Most of the music recording i’ve done in my life has taken place in home studios. That’s why I was really curious to test out IK Multimedia’s ARC system. The basic idea behind this product is that you test the response of the room that you’re monitoring sound in, and the ARC software creates a custom plug-in for you to use that corrects the frequency response of your monitors.
You use the customized plug-in in the Master channel of your audio software. You have to make a point of turning off the plug-in when you do your final mix down (and when you turn your monitors off and only listen through headphones). Here’s a link to my full review:
After all was said and done, I did find the ARC to be a useful tool. I could see how the omni-directional testing microphone that you get with the kit could be useful as an extra mic to record instruments, and perhaps use as a testing mic for other purposes. It did audibly alter the normally glassy and airy higher frequencies of my Genelec monitoring system, but it reshaped the lower and mid frequencies so dramatically that it was obvious how much it would help me mix music and video soundtracks.
In the end, the ARC is a tool I would regularly use, and it does seem to be worth the price of admission. It comes in a compact travel case. Any time you move your studio, or simply move your monitors around, or even add or remove furniture, you can retest your room for a fresh and accurate balancing of the frequencies.