The room you are in has just as much effect on what you hear as your choice of speakers, amplifiers, crossovers, or any other part of your playback signal chain. Everything from bass buildup to standing waves to the shine on the paint on your walls can shape, affect and distort your listening experience, alter your perception and, at times, negatively impact your mix.
There are lots of offerings out there to correct for common room problems. Plug-ins like IK Multimedia’s ARC System are designed to correct for a room’s coloration of audio before your signal even leaves your DAW, where hardware solutions like JBL’s 4300 series monitors make similar corrections inside you speakers themselves.
However, as is the case with many things, sometimes “perfect” isn’t always the best. For instance, in the world of modern portable listening, the iPod is king. The standard ‘mug-me-white’ earbuds play hell on your low end, so mixing bass heavy is sometimes a good idea. For that matter, a flat frequency response can sometimes sound very bright, so rolling off some of the highs gently might give you the ‘darker’ tone you are seeking. Key word in both of those statements is, of course, sometimes.
But audio developer DUY has launched an interesting trio of plug-ins that enable project engineers to not only analyze and correct for problems that occur naturally in your listening environment, but also give you an added level of control that is just currently unavailable in anything resembling their price range:
The DUY|31 bundle is comprised of the DUY31|noiser (a white and pink noise generation engine), the DUY31|analyzer (a real-time spectrum analyzer) and the DUY31|graphic (a 31-band linear-phase graphic EQ).
An engineer can follow the same standard principals of all room correction from this plug-in team. Shoot the room with pink noise from the noiser, analyze the modifications in signal caused by the room, and then manipulate the EQ to correct for spectral effects that show up. Except, that because the DUY31|graphic is a fully functional EQ with a full 48db of dynamic range, your finished product is not limited to a room with a flat frequency response.
IK’s ARC provides you with a few preset spectral curves, and I know that the JBLs do give you some crossover control, but this is the first set of room correction options that I have seen that give the engineer complete control.