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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » General Discussion
a question about monitors
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dragonbat76



Joined: Jul 19, 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Lake Charles, Louisiana USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:58 am    Post subject: a question about monitors Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, I am building up a budget, used equipment setup for my small house. I have started out with a mackie 1202 mixer.. I am using this setup for just being able to have something to plug into. Perhaps a bass one day, guitar line outs off of amps. Maybe an isolation speaker with the mic plugged in to crank tube amps, whatever.

So I need some speakers. But studio monitors are expensive.. Yea they have cheap ones, but I am sure you dont get the quality out of them that you would need out of a good set of monitors. So whats stopping me from building some basic speakers or using PA speakers or even home theater speakers? I figure if I get the whole rig going then I can upgrade later.

Here is a speaker kit that I was wanting to build (and still do want to build)

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-702

I figure that as long as I didnt expect more volume and took it easy on them they would be ok. I probably cant crank these speakers up enough to damage them anyway due to neighbors.
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anigbrowl



Joined: Jan 21, 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You will need an amplifier too with that kit, which will cost more (unless I misunderstood and you got a powered mixer). For my money you do not need monster speakers, you can get a very good sound from some KRK desktop units at an affordable price.
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Keysandslots



Joined: Aug 18, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I know this may cause some consternation but I use headphones. I have a pair of Grado 325s that, at least to my ears, are accurate and mostly comfortable. I have nearfields too, a pair of older Tannoys, but so far the headphones have been fine.

Randy
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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

it doesn't cause consternation. It's kind of a choice. I used headphones for years before I went to nearfields. I have a KRK set that's about 15 or so years old, with an external 50W/ch amp. The sound levels don't ever get above the amp, and I get a better sound from nearfields, myself. But I use DT990s as headphones and those are still nice after many years too.
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robsol
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Even if you have monitor speakers it's always good to check your mix on headphones. So many people listen to music on (good) headphones anyway these days, using phones or pods. In home studios, where bass problems are likely to arise, it can be better to mix on headphones as you then bypass the acoustics of the room altogether, and of course it's the obvious benefit of not annoying neighbours or people you live with too! For the price of low range monitors you can get some spectacular sounding headphones. There are many reasons why headphones are a good solution.
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My nearfields are a set of B&W DM110s which I know are pretty dated these days, but when I got them they were the best I could afford. They're almost 30 years old now, and have been re-coned, and they sound just great to me.
I sometimes compare to a set of Sennheiser HD495s. They're 12 years old now, but still sound pretty good.

I suppose it really comes down to knowing the sound. So you can compare it fairly accurately to other musical spaces. Ultimately, it's all relative, so it really does come down to your own taste, and then, lots of practice, so that you know what your gear sounds like.

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Keysandslots



Joined: Aug 18, 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh, that was nice! I've seen, and been the recipient of, some flak on other forums for mixing using headphones. Nice to see this bunch is certainly more open-minded. The point about most people listening using headphones on iPods these days is a good one, I hadn't thought of that.

Randy
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I play tracks through my nearfields, headphones, surround sound on the other computer, in the car stereo. It all helps give you an idea of how the mix sits when coming through different gear. And you can be sure that if you want people to listen to it, it will be played through a lot of different gear. Laughing
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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:
I play tracks through my nearfields, headphones, surround sound on the other computer, in the car stereo. It all helps give you an idea of how the mix sits when coming through different gear. And you can be sure that if you want people to listen to it, it will be played through a lot of different gear. Laughing


+1 for that comment - it's always been considered good production style to mix through as many different types of speakers as possible. I learned that a long time ago in a studio visit; there was a massive mixing desk, precision studio monitors (JBLs) and lots of nice equipment, and a cheap set of plastic boom box speakers on top of the meter bridge. The engineer would switch between the JBLs at one level, then the boom box speakers.

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Patchmouse



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I find the whole debate about monitors quite amusing and still very confusing after a long time of recording and listening to music. Some people go on about how "truthful" a speaker is, well, if it's a so called "un-coloured" speaker then that is a sound in itself ! There is no speaker on this earth that will come anywhere near reproducing the sound of a "live" acoustic instrument, there are always compromises, and we kid ourselves about just how good recording and playback equipment really is, most of the time it's awful! you only have to get a good seat in a concert hall for that to be confirmed. But when it comes to electronic music there are no real world reference points, the sound comes from a bunch of electrons and the end result comes out of a speaker, that "is" the instrument, so with that in mind I think the best approach to choosing a speaker is to consider what type of music you want it for, and finally, do you like the sound of it ? I think you have to just make a decision and stick with it once you find something you like. I know people that have made very successful chart topping records on large PA speakers, others using 40 yo Tannoy's, to Auratones and all sorts of weird and wonderful things. I have used some pretty awful speakers, and the ones I have now I think are pretty bad, (Wharfedale Diamond 8's) but I use them and my music sounds OK on anything I play it on, it's never been an issue with me or anyone else. I am in a position now where I am thinking of buying a pair of so called "professional" monitors, along the lines of ADAM Klien And Hummel and ATC, but the thought of spending around £4,000 GBP on something that isn't even going to be used professionally doesn't exactly fill me with joy, even though I can afford to do so, my existing speaker set-up cost £20 ! from a car boot sale, and the amplifier was free, so on that basis they have more than earned there keep, besides, my ears are used to them now, so that's all that really matters. A lot of engineers I have met have said that you can get used to anything, no matter how bad it is, and as long as your recordings don't sound "drastically" or "extremely" odd, I don't see that there is anything to worry about.

Patchmouse.
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DES



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It doesn't matter how 'truthful' a speaker is reported to be in the anechoic test chamber (which they would need to be analyzed in to be in fact proven 'truthful'). As soon as you put the peaker into the real world its performance will change.

Find something that sounds good to you and can handle live instruments at your intended studio volume. Obviously if your room has sound issues you need to do what you can to control them within your budget. Only thing I can say about headphones is be careful of the volume you monitor at.

I have some Urei 809s that I love. Yea they are studio monitrs, but at $600 a pair used, typically, they handle what I need and didn't break the bank. I run them off a Yamaha A/V receiver that can adjust them to the room. I did add a sub though, just because.... Laughing

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Patchmouse



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DES wrote:
As soon as you put the speaker into the real world its performance will change.

Find something that sounds good to you and can handle live instruments at your intended studio volume.


Yes, I've witnessed that phenomenon a few times, a friend recently bought a pair of expensive monitors after hearing them in another studio, when we got them back to his place they didn't sound good at all, because of his room. This is a good reason to always try and borrow a pair of speakers "on trial" in your own room before you finally part with your cash. Munro, makers of "The Egg" are operating a loan scheme in this respect, for instance.
Also worth baring in mind, a sealed box design or infinite baffle speaker is going to be a lot more "room tolerant" and less prone to bass problems in an imperfect room, ported designs give a lot more problems in this respect.
As Des said, find something that sounds good to you, and, something that's suited to your music.

Patchmouse.
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