Studio Speakers

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
dancing Ray
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by dancing Ray » Tue May 22, 2012 10:27 pm

gjm wrote:Honestly... if this is your first foray into 'studio' monitors and you have 250-300$, then it really does not matter what you buy. In this price range they are all made in china. Also, you have no experience to know what you like or dislike. Basically, regardless of what you get you will be shocked at how they sound and you will have to spend months learning them. Anything from the main brands in the 5" range will be fine. Once you have them, focus your attention onto your room. Treat it as a stepping stone to the next level of speakers should you decide you need them in the next 2 years.
^^ now that´s a good one.
Spiralgroove wrote:a little quantization never hurt nobody

Linear Phase
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by Linear Phase » Tue May 22, 2012 10:33 pm

dancing Ray wrote:
gjm wrote:Honestly... if this is your first foray into 'studio' monitors and you have 250-300$, then it really does not matter what you buy. In this price range they are all made in china. Also, you have no experience to know what you like or dislike. Basically, regardless of what you get you will be shocked at how they sound and you will have to spend months learning them. Anything from the main brands in the 5" range will be fine. Once you have them, focus your attention onto your room. Treat it as a stepping stone to the next level of speakers should you decide you need them in the next 2 years.
^^ now that´s a good one.
Oh, he is so right. And may I suggest Alesis.. :-)
Linear Phase has left the building..

andydes
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by andydes » Wed May 23, 2012 8:40 am

Oh nos! Made in China!

When is this going to stop?

While things may often get made there because labour is cheaper, everyone I've met in Chinese manufacturing has been pretty fucking professional. Hasn't the west underestimated them enough by now?

I think they can handle a box with speakers and an amp. Seriously, no matter how good quality your monitors are, in engineering terms, they ain't that hard to put together.

Sketches
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by Sketches » Wed May 23, 2012 12:04 pm

First Post, Hi All :)

To the OP. So you are gonna hate this post, it comes up a lot and it takes some money from your shiny new monitors fund :( in all seriousness though, look at audio treating your room. It is one of the most important investments you will ever make alongside a good set of monitors. If you can stretch to some KRK Rokit 6/8 AND some money for room treatment, do that. I recently mixed an album for some friends in an untreated room with the same monitors I use at home, it was a mistake let me tell you. Circumstance made it necessary and although they are happy with the result :D I am not and I am positive this was due to the room throwing off my perception of what was going on in the mix.

Room treatment is actually relatively cheap if you go about it the right way and let me tell you, cheap monitors in a treated room are better than expensive monitors in an untreated room in my experience.

Have a look at this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDxV0jbD9w8 or one of the multitude of DIY with insulation panel guides out there to get some ideas, http://recordmixandmaster.com/2010-08-d ... nster-trap . Not only will your mixing environment be more accurate but anything you track live in the room will be much more pliable too. There are also foam room kits available from people such as Auralux, whilst I am sure they are a good product they are more expensive and arguable less effective (particularly for taming bass frequencies gone wild.)

Good Luck,

Sketches.

noisetonepause
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by noisetonepause » Wed May 23, 2012 12:38 pm

I've got a couple of nice hifi speakers (hand-built by someone who knows what they're doing from decent parts), and a good hifi amp. I wasn't happy with the sound in my room much less the sound of my mixes, but I've been pissing my money away on vinyl and synths instead of saving up for monitors.

What I have done, though, is I recently spent a few minutes treating my room. By which I mean got a couple of old mattresses and sat them against the wall opposite my speakers. This sucks up reflections and maybe prevents standing waves. I also moved my monitors a couple of inches away from the wall, which also does... something.

I checked with test tones in Live before and after, sweeping across the spectrum from top to bottom, and of course also listened to some music.

Now, the walls were bare before and one's a quite hard and thick brick wall, and there's not a lot of stuff in the room, so my starting point was probably pretty bad. But to say the difference was night and day would be a serious understatement. Everything's clearer in the mids and highs, and as far as I can tell there's only one serious peak left where the room amplifies around 130 hz by a few db (or maybe that's the speakers, don't know), otherwise it's very even. And I can hear the test tones down to maybe 35-40 hz where before treatment there was basically bugger all below 55-60. And since everything's much clearer, I can keep volumes lower and still hear what I'm doing.

Of course, mattresses aren't that nice to look at, but they were free. Next step I think is getting actual monitors, but honestly no matter how expensive ones I'd've got, I still wouldn't have been able to hear what I was doing.

