If you could not find an answer to your problem in our FAQ pages, please submit a Tech Support Form
Click here to back to trending articles.
On both Mac and PC, yes, this is possible using some third party software.
Please do note, if you have an issue with any third party software, this is outside of IK Multimedia's control. These steps are offered for those who don't mind using some extra software to make things happen.
- Windows: Download and install VB-Cable here. This program will allow you to route your system audio to a virtual cable.
Mac: Download and install iShowU Audio Capture. This program will allow you to route your system audio to a virtual cable.
- Download Pedalboard 2. This program can be used to route signal through different plug-ins similarly to a DAW.
- Windows: Download and install ASIO4ALL here. This driver set will allow multiple devices to be used at a single time on Windows.
Mac: Create an Aggregate device to allow you to accept input from iShowU Audio Capture and play output from your audio interface.
- Restart your system to allow all the proper changes to be made to your system. This should be done with any driver installations.
- Windows: Next, open up your Control Panel and go to the Hardware & Sounds section -> Sounds. Set your systems output to the CABLE Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable).
Mac: Next, use the search tool in the upper right hand corner to open the Audio/MIDI set up and set "iShowU Audio Capture" as your system output with a right-click.
- Windows: Launch Pedalboard 2 and use Options -> Audio Settings. Select your input as your VB Cable, which would be your system audio output, then select your output as your main sound card or audio interface.
Mac: Launch Pedalboard 2 and use Options -> Audio Settings. Select your input as your iShowU Audio Capture, which would be your system audio output, then select your output as your main sound card or audio interface.
- Next, inside Pedalboard 2 go to Options -> Plug-in List. In this menu go to Options -> Scan for new... and press scan. If you use custom plug-in folders, you can add them here.
- Now, exit this settings menu and load ARC 2.5 or ARC 3 by double-clicking anywhere in the background.
- Route your audio through the ARC 2.5 or ARC 3 plug-ins with the on-screen cables. To do this, click the button/notch to the right of your Audio Input "Input 1" and "Input 2", a cable will appear which you can attach to the left side of the ARC 2 plug-in. Follow this method to route your output as well.
- Now you can use the "E" button on the ARC 2.5 or ARC 3 plug-in to edit your settings.
FAQ ID: 1261
On macOS Catalina, the OS now requires you allow access to the Files & Folders. If none of your measurements are appearing after creating them in the analysis app, you may have inadvertently denied access to the documents.
However, you can enable this at any time. This can be managed in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy tab.
On the left area of this window, you will see permission categories such as Camera, Microphone, Files & Folders. Select Files & Folders and make sure that ARC 3 is enabled for "Documents" there.
FAQ ID: 1334
As of macOS 10.14 Mojave and later, there are advanced restrictions on product installers. During installation, you will see a series of various permissions prompted. You must allow all permissions in order for your IK Software to work properly.
Make sure you allow permissions for the following:
Despite it asking for Microphone permissions, the access it allows for is audio input. This is required for apps such as AmpliTube and ARC System. If you aren't getting any audio input, this may be exactly why.
Documents and Desktop Permissions
Affects macOS 10.15 Catalina and later. This permission is required in order for IK software to access presets, instruments, measurements/analysis, and other crucial software files. If you are having issues accessing presets, or if your instruments aren't appearing, this may be why. On ARC 3, this permission is required in order for your measurement analysis to appear in the plugin.
What if I did not allow these permissions?
Fortunately you can manage all of these permissions in the mac System Preferences app.
- Open System Preferences.
- Navigate to Security & Privacy > Privacy (this is a tab in the upper right area).
- On the left pane, select Microphone and make sure the IK app is checked
- Additionally, on the left pane, select Files & Folders and make sure the IK app is checked here as well.
FAQ ID: 1343
The correction plug-in should be inserted on the stereo master bus of your project or, when this is available, on the monitoring bus of the DAW.
Unless your DAW allows for inserting the plug-in on a monitoring bus, remember to ALWAYS switch-off the ARC 3 plug-in before exporting / bouncing / rendering the program from the DAW.
The ARC 3 plug-in should always be the last plug-in in the chain on your master bus.
If you use master-bus processing like EQ, compression, limiting and so on, make sure the ARC 3 plug-in always comes after those.
FAQ ID: 1319
This is normal.
