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Feedback about Mackie Monitors
Old 24th November 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
irisdeejay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Feedback about Mackie Monitors

I'm thinking about buying a pair of Mackie monitors in order to improve a bit my sound quality. I don't know if they are the best "cheap" option to allow a clear mix.

First of all, I though about buying the Mackie MR8 but I think they are too big for my studio (I'll try to upload some pics of it if neccesary) so this is the reason why now I'm thinking about the Mackie MR5.

Another option are the Behringer Truth B2031a but Mackie is a better mark in my opinion so I'm not very sure about what to do.

As you can see, my budget is very limited (no more than 350 - 370 euro) and my studio is neither soundproof. I just need some monitors to make a mix as clear as possible.


Any feedback or help to chose the best option for my case? Many thanks
Old 24th November 2009
  #2
Gear Addict
 
lettenmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by irisdeejay ➑️
...and my studio is neither soundproof.

Maybe a good set of headphones is in order perhaps? I am sure others will chime in.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
irisdeejay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lettenmusic ➑️
Maybe a good set of headphones is in order perhaps? I am sure others will chime in.
Helo, lettenmusic. I've been working with some AKG 271 Studio but they aren't enought to make a clear mix, specially, in the low freq. This is the reason why I'm so interested in some monitors. I think they will help a bit my AKG.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
matt thomas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
the bigger mackies are good value for money.

matt
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I had some recent experience with the Mackie 824's - my band recorded at a studio that used these monitors only (budget studio). Our final mix sounded pretty damn good in these monitors, even when we walked around the room. The room itself wasn't perfect, but it had more treatment than most studios do for the price we were paying. If we had more time I would have tested the mixes on different sources and gone back but we didnt' have that time.

Unfortunately the mix didnt translate well anywhere else, it sounded like garbage in my car - a place I know how a good mix should sound.

I am an engineer as much as I am a musician, so I will be remixing the tracks at home - the tracks themselves were good. I have cheaper monitors at home but I have grown to learn them well along with the room I am in, but they also sound flatter and more even than the 824s do...

My point is that I wouldn't ever buy the Mackie 824's. The imaging was terrible - it was hard to mix on them while in the engineer's chair and in the end all the tweaking got us nowhere. The levels of the different tracks didn't translate well either - and I am not just talking bass - the vocals sounded GREAT when we left the studio but were heavily masked when I played the mix elsewhere. Also, it is very hard to gauge reverb usage on the 824's, everything was very reverb heavy elsewhere, although it is a common flaw to over use reverb.

I'm also not thrilled with our engineer, he should know that his mixes aren't translating well, but that is a different issue for a different thread.

DynAudio monitors might be out of your price range, but those sound pretty good.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
beingmf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Feedback? S - t -a - y a - w - a - y !
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereobot ➑️
I had some recent experience with the Mackie 824's - my band recorded at a studio that used these monitors only (budget studio). Our final mix sounded pretty damn good in these monitors, even when we walked around the room. The room itself wasn't perfect, but it had more treatment than most studios do for the price we were paying. If we had more time I would have tested the mixes on different sources and gone back but we didnt' have that time.

Unfortunately the mix didnt translate well anywhere else, it sounded like garbage in my car - a place I know how a good mix should sound.

I am an engineer as much as I am a musician, so I will be remixing the tracks at home - the tracks themselves were good. I have cheaper monitors at home but I have grown to learn them well along with the room I am in, but they also sound flatter and more even than the 824s do...

My point is that I wouldn't ever buy the Mackie 824's. The imaging was terrible - it was hard to mix on them while in the engineer's chair and in the end all the tweaking got us nowhere. The levels of the different tracks didn't translate well either - and I am not just talking bass - the vocals sounded GREAT when we left the studio but were heavily masked when I played the mix elsewhere. Also, it is very hard to gauge reverb usage on the 824's, everything was very reverb heavy elsewhere, although it is a common flaw to over use reverb.

I'm also not thrilled with our engineer, he should know that his mixes aren't translating well, but that is a different issue for a different thread.

