This guide focuses on the Virtual Monitoring Add-On for SoundID Reference and explains the features and how to use the Add-On with the SoundID Reference software.
In this article:
- Virtual Monitoring Add-On
- How to enable Virtual Monitoring
- How to use Virtual Monitoring
- Virtual Monitoring target modes
Virtual Monitoring Add-On
The Virtual Monitoring Add-On (VM) for SoundID Reference simulates a spatial speaker listening experience on headphones, allowing music to sound as if it's being played through professional stereo speakers in a well-treated control room. Also included are new spatial simulation Translation Check targets for cars, smartphones, laptops, and more.
VM uses binaural audio rendering technology - a combination of crossfeed and spatial room simulation of certain devices and environments. Working with VM on headphones assumes the same workflow one would expect when working with stereo monitors, or other simulations. Using this tool enables creators to produce better mixes on headphones, ensuring a more consistent sound translation across various devices.
IMPORTANT! VM is a paid add-on for SoundID Reference, learn more below.
How to enable Virtual Monitoring
The Virtual Monitoring feature is a paid add-on for the SoundID Reference software and is available with the latest 5.8 update release - download here.
Any SoundID Reference user (existing or new) can start a new trial for the Virtual Monitoring Add-On from Sonarworks Account, or purchase the add-on in the Sonarworks Store. Upgrade bundle deals are also available. Learn more here:
How to use Virtual Monitoring
Virtual Monitoring feature can be enabled in the SoundID Reference standalone app and DAW plugin. Note that VM is a headphone-exclusive feature, so it will only appear with a headphone preset selected:
- Select your headphone preset, or create a new one
- Click on the 'Virtual Monitoring' option located at the bottom of the app
- Select 'Enabled' to enable the Virtual Monitoring
NOTE! [WIN] For the standalone app on Windows, VM is supported in two driver modes only: Virtual Windows audio driver, and Virtual Windows audio to ASIO driver.
Switching between the virtual speaker types
Once the Virtual Monitoring feature is enabled, Mid-field monitors will be selected by default. The 'Select speakers' option will offer three speaker profiles to choose from:
- Near-field monitors are best for close listening and provide an intimate and direct sound, emphasizing detail and precision. They're ideal for fine-tuning individual tracks and emulate common listening environments like desktop speakers.
- Mid-field monitors have a balance between near and far field monitors, mid fields offer a fuller sound with a better sense of depth and space in the mix. They capture both detail and spatial dynamics.
- Far-field monitors provide a comprehensive view of the frequency spectrum. They're ideal for gauging mix translation on large systems and offer an impressive listening experience.
Virtual Monitoring target modes
With Virtual Monitoring enabled, Flat Target SoundID SR (Studio Reference) target mode will be selected by default. Select one of the following target modes based on your needs:
- Flat Target - a flat curve across all audible frequencies as perceived by the listener in the listening position.
- Dolby Atmos Music - allows evaluation of the tonal balance when used with Virtual Monitoring.
- Custom Target - allows sound tailoring to individual preferences with an ability to switch between the monitors.
- Translation Check - offers 10 spatial simulations (Cars, Laptops, Smartphones, TVs).
NOTE! While Virtual Monitoring is enabled, Translation Check will only feature 10 Spatial Simulation targets. To make the other Translations Check targets visible again, disable Virtual Monitoring.
Translation Check targets for Virtual Monitoring
Translation Check now also features 10 new targets developed exclusively for Virtual Monitoring on headphones. These are brand-new targets (such as Cars, Laptops, Smartphones, and TVs) containing additional simulation data, unlocking the full potential of the Virtual Monitoring Add-On.
While the regular Translation Check targets only simulate the frequency response of a certain device, the Virtual Monitoring targets provide a full spatial simulation of the given target on headphones. For example, activating the Average Smartphone target while Virtual Monitoring is enabled will simulate the actual sensation of a smartphone being in front of the listener - all while monitoring on headphones.