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If you had to improve something in your monitor system what would it be ??
Old 18th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
If you had to improve something in your monitor system what would it be ??

If you guys had to improve or change something in your monitor speakers, to facilitate your life and make quicker decisions, what would it be ?

After working years and months on your system, an engineer clearly understands his system's strong sides and weaknesses.

What monitors do you use and what are their weaknesses according to you?
Old 18th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
my room. Moved from a studio, retired, now I've got a small den conversion. ATC monitors sound great, Real Traps. Good gear. Just not enough room in the room!
Old 18th September 2012
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
illnus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Right now, my workspace - I need a new console and new speaker stands that are more flexible in terms of positioning. Also, our current console messes up the acoustics too much (got a new one on the way). Couldn't be happier otherwise; we've got one of the best rooms in town, mytek DA and Genelec S30's along with LCR 1031's + 1094.
Old 19th September 2012
  #4
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
My room: I'd add more realtraps and design the room specifically for my needs. My monitors and DA are good.
Old 19th September 2012
  #5
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javahut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
To me, great monitors first, and converters & a room that aren't "bad" are most important. And placement within the room of almost everything is important.

I don't have a technically treated room, acoustically speaking. Just ideas I initially built it with, with the room being long enough, front to back, some unique structuring within it, and acoustical treatment I could afford, and placed by artistically "guessing"... and it sounds really great for my use. I mix at fairly low volume. Monitors are Event Opal. And right now, can play any music through my monitor system/setup, and be able to hear the difference easily in sound in everything I play through it... from way down low, to fairly high kHz (I'm "old", so my top end hearing is probably not quite what it used to be), compression, dynamics, and level.

So to me, I'm really happy with what I'm hearing now. I've never been able to mix the low end the way I like it until acquiring the Opals. And now, I think it's totally a result of the combination of decent room and treatment, converters, monitor, and placement. It would take a good chunk of money thrown at my current system and setup to make me any happier with it (which I'm not saying won't ever happen). And if I did throw some at it, it would be for higher end converters (from current FF800 to FF-UFX or even ADI-8Q maybe), and from Opals to... I don't know what. A better monitor would have to be really great to beat the Opal. And I wouldn't give up the low end of the Opal. For the first time in my life I can hear and mix the low end, and I'm happy with it. So it would probably take some really great, too expensive, 3-way monitor I can't afford to better it. That definitely won't be happening for a while, if ever. And if I do ever find and get better monitors than the Opals... at that point, I might start thinking about the room design and acoustics again.
Old 19th September 2012
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
For me it's the lack of mid hi-mid range brutal honesty, and brutal honesty in general. I have a very well treated room, and amazing DAC (Forssell MADA) , but I think the weakest link is my monitoring system.

KH 0300 and Focal Twins .... they are very good speakers with an amazing amount of details but they don't make a big contrast between normal/crap mixes and stunning mixes ... it's like everything can sound nice on them.

They also are not extremely revealing at the mid, hi-mid registers , they tend to soften aggressive harsh sounds and nasty sibilances. You think they sound good on your system but when played in the clubs or on some other car/home systems at loud volumes, you have to cover your ears!!

I noticed those weaknesses after 2 years of working with them, and seriously considering to buy other monitors. I'm tired to have to check on car and PA systems all the time.

The only speaker that I heard which shows blatantly those faults in a mix is the ATC 150, which is unfortunately expensive and too big and heavy. I have heard good things about the very revealing and brutally honest attributes of the Barefoot. Would you mind sharing your experience with them ?

