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why use studio monitors
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
  #31
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nedorama ➡️
Wow, this is wacky.

Reference studio monitors are important, but they're one part of the equation. The design of the room and its treatment is as important. You can have a set of top of the line studio reference monitors in your bedroom and they'll still sound like crap. Read up on studio treatment. I'm guessing a lot of people who've posted that monitors sounded like this or that were probably not listening to them in an ideal studio environment.

The OP also never mentions what kind of music he's listening to, which also has a dramatic impact on the type of monitoring.

Most normal folks don't just mix on one set of speakers - they have multiple sets to audition mixes through. They may have an old boombox that they play things through. For me, I burn a CD and play it in several different cars, including one with an old mono 4x10 dash speaker.
I dunno man, it's starting to seem wackier to mix how I THINK it will sound instead of just how it sounds.

I regularly mix on 4 sets of speakers of varying quality in 3 rooms, one highly treated and two not. Two sets of studio monitors ($500-$1500), one pair of $200 book shelfs I built and one pair of good sounding home floor standers (+/- $3000). The mixes on the home stuff regularly transfers better.

All of this is highly subjective so I'm not saying there is a definitive yes or no, but I'm just wondering if that mid level/priced monitor world is really worth the money.

FWIW - the mixes I did on the ATCs transfered excellently, but 30k for speakers is just way out of the question right now.
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandvik ➡️
Just another 0.02$US comment. If I sit and work on a track for 6-8 hours a day, should I use:
a) A crappy hifi/something monitor where final mixing will make it sound nice but meanwhile it's painful to listen to the track progressing?
b) Really nice sounding reference monitors and for final A/B mixing/mastering use a crappy monitor for a short time?
I do initial editing and a static-fader mix with a good quality but limited bandwidth nearfield. I'll do some automation with those nearfields. Then I start getting critical with the midfields. After I think it's in the ballpark, I'll check with computer speaker systems, cars, big room PA, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker ➡️
All of this is highly subjective so I'm not saying there is a definitive yes or no, but I'm just wondering if that mid level/priced monitor world is really worth the money.
I think it's important to have some bottom end and the ability to deliver good dynamic range. Pro audio monitors (to my ears) get pricey if you want an analytical midrange plus decent extension at both ends.
Old 20th January 2013 | Show parent
  #33
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandvik ➡️
a) ...meanwhile it's painful to listen to the track...
mix on whatever doesn't fatigue your ears... it's supposed to be FUN. lower fidelity with greater enthusiasm is a fair trade-off imo (at least in this thread).

if you're not getting a good feeling while listening that lack of enjoyment in the sound will transfer to your mix.
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #34
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🎧 15 years
One word: portability. Also known as 'translation'.

The better studio monitors enable you to create mixes that translate to all the lesser (and greater) resolution systems on the planet.

If you mix on a crap system or musically-voiced hi-fi rig, odds are extremely high that the mix you produce will only sound good on that system, and will translate poorly everywhere else.

Hi-fi speakers, by design, are intended to make music sound sweet and glorious. You're supposed to enjoy listening to them without trying.

Studio monitors, by design, are intended to brutally reveal the flaws and details of the production that you need to hear in order to make strong engineering choices.

Also, great monitors make it verrry easy to hear a) what's wrong, and b) what to do about it. Lesser speakers sometimes manage 'a', but come up short on 'b'. End result: tail chasing, frustration, time wasted, subpar results.

Or, I could be completely off base.

But I don't think so.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 21st January 2013
  #35
Deleted 6ccb844
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I use a conjunction, a large format Hi - Fi speaker set. A small rubbish set and a pair of main monitors.. If it works on all three 99.9% of the time I'm good to go, obviously I mix on monitors. But it really helps to know how a hi-fi setup is going to affect the actual outcome.
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #36
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
One word: portability. Also known as 'translation'.

The better studio monitors enable you to create mixes that translate to all the lesser (and greater) resolution systems on the planet.

If you mix on a crap system or musically-voiced hi-fi rig, odds are extremely high that the mix you produce will only sound good on that system, and will translate poorly everywhere else.

Hi-fi speakers, by design, are intended to make music sound sweet and glorious. You're supposed to enjoy listening to them without trying.

Studio monitors, by design, are intended to brutally reveal the flaws and details of the production that you need to hear in order to make strong engineering choices.

