Calibration software for monitor speakers and headphones

spantini

COO of me, inc.
I was looking at https://www.sonarworks.com/soundid-reference

When used, will this actually flatten out response curves of monitors? This may not turn your NS-5s / NS-8s HS-5s / HS-8s into NS-10s, but will it at least give them comparable flat responses?

Are any of you using this or something similar?
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
And why pray would you actually want to do that? I’m joking a little, but using products like EASE in venues I pretty common to tame the vast unevenness in their frequency response, plus the quite uneven frequency response of the typical box PA, but in the studio we often want our monitors to be truthful, and that may not be flat. The small ones in one studio might be flattish right down to 60Hz then fall off quickly when their smaller cones become inefficient. If you try to compensate with eq it sounds different from speakers that go low. Those who have subs often find they have different bass to folk with full range speakers. Pink noise with gentle wide band adjustment often seems to work ok, but often the pink noise reveals narrow peaks and troughs and fixing those often sounds horrible, when you listen on headphones or in a different location. Pink noise reveals room issues that can be treated which is good, but trying to fix these with eq is not really a workable answer.
 

maartenl945

Member
I've been using Sonarworks Reference 4 for years now and have found it very useful. I recently installed the trial of SoundID Reference (the successor) and put up a video on my YouTube channel about my experiences and comparing it to Reference 4:

SoundID reference from Sonarworks, is it better than Reference 4?

I feel this change is basically just Reference 5, but there appear to be some useful bug fixes and new features (most notably the translation check feature) that make it worthwhile (for me) to upgrade.

Regards,
Maarten
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
If the problem is the room acoustics, treat the room. If there's a frequency response deviation in the speakers themselves, it might be worth addressing. But certain kinds of FR issues aren't fixable. You can't force a speaker to reproduce low frequencies below what it can do, except slightly by sacrificing output. You can't fill in the hole caused by a crossover that's not correctly time aligned.

I have used REW at points in the past, mostly to identify room acoustics problems. If you're clever with it, you might be able to sort out what is the room from what is the speaker.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
I've used Sonarworks headphone reference correction software for a long time now. One thing I can tell you is.....as boulder ^^^^ says above about speakers.......you can't make a headphone driver do what it can't. Some cans do not EQ well....and some do very well. So....the better the headphone the better the correction / result.....since less EQ is needed. Likely it's the same for the monitor correction software.

IMO.....the Sonarworks correction software for monitors and cans is ok....but you can do without it. As boulder says above as well.......fix your room first and you might get to where you need to be.

2 cents worth of.......I learned all this from the guys here.....and they were right all along.

Mick
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
The problem with headphones is having a consistent way to measure the response. They're so variable because they're dependent on the fit. At least with speakers you can use a reference mic and put it where your head is when you listen.
 

maartenl945

Member
If the problem is the room acoustics, treat the room. If there's a frequency response deviation in the speakers themselves, it might be worth addressing. But certain kinds of FR issues aren't fixable. You can't force a speaker to reproduce low frequencies below what it can do, except slightly by sacrificing output. You can't fill in the hole caused by a crossover that's not correctly time aligned.

I have used REW at points in the past, mostly to identify room acoustics problems. If you're clever with it, you might be able to sort out what is the room from what is the speaker.
Yes I have room treatment as well, and then the Sonarworks software just gets me a little closer to flat. I don't really want to do without it anymore. It does give that extra bit to me and makes for a more enjoyable listening/mixing experience. I hardly ever use it with headphones, but all the time with my speakers.
But it won't make a room with lots of acoustic problems totally flat of course. For me it's part of a number of measures to get a better listening environment in my home studio ... accumulation of small steps ;).
 
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