I know that average and non-perfectionist mixing engineers don't really care if the mix is harsh or sounds ear piercing at high volumes in car/home or PA systems, but for the perfectionists and people who really want to make their best , it is important to hear those problems.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
illnus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➑️
They also are not extremely revealing at the mid, hi-mid registers , they tend to soften aggressive harsh sounds and nasty sibilances. You think they sound good on your system but when played in the clubs or on some other car/home systems at loud volumes, you have to cover your ears!!
How about a mixcube or two as a reference? Good for tuning in the midrange!
Old 19th September 2012
  #8
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ddageek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The room , treatment, and an upgrade to something with the ATC mid
Old 19th September 2012
  #9
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I will, eventually, add an SPL MTC. Then my monitor upgrade options, as of right now, seem to be either a pair of ProAcs or Digital Phase AP-.7's with a separate amp that I am having modified for monitoring purposes. I will also be picking up a Ross Martin D/A. Also, in moving into a new home within the next 2mo or so, I will be making quite a bit of upgrades with regard to acoustic treatment. I will be putting more time into making decisions as far as the right amount of diffusion as well in both my live room and control room.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Lux
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➑️
For me it's the lack of mid hi-mid range brutal honesty, and brutal honesty in general. I have a very well treated room, and amazing DAC (Forssell MADA) , but I think the weakest link is my monitoring system.

KH 0300 and Focal Twins .... they are very good speakers with an amazing amount of details but they don't make a big contrast between normal/crap mixes and stunning mixes ... it's like everything can sound nice on them.

They also are not extremely revealing at the mid, hi-mid registers , they tend to soften aggressive harsh sounds and nasty sibilances. You think they sound good on your system but when played in the clubs or on some other car/home systems at loud volumes, you have to cover your ears!!

I noticed those weaknesses after 2 years of working with them, and seriously considering to buy other monitors. I'm tired to have to check on car and PA systems all the time.

The only speaker that I heard which shows blatantly those faults in a mix is the ATC 150, which is unfortunately expensive and too big and heavy. I have heard good things about the very revealing and brutally honest attributes of the Barefoot. Would you mind sharing your experience with them ?

I know that average and non-perfectionist mixing engineers don't really care if the mix is harsh or sounds ear piercing at high volumes in car/home or PA systems, but for the perfectionists and people who really want to make their best , it is important to hear those problems.
This is my ambitions to, though I'm not making music for clubs. ( I have Event Opal and Yamaha Ns 1000 and think they do a good job detecting imbalance in midrange)
But how does one know if this harsh peaks descriebed above- depends on monitor system - or that the speakers in the club or car has resonans at certain volume / frequency that create harshnes to the ear?
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux ➑️
But how does one know if this harsh peaks descriebed above- depends on monitor system - or that the speakers in the club or car has resonans at certain volume / frequency that create harshnes to the ear?

By listening to a range of material, and seeing whether the resonances are universal, or if they only pop out in your material.

Also, some recordings are so damn smooth they never sound harsh, anywhere. It's depressing!


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Lux
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➑️
By listening to a range of material, and seeing whether the resonances are universal, or if they only pop out in your material.

Also, some recordings are so damn smooth they never sound harsh, anywhere. It's depressing!


Gregory Scott - ubk
Good advice ,( My question was kind of retorical...) but I think this thing with speakers that highlights problem areas is descriebed a bit to simple, as if all problems with mixing is solved if you have a monitor that knocks you, - that almost accelerate mid peaks.....
To soft mix can be to soft....- I think...as said above.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➑️
Also, some recordings are so damn smooth they never sound harsh, anywhere. It's depressing!


Gregory Scott - ubk
Good god Gregory!!!! This is exactly what I am talking about and that most people don't seem to understand

Haaaaaalelujah!!!!
Old 20th September 2012
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I would position my world-class full-range monitors farther apart (if that were possible, but unfortunately, not). The main "fault" with them is that one needs to be PRECISELY in the sweet spot to monitor the high frequencies accurately.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux ➑️
Good advice ,( My question was kind of retorical...) but I think this thing with speakers that highlights problem areas is descriebed a bit to simple, as if all problems with mixing is solved if you have a monitor that knocks you, - that almost accelerate mid peaks.....
To soft mix can be to soft....- I think...as said above.
Soft doesn't mean DULL ... not at all , it just means that it won't tear your ears off(specially when played loud) , you can make something really exciting, really fun and really aggressive, but that doesn't hurt your ears.