The ARC 3 processor, in order to fix your room acoustics, need to apply cuts to the spectrum areas where the room is boosting the sound.
In the same way it needs to add a boost where the room is attenuating the sound.
For this reason, the ARC 3 processor needs to get headroom enough to fit the maximum possible boost it can apply, which is 12 dB.
Not all rooms will need 12 dB of boost, but that’s the worst-case scenario.
The TRIM knob is where this attenuation takes place, if this knob is pushed into the “red” area there is a possibility to clip and overload the DAW outputs.
FAQ ID: 1317
ARC 3 is compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina. For more information on compatibility, click here
FAQ ID: 1311
To preserve the monitoring transparency at the best possible level, those EDIT points are not controlling an equalizer. You will notice every time they are move there is a certain amount of time to wait before the change take place. This is because the whole correction processor is recalculated to allow the new target curve to be applied without adding an additional EQ stage.
FAQ ID: 1312
The reason for this is that when you insert the ARC 3 plug-in on the master bus of your DAW you “loose” your master-bus metering capabilities on the DAW as it will show the “corrected” signal that’s sent to the speakers, not the actual —before ARC 3— levels from your program.
Here is where the ARC 3 built-in metering comes in help. When set to “PRE” it allows to finely monitor the incoming signal levels, but in Peak, RMS and Loudness (LUFS) modes, plus you can also monitor the dynamic range of the program.
The LUFS indication is compliant to the EBU R 128 standard.
FAQ ID: 1313
Typical rooms are mostly affecting sound on the low frequency range, say from 20 to 300 Hz.
ARC 3 system is by default applying the correction to the whole 20Hz - 20kHz range, however it is possible to limit the correction range, for example, to the most problematics areas like the 20-300Hz LF range mentioned above.
Doing this the most relevant issues caused by room acoustics will be controlled, while maintaining the voice your monitors have in that room.
This can be useful when you are particularly used to that voice and don’t want to have it changed, or not immediately.
FAQ ID: 1314
Generally speaking, we suggest using the NATURAL phase mode.
This mode alters the phase response of the system in the room and makes it more coherent between L and R channels.
This helps a lot in recovering a correct central phantom image at low frequencies that might be poor in certain rooms with asymmetrical characteristics between left and right sides.
However, if the original phase response of the system in the room is preferred, you can switch to LINEAR.
When set to LINEAR the original phase response is maintained therefore this can be preferable in certain cases where the speakers and room are already so good that the ARC 3 intervention is minimal and no phase alterations are needed.
This adds a little bit of latency and, depending on the correction that was needed, a little about of pre-echo might become noticeable.
So, we suggest using LINEAR mode to preserve the original transparency of the monitoring system more, but only in high quality rooms equipped with high end speakers, where the correction from the ARC 3 system is needed but anyway minimal.
FAQ ID: 1316
Generally speaking, yes.
Anything wrong that might happen during the room analysis process will translate to the response of the final system.
The interface used for analysis should at least have a flat frequency response (+/-0.5dB) up to 20 kHz and down to 20Hz and be able to operate at 48 kHz.
Clean preamplifiers are preferred for this process. If possible, try avoiding using tube preamps for the measurement mic, vintage ones or ones that adds to much harmonics/coloration to the sound as this will affect the accuracy of the results.
FAQ ID: 1320
If the subwoofer is handling the crossover and feeding the main speakers, or if you are using an external crossover the system will be seen as a normal 2 channels setup, so you can use ARC 3 without any issue.
ARC 3 will also adjust the level of the LF range matching it perfectly with the main speakers.
FAQ ID: 1321
In this case you will need to rise the listening level during the measurement process in order to get to a decent signal-to-noise ratio during the recording of the points.
Can I experiment with different mic positioning with respect to those indicated by the Analysis application?
We suggest starting with the pattern of points that are indicated by the Analysis application and to stick with them.
However, once you are familiar with the results, you can for sure experiment with different positioning.
The main concept to keep in mind is that the system optimizes the monitoring system in the area where the measurement points are taken. For example, you can experiment in taking the 7-points per layer in a narrower or wider spot, and so on.
FAQ ID: 1322
Set the listening level so that, when the ARC 3 Analysis application play the test signal, you get a loudness in the room similar to the one you have when working normally.
FAQ ID: 1323
Door and windows have a big impact on the frequency response of the room, so they should be in the same state they are when you normally work.