DynAudio monitors might be out of your price range, but those sound pretty good.
if it's a compromised room - no amount of tweaking will help. In a good room - 824s, whilst not exactly high end , will be perfectly useable. The room is FAR more important than the monitors when it comes to getting ANY of the bass right. Reverb usage too - need a half decent room

So - OP - that's your key. Even a moderately sorted room will be a good first step - nothing fancy. Just stop the slapping and try and get some of the bass sorted out.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
irisdeejay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Many thanks for your feedbacks.At least, now I'm not feeling so blind with the Mackie monitors. It's clear the place where they will be situated (if I buy them) is really important. My studio is complicated cos it's just a loft or attic. It has got quite corners and trying to adapt some monitors to it it's always a risk.

I'll try to upload some pics. Maybe they can help a bit more.

Many thanks again
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Speeddemon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The MR-5's can be had for 300 euro's a pair at thomann.de

They're nice beginner's monitors, just like the KRK RP5 G2. And better than most in the 300 euro price range. Samson Resolv A6 are decent too.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
beingmf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman ➑️
- - - 824s, whilst not exactly high end, will be perfectly useable. - - -
need to oppose. maybe they'll be "close to" usable, but not "perfectly" usable...
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Elevteros's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yamaha MSP5 Studio, you won't regret it!

and...try to tune the room, your monitors will sound 100 times better.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf ➑️
need to oppose. maybe they'll be "close to" usable, but not "perfectly" usable...
USABLE being the prime word. As in you can "use" a fork to cut an apple - but a knife would be better !! heh
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
irisdeejay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yesterday I was checking out the Mackie MR8 in the studio where I work. It's a too big place in my opinion but I cut 2 db in the low frequencies of the monitors and the result was quite good.

Anyway and, as I said, this evening I'll be uploading some pics of my "studio" at home. I keep on thinking the Mackie MR8 are too big for my place. I'll be reading your feedbacks after posting my pics and try to make up my mind.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Nut
 
irisdeejay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
These are some pics from my studio. I know it's a real disaster but I can't afford anything better for the moment. :( The new monitors would be situated just when the Philips ones are night.

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3

Pic 4

Many thanks for your help one more time
Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
my feeling would be you're too close to your speakers.... and/or they're too far apart for your seating position. Being next to the wall isn' such a good thing either. I had quite a bi of success in the late 80's with a home studio by straddling a corner and having a bass trap IN the corner. Is that doable in your room? You could also then put a little bit of absorption on the reflection points - which should shoot the first reflections right past you anyway. Not a perfect solution - but a bit better than sitting right up against a wall in a small room.

so sort of like


___________
|BT / ...... ***
|/.......#
|...#
|*
|* ....... o <---- you
|*

BT being a bass trap and *** being a bit of thick Auralex or similar. The # are your speakers.... on stands if you can rather than on the table. I used to have a corner table back in the day with stand slots cut out. Bad drawing I know.
Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Lonnie5's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I agree with narcoman. Also, I own a pair of MR8's and have learned to love them. It took a little while to learn the monitors, but once I did I really enjoy mixing on them. Right off the bat you have to know they are a little exaggerated in the 200-300hz area. Also the switches in the back can really help out a poorly treated area
Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
hey.

Just had another look at your pictures and realised you've got an angled wall. Now you might be able to use this to your advantage a little If you can pull the speakers forward 8 inches or so and put a simple broadband absorber behind them you make improve things a bit. Also I'd still bring the stereo "width" in a bit... try and get someway towards that equilateral triangle would help a bit.
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Nut
 
irisdeejay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Sorry for the delay. This weekend I was not at home and could not check the forum :( I think I'll get the Mackie MR8 or MR5 (probably these last ones cos they are a bit smaller).

I'm trying to get in my head the plan narcomen has designed (tons of thanks, narco).

I hope to get more doubts so I'll keep studying this carefully. Thousand of thanks again
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Speeddemon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How did you CUT 2db with the Mackies?

IIRC, the switches for the low-end only has 0, +2 and +4, no?
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by irisdeejay ➑️
Sorry for the delay. This weekend I was not at home and could not check the forum :( I think I'll get the Mackie MR8 or MR5 (probably these last ones cos they are a bit smaller).

I'm trying to get in my head the plan narcomen has designed (tons of thanks, narco).

