would already have unavoidable color and a messed up frequency balance thanks to the headphones they used while "trying to balance" things towards neutrality. Thankfully that is not true. They didn't have to balance anything.

Waves NX is not a real room sample/recording (aka impulse response) which needs any tuning. It is an algorithmic room simulation written in code, without using any microphones or samples. It's not based in reality at all. So it doesn't matter what Waves used to listen to their own room during development, because the room is completely written in code and therefore automatically perfectly neutral without needing them to double-check anything.

They're algorithms, so Waves can easily make the room perfectly linear without ever needing to verify it anywhere; simply by not adding any non-linear code that says things like "Double all bass below 300 Hz and add resonance to it" etc (that'd be a non-linear room model, and the kind of thing that can happen in a real room).

Waves has said that their algorithm is as perfectly linear as possible. That means they don't have any "let's add color"-code. All frequencies are treated equally, the virtual speakers have a perfectly flat frequency response, and things like their room reverb is as flat as possible, etc.

So your music (neutral spectrum) plays into a perfectly neutral room (NX), and the neutral spectrum of your music is therefore preserved by NX automatically. That was the whole goal of NX; the world's cleanest room (only possible thanks to being written completely in code), while still giving the surround sensation of mixing in a room.

But why stop there...? You need to calibrate your own final listening device, your headphones, towards towards neutrality if you want to hear NX's neutrality in order to make even better mix decisions in this algorithmic room. Otherwise your final output device (the headphones) will add their own massive color to the final playback, which will then suffocate and mask important frequencies (as usual for all uncalibrated headphones). That's why EQ calibration is a vital final output step after this NX product, for the best sounding neutrality. That gives you both a neutral room and a neutral headphone to listen to that room with.

PS: "Soundarwoks" made me laugh. I hope the wok pan below makes you all hungry. I just woke up and need to cook something...

Hopefully NX is released today, Thursday, as promised. I'll keep an eye on the waves.com frontpage later today.
Attached Thumbnails
Waves Audio Announces Waves Nx – a Virtual  Mix Room Plugin-wok.jpg  
Old 28th January 2016 | Show parent
  #111
Gear Guru
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temptin View Post
I had to read your message above multiple times and think I've interpreted it correctly (all re-phrased interpretations are within "[brackets]" in the quote above). It seems like you think that Waves must have tuned the room via their own headphones during development, meaning that unless *their* headphones were neutral during development, the room would already have unavoidable color and a messed up frequency balance thanks to the headphones they used while "trying to balance" things towards neutrality. Thankfully that is not true. They didn't have to balance anything.

Waves NX is not a real room sample/recording (aka impulse response) which needs any tuning. It is an algorithmic room simulation written in code, without using any microphones or samples. It's not based in reality at all. So it doesn't matter what Waves used to listen to their own room during development, because the room is completely written in code and therefore automatically perfectly neutral without needing them to double-check anything.

They're algorithms, so Waves can easily make the room perfectly linear without ever needing to verify it anywhere; simply by not adding any non-linear code that says things like "Double all bass below 300 Hz and add resonance to it" etc (that'd be a non-linear room model, and the kind of thing that can happen in a real room).

Waves has said that their algorithm is as perfectly linear as possible. That means they don't have any "let's add color"-code. All frequencies are treated equally, the virtual speakers have a perfectly flat frequency response, and things like their room reverb is as flat as possible, etc.

So your music (neutral spectrum) plays into a perfectly neutral room (NX), and the neutral spectrum of your music is therefore preserved by NX automatically. That was the whole goal of NX; the world's cleanest room (only possible thanks to being written completely in code), while still giving the surround sensation of mixing in a room.

But why stop there...? You need to calibrate your own final listening device, your headphones, towards towards neutrality if you want to hear NX's neutrality in order to make even better mix decisions in this algorithmic room. Otherwise your final output device (the headphones) will add their own massive color to the final playback, which will then suffocate and mask important frequencies (as usual for all uncalibrated headphones). That's why EQ calibration is a vital final output step after this NX product, for the best sounding neutrality. That gives you both a neutral room and a neutral headphone to listen to that room with.

PS: "Soundarwoks" made me laugh. I hope the wok pan below makes you all hungry. I just woke up and need to cook something...

Hopefully NX is released today, Thursday, as promised. I'll keep an eye on the waves.com frontpage later today.
Thks a lot for your answer ...if what you describes about waves process is accurate , adding sonarworks make perfect sens , yes .

