KRK ERGO Overview
ERGO™ - Powered by RoomPerfect™
A great mix starts with a great recording room. But when it comes to achieving the most accurate mix, your room may have the upper hand. Like any room, your studio's acoustics include offending frequencies and room reflections, and none of these are helping your mix. Getting a handle on these problems has traditionally meant the installation of soft foam or fabrics, and that's a great start. But now you can get even closer to a perfect room, and a perfect mix, because the future of studio sound is here, and it's called ERGO.
Hear the difference
KRK, long known for highly accurate studio monitors brings you ERGO (Enhanced Room Geometry Optimization). ERGO is for the recording engineer, DJ, or musician that monitors in less-than-perfect acoustic conditions. ERGO is an audio recording interface / room correction system designed to measure and analyze phase/frequency problems within a listening environment. The powerful digital signal processor in the ERGO unit processes audio to correct for the offending issues. So, you can stop worrying about your studio's acoustics and start focusing on your mix!
ERGO's high-end sound quality makes it perfect for the discriminating audio professional, while the affordable price puts it within reach of the typical recording hobbyist. Every studio needs an ERGO, because even the most accurate monitor in an imperfect room isn't going to solve mixing problems, but ERGO will. ERGO also makes your mix translate from the studio to different environments. How good is a great rack that only sounds great in your room? With ERGO, your mix sounds great everywhere you, or your fans want to hear it. Want better sound, and in more places? Put ERGO in the mix.
ERGO consists of the ERGO hardware unit, a measurement microphone, and the required software. These three pieces are used to measure and analyze phase/frequencies problems within a listening environment.
The best approach
While conventional room correction systems utilize simple analysis and limited bands of EQ (often fewer than 8), ERGO uses multiple measurements and proprietary algorithms to create a 3D image of the room, and then applies 1024 dynamic filters to control the audio environment. Our 3D model allows users to preserve the "good" characteristics of the room, while correcting the bad... ERGO doesn't color the sound or produce an artificially sterile environment. ERGO produces the best mix for a given room; a mix that will translate better to other listening environments, since it was mixed in a "perfect" room.
Room perfect technology
The sophisticated room analysis and correction system within ERGO, called "RoomPerfect" was developed by Lyngdorf Audio in Denmark after many years of R&D work. The patented algorithm in the system compares many measurements and corrects for phase and frequency problems using thousands of filters, not just a few. The result is the most accurate mix. ERGO, analyze this!
Lyngdorf Audio utilizes some of the best audio engineers in the world to develop superior technology. Lyngdorf Audio is the industry leader and cutting-edge digital audio company and we are proud to exclusively license their technology.
KRK ERGO Features
- Large Volume Knob: Digitally controlled analog volume control simultaneous control of ERGO's A/B/Sub outputs.
- "A" Speakers: Enables or disables the audio being sent to the "A" speakers.
- "B" speakers: Enables or disables the audio being sent to the "B" or subwoofer speakers.
- Focus / Global / Bypass: Our 3D model allows users to preserve the "good" features of the room, while correcting the bad. ERGO also doesn't color the sound or produce an artificial anechoic environment. Normally, ERGO corrects for your monitoring position. This gives you perfectly corrected sound while mixing. In Global mode, the correct spot is widened so that others (producers, musicians, A&R) can enjoy your mix in a corrected environment.
- Headphone Volume (side panel): Adjusts the output level of the headphone jack. The headphones output mirrors the selected monitor outputs.
- Calibration Switch (back panel): This enables the room calibration microphone and places ERGO into analysis mode.
KRK ERGO Technical Specifications
- Processing: 400MHz Analog Devices Blackfin® DSP
- RoomPerfect Algorithm Sample Rate: 96KHz
- Room Correction Frequencies:20Hz-500Hz
- Room correction Filter:1024 tap Finite Impulse Response
- S/PDIF Input Operating Range:44.1 kHz to 96 kHz
- S/PDIF conformity:IEC60958-3
- Dynamic Range: 96 dB system (component 118dB)
- System THD+N:
- <0.025% using 0 dBFS input &
22Hz - 22kHz Band Pass Filter
- <0.025% using 0 dBFS input &
- Internal Sample Rates :44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz
- Maximum Microphone Input Level: -32 dBu
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 180mm (7") x 55mm (2.2") x 107mm (4.2")
- Microphone Length: 197mm (7.75")
- Weight: 610g / 21.5 oz.
