This software combines a breakthrough processor and new ARC 4 software for natural and transparent sound.
ARC Studio offers this same massive boost in performance and accuracy to any monitor in every studio. The system includes a standalone hardware processor; new ARC 4 software (also available separately) for analyzing and correcting the listening environment with additional controls; and a precision MEMS measurement microphone.
Improves Mixing Accuracy
Rooms have a big impact on how music is heard. The size, shape, materials, and furniture all work to distort the frequency and stereo balance of studio monitors, degrading their sound.
ARC 4's all-new algorithm analyzes and corrects these issues in minutes. The music snaps into focus with more controlled low-end, tighter transients and pinpoint stereo imaging. It's like an instant upgrade for monitors, leading their users to mix faster and more confidently than ever.
Installs in Minutes
With the included mic connected to an audio interface, ARC 4 software guides the user through a rapid process of measuring acoustical responses within their listening position. IK's award-winning ARC technology uses this 3D snapshot to identify and completely correct all the problematic issues degrading a monitor's performance.
ARC 4 stores the correction profile and loads it to the ARC Studio processor, sitting invisibly between the interface and monitors to apply to all incoming signals. The standalone processor corrects studio monitors in any studio, including hardware- and console-based setups.
Corrects Any Studio
For pro studios, whether DAW-based or console-based, ARC Studio with ARC 4 offers sonically transparent correction and custom-tuning for any monitoring setup from nearfields to mains, preserving the inherent system's sonic quality.
For DAW-based studios, ARC Studio eliminates the need to insert the ARC 4 plug-in on the master bus of a project and preserves zero-latency monitoring setups. Plus it allows users to listen to their preferred streaming service with acoustically corrected monitoring without messing around with system drivers.
Using ARC 4, profiles can be created and stored for every configuration, listening position or even monitor pair and quickly recalled or loaded to the processor unit at any time. Whether in a makeshift studio or a world-class one, fine-tuning the monitoring perfectly to taste is no longer a challenge and has never sounded so good.
And not only is the ARC Studio hardware designed and made in Italy to the highest precision and quality standards, but its clever engineering makes it extremely affordable and it is available at a fraction of the cost of other hardware solutions. Now everyone can dramatically improve the sound in their mixing environments: from a single pair of monitors to multiple monitoring systems, up to large facilities with multiple mixing and recording rooms.
ARC Studio features a 120 dB(A) analog input to analog output dynamic range, 0.5 Hz to 40 kHz frequency response, and ultra-stable clocking for vanishing low jitter, offering total sonic transparency and accuracy only found in mastering-grade audio converters.
The processor unit connects to the studio and monitors via balanced XLRs with a power-safe relay-based hard bypass - so when bypassed everything is protected from sudden power-related pops. Between the premium audio quality of ARC Studio and ARC 4's all-new correction algorithm, the result is the most natural, transparent monitoring ever.
Includes Monitor Emulations
ARC Studio can be reloaded instantly with new settings using ARC 4 software. ARC 4 now features a monitor emulation function that turns any monitor system into iconic studio monitors, plus popular hi-fi speakers and mobile devices, with breathtakingly true-to-life results, accurately reproducing the frequency and phase response of the originals.
With over 20 profiles included in ARC 4, a single pair of monitors now lets users test a mix on different reference systems quickly, without ever having to head to the car or buy additional pairs of monitors.
ARC 4 now comes with 9 factory-tailored target curves suitable for most situations. The default curve offers optimally balanced results with Flat and other specific curves for different needs or setups. By default, ARC corrects the entire frequency spectrum, but users can define limits to both upper and lower correction ranges separately. This is useful to preserve monitors' unique voicing or correct a certain frequency range.
There's also a control to adjust the resolution of the correction filter to use more or fewer frequency bands. Depending on the room's unique sound, this can achieve a more surgical correction, or a broader, smoother balance.
Selectable Natural and Linear phase modes ensure precise stereo imaging. Natural mode improves the phase response, while linear phase maintains the original inter-channel phase response, which may be preferable in certain rooms and conditions. With ARC Studio, users will experience limitless flexibility as their studios grow and evolve.
Pricing and Availability
ARC Studio and ARC 4 software are shipping now and available from the IK Multimedia online store and IK authorized dealers worldwide:
- ARC Studio $/€299.99* - Includes processor unit, ARC 4 software, and measurement mic.
- ARC Studio Upgrade $/€249.99 - For registered users of ARC (any version with mic), iLoud MTM, or iLoud Precision. Includes processor unit + ARC 4 software. Measurement mic not included.
- ARC 4 Software and Mic $/€199.99 - Advanced room correction plug-in, and measurement mic.
- ARC 4 Software Only $/€149.99 - Advanced room correction plug-in. Measurement mic not included.
For more information, please visit ikmultimedia.com.
Jazz musician Johnny Smith set the bar high when it came to the design of his signature model, doing his own research and hopping manufacturers when his expectations were left unmet.
