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IK Multimedia ARC 3 - Calibration?
#3039071 04/16/20 05:06 PM
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Disclaimer - I have no affiliation with IK Multimedia. I have a few of their products, I paid for them.

This is new so I don't expect to see any reviews for some time.
https://www.ikmultimedia.com/produc..._medium=link&utm_campaign=arcsystem3

This is not the first calibration system available by any means.

My question is - does anybody (everybody?) here use a calibration system? Did it make it easier to mix? Were the results better in terms of translating to the real world?
At $150 crossgrade price including a microphone, I am considering this a possiblility.

Thanks, Kuru


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Re: IK Multimedia ARC 3 - Calibration?
KuruPrionz #3039123 04/16/20 10:25 PM
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This is the third generation of the IK Multimedia ARC system. They keep adding more features to it and refining it. I always wanted to try it out, but figured that unless you start out with a pretty good room, any corrections that you make with a system like this will sound different anywhere you listen. And I just have "a room" and depend on accurate monitors close enough to me and far enough from the walls so that I can work with them.

The thing you need to understand about this system is that it works as a plug-in on the master (or monitor) bus of a DAW. It's not something that you can start up and run any audio source through it (unless it goes through your DAW first). And you have to remember to bypass or remove it when bouncing a mix to a stereo file so that it doesn't get applied to the file that you're going to send off to the CD plant.

If you already have a decent room, you can probably make it better using the ARC. But it won't make a tuned control room out of a hall closet.

Re: IK Multimedia ARC 3 - Calibration?
Mike Rivers #3039147 04/17/20 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
This is the third generation of the IK Multimedia ARC system. They keep adding more features to it and refining it. I always wanted to try it out, but figured that unless you start out with a pretty good room, any corrections that you make with a system like this will sound different anywhere you listen. And I just have "a room" and depend on accurate monitors close enough to me and far enough from the walls so that I can work with them.

The thing you need to understand about this system is that it works as a plug-in on the master (or monitor) bus of a DAW. It's not something that you can start up and run any audio source through it (unless it goes through your DAW first). And you have to remember to bypass or remove it when bouncing a mix to a stereo file so that it doesn't get applied to the file that you're going to send off to the CD plant.

If you already have a decent room, you can probably make it better using the ARC. But it won't make a tuned control room out of a hall closet.

Thanks Sir Mike,
I do realize all of the above. We cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. My room is not large, it does open up into the kitchen area. I've got heavy quilts hanging from stands, primarily over the windows to reduce freeway noise.
There was an amazing flutter echo that I got rid of by hanging a quilt in a straight line from the one place where you could really hear it when you stood and spoke. I found it by accident.

I've got a pair of Mackie HR824 - the original USA models. They get pretty mixed reviews, some love, some hate. I don't turn them up loud and they are around 3' out in an equilateral triangle.
They are about 18" from the wall, with a quilt inbetween. They do have the low frequency passive radiators in the back.
I think they sound good but I don't like anything turned up too much.
I am pretty comfortable with them but thought the ARC system might at least address any frequency discrepencies.

A well tuned room is not in the works at this point. I do use headphones sometimes, I can get work done with them but do not trust them for final mixes.


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Re: IK Multimedia ARC 3 - Calibration?
Mike Rivers #3039331 04/17/20 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
If you already have a decent room, you can probably make it better using the ARC. But it won't make a tuned control room out of a hall closet.

shucks.


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
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Re: IK Multimedia ARC 3 - Calibration?
KuruPrionz #3039942 04/21/20 03:38 PM
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I know some people that like these systems, but I am always suspect of them. They can only make changes based on analyzing specific points in your room, and so if you move you lean back in your chair, they could actually be making things worse.


Ronan Chris Murphy - Producer-Engineer
(King Crimson, GWAR, Ulver, Mafia III)
ronanchrismurphy.com
Re: IK Multimedia ARC 3 - Calibration?
Ronan C Murphy #3039964 04/21/20 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronan C Murphy
I know some people that like these systems, but I am always suspect of them. They can only make changes based on analyzing specific points in your room, and so if you move you lean back in your chair, they could actually be making things worse.


Thanks Ronan, I appreciate the response.

And I understand what you are saying. In my case, external noise could be a factor, during busy times there is a low, underlying freeway sound in my humble condo living room studio. I can make adjustments to reduce that into insignificance when recording but a reference mic would be using that information for calibration and come up with inaccurate results. In a smaller room, the sound does change considerably with position too.

I'm going to continue as I am, incremental improvements as I go. I've made good progress in reducing the external noise and have plans to keep reducing it.


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Moderated by  Ronan C Murphy 

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