Sonarworks Plugin - You don't need it ?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by neo lover, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. boltoz

    boltoz Newbie

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    Thank you for taking the time to do this! Unfortunately (for me, at least :)) the sennheiser 600 profile has no eq adjustment--still just flat eq. Could you possibly redo the Sennheiser 600 Q clone and repost? I would really appreciate it!!!
     
  2. neo lover

    neo lover Kapellmeister

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    I do not plan on using the plugin myself or the work around I have suggested - I know my headphones well enough - In fact - My last singed EP and current LP were all written and mixed on headphones - Without the need to help the developer - If the developer wanted to help you he'd have released those basic EQ curves for free - And perhaps sold the custom versions at a more reasonable price - I do not know how the developer as you put it: gets the response curve of the headphones - But I'd hazard a guess at it not costing that much money and that the so called: expertise is not all that expert - I'd guess starting with the headphone manafactures specification would take me most of the way there - History going back as far and further than Schubert Chopin suggest to me that: no one needs the Sonarworkx plugin on their master out -
     
  3. Hans242

    Hans242 Producer

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    What to do with this knowledge without a proper monitoring system?
     
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  4. bellegear

    bellegear Noisemaker

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    Sonarworks is not to be mixed up with crossfeed plugins like 112dB Redline Monitor etc. Those try to give a perception of headphone listening in front of the head instead of the normal perception inside the head or at its sides. They do this by applying a certain HRTF (head-related transfer function), which among other things tries to artificially replace the crossfeed from one channel into the other which takes place when a listener sits in front of a pair of loudspeakers (and which necessarily is missing with headphone listening).

    Sonarworks, on the contrary, is all about EQing the headphone response. I tried it some weeks ago, and as far as I remember there is no crossfeed function in there.
    So, yes, it "simply" does EQ and can be "replaced" by a matching EQ which matches the EQ-corrected output from Sonarworks (using pink noise as described).

    This doesn't mean that Sonarworks is of no use, as there is one remaining thing that the match EQ cannot deliver: Matching EQ matches an average response curve as published by Sonarworks, but your individual pair of headphones might differ from that average response.
    You can send your headphones to Sonarworks for creation of a custom, special calibration curve.

    Other than that, a matching EQ can do the same work.

    But the problem is a deeper, more complicated one, to my mind. The question is at all whether a calibration response curve (be it the average curve published by Sonarworks or an individually measured curve for customers' headphones sent in to Sonarworks) does properly reflect the reality. In other words: Do their measurements correctly tell what reaches your individual eardrums from your individual headphones??
    Even if there would be a complete agreement on the target response ---e.g. in that the Harman target curve shall represent the frequency response which to strive for at the eardrum---, this would denominate only the target and would only be of any help if we could correctly measure the status quo, i.e. the actual response (at the eardrum) from the relevant headphones.
    It is not difficult to produce an EQ curve to counteract the differences between the target (e.g. the Harman target curve) and the actual response, but it is very difficult to reliably tell which IS the actual headphone response at the eardrum.

    Five different institutions/ measurement setups doing the measurement of the relevant headphones' response will produce five different response curves. So you get five different EQ correction curves, due to five different states of the details of difference between the actual headphone response and the target curve.

    The question is: How much do Sonarworks (with their headphone measurement) approach the "correct" state of the response of the relevant headphones?

    I once tried correcting my beyer T1 according to the Harman target curve. With a spline EQ, you can produce a proper EQ correction curve, it's a bit of work, but no real problem.
    The result was very disappointing. So either the Harman target is nonsense, or the status quo which I assumed for the T1 was incorrect.
    There might be some details debatable with the Harman target, but I don't think that the target question is the culprit here. With HD600 phones, the Harman target curve gave very good results.
    I'm pretty sure that the assumption of the actual frequency response on which I founded my correction EQ was incorrect. As I couldn't measure my T1 myself, I took the published response curve from the InnerFidelity website.
    The problem is simple: The correction EQ only is correct, in relation to the target, if the status quo (the actual response) is correctly known. There we are. Seems as if the response curve from InnerFidelity didn't represent my T1 very well.

    There is no standardized measurement setup, and even if we had a standard it is the question whether it would properly represent the situation at your individual head and ear.
    THIS is the real problem of headphone response correction, and Sonarworks only offer one approach to measurement, among so many different ways and results of measuring headphones...