I hope to get more doubts so I'll keep studying this carefully. Thousand of thanks again
it's not ideal , but it's better than doing nothing! Worked well for me in my younger days !!
Old 3rd December 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Nut
 
irisdeejay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've been studying the model narcoman designed but it was impossible to adapt it to my studio :( I've been thinking about other models and, finally, I think the next one would be the best for my studio:

New design

I'll buy some Mackie MR5 and a pair of square stands. If somebody has got a better idea, of course it will be welcome
Old 3rd December 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elevteros ➑️
Yamaha MSP5 Studio, you won't regret it!

and...try to tune the room, your monitors will sound 100 times better.
Word and word.

War thumbsup
Old 3rd December 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Though I've only used the HR824s, my experience with them is that you'll hear highs and lows that are lost on most monitors. It's like a microscope in that sense. However, for regular mixing duties, you ether have to really learn them (by listening to a lot of familiar music through them), or have a secondary monitor for reference. I really love them and Mackie turns out a reliable product. Really hard to beat for the money.
Old 3rd December 2009 | Show parent
  #24
WP-
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
you really need to look into proper room treatment. There is nothing wrong with the Mackies if you have your room treated properly. Try messaging Ethan in the Room Acoustics forum. He did a comparison of a handful of popular monitors. None were perfect, (most had a bump in the high mids,) but the Mackies actually tested as the flattest.
Old 4th December 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by irisdeejay ➑️
I've been studying the model narcoman designed but it was impossible to adapt it to my studio :( I've been thinking about other models and, finally, I think the next one would be the best for my studio:

New design

I'll buy some Mackie MR5 and a pair of square stands. If somebody has got a better idea, of course it will be welcome
Try and get out of the corner a little bit - and get at least some bass trapping.... Anything is better than nothing. Also - in a compromised room, don't go so wide. Good luck!
Old 4th December 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Bass trapping and more bass trapping. You absolutely cannot over-do it in a room like yours. There is no way to overemphasize the value of good acoustic treatment. In my view, it will be the greatest investment in your studio, second only to your talent and skills.
Old 5th December 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Nut
 
irisdeejay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Many thanks for all your feedbacks. I have though seriously in the bass traping too cos, like drbam says, my studio is "a bit" imposible. That thing was in my mind from the first time and, in fact, I said: Doh! How the hell I'm gonna solve this problem? I know I'll have to put all my efford in my production skills (don't think they are good enough. I need to learn a lot yet. I've been producing for 10 years and this is just the begining). With this cheap arrangement, I just want to improve a bit my acoustic conditions cos, as you can guess, they all have been more than horrible. I know I'll notice the difference and my ears will say thanks. Let's see what my tracks say, lol.
Old 5th December 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I have a pair of Mackie MR5s in my dorm room and surprisingly it very good soundwise. I really like the MR5s, I got them when I was tight on cash and needed some speakers for decent mixing and for general room sound system use. Mixing and tracking-wise, they translate really well when I move between systems.
Old 5th December 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
foldback's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
People love to slag the Mackie 824 just because they're Mackie.

I have a pair of HD24 in my family room, we use them for sound for video and really like them because of they're broad smooth frequency response.

I agree that the tuning of your room is very important for mixing.

I use my flat response monitors (Meyer) for checking the relationship of highs and lows, making sure that nothing is sticking out weird while recording. After I'm sure of what I've recorded I use consumer speakers for my mixing reference. I like NS10 but lately I've been using JBL Control 1 for mixing. Mixes I do on these speakers translate to other speakers very well.

Don't think your Mackie monitors are bad just because others put them down. They are just a tool. Best of luck to you.
Old 5th December 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback ➑️
People love to slag the Mackie 824 just because they're Mackie. .
No . They slag them because they have poor transient response, slow excursion recovery time and lumpy hyped bass response in the time domain. They also have cheap components in the amp stages which - although won't affect you in day to day use at normal volume - in any serious use....they're gonna either burn out or burn their own tweeters.
They're cheap monitors - worth the price you pay - after all gotta be better than using a hifi set up.... but conceal as much as they reveal. And I'm afraid that's pretty much true of any monitor in that price bracket....certainly useable - but in a demo capacity and most certainly not in audiophile or high end requirements.... Fine for CREATING music but not really great for recording most of it!!

Somebody correct me on this if I'm wrong- but they're not surround certified in any of the formats so useless for that kind of mixing to any approved standard. Doesn't mean to say you can't do the job - but stops you from using them in many environments.


side note - your mixes translate because you know your room.
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