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Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby manwilde » Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:58 pm

The Elf wrote:Not if you take your headphones with you, and you are used to how they sound without Sonarworks to prop them up.

Oh, well, I hadn´t thought of that scenario. Fair enough!.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:23 pm

manwilde wrote:If you mix in a different room, the sound is gonna be different...

And that's why professional rooms have properly designed acoustics to ensure the flattest response possible, and the best consistency between different rooms using different monitors... A level of consistency and accuracy which can be approximated well by using sonarworks in Bedroom /project studios like yours and mine and many others.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:23 pm

The purpose of Sonarworks, as I understand it, is to make your speakers, in your room, sound as near to flat as possible, if you go to a different room with different speakers also corrected with Sonarworks they should also sound as flat as possible in that room. If both rooms are sufficiently well treated you should be able to take a mix from one to another and not experience significant differences in balance. Using the slope feature to change your speakers in your room to something other than "as flat as possible" means that will no longer be the case?
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby The Elf » Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:25 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:The purpose of Sonarworks, as I understand it, is to make your speakers, in your room, sound as near to flat as possible...
Speakers and headphones.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:46 pm

:thumbup:
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby PeterD9988 » Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:39 pm

Ok, that seems to make sense - SW Ref4 EQ is compensating and making the necessary corrections for my room/ monitors.
So I render my mix with SW Ref4 EQ bypassed, but the next person listening to my music hears the 'uncorrected' version. Since I cant obviously generate an EQ for every living person to correct their systems, I cannot predict what they will hear surely.
It seems a better approach mould be for SW to generate an EQ which should be included in the render and would improve the sound for the average listener.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby PeterD9988 » Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:53 pm

Also another point: to conserve memory due to large orchestral templates in Cubase 10.5 I freeze tracks periodically (render in place). So even if I were to bypass the SW Ref 4 EQ on the master bus when exporting, the correction EQ curve is already printed on previously frozen tracks. Do these tracks need to be 're-rendered' individually? getting v. messy.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby RichardT » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:02 pm

PeterD9988 wrote:Also another point: to conserve memory due to large orchestral templates in Cubase 10.5 I freeze tracks periodically (render in place). So even if I were to bypass the SW Ref 4 EQ on the master bus when exporting, the correction EQ curve is already printed on previously frozen tracks. Do these tracks need to be 're-rendered' individually? getting v. messy.

If you rendered them with full master bus processing, then yes.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby RichardT » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:05 pm

PeterD9988 wrote:Ok, that seems to make sense - SW Ref4 EQ is compensating and making the necessary corrections for my room/ monitors.
So I render my mix with SW Ref4 EQ bypassed, but the next person listening to my music hears the 'uncorrected' version. Since I cant obviously generate an EQ for every living person to correct their systems, I cannot predict what they will hear surely.
It seems a better approach mould be for SW to generate an EQ which should be included in the render and would improve the sound for the average listener.

There isn’t such an EQ setting - you’d make things worse for most people, not better!
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:06 pm

PeterD9988 wrote:Ok, that seems to make sense - SW Ref4 EQ is compensating and making the necessary corrections for my room/ monitors.

Correct.

So I render my mix with SW Ref4 EQ bypassed, but the next person listening to my music hears the 'uncorrected' version.

It's not 'uncorrected', it's a 'flat' mix that will sound perfect in any room (or car or headphones) that has a reasonably flat response too.

Since I cant obviously generate an EQ for every living person to correct their systems, I cannot predict what they will hear surely.

Precisely. So the best we can do is assume that, as serious listeners, they will have taken the trouble to buy decent gear and, ideally, to have done whatever they could to get the flattest response from it.

It seems a better approach would be for SW to generate an EQ which should be included in the render and would improve the sound for the average listener.

But what is 'the average listener'? You can't Pre-EQ for every different headphone, or earphone, or every hifi speaker, or every car, or every pocket radio, or every phone, or every tablet.

Instead, we trust the manufacturers to get as close as they can to the flattest possible response, and we trust serious listeners to take whatever actions they can to make their rooms as flat as possible.mand we make our mixes sound good when heard on flat monitoring systems.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:12 pm

PeterD9988 wrote: I freeze tracks periodically (render in place). So even if I were to bypass the SW Ref 4 EQ on the master bus when exporting, the correction EQ curve is already printed on previously frozen tracks.

Only if you rendered through the master bus. Some DAWs allow you to render individual tracks with only the track plugins active.

Do these tracks need to be 're-rendered' individually?

Yes, if you made the error of rendering through the sonar works plugin.

getting v. messy.

That's why placing the sonar works plugin into the monitor path is a much better idea -- assuming the DAW allows it (which Cubase does I think).

But even with the sonar works plugin in the master bus, It's not really 'messy'. It's just a case of bypassing the plugin before starting the render, and engaging it again afterwards. Two clicks....
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby desmond » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:28 pm

PeterD9988 wrote:It seems a better approach mould be for SW to generate an EQ which should be included in the render and would improve the sound for the average listener.

Making a mix sound as good as it can on everyone's systems is *your* job as a mixer.

The EQ tool is helping you do your job better by compensating for your bad/untreated room (people working in proper, treated rooms don't need this, because they can hear what they are doing properly and thus make good mix decisions). Improving what your *hear* to be more accurate means you can be more confident that the decisions you are making regarding the sound of your mix are good ones.

For example, if your room gave you massive bass because of it's dimensions and other factors, you would likely turn down the bass so it sounds "right" to you. But your mix would be bass light *for everyone else* who listened to it, because you turned down the bass end and, and made a poor mix decision based on flawed hearing of your mix.

The EQ tool compensates for your flawed hearing. That's it.

Honestly, if this is something you're struggling with understanding what the tool is for, I'm not sure it makes sense that you should be using it - it seems to be causing more problems and misunderstanding and therefore isn't being used effectively. In my book, if I don't understand what a tool is for, or what it does, or how to use it, I either don't use that tool, or I make the effort to figure al this stuff out.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby The Elf » Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:26 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:That's why placing the sonar works plugin into the monitor path is a much better idea -- assuming the DAW allows it (which Cubase does I think).
It does, as I mentioned above, if the OP places the Sonarworks plug-in in Cubase's Control Room all this mucking around with bypassing for export is solved automatically.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby PeterD9988 » Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:38 am

In this effort to ‘figure out SW REf4’ it seems to logically follow that reference tracks loaded into Cubase should also be heard with the EQ applied - correcting again any defects produced by the room/ monitors. One additional point: I would not normally mix/master with headphones, however since SW Ref 4 has a preset EQ for most brands, including my Sennh. HD-600s, does it suggest mixing/ mastering headphones and with EQ applied becomes more viable?
Time to go and test all of this.
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Re: Experiences with Sonarworks Reference 4 Studio

Postby desmond » Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:47 am

Correct.

As for headphone correction, it doesn't necessarily make headphone mixing any more viable than without it, it just makes your headphones a little more accurate as it corrects for headphone characteristics - deviations in frequency response - to make them flatter.

The usual strengths and weakness of mixing on headphones vs speakers still apply.
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