Problem with ARC

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
Arglebargle
KVRAF
2972 posts since 18 Oct, 2004

Post Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:59 am

I did a capture yesterday of my room, but when I listened to the correction the center completely disappears out of my mix. It sounds terrible. What did I do wrong? :(

Compyfox
KVRAF
14247 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:50 am

A couple of Q's first:

a) did you create a center snapshot with your first and last snapshot?
b) did you check the "offset" value in the plugin (see preferences)
c) acidentally hit "phase" on your AD/DA while doing the snapshots (even though the system should tell you that)


It can be that your listening environment totally changes after the measurement. To this counts a felt displacement of the stereofield (but the mix will transition better). This is normal.

But if the center is canceled out completely, something is wrong.
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Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
9947 posts since 7 Sep, 2008

Post Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:10 am

I think you must have fARCd something up :D :oops:
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Arglebargle
KVRAF
2972 posts since 18 Oct, 2004

Post Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:06 pm

Compyfox wrote:A couple of Q's first:

a) did you create a center snapshot with your first and last snapshot?
b) did you check the "offset" value in the plugin (see preferences)
c) acidentally hit "phase" on your AD/DA while doing the snapshots (even though the system should tell you that)
I checked the plugin prefs, but I didn't see anything called offset.

My first snapshot was centered, but my last one wasn't. I'm thinking I f'ed up the recording somehow. Maybe my points were lopsided or something.

Compyfox
KVRAF
14247 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:47 pm

You can correct the phase shift or something of the stereo image in the preferences of the plugin. This corrected "my" shift of the speakers, even though there wasn't any.

Important while measuring with ARC is that you work somewhat symetrical. It's not as intuitive as newer systems like KRK or ConEQ, but still. You start with center first, then go left, right, left, right, left, right.... until you're eventually at center again. The more measurements the better, but 16 are usually healthy enough.


I did 4-8 measurements while using ARC first since I thought something was wrong, even though there wasn't. It's a bit tricky to wrap your head around it, but you'll get to it eventually.

And this is the good thing with ARC. You can measure as often as you like (create new presets). So try again, if there is still something off, I think only IKM can help you.
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Arglebargle
KVRAF
2972 posts since 18 Oct, 2004

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:13 am

ok, I discovered 2 things. The speaker delay option in prefs fixed the stereo weirdness. Also, the corrected spectrum was like 3-5 dB quieter than the original. Matching the volume makes it sound A LOT better.

BERFAB
KVRAF
6014 posts since 25 Mar, 2004

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:55 am

@Compyfox - I'm also new to ARC and have really been working it out this past week. I also did not know that the first AND LAST measurement needed to be the center. This is not really clear in the manual.

What I did, and what I'm sure a lot of folks do, is find an illustration in the manual that matched my own setup, and then followed the numbers for recording. Now that I look at it again, I see that all the illustrations do have the first and last entries centered. But if you take more than the represented number of measurements, it's not clear (to me at least) that the last measurement needs to be centered.

Thanks for the tip.

-B
Berfab
So many plugins, so little time...

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musikmachine
KVRAF
8627 posts since 2 Oct, 2006 from Leeds, UK

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:01 am

Arglebargle wrote:ok, I discovered 2 things. The speaker delay option in prefs fixed the stereo weirdness. Also, the corrected spectrum was like 3-5 dB quieter than the original. Matching the volume makes it sound A LOT better.
So what's the verdict? :hyper:
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Arglebargle
KVRAF
2972 posts since 18 Oct, 2004

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:11 am

musikmachine wrote:
Arglebargle wrote:ok, I discovered 2 things. The speaker delay option in prefs fixed the stereo weirdness. Also, the corrected spectrum was like 3-5 dB quieter than the original. Matching the volume makes it sound A LOT better.
So what's the verdict? :hyper:
I dunno, the corrected spectrum sounds fuckin' weird. Then again, I've prolly never listened to a flat frequency response before. I wonder if it's better to use the flat curve, or the HF rolloff.

BERFAB
KVRAF
6014 posts since 25 Mar, 2004

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:01 am

Well, the first thing I figured out was that applying ARC to completed projects was going to be fairly useless because the radical change in sound would require too much surgery to be worthwhile. (YMMV of course.)

However, the flip side is, if I put ARC on the project from the inception, I can gauge the true sound from the beginning at all levels: instrument, track, FX etc. can all be tweaked to form the core sound. After that, overall production goes much more smoothly because I'm already in the ARC framework. When you do it this way, and then turn ARC OFF, you can really hear the difference.

