Embody offer a unique way to tailor their room‑simulation system to the individual user.
The idea of Embody’s Immerse Virtual Studio is to give headphone listeners the experience of sitting in a virtual control room while mixing. This isn’t a new concept: Focusrite’s VRM Box pioneered the technique many years ago, and there are other plug‑ins that offer superficially similar features. Each of these has its own unique selling point: Waves’ Abbey Road Studio 3 supports their NX head‑tracking system, dSONIQ’s Realphones combines room simulation and headphone correction, while Slate’s VSX is a complete system comprising plug‑in and matching headphones. Immerse Virtual Studio introduces further twists to the genre.
All of these plug‑ins aim to create an immersive effect by replicating the way in which sound arriving at our eardrums is filtered by the outer ear, skull and torso. This can be achieved either at source, by recording the impulse response of the control room with a ‘dummy head’, or by processing a conventional stereo impulse response with a head‑related transfer function (HRTF). However, neither of these approaches takes into account the fact that everyone’s hearing is different. The more your own ears and head differ from those of the ‘dummy head’, or the head that was used to derive the HRTF measurement, the less likely you are to find the psychoacoustic illusion of sitting in a virtual control room believable.
The obvious solution to this problem is to create personalised HRTFs but, until...