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Has anyone ever heard of Sonarworks room optimization?


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I demoed their Headphone calibration software a while back. Seemed pretty cool. I have some Sennheiser HD280's which are one of the ones they have a "generic" correction for. Seems to work pretty well. But considering how colored they are, I'm not sure it's something I can really trust. They just released an update that has a correction for the KNS8400's, which I also have. I need to check it out and see what it does. It definitely makes a difference. But never put it through the paces to see if it was really worth it.

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I finally got it to work. I installed 3.0 and then 3.1 update. According to support I didn't need to install 3.0 first. But for some reason none of the graphs showed up.

 

However once I got it installed i really does seem to work well. I mostly use "cans" these days due to not having a room I can use. So I'm getting used to the difference in work flow. I've ended up with half a dozen different models of earphones. Both over the ear and in-ear. My current favorites are my Flare Audio R2Pro's. Those things are simply beastly. Amazing clarity and transient response. But a lot more lows and low mids than I'm used to so I tend to end up with thin mixes if I exclusively use them. They also have slightly "relaxed" highs. So I can sometimes push the highs a bit. However my old "go to's" were my Etymotic ER4PT's. Which is handy because they're almost the opposite. Lots of top end detail and clarity but lacking in the lows.

 

The KNS8400's with the plug-in are now somewhere in between. Still not as revealing as either, but a good tonal balance. My last church service I mixed I mostly used the KNS's. Then checked my mix on the others. Both revealed somethings I needed to touch up, but overall it wasn't anything major. Just a few freq's in the low mids of the piano that were too strong, and the lead vocals were a touch sibilant. I thought they were almost too bright on the KNS's, but wasn't sure and wanted that "up front" sound. But when I listened on the Ety's, they needed some de-essing.

 

Now without the plug-in they are good, but kind of "honky". I can use them, but the plug-in really does smooth them out and make them easier to listen to. It's cool because you can turn it on and off and hear the difference. In fact I did that on occasion, just to get a "different" perspective. And that's one thing I've figured out. Your ears tend to adjust to whatever headphones you're listening to. Much more than monitors. So keeping different points of reference are important. And I think the 3 sets I mentioned will be my current references. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. But if I had to rate them from "Keep your hands off" to "hear use these, if you break them I won't cry", it would easily go R2Pros, Ety's, KNS.

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I use RAL which is a high end pro grade program that's been out a long time. https://www.trueaudio.com/rta_abt1.htm

 

The full version I have has allot of stuff that's really high tech. Some of it I don't even understand very well. Its designed for

acoustic engineers who would have a use for allot of that stuff designing Theatres, setting up and tuning in house sound systems and pro recording studios. The company used to make hardware versions of the tools and were an industry standard years ago.

 

The only drawback I found was the program is designed to be installed on a computer with a dual channel sound card. When I tried it on my DAW it locked two channels for its use and wouldn't let go of them when I closed the program. This really blew because I had to uninstall the program to release the channels to record, then I had to get a new password to reinstall it.

 

I eventually set it up on an older laptop and use it for testing. The free version will likely do many of the basic things you do in most studios. They may have fixed the driver issue too. I bought my copy before Win 7 was out and it looks like they may have fixed that one bug.

 

The one you posted Phil seems to be designed for a DAW and seems to target the things important to tuning a room. The main thing you need is a reference mic. If you haven't got that the program is useless. Any normal mic that has hills and valleys in the frequency response will give you false information.

Edited by WRGKMC
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Very interesting - thanks for the perspectives...

 

How is the CPU use / overhead of the software?

 

I didn't notice it using any. But I am now using a 12-core HP Z600. So that's not really playing fair when it comes to that question. ;)

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