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June 2017 Giveaway

IK Multimedia ARC System 2 Advanced Room Correction System Reviews

4.0 stars based on 18 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Norb Berninger

    A big problem for those of us with a home or project studio has been mixing in a less than ideal room. If you are like me, you are mixing within a DAW through near monitors in a small, boxy room. This produces all sorts of issues - especially in the low frequency range- which affect how I mix. Part of the problem is knowing exactly what those issues are and where they are happening. Furthermore, how do I deal with them, without spending a small fortune, after I have found them? This is where ARC comes in.
    I have to admit I was slightly skeptical about a program claiming that it can find and correct these issues in such a simple way. But I was pleasantly surprised at the results.
    ARC is a program you install on your computer. A special microphone measures test tones sent through your monitors and uses MultEQ technology to analize acoustical information throughout the listening area in your studio. ARC combines this information to provide an accurate representation of the room's acoustical problems and corrects for both time and frequency response problems.The final step is to insert the ARC plug-in on the master fader of a project in your DAW and apply the changes. It also shows a visual representation of the frequencies found to be out of balance as well as the ones it has corrected.The plug-in also has a button to turn the changes on and off.This really helped me hear what issues my room has and how I was mixing as a result.
    While this program is not meant to be a replacement for room treatment or better monitoring, I found it to be very helpful in showing exactly how a room suffers and it offers a way to compensate for these issues. It let me hear how my mixes were being affected and why they were not sounding the way they should.This is a great tool to help those of us mixing in smaller studio environments compete with the big boys!

  • Douglas Rogers
    from Chesapeake VA February 22, 2017Music Background:
    Mix Engineer

    This software is the truth!

    I was skeptical at first about Room Correction Software but after using
    the IK Multimedia ARC I am convinced. I found that my mixes transitioned
    better and it took less time for me to mix a project. I don't know if there are
    other Corrections Software out there but I can tell you this one works and is
    easy to setup and use.

  • Charlie Panosh
    from Charlotte, NC January 2, 2017Music Background:
    Multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, writer/composer

    ARC2 Room Correction

    Having mixes sound great in the studio monitors only to burn a CD, listen in the car or big system in the living room, and they are NOT what I heard in the studio was driving me insane! I did my homework to find out I needed more accurate, flat response speakers and room corrections. When I read up on the ARC2 software, I was amazed. My Dad, a recording engineer, gave me the gift of new speakers (Yamaha HS7s) and the IK ARC2. After getting used to the changes ARC made, my mixes now "travel well" and I spend a lot less time making alterations. Being able to check a mix in a simulated environment or on a different set of speakers is a big bonus. Switching a mix, or its elements, to mono or stereo LR was tremendously helpful in EQ-ing instruments out of each others way.
    I had no idea what my room was doing to my listening field until ARC2 made it's measurements and corrections.
    The included RTA mic does a fantastic job recording a classical guitar, too!
    I am truly grateful for this one piece of software in my DAW. I cannot more highly recommend it to everyone who has a less-than-optimal studio environment!

  • James J Baker
    from Dothan, AL June 2, 2016

    Skeptics will scoff but buyers will rejoice

    I'll get straight to the point, I'm a huge fan of trying as hard as you can to correct your acoustical issues the traditional way: acoustic treatment. This will not take the place of first reflection absorption and bass trapping but, supposing you've taken care of that, this is a life saver.

    Try as you may, you will not correct modal ringing with absorption. This product really can help massage out the problems in your room. I've found it to help make the room disappear. I was also able to add some low end heft to my monitoring. If you get used to listening to your reference mixes through this system, you will not want to go back.

  • Mitch Stallings
    from Tampa June 20, 2015


    I agree with all that has been written. Studio monitors that have great specs will fall apart in almost every little rectangular home bedroom studio. Acoustic treatment, especially bass traps are a tremendous help, but can't really address peaks and dips in the lower frequencies, ( I'm just a hobby guy so I may be a little off base on this)?
    My little hobby studio equipped with the standard Aurelex stuff and yamaha HS 5's works very well. I just accepted that these Yamaha HS 5" speakers wouldn't produce bottom. With my ARC2 in place, its astounding how flat there really are; and I'm hearing the lower frequencies that these can produce! Secondly, I can quickly a/b my mix on several simulated situations such as a virtual car and different speakers. I can sort of average this all out to get a mix that sounds good anywhere. I just wish it could be hooked up to my iTunes on my computer so that the ARC2 could be on all of my listening needs without having to put all of these songs into a DAW session?!?

