TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

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TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

I know several forum members own Clarity M meters, for whom I have a warning:

DO NOT UPDATE TO v2.1.2 firmware!

I'm not sure when it came out -- I don't check often but I recently saw it was available and ran the update. The previous issue, v2.03, is flawed in several small ways but it's far less badly flawed than the latest update which has managed to swap the left/right axes of the Vectorscope display -- something which is spectacularly unhelpful!

It looks like the reason this has happened is because TC tried to correct a different problem with the vectorscope display in v2.03, where the polarity is inverted in v2.03 so that asymmetrical positive-going signals are displayed going down instead of up. Thankfully, this error, though basic and fundamental, is likely only to be relevant to critical mastering engineers.

Sadly, the firmware engineer assigned to fix this polarity issue didn't understand the problem properly, and has rotated the entire display image in V2.1.2, so although asymmetrical signals now display with the correct polarity the left and right channels have been swapped over.

DOH! :headbang:

And obviously, that is a much more mission-critical problem!

So, if you make regular use of the vectorscope -- and if not, why not? -- I'd recommend until someone at MusicTribe realises their gross error and comes up with firmware beyond v2.12, stick with (or revert to) v2.03.

Hopefully, MusicTribe's forum bots will pick up on this post and pass the feedback to the relevant people... :lol:
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Luke W »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:05 pm Sadly, the Firmware engineer assigned to fix this polarity issue didn't understand the problem properly, and has rotated the entire display image in V2.1.2, so although asymmetrical signals now display with the correct polarity the left and right channels have been swapped over. DOH! And obviously, that is a much more mission-critical problem!

As in, they've just turned it upside down? That's amazing. :lol:
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Not the word I'd use. :lolno:

Considering the Clarity M meter was launched 5 years ago, I am rather disappointed that they are still fixing such basic issues as inverted displays and erroneous meter calibration markings.

Nevertheless, I have to say the Clarity M (and Clarity M Stereo) are very useful and capable meters overall, and extremely good value for money, with nothing to touch them in that part of the market. It's frustrating, though, being let down by such careless, silly errors.
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Luke W »

No in all seriousness I can imagine it's pretty infuriating, and it's not good enough really. I just quite often choose to laugh rather than cry! I've been thinking about getting myself one for quite some time now, but it's issues such as this that put me off.
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Luke W wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:25 pmI just quite often choose to laugh rather than cry!

Good life policy! :D

I've been thinking about getting myself one for quite some time now, but it's issues such as this that put me off.

Please don't let it put you off -- as I said above, considered overall the Clarity M really is a very useful and versatile hardware meter, and you get a lot for your money. (It's currently half the price it was when launched, which makes it exceptional value for money in my book!)

I use mine routinely on location recording sessions and would be completely lost without it. (I have a DK Technologies meter in the studio, but that is irreplaceable now so I don't risk it on the road!)

I'm sure MusicTribe/TC Electronic will fix this firmware cockup soon enough as I can't be the only one to have noticed such a basic and obvious error!

BTW, if you are looking to buy a Clarity M, bear in mind that the are two versions: the 5.1 channel 'Clarity M', and the two-channel 'Clarity M Stereo'. There's typically around £25 difference in price between them (the stereo model being cheaper, of course).

The physical hardware is identical, as are the core metering functions, but the stereo version has only one (two-channel) digital input instead of three, and the superfluous channels' bar-graph meters are blanked out by the firmware. Both have a USB input to access the DAW plugin.
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Eddy Deegan »

Thanks for the heads-up Hugh. When I got my Clarity-M Stereo I was expecting it to be interesting and useful enough but after using it on a number of projects I'd absolutely hate to be without it now.

For me the immediacy of the display at all times is a big plus; unlike a software solution it's always there and visible independent of the arrangement of windows on the DAW displays.

It's also great for verifying measurements generated by software and as it can be inserted at any point in the signal chain of the DAW it's extremely flexible in how it can be deployed too.
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by The Elf »

Thanks for the warning. I have to say that I've not felt the need to search for updates to my Clarity M, but this news will pre-emptively stop me from doing so!
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Eddy Deegan wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:33 pm...after using it on a number of projects I'd absolutely hate to be without it now.

Funny how that happens! :lol:

For me the immediacy of the display at all times is a big plus...

Yes, I'm the same. having a meter that's always in the peripheral vision is very reassuring, and much easier to work with in practice than a virtual meter on screen IMHO.

When on location recording sessions, where I have to work mostly in headphones, the vectorscope display is a absolutely essential in providing information and reassurance about the stereo image and helping to decide the positions of stereo mic arrays and/or spot mic panning.
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

The Elf wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:39 pmI have to say that I've not felt the need to search for updates to my Clarity M, but this news will pre-emptively stop me from doing so!

:lol:

In a product like this, updates often provide additional presets for the latest Loudness standards etc, so I keep an eye on such things as the standards are still evolving.

Previous updates have improved the CPU usage, and improved integration with specific DAWs including Cubase and Audition. The release notes for 2.1.2 mention six improvements, including better system stability and constant running performance. A single sample delay issue when locking to an AES3 input has also been fixed, and both the Nordic meter scale and vectorscope polarity corrected, along with the Sliding Loudness descriptor. So all worthy updates.

Unfortunately, they managed to unfix an important aspect of the vectorscope at the same time in error, and since I use that facility more than any other, I noticed!
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Luke W »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:32 pm Please don't let it put you off -- as I said above, considered overall the Clarity M really is a very useful and versatile hardware meter, and you get a lot for your money. (It's currently half the price it was when launched, which makes it exceptional value for money in my book!)


Thanks for that, I've been seeing the price gradually falling and it does seem like a bit of a steal at its current point. I've certainly heard more good than bad overall anyway.

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:32 pm BTW, if you are looking to buy a Clarity M, bear in mind that the are two versions: the 5.1 channel 'Clarity M', and the two-channel 'Clarity M Stereo'. There's typically around £25 difference in price between them (the stereo model being cheaper, of course).

The physical hardware is identical, as are the core metering functions, but the stereo version has only one (two-channel) digital input instead of three, and the superfluous channels' bar-graph meters are blanked out by the firmware. Both have a USB input to access the DAW plugin.

I had spotted that. I'm working purely in stereo at the moment with no plans to move into surround at any time soon, so that's probably a fairly easy decision.

The plugin input was a selling point for me as well, I think it's a great idea. I like the idea of being able to sit it across my monitor controller but I have no D-A cards installed at present and expanding it is a slippery slope I'd like to stay away from the top of for a while...
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by The Elf »

Just checked...

I'm on 2.03 and there I will remain. My Clarity rarely strays beyond the 'loudness-over-time' circle display TBH!
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Re: TC Electronic Clarity M Meter Firmware Issue

Post by Bob Bickerton »

I decided to order one of these following a big project which entailed 5 hours of audio of various lengths and types, all of which had to have similar loudness levels. I have the plug-in and it proved invaluable, but frustrating in terms of taking up screen real estate.

Heart sunk when I read the thread title, but feel reassured having followed it - I’m curious to see what firmware version it’ll have………

Bob
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