Speaker calibration is an absolutely essential component in my mixing workflow. No set of studio monitors produce perfectly flat frequency responses, no room is acoustically perfect either which can make it very difficult for us to properly hear the fullest picture possible from our monitoring setups when mixing. This is where speaker calibration comes in to play. It takes a snapshot of our monitor performance within our studios and corrects the frequency response imbalances giving us a near perfect flat frequency response in our studio monitoring.
Over the years I've noticed a little bit of a divide when it comes to speaker calibration, some music producer/mixers, like me, absolutely adore it and can not work without it. Others have tried speaker calibration and have chosen not to adopt it... some haven't even tried it yet for many and various reasons, usually, because they are sceptical.
I can appreciate why some audio people don't use speaker calibration, after all, it does dramatically change the sound one's monitors. Think about it, many studio guys and girls who produce great sounding music day in day out have spent years learning how their monitors sound in their studios, why then would they want to try to fix something in their monitoring that isn't broken?
Regular visitors to the blog will most likely know that my speaker calibration system of choice is Sonarworks Reference 4, a system that I feel is both great value for money and sonically excellent. I was slightly sceptical when I first started using Sonarworks as prior to using Reference 3 I used a different speaker calibration software with little success. Luckily for me, Reference 3 didn't disappoint.
I've been privileged enough to listen and experience many speaker calibration systems including a couple of high-end systems by Trinnov which all sound pretty amazing...
- Room Correction Software - IK Multimedia ARC 2 vs Sonarworks Reference 3 Go Head to Head
- Trinnov vs Sonarworks – Room Correction System Shootout
With all my experiences of speaker calibration technologies considered, I truly believe that this tech has really come of age, however, it doesn't always seem to matter how good speaker calibration technology is these days. The choice to adopt it or not comes down to whether or not you trust the sound of your monitors. When it comes down to choosing whether or not you are going to get into speaker calibration you have to ask yourself a simple question; Do I truly know the sound of my monitors in my room well enough to trust myself and my abilities to mix great sounding music consistently? If the answer to that is yes then speaker calibration may not be for you. If you do have your doubts about your monitors then it's not going to hurt to try a speaker calibration product to see if it helps you to improve the quality and consistency of your mixes.
Do You Mix Using Speaker Calibration software? Is it something you can't mix without? Have you not tried it yet? If so why? Are you a speaker calibration sceptic?