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What to listen for in studio monitors??

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  • What to listen for in studio monitors??

    I think I'm finally gonna take the plunge and get pair of nearfield studio monitors for recording some multitrack songs I've been working on. Up until now I've been tracking and doign some mixing with my regular stereo hi-fi speakers.

    My question is what can I expect is gonna change in the way I'm EQ'ing and mixing now??

    Can I assume that if it sounds good in my monitors that it most likely will sound good in most stereos and what not??

    Will I be able to hear the song with more clarity that will allow me to adjust things better???

    Any advice would be appreciated.


    Thanks.
    I defy you to get a convincing death or black metal vocal down perfectly in one week if you think its so easy. It will never happen because you lack the years of practice needed to aquire such a skill. - DaevasAsmodeus

    "Ed Roman should have a car alarm shoved up his ass." - Bikehorn

  • #2
    Originally posted by ranalli
    I think I'm finally gonna take the plunge and get pair of nearfield studio monitors for recording some multitrack songs I've been working on. Up until now I've been tracking and doign some mixing with my regular stereo hi-fi speakers.

    My question is what can I expect is gonna change in the way I'm EQ'ing and mixing now??

    Can I assume that if it sounds good in my monitors that it most likely will sound good in most stereos and what not??

    Will I be able to hear the song with more clarity that will allow me to adjust things better???

    Any advice would be appreciated.


    Thanks.


    studio monitors you don't know will bother the **************** out of your ears for the first few months. market today is full of all kinds of monitors in sub $500 range. it dorsn't matter which one of these you get, because by the time you get used to ones you bought, you'll get stuck with those for a while...
    i'd say monitoring as a problem extends far beyond speaker choice, so if you don't intend to learn the whole thing, it might be the best to write songs and leave mixing to others, or simply use what you have now. are you happy with your current mixes?
    are you shooting to cater to people other than yourself?
    "I want to get Jimmi Hendrix's "Foxey Lady" sound, so what settings should I use with my Ovation Balladeer?"
    -Harvey Gerst

    Comment


    • Eric Von Kimble
      Eric Von Kimble commented
      Editing a comment
      As a newb to recording should I be looking for top line monitors first that are above 500 a peice like the Mackie HR824Mk2? I am not doing much mixing yet, mostly preproduction.

  • #3
    Forget the myth than any monitor is flat and accurate. In the budget range, I would be more concerned about the construction of the cabinet. Check them out with a bass instrument for cabinet rattles. Behringer Truths (should be called Behringer Big Porkies) have shoddy construction that ruins an otherwise great monitor. IF you get a good pair - and that's a big IF - they are hard to beat for price (where I come from anyway).

    Comment


    • #4
      No monitors will make your mix sound good universally. Some monitors will allow you to hear more of your mix more clearly. A lot of these depends on your room. Good monitors will hopefully help you use your EQ more effectively.

      You can make decent mixes on almost any monitor. The key is to learn how mixes done with your monitors, in your mixing space, translate to other systems. A good practice is to mix a song and then listen to it in your car, on your home stereo, through headphones, though a boombox, though someone's really high end stereo and make notes about the things that stick out as incorrectly mixed or wrong sounding. Then make very subtle adjustments to attempt to fix those things. A -2db at a certain frequency may not sound like much in your studio, but will really help if a guitar part sounds harsh on certain systems. Be careful making adjustments with the EQ. If you overdo it, you can suck the life out of things. Gentle use of EQ is the key.

      I recently upgraded from Alesis Monitor 1s to Event TR-8s so that I could get a better handle on bass mixing. However, even the Monitor 1s allowed me to learn mixing and get decent mixes, I just had to guess a bit on the low end. Then I would use the "listen in different environments" thing with an ear towards the low end.

      If your budget is around $500, you could go with the M-Audio or the Events or the Yorkvilles. I have heard recommendations on all of these. I have heard mixed reveiws on the Truths (no pun intended).

      I hope this helps. Good luck.

      Tom

      Comment


      • #5
        Ranalli,


        You got some good advice. All I'll add is that the monitors are half of the equation. The other half is your room and its acoustic treatment. I'd rather have mediocre loudspeakers in a great sounding room than the other way around. The real issue is that reflections off the walls, floor, and ceiling skew the low end response by a large amount. Variations of 15 to 20 dB are not only common, they are typical.

        --Ethan
        The acoustic treatment experts
        Buy my DVD

        Comment


        • #6
          Once you have your monitors, it helps tremedously to just use them as speakers for a while when you listen to CD's. This will help you "get to know" your monitors, and know what a mix is supposed to sound like on them.

          Comment


          • #7
            Personally, when I was looking at monitors, what I was listening for was clarity. Listen to different sound sources (accoustic guitar, piano, bass instruments etc.). Try to find a set of monitors in your price range that had a clear response across the spectrum of different sound sources. --- not just ones that sound "good", but where I could hear detail in the music.

            I'm not sure if that made sense, but I hope it is helpful to you.

            By the way, if you are curious, I ended up with the Event TR8 XL monitors and have been happy with them so far. However, I am new to recording as well, so am by no means am an authority

            good luck and happy hunting.
            Picker....
            The Duct Tape Motto- If ya can't get the job done right... just get it done.

            “As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.” — Dick Cavett

            "Also, it is important to remember that basses have 4 strings. Not 5 (that would be a banjo), not 6 (that's a guitar), 4 strings... and the bigger and fatter you can get them, the better the tone you'll achieve. No, I'm not joking."
            - Fletcher

            "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side"... Hunter S. Thompson

            Comment


            • PINKUSFLOYDUS
              PINKUSFLOYDUS commented
              Editing a comment

              I was in Sam Ash years ago and got into their pro-sound room.

              There wwere about 20 pairs of monitors with a mixer.

              We put a nice clean jazz CD in and the sales guy switched from speaker pair to speaker pair.

              Puzzled, I asked him "Man, arent these all like 20-20K response???... why do they all sound different?

              He gave me a suprising bit of knowledge:

              "All speakers have a 'color'"... so...

              as a guitar player always trying to find the Holy Grail of answers about sound, I would try to find out what monitors are being used by the producers of the music that I like and/or think sounds the best.

              Go to the source. I always wanted Robin Trower's sound so I asked a member of his opening band how he got it.

              It was worth asking!

              Good Luck!

               


          • #8

            Thanks for posting. I'm in the process of building a home studio and the advice on studio monitors really helps.

            Comment


            • #9

              Hey!

              I think the main thing you should be focusing on right now is treating your room.

              It doesn't really matter how honest and good your monitors are. If the room you mix in lies to, then that's a bad thing.

              What i mean is:
              If your room is not properly treated and you mix in that room and think it sounds awesome...then you take the mix to your car and suddenly it sounds UGLY, that's the mixing room lying to you.

              I don't know what your budget is but a company called ''Genelec'' is awesome!
              There's also a company called ''Amphion Speakers'' who makes soooo honest sounding speakers so it's out of this world!

              Hope this helps!

              Blessings!
              -T

              Comment


              • WRGKMC
                WRGKMC commented
                Editing a comment

                Old post, but just about any set of nearfields are going to be better than Hi Fi speakers.

                Those M-Audo with 8" woofers arent bad. I been using those recently and get very good mixes.  You can get a set for around $200 when they are on sale. I've heard the 10"s aren't so good so even with different manufacturers, thay may have some products products that are better than others.

                Many studios use, or did use the Yamaha monitors for mixing, especially in the midrange frequencies.



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