- Power: 1394 Bus or External 12v
- Operating Temperature Range: 40° F (4° C) to 110° F (43° C)
KRK ERGO Set Up
ERGO integrates with all PC and Mac-based computer recording systems. In these environments ERGO appears as a standard PC or Mac Firewire audio interface, so setup is easy and compatibility is assured. With ERGO's analog inputs you can still use whatever non-computer based recording hardware you are currently using without having to re-configure your system. In an analog mode ERGO sits between your existing recording interface or mixer and your speakers. ERGO also integrates with Pro Tools by allowing a S/PDIF signal to be digitally connected. Assign the S/PDIF output of your Pro Tools rig as your main Left/Right outputs, then connect ERGO, and experience the incredible results of RoomPerfect. And because all processing resides in ERGO no overhead is needed from the computer audio system.
If the sophisticated room analysis wasn't enough, ERGO can help around your studio in other ways too. ERGO can switch between two sets of full range monitors, or two monitors and a subwoofer via its front panel controls. Switch easily between monitors or monitors and sub systems. Each set of speakers will have their own correction filters. ERGO also provides a choice of selecting between two stereo audio streams through the headphone output. While ERGO's large volume control delivers ultra-smooth response of ERGO's A/B/Sub outputs. ERGO has your connections.
Finally, ERGO is all about quality construction. From its sturdy anodized aluminium case and die-cast end-caps, to its use of 120dB SNR converters, ERGO feels and sounds solid and robust. Smart and strong, ERGO is the perfect solution in an imperfect world.
KRK ERGO Support / Documentation / Downloads
KRK ERGO Windows Installer 1.51 For Windows 7/8 64/32-bit, Vista 64/32-bit and XP 32-BitDownload
KRK ERGO Firmware Upgrade 1.24 For Windows 7/8 32-bit only, Vista 32-bit and XP 32-BitDownload
KRK ERGO Mac Installer v1.51 Package For Apple Mac OSX Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain LionDownload
KRK ERGO Firmware Upgrade 1.24 for Apple Mac OSX Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain LionDownload
KRK ERGO Windows Installer 1.08 For Windows 7 64/32-bit, Windows Vista 64/32-bit and Windows XP 32-Bit - 1/19/2011Download
KRK ERGO Firmware Upgrade For Windows 7 32-bit, Windows Vista 32-bit and Windows XP 32-Bit - 1/19/2011
Note: The firmware updater needs to be applied by a 32-bit Windows or a Apple Mac OSX (10.5.6. or higher) operating system. At this time there are compatibility issues with the 64-bit versionDownload
KRK ERGO Mac Installer v1.07 Package For Apple Mac OSX Leopard (32-Bit) 10.5.8, and Snow Leopard (64-Bit) 10.6.7 - 1/19/2011Download
KRK ERGO Firmware Upgrade for Apple Mac OSX Leopard (32-Bit) 10.5.8, and Snow Leopard (64-Bit) 10.6.7 - 1/19/2011Download
KRK ERGO Frequently Asked Questions
What is ERGO?
ERGO is an audio interface with built in digital room analysis and correction system. It consists of the ERGO unit, a measurement microphone and control software. These three pieces are used to measure and analyze phase and frequency problems within a listening environment and then a powerful digital signal processor in the ERGO hardware unit processes audio to correct for these problems.
How does Room Correction help?
ERGO's licensed RoomPerfect room correction technology can help you make better, more informed decisions about your mix. If you find your mixes do not translate well from your studio to other listening environments it is most likely that your room is the problem. ERGO corrects for the audio coloration in your room and this, in turn, allows mixes to translate better to numerous listening environments. If your room has problems, better speakers will not resolve the problem, and while we endorse the acoustic treatment of your room quite often there are limitations of what can be expensive and time consuming. With ERGO even if some large elements in the room change, it's a simple as re-calibrating to perform the optimal correction.
