IK Multimedia is perhaps best known for its iPhone and iPad music production software and hardware products, but they have another great product you don’t hear much about. You have to search their website under products, then computer, and way down almost at the bottom of the list you’ll find ARC System 2. ARC stands for Advanced Room Correction System, and perhaps I’m a little bias because this is the system I use. For many physical acoustic treatments seem to be the way to go, sometimes having foam panels on the walls, ceilings, and corners of your studio simply isn’t practical. In my case my studio doubles as the office for my private teaching practice, so it wouldn’t be attractive to have foam products draped all over walls and ceiling. So what is the ARC system about and how does it work?
The ARC system as I mentioned before, stands for Advanced Room Correction System, and it does quite a good job of exactly that, correcting the room. For most of us with smaller home studios, we can’t have our stereo monitors three feet from the wall because there wouldn’t be anywhere left to sit. This software allows your studio monitors to be placed in untraditional positions, which is usually the case in a home or project studios. Using the ARC software, provided microphone, and magic, your rooms frequency problems are solved. Alright, perhaps not so much with the magic, but it will sound like that too your ears. The difference I noticed in my studio before using ARC, and after using the ARC software was remarkable. In my case my room had an extremely high bass response, and after setting up and using the software my rooms frequency response was incredibly close to flat.
The ARC system has some other tricks up its sleeve as well, such as being able to listen to your mixes on different virtual devices simply by selecting them through a drop down menu on the softwares interface. Another great feature is you can calibrate and run several studio monitor sets using different profiles. In my studio I have a set of KRK’s at my mixing desk, and Yamaha HS6’s at my production desk, each set of speakers can be called up using their individual profile. This means that no matter which set of monitors I’m using, I’m hearing the best possible frequency response for that set of monitors in my room.
I should also mention that this software runs as a plugin in your DAW which is kind of nice. If physical acoustic room treatments are not something that works for you it maybe a good idea to head over to the IK Multimedia website and check out ARC 2.