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TB Isone virtual monitoring setup with adjustable speakers and room acoustic properties

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by audiokid, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I know nothing about this but am posting this in case it helps someone looking for something like this.

    http://www.toneboosters.com/tb-isone/

    Description
    The perfect listening room… Many have experienced the difficulty to realize a listening environment free of standing waves, undesirable reflections, the perfect reverb time, perfect loudspeaker placement with a flat frequency response, and without any disturbance for others.

    With TB Isone, a stereo virtual reproduction system and listening room can now be experienced simply using a high-quality headphones. The frequency response and the directivity pattern of the loudspeakers can be adjusted. Furthermore, the reverb time and volume of the virtual listening room and the distance to the virtual loudspeakers can be fully customized.

    TB Isone employs real-time HRTF (head-related transfer function) and BRIR (binaural room impulse response) processing in a flexible VST plugin format. This makes Isone the perfect tool for headphone mixing, binaural room and loudspeaker simulation, and 3D virtual audio processing.

    Features
    • Zero-latency processing, allowing for studio and live operation
    • Real-time HRTF and BRIR processing
    • Support of all sampling rates from 22 to 192 kHz
    • Loudspeaker designer to model frequency response (on axis and 45-degrees off-axis response)
    • Customizable room (volume, distance, early reflections, diffusion)
    • Customizable loudspeaker azimuth angle (0 to 45 degrees)
    • Customizable HRTFs (strength, head size, ear size)
    Try & buy

    View attachment 12577Download
    free trial version bundle
    [VST/AU; parameter saving disabled]

    View attachment 12578Order
    a full-version registration key file
    [To upgrade a trial to full version]
     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm not familiar with this either, but I'm certainly not ruling out that there's a possibility that this type of simulation can exist. Considering how far they've come with modeling in other areas of audio (I'm assuming that's probably what this would be at its code source) I'm totally willing to keep an open mind about it. I'm sure not going to close the door on the concept without having tried it first. ;)

    I'll download it - I'll read the manual first - and let you know what I've found out about it. :)
     
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Okay.. I've read through the manual... it's pretty bare bones, in that it doesn't really explain all that much. For example, it doesn't even tell you where to insert the processor, or in what order. I'm assuming that it would be on the master bus, post any other processing that is already there, but... it doesn't explain that, so I'm left to just guessing. It also doesn't mention what type of headphones are recommended for optimal results...

    Upon first use, I started with the "flat" default setting. The preset choices are also woefully vague, it's not as if they are giving you choices as to particular "standard issue" monitor types (NS10's, JBL 4408's, Alesis Monitor Ones, Auratones, etc), nor are there any upper level choices - such as Dynaudio, Genelec, Focal, etc. either.

    The choices are limited to Nearfield, Mid-Field, Far-Field, along with vague choices such as "small speaker", "laptop speaker", etc. Surprisingly, the choice that probably most would want - car audio - was not present.

    They also give you choices of rooms, from "small studio" to "anechoic", with other various choices in between those. It does give you the ability to set up your own "room", although again, I can't attest to the integrity or accuracy of any of these settings.

    I can say with a default setting (flat), using my AKG 241's, that there was an obvious difference between the processor being active and it being bypassed... as to whether or not this is an improvement, I can't say.

    I know that this processor isn't intended to be used with speakers, but I listened through my monitors anyway, ( disabling the room selection/design part of the processor), and there was a huge change to the audio when the program was set for default/flat vs it being bypassed.

    To be fair, I've only got around 45 minutes into this plug... it's not as if I've worked with it for a week, getting to know it, and throwing it all kinds of different music, or testing it out under different playback circumstances ... so take all that I've stated above with a grain of salt ( a very very small grain. LOL). At this point, I would consider myself to be somewhat doubtful about it as a tool of accuracy - I certainly wouldn't count on it as an actual mixing tool.

    Perhaps we need to consider the price... this program only costs $20 or so ... so I suppose it all comes down to what it almost always seems to come down to - and that is that we get a level of quality commensurate to what we pay. ;)

    That being said, I'm not as dubious about modeling technology eventually getting to an acceptable level of accuracy in room and speaker simulation. I absolutely do think it's possible. In fact, IMO, I think it's more than likely, if someone hasn't actually done so already.

    There is one thing I'm not the least bit dubious about.... and that is the current and future state of audio technology growing in leaps and bounds, and having that technology making a significant and positive difference in our work as live and studio recording /mixing /mastering engineers - not only in what we do, but in how we do it as well.

    It's an exciting time to be in the recording arts... and I'm more than willing to keep my mind open to what smart people can do, offering up all kinds of technological advancements and possibilities. :)

    IMHO of course.
    -d.
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    @audiokid (and whomever else may be interested)...

    Okay, so here's what I've done...

    I've attached two mixes of a song, the first mix was performed through monitors ( Alesis Monitor One Passives powered with a Hafler Amp).
    The second was mixed through headphones (AKG K240's) using the Isone 3 monitor simulator plug.

    This isn't a request for a mix critique, there is no final mix yet - these versions are posted strictly for comparison purposes to show the results of me mixing with the two monitoring methods described above.

    LIA MIX THRU MONS JUNE 15 2015.mp3


    LIA MIX W ISONE 3 & HPS JUNE 15 2015 5AM.mp3



     

    Attached Files:

    audiokid likes this.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    LIA MIX THRU MONS JUNE 15 2015.mp3

    Both have weird phasing issues but this track is much better to me .
    What do you think?
     
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    @audiokid

    I don't think there's any question about which mix sounds better... the mix I threw together through the monitors clearly sounds much better - to me... and obviously it does to you as well.

    I've tried working with this plug, I really did, I didn't just use it once and then give up on it - maybe because I was really hoping it would work and I was just using it wrong - LOL... ahh, if wishin' only made it so. ;) ... but after repeated use, reading the manual (which was pretty basic and lacking a lot of info) I was never anywhere near being satisfied with any of the mixes I did with it.

    But, I don't want the above to be taken as me dismissing this concept, either...I'm not against the idea at all... I really do hope someone can eventually come up with a processor that actually does accurately emulate mixing through speakers in a pair of headphones. It would be great for those late-night mix sessions, when the rest of the house is asleep - and I have been burning quite a bit of midnight oil lately, so it would have been great if it had worked - I would have even been encouraged if it had managed to even get close... being in the ballpark ... but, it didn't. And no matter what I tried, I couldn't get it anywhere close to mimicking my NF monitors.

    With technology moving at such a break-neck speed these days, it wouldn't surprise me if someone eventually did manage to do this successfully. And these days, "eventually" is a lot sooner than it used to be.

    Final summary: Based on what I've heard and tried so far, we're not quite there yet. There may be other models out there that are closer, but TB Isone isn't one of them. It just doesn't work in a practical mixing scenario.

    Thanks for originally posting it anyway, Chris... we won't ever know what works and what doesn't unless we're willing to give these things a try. :)

    IMHO of course. ;)
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Right on! Thanks for being the guy around here who takes this stuff on. I'm with you. someday someone will build it right and it will change everything. I'm waiting for headphones that solve all our problems.
     

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