Virtual room simulation for headphone : which plugin ? Experience feedback ?

NekujaK

Searching for the Lost Chord
Waves also has the Abbey Road Studio 3 room simulation for headphones:

There is an option to use it with NX, but it works absolutely fine without NX. The only thing NX gives you is the ability to rotate the audio image in space with your head, which is not the most essential thing for mixing and can be accomplished manually in the ARS3 interface, if you need it.

I mix with monitors, but use ARS3 to check my mixes. It's nice because ARS3 simulates 3 different pairs of speakers at 3 different room positions, providing the opportunity to hear your mix in different contexts. I find it a useful tool for "sanity checks" on my mixes. Can't say how effective it is for full mixing duties, but I imagine it would work at least as well as any other headphone room simulators.
 

John Longley

Surly and Charitable
I don't use it much, but I bought sonarworks for fun to test with my LCD X and HD650s. It works pretty well, but is a little hotter in the 1k area than I think it should be. The toneboosters morhphit option is also nice, but sounds a little scooped in the low mids. I think either option is great for the low price of entry.
 

Markrs

Complete Beginner
I don't use it much, but I bought sonarworks for fun to test with my LCD X and HD650s. It works pretty well, but is a little hotter in the 1k area than I think it should be. The toneboosters morhphit option is also nice, but sounds a little scooped in the low mids. I think either option is great for the low price of entry.
Is there a reason you don't use Sonarworks much? I am trialling it with my HD650s and you can hear a difference but to be honest it is not having to do a huge EQ correction. I am wondering if I really need it or not, though I might need it more for the DT770s I will get.
 

John Longley

Surly and Charitable
Is there a reason you don't use Sonarworks much? I am trialling it with my HD650s and you can hear a difference but to be honest it is not having to do a huge EQ correction. I am wondering if I really need it or not, though I might need it more for the DT770s I will get.
It's really only because I have some pretty serious monitoring for my day job and I prefer to stay on my Tyler and Dunlavy mains. I don't do much actual work on headphones. I do have a monitor output setup in Wavelab pro with sonarworks for my LCD X but I only do quick QC checks for pops and clicks etc so it's very short. It does solve the mid dip in those headphones and it's much better than the software Audeze provides free (Reveal) and sells (Reveal Plus).

I will say I think the generic curve for the HD650 is closer to spot on, likely because they measure a lot more of them. I don't use them often unless I'm sketching ideas and then I don't tend to want the latency imposed by SW. I

If I had to do a project with my LCD X and sonarworks I definitely could, and it's great value. They have a demo you can try out with existing headphones (if a profile is available). Keep in mind that even the low latency resolution still has a fair amount of latency, and using systemwide is even more. So definitely try it out if you can on the demo.

Morphit has a free demo as well and is pretty similar, but cheaper (a lot cheaper).

Excuse any typos, writing quickly from phone.
 

Markrs

Complete Beginner
Waves also has the Abbey Road Studio 3 room simulation for headphones:

There is an option to use it with NX, but it works absolutely fine without NX. The only thing NX gives you is the ability to rotate the audio image in space with your head, which is not the most essential thing for mixing and can be accomplished manually in the ARS3 interface, if you need it.

I mix with monitors, but use ARS3 to check my mixes. It's nice because ARS3 simulates 3 different pairs of speakers at 3 different room positions, providing the opportunity to hear your mix in different contexts. I find it a useful tool for "sanity checks" on my mixes. Can't say how effective it is for full mixing duties, but I imagine it would work at least as well as any other headphone room simulators.
Been having a look at ARS3 and the mix room+NX both are cheap at the moment ARS3 $50 and mix room+NX $59. Not sure if I need them though. I have Presonus Eris 5 monitors but they are still in the box as treating the room with sound absorbing panels then having to but the full version of sonarworks Reference 4 with mic get quite expensive. This looks like it could be cheaper but you worry you are throwing money away on something you won't use in the end
 

Markrs

Complete Beginner
It's really only because I have some pretty serious monitoring for my day job and I prefer to stay on my Tyler and Dunlavy mains. I don't do much actual work on headphones. I do have a monitor output setup in Wavelab pro with sonarworks for my LCD X but I only do quick QC checks for pops and clicks etc so it's very short. It does solve the mid dip in those headphones and it's much better than the software Audeze provides free (Reveal) and sells (Reveal Plus).