But i m really not sure that you developp a pro audio app with referencing the results for at least real human feedback tweaks ...
The movement feedback alone must have been tweak by human feedback and as we all know it impacts imaging and freq balance

That said , i validate your approach with is the most logical and the closer to perfection ...
Old 28th January 2016
  #112
Lives for gear
 
digital 1010's Avatar
The real question is when is the demo online today
Old 28th January 2016
  #113
Old 28th January 2016 | Show parent
  #114
Lives for gear
 
mike1k's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by waves NX View Post


Old 28th January 2016
  #115
Here for the gear
 

Server overload? Every time I press "Demo for 14 days" it says "Processing request" then it says "An error has occurred. Please contact Tech Support."
Old 28th January 2016 | Show parent
  #116
Lives for gear
 
Dusty Angel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unread.mail View Post
Server overload? Every time I press "Demo for 14 days" it says "Processing request" then it says "An error has occurred. Please contact Tech Support."
same here

edit: now its working

Last edited by Dusty Angel; 28th January 2016 at 05:57 PM..
Old 28th January 2016
  #117
Gear Head
 

we are trying to track the download problem. can you retry and let me know if this still happens. should be working OK now
Old 28th January 2016
  #118
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
Thumbs up Waves NX = 100% Recommended!

Wohoo, the countdown is over!

I jumped on this as soon as it landed, as promised. Here's the first quick review:
  • Extremely clean and linear speaker sound. The frequency-difference between NX bypassed or enabled is subtle, mainly noticeable as a slight bass reduction and tightening since the "speakers" are further away than the headphones (they've modeled the proximity effect). There's also a very, very soft and transparent clarity increase in the high end due to a few -1.5 dB notches in the frequency response up there (which is probably just caused by the phase changes from the 3D position modeling). It really preserves the frequency balance extremely well while still sounding like a real room - the world's cleanest room. Something not possible in reality. NX sounds way better and cleaner than any million-dollar room in the real world.
  • Extremely clean and realistic room reverb which has realistic color while being extremely clean and airy (no boxiness whatsoever). The incredible clarity of this one is a first for room simulators and isn't matched by any earlier product.
  • Speaker rotation works; the 3D surround image is very good. The realism of the 180 degrees in front of you is perfect. Behind you is good-enough, but that's to be expected of any room simulator; I have never encountered any room simulator or impulse response that nails the "behind you" sound, but who cares about mixing with the speakers behind you anyway? So that is not a downside. NX kicks complete ass where it matters: In front of you and the sides.
  • The ability to change the angle between the speakers is great, letting you hear the speaker width you want, but it should mostly be at the default 60 degrees.
  • Adding more or less room reverb (ambience) works perfectly, letting you go as wet or dry as you want. Wetter sounds more like a 3-dimensional room and actually sounds like distant speakers at the highest settings, and dry preserves more bass but sounds a bit less like a room. You can choose the exact room depth you want. The default is 25% which is a good "wow, it's a 3D room!" value while still being very clean, but you'll want to reduce it to 15-20% to tighten up the sound a bit more for actual work.

Waves nailed it. Instant purchase. The first algorithmic room simulator that really nails clean linearity and realism, unlike anything ever before on the market.

Combine NX with headphone EQ calibration for the perfect room.

Edit: Attached a white noise test graph proving how perfectly linear NX is (the white line is the linear white noise, and the red line is the NX result). The same linearity can be seen (and heard) with music material, but it's harder to capture good screenshots of that. As you can see from the white noise, there are a few boosts and notches but they're soft, only about +/- 1.5 dB, and I am almost 100% sure that they're caused by the *necessary* phase changes when modeling speaker positions in 3D, which will of course affect frequencies a bit. If you actually listen to NX, you'll hear what I mentioned above about the slight bass reduction and tightening, and a slightly cleaner high-end thanks to the high-end notches. Overall, the audible differences are very subtle and extremely linear, and this graph doesn't substitute for hearing its incredible sound with your own ears! The frequency linearity is one hell of an achievement for something that simultaneously manages to change the input into something that convincingly simulates speakers in 3D!

Edit 2: Also check out my other post for audio demos and a technique for coloring NX to your tastes: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/11661487-post129.html
Attached Thumbnails
Waves Audio Announces Waves Nx – a Virtual  Mix Room Plugin-nx_is_linear.jpg  
Old 28th January 2016
  #119
Old 28th January 2016
  #120
Here for the gear
 

Bass end on NX

I struggle most with fluctuating bass levels on my monitor system, so fascinated to see if this will give me a more realistic assessment of bass levels and tonality
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