Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sander Verstraten

IK Multimedia - ARC 3

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

will the new mic be able to be purchased separately?

Edited by Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Sander Verstraten said:

Well it's only available as an insert in your DAW. In contrast to SonarWorks, that also adds a virtual out on OS level, so you can listen Spotify etc. with room correction.

 

TBH having Sonarworks for headphones always launch in my OS audio is a pain for me since I often use my monitors. I personally would rather have the option not to have it running through my OS audio. Another thing I have been having issue with Sonarworks is it doesn't always play well with youtube audio.

  Some people were using ARC the same way by adding it to an OS audio player than accepts vst plugins like Winamp. That way they could take advantage of the correction system wide.

I'm still not sure if the new mic is better than the old mic. TBH the older mic looks better made. The new mic looks like it's made of plastic. It would be useless to buy ARC 3 with better capture capability if the old mic is holding me back. The fact that you can crossgrade  without the mic seems to suggest that it works like this, however is it less effective, better with new mic or the same?

 

Edited by Starise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Grem said:

Now I understand. A standalone version. Yeah that would be nice!! IIRC, this was one of the beefs people had with ARC for a while now. Maybe 3.5?

Maybe, but IK has a habit of not always paying attention to the feedback of its users which is why I find them to be a hit or miss company for me. Sometimes they do really great things and other times they start to make promising products that  just miss the boat (ie; Sampletank). Nevertheless, ARC uses Audyssey for its calibration and I've always been a big fan of Audyssey. They have been in the game a long time and can be trusted to get things right, especially when coupled with the ability to tweak settings to your liking,which I find crucial for me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Starise said:

TBH having Sonarworks for headphones always launch in my OS audio is a pain for me since I often use my monitors. I personally would rather have the option not to have it running through my OS audio. Another thing I have been having issue with Sonarworks is it doesn't always play well with youtube audio.

I agree. I like that you have the option but the key word here is "option".  I've used the Sonarworks demo but I'm not an expert, however I thought there was an option to tell Sonarworks not to launch outside your daw  but I could be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is. This conversation finally made me check it. I disengaged it. I had planned to look into it but so many other things going on. When I first loaded the program that was the default setting it gave me. In addition Sonarworks has a selection that will not let both the OS and plugin versions run at the same time.This was not selected by default which was causing issues if I used it in my DAW while also in the OS. I have had SW for awhile so maybe there is an update to that program. I only use the head phones version right now. Would be interested to hear how the monitors version compares to ARC. 

ARC can be tricky on the setup. Some people set it up and run out of the room for each take. I always sit in my mix position when I set it up because I think your body being in there makes a difference, even if only a small one. Also if taking measurements I was taking one for door open and one for door closed. It's a little tricky to do this way. I use noise reduction ear plugs so the noises don't bother me and have a small boom mic stand with the mic  at ear level pointing straight up . The stand is tight against my chair. I take a measurement and then can adjust the mic at any position with that stand.

For me right now the main consideration is the mic. My mic wasn't the 1st generation it was the second with an orange ring around the base of it. Resembling an expensive Earthworks mic. Since the new MEMs mic is about 100.00 I need to know if there was a significant improvement in the MEMs mike. If it is better by a wide margin maybe I will looking into buying one.  Would be nice to hear from someone who has used both. One of the new features of 3.0 as I understand it is that is accepts different mics. Not sure what that means specifically.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 4/16/2020 at 4:17 PM, Peter - IK Multimedia said:

If you have ARC System 2+ you will have a $/€50 coupon off the $/€99.99 price applied in your cart when you add ARC 3.

 

1 hour ago, Fwrend said:

@Peter - IK Multimedia   my coupon isn't showing up in the cart?  Guess I'll slip support an email.

Same here Peter. I went through the process all the way to logging into my PayPal account (all I had to do was hit Complete to finish the purchase) and was still being charged $99.

 

edit: Sent in a support request. 

Edited by Grem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Grem said:

 

Same here Peter. I went through the process all the way to logging into my PayPal account (all I had to do was hit Complete to finish the purchase) and was still being charged $99.

 

edit: Sent in a support request. 

