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Shadocaster, Anti-Nearfield Reflection System

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by audiokid, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    Acoustic Treatment Built In.

    Presenting ShadocasterTM …the anti-near field reflection system that “paints” a reflection free zone on the desktop. The result is a startlingly clear audio image.
    This level of detail and dynamics is almost never heard outside of a carefully designed acoustic space; and never for less than tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and acoustic treatment.

    View: http://vimeo.com/102349166
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    It's an interesting Idea.
    I checked the website, they sell it bundled and the less expensive one is 4000$
    I first thought this could be cool for people who have limited budget to buy room threatement.
    but with that price !!! That's not it.
    The video says it doesn't fix the side reflections. So WHO will buy this?
    I'd rather buy 3000$ monitors and 1000$ of room threatment (if I had the money) lol

    On a personal note, I think they are quite ugly ! I guess it's like the beetle or the nissan cube, you like it or hate it.. ;)
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I don't know what to think either, these are so different, who knows. The increasing testimonials are pretty positive. The further I get into mixing, the more it revolves around acoustics and monitoring so I'm open minded. I'm going to try and get a pair to test.

    They look bazaar enough, I bet the upgraded paint jobs are really wild!

    pcrecord likes this.
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Mmmmm....I dunno guys... You can do a whole lot of room treatment for that $4000 ...

    At this point, let's consider me to be dubious. But I'm always more than glad to be corrected, or illuminated. If Chris does get a pair to try, I'll wait for his report before I knock these any further. :)

    Just throwing a final thought out there ... Even if these things do work in an untreated or poorly treated room, they still wouldn't do a thing to help the acoustics of the room for tracking. ;)


    pcrecord likes this.
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    imagine what The Beatles could have done if they had them ..... ???

    the guy clearly says they do not address anything beside reflections off the console/desk . you still have to trap, you still have to treat for side reflections, you still have to fly a cloud and you still have to diffuse. oh yeah, you still have to get clients that pay.

    desk reflections have been an issue since dirt. i've seen many remedies from simply placing a piece of acoustic foam on top of the desk to console surfaces made from porous metals. still, a lot of people have been able to muddle through to make some pretty good records without having to resort to such hanky pankey.
    DonnyAir likes this.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Humbly edited:
    For a fun debate,
    I have at least $5000 invested in treatment and I'm very satisfied. Mind you, my treatment isn't DIY so the cost to have it all made for me, plus the shipping added a big part to that number. Acoustics aside, my room looks great too (looks do matter) and that impresses/ engages people to talk which returns in $ for me. Its a win win.

    I'm as skeptical as everyone but don't you just love the fact I take all these chances lol, and get some of this stuff to try? Most of the steps I've taken have been spot on. The 2 DAW thing is the bomb, I kid you not. And the Monitor ST is essential for those who are really looking for stellar workflow monitoring..

    FYI, having a few Pulse Techniques MEQ-5 Pultec's that cost me $7000 can truthfully be had ITB, so I sold them at no loss. I admit not seeing them though, they were so beautiful! Had I not had a great monitoring chain, and a fantastic 2 DAW tracking and mixdown system I would not hear what I now hear. Just saying... some people keep round tripping gear through a crowded DAW thinking it will do some mojo magic when a good monitoring system is really what I personally feel they lack.
    The whole industry is reinventing a lot of the past that is grossly over rated by the blind leading the blind, as I got sucked into thinking tube EQ's were the end and all be. They do sound great, but not even close to what comes stock in Samplitude for a fraction of the cost.

    Using the Beatles as a reference is redonkulous. I love the Beatles but their sound doesn't compare today. They have zero sub or top end freq's. Tape doesn't capture or reproduce as good as digital so what are HD monitors going to do for those who only lust over the 70's sound? Nothing.

    I think you are simply saying, Kurt, what difference does this make, a great song is a great song which I whole heartily agree! I don't need much more for my studio. I find this all to me more amazing than I have to have them. We shall see,

    My favorite monitors are Opals and Avatones.

    I love this :
    The DSP brain is of interest to me. Digital Audio is only getting better.
    I'm at the point where any improvement is baby steps.

    M.E's go to great lengths to get an extra %. Sometimes its ridiculous as I found out with some 2-bus analog compressors. Lets hope they send me some. I love the look more and more. Makes me want to buy a new house lol.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Look at this now! I wonder if my wife would enjoy this!:D

    Without hearing any of this for myself, I really admire the strange concepts.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I about half of my audio related work relates to acoustics treatment/construction and system setup/repair. To me, the personal studio is the future reguardless of what the comercial studio business is like. From professional touring, to stars, to average joe, these personal studios are going to only grow, not shrink, for quite some time.

    Now I'm far from any of the guys who are expert level, but most of these budgets I see are enough for the basics.

    The big thing w me is keeping your chain links equal.

    I don't know that these speakers or 4k worth of treatment would turn any common room into a pro deal.

    I think it's great that people are innovating speakers and listening systems. It's about time. I mean a a moving peice of pulp attached to a small electrode magnet in a wooden box! It's genius, but there has got to be more room for improvement in sound reproduction.

    The other thing I don't know if I agree w is the audiophile purity thing. I get entertainment and I'm all about big music you can feel.. I love it! But this attitude of clarity and purity seems to be some fools gold to a point. If the studio your album was recorded in didn't have a 10k gold cord for the power, and your rooms were within both within similar acoustic tolerances, then your hearing not hearing the music they way they heard it, which to me would be the " purest". I have to say it's amazing when I get to play familiar tunes thru awsome speakers, it's like layers that I never heard before! That's really been affecting my attitude towards mixing and arrangement creatively.

