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HW V and Room Acoustic Software

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pat17

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HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostSun Jan 19, 2020 1:27 pm

Hi to all,

I've been using Arc 2 as room acoustic correction for years with a great benefit - sound getting clear and sharp, with a lot of details especially when the registration involved quite a few stops.

I upgraded to Hauptwerk V at the end of last year, and inadvertently played once with the correction 'off'. When I realised my 'mistake', I was quite surprised to realize the straightforward sound I got from HW V was very close to the one I had previously through Arc 2. It could even have been unnoticed should I had not checked on the VST AU plug-in status in Reaper as the sound was somewhat different though. Quite amazing such result could be obtained as my room natural acoustic is really poor - reference level at 61 dB -

Image

I even had a preference for that natural sound vs. a flat curve correction, since the room acoustics defaults were translating in the organ sound by making it less perfect (e.g. some pipes too present) but in my mind more realistic, yet keep the same level of detail.

Indeed, the improvement of the audio engine quality - thanks to Martin's hard work over these last few years - explains this change. No way could I have overlooked Arc2 being off with Hauptwerk 4!

Now I'm just wondering... Have any of you reached similar results? It would be nice to compare with other Arc2 users - to check to which extent I'm completely nuts or not - and to benchmark if other Room Acoustic Software users have witnessed a similar reduction through their own system.
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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostSun Jan 19, 2020 2:28 pm

pat17 wrote:Now I'm just wondering... Have any of you reached similar results? It would be nice to compare with other Arc2 users - to check to which extent I'm completely nuts or not - and to benchmark if other Room Acoustic Software users have witnessed a similar reduction through their own system.


I too am using ARC 2. I will experiment with disabling it to see what I think. (Am running Hauptwerk 5).

I would like to be able to eliminate ARC (hosted in Cubase) since with convolution reverb now available in Hauptwerk, I no longer need Cubase to add reverb.

Simpler, is often better.

I'll let you know what I discover.

Lawrence
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pat17

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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostSun Jan 19, 2020 2:46 pm

Lougheed wrote:I would like to be able to eliminate ARC (hosted in Cubase) since with convolution reverb now available in Hauptwerk, I no longer need Cubase to add reverb.

Simpler, is often better.


Same here (excepted I'm using Reaper instead of Cubase)!

The only interest I could find in still using Arc2 is with custom curve instead of the default flat one.
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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostMon Jan 20, 2020 3:39 am

I'm intrigued to how this can be the case. My understanding is that room correction compensates for the colouring introduced by the environment the sound is speaking into. Every room is different which is why room correction software measures the effect on sound using the callibration microphones. How could any changes to HW positively impact the reduction of sound colouring for rooms across the board? (I don't recall Martin measuring my room unless he was cunningly discussed as the curtain man!).
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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostMon Jan 20, 2020 5:04 am

My hypothesis is that a room measurement loses its value over time, especially in a living room. You'll probably move a few pieces of furniture, add or remove stacks of books, hang new curtains, etc etc, and gradually the acoustic characteristics of your room are changed. Maybe even (seasonal) variations in temperature contribute. And of course, once a measurement has been "degraded", the quality difference between room correction enabled vs disabled becomes smaller.

If this hypothesis is true, it would be valuable to do a new room measurement every few months or so. Indeed it is my experience that doing a new room measurement always results in improvements.
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Jan Loosman

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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostMon Jan 20, 2020 7:53 am

Hello Pat.

I think Jos has made a point that the Arc correction might degrade overtime.
The new version of Hauptwerk will not cope with roomnodes etc. so i guess if you do a new measurment and use Arc correction with the new version that it will ad to the improvement of this new version.

Regards Jan
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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostMon Jan 20, 2020 9:05 am

Thanks to all for your feedback!

I have absolutely no explanation to offer to this change, where a much narrowed difference between natural and corrected sound comes thanks to the update to version V. My knowledge in physics and in particular in acoustics is next to zero... :mrgreen:

It was just an observation and a very subjective finding from my side. By opening this thread, I was quite interested to check if this was a very isolated observation - again my room acoustics is quite tortured - or if this is something that has been observed by any of you in a different context.

