Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
beatz01
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by beatz01 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:08 pm

Can we get this straight for a second:

1) Hifi speakers are not studio monitors.
2) PA speakers are neither of above.
3) You shouldn't:

a) use studio monitors as PA
b) use hifi speakers as studio monitors

4) You can:

a) use studio monitors as hifi speakers

5) You should:

a) use Hifi for Hifi
b) use studio monitors for the studio
c) use PA speakers for live

Now we got this straight, go on...

:)

Sional
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by Sional » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:33 pm

beatz01 wrote:Can we get this straight for a second:

1) Hifi speakers are not studio monitors.
2) PA speakers are neither of above.
3) You shouldn't:

a) use studio monitors as PA
b) use hifi speakers as studio monitors

4) You can:

a) use studio monitors as hifi speakers

5) You should:

a) use Hifi for Hifi
b) use studio monitors for the studio
c) use PA speakers for live

Now we got this straight, go on...

:)
I do believe that Bob Katz uses Revel Ultima Gem 2s in his mastering room. Revel describe the Gem 2 as a bookshelf speaker which " In two-channel or multi-channel applications, the Gem2 is the loudspeaker for solutions. And thanks to their low profile wall-mounting, the Gem2 makes them especially attractive for use with the wide range of state-of-the-art flat-panel televisions."

http://www.revelspeakers.com/Products/Details/45

Hell Bob no wonder your masters sound so bad.

102455
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by 102455 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:50 pm

Jeez....

People use all sorts of speakers in studios - as references. Prime example, the Yamaha NS10. Before that, flipping Auratones - known by their nickname "awfultones".

That doesn't mean they're just as good as proper monitor speakers.

Sional, the part you underlined is talking about there being "no obvious split" between hi-fi and pro in frequency response. That is, how low they go and how high they go. The frequencies they cover. Not the accuracy of that coverage, +/- so many dB.

Sional
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by Sional » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:12 pm

102455 wrote: Sional, the part you underlined is talking about there being "no obvious split" between hi-fi and pro in frequency response. That is, how low they go and how high they go. The frequencies they cover. Not the accuracy of that coverage, +/- so many dB.
If you look at the graphs you will see frequency on the X axis and dB represented on the Y axis.

So the Yamaha NS10 was not a "proper monitor speaker" even though it was used in numerous audio studios for monitoring purposes!

102455
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by 102455 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:48 pm

Sional wrote:If you look at the graphs you will see frequency on the X axis and dB represented on the Y axis.
Thanks, but I know how to read them already.
Sional wrote:So the Yamaha NS10 was not a "proper monitor speaker" even though it was used in numerous audio studios for monitoring purposes!
Yeah, that's what I just said.....and explained why. Read here if you like, which explains again that it was used because it was naff.

Tone Deft
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:22 pm

1 - jestermcgee answered this on page 1. /thread. the rest is just a parade of pedants.

2 - Bose sucks, they're snake oil salesmen, "better sound through Marketing." anyone mentioning the should have their ears excised.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

Sional
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by Sional » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:15 pm

102455 wrote:
Sional wrote:If you look at the graphs you will see frequency on the X axis and dB represented on the Y axis.
Thanks, but I know how to read them already.
If you know how to read the graphs why did you say "That is, how low they go and how high they go. The frequencies they cover. Not the accuracy of that coverage, +/- so many dB."
102455 wrote:
Sional wrote:So the Yamaha NS10 was not a "proper monitor speaker" even though it was used in numerous audio studios for monitoring purposes!
Yeah, that's what I just said.....and explained why. Read here if you like, which explains again that it was used because it was naff.
The following is a direct lift from your reference:
"Thanks to its time-domain accuracy and mid-heavy balance, the NS10 is an extremely revealing speaker that takes no prisoners. In other words, if the recording is poor, the NS10 will tell you in no uncertain terms. You have to work harder to make things sound good on the NS10 not because it sounds bad but because recorded music, even today, is often a poor approximation of the real thing, and the NS10 reveals it."

102455
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by 102455 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:28 pm

Sional wrote:why did you say.....
Because I was trying to explain to you the meaning of the text in the article.

Is your first language not English?

Sional wrote:The following is a direct lift from your reference:
Yes, and? Are you saying that the NS10 is not a naff sounding speaker? There's plenty of text in that article which states otherwise.

Have you ever heard a pair of NS10s?

Sional
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by Sional » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:31 pm

