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Taking Monitors On Location
Old 6th March 2008
  #1
Gear Addict
 
BenJah's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Question Taking Monitors On Location

Hi there,

I've just recently decided to jump aboard this whole mobile recording rig thang and I have a question for those of you who have been doing this for a while.

How important do you think it is to have monitors ( as compared to headphones) on location? I've got some fairly decent monitors (dynaudio bm5a's) but I'd love to not drag them around with me.

Look forward to your replies.

Cheers,

Benjah
Old 6th March 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenJah ➑️
Hi there,

I've just recently decided to jump aboard this whole mobile recording rig thang and I have a question for those of you who have been doing this for a while.

How important do you think it is to have monitors ( as compared to headphones) on location? I've got some fairly decent monitors (dynaudio bm5a's) but I'd love to not drag them around with me.

Look forward to your replies.

Cheers,

Benjah
I'm only on location occasionally but usually take my (barely) portable mains with me, which are >25 kilos per piece.
Even with terrible acoustics they are more reliable than headphones.

However, 9 times out of 10 there is not enough room to place them in the mid/far-field so I often end up leaving them in the van.

Andy

PS, when loading speakers/computers be aware of the magnetic field that the bigger monitors can project!
Old 6th March 2008
  #3
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Cool

I got a pair of the small Klein + Hummel O110D monitors for monitoring on location. I got KTS to make me a padded carrying bag for them and stand them on K&M banqueting stands - perfect.

I also have headphones, of course - Sennehiser HD 650, HD 250 Mk.I and HD 25-1 is what I use.

Controller is the Grace m902 (just being upgraded to the balanced output version now).



(Picture was taken before I got the stands forn the loudspeakers)

I hope this helps.
Old 6th March 2008
  #4
Here for the gear
 
dirkjan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenJah ➑️
Hi there,

I've just recently decided to jump aboard this whole mobile recording rig thang and I have a question for those of you who have been doing this for a while.

How important do you think it is to have monitors ( as compared to headphones) on location? I've got some fairly decent monitors (dynaudio bm5a's) but I'd love to not drag them around with me.

Look forward to your replies.

Cheers,

Benjah
Best is a practical approach:
  • Is the room you are listening in, worth using expensive monitors? I my case: most of the time: not. Sometimes we use the foam from the inside of the cases as traps or I bring in some curtains to make the room acceptable.
  • When recording in a 'noisy situation' I normally leave the monitors at home and use a closed-system headphone. (Ultrasone Pro650 - because then also sound good on low levels which is nice if using for longer period).
  • If it's a long session (several hours or more) I prefer using monitors because it's not comfortable wearing a headphone for a very long time.
We have flightcased Meyer Sound HD-1's which I love, but most of the time we use some brandless cheap lightweight(!) selfpowered monitors.
Old 6th March 2008 | Show parent
  #5
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd rather listen to monitors, but my associates and assistants use headphones as an addition or the only monitor reference.
Old 6th March 2008 | Show parent
  #6
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David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Much as I'd like to, I just can't seem to get the stereo soundstage and direct to reverberant balance right when monitoring on headphones. But I sure am tired of hauling a huge pair or Tannoys plus amplifier around. Lately I've been thinking that if I used the monitors only to judge these two factors, and made all tonal decisions using really good headphones, perhaps I could get by with something like a tiny pair of powered Avantones. Anyone having success with such an approach?

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 6th March 2008 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Head
 
justpushplay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness ➑️
I'd rather listen to monitors, but my associates and assistants use headphones as an addition or the only monitor reference.
I'm with Steve on this one. Even back in the 80's-90's, I carried Tannoy PBM-8's when I was doing FOH. For a recording where I am simply monitoring, (rare these days) OK, in an emergency I could do it, but mixing as I record, there is no way I can use headphones. But I know people that can sit there for hours with them on. Me, I just lose all point of reference. (But I am completely capable of doing that with my nearfields too......:-) When space is tight, I use my Tannoy Active Reveals. I once had a band look under my console for the sub while using them. Speakers against the wall in a small space can make things interesting.

Michael
Old 6th March 2008 | Show parent
  #8
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d_fu's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
When I just record (live classical) and go, with none of the musicians interested in monitoring/listening, I don't take any speakers with me... If monitoring is required, I'll take whatever suits the situation. I packed my good ol' Genelec 1019 into a rather bulky case on my recent trip to Italy, to find out the conductor and singer only wanted to listen on headphones... I've also used a pair of Fostex 6301 and I'm currently waiting for delivery of those really small Audioengine 2 active (!) speakers, which will fit into a ladies' handbag...

Daniel
Old 6th March 2008 | Show parent
  #9
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I also used near field monitors (time delayed to the FOH position ) to solo channels and monitor my mix when I was mixing FOH.

I really dislike using headphones at FOH or while recording on location.
Old 6th March 2008 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➑️
Much as I'd like to, I just can't seem to get the stereo soundstage and direct to reverberant balance right when monitoring on headphones. But I sure am tired of hauling a huge pair or Tannoys plus amplifier around. Lately I've been thinking that if I used the monitors only to judge these two factors, and made all tonal decisions using really good headphones, perhaps I could get by with something like a tiny pair of powered Avantones. Anyone having success with such an approach?