So: Treat your room. Buy acoustic foam and off-the-shelf bass traps if you want, or build yourself something or whatever. Just get those reflections under control. And make sure you position your monitors correctly, which briefly means, get them away from the wall and out of corners. If at all possible, put them so they're both the same distance from the wall. The distance between them should equal the distance between you and the spot exactly in the middle, to get the best stereo image.

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Suit #1: I mean, have you got any insight as to why a bright boy like this would jeopardize the lives of millions?
Suit #2: No, sir, he says he does this sort of thing for fun.

donmich
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by donmich » Wed May 23, 2012 6:33 pm

This may seem like heresy to some but for the average bedroom producer treating a room will just lead you down a rabbit hole. Just arbitrarily "deadening" can create as many problems as a live room. Part of the point of small near fields is to have them right in front of you. They dont have any dispersion and so the sweet spot is small. They shouldnt be much more than a few feet apart and you shouldnt be more than a few feet from them and they should be at ear level.
For the average person, getting an audyssey kit will do a hell of a lot more for you than anything you can do to your room unless you know what youre doing. That, understanding levels, maybe a spectral meter, "flat" reference headphones and near fields, while certainly not even remotely a replacement for an acoustically flat room and the best monitors you can find, actually do go a long way reduce the influence of many common acoustical pitfalls.

As far as Chinese manufacturing, i worked for a large well known Hi-Fi/Home Theater company for 7 years and saw the transition from about 50% to near total manufacturing in China. As mentioned above, simply being made in China doesnt mean much. For good stuff, engineering, design, prototyping etc is all usually done locally and then handed over to the manufacturer who simply make it to spec. Most parts are made in China and are factored into the design. A good engineer can, where possible tweak or tune or combine these parts in unique ways. In the case of high volume electronics (in my case amps, receivers, Blu Ray & DVD players all brands buy a base model from one of 2-5 Chinese OEM companies and get to add or delete features or incorporate some proprietary circuit. So ultimately the sound quality still really falls to the brand engineers.

What happens all too often and usually without the knowledge of the brand is that some parts vendor will convince the factory that their resistors or op-amps or whatever are identical but cheaper. Then the factory starts swapping these parts out and charging the brand-client the same. In our case this would result in all kinds of epidemic failures, bad connections and in some cases even sparks and fires. Its a nightmare.

The only consolation if you want to call it that, is your competitors are having the same problems. So one week its a high profile Denon failure, the next week its Onkyo or whoever. In any case the problem doesnt usually result in sonic variations as much as reliability ones.

In this climate no one can stay in business and not deal with the Chinese unless you make expensive, premium, small-run stuff.

JuanSOLO
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by JuanSOLO » Wed May 23, 2012 6:39 pm

donmich wrote:Part of the point of small near fields is to have them right in front of you. They dont have any dispersion and so the sweet spot is small. They shouldnt be much more than a few feet apart and you shouldnt be more than a few feet from them and they should be at ear level.
I was thinking something similar.

noisetonepause
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by noisetonepause » Wed May 23, 2012 6:53 pm

donmich wrote:This may seem like heresy to some but for the average bedroom producer treating a room will just lead you down a rabbit hole. Just arbitrarily "deadening" can create as many problems as a live room.
Interesting. This is the first time I've heard that position, can you elaborate on it? I always heard (and found intuitively obvious) that reflections are what causes problem and deadening the room means you're only hearing what comes from the monitors instead of what's coming from the monitors plus what's coming from the walls, ceiling, floors, etc and all the intermodulations this causes..

My own experiences are meagre (above-mentioned mattresses) but I'm hearing details in my sounds that weren't there before, and sweeping from bottom to top is a lot less lumpy than it was before, which I think is consistent with the theory?

Also, what's this audyssey kit you speak of?
Suit #1: I mean, have you got any insight as to why a bright boy like this would jeopardize the lives of millions?
Suit #2: No, sir, he says he does this sort of thing for fun.

donmich
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by donmich » Wed May 23, 2012 7:53 pm

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/arc/

Well, acoustics is a really complex subject and Im no scientist. Also there is the psychoacoustic factor.
But think of it like this - if slapping carpet or even acoustic foam all over a room gave you flat response there would be no need for acoustical engineers or THX calibrators in the design of pro studios. Some acoustical foam doesnt hurt at all and can even help get rid of distracting reflections but in most home studio situations, espcially when a room has more than one function, you cant cover every surface. There are ceilings, doors, windows. Some materials are deader than others. These variations, while helping with reflections dont equal flat response. Some things will seem more or less upfront, or bass-y than they actually are, you might find yourself turning up your reverb or whatever. Even our speaker and amp designers when demoing our future products would be more concerned with speaker and listener placement than the room. Of course for testing and sometimes demoing to us they did have acoustically treated rooms, but were talking about 100k treatments n shit.

