Do not buy Sonarworks Reference ID!

laxu

Rock Star
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I've been using Sonarworks Reference software for some time now. When it works, it's good for headphone correction and room correction using IRs. The measurement software and mic work well.

But the Systemwide software is a huge piece of garbage! I've been messaging their support for months and they can't seem to fix any of this stuff. I am seeing the same issues on both Windows and MacOS so it's not just one computer specific problems.
  • Wake computer from sleep? Sonarworks is in a non-functional state most likely and needs to be restarted.
  • Turn on my Axe-Fx 3 or any other audio interface? Sonarworks breaks and has to be restarted. Even the HDMI audio output of my display coming online can break it!
  • The UI is sluggish at swapping presets.
  • The UI sometimes seems to revert to some tutorial state where it shows a "you are now ready to work" message.
  • The latency can just start creeping up. I've had it go all the way up to 100ms.
  • The audio can become distorted out of the blue. Nice to see this happen during a Teams call for work.
The development team somehow can't seem to solve even the simple UI stuff which should be pretty obvious. I feel its developers at this point are just plain incompetent because this should not be rocket science. So just don't buy this software!

If someone knows something similar that works better I would be all ears. Most of the time all I need is headphone correction but being able to apply room correction is nice too. My workaround solution has been to make IR files of the Sonarworks profiles using their VST plugin and then load those into the IR Player block on my Axe-Fx 3 as L/R correction.

SoundSource for MacOS seems to work quite well and supports AutoEQ profiles out of the box. EqualizerAPO seems to be the recommendation for Windows but seems a bit more involved, need to test it out. These work for headphone correction at least.
 
its always been a bit like this. The SoundID update was a PITA to pay for, but it does seem more stable for me. I also know some people who use a virtual soundcard, and load the plugin into that. Maybe thats a good solution?
 
I route everything through my DAW where I correct the monitors+room with IK ARC 3 and headphones with Oratory1990 EQ Settings.

By default on most interfaces Windows outputs to Playback 1+2, I route these with the Loopback function to a DAW track input then process with ARC 3 to Output 3+4, In the audio interface control I created a "Monitoring" mix where I send only the processed Outputs 3+4 from the DAW to a physical Line 1+2 outputs to my Monitors.

For headphones I take loopback Playback 1+2, process with EQ and send to Output 5+6 then to physical headphone output.

I hope it makes sense.
 
its always been a bit like this. The SoundID update was a PITA to pay for, but it does seem more stable for me. I also know some people who use a virtual soundcard, and load the plugin into that. Maybe thats a good solution?
That's a novel solution. Any idea what software I could use for Windows with this? I certainly don't want to be running a full blown DAW.

SoundSource is good enough for MacOS for me.
 
That's a novel solution. Any idea what software I could use for Windows with this? I certainly don't want to be running a full blown DAW.
I'm so out of the loop on Windows I'm afraid, but I'm sure its possible to find something to host the vst in.
 
I’ve considered trying something like this but the closest I’ve gotten is using Waves NX plug-ins, which emulate specific control rooms. I just use them for reference, I wasn’t stoked when I tried mixing a full song just relying on it and by the time stuff like this even came on my radar, I was so used to how my room sounded I’m not sure how much time it would have saved.

Have you guys noticed improved mix results after using it?
 
I’ve considered trying something like this but the closest I’ve gotten is using Waves NX plug-ins, which emulate specific control rooms. I just use them for reference, I wasn’t stoked when I tried mixing a full song just relying on it and by the time stuff like this even came on my radar, I was so used to how my room sounded I’m not sure how much time it would have saved.

Have you guys noticed improved mix results after using it?
I have found it helps. My previous room at home had pretty clear issues with frequencies around 130 Hz and correcting for those helped a lot in how clear my Genelecs reproduce sound. I find my Sennheiser HD6XX headphones benefit the least whereas my Beyerdynamic DT990 Pros benefit a lot from getting rid of those hugely exaggerated highs.

There's a trial version of the software if you want to give it a try. For room correction you need a reference mic but you can try out the software just for your headphones (provided there's a profile for them) and see how it goes. Just don't buy the software for the reasons listed above.
 
That's a novel solution. Any idea what software I could use for Windows with this? I certainly don't want to be running a full blown DAW.