No Coupon here, either. Please report back what support said. Thanks!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Starise said:

For me right now the main consideration is the mic. My mic wasn't the 1st generation it was the second with an orange ring around the base of it. Resembling an expensive Earthworks mic. Since the new MEMs mic is about 100.00 I need to know if there was a significant improvement in the MEMs mike. If it is better by a wide margin maybe I will looking into buying one.  Would be nice to hear from someone who has used both. One of the new features of 3.0 as I understand it is that is accepts different mics. Not sure what that means specifically.

The main advantage of a MEMS mic is their low part-part variation and stability with time and environment . A condenser mic has a charged mylar diaphragm that dissipates over time and humidity while a MEMS mic has a built-in regulated power supply that doesn't degrade over time. Also, the MEMS mechanics are set by integrated circuit lithography which is very consistent across different builds. Condenser mics have much more variability across different builds. 

The big disadvantage of MEMS mics are their reduced dynamic range. The highest SPL they can tolerate is 120-130dB (depending on the mic model) and they have low SNR (65dB is GREAT for a MEMS mic) due to their tiny silicon diaphragm. Neither of these are issues  when used as a reference mic in our studios.

So are there significant improvements? Yes there are to IK. To you, maybe not so much unless your existing mic is "old".

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank You Fretman.

I have had the mic since version 2.0 and there was an older one before the one I have. It came in a decent foam storage box in plastic with a moisture removal packet. I only use it when I take measurements which is only if my setup changes. Any other time it sits in a closet in that box in a temperature controlled room. The mic is maybe 4 to 5 years old.

The first time I used it in probably two years was a few days ago because I moved my monitors to a higher elevation and a little further forward. The correction looked very similar to the old correction. Not sure it changed much. My gut feeling is the new mic would give me better corrections. How much better I don't know. the 2.5 software let me choose that specific mic. What this tells me is it made a correction based on the average behavior of that mic. There is no guarantee my mic hasn't changed slightly over time. Shouldn't have changed much though since I haven't used it. It hasn't been knocked around or dropped ever. My other condenser mics get a lot of use and they haven't changed to any large degree. 

IK haven't come right out and said this, but I think introducing the new mic has more to do with probable inconsistency in the manufacturing process of the older mics. I doubt age has a lot to do with it IMO unless the mic was stored and used in bad conditions. IK can better be assured of the consistent accuracy of the MEMS mic .vs the older mic.  If they admitted that there might have been inconsistencies in the older mics at time of manufacture this would place doubt on the correction results, so they can't say that. Instead they say the older mics change with age which is neither true or false all depending. Apparently the MEMS mics are not inconsistent.

When it comes right down to how this affects those of us who have the older mics, it might be a few db difference here or there all depending on the response of the mics. Since they aren't consistent we can't judge one mic against another. Mine might be great while the next one isn't or the other way around. This isn't to say we couldn't still get a correction that is so close it might not matter in the long run but this all depends on the correction, the mic and the space.

In hindsight I think IK should give a break on the mic prices to upgrade for  those who have the older mics since we have a product we thought would be good for a long time and now is said to be less accurate.

Secondly we should not have the option to choose the older mic  in software if it can't be guaranteed to do a good job. The mic should be off the table and not recommended at all.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Starise said:

In hindsight I think IK should give a break on the mic prices to upgrade for  those who have the older mics since we have a product we thought would be good for a long time and now is said to be less accurate.

I agree they should give a loyalty break on the mic but I think their decision to support the older mic as well as adding in options to support other mics is a good one. Even if the new mems is better than the old the majority of the work is still up to the quality of the algorithms implemented and the fact that the 3.0 lets you fine tune the tightness of the filter tolerances could help make up for not using the newer mic. I wouldn't sweat the new mic unless you had cash to burn. I'm not convinced that it will be that drastic of a difference. I think the updated algorithms from 2.5 and up is where the real benefits come to play. Of course, I don't have the old mic to compare but I could run some tests with my Dayton mic vs the new mems mic. I think I might try that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Patrick I looked at the Dayton which looks identical to the older IK mic style. I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't the same mics. I found some more info that might be useful. If you have a measurement mic and the new MEMS it would be interesting to see the differences if any. I can't find a frequency plot for my mic. The numbers on it don't cross to anything and probably only mean something to IK. I did find the specs on it though. I suppose if the mic is supposed to be flat a plot isn't necessary.

