IK Multimedia ARC is a full acoustic room correction system in a plug-in.
IK Multimedia has teamed up with the leading provider of sound equalization solutions, Audyssey, for the production of an innovative, low-cost and mobile solution to correct the distortion problems caused by room acoustics: ARC system.
IK Multimedia ARC Features
- The first and only room correction system in a plug-in for DAW-based studios
- Includes a calibrated measurement microphone, measurement software and multi-platform correction plug-in
- Improves clarity, stereo imaging and frequency response for faster, more reliable mixing
- Revolutionary Audyssey MultEQ® technology corrects frequency and phase response not only for the engineer’s ‘sweet spot’, but also multiple points in the room
- Step-by-step setup measurement wizard will have you up and running in minutes
- A convenient, unique, mobile correction solution for the traveling engineer
- Sonically 'treats' your room so you can finally trust the sound of your studio
- Natively compatible with 64-bit applications and operating systems (version 1.3)
One of the most critical factors influencing the quality of a music production is the accuracy of the monitoring system. In fact, the combination of speakers and room acoustics prove to be the weakest link in the music production chain. When monitors are placed in a room, the surrounding walls, ceiling, furniture and other objects reflect and absorb their sounds; creating complex distortions specific to the room- causing them to lose the accuracy they have been designed for, and you end up hearing more of the sound of the room than the music actually being produced.
ARC System delivers the most advanced solution to acoustical problems for any DAW-based studio. Combining a professionally calibrated microphone, standalone software that captures sound information and calculates proper room correction, and a multi-platform plug-in: this technology will improve how your studio sounds forever.
ARC features the revolutionary Audyssey MultEQ technology, which measures acoustical information throughout the listening area in your studio. It then combines this information to provide an accurate representation of the room’s acoustical problems. The equalization solution then corrects for both time and frequency response problems more effectively and efficiently than any other room correction EQ on the market. The result is a clear and reliable representation of your mix. Regardless of the acoustical issues in your studio, what you are recording, mixing or mastering becomes immediately clear and reliable and your studio sound will improve forever.
How ARC System works
1. The first step is to measure your room
To do this you can simply connect the included professional measurement microphone to any phantom powered MIC input in your audio interface and launch the included ARC System measurement software for Mac/PC. Then the software will guide you through 5 easy steps that will allow you to properly set up the microphone and measure your room. Thanks to Audyssey MultEQ technology (and uniquely compared to other room correction EQ system of advanced self-calibrating monitors), ARC System not only allows you to measure and correct the sweet-spot, (where normally, the mixing engineer is seated), but you can also measure multiple positions in the room ensuring the most accurate representation of its acoustical problems in the overall space. This way you will be able to correct the sweet-spot, but also other various listening positions with-in the room.
In fact, instead of applying a regular standard EQ as all other systems do (that will be valid
only on the sweet-spot, making all other room areas sound worse than before) the ARC system will analyze all zones you have in your studio, such as your center sweet-spot, producer desk or client couch. It will then provide a correction that effectively works on all of the zones, at the same time. Once the measurement has been taken, the measurement software will save its results as a file that describes the room acoustics and its relative correction. If you have various speakers in your studio, you can take multiple measurements and simply repeat the process then saving it in different files. The overall measurement process will take only a few minutes, even with the maximum number of measurements possible.
2. The second step is to apply the correction as a plug-in in your preferred DAW
The second step is to apply the correction as a plug-in in your preferred DAW. To do this, simply open your DAW and conveniently apply ARC System plug-in on the master BUS of your DAW (such as Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Sonar, Live, etc.), enable the correction on, and voila’: the distortion introduced by your room acoustics will be corrected, allowing you to finally trust the sound of your monitors and your studio. Now, you will be able to select the various measurements you have made from the plug-in interface, easily.
The below screen-shot detail of the ARC System plug-in shows how a highly distorted monitoring system is flattened almost perfectly when MultEQ is applied. In Orange is the actual room response, in Green is the flat-response of an ideal speakers/room system and in White is the corrected room response applied by ARC system. As you can see the low frequency extension of the speaker is not pushed beyond the physical limits of the speaker, another advantage in comparison to all conventional room correction EQ (auto
The audible results will be:
And the following advantages will be achieved:
- Low-end alterations, typically added by small rooms, are removed with better low frequency control
- More consistent frequency response across the entire range
- Tonal balance is restored, allowing for more accurate mixes
- Room defects will no longer capture your attention, allowing you to focus solely on the music and reducing your ears fatigue
- Work on mixes faster because you’re sure of what you’re hearing
- Achieve greater consistency on your music productions
- Achieve mixes that better translate to the outside world
Moreover, if you are a traveling musician, you can conveniently bring ARC system with you and quickly measure/correct any studio, so you can mix and produce comfortably in any situation, even the most erratic.
Room distortion in typical DAW-based studios
The vast majority of home and project DAW-based studios are placed in normal living rooms or bedrooms where space is limited and the room is not been designed for recording and mixing purpose plus generally possesses no or very few acoustic treatments.
The typical problems of working in these conditions, generally are:
- Speakers very close to walls tend to create strong peaks in the low frequency response. Matters get worse when the speakers are placed in corners. The bass response will be inconsistent and resonant, making it impossible to properly mix the lower portion of the spectrum.
- When speakers are placed non-symmetrically within a room, the different distance from surrounding walls create a very different tonal response between the two speakers. Some frequencies will sound out of phase when listening to both speakers.
- different types of wall surfaces with different reflections/absorptions capabilities (i.e. window on one side and a carpeted wall on another) create a completely wrong image because one side will sound brighter than the other.