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
You can see my rig above David.

I use a combination of K+H O110D (O110 would be just as good) together with HD 650 headphones and using HD 25-1 headphones when I need to close off and listen to detail.

The O110s are small and easy to carry around - I use a KTS padded bag rather than the K+H flight case (which would be heavier and bulkier) - as it's only me it's fine.
Old 6th March 2008 | Show parent
  #11
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David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett ➑️
You can see my rig above David.

I use a combination of K+H O110D (O110 would be just as good) together with HD 650 headphones and using HD 25-1 headphones when I need to close off and listen to detail.

The O110s are small and easy to carry around - I use a KTS padded bag rather than the K+H flight case (which would be heavier and bulkier) - as it's only me it's fine.
I saw the picture before, John, but didn't really grasp what size your K&H's are. I figured they were about the same size as ADAM A7's, which I was already considering. But now, having looked up the specs, I see that they're actually a good bit smaller. Converting to obsolete units it turns out they are 10.5" h x 6.7" w x 7.5" d. Not bad for something that will still reproduce the low string on a cello! I'd be interested to hear you describe their sonic characteristics.

David
Old 7th March 2008 | Show parent
  #12
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This has been an issue for me just recently! I never bring monitors because I don't feel I need them for location concert work since the musicians only have one take and they don't need to hear it and hear the mistakes or whatever.

However I have a couple sessions here and there that I am doing takes, so it would be nice to have some monitors. They don't have to be fancy. Any suggestions for some cheap (<$200) monitors that are powered, small (and hopefully lightweight), and give at least semi-decent sound?
Old 7th March 2008 | Show parent
  #13
LX3
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LX3's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Since I primarily do the loud rock thing in small-ish clubs and theatres, I rarely get enough isolation from the PA for monitors to be much use.

But on the occasions where I get a separate room to set up in, I wouldn't be without a pair of monitors. I'm carrying a pair of Genelec 8030s around now, but to be honest any speakers at all is better than nothing. We did one gig a few months ago where we didn't bring any monitors, then unexpectedly got a separate room to set up in, and honestly, after a few hours of soundcheck and performance, we would have sold relatives for a pair of iPod speakers if it meant we weren't chained to the headphones any longer.

I love the freedom it gives you to stand up, stroll about, play the soundcheck to people, chat to the odd person while still monitoring.

I still take headphones as well, because sometimes (especially when the room you're in has less than great acoustics) I find that a pair of cans is a good way to zoom in on a problem. And it's another perspective, just like having two or more pairs of monitors in the studio.
Old 7th March 2008 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➑️
I saw the picture before, John, but didn't really grasp what size your K&H's are. I figured they were about the same size as ADAM A7's, which I was already considering. But now, having looked up the specs, I see that they're actually a good bit smaller. Converting to obsolete units it turns out they are 10.5" h x 6.7" w x 7.5" d. Not bad for something that will still reproduce the low string on a cello! I'd be interested to hear you describe their sonic characteristics.

David
Yes, the O110 are quite a bit smaller than the A7.

I spent several years, on and off, searching for suitable monitors. I wanted something about the same size as the famous BBC LS3/5a, but active and the same quality or higher. It had to be a neutral, accurate, trustworthy professional monitor.

There are *very* few quality loudspeakers at this size and quality. I tried the PMC DB1AS+, but it was a little too coloured for me. The Harbeth Monitor 20 came up to standard (I already have the larger Monitor 30A), but the 20 were passive only - I did wait to see if he would bring out an active version, but not yet. Genelec I really don't like (you either love or hate Genelecs and I am the latter).

I finally tried the O110 which ticked all the boxes - small, accurate, good imaging, etc. I eventually got the O110D version which has the additional digital input, even though I am using the analogue input at the moment.

See if you can get a loan to try out, I'm sure you won.t be disappointed.

On Hugh Robjohn's review in Sound On Sound he says they "punch above their weight" which is good in anyone's language.

You can read his review HERE.

I hope this helps.
Old 9th April 2008 | Show parent
  #15
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d_fu's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've now been listening with my Audioengine 2 speakers for a while and I think they are quite amazing... Just as this review indicates, they really sound quite big and uncoloured. Would not be ashamed to take them to a recording session, even though they might be laughed at initially...
Old 9th April 2008 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I've never used monitors on location for practical reasons. After 10 years of recording on headphones, I've gotten very comfortable doing so and understanding how the sound translates to monitors.

About a year ago, I purchased a Grace m902 headphone amp/DAC that has a cross feed circuit that supposedly mimics head related transfer functions. While it's not exact, I have found that it helps get rid of the music from the middle of my brain and more in front of my head that regular headphone mixes. I miss it when I listen to headphones without it.
Old 9th April 2008 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I bought an ATA case to fit my pair of Genelec 1031s and take them on almost every trip. I rarely use them at FOH but have turned many a hotel room into an edit suite.

