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NUGEN Audio Halo Vision

Analysis Plug-in For Stereo & Immersive Formats By Trevor Michael
Published December 2022

Nugen Audio Halo Vision

A good real‑time analyser can draw attention to what our ears miss, and with multi‑channel formats that second opinion can be invaluable.

NUGEN Audio have a strong reputation for their analysis and metering plug‑ins and their latest, Halo Vision, works not only with stereo signals but also 3D and immersive audio formats up to 7.1.2. The minimum system requirements are Mac OS 10.9.x or 64‑bit versions of Windows Vista and above, and a surround‑compatible DAW that supports the usual 64‑bit AAX, VST3 and AU plug‑in formats. My own Atmos‑equipped studio is based around a Mac Mini running Pro Tools.

Seven Wonders

Halo Vision can pack seven handy analysis tools into a single interface: a correlation matrix, a correlation web display, a frequency ‘haze’ display, a location haze display (energy distribution), an FFT spectrum analyser, peak meters, and a timecode display. And you can tell straight away that someone has thought it all through: the GUI is neat and cleanly laid out, so that it all feels uncluttered; it’s super‑easy to see what’s going on. It gets better, though, because you can customise the layout to meet your needs: each module can be moved, enlarged or reduced, and if there’s one you don’t need to see you can remove it from the display entirely. You can also store and recall customised layouts. You might have, for example, a master‑bus layout displaying all modules, and another setup showing only the correlation meters.

In the top right‑hand corner of each module, a drop‑down menu allows you to close that module or expand it to use the entire display. You’ll also find settings which allow you to customise the module, for example by changing meter colours, setting the frequency haze range, and specifying hold times for PPMs. More on that below.

Each module can be moved around, enlarged or reduced, and if there’s a module you don’t need to see you can remove it from the main display entirely.

Correlation

Figure 1a: A default stereo instance of Halo Vision.Figure 1a: A default stereo instance of Halo Vision.Figure 1b: Essentially the same view, but this time for a 7.1.2 project.Figure 1b: Essentially the same view, but this time for a 7.1.2 project.When working in stereo, we have two channels that may occasionally get ‘folded down’ to mono, and when that happens, out‑of‑phase components cancel. When working with multichannel or immersive audio there’s more scope for such cancellations to occur, since there are more channels and more potential formats: your 7.1.2 mix may get folded down to 7.1, 5.1, 2.1 2.0, etc. So a meter that can alert you to any problems in this regard is very welcome.

Figure 1a shows a default stereo instance of Halo Vision with all seven modules, and Figure 1b a 7.1.2 instance. In the top‑left of each is the correlation web module, which shows the phase relationships between the different audio channels, and in the stereo instance it’s pretty straight forward. The line between the L and R glows red when the correlation between L and R falls below a user‑defined threshold (specified in that module’s settings pane). The same concept applies in the 7.1.2 instance, but the picture is inevitably more complex, since there are now 10 channels at play instead of two — the line between each pair lights up when there’s a problem.

Moving right, the correlation matrix module again shows the phase relationship between pairs of channels, but in this case the small squares change colour from green (in phase)...

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