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Best small powered monitors & subwoofer?

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  • Best small powered monitors & subwoofer?

    So, I am the father of two young boys under 2 years old. When they are awake, I need to spend time with them and not mix my music. When they're asleep I can't mix music because it will wake them up (our house is not very large). When I mix on headphones (Sony MDR7506 and Sennheiser HD280 Pro) it sounds horrible later when I hear it on my Adam A5x's. I'm interested in getting better headphones so that the mixes will be at a higher level of quality prior to mixing on speakers, and I am also trying to "learn" my headphones a bit so that I will know how to compensate. but at this point the only place I can really mix and not disturb anybody is in the car. Obviously the car's speakers aren't reference monitors, so I want to get a very small, portable set of powered monitors (and sub?) that I can just take out into the car with my laptop, plug it all into an inverter and go to town. I realize that the shape and materials of the car may pose their own issues, but it's all I've got.



    So do you guys have any recommendations? Looking at these Roland monitors, this is the kind of the form factor I'm looking for, and they also look like they'll take a beating (but they also set off my junk-dar):



    mohodisco.bandcamp.com

  • #2
    Hey Lava. I have a 15 month old son and I built my recording studio into my house like most mix engineers are now doing these days. My full-time job is mixing and producing records for other people. Probably 90% of my time is spent mixing records. I have had zero problems with my son sleeping. Because of not wanting to mess with some building codes, the studio really has no isolation between the ceiling and the floor above, part of which is his bedroom. I actually very early on tried to see if he'd sleep in the isolation booth, but he pretty much hates that room so I gave up. But the music has absolutely zero effect on him taking naps (although sometimes I feel guilty that the nanny is stuck listening to the same exact song over and over and over and over....). Granted, it's been this way since the day he was born so perhaps he's just used to it.



    But anyway, my point is that perhaps you are over-reacting to a perception that there's a problem. Your kids can probably sleep through it, just like kids in apartments on busy streets sleep through the 6 lanes of traffic.



    One other consideration: How loud are you actually mixing? I might crank it up to 90dB early on, and occasionally for a spot check, but most of my time mixing is around 80 to 85dB and the last third of mixing is typically 70 - 80dB, again with only very brief moments where I crank it up. I'm mixing on 8" speakers and lots of pop and urban records with plenty of bass. But if you are one of those crazies that likes to go deaf and mixes at earsplitting levels (not good for your ear health...) then I could see it being a bigger problem.
    Chris 'Von Pimpenstein' Carter
    Mixer | Producer
    Three international #1 hit radio singles
    www.vonpimpenstein.com

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    • #3
      One thing you could consider is the focusrite VRM box. It's a room and speaker simulator, and it really gives you the perception of listening to real speakers that are in front of you, while you are using headphones. They actually have the Adam speakers modeled in the software, and I know they are good because the model of the Alesis M1's is very similar to the real ones I have. It definitely makes a big difference for headphone mixing.

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      • #4
        I'll also add I have some Etymotic Er4's and love them. While I still finish stuff on my monitors they can easily get me 95% of the way there. I would buy them and stay indoors long before doing what you're considering.



        Also I have the PT model but I believe the S's are preferred for critical work. I got the PT's because I had a gift card to a store and all they carried were the PT's. They still work great. maybe the S's would get me 99% of the way. And they do make a PT to S converter. Just never bothered to buy it.
        ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ Metric Halo 2882 Expanded +DSP, , HP Z600 (w/dual hexacore xeons at 2.66GHz, 12GB Ram, 480 GB SSD), OSX 10.10, Windows 10, Ubuntu Studio 14, Harrison Mixbus 3 , Pro Tools 12, and Reaper. Belmont Bigsby, Godin LGSP-90 (NAMM ed.), Godin LGX-SA into an 11 Rack controlled by a FCB1010 with an Eureka Prom. A bunch of other stuff lying around.

        Did I mention that Harrison Mixbus 3 is out? If not check it out. It Is AWESOME!!!

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