For example a distorted fuzzy rock guitar can be very aggressive and have tons of energy , and still do it without sounding piercing.


On the opposite I can also take a very soft sounding instrument and make it horrible, by exciting the wrong harmonics for example... and the sad part of it is that many speakers(famous brands) out there smooth out those problems out and make you think that it's all nice and cool.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by javahut ➑️
And if I did throw some at it, it would be for higher end converters (from current FF800 to FF-UFX or even ADI-8Q maybe), and from Opals to... I don't know what. A better monitor would have to be really great to beat the Opal. And I wouldn't give up the low end of the Opal. For the first time in my life I can hear and mix the low end, and I'm happy with it. So it would probably take some really great, too expensive, 3-way monitor I can't afford to better it. That definitely won't be happening for a while, if ever. And if I do ever find and get better monitors than the Opals... at that point, I might start thinking about the room design and acoustics again.
Would you believe me if I were to inform you that there is a pair of world-class (i.e. ATC-level) FULL-RANGE (yes, 20-20k) monitors produced in the very same city as your Event speakers which cost $7,000?

And incidentally, you don't honestly believe the UFX has more accurate conversion than your FF800, do you?
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➑️
For me it's the lack of mid hi-mid range brutal honesty, and brutal honesty in general. I have a very well treated room, and amazing DAC (Forssell MADA) , but I think the weakest link is my monitoring system.

KH 0300 and Focal Twins .... they are very good speakers with an amazing amount of details but they don't make a big contrast between normal/crap mixes and stunning mixes ... it's like everything can sound nice on them.
....
I retired from studio work and put a small music room for private writing and recording in my home. Not ideal, but treated with a Real Traps Room Kit. I had to decide upon smaller speakers to fit the space, and was pretty picky as I was used to bigger better speakers with plenty of detail in a well-treated room. I auditioned three different monitors. I ended up with the ATC SCM 25a, and I'm quite happy with them. A bit cheaper (about 3k) than the Barefoots, too. But I put on my reference mixes and, given the limits of what I can expect from the room itself, I am far from disappointed. (But gee... even smaller monitors like the SCM 25a look HUGE in this little room!!!)
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDaniels ➑️
Soft doesn't mean DULL ... not at all , it just means that it won't tear your ears off(specially when played loud) , you can make something really exciting, really fun and really aggressive, but that doesn't hurt your ears.

For example a distorted fuzzy rock guitar can be very aggressive and have tons of energy , and still do it without sounding piercing.


On the opposite I can also take a very soft sounding instrument and make it horrible sounding, by exciting the wrong harmonics for example... and the sad part of it is that many speakers(famous brands) out there smooth out those problems out and make you think that it's all nice and cool.
Word
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
javahut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Eslam ➑️
Would you believe me if I were to inform you that there is a pair of world-class (i.e. ATC-level) FULL-RANGE (yes, 20-20k) monitors produced in the very same city as your Event speakers which cost $7,000?

And incidentally, you don't honestly believe the UFX has more accurate conversion than your FF800, do you?
ATC level speakers might be good. Are you gonna tell me what they are? I don't have 7K to throw at 'em right now, but would like to know what the monitors are you're referring to.

I think UFX converters are SUPPOSED to be a little better than FF800. I've listened to some of those converter tests. Honestly... I can hear the difference... but it's so minute in some cases, it really starts to be subjective as to whether or not some high dollar converters are a little better... or just a little different. So I'd definitely have to try any of 'em out in my studio before I'd splurge for any of 'em.

But I'm all ears for what you think is better... especially those speakers you speak of!
Old 20th September 2012
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Landmark LSX manufactured by ITC in Sydney, Australia.