SoundSource is good enough for MacOS for me.
Equalizer APO.
 
I've been using Sonarworks Reference software for some time now. When it works, it's good for headphone correction and room correction using IRs. The measurement software and mic work well.
I generally use Slate VSX but I've been battling some ear damage and decided to get some active noise canceling headphones. I am demoing SoundID with them now. I shot IRs of the correction and load them in an IR loader. Works pretty well. I haven't had issues with the system wide app other than conflicts with Equalizer APO as it is a system wide software as well.
 
I've always thought this concept was bollocks anyway to be honest. You don't need to EQ your monitors or headphones to overcome frequency response issues. You need to treat your room and learn how your shit sounds!
 
I have found it helps. My previous room at home had pretty clear issues with frequencies around 130 Hz and correcting for those helped a lot in how clear my Genelecs reproduce sound. I find my Sennheiser HD6XX headphones benefit the least whereas my Beyerdynamic DT990 Pros benefit a lot from getting rid of those hugely exaggerated highs.

There's a trial version of the software if you want to give it a try. For room correction you need a reference mic but you can try out the software just for your headphones (provided there's a profile for them) and see how it goes. Just don't buy the software for the reasons listed above.

Right on. I’ve got the 990 Pros as well.

Hahahah and I stupidly mixed a song recently using them, knowing full and well I shouldn’t be mixing with them, I had just had them on for an hour at that point and got carried away, not realizing 2 hours got spent mixing. Ugh that sounded f*cking terrible. It didn’t even dawn on me until the 2nd time I listened to it, “Oh, dumbass, you were wearing the headphones!”

I usually bounce between the two NX‘s I have, Ocean Way and CLA, they each have details that pop out that can be helpful, so I’ll reference with them (they’ve got a 990 Pro setting). Both mixes I tried with each one were less than thrilling, though.
 
I've always thought this concept was bollocks anyway to be honest. You don't need to EQ your monitors or headphones to overcome frequency response issues. You need to treat your room and learn how your s**t sounds!
I was so skeptical about it but a friend convinced me to give it a go and I’ve never looked back. Easily caused some of the best improvements to my work. It’s dumb if you don’t have any room treatment, but if you’ve spent time treating your room and getting the best speaker positions and listening position, it’s amazing for the last little tweak. It won’t correct lots of things about the room but it’s definitely better with it on IMO.

Great for correcting L/R disparities or inaccuracies in the speakers too. I definitely wouldn’t want to work without it (or Trinnov) in a studio.
 
I've used Sonarworks soundid on and off for a few years now but only for headphones with a pair of HD600's doing late night headphone recordings and mixes. I picked up the full suite on 2021 black friday sale with the mic and all. I used it for a while but kind of stopped using it cause it was messing with my regular non daw audio in Windows... now I just leave it off lol.
 
I never upgraded to SoundID from the older Reference SW and I guess I'm glad I didn't - It's been rock solid.

Thanks for the warning, sorry you're having a hard time.
 
I was so skeptical about it but a friend convinced me to give it a go and I’ve never looked back. Easily caused some of the best improvements to my work. It’s dumb if you don’t have any room treatment, but if you’ve spent time treating your room and getting the best speaker positions and listening position, it’s amazing for the last little tweak. It won’t correct lots of things about the room but it’s definitely better with it on IMO.

Great for correcting L/R disparities or inaccuracies in the speakers too. I definitely wouldn’t want to work without it (or Trinnov) in a studio.
Maybe I'll give it another go!
 
I never upgraded to SoundID from the older Reference SW and I guess I'm glad I didn't - It's been rock solid.

Thanks for the warning, sorry you're having a hard time.
yeah, I was using reference 4 for headphones with no issues. I just figured soundid was more of the same.
 
yeah, I was using reference 4 for headphones with no issues. I just figured soundid was more of the same.
The only issue I had with Reference 4 was that it would crash when I woke my computer from sleep. I could just automate that to restart the app if it crashed.

They responded to my tickets saying they are rewriting the driver for MacOS which should be done sometime maybe Q1 2023. Unfortunately that doesn't help me for Windows where I have all the same problems so I requested a refund for Sound ID. I will just go back to Reference 4 to make room corrections and load those corrections as EQ curves or IRs.
 
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