Also, great monitors make it verrry easy to hear a) what's wrong, and b) what to do about it. Lesser speakers sometimes manage 'a', but come up short on 'b'. End result: tail chasing, frustration, time wasted, subpar results.

Or, I could be completely off base.

But I don't think so.


Gregory Scott - ubk

I've done allot of experimenting with custom tri-amped set ups and digital X-over systems and ruler flat response is not all that satisfying ;

There are lots of debates about wheter flat and clinical is the way to go , for starters; a human with the most perfect hearing will , due to the loudness curves , have a problem judging what's going on way down low . There could be a build up down there that ends up being heard if the end user has a system that is set up with an X curve that has a bass boost . There is a reason that the smiley curve is so popular. Armies of guitarist scoop their mids because it sounds good .

If you're curious about this , read this article about a survey that was taken in a group of studios to check out the frequency responses of their monitoring environments ....

Audio Musings by Sean Olive: Audio's Circle of Confusion

Quote:
You needn’t look any further than here to understand why the quality and quantity of bass is so variable among the recordings in your music library.

It would appear that professionals are able to make the proper adjustments and get things into the ballpark with many different response curves , Once the become acclimated . I have a pair of subs that I spent considerable time getting dialed in and mix with and without them , and sometimes even have them a little louder than perfect integration would dictate .... Makes dialing in bass ( kick and guitar or synth ) allot easier!
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #37
Deleted 6ccb844
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Interesting read.!
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #38
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 6ccb844 ➡️
Interesting read.!
I concur

The "lack of meaningful, perceptually relevant loudspeaker specifications" article was pretty informative as well. Lets hope speaker/monitor manufacturers eventually take the advice.
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #39
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️

Also, great monitors make it verrry easy to hear a) what's wrong, and b) what to do about it. Lesser speakers sometimes manage 'a', but come up short on 'b'. End result: tail chasing, frustration, time wasted, subpar results.

Or, I could be completely off base.

But I don't think so.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Indeed. A lot of speakers give you lots of detailed info. Not so many actually tell you what could be a good idea to do with the info.

This isn't necessarily to do with ultimate detail or flatness though. For example NS10's 'point at' problems and what to do about them, which is why they are/were so popular. But I suspect you are happier with your 4288's doing the same for you now. I know I am with my PSI's.
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #40
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
One word: portability. Also known as 'translation'.

The better studio monitors enable you to create mixes that translate to all the lesser (and greater) resolution systems on the planet.

If you mix on a crap system or musically-voiced hi-fi rig, odds are extremely high that the mix you produce will only sound good on that system, and will translate poorly everywhere else.

Hi-fi speakers, by design, are intended to make music sound sweet and glorious. You're supposed to enjoy listening to them without trying.

Studio monitors, by design, are intended to brutally reveal the flaws and details of the production that you need to hear in order to make strong engineering choices.

Also, great monitors make it verrry easy to hear a) what's wrong, and b) what to do about it. Lesser speakers sometimes manage 'a', but come up short on 'b'. End result: tail chasing, frustration, time wasted, subpar results.

Or, I could be completely off base.

But I don't think so.


Gregory Scott - ubk
I don't think so either.

The better studio monitors I've used certainly offer good portability (I knew there was a term I was missing). The lesser ones, I'm starting to think, are not worth the time/money. I get better results on cheap hi-fi stuff than moderately priced studio monitors.

I went and listened to some mixes on a pair of B&W 802s yesterday after ruminating on this subject. They were every bit as detailed, or even more so, than the Genelec 8050s or ATCSCM50s at the studio. Couldn't A/B them, but they are exceptional. Very easy to hear what's competing in my mixes.

Perhaps its a blurry line as to where studio monitors end and hi-fi begins, but short of spending 10k on "studio monitors" I'm not convinced it's easier to track or mix (better portability) on one speaker because it has XLRs on back and a popped mid range.

Where do you guys' think that line starts? What am I going to need to spend for this part of my setup to excel? I dont want to waste 2,3,4k on studio monitors if my hi-fi offers better translation.
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #41
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➡️
Indeed. A lot of speakers give you lots of detailed info. Not so many actually tell you what could be a good idea to do with the info.

