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Ik Multimedia ARC system in an untreated room.
Old 21st September 2012
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Ik Multimedia ARC system in an untreated room.

Hey all,

I'm hoping to get some answers on this as soon as I can.

I have someone asking me about the ARC system and whether or not it can be effective when used in a room that is not treated. By not treated, I mean not treated at all. It's an apartment where he does small mixing and mastering jobs here and there. I understand that ARC most likely works best in a room that has been treated and room correction has been applied as much as possible, but I was wondering if ARC would at least improve his space at all?

Before any money is dropped, it would be great to hear some peoples thoughts on this.

Thanks so much.
Old 22nd September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Depends on the room. Could make matters worse to have flat frequency because of phase shift or transient smearing, if using FIR. Also, depending on how large the response varies, there is a correlation to the amount of volume lost because of monitoring distortion.

It is really intended as a final touch to a treated room.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
GIK Acoustics's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpusOfTrolls ➑️
Depends on the room. Could make matters worse to have flat frequency because of phase shift or transient smearing, if using FIR. Also, depending on how large the response varies, there is a correlation to the amount of volume lost because of monitoring distortion.

It is really intended as a final touch to a treated room.
+1. More here: Acoustic Primer - Room Setup, Testing, Treatments
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Liam Judah's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GIK Acoustics ➑️
Great read, thanks.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #5
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Bad is good

In my experiments with software room correction, I found it to work best when the room/treatment is in bad shape. Biggest improvement. When the room is well treated and positions optimised, there is still a subtle improvement in the listening zone. A recent survey found that not all these apps actually work.
Another survey found that four pro apps all made useful improvements in badly performing Control Rooms, and had little effect on good ones.

DD
Old 23rd September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Lights's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
DanDan could you point us to the source material? Would love to read. As you know (you helped me a lot with my little home project studio) I have made some great improvements in my space but the bass is still not ruler-flat. I'm seriously considering buying ARC2 (didn't know other room correction solutions existed, honestly) once they do a maintenance update or two and want to be as educated as possible. I'm less worried about the cost as the risk that I make things worse, not better.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #7
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Survey

If the product is competent and your wishes are realistic, I cannot imagine worse happening.
Eq tends to work best in the lowest, often untreatable range.
A correction in the listening zone may well make FR worse outside that zone. So realistic expectation.
Be aware that some products simply don't work, although it might be hard to identify which is which.
For some reason I think bwo knows.

The Control Room survey was somehow part of the Institute of Acoustics. Probably the Reproduced Sound subgroup. I read it in the IoA Bulletin, as I am a member. If it comes to hand I may scan it.
The other survey is associated with Sean Olive You will be able to get into it here Audio Musings by Sean Olive: The Subjective and Objective Evaluation of Room Correction Products

I do note that Sean mentions that flat response is often not what is best.
Similar to many others, he recommends a HF roll off.

I am helping Dirac Live by Beta Testing their product. There are operational issues. I doubt that they have a ProTools HD rig. But I have found a workaround. Sonically it works very well. It should work straight off on any native system.

MiniDSP.com are well worth a look also. REW will generate filters for that very affordable hardware.

DD
Old 25th September 2012
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Hmm,

Sounds like some mixed opinions. Very much appreciated, nonetheless. Maybe it's best he grab it, try it and see if it makes an improvement. If not, take it back. Maybe it's also best to buy some 3 inch acoustic foam and place some in front, beside and behind him, then use ARC to make any further improvements?

Thanks a lot for your input. Any more is welcome.
Old 26th September 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Also, any room correction system has a limit of effectiveness. Applying EQ to peaks and notches in low frequencies is usually quite simple, if the room is small to medium sized. The only thing to do with mids and highs is wide Q adjustments to get equal power levels. IOW, mids and highs peaks/notches get EQed as groups and lows get EQed individually, in most circumstances.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
GIK Acoustics's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wreckthisplace ➑️
Maybe it's also best to buy some 3 inch acoustic foam and place some in front, beside and behind him, then use ARC to make any further improvements?
I would suggest broadband treatments instead of something like foam. Probably the most common problem we see in small rooms is bass resonances. Resonance extends out to the time domain. IOW, even after the frequency is played it continues to ring out in the room. ARC and similar programs can not change that. They can turn down peaks, which is certainly helpful, but won't alter any effects in the time domain. Broadband treatments will address those issues in the time domain.

