First Mix based on ARC 2 correction

Discussion in 'Acoustics (Live Room, ISO Booths)' started by DonnyThompson, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    @audiokid @pcrecord @Kurt Foster @dvdhawk @Boswell @kmetal @Smashh @Brother Junk @Brien Holcombe ... et al'

    So...Here's a mix I just did, using my first initial measurements of the ARC 2 system.

    Honestly? I have no idea how this sounds on other systems.
    It may be decently transparent, or I may have completely screwed the pooch here.

    I'm leaving it up to you to decide which.

    Did I measure right?
    Can I trust the system?
    Or, is it about me getting acclimated to all the new changes in my room and monitoring?

    It's not an easy thing to hang stuff out to flap in the wind when you're not sure... I consider myself to be a fairly competent engineer, but when working with a new system, in a new environment, it can make you nervous.

    And this one makes me nervous.
    KMKY ARC TEST 1 MARCH 8 2016 225MP3.mp3

    I have to make sure that the critiques don't make me completely doubt what I do... I can say that I have a lot of respect for people who post their mixes here.

    Coincidentally, this is the song I was going to upload as an RO PBL project... so, I dunno, maybe it helps that there's an initial dicey mix out there to compare future versions to?

    Let me know, as always, brutal honesty is humbly accepted.

    -d.

     

    Attached Files:

  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    The overall mix sounds very workable and well performed, Donny. The imaging of mix sounds crammed together which will be fun trying to "un-cram".
     
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Which I look forward to - but my main concern right now isn't so much the production as it is frequency balance.
    So, regarding that, is there anything that is noticeably out of balance frequency wise?
    Lows too heavy, muddy? Top end too glassy? Mids too harsh? Undefined?
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I'll check it at the studio tonight ;)
     
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    I haven't ruled out the possibility that the Presonus E8's that Dave Hawk lent me might be too much gun in the low end for the space I'm in. I need to do an arc measurement with the Alesis M1's, they only have 6" woofs. I dunno. I'm just thinking out loud.
     
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  6. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I understand. :)

    The mix sounds well balanced but sonically crammed which could be the result of EQing to fit the room rather than to fit the mix.

    That being said, again, you do an excellent job at everything.

    But to my ears, the upper mids are lost which makes it hard for me to do any sort of accurate analysis to the mix because I hear cause and effects that happens when you do something that is really the result of another problem that starts early on in a mix. Thus ... there is never enough time or never a satisfied moment where you say, ya... its finished. So when I say crammed together, I am also saying, I think something is with your monitoring.

    I imported this into Sequoia and did a broad stroke with an eq. (in red) my ear analysis told me this.
    Capture.PNG

    Your upper freq's are buried. I suspect it is because your system, and room is likely harsh or something is too forward in the upper mids. Or your ears are wanting to compensate for a variety of possible reasons.
    The track sounds like you are cutting out upper mids in the mix which may be an indication that upper freqs are loud, not smooth (gear, wrong speakers, room, hearing, habit etc).
    What can also happen because of that, we then go to the bass and start reducing until eventually we get the crammed together sound I was referring to.

    Just a guess, I think you need to look at the upper mids more closely.
    I would suspect that as well. Small quality speakers are where I would be looking no matter what room I was mixing in.

    I'm curious to hear what others say, which is why these sort of discussions are always so interesting and helpful to me. Hope that helps. Looking forward to the rest of the groups thoughts.
     
  7. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    How does the Arc 2 fit into this....did it correct the mix based on things the software Co sidereal to be flaws in your environment?
     
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good overall D. The meat and bones are there sounds well balanced level and eq wise to me on the phone. I think taking this to the next level would make a good finished product. Fader rides ect. It's a sign of your skill set to be able to pull a perfectly acceptable first mix out of a new room and new speakers to boot. You da man D.

    I'd love to hear a pair of quick mixes even stems where you have the Arc engaged and disengaged. Maybe like mix it once for an hour or two, then mix it again a week later or something so there's no burnout. Anyway just rambling.
     