    This stuff is cool though. I think it's just a matter of icqorpertaing new materials in new ways. Yah know I'm amazed what how good music can sound some speakers and a room funny anfglesd and wood and fiberglass!

    I wish surround sound was more popular, I dunno how it is to mix, but it sure is fun to experience!
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Totally agree. But, who knows, maybe they sound really accurate too and the DSP aligning is so refined that the phasing helps us hear that much better. I wish I had a time aligned PA system back in my touring days. I was busy using EQ's on the speakers and messing with crossovers. Today, its so much simpler, more fun.

    Remember AM radio? It reminds me of MP3 today. Which always comes back to the song. If its good, we love it.
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    What do those Phasx monitors sound like on proper speaker stands, i.e. not on a desk surface? Does playing with the directional properties of the cabinets improve the unimpaired sound?

    Like most of us here, I haven't had the chance to hear these monitors, so can't comment on the sound quality. However, I'm a little worried that the signal flow is through A-D converters, DSP, D-A converters and then power amps feeding the transducers, with the result that you replace your monitor loudspeakers and amplifiers, but also incur another digitization process. Before shelling out $4K, I would ask if I could try out the DSP box set to no processing inserted into my present monitor feed lines to see how the conversions sound.
    kmetal likes this.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Indeed. I'm hoping they send me some so I can hear for myself.

    I do however hope if the monitoring translates like the testimonial hype, who cares. Keep in mind I also have the Dangerous Monitor ST and Dangerous Master , those two units allow you to seamlessly A/B many signal variations and speakers so there will be no fooling/guessing here. I'm never tied to any one speaker. Comparisons are at a click of a relay.

    To be honest, the desktop reflection design is sort of silly to me but until I try it, I'm open to being transformed. I use foam on my desk and monitor at the optimum 85db SPL so I don't really feel I need some speaker to do this for me. But, who knows. I expect these to sound really accurate so I'm hoping this is where they actually excel.

    I received http://www.realsoundlab.com/ a few years ago and in the right system I think would be great. I think there is hope for digital controlled monitoring technologies. I think we will look back at the old monitors soon enough and chuckle. Do I need more technology though, I don't know.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Without question (y)
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    it's a product designed to address a specific problem which, a lot of c/r's don't have. i don't see a lot of desks where the monitors are placed directly on the desk surface. usually they are set at ear level on stands or a shelf / meter bridge, even hung on walls. i too am a bit weary of the processing used. i have yet to see any electronic device that actually improves the signal. all processing comes at some cost.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Again, I'm not talking myself into these but for fun debate I'm guessing they still improve something that standard monitoring can't.

    If these actually improve workflow and ability to mix better, I don't see why we can't adapt. My monitors are on my desk right now. I use spacers to get them at ear level. For conformation monitoring, I have a second room and those monitors are also on a desk.

    A representative from the company may chime in here to answer our questions.
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good point, but this isn't part of a capture so how could that come at a cost?
  17. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I think Kurt was picking up on my earlier point and referring to a cost in sonic quality.

    When, for example, we choose to set up an analog mix system using a process that takes digital tracks, converts them to analog, goes through an analog mix and then re-digitizes the resulting 2-track output, we have weighed up the disadvantages of having a D-A-D sequence against the sonic advantages afforded by an analog mix and chosen to go that way.

    In the Phasx system described here, there would be another inherent pair of domain boundary crossings simply to access the (unspecified) processes that take place in the Shadocaster's DSP box. The end result would have to have sufficient acoustic advantages to be worth the system's additional A-D-A process, given also that it seems we have to take their choice of critical elements such as converters rather than use our own.

    Maybe I am misjudging their system, and it is indeed possible to connect their DSP box in-line at a point in your 2-track flow where the signal is already in digital form, rather like the (analog) Bose pre-compensation boxes that you had to insert in your power amp input feeds when using the Bose loudspeakers. If digital I/O actually is a selectable option in the Shadocaster system, then I did not see that sort of potential selling point in the scant detail contained in the available Phasx sales information.
  18. Reverend Lucas

    Reverend Lucas Active Member

    They do seem to be hyping their DSP heavily. I'm trying to figure out exactly what processing they're using. From what I can glean
    1. Time alignment due to driver setback
    2. Compensatory EQ to flatten the system response.
    3. Emulation of different types of speakers.

    I don't see any of these add revolutionary, but good ideas. Of course, I'm not in the market for $4000 monitors. I'm a hobbyist, so would probably be more inclined to throw down some panels on the desk.

    Anybody see other processing being done?

    Also, I saw a few references to their DACs, but none to ADCs. That and their digital inputs leads me to believe things can be kept in the digital domain.

    Just speculation...
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm unaware there is any ADDA "contamination" effecting our material. If I am wrong, I wouldn't even consider this.
    Based on other digital monitors, I'm assuming this is similar. The digital steps it does are for correction withing the box, not our actual mix, thus you hear its correction. What we hear is only a monitor mix corrected to what I'm sure is also fully programmable.
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    To add, and I still could be misreading this system but isn't its DSP independent monitoring. The ADDA it performs is only its process /interface to get our analog feed to and from its dsp box.
    I see the clock but I'm not sure we need to be replacing our converters to a point that our actual mix is going through its adda. Is this what you are all reading? I'm thinking this is similar to Coneq , correction software inside a box that processes only what we hear. Selecting another set of monitors would bypass those monitors.

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