Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk Speaker Calibration Software

  • This topic has 7 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Ken Nilsen.
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    Jeff Hollowell -

      Greetings All,
      Do any of you use speaker calibration software (Sonarworks, IK Multimedia ARC)? And if so, what is your opinion? If you don't use it, I would like to hear your opinion too. For those of us with less than perfect listening spaces and small budgets, would speaker calibration software help to get a better mix?



      Warren Huart

        Great question JJ! I hadn't until yesterday used anything like that, I just used Genelec's 'Smart Active Monitor' System at Sunset Sound. It was fantastic! The software was amazing and it rang out the room and created an EQ curve for the speakers! The results were spectacular! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

        Markus Hofer

          i use sonarworks
          it helped me big time
          it was always a struggle to get my mixes to translate
          when i heard my mixes in the car they where
          always muddy and had a lack of top end and punch.
          after i calibrated my monitors i looked at the eq curve and it was clear why 🙂
          i had a huge bump at 100hz in my room and a dip at 350
          now my mixes translate much better.

          • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Markus Hofer.
          Patrick Bonier

            I bought the ARC 2.5 System several months ago, but never got around to setting it up in my studio. I was talking with a buddy of mine about it yesterday, and finally decided to set it up this morning. I haven't used it for mixing yet, but I found the analysis that the software did to be very enlightening, and it explained to me why I have been pushing certain frequencies in my mixes.

            On my Yamahas I had a pretty big dip around 100 (5db!) and then again about 3db in a couple spots in the hi-mids, as well as some spikes around 250 and 400. Similar results on my KRKs, which shows that the problem is the room, not the speakers.

            I was able to do separate profiles for my Yamahas and my KRKs, which is a nice feature. I usually set up some gobos when I'm tracking, so tomorrow, I'll set up the gobos and do profiles for both sets of speakers with the gobos in place.

            I tried it out with Warren's mix of "Wide Awake" and was pretty impressed with the improvement after engaging the ARC.

            I know that Graham Cochrane uses the ARC system, which is one of the reasons I bought it when it went on sale a while back. I think it was under $150 and it came with a measuring mic.

            So, bottom line, my opinion is that it is well worth it. I am also planning on buying the Sonorworks headphone plugin.

            face (chris) Janton

              I use ARC (2). When I first installed it my mixes changed noticeably. After listening to everything coming out of my system through the correction (I use Audio Hijack to capture all sound and route through correction) for a number of months I will now say that my mixes improved. Right along with my listening being improved 😉 For the most part it has helped me with the low frequency side of things.

              I have profiles for all of my output sources (2 for my mains, close and further back), small AV40 pair, output pair from my piano/keyboard, and even my mono "grot box" (1980s vintage Kawai powered speaker).

              Changed my life. When I got a new stereo/home theater system I made sure that I used the built-in correction setup to compensate for the viewing room.

              The only reason that I would not use correction would be if it caused my sound to get worse. That only happens when I print through the room correction plugin (oops, silly me) so I don't do that any more.

              Jonathan Parker

                Sonarworks Reference 4. Highly recommended.

                Niki Pichler


                  i also use sonarworks reference 4. it is really good but can cloud your mind! it isn't a get out of the jail free card at all. your room has to be treated quite good and your speakers should also be not on the shitty side to produce an even distributed setup.

                  also hearing everything flat is not that intuitive as one might think from the beginning.

                  for me it improved my tempo because my mixes are more balanced right out of my studio with the sonarworks on but it isn't a substitution of listening on many different devices to get the best results!

                  it is also good for me having two other "headphone sounds" as i have 2 pairs of headphones + 2 pairs with sonarworks on so i have more reference devices!

                  so long story short yes it is a really good tool but not that magical as one might think!

                  cheers, Niki

                  Ken Nilsen

                    Hi. I've been using ARC 2.5 for approx a year, and feel it helps with my room. I have some buildups and dips in the bass freq's. The room is not treated enough, so the issue is in the room, not the software.
                    But I also feel I miss/lack some 3D when using it, so I reference with and without ARC, plus headphones.
                    All the best.

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