Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk Sonarworks

  • This topic has 11 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by Samuel Botstein.
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  • #43291
    Anders Larsson
    Participant

      Hi,

      I have been trying Sonarworks headphone plug, and I like it.
      Does anyone have any experience with Sonarworks plugins?
      I have studio monitors as well and are thinking about buying the whole bundle with microphone and headphones.

      is this something to spend money on or is it better to buy sound panels for $ 699? 🙂

      Thanks!

      #43296
      Jared Sherman
      Participant

        I use Sonarworks and I am happy with it. What I would recommend is getting Sonarworks and get a response curve for your room first because of how relatively inexpensive it is compared with full room treatment. Then when you get more funds you can start adding treatment, and each time you add more treatment you get the new frequency response for the room with Sonarworks. Sonarworks isn’t a 100% replacement for a badly treated Room, but it is flexible so that it can change as your room changes and will only give better results as you make your room less acoustically challenged.

        #43299
        Anders Larsson
        Participant

          okay, you mean the whole bundle with a microphone and "their" headphones?

          Thanks for your reply? 🙂

          [quote quote=43296]I use Sonarworks and I am happy with it. What I would recommend is getting Sonarworks and get a response curve for your room first because of how relatively inexpensive it is compared with full room treatment. Then when you get more funds you can start adding treatment, and each time you add more treatment you get the new frequency response for the room with Sonarworks. Sonarworks isn’t a 100% replacement for a badly treated Room, but it is flexible so that it can change as your room changes and will only give better results as you make your room less acoustically challenged.[/quote]

          #43300
          Jared Sherman
          Participant

            No I was thinking more like the cheaper “Studio Edition” that way you can use whatever headphones you want. They have reference curves for all the most popular studio headphones so as long as your existing set of headphones is in that list you should be fine. Just recall the response curve for that pair of headphones in the plugin and you’re ready to mix. If you really want calibration you can always send in your headphones to them and have them get the precise response for your unique set of headphones and they will send you a preset file you can call up in the software. The pre-installed headphone curves are based on an average of their calibrations for a particular model of headphones and I haven’t found any issue with those enough to want to send my headphones in, but who knows, maybe I will someday.

            #43350
            Anders Larsson
            Participant

              I have tried that studio version and I like it.

              Is it important to have a headphone amp when I mix in headphones?

              [quote quote=43300]No I was thinking more like the cheaper “Studio Edition” that way you can use whatever headphones you want. They have reference curves for all the most popular studio headphones so as long as your existing set of headphones is in that list you should be fine. Just recall the response curve for that pair of headphones in the plugin and you’re ready to mix. If you really want calibration you can always send in your headphones to them and have them get the precise response for your unique set of headphones and they will send you a preset file you can call up in the software. The pre-installed headphone curves are based on an average of their calibrations for a particular model of headphones and I haven’t found any issue with those enough to want to send my headphones in, but who knows, maybe I will someday.[/quote]

              #43472
              Jared Sherman
              Participant

                It’s definitely helpful to have a headphone amp, I know Warren says the Little Labs one is really good. I use the SPL Phonitor 2 but that one is pricey. You don’t absolutely have to have one to mix with good results though.

                #43475
                Sean Johnson
                Participant

                  Hey Anders,

                  I've been experimenting with Sonarworks and other similar plugins. I don't have monitors yet and most of my mixing is on my laptop in my office at work so headphones are a requirement.

                  Currently I use KRK KNS6400s but just ordered (MassDrop) Sennheiser HD650s which wont arrive until August 30 :(.

                  I found SW - headphone correction really helps my KRKs, but I still find I need to HEAVILY reference to know what they really sound like. Unfortunately, my evaluation ran out, so until I can afford to buy SW I just looked at the correction curve for the KRKs and HD650s and copied the Frequency and dB corrections into an EQ and saved that as a preset on my monitor bus (doesn't affect export there). As far as I can tell I get the same correction....and it's tweakable..so if i find I regularly have too much 450Hz in my mixes I can boost that in the correction eq so I am more inclined to mix that frequency differently.

                  Regarding amps. I contacted Sonarworks and Sennheiser and asked which ones they recommended...at least for the HD650 (which is a 300ohm speaker) and they both recommended http://www.schiit.com/products/magni-3 for $99.

                  -Sean

                  #43515
                  Samuel Botstein
                  Participant

                    I got a pair of HD6XX headphones and sent them through Sonarworks for the individual calibration service. It took a very long time round-trip and communicating with their customer service was frustrating. I believe they allowed me an educational discount.

                    I quite like and recommend the individual calibration service with the headphone edition of the plugin. I appreciate the low-latency and phase linear settings available on the plugin. The graphs of the frequency and phase response, adjustments, etc are pretty and at least let one know what exactly is going on, unlike some competing products from Waves and others. The measurement PDF that one gets with this service is sort of neat to know and have on record too, especially when one has multiple pairs of headphones for people to use.

                    The Sennheiser headphones with model numbers 600 or greater are all flat enough with decent bass extension to achieve good flatness when using the plugin without weirdness. I bet that planar magnetic headphones with their excellent and quite flat bass extension could be calibrated and get great results as well. In terms of amps, all the Schiit products, especially the ones not involving tubes, are certainly adequate or even great for use with this. I have my heart set on picking up a Little Labs Monotor soon, but admit that the Schiit Jotunheim, Mjolnir 2, and Ragnarok (all the balanced ones) are tempting. I found the RND RNHP to be fine but edged out by the Monotor.

                    I'm dubious about using Sonarworks stuff with and for loudspeakers, and know the variances between pairs of some headphones to be great enough that using the plugin with the averages they provide as opposed to a curve based on measurements of one's actual pairs seems dubious to me as well, but I find it useful with the individually calibrated headphones.

                    I also don't like the systemwide applet's annoying/tenacious behavior on macOS very much, despite the convenience and quality of the sound, and also dislike that the profiles for my specific pair of headphones live among the averages for silly headphones I'd never be caught wearing that repopulate automatically after being manually deleted.

                    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by Samuel Botstein.
                    #43697
                    Jared Sherman
                    Participant

                      Samuel, thanks for the experience you shared with the calibration service, it sounds like it was an overall good experience for you. Maybe I will do that at some point myself. I also agree that I am not a real big fan of Systemwide, I like your “tenacious” description, haha.

                      #44346
                      Scott Chandler
                      Participant

                        So would you all say that Sonarworks is a good investment? If I'm used to the way my monitors headphones sound? It's killing me because I feel like between the car test, ear buds and my surround system at home I feel like I get a good feel of how its going to turn out. I would almost rather take that money and save up for better pre-amps or something more exciting.

                        #44360
                        Jared Sherman
                        Participant

                          Hey Scott, if you are happy with your monitoring situation then by all means, use that money where it will make a bigger impact for you. Or even just save your money altogether. Don’t feel like you HAVE to have it.

                          #44433
                          Samuel Botstein
                          Participant

                            Hi Scott,

                            I only think the individual calibration (where one buys headphones from or send headphones to them) and the associated software is worth it. I do not use it for loudspeakers or without the individual calibration.

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