-B
Berfab
So many plugins, so little time...

Arglebargle
KVRAF
2972 posts since 18 Oct, 2004

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:36 am

Yeah that sounds like good advice. I think I'll try ARC on a new project, not an existing one.

Compyfox
KVRAF
14247 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:37 am

Arglebargle wrote:The speaker delay option in prefs fixed the stereo weirdness.
I'm surprised this still isn't somewhat fixed by IKM. It's a known issue/bug from a lot of users. But glad that this was the fix for you as it was for me back in the days.
Arglebargle wrote:Also, the corrected spectrum was like 3-5 dB quieter than the original. Matching the volume makes it sound A LOT better.
This is totally normal and you have to get used to it.
Think about it this way: standing waves, overempasizing of certain frequencies... this all adds up. I'm fairly sure that your plot in direct comparision is mostly "cut" than "boost" as well, isn't it?


Oh and... do you folks maybe have speakers that can be "setup" on the backside to fit it into your room (frequency attenuation/boost). If so - TURN THAT OFF... and measure again. Eases up on the correction.

BERFAB wrote:What I did, and what I'm sure a lot of folks do, is find an illustration in the manual that matched my own setup, and then followed the numbers for recording. Now that I look at it again, I see that all the illustrations do have the first and last entries centered. But if you take more than the represented number of measurements, it's not clear (to me at least) that the last measurement needs to be centered.
Actually the Manual in general is a bit scarce on certain ends. It took me a while to wrap my head around it, watch the demo videos, and I think it helped to see the actual measurement process in real life back in the days at Musikmesse.

I still think a simpler process would help in this case (like ConEQ - here you have one constant "signal" and just move the mic around a bit for a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes), but then again... you usually only measure once. If you messed up, delete the preset and start over. Bigger learning courve, but definitely worth it.

Glad I could help with the tips so far.

Arglebargle wrote:I dunno, the corrected spectrum sounds fuckin' weird. Then again, I've prolly never listened to a flat frequency response before.
Again, this is something you'll get used to real quick and probably never want to go back. What I did was loading ARC into Winamp with a VST wrapper and listening to pop/rock/classic productions to get an idea what this plugin does.

My ears were literally opened. You won't believe what single thing (may it be good or bad) you can hear. I still hope that IKM rethinks their software solution to maybe create some sort of "loopback mode", so that you don't need to load it/re-loop the signal seperately.

Arglebargle wrote:I wonder if it's better to use the flat curve, or the HF rolloff.
For starters: flat. And then try to stick with it.

If you think your system overemphasized on he high mids, then this kind of roll off. I never really touched anything else. I only used these modes to get an idea "how" it might transfer to different listening environments.

Then again, there's the on/off button. BUT... you'll have to get used to that sound switch as well.




BTW:
I actually took the efforts and went back to old projects WITH and WITHOUT ARC. It definitely set worlds apart and it was way simpler to finalize (aka actual mastering) the production, since there weren't any drastic changes needed. You heard every issue right from the start.

Who knows, maybe ARC will be the next big meme on KVR. ;)
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Arglebargle
KVRAF
2972 posts since 18 Oct, 2004

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:57 am

Compyfox wrote: I'm fairly sure that your plot in direct comparision is mostly "cut" than "boost" as well, isn't it?
Yeah, I got some buildup in the low/low mids. Doing A/B without correcting the volume made the flat curve seem wimpy. Adjusting the trim knob was the key for me. It's still sounds jarring, but not totally bizarre like before. Thanks for the help!

Compyfox
KVRAF
14247 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:15 am

Actually - hands off of the TRIM knob on ARC.

Why? Again, known - it distorts the output. Get used to the volume drop, it's normal. Do no compensation via the plugin. It's due to the standing waves.

You can still raise the volume on your amp if needed, but do not mess with ARC's trim (gain boost).
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Arglebargle
KVRAF
2972 posts since 18 Oct, 2004

Post Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:20 am

Compyfox wrote:Actually - hands off of the TRIM knob on ARC.

Why? Again, known - it distorts the output. Get used to the volume drop, it's normal. Do no compensation via the plugin. It's due to the standing waves.

You can still raise the volume on your amp if needed, but do not mess with ARC's trim (gain boost).
Ok. I just used the trim knob to A/B the signals fairly.

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