    Concerning the topic of differing measurement setups and results, see for instance the blog post by Audeze at InnerFidelity,
    http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/how-do-measurements-sound-audeze
     
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  5. Scarlet Pimpernell

    Scarlet Pimpernell Noisemaker

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  6. boltoz

    boltoz Newbie

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  7. ampworks

    ampworks Kapellmeister

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    If you need to educate yourself then fine, but id Rather support the developer and help them make more profiles, i think cant be easy or there would be more headphones on the list.
     
  8. neo lover

    neo lover Kapellmeister

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    2 decades of audio experience -
    To allow the developer to make a profit - Profits are vile
    No point releasing curves for headphones that are not in popular use

    Also remember the curves they provide are not accurate !
    Even if you do choose the custom option !
     
  9. Amirious

    Amirious Platinum Record

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    The most important thing about this topic is not the tool itself. But it's how neo-lover is trying to convince everyone that it's just a useless eq and how they don't have the perfect ear to hear the pink noise he generated and processed using different tools* (first with fabfilter Q2 then Waves Clone next iZotope) and he has.

    Ironically he dislikes/disagrees anyone who says otherwise in his way (and I know i'm gonna get a disagree here too. lol) that's it. The truth has been spoken.

    Peace :cheers:

    *that work with completely different algorithms and models

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
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  10. neo lover

    neo lover Kapellmeister

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    I thought it was to save money ?
    And to use the tools already at our disposal -


    £200 plus to put an EQ curve on your master output !
    Please !

    Pull the other one

    :yes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  11. Amirious

    Amirious Platinum Record

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    [​IMG]

    Haha.. See?
    Exactly as I said!

    Well I see no point in this topic except if you want to argue with someone who has his ears and eyes closed and only accepts his own opinion.
    Move on
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
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  12. Reploid

    Reploid Newbie

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    Sonarworks actually confirmed themselves you can replicate the plugin with regular EQ. They're not trying to be deceptive about it.



    Would you mind telling me what other tricks, knowledge, and testing you do to mix and master on headphones? I have Sennheiser HD 800s and live in a small and cramped apartment where proper mastering on monitors probably isn't a great option. After I send mine in to get the curve, what are some other things I can do to help with mastering? Other than the obvious like regularly referencing other tracks.
     
  13. denorte

    denorte Noisemaker

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    It was around 70$ for me.

     
  14. Hans242

    Hans242 Producer

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    This is going to be long and dirty! :rofl:But you asked me and I will take my time and try to write a decent answer!
    First off thank you for reading my comment in whole. :)
    Okay, where to begin... I'm not a good teacher. And also my English is only rudimentary. But there are some important aspects you must consider before you start mixing or even mastering on headphones. I learned a lot by playing my headphone mixes (or let's better say my home masters) on several very good and big (and small) club P.A.s (Yes I'm in the lucky position to do that). So here are some of my experiences and some knowledge I have learned by reading:

    1. A headphone is like a magnifying glass. So there's the danger to lose yourself in details and losing focus on the whole picture.
    To compensate for this you must refocus/recalibrate your hearing (and not only the sense of hearing but your psychological hearing) from time to time.

    2. The stereo image in a headphone is always constructed or located INSIDE your head in opposite to before or around your head like on a speaker system. To compensate for this, you should have some room simulation software AFTER Sonarworks Reference which I have. I am using CanOpener Studio for this. It is way more subtle than Waves NX and it really helps me to get the stereo image a bit "out of my head" without altering the whole stereo image and frequency curve too much.
    But you also need to find other ways to compensate this. It depends on your individual headphone though. The Sennheiser HD 800 has a fairly wide stereo image and you need to tame (or restrict) it a bit so your mix doesn't lack stereo wideness because of the overemphasized stereo image impression that your headphone, especially the HD 800 gives you. You can also do this with CanOpener studio!

