I reviewed Audified’s new Mix Checker Professional version virtual speaker simulator plugin.
Script notes (for the MCP portion):
With version 4.1 of Sonarworks Reference the speaker emulation and averaging feature was removed for some odd reason. Less than two months later, two new plugins that address this need were released. IK did not remove this virtual speaker function from their ARC system.
Audified asked me to review their new MixChecker Pro plugin and sent me a NFR license. Just as I was about to start testing MCP in depth I saw that a new company called Oscillot Audio released a very similar plugin called Perspective.
The standard version of MixChecker was released back in 2016.
The goal of both programs is to save you money on buying new speakers and allow you to quickly flip through them while still in the sweet spot. Listening to your audio on a variety of playback systems is a crucial step of audio production. Making sure the mid range is defined and the lows or high frequencies aren’t too much is a common practice. This also helps avoid ear fatigue. Can also be used for sound design purposes.
You should be listening through a nice set of speakers, because these plugins cannot turn crappy speakers into nice sounding ones. They can turn nice ones into simulated crappy ones though. For my test, I used Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers with the subwoofer off.
These plugins are also a good lesson in that no matter how good your mix is, it will never sound perfect on every playback system.
MixChecker Pro was released first, so I will talk about it first. I spent over six hours evaluating both plugins. If you guys would have sat with me for all of this, you would have been bored to tears. So, I will try to keep this video short for your and my sanity.
Wish I could flip through presets with the mouse scrollwheel or keyboard arrows.
Can re-arrange buttons and use custom names.
Set Calibration (in the wrench menu) is important for the distortion feature.
Noise is a cool feature. The default volume should be lower though.
It’s a shame they did not include a vinyl option that a Gearslutz user suggested back in 2016.
Supports VST, VST3, Audio Units and AAX. 32-bit and 64-bit for most platforms.
GUI resizing, zero latency, less CPU, even with distortion on.
Custom labels but no pictures and more generic names.
MCP has an app feature. This allows you to keep the plugin closed and also walk around the control room while auditioning different speaker types
Perspective has a Dim function.
MCP has an auto switcher
Requires iLok software to be installed. It doesn’t require the USB hardware dongle though.
Does not account for subwoofer.
Constant loudness/volume match is better than Perspective.
Audified sounds better to my ears but you may feel differently. The nice thing is, if you are in the market for software like this both can be demoed.
To answer the question…calibration software before or after these plugins? I say before. If you have speakers that Perspective supports then consider disabling Sonarworks Reference or IK Multimedia ARC or whatever you have. If you already own ARC then you may not need either of these plugins.