    Now that I can maximize my HS5's with correction, can I get the Adams??? lol
    mitch (Tampa)

  • Sheldon Peterson
    from Erie, PA January 10, 2015Music Background:
    musician, home recording enthusiast

    Huge Difference

    My recording space is about as far from ideal as can be: small room with a dormer space eating up part of the ceiling (makes a good vocal booth, though), speakers set up on the long wall, windows and closet doors... In short, a cramped, boomy room. Acoustic treatment helped to sharpen the image, but couldn't correct for bass boom and mid and treble dullness. I recorded and mixed a twelve song CD in there, but had a lot of trouble getting the music to translate to speakers outside of that room.
    After installing ARC, which went quite quickly and smoothly, by the way, a pretty shocking response curve was revealed, and corrected. I knew the room accentuated low frequencies and rolled off upper frequencies, but seeing the pre-corrected curve was very instructive. What a pleasure to hear a new mix in a flat environment! Great product.

  • Sasha Fishman
    from Israel December 28, 2014Music Background:
    Producer and Recording Engineer, Song Writer and Guitar Player

    ARC 2 is a good thing

    After years I finally can simply get the mix that I want right here in my room. We don't enough understand how phase problems prevent us from true hearing of the material. ARC 2 is a very smart product and for guys like me (with a limited budget) it is MUST to have one. Thanks to IK Multimedia. God bless you.

  • Sound-Guy
    from Colorado Rocky Mountains - United States April 25, 2014Music Background:
    Recording, mixing, mastering for years and years.

    Great Results

    My room is already 'tuned' with acoustic treatment and flat to within about 10 dB in the low frequencies (one 10 dB peak, several 4-6 dB peaks and dips), and 3 dB in the mid to upper frequencies. Since the control room is small, there is no practical way to damp the resonant frequencies below 200 Hz, so I tried the ARC 2. The results are astonishing -- flat to within a dB at the sweet spot.. The "50 Hz" boom completely goes away, as do several other major peaks and dips in the low end. Calibrating with my subwoofer engaged, the results are smooth even bass response down to 25 Hz (-3 dB).

    I was playing back a mix to a musician who had performed on guitar and blues harp, and accidentally turned off ARC 2 -- the bass boom almost knocked us over. Might sound great to some musicians, but totally useless for mixing and mastering.

    Great product, easy to use, and provides excellent results. There is work involved running a comprehensive calibration, but once the room and speaker combination is calibrated, you are ready for years of superb results.

  • John
    from Winder,GA January 16, 2014Music Background:
    Recording/ Mixing/ Mastering Engineer

    Delicious Icing on The Cake

    First things first this is best used to compliment a room that already has good acoustic treatment. In my case, I consider good acoustic treatment (for my applications and budget) to be 10 2" 703 boards, one 4", 8 blocks of blow fiber block stacked in my corners and 4 Skyline diffusors I made. I'm using ARC 2 on my Yamaha Hs80m's and the results where Incredible, if ARC (and my ears) are to be trusted then my speakers at and around my mix position are FLAT to 40 and have a 3db dip at 30. The port noise is either gone or very well masked and the boomy sound is gone from my low end. The low end seems a lot lower now by comparison but I had a 7db spike at 60 thats understandable. The tuned (flat) sound doesn't bother me too much while mixing and the benefits definitely outweigh any perceived thinness. However I love me some hoodlum bass and decided to make 2 presets that basically gave me a "flat"(because of ARC) 12 and 24db low shelf boost starting at 100 to help me zoom in on those frequencies. The Ns10m......I mean 80's white speaker emulation is pretty dope as well. All in all a wonderful plug-in/ system that I would recommend to anyone.

  • TM
    from LA, CA January 18, 2013Music Background:
    Engineer, Producer

    You don't realize how much you need this

    Its pretty quick to set up, it basically saves the correction as a preset that you load up on your master buss when you mix. It doesn't take up a lot of resources, if you're running an i7 or better you shouldn't notice it much. It somewhat a set-and-forget system. I didn't even really notice a huge difference when I was mixing with this, but what I did notice was how much better my mixes sounded on other systems. Translation was leaps and bounds better. Everything was more full and open and less compressed. I should mention I'm using Focal CMS65's so its not like I have bad monitors that don't translate, so largely what this is correcting is my room. My room is also treated, just needed this to get to that next level. And 300 bucks and a few minutes of setup sound infinitely better than 3000 bucks and months of remodeling...

  • Garrett
    from April 2, 2017Music Background:
    Live Engineer, Studio Engineer, Producer


    The microphone works great and the software works well. Do yourself a favor and read the manual to measure everything correctly. Use a measuring tape and a laser pointer to get the best results. The measurement microphone works great for live applications. I only wish the software had a standalone application just for laziness.

