Product Profile: IK Multimedia ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System

The IK Multimedia ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System gives you the tools to model and recall your room’s EQ curve, experiment with bass response, stereo imagery, transients and much more. The ARC Advanced Studio room correction system combines all the functionality of previous IK Multimedia ARC room correction systems and integrates it with a hardware controller (called the ARC Studio unit) that sits in between your speakers and your audio interface. The ARC Studio unit connects to your computer via a USB-C port. The ARC Studio unit allows for a no-latency room correction experience, which is not possible from a software correction system. This is a key feature that makes the hardware aspect of the ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System so special. Also, the ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System does phase correction, which is not possible from a software correction system. 

IK Multimedia’s ARC acoustic room correction system has been available for some time now, first originally as a plug in, and then later integrated into IK Multimedia’s range of iLoud precision and MTM studio monitors. The major shortcoming to the previous versions of IK Multimedia’s ARC acoustic room correction systems was that you always had to utilize it as a plug-in, typically putting it on the master bus of your DAW session so that you could feed that EQ curve to your monitoring system and hear the room correction applied. The new IK Multimedia ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System frees you from the hassle of inserting plug-ins on the master bus of your work and preserves zero-latency monitoring setups, plus it allows you to listen to your preferred streaming service with acoustically corrected monitoring without having to hassle with system drivers. 

The IK Multimedia ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System includes a professional grade measurement microphone and a microphone stand clip. Like all room correction systems, the ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System works by listening to your room (Home Studio, Professional Studio, Theatre, Etc.) and then uses a digital signal processor to generate a series of test tones resulting in an EQ curve that can then be saved, edited and recalled from the included ARC 4 software on your computer. 

IK Mulktimedia’s ARC 4 software goes much further than simply providing the tools to generate a flat EQ Curve. The upgraded ARC 4 software gives you access to a wide range of analysis options that were previously unavailable. Natural and Linear phase modes are provided which helps to ensure precise stereo imaging. The Natural mode improves the phase response, while the Linear Phase mode maintains the original inter-channel phase response, which may be preferable in certain rooms and conditions. 

Using the IK Multimedia ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System, you can easily see how the acoustic transients interact with the acoustic properties of your room and many other parameters. The included ARC 4 software gives you the toolbox to correct those deficiencies so that your speakers will play back an improved version of your source material translating to better mixes overall. The system can be bypassed so that you are always able to compare the modified EQ curve coming out of your speakers against your original unfiltered source material. 

After you register your ARC 4 Studio Advanced Room Correction System on the IK Multimedia website, you can then download and install the latest version of IK Multimedia’s ARC 4 Software. Once the ARC 4 software is launched, you are asked to choose which measurement mic you are using. There are previous versions of the ARC mic that were included with previous versions of the ARC system. The one that’s chosen by default is the ARC MEMS microphone which is the model included with IK Multimedia ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System. 

The ARC 4 software will then ask for more information about your particular setup, whether you have a project studio or professional studio, your preferred mixing position, etc. You can also, for example, choose a wider mixing area as if you have two people in the mixing position. Other listening positions options are provided including a home theater setting. Once you have made your selection, you will then be prompted to play a test tone to make sure that your levels are set to correctly analyze the acoustic properties of your room. This is an important step. The “next” button will be grayed out until your levels are correctly set. 

Next, you will be prompted to choose between the ARC 4 software’s quick or advanced analysis modes. Depending on how deep you want to get, the IK Multimedia ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System will listen to between seven and 21 different areas in your room and then compile your EQ curve. The quick mode is going to be a single layer, measuring seven different points in total. The advanced mode is going to be more accurate with three layers measured at 21 points and at different microphone heights. After the room analysis process is completed, you can then save your results as a software file and export it so that it can be loaded into the ARC 4 software. 

The ARC 4 software provides a selection of preconfigured EQ curves for popular studio monitors which gives you access to different virtual monitoring setups, EQ curves and mixing positions. You can also have ARC 4 software mimic the way your source material would sound playing back on a bookshelf speaker, a coaxial speaker or a floor-standing speaker as well as on a TV, a smartphone or a portable Bluetooth speaker etc. All these options can be saved and recalled for future use. 

The IK Multimedia ARC Studio Advanced Room Correction System is available now for MAP $299. 

More at ikmultimedia.com/products/arcstudio