I will say I think the generic curve for the HD650 is closer to spot on, likely because they measure a lot more of them. I don't use them often unless I'm sketching ideas and then I don't tend to want the latency imposed by SW. I

If I had to do a project with my LCD X and sonarworks I definitely could, and it's great value. They have a demo you can try out with existing headphones (if a profile is available). Keep in mind that even the low latency resolution still has a fair amount of latency, and using systemwide is even more. So definitely try it out if you can on the demo.

Morphit has a free demo as well and is pretty similar, but cheaper (a lot cheaper).

Excuse any typos, writing quickly from phone.
Thank you for this, for me sonarworks is to avoid having to sound treat a room to work with my monitors. I will keep trialling sonarworks them and see how I go
 
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M_Helder

New Member
I have Sonarworks & Abbey Road Studio 3. Both are constantly in use, depending on the context.

I found that Sonarworks is a great little plugin to flatten my headphone response with very little CPU footprint, so it’s on by default when composing and arranging. Just don’t forget to turn it off before exporting your track.

Abbey Road Studio 3 is a different beast though and offers a way to reference your mix in, dare I say it, more natural environment? It’s certainly more than just a reverb and delay, since Waves made a binaural recordings of the space with 3 different monitors. Besides, it also offers headphone calibration for about a dozen of the most popular cans, so no need for Sonarworks (I actually noticed weird and unpleasant phasing when using both, so I would avoid combining them together). I usually use it only at a mixing stage, great way to get a new perspective and imagine yourself sitting in that multi million dollar studio. Who said music shouldn’t be fun? :)

I’ve also recently purchased another room simulation plugin which was recommended to me by a good friend of mine who is somewhat an engineering nerd - Realphones https://www.dsoniq.com/
It has way more presets and settings to tweak compared to Abbey Road Studio 3 as well as a headphone calibration profile for almost every can (although you have to purchase them separately). The room is a Moscow film studio and, to be honest, I find this plugin’s simulation a bit more focused and realistic-ish?

But I still use both rooms in the end to check if there are any major discrepancies in every mix. Abundance of choice and all that.

They all have free trials, so I would definitely recommend to check those out first before buying. Just remember that it takes time for your ears to adjust, so I’d spend a couple of days just listening to my favorite mixes through different virtual speakers to really “get” the sound of the room. After that it’s plug and play.

Cheers,
Mark
 
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Markrs

Complete Beginner
I have Sonarworks & Abbey Road Studio 3. Both are constantly in use, depending on the context.

I found that Sonarworks is a great little plugin to flatten my headphone response with very little CPU footprint, so it’s on by default when composing and arranging. Just don’t forget to turn it off before exporting your track.

Abbey Road Studio 3 is a different beast though and offers a way to reference your mix in, dare I say it, more natural environment? It’s certainly more than just a reverb and delay, since Waves made a binaural recordings of the space with 3 different monitors. Besides, it also offers headphone calibration for about a dozen of the most popular cans, so no need for Sonarworks (I actually noticed weird and unpleasant phasing when using both, so I would avoid combining them together). I usually use it only at a mixing stage, great way to get a new perspective and imagine yourself sitting in that multi million dollar studio. Who said music shouldn’t be fun? :)

I’ve also recently purchased another room simulation plugin which was recommended to me by a good friend of mine who is somewhat an engineering nerd - Realphones https://www.dsoniq.com/
It has way more presets and settings to tweak compared to Abbey Road Studio 3 as well as a headphone calibration profile for almost every can (although you have to purchase them separately). The room is a Moscow film studio and, to be honest, I find this plugin’s simulation a bit more focused and realistic-ish?

But I still use both rooms in the end to check if there are any major discrepancies in every mix. Abundance of choice and all that.

They all have free trials, so I would definitely recommend to check those out first before buying. Just remember that it takes time for your ears to adjust, so I’d spend a couple of days just listening to my favorite mixes through different virtual speakers to really “get” the sound of the room. After that it’s plug and play.

Cheers,
Mark
I went with Realphones as well after trialing several other options. For me it gave me the best listening experience. Cannot say it is like monitoring speakers in a treated room as I don't use any. However I did like the sound it produced and the options it gave. The competitive sale price also helped!