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Clarity X Introduction

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Clarity X is an ultra-flexible monitor controller, covering channel formats up to 7.1 surround. Plus it includes several advanced meters that allow you to never compromise on the clarity and intelligibility of your mix.

Simply secure the best foundation for your crucial mix decisions, including monitor calibration, center channel balance, downmix and loudness compatibility, etc.

Clarity X helps you with all of this.
And still, we have merely scratched the surface of the best and most advanced Multi-Format Monitoring System ever created... 

  

 

  • One-Stop Calibrated Listening - Measurement Microphone Included

  • Multiple, High-Precision Meters for Optimum Mix Decisions

  • Helps Increase the Intelligibility of Your Production

Calibrated Listening

 

Our ears and brain react differently to various listening levels. Voices live in the mid-range and that has been important throughout evolution. So, at low levels, our brain emphasize the mid-range, while we allow more bass and treble at higher listening levels. 

Consequently, if you mix at low levels you would be likely to boost the low and high areas more than you would at a higher listening level. 

That is why you should always mix on a calibrated monitoring system: Playback at the same SPL simply ensures that your mixes remain consistent.

The calibration wizard and perfectly adjusted measuring microphone gets you there.

More About Calibrated Listening

Visual Feedback

 

You should always mix with your ears first, but having visual meters as well can be a great help.

Clarity X gives you 5 dedicated meters covering loudness/true-peak, center channel balance, SPL, downmix compatibility and dose usage. On the loudness side, you get our brand new LM8 that covers any channel formats up to 7.1 surround.  

The best way to check downmix compatibility is to hit the remote and listen to your mix in stereo, but with the Stereo deviation meter you may save some precious time.

In short, let your ears be your pilot, but allow your eyes to be your guide.

More About the Meters

Speech Intelligibility

 

When mixing content with spoken words, it is absolutely crucial that what's being said is clear. Yet this issue is the single most common complaint broadcasters receive today.

Clarity X helps you create mixes with greater intelligibility in many ways, but a key component is the meter showing the 
Center Ratio.

We have analyzed dialogs from film, drama and TV shows to determine the ideal loudness balance between the center channel (foreground) in a surround mix and the other channels (background).

If the actors mumble or the recording itself is poor, there is little we can do, but we can help you keep an eye on the general balance which just may be what you need to always keep speech intelligibility at its best.  

Master Your Monitors

The Clarity X remote control is so sleek and appealing that you may want to bring it back home from work every night. That's the kind of gadget and coolness factor it possesses! 

Seriously, though, it gives you everything you need right at your finger tips and you can program it to reflect your workflow perfectly. 

ALT

Use the ALT key to select your alternative speakers - or any output for that matter. It could also be your headphones.

Reference Level

This marker indicates your reference listening level, which was determined during your initial speaker and room calibration. When engaged, the volume knob is disabled. If you press the REF again the level jumps to the position of the volume knob.

VALID

Verifies if the volume knob corresponds correctly with the actual level.

Function Keys

You can program these keys to almost anything. For instance, you can use one of them as a reset button for your LM8 loudness meter while another could engage the Noise Floor Zoom feature.

Mute & Solo

Use these keys to mute or solo individual speakers in your surround mix. To solo, simply press and hold a key. If you work in 7.1, the BL and BR keys control the 'Back' and 'Side' speakers as a pair for left and right respectively. If you want individual control over all 8 speakers, you may program two of the F keys above the volume knob for this purpose.

Dim & Cut

Use the DIM key to bring the volume down by 18 dB, or press and hold to cut the signal to the speakers altogether.

Reference Level

This marker indicates your reference listening level, which you specify during the initial speaker and room calibration.

Speaker Calibration Wizard Image

Speaker Calibration Wizard

Usually the process of calibrating your monitor speakers would take hours of work. But with the calibration wizard built into Clarity X, we expedited that process, reducing the time spent to mere minutes. It's never been this easy - or fast.

Through a simple step-by-step procedure, you are led through the calibration process, ensuring that the level and delay settings are optimal for all speakers - across all selected sweet spots.

For further precision you can adjust your sub-woofers through the multi-point sub calibration to average out the low frequency resonances in your mixing room. 