Similar to ARC 2.5 the ARC 3  software loads a file for the older IK mics. The info I found indicates you can use any measurement mic. Best of you have a performance file to load into the software. They prefer you use theirs. I'm not sure what to make of this for a conclusion since they say the MEMS gives the best accuracy.  I'm beginning to think it doesn't matter as you suggested, so long as the mic is flat in response.

 

 

Calibration mic 2.JPG

ARC Measurement microphones.JPG

Edited by Starise
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Starise said:

Similar to ARC 2.5 the ARC 3  software loads a file for the older IK mics. The info I found indicates you can use any measurement mic. Best of you have a performance file to load into the software

I wouldn't be surprised if the old mics and the Dayton and Behringer mics came out of the same factory. There is enough difference in tolerance in manufacturing that is is best, as you said, to get an individualized calibration file to load so that the software compensates for the differences. My Dayton mic came with it's own cal file based on it's serial number. I'm surprised that ARC doesn't provide individualized cal files but just has you choose the type of IK mic you have and go from there. Maybe they feel the tolerances in manufacturing of their mics is not enough to make a big difference.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Peter. What's the deadline for the introductory price on ARC 3 and/or the $50 coupon? Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Sergio said:

Hey Peter. What's the deadline for the introductory price on ARC 3 and/or the $50 coupon? Thanks.

There is no deadline set currently for the coupon.   The pricing isn't introductory it is MSRP just the bundle is just set as a preorder.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/18/2020 at 11:40 AM, fret_man said:

Yep! That was me! I think it was the 2nd time I've ever won anything. The 1st was a nifty paperweight. This was much better. Thanks again!

Glad you were able to win.  I picked and guarantee you didn't get any favoritism!  In fact Dave thought I was a bit slow in picking because I am meticulous about doing these right :)

On 4/18/2020 at 9:16 AM, Fwrend said:

@Peter - IK Multimedia   my coupon isn't showing up in the cart?  Guess I'll slip support an email.

Right, support has to look at these cases as they need to check your account specifically.

On 4/18/2020 at 9:29 AM, Greg said:

will the new mic be able to be purchased separately?

The new MEMS microphone is available now.  $/€69.99 on our site and you can use JamPoints toward that.

On 4/18/2020 at 9:37 AM, Starise said:

TBH having Sonarworks for headphones always launch in my OS audio is a pain for me since I often use my monitors. I personally would rather have the option not to have it running through my OS audio. Another thing I have been having issue with Sonarworks is it doesn't always play well with youtube audio.

  Some people were using ARC the same way by adding it to an OS audio player than accepts vst plugins like Winamp. That way they could take advantage of the correction system wide.

I'm still not sure if the new mic is better than the old mic. TBH the older mic looks better made. The new mic looks like it's made of plastic. It would be useless to buy ARC 3 with better capture capability if the old mic is holding me back. The fact that you can crossgrade  without the mic seems to suggest that it works like this, however is it less effective, better with new mic or the same?

 

The new mic is able to provide better results for the reasons fret_man states below.

On 4/18/2020 at 10:37 AM, Grem said:

 

Same here Peter. I went through the process all the way to logging into my PayPal account (all I had to do was hit Complete to finish the purchase) and was still being charged $99.

 

edit: Sent in a support request. 

Yes, that's the way to go - they'll be able to look at what's happening in your account directly.

On 4/18/2020 at 11:16 AM, fret_man said:

No Coupon here, either. Please report back what support said. Thanks!

It would be best to report directly as they have to look at your specific account.

On 4/18/2020 at 11:30 AM, fret_man said:

The main advantage of a MEMS mic is their low part-part variation and stability with time and environment . A condenser mic has a charged mylar diaphragm that dissipates over time and humidity while a MEMS mic has a built-in regulated power supply that doesn't degrade over time. Also, the MEMS mechanics are set by integrated circuit lithography which is very consistent across different builds. Condenser mics have much more variability across different builds. 

The big disadvantage of MEMS mics are their reduced dynamic range. The highest SPL they can tolerate is 120-130dB (depending on the mic model) and they have low SNR (65dB is GREAT for a MEMS mic) due to their tiny silicon diaphragm. Neither of these are issues  when used as a reference mic in our studios.

So are there significant improvements? Yes there are to IK. To you, maybe not so much unless your existing mic is "old".

This.  There are definite advantages for physical reasons.

On 4/18/2020 at 1:12 PM, Starise said:

Thank You Fretman.

