Audio (electro) acoustics is a branch of science which studies the behavior of sound and vibration. It is the application of acoustics and technology. Acoustical engineers are typically concerned with the design, analysis and control of sound. Acoustically treated rooms don’t come cheap, and you can’t take your acoustically treated room on the road with you. However, these days, technology has made some things possible which were unimaginable just a couple of decades ago. Be sure to check out Waves Nx – Virtual Mixing Room.
Mix on the road
Waves Nx – Virtual Mixing Room allows you to mix on the road. You can create great mixes without having an acoustically perfect room. Even if you have a great acoustically treated room and high-end studio monitors you still may find Waves Nx – Virtual Mixing room very useful whenever you are not in that room. It gives you a beautiful sounding virtual mixer right inside your headphones. No matter where you are, as long as you have your headphones, you can be right in the sweet spot of that room. This is pretty useful because until now, it was nearly impossible to make a good sounding mix on your headphones.
Realistic stereo image
Listening to the sound on headphones and speakers are two different things. This is because with headphones, left and right are completely separated. Whatever comes out from your left headphone, you only hear on the left headphone. Same goes for the right headphone. When you are in the actual room, you hear everything with both ears, just with a little time delay between them. Also, when you are listening to the sound from the speakers, you hear both the sound coming from the speakers and the ambient sound reflected from the walls around you. Accordingly, this is crucial for making a good mix since with the realistic stereo image like this; you can hear depth, space, and stereo panning. For the most part, this can’t be said for listening and mixing on the headphones since everything is panned hard left and right. In other words, real space is gone.
Waves Nx – Virtual Mixing Room gives you the experience of an acoustically treated room on your headphones. It recreates the same signals on your headphones that would arrive at your ears that you will hear by listening to the actual speakers. You’ll hear the same natural delay between the ears, the same feeling of immersive room ambiance. All you have to do is to insert the plugin on your master bus channel on SoundBridge: DAW. Then, when you put your headphones on, it will sound as if you listening to speakers in a perfectly treated room. You can even use a feature called “head tracker” to track your head movements just to get that extra real feeling of the sound coming at you from the fixed point in the room. One more thing to add, this plugin lets you mix for 5.1 surround sound on your stereo headphones.
Since we dedicated a bit longer intro talking what this awesome plugin is and what is capable for, let’s move to its control parameters.
Waves Nx Features
The first feature of Waves Nx – Virtual Mixing Room that we are going to talk about is the “Head Tracking”. This feature requires the access to your web camera which is used to detects your face and draws a box around it. Wherever you move, this box is following your face. You need to make sure not to be too far from the camera.
Another feature in this section that needs to be emphasized is the “Frame-Rate”. The value seen in “Frame-Rate” is usually dependent from the light in your room and if you see it goes rapidly down it means that you don’t have enough light in your room. For the optimum performance, this value needs to be over 20.
The next feature in this section is the “Sweet-Spot”. Once the audio is running thru the plugin you can start seeing the virtual head moving when you move your head. Once you are done with detecting your face, you will notice that the virtual head between speakers, seen in the middle part of the plugins interface, is slightly not centered. This can be fixed by clicking on the “Sweet Spot” button located in the “Head Tracking” section of the interface. If you position your head where you want it to be while working and clicking on the mentioned button, from now on this will be your sweet spot. If you wish to reset it, you can do it as many times as you need by clicking on “Restart” button.
Room Ambience and Speaker Position
The other two sections of Nx-Virtual Mixing room interface that we are going to talk about is the “Room Ambience” and “Speaker Position”.
The “Room Ambience” will let you control the number of reflections you have in your virtual room. On the other hand, The “Speaker Position” section will control the position of the speakers. You can change the position around in all directions. For stereo mixing, you usually want to leave the speakers in the default position. It is in 60 degrees in front of you.
In the end, there is a “Head Modeling” section. Waves Nx – Virtual Mixing room is a psycho-acoustic effect. The psycho-acoustic experience depends on the shape and size of individuals head. The nice thing about this plugin is that allows you to personalize the individuals head measurements in the “Head Modeling” section. The first thing you need to do is to measure your head. You can use the tailor’s meter and go from the back of your head, over your ears and ending with the point in the middle of your eyebrows.
The value that you get, you will then need to enter in the circumference field. Second, you need to measure the distance from ear to ear starting from the back of your head. This value you will need to type it into “Inter Aural ARC” field. After entering this values, you can then set it to be the default. Subsequently, every time you open the plugin, it will automatically be adjusted to your head measurements.
To conclude, we want to add that this plugin is something truly revolutionary. We strongly encourage you to use it and explore more of its possibilities.