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Mesh

Sonarworks and ATH-M50X

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I have the trial version of Sonarworks which I put on the Master output and it works well in getting flat/neutral response. I do like that the lows are tamed, but I also noticed that the mids and highs have lost that 'sparkle' (especially when playing my guitar through amp sims).

When I disable Sonarworks, the tones/responses/feel are much more livelier which is what I want when playing and recording. Don't like that dull effect it does to the sound where I have to re-tweak all the amps/fx's in trying to get that 'openness with full tones' I get when it's disabled.

Will the full version (Headphone Edition) add or allow more control on the mid/high tones or what other adjustments would I need to do?

My signal path is: guitar plugged into IK's Axe I/O and into the DAW using an amp sim.

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The point of Sonarworks is to give you an accurate representation of the "flat" sound. A lot of headphones "hype" the low end or high end, so it's natural that when you disable Soundworks, the sound will change. All you really need to do to monitor with the sound you like is add some EQ to the master bus, after Sonarworks, that boosts the high mids and highs. Consider trying a high shelf with a couple dB of boost, starting at around 3 kHz.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Mesh said:

When I disable Sonarworks, the tones/responses/feel are much more livelier which is what I want when playing and recording. Don't like that dull effect it does to the sound where I have to re-tweak all the amps/fx's in trying to get that 'openness with full tones' I get when it's disabled.

 

Can you ignore Sonarworks during creating and just use it when it comes to the mixing stage. I think this is a problem for home recording musicians, namely, musicians want a lively exciting, colored sound when recording and playing because it is inspirational. The technical side of mixing demands a flat neutral sound in order to get the mix right and transferable to a range of listening devices. How people juggle this I don't know but I bet everyone has different ways of achieving it. Might be worthy of a topic in the coffee house.

I have just put Morphit (poor mans sonarworks!) on and am trying to set up a second mix to the second headphone out. An idea I got from Bapu in the coffee house, so this is another option. if you have the hardware for it.

I used it a couple of times before but like you, didn't like the sound and also clicking it on and off in the master bus. I have yet to trial it on a mix though.

These sorts of effects to counteract the coloring of headphones and monitors might be worthwhile, or it might just be marketing speak, I don't know yet. It might still just boil down to learning your headphones and mixing around them.

When I first used my HD598's to mix, it was awful but it has massively improved recently because I have been using them a lot for everything and am beginning to really get to know them.

By the way, I also have the ATH-M50x's and yes, they are very good at delivering an exciting sound to play and record to. Not flat and neutral by themselves though, they have the "W" shaped eq, boost in the bass, midrange and treble frequencies.

 

Edited by Tezza

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9 hours ago, Tezza said:

Can you ignore Sonarworks during creating and just use it when it comes to the mixing stage. I think this is a problem for home recording musicians, namely, musicians want a lively exciting, colored sound when recording and playing because it is inspirational.

Tezza, that's exactly how I want to do things and if I can't get a good thing with the EQ, will disable Sonarworks on the master. I briefly tried Fabfilter's Pro-Q3 last evening and it was better, but didn't have that 'open air response/feel' (like when you play through a real amp) which I got on the amp sim when Sonarworks was disabled.

It seems a bit counterproductive to add more plugins just to get back the original sound/tones I had without Sonarworks. However, I can see this being a big help when mixing as that's exactly what you want. That's why (some of) us guitarists aren't meant to be sound engineers.....we just plug and play. :D      

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Yes, I am the same, I find I think less and less about the technical side or whether what I am listening to is neutral or not, give me color, I want to hear color and dynamics when I am recording. Also, loudness, even if you are playing virtual instruments, if you want them to sound like a real band (not everyone does), you have to turn up the volume to stage volume, it changes the way you play, you can tap the dynamics, which you cant sense at a low volume, same for guitar and amp sims, give me glorious color, loudness and dynamics, technical side can come later when all the damage is done.

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