I would recommend bass traps in the 4 corners as well as first reflection points. This is why I suggest broadband bass traps over foam: Testing Acoustic Foam Bass Traps

As you can see, the corner foam bass traps hardly had any effect on the frequency spectrum nor the resonances in the room (which ARC can't correct either).

ARC can certainly make improvements aside from ringing though. Also, if you have any weak bass spots (nulls) in the lower frequency spectrum you can usually get at those by moving the listening position or speaker position. I'd make sure to get that set up first. After all, you wont have to spend any money on figuring out the right position!
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Head
 
Camembert's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpusOfTrolls ➑️
Depends on the room. Could make matters worse to have flat frequency because of phase shift or transient smearing, if using FIR. Also, depending on how large the response varies, there is a correlation to the amount of volume lost because of monitoring distortion.

It is really intended as a final touch to a treated room.

Hello I got a question about FIR.

I tried REW with convolver & Foobar player. So I create a wav from the REW filter. (there's a bugg, it can't create a stereo WAV file, so I mixed it with L+R)

I founded the result very amazing, sound was very much accurate, much less boomy. "Right" too my ears.

So I used it with different plugins in Cubase because ConvolverVST never worked. SiR or keFIR, doesn't seems to gave the same result than convolver on Foobar. Whatever parameters I setted in the plugins. Weird.
But it's not really my question, I think I'll use a classic parametric Eq. (I did a test, takes me long time but fine result too)

I read here I shouldn't use "Linear Phase" option (things that start to make feel dumb, hard to understand, I'm not a pro)
To me it sound like you want add 2 signals so you Eq with linear phase, like 2 drivers. I read this Eq kill the low, they never use it in mastering.
Q: Does the FIR I use with convolver have the same problem than linear phase Eq setting in a parametric eq?

PS: I'm going to buy some Gik panels.
I was about to buy crappy basotect. Lately I read a pro who wrote that classic foam was better in absorbtion in reality.
Its always said that basotect is superior, but it seems there are many other factors than "absorbtion" to get good absorbtion. Aaaaahhh!!
He wrote also that they will never compete with big panels. So for the price I know what I'm going to buy. (don't want to DIY)

Since REW I changed everything in my room, to be very symetric and care with distances and also with the nature of the walls, etc. I did tests with what I could find for treatments. Very promising.

Sorry for the big roman in lousy english, acoustic can be fascinating sometime, don't kill me
Old 26th September 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Convolution itself does not imply linear phase. It is the impulse response that does it. If the impulse response is minimum phase, it is exactly the same as the standard IIR eq.

SIR is not the convolver you want. I am unsure about keFIR, but the convolver you want will not have a delay. If you are familiar with FL studio, there is the Fruity Convolver, which is real time. Since I use this for convolution, I don't know what other real time convolution VSTs there are.

Linear phase requires a delay and also adds pre-ring to the signal. Any convolution should be able to do it. But it can be obvious when listening, that linear phase isn't exactly clean.

Also make sure you take the impulse at the sample rate you intend to use it. You don't want to resample an impulse, because it always adds artifacts.
Old 27th September 2012
  #13
Gear Head
 
Camembert's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks for the explanation OpusOfTrolls.

I'll try Fl studio to see that, I used it a bit in the past, it was cool and fun to play with. I think I saw that there was a convolver for it (or maybe Reason) when I was looking for a VST.
Really bad that convolverVST from Foobar bug in Cubase.
No sound at all and big CPU freeze, I checked the frequency setting too.

Most convolver's are meant for reverb or amp. Maybe a tool like nebula with it's sampler to convert the WAV impulse. Perhaps Altiverb. But it's not the easiest way I think.

I really have no idea if my impulse reponse is "linear phase" in REW, it's a long sweep recorded with unknow phase with my hardware =]
With luck the impulse is normal because miniDSP hardware is meant to work with REW impulse reponse filter.

I didn't tried to play keys or guitar while listening with the filter, so I didn't hear the delay, now I'll know.

I will continue to found a way to use a FIR eq in Cubase, cause it was fast to make a filter (so I can make many tests.) that make an excellent job to my ears (a little better than the classic Eq, but I used linear phase back, I though it was better of course..)
I'd the idea to reroute master signal to another host, or using rewire.

I'll wait for my panels then I'll spend time on DMG Eq in minimum phase setting.
Again thanks for your help.
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