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Monitoring at a close distance - 6" or 8" speakers?
Old 31st March 2003
Lives for gear
bassmac's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Monitoring at a close distance - 6" or 8" speakers?

If you sat 3' away from your monitors, (as I do) would you prefer 8" or 6" monitors?

I ask this because I think 8" monitors may not be getting juiced enough at the low level I prefer to mix at, and therefore tend to change the mix around as I crank them up.

Do monitors need to pump at least a certain amount for their best accuracy?

Would I get better low level mixing information from 6" speakers? (if so, recommendations please)

Old 31st March 2003
Lives for gear
imacgreg's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Your ears need to get pumped for accuracy. Are you familiar with the Fletcher-Munson curve? There's a level that's sorta standard for when your hearing is the flattest or something, I think it's 85dB or around there. Don't know about speakers tho...

Old 1st April 2003
Gear Addict
ExistanceMusic's Avatar
🎧 15 years
imacgreg brought up an intersting point, and that is that your EARS frequency response is what differs at differnt volumes, not your speakers frequency response, and as such, the size of your speakers matteres less than the volume of your program.


Here's a link, I won't post the pic, for the sake of the dial up users, but it's a diagram of the "Fletcher-Munson equal loudness contours". As you can see, the flattest response you'll get is at an average of 85dB, lower than that you have to increase the frequencies under 400hz quite considerably to get a resopnce equal to that of 85db.
EG: if you are mixing at an average of 60dB, you'll have to increase everything under 400hz from anywhere between 10-20dB to obtain a flat sounding mix!! And then when you Do turn it up, all your EQing will be skewed very heavily towards the low end.

My advice is, unless you want get yourself an RTA and a serious EQ for your moniters and calibrate them for quieter listening levels, just check your mix every so often (5-10mins?) to see if it translates to louder volumes.
Old 1st April 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years
The size of the driver doesn't matter much at those distances. Pick the monitors you like and use 'em. Don't worry about a 6" vs. an 8".
Old 1st April 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
we would need to know the type/size of mid-high driver to make any sensible response...for instance..a small dome requires a crossover freq tween 1600...2500...and the smaller LF driver could make a smoother transition...i personally feel the 10" to dome tweet is a difficult transtition..and usually shy away from recommending that (well known) speaker.But George Massenberg uses them to mix on...so i must be wrong
Old 2nd April 2003
Lives for gear
bassmac's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Very interesting!

I have a Radio Shack spl meter. I held it next to my face, and turned the level to 85db (is that the correct way to do it?) It's definitely much louder than I'm comfortable with. (which does seem odd since I've stood in front of an 300w SVT for most of my life)

Based on that chart. It sounds like it may be common for "low level mixers" to spend some time tweaking at a louder level.

If I'm measuring correctly, 85db would probably make my ears close up if sustained for a long period of time.

FWIW: I use KRK V8's, and have recently been trying out some Mackie HR824's. I was wondering though if maybe a better, or smaller monitor would change the mix "less" than what I've been using.

Thanks for your advice.
Old 2nd April 2003
Lives for gear
littledog's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I don't think anyone is recommending mixing at 85dB for long periods at a time. That would probably ensure a very short career as a mixer.

But you SHOULD do intermittent listening at 85 dB, especially when making decisions about bass management.
Old 2nd April 2003
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
When checking SPL levels, the meter should be as isolated as possible - for example, it should not be placed on a flat surface, nor should it be held against the body. These things create a boundry which will give higher than actual readings...

As a live engineer, I suspect that I'm more often than not mixing in the 95+dB range...

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