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is it OK to mix using a powered PA speakers?


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I've seen people using all sorts of things as their monitor speakers over the years. There simply isn't a right or wrong approach - all that really matters is if the speakers allow you to hear what you need to hear, and if you get good results with the speakers or not.

 

Having said that, I generally prefer sticking with dedicated studio monitors. But if you can learn how those powered PA speakers "translate" (how mixes on them perform in the "real world" when played back on a variety of different audio systems) and adjust accordingly to any limitations they have, there's probably no reason why you couldn't do decent mixes on them.

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Are bookshelf speakers any different than studio monitors?

 

https://www.zzounds.com/item--CWVSL5M?siid=131692

 

They all look similar but marketed differently?

 

I've also been curious about dual studio monitors such as the Presonus Eris E66 and if one actually needs a pair or simply 1 is actually OK (since it's already stereo):

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ErisE66--presonus-eris-e66-dual-6.5-inch-powered-studio-monitor?mrkgcl=28&mrkgadid=1233692239&rkg_id=0&campaigntype=dsa&campaign=aaDSA&adgroup=1233692239:DSA%20-%20Studio%20&%20Recording&placement=google&adpos=1t1&creative=282276642892&device=c&matchtype=b&network=g&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwPqZgqCk3AIVEoGzCh2UAQzXEAAYASAAEgJvUPD_BwE

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Are bookshelf speakers any different than studio monitors?

 

https://www.zzounds.com/item--CWVSL5M?siid=131692

 

 

Some of the first speakers that engineers started using as "nearfield monitors" were originally designed as consumer bookshelf speakers, so there's a lot of crossover between the two categories. Most modern studio monitors are powered - they have the power amplifiers that drive them built-in; most of the old consumer bookshelf speakers (including ones that were later adopted as studio monitors, such as the Yamaha NS10 and Radio Shack Minimus 7) were passive speakers and required an external powered stereo receiver or power amplifier to drive them.

 

The C.V. speakers you linked to appear to be passive bookshelf speakers that are intended to be used as the rear pair in a 5.1 surround system. I have not heard them, but I personally prefer a size larger (6.5") woofers as a minimum, although I have heard some powered studio monitors with 5.25" drivers that I could mix on... but I generally like something a bit larger. As far as those Cerwin Vegas go, if you spent enough time learning their quirks and deficiencies and learn how to compensate for them you might be able to use them to record and mix with, but why take a chance on an unknown when there are so many dedicated and widely reviewed purpose-built studio monitors available now?

 

They all look similar but marketed differently?

 

Bookshelf speakers and purpose-built nearfield studio monitors do look similar in some ways. They are typically in the same physical size range, utilizing woofers in the 5" - 10" range. Most are two-way designs with a woofer and tweeter. But the biggest difference is often in their sound. Home stereo speakers are often designed to sound good and to impress; while studio monitors should be designed to sound accurate. A consumer might be wowed with the sound of hyped lows and highs, but that's not what you want in your reference monitors - sonic accuracy and the ability for mixes done on them to "translate" well when played back on other systems rules when it comes to studio monitors.

 

I've also been curious about dual studio monitors such as the Presonus Eris E66 and if one actually needs a pair or simply 1 is actually OK (since it's already stereo):

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...SAAEgJvUPD_BwE

 

Actually, those are not "stereo" in the way you're thinking. :) I use a similar pair of speakers as my primary studio monitors (ADAM S3A's). The reason why companies use dual drivers in studio monitors varies from company to company, as does the way they utilize them, but in every case I know of, the dual speakers in a single cabinet are used to either increase the woofer cone area (reinforcing the low end) or as a combination LF / Low to Low-Midrange, or LF / Midrange driver pair, with the visually similar looking dual speakers being used to reproduce different parts of the frequency spectrum. If you get something like the PreSonus Eris E66, you'll still need two of them for stereo operation.

 

 

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I've been curious how it's like to mix and master using an open back headphones instead of studio monitors.

 

If you're going to use headphones, there's a lot to be said for going with the most accurate sounding open-back model you can afford. Closed back headphones tend to have a bit of boost or a boxy, unnatural sound to the low frequencies that open-backed cans don't typically suffer from. They have much better isolation though... so it's a trade-off. The headphones that will work best for tracking (closed back) are not always the best choice when maximum accuracy is the goal, and the ones that tend to sound the most accurate (open-backed) will bleed horribly (with the sound from the headphones being picked up by nearby microphones) if you try to track / record while wearing them.

 

I typically don't mix on headphones. I do use them to edit with quite often, and I do use them when on the go, but I always prefer doing my final mixes primarily on speakers. Even then, I do occasionally check things using headphones - since so many people listen with headphones and ear buds these days, giving your mixes a few listens on headphones before signing off on them makes a lot of sense IMO.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have some IEMs, but like anything that's sealed (closed-back headphones, ear buds that seal the ear canal) they tend to be a bit exaggerated in the bass, and if there's on area of the frequency response that I personally want to hear as well as possible (mainly because it's the most challenging area to reproduce accurately), it's the low frequencies. :)

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