Do I need a computer to use ERGO?
ERGO only requires a Firewire connection to a computer in order to run the analysis portion of the room correction process. Once the analysis is complete, ERGO no longer needs to be connected to the computer, you can simply connect your digital or analog input and your monitors. If any large structures in the room change we always advice spending 15-20 minutes re-calibrating using ERGOCal.
What is the difference between ERGO and "room correction" software built into operating systems like Microsoft Windows 7, or Apple Mac OSX Snow Leopard?
First and foremost are the DSP requirements to perform accurate room correction, while simple filters can be created and inverted to compensate for single bands of error, RoomPerfect offers much higher analysis and correction than a "built-in" system such as these. Room correction relies heavily upon the accuracy of the measurement and the analysis of this data to create an acceptable correction that does not distort or color the sound. To do this, variables in measurement, analysis and correction need to be reduced or eliminated. Because ERGO is a complete system with matched equipment and measurement techniques this removes a lot of variability and the result is improved correction. Operating system-based correction introduces a number of variables that result in inaccurate measurement. Also operating system based correction can take an alarming % of your system resources. This means fewer plugins, increased latency and overall poorer system performance when working in your chosen DAW. ERGO does not place any processing load on the CPU when performing its room correction.
Can ERGO work with my existing computer audio interface?
Yes, ERGO simply patches between the main Left/Right analog outputs of your existing audio interface, or will take an S/PDIF format digital output from your existing audio interface or hardware. This is a very simple and easy method to work with ERGO since there is no reconfiguring of your audio workstation or drivers.
Can ERGO work with AVID/Digidesign Protools?
Yes, simply patch ERGO between the main Left/Right analog outputs of your Protools interface or will connect to the S/PDIF outputs of your Protools rig. Assign your "main" outputs in Protools to your chosen method (digital or analog) , and ERGO will apply correction before the signal from your audio interface reaches your monitors.
Can ERGO work with any powered or passive monitors?
Yes, ERGO is designed for active monitors but will work with passive monitors as well. When using passive monitors make sure the amplifier has any equalization or filtering disabled.
Can ERGO work with two sets of speakers?
Yes, ERGO can switch between A and B speakers via its front-panel controls. Each set of speakers will need to be calibrated and will have their own correction filters so that when you are comparing or "A/B'ing" a mix, the specific correction for the selected monitors is engaged.
Can ERGO work in a 2.1 system?
Yes, ERGO will work with and correct 2.1 systems. It will treat the subwoofer as part of the monolithic speaker system.
Can ERGO work in a 5.1 system? Can I use 2 or more ERGOs for this?
No, ERGO is designed for Stereo or 2.1 (Stereo augmented by subwoofer) only.
Is there a way to bypass the Digital to Analog converters on ERGO so I can use another D/A converter?
No, ERGO uses phase accurate FIR filters in both, the correction algorithm and the D/A converters. FIR filters, unlike IIR filters found in some D/A converters, do not exhibit frequency dependent phase shifts. Since ERGO corrects in both time (phase) and frequency domains, it is imperative that we know the characteristics of the D/A converter and do not induce unwanted or variable phase distortions. Hence the reason behind ERGO's architecture.
Does ERGO color/change the character of my monitors?
No, ERGO only corrects it for presentation in your listening space, just as the character of your mix would change if your environment was acoustically treated. ERGO performs a similar job, but in the digital domain.
What do the different LEDs on the Focus/Global button indicate?
- When the button is illuminated ERGO is in Focus mode
- When the button is not illuminated ERGO is in Global mode
- When you hold the button down for 1 sec. ERGO is bypassed, and the LED will flash indicating correction is not used.
Does ERGO use analog or digital volume control?
ERGO uses a digitally controlled analog volume control. This means that the signal to noise ratio of ERGO is constant throughout the volume setting. This is an expensive method which is far superior to systems that use digital volume control, since digital volume adjustments actually reduce the signal to noise ratio of the system at lower volumes. ERGO is true and clear throughout its volume range. The Left to Right matching or balance is also much better than a traditional analog potentiometer.
Does ERGO need external power?
