The Speakers are Talking… Immersive Calibration With IK Multimedia

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The Speakers are Talking… Immersive Calibration With IK Multimedia

iLoud Precision MTM
words by Lewis Noke Edwards

The iLoud Precision MTM are a stereo pair ideal for artists who are working on the road.

The world has become more mobile, and not all studio setups lend themselves to this kind of workflow. Artists are working on the road, engineers are being booked to record in unique spaces, and with all this movement, deadlines fall on dates when we’re on the go. It’s not ideal to be moving from monitor to monitor, room to room, and IK Multimedia understand this.

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Their MTM series are a super mobile way to keep your monitoring consistent, ranging from the Precision 5 monitors up to the Precision MTM reviewed here. What’s more, the whole range includes the ARC System 3, a measurement microphone, analysis software and correction plug-in designed to ‘fix’ the imperfections in your room. What this means is you can have a mobile monitoring rig that’s ready to be tweaked to sound consistent in a variety of spaces. The iLoud Precision MTM monitors are monitors with dual 5″ Woofers for lows and mids, and a 1.5″ Tweeter for highs to ensure the full frequency spectrum is shared across multiple speakers per se. The ARC system introduces the ability to reduce ear fatigue and time delay, while accurately monitoring everything from 36 Hz – 30 kHz.

The iLoud Precision MTM are a stereo pair (available separately) of monitoring speakers, with a mid woofer-tweeter-mid woofer layout, hence the MTM in their name. They’re the largest of the Precision series, featuring dual woofers and a tweeter in between them. Designed for a vertical orientation to be super space saving, the Precision MTMs reproduce everything from 36Hz-30kHz, with +/- 1 dB accuray from 45Hz-30kHz, which is where the bulk of musical sounds live. The internal DSP system allows for unmatched stereo imaging and consistent bass, even before the ARC System has been introduced. Even without a sub, the MTM monitors have clear and precise bottom end, something that’s often lacking in smaller speakers. Speaking of smaller speakers, the onboard DSP is controlled by iLoud’s X-MONITOR software, which allows you to toggle between different voicings, from the unprocessed Precision sound to other famously useful monitors without the need for additional speakers.

The DSP is what really pushes the Precision series as a whole into their own world, the onboard DSP handles processing handling phase and time delays. Phase is a really important element to your monitoring, as sound bounces around the room and even a millimetre difference within your sweet spot can change how certain frequencies arrive at your ears. The ARC System 3 itself, with the help of the included reference-quality ARC microphone, analyses your room and creates a profile for playback based on what the microphone hears within your room. This includes time delays and frequencies that may be lost or augmented in your space. In a nutshell, the ARC 3 System does a frequency sweep of your room and creates a profile to flatten what is present in your room. Elements like hard surfaces, acoustic treatment and furniture both absorb and reflect sound, making it build up and fizzle out across different frequencies. The ARC software allows you to help eliminate these discrepancies for a more balanced listening experience wherever you are, allowing you to mix in hotel rooms, venues or at home with a familiar and consistent monitoring experience. With the MTM’s set up on the included isolation pads, you can set the ARC microphone in your listening position. It’ll perform a sweep and create a profile that you’ll then have available within the X-MONITOR software and toggle between the Precision’s sound without software, your ARC profile, or other profiles like ‘White 80s’ for different references to ensure your mix will translate. The remote control, available separately, allows you to toggle between these profiles without a mouse.

In use, the MTM monitors are — simply put: great. While their small footprint might make them look like a less than ideal choice for professional grade monitoring, their sound tells another story. The MTMs are balanced, with a super clear sound and controlled bottom and high end. The bass feels punchy, even without a sub, and the mids and highs feel honest—for better or worse while checking my own mixes! Even before the ARC system is introduced, the MTM monitors sound trustworthy for referencing mixes and making those critical decisions. The ARC system elevates the speakers, of course, taking a measurement and correcting the playback for a more balanced control. The ARC system returned my mixes feeling more immediate, with a few little issues like mud immediately more apparent. The clarity in the bottom end was what felt the most obvious, immediately making it easier to notch out little problems and making the subbier elements work together.

The iLoud Precision MTM would be a great addition to a studio of any size, for any engineer of any calibre. The onboard DSP elevates them, but the MTMs alone sound great. They’re balanced, responsive and honest at their core, and the ARC system that’s included pushes them to a new level. Working across different spaces is always a challenge, but the ARC system takes the risk out of it, resting your sound for a consistent listening experience allowing for mix notes and changes to be made in a variety of spaces so you can meet deadlines. iLoud produce products for creators of every level, and they’re now creating solutions for every space.

For more information, head to IK Multimedia.