    3. In a headphone mix you always tend to mix the kickdrum too loud. At least I did. Your ears fatigue a lot faster under headphones which is obvious. But it's important to always remember that. Consequently you should do the following:
    First you need to establish a quick level balance for all your instruments. and after that now espacially for the headphone you should turn down the kickdrum level by 2 or 3 dB. This varies, not only from individuum to individuum but also from song to song. So you need to find your average kickdrum "level sweet spot". By the way this does not only apply to the kickdrum but also for other transient-heavy (attack heavy) instruments. I'm not really able to explain this thing but there are a LOT of factors that collude to generate this problem.
    One factor is the impedance of your headphones. There is a copper coil around the lower part of the headphone's membrane (the part that goes into the magnet). Ok we all know that as we all have seen a deconstructed headphone before.
    But this copper coil has a specific diameter in every headphone. And this leads to some membranes acting faster and some acting slower.
    I can't tell you all about this here. It has a lot to do with physics. Even the air pressure plays a role here. So I suggest you read about it in a mixing engineer's handbook.
    Another thing has to do with your eardrums and the muscles that tighten it. This is again a very individual thing. We have a kind of an inbuilt compressor in the ear. There is a muscle right after the eardrum that is controlled by your brain to protect the eardrum from damage. When very loud heavy transients attack, this muscle tightens with the effect that the hearing gets attenuated. And in consequence you don't hear the kickdrum or other transient heavy material as it is. Listening level also plays a major role here. You should generally try to (start a) mix at a LOW level!
    This leads us to the next point

    4. The volume! We all know the Fletcher Munson curve. This knowledge does not only apply to headphone mixing but to mixing in general. Like I already said: headphones act as a magnifying glass. And this also leads to a magnified Fletcher Munson curve problem!
    So always try to mix at low levels first, but also check your mix on a higher level at the end.

    5. Then the bass! Bass in headphones can always only be transferred through the membrane. But a LOT of bass especially under 100hz is normally transmitted through your body (your bones). The keyword here is structure-borne sound. As an effect of this, in a headphone mix you lose the ability to "judge the bass with your bones". Besides playing your mix on a speaker system which we try to avoid here, there is only one thing I know that could help you here: The Subpac! Read about it here:
    http://thesubpac.com/

    6. Something that has to do with point 3:
    You need a decent headphone amplifier!! I can not emphasize this enough! Especially for energy hungry headphones like the Sennheiser HD 800 especially in the bass range! It goes really deep down BUT ONLY if your headphone amp has the power to drive the membranes accordingly.
    I have a Violectric HPA V200. And it works great for me.

    Ok, as I write more and more I am facing my inability to explain the whole knowledge that lies beneath headphone mixing. It is a science for itself and I am not your teacher of choice! :no:

    I suggest lots of further reading.

    You can start here for example with a small article:
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan07/articles/mixingheadphones.htm

    I personally read a lot more about this and additionally I made my experiences. But I hope I have at least shed some light on this dark matter! :)

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
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  15. Talmi

    Talmi Audiosexual

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    For the room simulation I use the flux/Ircam HEar V3 rather than the waves NX or the 112db monitor, it has speaker width and angle obviously, but also some very nice space presets and there is a routing matrix if you have a surround track, I really like this one.
     
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  16. m9cao

    m9cao Producer

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    again, Waves bundle newest version comes out! The Feedback correction tool, X-FDBK super master out EQ!
    :mates::rofl::rofl::rofl:
    It's time to uninstall that shit collection for DAW starting speed.
     
  17. neo lover

    neo lover Kapellmeister

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    "Exactly as I said''

    So it's now as you say is it ? It's like a dictators relay race -

    You have not even told us what your stance is on the Sonarworkx plugin -

    Now - Stop acting the goat....
     
  18. Amirious

    Amirious Platinum Record

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    @neo lover How old are you? 10? :guru:
    Do what you think its best for you no one cares how it's done if the end result is good enough. but please don't tell anyone you know better and how superior your shiny golden ears are and they are wrong and wasted their hard earned money on some shit because you screencaptured every curve from the product's limited demo and found out it can be done with simple eq.

    Looks like you are ONLY entitled to your own opinion. (don't forget what they say about opinions) Image below is just a quick reminder:
    [​IMG]
    There's a question mark at the end of your post title, so it's like you are asking others about it but nope. All you are trying do is disagreeing anyone who says otherwise.
    Actually it's you who tries to act the goat here.
     
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  19. Amirious

    Amirious Platinum Record

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    Lastly I would like to quote a post from another member.

    Again, do what you like to do. you can keep playing with rating buttons here or go and make some killer mixes and come share it with us so we can hear the end result difference. No one has a problem with you man :)
     
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  20. neo lover

    neo lover Kapellmeister

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    Moving on to things more constructive -
     
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