No. If you have a 6-pin or 9-pin Firewire connection ERGO can draw its power directly from the Firewire interface. If using ERGO in "stand-alone" mode you connect the external power supply provided.
Why does ERGO room correction only affect frequencies below 500Hz?
90% of the main acoustic problems in studio control rooms occur in frequencies below 500Hz. ERGO's use of RoomPerfect is designed to specifically correct this area of the frequency spectrum. To fix the remaining 10%, or problems above 500Hz, requires significantly more processing power because of the timing requirements of processing higher frequency components.
Does ERGO work during tracking, or only during mixdown?
ERGO's room correction should be bypassed during tracking. As with all audio interfaces and processing should be disabled, this results in the lowest latency when monitoring your performance. After the track is recorded, room correction can be enabled again.
KRK ERGO Reviews
Greg "Stryke" Chin (Electronic Music Producer/DJ)
In my line of work as a producer, recording artist, and DJ, I spend a lot of time on the road. I try to get as much work done as possible even then. I'm therefore, sometimes at the mercy of other recording studios. I recently found myself in Mannheim, Germany, spending some time with my Plastic City label family. I had some time to record while there, and was given access to one of the production studios. The room was spectacular with 2 sets of monitors (only one of which my ears were already tuned to). Alex Flatner, my label manger, let me know that they had just a few small issues with some minor reflections in the room. He had just purchased a KRK ERGO on a friend's recommendation to try and fix the issue. I jumped at the chance to try it out. After doing some listening in the room to get used to it, we ran the installation with the included mic. I told Alex, that I loved the way the room sounded before doing anything with the ERGO and that the reflections were so minor, that it wouldn't affect anyone's mixing. Well, after getting the ERGO into the mix, I was astounded. The ERGO calibrated the room so well, that it seemed to fix the reflection issue quickly, and without altering the feel of the room OR the monitors. It was subtle, but extremely powerful. I was simply astounded.
Fast forward about two weeks later. I returned home to Miami to finish an EP I had been working on. My current room, while filled to the brim with everything I need, is not treated. I have been having every issue under the sun with this room. I've held off treating it, as I don't plan to be in this space for much longer. However, it's been a huge problem for me when it comes time to mix. I decided to give the ERGO a try here. Again, the installation was quick and painless. The calibration ran, and I was off to the races. Now, in Germany, the difference was subtle, but important. Here, at home, the difference was night and day. I thought the calibration would catch some basic problems with the room. However, the ERGO went far beyond what I expected. I am now able to mix comfortably and accurately with no problems. I must admit at being a bit skeptical when I first read about the release of the ERGO. But, after these two different experiences, I can safely say that I am, indeed, a fan of the ERGO!
FOH (Front of House)
“Strictly as an interface and a room correction tool, the ERGO sounds great, looks sexy, and is easy to use. The ERGO is awesome. ”
“My clients report that my mixes are now "dialed in" and "spot on." There is solid low end without tubbiness and clarity without excessive treble boosts; vocals sit correctly and dynamics respond accurately.”
Electronic Musician Review
“I was amazed by how much the processing opened up the lower mids and helped me distinguish sounds that were fighting each other. The true test came when I took the mixes out to my car. Whereas previous prints sounded dense and cluttered, the ERGO-assisted recordings had better clarity and balance, especially in the low end.”
“I found ERGO's room-correction technology to be phenomenal. ERGO made an almost unusable room into a room that was quite good. I'm not aware of anything else on the market that can touch it for the price.”
“ERGO undoubtedly delivers on its promise to vastly improve your monitoring environment, and the ingenious combination of monitoring controller and FireWire audio interface could easily enable it to seamlessly integrate into a range of existing project studio setups.”
“I certainly heard various subtle improvements at the listening position with the ERGO in circuit, with a tighter bass end and more open midrange. The most significant improvement, though, was to the stereo imaging. Overall I was impressed by KRK's ERGO.... is excellent value for money.”
“ERGO has made a marvelous change in the accuracy of my monitors. My clients report that my mixes are now "dialed in" and "spot on." There is solid low end without tubbiness and clarity without excessive treble boosts; vocals sit correctly, and dynamics respond accurately.”