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Nx Virtual Mix Room and Abbey Road Studio 3 suggestions

In 2020, I purchased Nx VMR, ARS3, and the Head Tracker. I think they are fantastic, but have a few suggestions for both of them.

ARS3:

  1. Add the left to right and front to back motion support to ARS3. I believe that Nx VMR is the better of the two plugins for this reason. This motion allows the peaks and valleys in the frequency response to move around so that you can get a flatter average as happens in the real world.
  2. This is possibly related to #1 above, but in ARS3, I noticed a pretty big boost in the Far field monitors between 40 and 80 Hz , and a bit of a cut between 80 and 200.Hz. The Mid field monitors have a pretty wide boost between 50 and 150 Hz. These are big enough to really throw your perceived bass content off.

Nx VMR:
I believe it would be very useful to have room / speaker simulations of different real world non-studio environments. Essentially, Audified’s Mixchecker done right.

I like your different monitor suggestions for NX. I’d also like to see a bigger selection of headphone calibrations as well.

Although, I also follow the school of thought that as long as you have decent set of speakers that are relatively flat and without any hype of huge dips in its frequency response, then as long as you’re familiar with how music sounds on it in general, then it’s enough to get the job done. It’s all about points of reference, and if your ears become accustomed to hearing all music on it, than that effectively trains the ear into how things “should” sound.

Of course rooms themselves can contribute significantly to huge peaks or dips, which is why a good set of headphones would always be the preferred method for me in that particular situation. Plugins like NX or ARS are like icing on the cake for me while using headphones. It’s like it offers another perspective in a different space, essentially like using a second set of reference speakers. Because my ears have been trained to see my headphones as “neutral” it still reveals a useful perspective to me.

Hi Simon.

As most people’s auditory memory is terrible, I am a big believer in the technique of listening to recordings of music you like through your system, and then adjusting a separate monitoring EQ so that these recordings sound the way you want them to (mostly adjustments of bass and treble). You then create your mix through this monitor EQ (the monitor EQ is NOT part of the final mix). By doing that, your mix will sound like you want it to and will most likely fall inline with the rest of the world.

As for mix rooms, the designers try to keep the peaks and dips to a minimum, but due to floor reflections, console surface reflections, and standing waves, it’s impossible to do. For that reason, I believe that mixing on a system like Nx VMR can actually be better than a real room. As Nx uses an algorithm, these acoustical anomalies can be kept under control. This in fact is what I see when comparing the flatness of Nx with ABS3.

So, once your “mixing room” has been flattened, it makes sense to me to then provide the engineer simulations of real world listening environments, as these are the actual environments your customers will listen to your mix in. I realize that this would be a big project, but would give the mix engineer a much better “view” into the real world than a few additional sets of smaller speakers. The Nx system is perfect for this.

Tom

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Yes I believe these “real world listening environments” are important for a reference framework. This may even be as something as simple as laptop speakers and ear buds, because that IS how the real world is listing to its music.

You can’t make a bad system sound good, but you can make sure your mix translates well is it possible on a bad system without any negative impacts on on better systems. While NX and Abbey Road Studios are great resources to reference what something would sound like on a good system in a good environment, I’d still like to see some other environments being emulated. Things like the aforementioned laptop speakers or earbuds. Personally I think they are more relevant today than the “car check” as teenagers don’t drive.

Hopefully the Waves folks will read this thread and make “other environments” a reality. But, those other environments should be done in Nx so that side-to-side and front-to-back motion are tracked. I can’t overstate how important head tracking is. Many people consider it a gimmick, but it isn’t. It’s part of how we compensate for acoustic imperfections in the real world. Run pink noise through Nx with an averaging frequency analyzer on its output and move your head around; you’ll see what I mean.

For the moment, I’m running MixChecker Pro through Nx as a way to place some “real world” speakers into an acoustic space with head tracking. I believe this is a legitimate thing to do as the Nx frequency response looks to lie within a +/-3.dB range; pretty flat for an “acoustic environment”.

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