Then, especially in the low end market that many of us deal with, the speakers themselves all have different curves. The MRK's for example are more bottomy than the Yamahas but while they may be fun to make hip hop or r&b with, if you want to know how much bass you really have you still need alternatives for listening and monitoring.

Treating a room has obvious advantages over not, dont get me wrong, but its not even remotely foolproof and with the yamahas (for example) i can mix in a live or dead room and get very similar (not the same as super acurate) results on a spectral meter.

The Audyssey kit first showed up in the home theater business -included in mid to high range receivers - as the inventor of THX was behind the development. But it quickly entered the pro market as well. I havent bothered with it for making music yet as i just returned to making muic for myself at home, and I needed a lot of other things, but I got a lot of experience with it when setting up surround systems for trade shows and training and stuff. It can be quite remarkable. You cant be sloppy about it though and its best in a new room to try it several times. It could be a little finnicky with sub woofers in large spaces though. I usually set those by ear when there were no options for correcting the physical space.

barezi6
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by barezi6 » Wed May 23, 2012 7:56 pm

noisetonepause wrote:
donmich wrote:This may seem like heresy to some but for the average bedroom producer treating a room will just lead you down a rabbit hole. Just arbitrarily "deadening" can create as many problems as a live room.
Interesting. This is the first time I've heard that position, can you elaborate on it? I always heard (and found intuitively obvious) that reflections are what causes problem and deadening the room means you're only hearing what comes from the monitors instead of what's coming from the monitors plus what's coming from the walls, ceiling, floors, etc and all the intermodulations this causes..

My own experiences are meagre (above-mentioned mattresses) but I'm hearing details in my sounds that weren't there before, and sweeping from bottom to top is a lot less lumpy than it was before, which I think is consistent with the theory?

Also, what's this audyssey kit you speak of?
Thank you so much guys. This thread is a good start to any beginner that want to know about what should do to equip the studio.

Great tips, continue helping on equipment, and considerations when we are creating studios.

noisetonepause
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by noisetonepause » Wed May 23, 2012 11:03 pm

donmich - what you say makes a lot of sense, thanks for taking the time to reply.
Suit #1: I mean, have you got any insight as to why a bright boy like this would jeopardize the lives of millions?
Suit #2: No, sir, he says he does this sort of thing for fun.

oslonovski
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by oslonovski » Thu May 24, 2012 4:47 am

Yeah, 300€ for a pair won't get you much, unless you go for used ones.
But as far as budget monitors go, check out adam a3x.
They are only 4" and don't go very low, but 5" won't either.
But those Heil tweeters... Nothing touches them at that price range, imo.

oslonovski
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by oslonovski » Thu May 24, 2012 5:21 am

djanciano wrote:I think rule nr. one is: don't use a subwoofer
Well, at some point you may need a bit of the low end.
Big monitors are expensive. A semi-decent sealed box sub is less so.
And you will have the advantage of placing it anywhere in your room,
depending on the acoustics.

barezi6
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by barezi6 » Fri May 25, 2012 9:49 pm

oslonovski wrote:
djanciano wrote:I think rule nr. one is: don't use a subwoofer
Well, at some point you may need a bit of the low end.
Big monitors are expensive. A semi-decent sealed box sub is less so.
And you will have the advantage of placing it anywhere in your room,
depending on the acoustics.

thanks you guys for all the help it was great and very helpful for me, i decided to buy the yahama HS80M a lot of people and great sites of music talks about this monitors and says that they are amazing, i saw some features, reviews etc and it seems good.

Thanks guys it was amazing :)

Mr D
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Re: Studio Speakers

Post by Mr D » Sat May 26, 2012 7:26 am

I agree, all speakers in that price range are basically crap. It's just a question of choosing a flavour of crap.

Do this instead: double your budget and buy some second hand passive hifi speakers, like Dynaudios. Then save a bit more cash and get an amp kit from www.hypexshop.com

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