Read more about the Calibration Wizard

Clarity X on Icon Soft

Icon Control

Besides using the dedicated remote control, you operate Clarity X through our free Icon control software that gives you access to all the setup tools, parameter settings, preset management, etc. 

The Icon application runs on PC and Mac and if you're already using other Icon-compatible TC products, you can easily add Clarity X to your existing setup.

You could even use a hardware Icon controller if you have one already.

 

Tools That Help Increase the Intelligibility of Your Mix

speaking

If you can't hear the dialog properly, there is a problem. It may not be yours, but there definitely is a problem - and it will cause viewer complaints.

We set out to analyze a lot of film and TV dialogs - both good and bad cases. This way, we were able determine an ideal balance between the foreground and background audio, which would be the center channel versus the rest in a surround setup.

We can not fix mumbling actors or bad microphone technique on the film set, but with the Center Ratio Meter you will be able to quickly see if you're in the right territory when it comes to the loudness balance between 'what's being said' and the rest.

Further, the Stereo Deviate Meter contributes to keep your surround mixes intelligible after downmix for stereo delivery. 

Add to that the precise speaker calibration and general loudness metering and each tool and process in combination with your ears will help you deliver the best-sounding and most intelligible mixes. 

Mic-Less SPL Measurement

Mic Less SPL Measurement

Once your monitoring system has been properly calibrated, Clarity X can very precisely calculate the SPL at each of the sweetspots even without using the measurement microphone, using our new, patent-pending mic-less SPL measurement technology. 

If you prefer, you can of course use the classic approach and permanently mount the measurement microphone close to your listening position and rely on continuous measuring.

However, the measurement mic could never be in the exact  listening position like it was during the initial calibration, and rest assured that the SPL number you will achieve from the mic-less SPL measuring is very, very accurate.

Audio Signal Flow

Clarity X comes with 16 AES input channels plus AUX (analog) and TOS. On the output side, you get 16 AES channels plus 8 analog outputs as well as headphones out. In total, you get 26 channels of inputs and outputs. Add the option of expanding with 64 MADI input channels and your input channel count increases to no less than 90.

The routing is extremely flexible, for instance you could switch seamlessly between two full surround mixes - maybe even one 5.1 and one 7.1 mix plus a stereo reference signal. You could then monitor your source(s) on a 5.1 or 7.1 monitor setup, but also switch to one or more stereo pairs to check how well your mix translates to other channel formats and speaker sizes.

Independently, you can route any input channel to the dedicated meter engine.

Please note that some features depend on installed licenses and sample rate.

Audio Flow Chart

Noisefloor Zoom graphics

Noise Floor Zoom

Noise. Yet another small, but nonetheless potential, source of annoyance that may clutter up the clarity of your mix. You may have one or more noise sources in your system that are almost inaudible.

You may be surprised to learn just how much digital noise a phone or laptop creates if you use it as the source for a stereo reference mix. 

With the Noise Floor Zoom feature, you virtually get a noise floor magnifying glass that zooms in on your noisefloor before the signal reaches Clarity X by adding up to 70 dB of gain to your output.

Obviously, such an exercise calls for protection as it could blow up speakers, or even worse: eardrums. So, we implemented a bulletproof protection instance that makes absolutely sure that nothing or no-one gets hurt - even if you should happen to activate the Noise Floor Zoom feature during playback. It simply kicks in hard clip protection at -20 dBFS.

Clarity X Noise Floor Zoom

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Hearing Loss Protection

Clarity X Hearing Loss Protection

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Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is quickly becoming a focal point in pro audio as well as in a consumer context.

Obviously, for audio professionals, their ears are their most critical tool and being exposed to high SPL levels on a daily basis can build up over time and become a problem one day.

The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) has developed a set of recommendations for a certain dose of sound exposure over various time frames to prevent NIHL.

But how do you monitor and keep track of your daily and weekly dose of audio? The answer is with the built-in dose meter of Clarity X that will keep track of your dose and show you how many percent you have used of your dose so far.

This may not be a meter you want to look at again and again, but you might want to check your status at the end of the day and of you find a pattern of over-exposure, you'll be glad that you have a chance to take action before it's becoming a real problem.

  

Alternative Sweetspots

Alternative Sweetspots Image
Alternative Sweetspots Screen

Surely, the sweetspot is for you when mixing. But sometimes it might come in handy to be able to move the sweetspot.