I have had the mic since version 2.0 and there was an older one before the one I have. It came in a decent foam storage box in plastic with a moisture removal packet. I only use it when I take measurements which is only if my setup changes. Any other time it sits in a closet in that box in a temperature controlled room. The mic is maybe 4 to 5 years old.

The first time I used it in probably two years was a few days ago because I moved my monitors to a higher elevation and a little further forward. The correction looked very similar to the old correction. Not sure it changed much. My gut feeling is the new mic would give me better corrections. How much better I don't know. the 2.5 software let me choose that specific mic. What this tells me is it made a correction based on the average behavior of that mic. There is no guarantee my mic hasn't changed slightly over time. Shouldn't have changed much though since I haven't used it. It hasn't been knocked around or dropped ever. My other condenser mics get a lot of use and they haven't changed to any large degree. 

IK haven't come right out and said this, but I think introducing the new mic has more to do with probable inconsistency in the manufacturing process of the older mics. I doubt age has a lot to do with it IMO unless the mic was stored and used in bad conditions. IK can better be assured of the consistent accuracy of the MEMS mic .vs the older mic.  If they admitted that there might have been inconsistencies in the older mics at time of manufacture this would place doubt on the correction results, so they can't say that. Instead they say the older mics change with age which is neither true or false all depending. Apparently the MEMS mics are not inconsistent.

When it comes right down to how this affects those of us who have the older mics, it might be a few db difference here or there all depending on the response of the mics. Since they aren't consistent we can't judge one mic against another. Mine might be great while the next one isn't or the other way around. This isn't to say we couldn't still get a correction that is so close it might not matter in the long run but this all depends on the correction, the mic and the space.

In hindsight I think IK should give a break on the mic prices to upgrade for  those who have the older mics since we have a product we thought would be good for a long time and now is said to be less accurate.

Secondly we should not have the option to choose the older mic  in software if it can't be guaranteed to do a good job. The mic should be off the table and not recommended at all.  

Why would we take out the option to use the previous mics?  They work, there are just actual physical reasons why the MEMS mic will give better results.  ARC System 3 also works with 3rd party measurement mics - should we have left that out too? 

On 4/18/2020 at 9:22 PM, Patrick Derbidge said:

I agree they should give a loyalty break on the mic but I think their decision to support the older mic as well as adding in options to support other mics is a good one. Even if the new mems is better than the old the majority of the work is still up to the quality of the algorithms implemented and the fact that the 3.0 lets you fine tune the tightness of the filter tolerances could help make up for not using the newer mic. I wouldn't sweat the new mic unless you had cash to burn. I'm not convinced that it will be that drastic of a difference. I think the updated algorithms from 2.5 and up is where the real benefits come to play. Of course, I don't have the old mic to compare but I could run some tests with my Dayton mic vs the new mems mic. I think I might try that.

You can use JamPoints toward the microphone and combined with the upgrade for ARC 2+ users it is cheaper than the bundle (which is also only available on preorder).  I agree that adding support for the previous microphones and 3rd party measurement mics was a good move.   Also yes the upgraded algorithm is a great improvement and the main reason that ARC System 3 is better than previous, and the new features are great and support that improvement.

About the microphones, from our FAQ:

What is the best microphone to use with ARC 3?

To get the best possible results in terms of accuracy you should use the ARC 3 MEMS Microphone.

With this mic ARC 3 ensures a precision within +/- 0.5dB, which is a quite remarkable level of accuracy!

It’s the best investment you can do for your studio, it’s a reasonably priced microphone, and it offers a great stability with time and temperature, so it will always deliver the same reliable results over years.

Are the older ARC microphones (silver metal models) still good for ARC 3?

With normal “recording” microphones the accuracy of the frequency response down to the dB or fraction of dB is not that crucial, but for measurement microphones it’s a fundamental aspect.

There were two models of the original ARC condenser microphone, one with an orange ring at its base, one without; the first model is from 2007 and it’s the one without the orange ring.

Condenser microphones tend to vary their response with environmental conditions and with age.

In 2009 that mic was replaced with the second model (with the orange ring) to improve the stability with time and temperature.

So, if you own one of the original ring-less microphones that was sold between 2007 and 2009, while you can for sure use and see the results, there are chances that its reliability is not great at today (11+ years later), making the precision of the ARC 3 correction less accurate.

