According to IK Multimedia, the new ARC System 3 offers an all-new analysis algorithm that measures acoustics at three different heights to deliver a natural, unprocessed sound and superior accuracy; a streamlined measurement process for quicker, more accurate calibration; advanced controls and a re-sizeable retina display graphic user interface; and the ability to use third party measurement mics for additional flexibility.
"All in all, the new ARC System 3 delivers a natural listening experience that makes any existing studio sound like a well-treated room rather than a "corrected" room - without expensive acoustic treatments," the company says.
Walls, furniture, and other objects reflect and absorb sound, changing the frequency balance and stereo imaging an engineer or producer hears in their studio. A poorly treated room can lead to mix decisions that sound great in that room, but sub-par in other environments. The ARC System 3 detects and accounts for these issues by quickly and precisely measuring the sound of a room to generate a correction profile that can be loaded into the ARC plug-in for use in any DAW. This ensures that music is heard the way it truly sounds, letting users work faster and more effortlessly to create mixes that will translate better across all systems everywhere.
By measuring a room at three different heights around the listening position, IK's VRM (Volumetric Response Modeling) technology creates a 3D snapshot of the room to identify problematic issues without over-processing the sound. The result, IK Multimedia says, is "an incredibly natural-sounding correction that recreates the experience of working in a properly tuned room."
The complete ARC System 3 bundle includes a MEMS room analysis microphone (reviewed by audioXpress here) for the most precise measurements possible, but the software also works with any other RTA mic. By connecting a measurement mic to an interface and launching the step-by-step room analysis software, users are now guided through a series of measurements across their listening position. ARC offers flexible mic placement options that help streamline and complete the process in less than 10 minutes.
Users can also create and save measurements of multiple monitors and listening positions, to virtually adjust the sweet spot for different clients or setups. Correction profiles can be inserted across the master bus of any DAW, and ARC's precise correction filter will compensate for the room's acoustics.
The new ARC System 3 offers additional controls to fine-tune corrections for ideal performance in any room and setup:
- Adjustable correction range - Users can choose to define limits to upper and lower correction ranges separately to preserve a monitor's unique voicing or to correct a certain frequency range.
- Variable resolution and smoothing - The correction filter's resolution can be adjusted to use more or fewer frequency bands, for either surgical correction or a broader, smoother balance.
- Two Phase Modes - Natural and Linear phase modes ensure precise stereo imaging (Natural improves the phase response; Linear maintains the existing phase response).
The virtual monitoring feature lets users intentionally shape their sound to emulate devices like TVs, smartphones and car audio systems, as well as many popular studio monitors, to quickly and conveniently listen to the mix on other "virtual systems" to ensure a perfect sound translation across common listening devices.
ARC System 3 also provides useful tools to help speed up workflow, including Peak, RMS, Loudness and dynamic range metering. A real-time spectrum analyzer shows the pre-correction signal to indicate how the room was affecting the sound.
ARC System 3 software-only version is now available for $199.99. Existing owners of any registered IK product that retails for $99 or more can purchase the ARC System 3 software-only crossgrade for $99.99. ARC 2.0 or later users will receive a $50 coupon off the $99.99 price. Furthermore, all who purchase and register ARC 2.5 after April 1, 2020, will receive a free software-only upgrade to ARC System 3.
The new ARC System 3 complete bundle with MEMS microphone will be available in Q2 for $249.99 and can be pre-ordered now.