Ken Paul
KENGINEERING.COM
Old 9th April 2008 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
MBishopSFX's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I always haul our ATCs with us and set up a 5-channel system complete with RPG panels. That's absolutely required for the type of orchestral sessions we're doing and to give the conductor the proper perspective and dynamics/balances. I'm always working direct-to-stereo and 6-channel surround so having a master-quality system is worth the effort. I do a scaled-down version for live jazz sessions with the scm-50s and 20s.
Attached Thumbnails
Taking Monitors On Location-controlroom02_02.jpg  
Old 9th April 2008 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Nut
 
digitalolive's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I actually bought a pair of BM5-As for the purpose of taking them with me so I don't have to lug the 800As around. I bought a padded CajΓ³n bag from Meinl which they fit into perfectly (with a set of Auralex Mopads between to keep them from knocking into each other). It works out well. I built wings that mount onto my rack to serve as monitor shelves and the whole set up is quick and easy.

Steve Lemke
Digital Olive Productions
Old 9th April 2008 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBishopSFX ➑️
I always haul our ATCs with us and set up a 5-channel system complete with RPG panels.
Very sluttish!!!!!
Old 10th April 2008 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I got a pair of JBL LSRp25s for $200 on ebay and they have worked out great. They take a beating and sound very decent. I also like the fact that the drivers are well protected, which is important to me in the venues in which I work. They are very heavy for their size, but you can get a nice case with wheels and a handle for them for not too much money that makes life a lot easier.

I really like having monitors, but headphones are usually what I have to deal with.

Edwin
Old 10th April 2008 | Show parent
  #22
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audiothings's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
there is a new entry in the ultra small monitor category... the genelec 6010a, with a 3" woofer. and FWIW, the 8020 has a rack mount accessory kit.

i would not put my money on an avantone like system for location use (tho' i've spent a fair bit building a custom pair for my studio), simply because that size of speaker can get me a much more extended frequency response than any "full range" (read single driver) offering... and the extended response might help decipher phase issues. single driver speakers are best used as an alternate monitor for a real world 'television' type reference... on location, while its very difficult to get a flat response in the low frequencies, i think it would usually be advantageous to have the response extending upwards...
Old 10th April 2008 | Show parent
  #23
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David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The new ADAM A5's seem like another interesting candidate. I already have larger ADAM's in my production room. More info in this thread:

ADAM A5 thread on Gearslutz

David
Old 10th April 2008 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➑️
Much as I'd like to, I just can't seem to get the stereo soundstage and direct to reverberant balance right when monitoring on headphones.
Me neither and it causes lots of mistakes. But I recently noted that the Grace m902 has the Meier cross feed filter in it.
Meier Audio

Has anyone improved their listening accuracy and mic setup using this concept?
Old 10th April 2008 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➑️
Me neither and it causes lots of mistakes. But I recently noted that the Grace m902 has the Meier cross feed filter in it.
Meier Audio

Has anyone improved their listening accuracy and mic setup using this concept?
I touched on it briefly in my post above. I find it helps.
Old 11th April 2008 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
You bought the last ones...

Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu ➑️
I've now been listening with my Audioengine 2 speakers for a while and I think they are quite amazing... Just as this review indicates, they really sound quite big and uncoloured. Would not be ashamed to take them to a recording session, even though they might be laughed at initially...
So did you get the last ones? They're out of stock now. Boo. Hiss.
Old 11th April 2008 | Show parent
  #27
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d_fu's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG ➑️
So did you get the last ones? They're out of stock now. Boo. Hiss.
I had to wait a few weeks for a shipment until I got mine... Did anyone tell you they are premanently out of stock or out of production? That would be a shame indeed, but I don't think that can be the case. Unless an MK II version is upcoming (maybe with a better protected tweeter...).


Daniel
Old 11th April 2008 | Show parent
  #28
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBishopSFX ➑️
I always haul our ATCs with us and set up a 5-channel system complete with RPG panels. That's absolutely required for the type of orchestral sessions we're doing and to give the conductor the proper perspective and dynamics/balances. I'm always working direct-to-stereo and 6-channel surround so having a master-quality system is worth the effort. I do a scaled-down version for live jazz sessions with the scm-50s and 20s.

Just finished hauling a 5.1 surround of scm20-2a with no one to help me, it did not help that two of them were stuck to the stands... long story
I will not have to go to the gym this week!
It seems like such a great idea every time
to add perspective to the story we are 4 flights of stairs and no parking allowed in front of the building.

When you say scaled down, does this mean you bring a full surround of scm50 or even larger?
Old 11th April 2008 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_simpson ➑️

However, 9 times out of 10 there is not enough room to place them in the mid/far-field so I often end up leaving them in the van.


If you left anything in the van where I am, someone would nick it within seconds!
Old 11th April 2008 | Show parent
  #30
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Any suggestions for a very small and light 2-channel monitor system that would at least semi-accurately translate a classical or jazz recording?
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