The second model was more stable, but even that one is surpassed in terms of precision and stability with environment and age by the ARC 3 MEMS microphone.

So, if you’re after a great level of accuracy from your monitoring system, make sure to use the ARC 3 MEMS microphone for the room analysis phase.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Quote

Why would we take out the option to use the previous mics?  They work, there are just actual physical reasons why the MEMS mic will give better results.  ARC System 3 also works with 3rd party measurement mics - should we have left that out too? 

 

Quote

So, if you own one of the original ring-less microphones that was sold between 2007 and 2009, while you can for sure use and see the results, there are chances that its reliability is not great at today (11+ years later), making the precision of the ARC 3 correction less accurate.

We will have to agree to disagree here. If something "works" but isn't considered to be reliable in my thinking it isn't working very well ;)  

You are distributing a great product here and I'll probably buy it again. I think the MEMs mic is probably a necessity though. I can't confidently use a mic that even the company says the reliability isn't that great. Sort of defeats the purpose of a product that's supposed to make monitoring "more reliable".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Starise said:

We will have to agree to disagree here. If something "works" but isn't considered to be reliable in my thinking it isn't working very well ;)  

You are distributing a great product here and I'll probably buy it again. I think the MEMs mic is probably a necessity though. I can't confidently use a mic that even the company says the reliability isn't that great. Sort of defeats the purpose of a product that's supposed to make monitoring "more reliable".

If I understood correctly it's a matter of precision. There's a theoretical ideal room response that could theoretically be achieved with the right microphone and the right measurements. Of course the real result will always be an approximation of that and the microphone response is only one of the factors involved. It looks like the new microphones have a tighter component tolerance and so the end result (again theoretically) can be closer to ideal. It doesn't mean that the results obtained with older IK mics or generic mics will be bad. I guess the differences could be very light and hard to perceive. But I'm guessing... YMMV.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Sergio said:

If I understood correctly it's a matter of precision. There's a theoretical ideal room response that could theoretically be achieved with the right microphone and the right measurements. Of course the real result will always be an approximation of that and the microphone response is only one of the factors involved. It looks like the new microphones have a tighter component tolerance and so the end result (again theoretically) can be closer to ideal. It doesn't mean that the results obtained with older IK mics or generic mics will be bad. I guess the differences could be very light and hard to perceive. But I'm guessing... YMMV.

I see your point. I have always seen ARC as an approximation but a really close one. If it wasn't close there would be no need to have it. And it had better be darned close. To me that means probably to within 1-2%. If my old mic is giving me a 10-20% deviation I really am not interested in the" correction".  I won't beat a dead horse here. I've already typed plenty on it. If I had the assurance that my mic would be so close it wouldn't matter I would be fine with that. I was beginning to think this until Peter made it pretty plain that .................well I'll post the comment again

2 hours ago, Peter - IK Multimedia said:

So, if you own one of the original ring-less microphones that was sold between 2007 and 2009, while you can for sure use and see the results, there are chances that its reliability is not great at today (11+ years later), making the precision of the ARC 3 correction less accurate.

Don't mind me I'm in some kind of an endless loop here. I want off the merry-go-round. :) If I buy a product based on accuracy it either is or it isn't. We can mince words any way you want to but to me the results are suspect.  If I end up buying a MEMS mic the very first thing I'm going to do is take calibrations on both mics and make a comparison between the two. That's probably the only way I'm going to know how "accurate" the older system was.

I'm just plain tired of talking about it now.....have a good day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Starise said:

If I end up buying a MEMS mic the very first thing I'm going to do is take calibrations on both mics and make a comparison between the two. That's probably the only way I'm going to know how "accurate" the older system was.

I'll be highly interested in your results if you ever care to post them here. I also have an old mic but I'm not exactly inclined to buy a new one right now (I'm not in the USA, Europe, Japan, etc). Depending on what you find my inclination could change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Sure thing Sergio.

ARC 3 is on a pre order basis now for the mic and software, or was as of yesterday when I looked into it.  I'll probably wait until the product is readily available. I'll post my results unless someone else beats me to it. This will only be helpful data if the software isn't "approximating" too much.

Did you get one of those 23 and me tests genetic tests.? I'm white and from Europe originally........me and 500 million other people. lol. Not sure why this reminded me of that :)

 

Edited by Starise
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...