Neumann Introduces Automatic Studio Monitor Alignment Solution Jointly Developed with Fraunhofer IIS

December 1 2020, 00:25
German studio specialist Neumann.Berlin introduced the MA 1, an integrated hard/software tool for acoustic calibration and room correction, tailor-made for Neumann studio monitors. Calibration algorithms, jointly developed with Fraunhofer IIS, the world’s leading institute for audio signal processing, ensure best possible monitoring quality in any environment – from acoustically untreated bedroom studios to professional control rooms.

"The Neumann studio monitor portfolio is experiencing an enormous increase in demand; in some cases more than 60% compared to the previous year. According to user feedback, one of the main reasons is that our monitors have the highest acoustic consistency on the market; i.e. different models deliver identical mixing results in varying listening environments. This is of crucial importance, especially when different decentralized monitoring processes are involved. To further perfect this advantage for our customers, automatic room correction is the next logical step," explains Ralf Oehl, CEO of Neumann.Berlin. "Together with our partner, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), we want to create our own absolute reference for room correction in studio monitors, regardless of whether it is for small home studios or large control rooms of the highest professional standards."

The MA 1 system consists of an individually calibrated Neumann measurement microphone and the corresponding software for Mac and PC. Neumann’s Automatic Monitor Alignment is available for all DSP-controlled stereo monitor systems of the KH line, which currently includes the KH 80 DSP as well as the analog studio monitors KH 120, KH 310, and KH 420, in combination with the subwoofer KH 750 DSP.

"It is an integrated system; all components are perfectly matched," explains Portfolio Manager Markus Wolff. "This enables us to make much more accurate adjustments than third-party solutions, since only we have a deeper knowledge of all system-inherent parameters of our monitors and can take them into account accordingly. In addition, the Automatic Monitor Alignment uses novel calibration algorithms that generate a room-adaptive target curve and make precise adjustments to correct the respective acoustic problem. Depending on your preferences, the target curve can be further adjusted manually to meet individual requirements."

Neumann’s decades of experience in the calibration of studio monitoring systems has been incorporated into the software. Like a personal assistant, it guides the user step by step through the measurements and analyzes the respective listening environment; unnecessary “eye candy” has been deliberately omitted. The resulting correction data is stored and processed directly in the DSP-controlled monitors.

"This handling advantage is extremely important to us," emphasizes Markus Wolff. "The user does not have to load a plug-in and deactivate it again for audio export, nor is potentially bug-ridden driver software required. After the alignment, the familiar workflow remains completely unaffected – except for the drastically improved sound!"

KH 80 DSP stereo pairs can be controlled directly by the software. All other ­– non-DSP-equipped – stereo monitor pairs of the KH Line can be aligned by connecting them to the analog outputs of the KH 750 DSP subwoofer. Owners of KH 120, KH 310 and KH 420 monitors thus benefit not only from an extended bass response, but also from the room correction and – this is unique – the phase linearization of the analog speakers.

"The Automatic Monitor Alignment MA 1 is the beginning of a new era in Neumann monitoring. The feedback from our test listeners has been very promising. Starting with a simple user interface and a focus on stereo systems we will, step by step, extend the user guidance and functionality with updates, based on our customers' wishes. This will include an expansion to multichannel systems," adds Ralf Oehl.

The software contained in the MA 1 package is available for macOS and Windows 10. The complete MA 1 package, including a high quality Neumann measuring microphone, is available for 249,00 EUR MSRP.

In addition, Neumann is offering new bundled KH Line Monitor kits with the MA 1 package for the market launch:
Monitor Alignment Kit 1 (1x KH 750 DSP + MA 1 package)
Monitor Alignment Kit 2 (2x KH 80 DSP + MA 1 package)
Monitor Alignment Kit 3 (2 x KH 80 DSP + 1x KH 750 DSP + MA 1 package)
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