  • J. Glunt
    from Arizona March 30, 2017

    It opened my eyes

    When I first moved my studio into its current room, I treated the walls and corners and thought it had a pretty good sound. I'd certainly improved the acoustics in the room. But when I ran the calibrations with ARC, I discovered that, though improved, the room was still not very good. However, the correction done by ARC has made the sound so much better that it's hard to believe. It's like night and day for me. I'm so glad I purchased this product. I frankly had my doubts about what it would do, but for me, it delivered. The only issue I had was that the directions were a little vague in places, but AJ at Sweetwater helped me get through it without any problems.

  • Mike
    from UK April 20, 2015Music Background:
    Music producer and songwriter

    Really impressive

    I was at first skeptical about buying room correction software, but after reading so many positive reviews about the ARC 2 on the internet, I've decided to take the plunge. Well, my room isn't the best in the world, and I've spent only enough to get basic treatment to it. The ARC 2 was supposed to refine the frequency response, not solve all problems.

    Today I've installed the software and took the measurements. I can say that I am really impressed with the results. I was mixing a track last weekend and, after bouncing it down and listening on other places, I've found out that the bass drum was a tad too loud. Guess what: the moment and instantiated ARC 2 on my mixbuss, I was able to hear the same bass drum too loud on my room, which made me instantly smile.

    I can definitely recommend ARC 2 to anyone looking for a way to further deal with frequency issues. It won't replace basic treatment, but will definitely help to add up to the final result if used properly. Great piece of software!

  • RWS
    from Georgia USA March 11, 2015Music Background:
    Musician / Engineer

    This really works

    My room was pretty good I thought until I saw the results on the EQ graph. No wonder it took so many tries to get the bass correct in my mixes. Clearer mids as well. This is a big time saver and well worth the investment.

  • Josh "Moose" Mitchell
    from Pittsburgh, PA October 9, 2014Music Background:
    Audio Engineer, musician


    I had the JBL RMC which was ok. After I tweaked and treated my control room/positioned speakers in an ideal spot, the JBL RMC couldnt find anything "wrong" with my room anymore so i sold it. Which even still, my mixes werent translating that great yet. The ARC totally changed this. When i got my first ARC the mic was broken. As I waited for the replacement to come in, I used a similar mic, the ECM 8000. It still made a HUGE difference on my mixes translating! Aside from that, the plug in has some really cool features as well. You can create custom curves for other situations or listening spots in your room and has "filters" to mimic things like a TV speaker or boom box to reference your mixes in.

    The ONLY thing I'd recommend IK make available for this product is some sort of stand-alone software to listen to iTunes or Quicktime etc. The ARC can only be used within your DAW which sucks when potential clients want to "hear some of your stuff man"

  • Pedro
    from Florida March 9, 2015Music Background:
    musician, home studio hobbyist


    ARC2 is a departure from everything that is comfortable and familiar about your home studio. After the easy install and measurements, it's like starting fresh because everything sounds different. The learning curve is readjusting to your new FLAT sounding monitors. It certainly will help your mixes!! Still adjusting BUT liking it!!

  • N
    from Austin, TX January 22, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Pro Musician

    I have to admit, It's pretty amazing !

    Pretty amazing results after spending the time setting it up properly. Our control room could use help in the 200Hz area. I thought I'd give it a try for so little money compare to a remodeling that would cost me $5K…. I just saved $4,700 ! It helps me hear the lowed much better and the mixes translate very well to other systems. I switch it on and off through the mix session just to check. It helps, and can't hurt… BUT ! The mic came in with a huge noise… That explains my rating. IK should just sell the software for less than $100 and let us use our microphone… My Mics are so much better than that little cheap Omni mic…
    I hope it helps...

  • The Brince
    from SUWANEE, GA August 18, 2013Music Background:
    audio engineer, producer, guitarest, bassest

    not to shabby

    i kind of think this is more of a waste then helpful. i followed all directions exactly and the way it measured my room its causing a lack of low end in all my mixes. this would probanly work better if you had a room that was acousticly treated. i cant put up acoustic treatment because of where i live so i think thats whats ruining it for me. Keep in mind, my low score is based on my room experience. it doesnt mean its going to be the same with your room.

  • Justin Green @ Toy Car Studios
    from Austin, Texas March 9, 2016

    Waste of money!

    First off this will not work with Universal Audio products at all. That's a hug bug they don't seem to be working on. Second their support is a joke! My first message to them I said "yes phantom power is on and it is plugged in please let's skip those steps to find the real issue." they then asked in one email. "is phantom power on?" I write back "yes and it is plugged in" then they asked "is the unit plugged in?" I wrote "yes please help me out for real" then I never heard from them again!

    I went to a mixing room a friend owns who also got this waste of space and money and he had it working just fine. Only the room correction was horrible! This thing is just a play Toy for kids starting out! Do not buy this!

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