Oct 9, 2018

How can I simulate the 3D feature on the ifi PRO iCan?

I've noticed some amps have this feature that simulates listening to loudspeakers. I would really like to try this. Since I've been listening to higher resolution open ear headphones some songs just don't seem right with separated stereo(Ariel Boundries by Michael Hedges for example). I've never really noticed this since I've usually listened to earbuds that don't image in the same way and have a much smaller sound stage.
I assume what this feature does is mix the right and left channels to various degrees. Is there any way to do this on my Mac?

Thank you!

I've been exploring this lately. I first learned and heard this through the Pro ican. I loved it. So I explored what other amps have it and learned that there are softwares for it too. There is a crossfeed plugin called "meier crossfeed" by a guy named Case. It gets complicated when you factor in the compatability of plugins and players. I'm also testing players. Eg, the Meier plugin that has been highly recommended is a "VST" type plugin which wouldn't work with Audirvana or Amarra players, but it was made for Foobar. Well, I use Tidal so a nice implementation of Tidal within an audiophile player was important to me. I've been using Amarra's trial and it seems to be the best so far for Tidal. That being said, I found a solution that works with Amarra, and any player really because it's a solution that works on your Mac system (window's too).
First off, I've tested "Out of your head" for this effect. It does a great job of taking the sound "out of your head". It fools you like crazy. Really amazing. BUT at the cost of fidelity. There's a give and take. If you're not worried about fidelity than that program is the best in my opinion for taking it out of your head. It really does this well. It's $150 USD. At the end though, I couldn't make the investment because it bothers me too much to lose the fidelity out of the system that I'm building. On top of that, the stability of the program isn't perfect. It makes popping sounds once and a while and also has a difficult time keeping up with the computer processor, for example if I'm browsing and loading a new web page, it will cut out for a second. That's annoying.
So I found Goodhertz plugins. The Can Opener and Mid Side plugins. They are high quality, meant for pro mixing. The effects are more subtle but maintains the fidelity that your gear is meant to show you. I'm loving it. So there's another piece of the puzzle. You need something to play the plugins. This brings in "Audio Hijack". This plays the plugins for you. And it plays it as a session where you choose the sequence. For example, it tells your apps what to do - To play each plugin, then play Amarra (or Audirvana or Itunes, whatever player you want), then output it to your dac or headphone jack. I know it's way more complicating than I hoped, but it's a great alternative to being locked into only finding amps with this function. I actually want to go back to the shop to try out the Pro ican now that I've been testing this out.
[With Audirvana, you can have Audio Hijack play automatically when you play your music, but with Amarra, I have to start up Amarra, then start a "session" in Audio Hijack. It's one more step. But the Tidal interface is much better, so that's the trade off for me. The joys of the hobby!]
Costs - Audio Hijack - $59 USD Goodhertz Can Opener - $65 USD Goodhertz Mid Size - $79 USD = TOTAL $203 USD
I'm currently using a Woo Audio WA6 amp and still haven't made the plunge to purchase the apps. I'd like to listen to the ican again to see how it compares. Based on my memory, I think Goodhertz is just as good or better at the effect (I'm combining 2 attributes - the effect itself and the ability to maintain fidelity while doing so, as I've said, if you only care about the effect, the "Out of your head" was to me, the best by quite a big margin. These all offer trials for you to see for yourself). If you want more info on the settings and details, look for the thread on head-fi. Search Goodhertz Can opener.
I'm leaning towards the $203 USD investment. The ican is significantly more expensive. Unless the ican brings a lot more quality to the sound than the WOO. But if that's the case, perhaps there is another amp that isn't as much money that gives me the increase amp quality over my WA6 and there is still savings to be had. That's where I'm at.
HEY! Thanks for the thorough reply. That's a lot to go through! Im going to pick up the xCan or Xdsd in a few days and they have this feature so I'll be satisfied lol
You are looking for something called "crossfeed" or "stereo mix" in whatever software you use. I know the Windows version of JRiver MC includes this feature, I would assume Audirvana includes similar functionality. HD Tracks is also a good source for binaural recordings, Amber Rubarth's Sessions from the 17th Ward is very fine example of what binaural recording can do.
Oh, you may also be interested in binaural recordings, which are recordings made for headphones. So there's hardware, software and source for you to play around with if you're interested :)
There's software which is specially designed for headphone listening, such as "Out of your head". Personally don't use them though.