TB Isone - Help with Set Up?

Anyone use TB Isone http://www.toneboosters.com/tb-isone/ ? I’ve demo’d it a few hours today. It seems like it really has potential in a “Hear what your mix sounds like on different systems” kind of way.

I am having some problems calibrating one of its HRTF functions though - I hear little to no difference in how much above vs. in front the source seems to be by varying the “Ear Size” knob. Does this mean that my ears are way outside the bell curve? Do others hear an obvious difference?

Thanks for anyone with experience with this interesting (and inexpensive, about $25!) plugin!


Well, it looks like I may be the only one using this plugin, so I’ll describe it a bit.

It has two main functions as I understand it: 1) allowing one to listen to their mix on many extremely varied speaker emulations in different room emulations, and 2) changing the headphone experience into a “speaker” experience, in terms of phantom stereo image.
1) Auditioning the mix on different virtual speakers in different virtual rooms: I think this works great. Unlike other products, like VRM Box (which seems to not be for sale anymore), TB Isone does not pretend to emulate specific speaker models. But it does adjust the frequency response (and other things, I guess) to mimic sounds through speakers that range from “100% Flat/neutral”, to Studio Speaker A … Studio Speaker B … Studio Speaker C … Mono mid-range (I guess similar to an NS-10 though they don’t say so), consumer home stereo speakers, laptop, alarm clock, flat screen TV, computer monitor speakers, and others. A quick click and there you go.

Similarly, different rooms can be chosen (presets include small studio, large studio, anechoic, living room), or built by hand using various controls.

I really like this part of the software a lot … a lot less running to the car, to the upstairs computer speakers, to the laptop to hear how the mix sounds. Two thumbs up!
2) Changing the headphones experience into a speaker experience: The idea is that the “unnaturally wide and in the head” headphone imaging is replaced with a phantom stereo image in front of the listener, as if they were listening to monitor speakers. This is done by cross-feed technology (not just simple crossfeeds, but with frequency adjustments and delays to mimic the head-shadowing/masking that occurs when listening to two speakers in front of you), plus some kind of psychoacoustic modeling which actually depends on calibrating to the individual user and their headphones - by dialing in various Head-Related Transfer Functions (how big is your head) … how large are your pinnae? …). (Some reading here for those interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-related_transfer_function ).

The cross-feed part of this works great for me, those completely lateralized sounds that are almost 100% panned in headphones now are more realistically placed (listening to commercial tracks, e.g.). What doesn’t work well for me though is that the plug-in does not move the phantom stereo image from “above me” to “in front of me”. I’ve read that some people have a combination of head/pinnae size that simply can’t be accomodated by the software, and maybe that’s the case with me. It sounds like I’m having the same problem that Mike Senior had with the VRM box: http://www.cambridge-mt.com/ms-ch2_FocusriteVRM.htm .

Well anyway, the price is right ($20-30), I think the plug-in is worth that if just for the speaker/room emulations. It’s a shame that the phantom stereo part of it is not perfect in my hands, but I’ll be buying this soon (fully functional demo available on the website at the top of this post, except presets are not storable).

If anyone else tries this out, please post back with your experiences.