A giant of mid-century jazz guitar, Johnny Smith had a fastidious style. He could strike rapid solos, embellish ballads with languid lines, and craft complex chords. Whatever he played, his intention and articulation were crystal clear. Smith’s music is “incredibly intricate and detailed, every note he played, there was nothing extra there. It’s just the essential thing,”—or so said the modern great Bill Frisell, when Reverb interviewed him and Mary Halvorson in 2018 around their Johnny Smith tribute album, The Maid with the Flaxen Hair. That same devotion to detail is apparent in the many signature guitar models that bear Smith’s name, like the 1968 Gibson Johnny Smith featured in this edition of Vintage Vault.
Smith played a lead role in the development of his guitars. Though there are several versions from various brands, they are essentially one model, made and remade to Smith’s liking or disliking. Like a great jazz tune, it was never played quite the same way twice.
In the mid ’50s, Smith first sketched out the theme of his signature model with Guild, not Gibson, having secured an endorsement deal from the then-NYC-based company. He had been playing a Guild X-500 (aka the Stuart), which was a 17″ archtop with two single-coil pickups screwed into the body. But Smith’s heart lay with a custom D’Angelico New Yorker, one with a solid spruce top and precise X-bracing that allowed it to boom like a speaker. He hung out at D’Angelico’s workshop and learned all he could about guitar design.
Unsatisfied with the signature model that Guild produced for him, Smith took his ideas over to Gibson, where he was given nearly complete control over a new design.
Photos courtesy of Reverb/Gitarren Total
Despite the detailed designs Smith handed to Guild’s founding president Al Dronge, what he got was something like a D’Angelico translated through the Guild X-500. Smith was after resonance and tone. He didn’t want anything interfering with the body. He requested that a single DeArmond pickup float above it, with the control knob and output jack affixed to the pickguard rather than the body. This, Guild granted him. But he also had ideas for the carved top and internal construction that he thought would increase balance and sustain, which Guild ignored. Like the X-500, Smith’s top was made with laminated spruce rather than solid wood.
Thus, 1956’s Guild Johnny Smith Award does represent the first record of his signature model—it had the 17″ body and floating pickup that would become a repeating chorus—but it didn’t live up to Smith’s standards. Only 20 or so were made, and soon, Guild and Smith annulled their partnership.
By 1961, Smith was working with Gibson’s Ted McCarty to realize his vision, while Guild had cut Smith’s name and re-released its guitar as the Artist Award. Smith, talking about his first Gibson in 2008, said he was given nearly complete control: “I designed everything myself. I designed how the guitar would be braced, how the top would be carved, the dimensions, the binding, and you name it. The only aspects the company did were some of the cosmetic touches which really did not matter to me.”
“Like a great jazz tune, it was never played quite the same way twice.”
The 17″ Gibson Johnny Smith was introduced with a slightly shallow depth (3 1/8″). Compared to his Guild, it had a 25″ scale (vs. 24.75″), a mini-humbucker rather than the DeArmond, and maybe most importantly to Smith, an X-braced top of carved solid spruce, just like his beloved D’Angelico.
The 2-pickup 1968 Johnny Smith Double variant you see here was first released in 1963. In 1968, a sunburst Johnny Smith Double—with two volume knobs, two tone controls, and a rotary selector—would have retailed for $1,145. Today, you could pay between $8,000–$16,000, depending on condition. This particular guitar, in very good, all-original condition aside from a replacement guard, is listed at $15,319 by the Switzerland-based Reverb seller Gitarren Total.
The guitar has a 17″ body made of flamed maple, with two floating humbuckers.
Photos courtesy of Reverb/Gitarren Total
With Gibson, Smith made the guitar of his dreams, but only for a time. In 1989, he transferred his artist model to Heritage, the company founded by former Gibson luthiers when Gibson moved from Kalamazoo. (Taking a cue from Guild, Gibson re-released its own Johnny Smith model by a different name, Le Grand, in 1993.)
When asked later to explain all his jumping around, Smith said, “Let’s just say I am very particular about instruments with my name on them,”—perhaps, fans of his music might say, as particular with the instruments as the notes he chose to play on them.
In a final twist, his signature model would have one last coda at the place where it all began. In 2002, Smith and Guild reunited, this time with renowned guitar maker Bob Benedetto at the helm of the archtop’s construction. The last Guild Smith signature stayed in production until 2007, while Smith himself passed away in 2013.Sources: Reverb listings and Price Guide data, Gibson June 1968 price list, Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars, American Guitars: An Illustrated History by Tom Wheeler, “Johnny Smith Goes Full Circle” by Charles H. Chapman for Fender Players Club, “‘Just the Essential Thing’: Bill Frisell and Mary Halvorson Honor Johnny Smith’s Jazz Legacy” by Nick Millevoi for Reverb.
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