Audio Interface and Studio Monitors / Headphones

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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MikeHoopla
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Audio Interface and Studio Monitors / Headphones

Post by MikeHoopla » Mon May 23, 2016 2:51 am

So I am finally looking to upgrade my set up from the typical speakers and headphones to a pair of studio monitors and/or headphones.
What I was wondering is if it would be best to purchase an audio interface to connect in between the monitors/headphones to my laptop or if it is fine for my to just connect them straight to my laptop.

Another questions I was wondering is if it is best to use studio monitors, headphones, or both? What are the perks of each?

I am also wondering which pair of Studio Monitors / Headphones to go for. I only work part time so my budget is relatively low. Anywhere from $200-$300 US or $300-$350 CA.

A few pairs of Monitor Speakers that I had in mind are:

-Mackie MR5 MK3

-Yamaha HS7W

-KRK Rokit 5

-Presonus Eris E8



For Headphones I was thinking of purchasing Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250.

Which of these options is best for me? are there better options? and is it best to have an audio interface for audio mixing?

Thanks to anyone who replies, any information is useful.

jestermgee
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Re: Audio Interface and Studio Monitors / Headphones

Post by jestermgee » Mon May 23, 2016 3:12 am

Which of these options is best for me?


That's obviously a hard one for someone else to answer and no choice will be the "correct" one.

First, before monitors you want a good audio interface because most pro monitors will not have any RCA or 3.5mm connections to connect your laptop direct. A good audio interface should be the first thing to consider if you want monitors.

I own some older KRK Rokit 8 monitors and for the cost they are good but I found they were rather flat and didn't produce the low end much at all which had many mixes I did overloaded with bass. A sub woofer addressed this but wasn't what I was expecting at all.

I use a combination of monitors and 2 sets of headphones when creating mixes. I use the monitors for most of the production work to save my ears but once I have most of the work done or if I want to listen to things very closely then I put on the headphones and listen to the detail work. If you do a lot of production with bass then you probably will want decent monitors and I cannot speak for all the ones mentioned but the KRKs will not reproduce that at all.

MikeHoopla
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Re: Audio Interface and Studio Monitors / Headphones

Post by MikeHoopla » Mon May 23, 2016 3:24 am

jestermgee wrote:
A good audio interface should be the first thing to consider if you want monitors.


Thanks for the reply, I have a better idea of what I should go for now, however now I should decide on which audio interface to choose from. If you or anyone else has any information on good but relatively cheap interfaces, it would be greatly appreciated.

Tarekith
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Re: Audio Interface and Studio Monitors / Headphones

Post by Tarekith » Mon May 23, 2016 5:37 am

I've been really impressed with the new Eris monitors, in your price range that's what I would go for.

Stromkraft
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Re: Audio Interface and Studio Monitors / Headphones

Post by Stromkraft » Mon May 23, 2016 9:03 am

MikeHoopla wrote: A few pairs of Monitor Speakers that I had in mind are:

-KRK Rokit 5
I have these. Rokit 5s sound good, but drops off at 50Hz. Great speakers for writing music, bad for mixing.
Make some music!

hyperscientist
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Re: Audio Interface and Studio Monitors / Headphones

Post by hyperscientist » Tue May 24, 2016 9:19 am

Af course you will be able to connect (almost) any active monitors to your laptop directly - it's just a matter of a correct cable.

But depending on your laptop you may get better or even way better results with a proper audio interface. I would very strongly recommend to buy one, but it's totally ok to start without one if you're short on cash and would prefer to put more into monitors.

Put JBL LSR 305 monitors on your list also as they have great reviews. I have no experience with any of them though, so won't help to pick any. Best narrow down to two, order online, try both and send the other pair back. Also, you will get much better results with worse monitors that are better placed/located than with much better monitors, but if you don't put effort into correct placement. Seriously - 20cm up or down can make a world of difference. Angles, spread, avoiding early reflections and corners matters SO MUCH. I witnessed it first hand.

If you make all your music in the box, so no external instruments (no synths, no live instruments, no mics), then you don't need an audio interface for mixing - your DAW (Live?) is your mixer. Built-in mixers in interfaces are there mostly for low latency monitoring, playing live etc. Not needed at all if you use plugins to generate sound.

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