There is very little information about them on the Internet.
I found the following information on their nearfield model in an old issue of "Audio Technology" magazine:

Manufacturer: ITC
(Landmark)
What You Get: 5 x LM1-
B + 1 x LSX sub.
LM1-B Specs: The LM1-
B is a passive design. The
quoted specs measure the
frequency response 3dB
down at 55Hz and 20kHz,
a sensitivity of
89dB/w/m, and a
maximum continuous SPL
@ 1 metre of 98dB. The
HF and LF units cross
over at 1750Hz.
What The Marketeers
Say: β€œThe Landmark
range of speakers are Australian owned and made. In fact, most of
the final β€˜mother’ mastering for CD production that is performed in
Sydney is now done on Landmark LM1-B and Landmark LSX
monitors. ITC’s
approach is to select the
appropriate monitor
configuration for the
client and then optimise
each loudspeaker for the
room it is feeding. The
phase of the tweeter is
passively adjusted
during manufacture (for
each client), thus
ensuring that the system
is in phase at crossover
(normally impossible in
a passive design).”
Price: $5,397.50
Contact: Gerald Stewart
Phone: (02) 9482 1286
Email: [email protected]

I can email you a PDF version of the LSX model if you like but unfortunately they seem to be out of production. You MAY be able to find a used pair somewhere in the world if you are EXTREMELY fortunate. Sony Music Mastering, Sydney, have three pairs. They may be willing to sell one or more pairs.

Regarding the converters, I suggest the Lynx Hilo are superior. I'm getting one shortly.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by javahut ➑️
ATC level speakers might be good. Are you gonna tell me what they are? I don't have 7K to throw at 'em right now, but would like to know what the monitors are you're referring to.
TransAudio Group - SCM25A
Old 20th September 2012
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
They are not ATC level speakers. They ARE ATC, with their concomitant exhorbitant price tag.
Old 20th September 2012
  #23
Gear Addict
 
ejbragg's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDaniels ➑️
If you guys had to improve or change something in your monitor speakers, to facilitate your life and make quicker decisions, what would it be ? .....

What monitors do you use and what are their weaknesses according to you?
Two things:
First of all, I love my primary monitors (Tannoy System 800a's). But my secondaries are not different enough. I originally picked the secondaries because their natural spectral curve is similar to my primaries. This was a mistake. It's hard for me to hear a "second opinion" from monitors that are biased toward the primaries.

Secondly, the monitor mixer .... I'm not all that happy with it. At the time of purchase, the only contenders I could readily find were Mackie's Big Knob, and Presonus Monitor Mixer. I went with the second choice because of utility and, well... visual character. But it's a noisy box and the main volume pot is also noisy. I admit I couldn't find anything high end-ish, so I went with what I could quickly find.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
skip "secondary" monitors. Use one pair that you can trust. Or do you make some middle-mix, halfway between the two that you cannot hear but you plan to release to the public?
Old 20th September 2012
  #25
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A bigger room for sure.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #26
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] ➑️
Or do you make some middle-mix, halfway between the two that you cannot hear but you plan to release to the public?

That's not how I'd frame it; using a secondary doesn't mean you're going for a middle-mix between two mixes you can't hear. It's using each speaker for it's respective strengths, with the understanding that no single monitor, no matter how awesome and trustworthy it may be, gives you all possible information from all possible angles.

People can and do just fine with one pair of monitors; me, I tend to like a check or two thru a radically different lens. Something always pops out, and maybe the mix would've been fine without that tweak, but my experience is that it's generally served for having the perspective.

Most of the records in my collection were made by engineers using two or three sets of monitors: the bigs, and either auratones and/or ns10's. They sound unreal; not sure anything coming out today sounds any better, just different. You can knock that practice (and all the geniuses who work that way), but you'd be arguing against a huge body of evidence that suggests you're tilting at windmills.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 21st September 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Your ears are the one most important thing. If u have not trained your ear then invest in improving this. This doesn't cost alot of money but it costs time and concerted effort. Do ear training tests online to see where your at. If u can't pick out if a 2db rise is as 1k,2k or 4k then ur shouldn't be worry about upgrading ur monitoring solution because u have not trained your ears.