This isn't necessarily to do with ultimate detail or flatness though.
excellent point
Old 21st January 2013 | Show parent
  #42
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🎧 10 years
I am exceedingly happy with my PSI A21m's combination of detail and pointing at what needs doing all while being fun to listen to and translating superbly. Check some out if they're in your budget.
Old 22nd January 2013
  #43
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker ➡️
...if the end result of music production is going to be played on consumer equipment, what's the use of studio monitors even as a reference? Shouldn't we all be referencing on what playback speakers - or headphones/earbuds - we're recording for?
Every mixer I know has some consumer reference options. Some cheap laptop satellites, earbuds, auratones, whatever. IMO that doesn't mean you can do your all your studio work on them.

I check my mixes on the Auratones, I don't do vocal mic shootouts on them! My 'alternatives' never even come on during tracking.

Quote:
I'm over studio monitors. Had the opportunity to work on some especially awesome speakers recently. ATC SCM50ASLs. .
Nevertheless, those ARE studio monitors!

Quote:
I was left scratching my head why I would want to reference anything on studio monitors.
but you just did - and you liked it a lot

I don't know many college freshmen who have a pair of ATC's in their dorm room, for example. You seem to be arguing against your own point.

now that you know they are officially "studio monitors", would you rather mix on a pair of ATCs or are you still set on a pair of Apple earbuds?...


Quote:
Where do you guys' think that line starts? What am I going to need to spend for this part of my setup to excel? I dont want to waste 2,3,4k on studio monitors if my hi-fi offers better translation.
I have become confused as to how different people are meaning the term "hi-fi" in this thread. Does "hi-fi" mean some exquisite audiophile uber-speakers? Or does "hi-fi "mean a dorm-room bookshelf system / suburban living room speakers? Are we discussing 3 options? High End Audiophile, Studio Monitors, Consumer Stuff?

I once played on a session in a studio where the engineer was very proud of his ultra-expensive audiophile speaker system, which he had instead of industry-standard monitors. The mix he gave us sounded really good at home, it translated well, but I could hardly stand to be in the room while he mixed it. I felt like it was shrieking at me the whole time.

Proof, I guess, that you can get used to anything! heh

IMO, there is no "line" - certainly no line drawn on a ruler marked off in dollars. Find the speakers you like, (and can afford!), and then live with them and learn them. Keep some consumer stuff on a switcher for reference.

A lot of people like to take it out to the car near the end. Yet not many people do the mix sitting in their car!
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #44
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
I had a pair of 90's sony speakers, they were worth a fortune. Compared to today's "Studio" Monitors some manufacturers are pumping out, I'd much rather use them to mix on, there were very accurate and extremely detailed. Made Vinyl come to life, not as accurate as my soon to get Event Opals but still. They were great.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #45
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Oh there is this as well:

MONITORS versus HI-FI SPEAKERS
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #46
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
Nevertheless, those ARE studio monitors!
Yes, you are right. They are. But this is kind of the core of my point. I would gladly have those in my living room to drink beer and listen to records on. I can't say the same about Haflers, Genelecs or Events I've used. If you read my previous comments I specifically say how they sound like high end hi-fi speakers to me rather than studio monitors. Also you see 802s in studios. Go figure.

I'm just feeling that "Studio monitors" is almost more of a price point and once you reach a certain level, they're just really good speakers regardless of application.

If you dont have 10-30k to spend on speakers, I find better translation using the stuff your mixing to rather than "studio monitors" that are in the middle ground price wise. Thats all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
I don't know many college freshmen who have a pair of ATC's in their dorm room, for example. You seem to be arguing against your own point.
Yes, my gripes aren't against the high end stuff. Just the mid level stuff. Come to Boulder. The punk college kid down the street drives a brand new Maserati. No joke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
now that you know they are officially "studio monitors", would you rather mix on a pair of ATCs or are you still set on a pair of Apple earbuds?...
You can see my point though right? Read the OP. If thats what we're mixing to....

ATC also makes speakers with grills and calls them home speakers. If I had 30k to drop on speakers, sure that'd be great. Awesome. But if I'm going to spend 1500-3000 on monitors to track and mix on, I'll take a pair of B&W CM8s over a price equivalent "studio monitor" any day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
A lot of people like to take it out to the car near the end. Yet not many people do the mix sitting in their car!
Maybe we should...I reference in the car from the very first bounces.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #47
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowAMD ➡️
Oh there is this as well:

MONITORS versus HI-FI SPEAKERS
Totally. flatfinger posted this as well. It's like "slap an amp with an XLR jack on the back of some speaker and...voila!...you have a studio monitor!". I dont buy it. Literally...I'm not going to buy it. Just because it isn't shipped with a grill and is covered in grey formica doesn't mean it's a studio monitor.
Old 22nd January 2013
  #48
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When I mix on my Genelec, my mixes sound good in my car, earbuds, and computer. When I mix on my computer, the mixes sound good on none, except the computer.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker ➡️
But this is kind of the core of my point. I would gladly have those in my living room to drink beer and listen to records on.
It seems to me this is really just saying you like some studio monitors better than other studio monitors. As do we all. If you are going to say that any speakers that you like, are automatically "not really" studio monitors, that's cheating.