If your studio door is normally open then measure up the studio with the open door, and vice versa.
FAQ ID: 1324
Yes, but try to keep yourself outside the listening spot and not too close to the microphone or to the speakers to avoid sound reflections that can compromise the reading.
FAQ ID: 1325
It’s very important that the mic is as steady as possible and stable during each single measurement spot recording.
If the mic moves even a little bit during the recording of each individual point, the results will be compromised.
Also, there should be nothing moving in proximity to the mic, to the speakers, or between the two while these points are recorded.
FAQ ID: 1326
Don’t tape your floor, that’s not needed!
The positioning indications given on the ARC 3 Analysis application during the process are explicative on where the mic should be positioned.
No absolute indications are provided because they are not needed, the mic should be placed approximatively on those spots, really hand-placing the mic stand approximatively at those spots will do.
The quality of the results will only be affected if you place the mic a lot differently than what’s illustrated onscreen at the various steps.
FAQ ID: 1327
No, you can use any measurement microphone even without loading the calibration file.
However, the accuracy in that case will strongly depend on the linearity and overall quality of the mic.
Instead, when loading a calibration file, any issue on the microphone frequency response will be addressed by the calibration, providing more reliable results.
FAQ ID: 1328
Normally these microphones are not neutral enough and their polar pattern is not “omni” enough to provide good results in measuring room acoustics.
This said you can always give it a try, if the ARC 3 correction will sound balanced and neutral the mic was fine for the application, however we strongly suggest avoiding this.
FAQ ID: 1329
Measurement microphones (also called RTA mics, room analysis mics) are particular microphones normally not suitable for recording.
They are true omnidirectional microphones with an exceptionally flat frequency response used for taking acoustical measurements in spaces.
They normally have a very thin and long body shape in order to minimize the impact of the mic body on the linearity of the frequency response.
Measurement microphones are very linear ones, however they’re not perfectly linear.
For this reason, most manufacturers provide a “microphone calibration file”, sometimes also called “ECF”, usually in a text format (.txt file).
This file describes the response of the mic, so that it can be loaded into the software that will compensate for it, making the microphone to behave as if it was perfectly linear.
FAQ ID: 1330
With normal “recording” microphones the accuracy of the frequency response down to the dB or fraction of dB is not that crucial, but for measurement microphones it’s a fundamental aspect.
There were two models of the original ARC condenser microphone, one with an orange ring at its base, one without; the first model is from 2007 and it’s the one without the orange ring.
Condenser microphones tend to vary their response with environmental conditions and with age.
In 2009 that mic was replaced with the second model (with the orange ring) to improve the stability with time and temperature.
So, if you own one of the original ring-less microphones that was sold between 2007 and 2009, while you can for sure use and see the results, there are chances that its reliability is not great at today (11+ years later), making the precision of the ARC 3 correction less accurate.
The second model was more stable, but even that one is surpassed in terms of precision and stability with environment and age by the ARC 3 MEMS microphone.
So, if you’re after a great level of accuracy from your monitoring system, make sure to use the ARC 3 MEMS microphone for the room analysis phase.
FAQ ID: 1331
To get the best possible results in terms of accuracy you should use the ARC 3 MEMS Microphone.
With this mic ARC 3 ensures a precision within +/- 0.5dB, which is a quite remarkable level of accuracy!
It’s the best investment you can do for your studio, it’s a reasonably priced microphone, and it offers a great stability with time and temperature, so it will always deliver the same reliable results over years.
FAQ ID: 1332
No. Room measurements taken with ARC 1 or ARC 2 are not compatible with ARC 3.
The advanced algorithm in ARC 3 needs more info from the room acoustics that were not captured with the ARC 1 or 2 measurement process.
FAQ ID: 1333
This affects macOS 10.14 and later.
If you are not getting any microphone input or signal in the ARC 3 Analysis app, but you can confirm that your microphone and interface are working properly, it could be that you did not allow microphone permission upon install.
In order to enable the permission, follow these steps:
- Open the macOS System Preferences and click on Security & Privacy.
- On the left panel, scroll down and click on "Microphone".
- On the right panel, scroll to ARC 3 Analysis and click on the check box to enable it.
Now open the ARC 3 Analysis app and you will now have mic signal input.
Follow these steps for both macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina.
FAQ ID: 1335