Tone Deft wrote:1 - jestermcgee answered this on page 1. /thread. the rest is just a parade of pedants.
jestermcgee said " Monitors are designed to offer clear sound at close range." and I presume he was talking about nearfield monitors.
Bob katz thoughts on nearfield monitors:
"Nearfields were originally proposed as a way to deal with large consoles which get in the way of stand-mounted loudspeakers. But as large consoles are disappearing, this justification goes away. Project studios often put nearfields on tables, which cause serious acoustical anomalies such as resonances and comb filtering. Nearfields have often been cited as helping to reduce acoustical problems of bad rooms, but all the other problems they introduce hardly justify their use.
One problem is that nearfield monitoring is like wearing big headphones! The stereo imaging is so wide that it discourages you from making a "big" master that will translate to home systems. The second problem is that the high frequency response of speakers that are to be used as nearfields has to be tailored for such close use, so they won't bite your ear, so not just any speaker can be used as a nearfield. The third problem is that very few of the speakers designed as nearfields have adequate dynamics and low frequency extension (with some exceptions, I've seen engineers use Meyer HD-1s as nearfields, but these can sound overbright when used this close). The fourth problem is that nearfield monitoring exaggerates transients and affects your perception of the relationship of lead and solo versus rhythm. The fifth problem is that nearfield position exaggerates ambience, creating a higher ratio of direct to room sound. So nearfields are not particularly good for anything, either mixing or mastering!
Mixes and masters made on nearfields will have a great deal of trouble translating to other systems. I don't recommend nearfield monitoring for any purpose except in remote truck control rooms with extremely limited space, where they are usually not used for mixing, but to verify that the recording (tracking) is going well."

Obviously Bob has the advantage of a dedicated studio and a healthy budget whereas some of us have to make do with nearfield monitors. Nonetheless, it makes for sobering reading.

Sional
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by Sional » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:54 pm

102455 wrote: Because I was trying to explain to you the meaning of the text in the article.
I don't need you to explain to me the text in an article which I referenced. I had no trouble understanding the accuracy of the frequency range as it was represented in a fairly standard fashion for this specification. It was you who stated "That is, how low they go and how high they go. The frequencies they cover. Not the accuracy of that coverage, +/- so many dB." which gave me the impression that you did not understand the graphs.
102455 wrote:
Sional wrote:The following is a direct lift from your reference:
Yes, and? Are you saying that the NS10 is not a naff sounding speaker? There's plenty of text in that article which states otherwise.

Have you ever heard a pair of NS10s?
For a "naff sounding speaker" SOS seems to give it kudos as a studio monitor.
Yes many years ago I did audition a pair of NS 10s in the role of a domestic hi fi speaker but, at that time, I preferred the sound of Celestion Dittons.

beatz01
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by beatz01 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:15 am

This discussion makes no sense.It's about basic stuff that the whole audio world has already agreed on ages ago (PA is not studio monitors is not Hifi) except Sional.

Sional, please educate yourself, this is getting embarrassing.

Sional
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by Sional » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:23 am

beatz01 wrote:This discussion makes no sense.It's about basic stuff that the whole audio world has already agreed on ages ago (PA is not studio monitors is not Hifi) except Sional.

Sional, please educate yourself, this is getting embarrassing.
Sorry I did not realise that you were the spokesperson for the "whole audio world".

In case you did not read it the following is an extract from the SOS article's conclusion.

"If pressed to rank the four speakers for nearfield duties in, say, a small project studio handling a wide variety of material, I'd go for the Dynaudio first -- if I had the cash. But if I knew that really high-level monitoring was going to be a rare occurrence, I'd plump for a hi-fi speaker, the B&W, on the grounds of its response accuracy -- and I'd maybe put my savings towards a microphone. In the right environment, with the right type of material, any of these four speakers could be used successfully -- countless wonderful recordings have been made using monitors worse than anything here. So, can you use hi-fi speakers as nearfield monitors? Well, as I wrote at the start of this article, it depends"

My point is that some people seem to think that when a company brands their audio reproduction device as "studio monitors" it will somehow reproduce "raw audio" whereas if a company calls their audio reproduction device "hi fi" it will somehow produce the same audio but with an added "nice" veneer.

I suspect that, given the choice, the majority of audiophiles would prefer to listen to their music collection via an expensive pair of studio monitors as opposed to a low end hi fi system. If you accept that, then the studio monitors must sound "nicer" than the hi fi system.

By the way, I am not embarrassed.

fishmonkey
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:14 am

in terms of sound quality, really good hifi speakers and studio monitors have the same design aims. most people with relatively cheap studio monitors probably also have even cheaper hifi setups, so making a fair comparison isn't possible.

the NS10 is not a neutral sounding speaker. it has a pronounced mid-range, which makes it useful because in most kinds of music there is a lot of important sonic information that collides there. also, unlike most studio monitors the NS10 is not a ported design, which endows it with a more even time domain response. porting is generally used to help increase low-end extension, but it comes at the cost of time domain accuracy (the KRK waterfall plot in that SOS article shows that problem, bass boom at some frequencies). some people swear by unported monitors.

a cheap PA speaker won't make a decent studio monitor because it is expensive to produce good quality sound at loud volumes, and PA speakers are usually designed to cover a larger space (i.e. they generally have wide dispersion). conversely almost all small studio monitors are designed for near-field listening and will struggle in a PA situation...

Sional
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by Sional » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:21 am

fishmonkey wrote:in terms of sound quality, really good hifi speakers and studio monitors have the same design aims. ...
Yes. :D

Sional
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Re: Studio Monitor vs. PA Speakers

Post by Sional » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:50 am

Out of interest, if you go to the Genelec website and compare the specifications of their 8040B nearfield studio monitor with the specifications for their G Four HiFi loudspeaker you will find that they are remarkably similar.

http://www.genelec.com/products/8040b/

http://www.genelec.com/products/g-four/

:oops:

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