Quote:
I'm just feeling that "Studio monitors" is almost more of a price point and once you reach a certain level, they're just really good speakers regardless of application.
There are plenty of speakers I think are "really good speakers" that I would never want as my studio monitors. As Brad pointed out earlier, only a minority of Hi-Fi Enthusiasts want to hear "what things really sound like". And most "really good speakers" are aimed at the majority who want , in Greg's term, "glorious" speakers. I'd love a pair of glorious speakers. In my living room.

Quote:
If you dont have 10-30k to spend on speakers, I find better translation using the stuff your mixing to rather than "studio monitors" that are in the middle ground price wise
.
If you have already done this and it actually translates, then great, that's what works for you. I thought you started this thread because you wanted to know IF that was what you WOULD find if you went this route.

Quote:
You can see my point though right? Read the OP. If thats what we're mixing to....
no - as I see it, what we are "mixing to" is everything. A good mix translates to everything not just the monitors, not just the audiophile stuff, not just the earbuds, not just the car. Even the public address system at the airport! The idea behind studio monitors is that they are the speakers that will get you closest to this "everything". It is my experience that this is true. YMMV

Also, many of us are doing more than mixing. I will check the Auratones and the earbuds while I mix- but I never consult the Auratones or the earbuds for shooting out a vocal mic! Nor would I consult some fun, but flattering stereo/hi-fi stuff, either.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #50
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker ➡️
Totally. flatfinger posted this as well. It's like "slap an amp with an XLR jack on the back of some speaker and...voila!...you have a studio monitor!". I dont buy it. Literally...I'm not going to buy it. Just because it isn't shipped with a grill and is covered in grey formica doesn't mean it's a studio monitor.
I think the point is, unless you take the monitor apart.. Do you really know what your buying? Is a cheap monitor going to be better? A lot of them I used simply aren't..

Does a flat frequency truly help? Where is the undisputed scientific and studio analytic proof? Especially with the NS10 phenom?

What is the magic mixture?
Old 22nd January 2013
  #51
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🎧 10 years
Yeah, I'm not thinking it down the rabbit hole quite as much.

Let me simplify: Say I have two sets of speakers, both are $1000 for the pair. One are designed as studio monitors and one are designed as home hi-fi listening speakers. I do a mix how I want to hear it (not compensated) on both sets and the mix on the hi-fi speakers translates better.

Now lets say that I've already done this on multiple speakers (which I have) and I have decided that, in this price range, I tend to find better results on hi-fi speakers. In general. Not every case because obviously I've not done it with every speaker in all of the land.

That's all I'm saying. Consider the ATC stuff a digression.

To each their own I suppose. I understand the purpose of studio monitors, and I own several pairs of them. I'm just not convinced that, as a referencial system, I want to mix on speakers I need to compensate for.

Audio Musings by Sean Olive: Audio's Circle of Confusion
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #52
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker ➡️
Yeah, I'm not thinking it down the rabbit hole quite as much.

Let me simplify: Say I have two sets of speakers, both are $1000 for the pair. One are designed as studio monitors and one are designed as home hi-fi listening speakers. I do a mix how I want to hear it (not compensated) on both sets and the mix on the hi-fi speakers translates better.

Now lets say that I've already done this on multiple speakers (which I have) and I have decided that, in this price range, I tend to find better results on hi-fi speakers. In general. Not every case because obviously I've not done it with every speaker in all of the land.

That's all I'm saying. Consider the ATC stuff a digression.

To each their own I suppose. I understand the purpose of studio monitors, and I own several pairs of them. I'm just not convinced that, as a referencial system, I want to mix on speakers I need to compensate for.

Audio Musings by Sean Olive: Audio's Circle of Confusion
That's fine and I agree, I just think we are a little too trusting with manufacturers of prosumer studio monitors... Let's face it, that includes a lot of the big name brands..

