Acoustic Correction – Automatic

James Hardiman Leave a Comment

Simon wrote:

Hi Bob,

Hope you and yours are well. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it but IK Multimedia have just released the ARC system. It’s basically a measurement microphone and room correction software. SOS Magazine and the AES seem to be fairly impressed with it but I wanted to get your opinion. Is it worth getting or could it be the cause of more problems?? I know the best option is improving the actual acoustics of my room, but do you think this would improve my mix room until I have the time / budget for a redesign / rebuild.

Thanks in advance, I totally understand if you’re too busy, I’m sure you get these annoying questions all the time!!

Simon Handley

Dear Simon:

Those kinds of correction systems still have to be set up by knowledgeable acousticians or they can easily over or under-correct. You have to be able to interpret the results and use some portion of them intelligently. So in the end it’s a mixed bag. I would suggest that you find a very good acoustician first and describe to him your desire to use one of these systems to “correct” your room (note the quotation marks, as any acoustician would tend to laugh at “correct” not in quotation marks. The best solution is a combination of acoustical (absorption/diffusion/room construction/proper choice of monitors) followed by possibly a touchup using one of these automatic systems. If called upon to do the whole job they can literally screw up a good day :-(.

So, bottom line: Use with caution and knowledge, not a panacea, possibly a help, sometimes only a bandaid.

Hope this helps,


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