So if any of you could just make the same experiment - to play with and without the correction activated - and share its observations, I would much appreciate about it.

Jan, I understand you have moved from Arc2 to Dirac. I would be very very much interested to understand for which reason you have done such move, and with which result. :wink:
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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostMon Jan 20, 2020 2:04 pm

Hello Patrick.

I switched to Dirac because i have a multichannel setup.
I always used 2 instances of Arc in my front and rear channels.
The annoying part is that Arc could not save the settings of the second instance.
Dirac is also more advanced correcting the timing between the front and rear channels and improving the impuls response of the speakers.

Regards Jan
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pat17

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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostMon Jan 20, 2020 3:05 pm

Jan Loosman wrote:Hello Patrick.

I switched to Dirac because i have a multichannel setup.
I always used 2 instances of Arc in my front and rear channels.
The annoying part is that Arc could not save the settings of the second instance.
Dirac is also more advanced correcting the timing between the front and rear channels and improving the impuls response of the speakers.

Regards Jan



Thanks Jan

Indeed Arc 2 is not suitable for a multichannel setup...

I then understand from your last sentence this is also better in itself? I tried to download it over the last week-end to evaluate it, yet I think the trial version currently available - at least for OS X - is the one to be used with compatible hardware...
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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 1:18 pm

Hello,

Are there limitations on how many channels Dirac can handle as a plug-in in Reaper? I have six stereo pairs (12 channels) on the front, two subs and one stereo pair for my rear speakers. I run everything though Reaper today for reverb since I've not yet upgraded to HWV.

Chris
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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostSat Feb 15, 2020 2:28 pm

chrisdfrith wrote:Hello,

Are there limitations on how many channels Dirac can handle as a plug-in in Reaper? I have six stereo pairs (12 channels) on the front, two subs and one stereo pair for my rear speakers. I run everything though Reaper today for reverb since I've not yet upgraded to HWV.

Chris


Hello Chris.

12 channel is possible even 16 i believe. However i use the old V1 version a Vst version. This version was allowed to me to use, but it has always been a beta version with no support. The last months this version crashes when i make new measurments and apply these new filters. Haven't figured out what causes this behaviour.
Now Dirac is bringing out V2 also with a VST version.
I hope this version will not beta for long but with full support. And i hope this version will be stable.
I used roomcorrection for years (Arc2 and later Dirac) and if you want to have the best possible sound from your console, then roomcorrection is mandatory in my experience/opinion.

Regards Jan
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Re: HW V and Room Acoustic Software

PostSat Feb 22, 2020 2:43 pm

I've installed on a trial basis Sonarworks 4.

Several potential advantages vs. Arc 2 with Sonarworks -
    - works with OS X 10.15 Catalina - unlike Arc 2 & Dirac for Studio.
    - can work as a standalone basis - Systemwide - unlike Arc 2 - not sure about Dirac but feel a DAW is also needed.
    - can work with a bunch of microphones - Arc 2 can work with a tweaked Behringer ECM 8000 only.
The result seems better than with Arc 2, but this is not really outstanding in my humble opinion. As stated before, I do not feel much difference between 'raw' HW V sound and Arc 2 corrected sound, although I have performed two measurements recently (one next to the console, the other one for the whole room) for Arc 2. With Sonarworks I feel the pedal part is better (a bit less muddy) and rich registrations are more clear. Not sure it makes sense to spend some 250 € for it though.

Two caveats to this experiment
    - I have been using a Behringer ECM 8000 (a standard one, not the one supplied with Arc 2) in my trial. There is no calibration file attached to it. Maybe it could be much better with the recommended XREF 20 Measurement Microphone or any other one (e.g. the Umik 1) coming with a proper calibration file.
    - Since I am not using a sound card but a DAC, the system is a bit lost (output through the DAC, direct input in the Mac).

Remains the Dirac Live for Studio solution. I have not found any trial version - if not mistaken there used to be one - so I'm even less positive about spending 350 € for it, knowing a microphone will be needed (XTZ or Umik 1).

Has any of you benchmarked the various room acoustic correction solutions with HW V? If yes, with what result? As you might have noticed, I'm not sure on which direction to follow to further improve the audio part...

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