I'm always surprised by the amount of engineers out there working in studio these days without properly trained ears. If u have not mastered this skill your not an engineer in my view.......

I don't have trained ears, and work in song writing and production rather than engineering. I've spend time in a fully treated studio that used a cranesong avocet an mm27s and some not so good setups and it never made any difference to speed of workflow. I have this same setup now at home and it doesn't speed up my workflow and is nothing more than a luxury and something to lure clients. As my ears get better with repeated ear training exercises I get better and faster. The gear is not a factor. My ability to hear 1 to 2 db bumps on a pair of mm27's is just as well as I can here them on my krk rp8 speakers.

What I will say is that working with the avocet over the build in monitoring controller in my old motu interface has become more enjoyable, but it has made me faster or more effective. The training has.

I can't imagine why an engineer in this business would not master the ear training exercises. It should be mandatory for them to get their degree just like playing scales is for a qualilfied musician.

Also I'm sure at the professional level there will be reasons to need the bigger budget equipment that I am not aware of. In my experience though I can see people invest in this gear way before they are even ear trained which is a little fanciful.
Old 21st September 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
cinealta's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Room.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Addict
 
ejbragg's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] ➑️
skip "secondary" monitors. Use one pair that you can trust. Or do you make some middle-mix, halfway between the two that you cannot hear but you plan to release to the public?
Greg spoke my words for me.

I spent a lot of time, when I first bought my monitors, testing my mixes on everything I could possibly stick the music on - especially cheap, band-limited speakers. I learned a lot about what I should be listening for during those exercises, and on the larger projects (full albums), I still like to test my "finished" product this way before handing it over.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #30
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajbianco ➑️
Your ears are the one most important thing. If u have not trained your ear then invest in improving this. This doesn't cost alot of money but it costs time and concerted effort. Do ear training tests online to see where your at. If u can't pick out if a 2db rise is as 1k,2k or 4k then ur shouldn't be worry about upgrading ur monitoring solution because u have not trained your ears.

I'm always surprised by the amount of engineers out there working in studio these days without properly trained ears. If u have not mastered this skill your not an engineer in my view.......

I don't have trained ears, and work in song writing and production rather than engineering. I've spend time in a fully treated studio that used a cranesong avocet an mm27s and some not so good setups and it never made any difference to speed of workflow. I have this same setup now at home and it doesn't speed up my workflow and is nothing more than a luxury and something to lure clients. As my ears get better with repeated ear training exercises I get better and faster. The gear is not a factor. My ability to hear 1 to 2 db bumps on a pair of mm27's is just as well as I can here them on my krk rp8 speakers.

What I will say is that working with the avocet over the build in monitoring controller in my old motu interface has become more enjoyable, but it has made me faster or more effective. The training has.

I can't imagine why an engineer in this business would not master the ear training exercises. It should be mandatory for them to get their degree just like playing scales is for a qualilfied musician.

Also I'm sure at the professional level there will be reasons to need the bigger budget equipment that I am not aware of. In my experience though I can see people invest in this gear way before they are even ear trained which is a little fanciful.
You can have the best ears in the world ... if your speaker is deficient in some areas , you won't hear certain things properly.

You might be the best driver in the world , but if you don't have the right car , life will be more difficult. For example the same driver will make a better lap time in an Aston-martin , and will never be able to beat or match that time in a Toyota Corolla.

When your ears are trained, and you got the right gear(good DAC, good MONITOR, good room), you easily spot the problems , easily hear peaks , easily know what decisions to take and work with more confidence(which is very important).

The same mix can be done using a lesser speaker , but it will take you a huge lot of time and frustration and effort, you won't be very confident in your mixing decisions, cause there are elements that will be hidden and not very well represented and u'll have to check and re check on different systems to and strike a balance... it just kills the creativity.

Very forward and brutally honest speakers really changed my life. The softy relaxed ones make you believe u've got a great mix... but the horror will begin when you check the mix on other systems.
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