A typical example would be when the director stops by to listen along or a client if you work in post production, delivering for broadcast. Think of it as making the sound as good as it can possibly be in 'the producer couch' or 'director's chair'.

You can create up to 4 different sweetspots that all create the effect of being right in the middle of everything even though you're not. Setting up sweetspots is incredibly easy with the Calibration Setup Wizard.

MADI, AES, Analog & Optical Connection

Clarity X comes with a wealth of physical I/O connectors as default, but some of the functionality is optional. Analog and optical I/O are included in full, but for AES channel 9-16 is available as a license. MADI compatibility is also available as an optional license. 

Rear Panel MADI Options

Features

Helps You Increase Speech Intelligibility

Words are key - if you can't hear them, nothing else really matters.

One-Stop Calibrated Listening

Consistent Mixes. Loudness Standard Compliant. For Any Monitor.

Small-Footprint Remote Control

Hands-on control of all the key functions. 

iPad Control and Integration

Take control over Clarity X with the free iPad app.

VZD - Headphone Calibration

Clarity X is pre-calibrated to the most widely used headphones in pro audio.

LM8 - 7.1 Loudness Meter

Legendary Radar Loudness Meter with full 7.1 Surround Support.

Mic-Less SPL Measurement

After the initial calibration, Clarity X can calculate the SPL even without the measurement microphone.  

 

Master of Delay

Clarity X handles all delay-alignments, trimming the inputs and outputs. It will even doubles as a sync device that aligns image and audio perfectly.

 

Stereo Deviation Meter

Keep an eye on how well your surround mix translates into stereo.

Center Ratio Meter

Keep an eye on the loudness balance between your center channel and the rest. 

Measurement Microphone Included

The included measurement microphone is pre-calibrated to match your particular Clarity X unit.

Speaker Calibration Wizard

Reduce the time spent calibrating from hours to mere minutes.

Hearing Loss Protection

Dose meter tracks the SPL you are exposed to. 

Input Tools

AV Delay, Phase Invert, Solo, Mute & Gain

Multiple Sweetspots

Create up to 4 different sweetspots in the mixing room.

Confidence Check

Speaker Role Check, Basic Speaker Performance Check (woofers & tweeters), Speaker Position Check, SPL Verification 

Output Tools

Reference levels, Calibration, 5 Band EQ, Phase, Delay, Gain, Solo, Mute, Dim, Cut

Virtual Speaker Sets

Use the speakers of a surround setup to emulate other formats (7.1 to 5.1/2.0 and 5.1 to 2.0)

Metering App for iPad, Mac & PC

Clarity X iPad

 

 

With the free Clarity X Metering App for iPad, Mac and PC, you can keep an eye on your meters at all times.

The app connects to Clarity X to expand the monitor controller's powerful metering features, add detailed control to individual speakers and much more.

Within the app you can custom-tailor your metering views to host just the right meter combinations for any specialized mix scenario.

Read all about it

For Any Monitor Image

For Any Monitor

Clarity X was born to be the centerpiece of any monitoring system. And therefore, you can connect virtually any monitor to Clarity X. Analog, digital, in stereo setups, surround, you name it.

With the AES connection, digital monitors are a great fit, but it also sports 8 analog outputs, so as just mentioned, basically you can hook up any monitor you may have in your studio to Clarity X.

Virtual Speaker Sets

Virtual Speaker Sets

It's not unusual to have both a 5.1 speaker set plus a stereo speaker set installed in the same mixing room in order to be able to cross check the mix in both formats.

With Clarity X you can create virtual speaker sets. For instance, you can use the (front) L and R speakers in your surround setup as a stereo pair for double checking your mix in stereo. All the routing happens within Clarity X, and you could even let it turn your 7.1 setup into a 5.1 system as well as stereo.

Obviously, if you want to hear your 5.1 mix on a totally different pair of speakers - for instance emulating the small speakers in a flatscreen TV, you might prefer to actually connect one or more alternative speaker sets, which is also a breeze with Clarity X as the centerpiece. 

Hook Up Clarity X for Any Application

There are many different ways you can create your monitoring system around Clarity X. 

See 3 Clarity X Setups for Broadcast, Film and Stereo TV/OB Van Productions

Clarity X rear panel feature overlay 920px Image

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