NUGEN Audio Halo Vision Review

Halo Vision is a real-time analysis tool for surround sound and immersive audio. It is a highly customizable plug-in with a set of seven modules intended to provide sound engineers with a better understanding of their immersive audio projects (up to 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos) and enable them to fix problems faster.

The plug-in’s skeleton has organization that is familiar to anyone who’s been using Nugen Audio plug-ins. It has utility controls with access to presets at the top, and a bottom panel with settings, and the update and user guide access buttons hidden behind the Nugen Audio company name. As this plug-in has no functionality that will change your sound, the top bar only has Undo and Redo buttons, a preset menu and the help button.

The real action goes on in the main section of the window where the modules live. Every module has its own hamburger menu with a settings button, remove button, and maximize button. You enlarge — or reduce the size of — a module by dragging its borders with other modules.

The workings of the modules themselves are easy to understand. The Correlation Matrix, for example, displays the phase relationship between the channels, using square cells colored according to the correlation value. Green represents “in phase” while red “out of phase”. A large arched meter shows what the phase relationship is between selected channel pairs in more detail. There’s even an alert for when correlation drops below a user-defined threshold.

The Correlation Web visualizes the same relationships in a different way. It uses a circular network of lines that represent each channel pair. When the phase relationship between two channels becomes anti-correlated, the corresponding lines lighten up. In my test setup, I had several of these lines briefly lit with a faint red — and the fainter, the better. The more intense the glow, the further out of phase the signals are.

Halo Vision also has two “radar” alike modules, the Frequency Haze and Location Haze. The former displays the frequency content across the surround panorama, while the latter shows the energy distribution. Together they make it extremely simple to see whether, for example, the loudest parts that also the ones with the highest pitch are concentrated in one area of the surround or 3D space.

Obviously, there is also an FFT spectrum view with all channels either shown in the same color so you get an overview of the total of all the signals, or in an overlaid fashion with each channel showing in its own semi-translucent color. Another obvious module is the set of peak meters that provides a dB level meter per channel.

Finally, Halo Vision comes with a Time Code that displays the timecode readout based on the playback position of the host application.

Verdict

NUGEN Audio’s Halo Vision is one of the very few professional-grade analysis tools for surround sound. Its modules are all easy to use and to interpret.

All modules report information in an easy to view format for Halo Vision to allow sound engineers pinpoint problems far easier and faster than when they have to rely on their ears only. The plug-in is available from Nugen’s website (https://nugenaudio.com/halovision) for 254 USD.

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