  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    The ARC is supposed to help his monitors sound flatter in his environement. (At least, where the measurements were done.)
    Thing is, it doesn't correct our ears and once in a better environement, we need to get used to it ;)

    @DonnyThompson : I guess you just need to listen to your favorite CDs for a while and get used to the place. I didn't listen to the mix yet but, just the fact that you are unsecure about it tells me that it's gonna take a bit of time !
     
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  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    The power has been going off and on all day here... we're experiencing really heavy winds off the Lake. The power finally went off completely an hour ago, even all the traffic lights are darkn talked with Ohio Edison and they are saying it's the entire west side of Cleveland, and it might take until tomorrow morning for power to be restored, sooooo...
    I can't upload tracks as I was planning on doing. Sorry guys. I'm at da mercy of Mother Nature here. ;)
     
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  11. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    So the best place to do measurements is wherever the listeners head is....correct?
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Good advise.
    precisely (y)
     
  13. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I listen to your mix Donny, it's quite nice. Althought it could use a tinny bit more HF
    Here's what my curve would look like if I was to master it (the white line) :
    upload_2017-3-8_19-28-17.png
     
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  14. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    That's certainly a possibility. Out of curiosity, have you made any adjustments on the back of the Eris to address any broader balance issues?

    I'll be curious to hear how the Alesis monitors do with the benefit of some treatments in the next test.

    I don't hear anything exaggerated in this mix that would indicate your monitors and/or room are wildly out of balance.
     
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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  16. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Isn't that the system that Donny is trying out?
     
  17. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Hi guys...
    @Brien Holcombe - Brien, the ARC is a speaker calibration tool. It measures (up to 16 different positions) within the area of the listening/mixing position. I had it set precisely at ear height when I'm sitting. It measures an oscillating "pulsing sweep" type of tone -from very low frequencies 20hz - to very high ones-30k, and then takes the various positional measurements and creates a calculation for each, and then creates what I assume is an algorithm of sorts. It turns this "corrected EQ" into a VST plug that is inserted into the last position of the master step bus's inserts. The plug is used to monitor with, but is not left enabled for rendering the final mix.
    This speaker correction is most effective when used with a room that has already been treated to a certain degree. It is not meant as a blanket fix-it miracle tool for untreated rooms.
    @audiokid :
    I don't know how I feel about it yet Chris. I've only done the one mix with it that I uploaded here yesterday. I think I'm going to need to get acclimated to this room, after the treatment I've installed, and now the ARC correction. To my ears, things now sound very flat...which on one hand is what we all want, but on the other, it can take some time to get used to monitoring this way. Lol. It's not as easy as it sounds. ;)
    I think it's just gonna take me a little time to get used to it... after all, I've only implemented it two days ago, and have only done the one mix with it.
    @pcrecord : I think the attenuated highs might have been me over compensating mon ami. I'm still not convinced that I might not still need a bit more treatment on the hi's, not necessarily to absorb them, but as Kurt mentioned a few days ago (@Kurt Foster ) I might need diffusion instead.
    All in all I think the ARC system will be a useful tool to round out the EQ curve of the room and add compensation.
    But I wouldn't rely on it alone.

    Edit: Dave Hawk (@dvdhawk ) suggested that I might try mixing (remixing) something where I'm Alfred familiar with the outcome I want... like taking a Song from the Love album, because I'm so familiar with that album, and remixing it with the ARC system. At first I thought I'd rather stick my head in an oven, but after further consideration it is probably a good idea. Plus, there are several people here on RI who are also familiar with those original mixes.

    FWIW
    -d
     
  18. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    Ok.... I understand the procedure. I read reviews yesterday on the effectiveness of this plugin....kinda up in the air on the "value" or overall usefullness, as I could tell.
     
  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    And I think that's probably a testament to the expectations of the user - and the space they are in (it's not meant to replace treatment), or making cheap monitors sound good.
    I truly can't say yet myself, Brien. I'm gonna need a little time to work with it and the treatment I've added to the space.
     
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  20. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    I stayed with reviews of persons that understood the quality that treatments provide. As I understand it this is similar to using eq after treatment so my focus was on those that were of a higher value for input on this procedure than the typical bedroom user.

    I am considering it after I reconfigure my room since I am going to focus on tracking and capture as the goal and mixing not as an afterthought but most likely something that can be done with reversible wall mounted soffit and such. Still in the design phase....
     
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