Many of us music producers, mixing, and mastering engineers work in studios that may be less than ideal acoustic environments. Whether for work-from-home, bedroom production, on-the-go mastering, we rely on our headphones for critical monitoring. However, headphones alone don’t give us the full benefit of working in an acoustically-treated listening environment with high-end monitors. Given the growing availability to bedroom producers of affordable, easy to use gear and plugins, the next brick to fall is the access to world-class studios, to audition mixes in amazing sound rooms.
Travel cost and travel time, knowing the right people, and the cost of studio time are barriers that prevent the vast majority of independent artists and mix engineers from having the same monitoring environment as big-name artists. But with the right tools, music producers can virtually be in an iconic studio and give their mixes the benefit of auditioning in a remarkable acoustic space without traveling while only paying a fraction of the cost. Over the last decade, these virtual studio plugins have become very popular for these reasons. However, historically these plugins have not delivered a truly immersive and realistic experience as they often suffer from inside-the-head localization and tonal coloration. The plugins have not kept the promise of making artists feel like they’re sitting in the actual studio.
When we heard that the folks at Embody have been working on innovative technologies like Personalization, we realized that this was the missing piece of the puzzle in developing virtual studio plugins. Embody’s approach includes an accurate model of how an artist, you, hear. Thus it made perfect sense to partner with Embody to create the perfect virtual studio.
Together with Embody, we offer the Immerse Virtual Studio with Avid so that you can gain all of the benefits of auditioning your mixes in multiple world-class iconic sound studios from the comfort of your home. Immerse Virtual Studio plugin puts you in the sweet spot of iconic sound studios by modeling your unique ear shape using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms developed by Embody, all directly inside your Pro Tools session – Anywhere. Anytime!
What makes Immerse Virtual Studio different from other virtual studio plugins?
The most critical part of a high-quality listening experience is, of course, your ears! “Your ears are as unique as fingerprints, and can be considered an acoustic fingerprint,” explains Dr. Kaushik Sunder, Head of Engineering at Embody. “Modeling these complex ear features or Head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) is extremely critical in rendering an immersive experience that sounds natural and perceived outside the head. However, accurately measuring HRTFs using state-of-the-art methods is a complex and tedious process that is also expensive in compute time and engineering resources. Making a complete HRTF measurement requires a person to sit in an anechoic chamber for several hours.”
Embody has developed a highly optimized artificial intelligence-based technology called Immerse that computes the listeners’ personalized profile or HRTFs in under 30 seconds. Embody built the Immerse engine based on three keystones: 1) delivering natural-sounding spatial sounds, 2) a robust and fast AI-based infrastructure, and 3) an intuitive user design. The result is the most authentic virtual experience for even the most demanding monitoring needs.
Combining your Personalized HRTF with measured Studio Acoustics
Studios are not just spaces but an intimate environment. They carry the traits of the engineers who work in them. The studio’s signature sound is a creation from engineers meticulously selecting the gear and optimizing the setup and acoustics for the type of listening environment they desire. Part of the experience of Embody’s indelible personalization is bringing you the opportunity to explore these studios and find out for yourself in which studio you prefer to work.
To accurately characterize the studio’s sound, the team at Embody carries out detailed measurements of the acoustics of the studio with the help of a binaural dummy head. The secret sauce is that Embody’s algorithms personalize, to your ear shape, the directionally dependent studio reflections. Also, during the measurement, Embody accurately captures the acoustic characteristics of each speaker in the studio. The measurement process maintains the integrity of the signal chain and gear used in the studio.
The studio responses are not only precise, but award-winning engineers and producers from each studio certify the truthful representation of the room all the way from the acoustics, through the signal chain, and to the monitor speakers’ frequency responses.
Putting it all together
The plugin Immerse Virtual Studio with Avid is a culmination of this project. Immerse Virtual Studio puts you in the sweet spot of iconic sound studios by modeling your unique ear shape using AI algorithms and combining it with the precisely measured sound studios’ response. Certified by each studio’s mix/mastering engineer, Immerse delivers an authentic studio mixing experience over headphones never before possible. Besides auditioning in world-class studios, the plugin allows you to select your favorite reference headphone from an exhaustive list.
Our partnership with Embody is an essential step in revolutionizing the world of virtual studio plugins for professional workflows in Pro Tools. Together we aim to elevate the experience that Immerse Virtual Studio brings to Pro Tools users, wherever you are doing your mixing and production.
In a nutshell, Immerse Virtual Studio is one plugin with infinite possibilities. We can’t wait to hear what you create! For Pro Tools | Carbon users, a 1-year complimentary license of Immerse Virtual Studio is included in your purchase, which you can redeem here.
You can purchase a lifetime copy of the Immerse Virtual Studio plugin by visiting the Avid Marketplace. To learn more and get a free trial of the Immerse Virtual Studio plugin, please visit embody.co/proaudio/avid.
Gain all of the benefits of auditioning your mixes in multiple world-class studios from the comfort of your favorite headphones. Mixing on Headphones just got Real!