IK Multimedia officially announced the release of several new products at the AES show, and rather intriguing offerings they are too.
The most unusual of these is the all-new ARC System, which is said to be "the first acoustic room correction system in a plug-in". It's purported that ARC will correct for both frequency and timing response issues in your studio room, to "improve how your studio sounds forever". While it's no substitute for proper acoustic treatment and correct placement of your gear, ARC is said to offer noticeable improvements for pretty much any kind of setup.
The system is based on the Audyssey MultEQ technology, and reading up on the FAQ on Audyssey's site gives some insight into how it actually does its stuff, as does the information given on IK's ARC site area.
The ARC System itself consists of a measurement microphone, measurement software, and a correction plug-in, as shown above. The idea is that you hook up the supplied calibrated measurement mic to your computer, and the measurement software pumps signals through your speakers, analysing the results via the mic. Once you're done, you just slap the correction plug-in on the master bus in your DAW, for "results like you’ve never heard before, hugely improving the accuracy of your monitoring system". Hmm!
So, some very bold promises are being made here, and for £469, we'd hope that ARC can live up to them. If it really is as good as they say, IK could have a huge hit on their hands, but we'll be reserving judgment until we can get the ARC System in for review – it's scheduled for release this year.
On a more down-to-earth note, IK Multimedia also announced several exciting new AmpliTube products at AES. First up, there's AmpliTube Metal ($249/€199), which should be out this year, and is designed to satisfy the crunch-lust of steel-wielders everywhere. And if you're concerned about having yet another AmpliTube plug-in to handle, then IK's X-Gear $100/€80 should help. It's a software shell-host that allows you to load any of the current AmpliTube products into it, allowing for easy switching and mixing of patches. And at last, the StompIO ($1049/€869) foot controller finally seems to be making it into production, which should allow us to literally put the pedal to the (AmpliTube) Metal.