For the price of a set of $500.00 monitors, you could be better off with some decent hi-fi speakers.. Even some of the sub $1500.00 set's I'm shocked at..

Seems there out for people's money and people pre-judge it because there mate says they rock.. Get them in an actual studio, vs. your proper studio monitors and your face turns to WTF?
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #53
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowAMD ➡️
That's fine and I agree, I just think we are a little too trusting with manufacturers of prosumer studio monitors... Let's face it, that includes a lot of the big name brands..

For the price of a set of $500.00 monitors, you could be better off with some decent hi-fi speakers.. Even some of the sub $1500.00 set's I'm shocked at..

Seems there out for people's money and people pre-judge it because there mate says they rock.. Get them in an actual studio, vs. your proper studio monitors and your face turns to WTF?

Totally. It's like studio monitor kool aid. Don't drink it!

There really is no reference, and that seems like a big problem.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #54
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
no - as I see it, what we are "mixing to" is everything. A good mix translates to everything not just the monitors, not just the audiophile stuff, not just the earbuds, not just the car. Even the public address system at the airport! The idea behind studio monitors is that they are the speakers that will get you closest to this "everything". It is my experience that this is true. YMMV
EXACTLY

and the thing is that in addition to checking out mixes on proper studio monitors, a lot of us check them a variety of other speakers. So the best answer is to check your mix on studio monitors and the final playback system. At the end of the day, if it doesnt sound right on a laptops speakers then the mix is ideal.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #55
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
no - as I see it, what we are "mixing to" is everything. A good mix translates to everything not just the monitors, not just the audiophile stuff, not just the earbuds, not just the car.
I agree, but referencing/compensating those mixes on speakers that the vast majority of listeners won't ever listen on...I'm surprised that you reject the idea that there may be innate conundrum here. That's interesting. Agree to disagree.

I'll agree that a certain level of studio monitors are wholly valid (which I've stated before in this thread, many times). There are lots that are not. I don't think I'm alone here.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to change their system, I'm just stating my own preference to a tradition that seems flawed. I'd like to mix just as I hear it instad of how I think it will sound. I don't think many mid level studio monitors offer this, but I do think the high end stuff does. So, until I can afford the high end stuff...I'll stick with my hi-fi setup.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #56
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker ➡️
Totally. It's like studio monitor kool aid. Don't drink it!
I'll pass on your Kool Aid as well.
Old 22nd January 2013
  #57
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John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer ➡️
I'll pass on your Kool Aid as well.
What's "Kool Aid" - I have never heard of it ???
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #58
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett ➡️
What's "Kool Aid" - I have never heard of it ???
Kool Aid is a popular American drink flavoring mix, made infamous by the Rev. Jim Jones Jonestown Massacre, a mass suicide event where the cult followers were induced to drink poisoned Kool-Aid.

Drinking the Kool Aid : the phrase has been used in a variety of contexts to describe blind, uncritical acceptance or following.

I hardly think it applies in this context as most of us HAVE tried mixing to "stereo" speakers and simply didn't like it. There is nothing "blind" or "uncritical" about MY acceptance of speakers designed to be studio monitors as my primary mixing platform.

My guess is that most professional engineers who use monitor speakers, do so of their own free will and conscious choice, not because 'somebody' said they "should". I hardly think using purpose-designed monitors for work is some kind of a "cult".
Old 22nd January 2013
  #59
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
A good friend of mine said something along these lines once: "There are good speakers and bad speakers. No such a thing as hifi speakers or studio monitors. It's only marketing."

I completely agree with him.

That said, I also think that speaker pairs in a mixing room is never too much. The best is to have three pairs at least, with very different characteristics. Whenever I can, I like to use five pairs, six or even more. Call me crazy, but the idea is to not have to go to your car or to the kitchen to check the mix. You can have many flavors right in your main mixing room.

I also tend to HATE any bass reflex speakers. I never really knew why, until I read a book about it (forgot the name, but if someone is interested, I can check - it is VERY technical with lots of measurements and scientific tests of hifi and studio monitor speakers). These are NEVER truthfull, and they can't be when there is something vibrating in a frequency excited by another frequency.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #60
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🎧 10 years
Verve,

You're aready unknowingly down the rabbit hole !! Not over your head though !! Most folks don't get quite this analytical ( Thinking allot is a disease I share with you ! Question is when it is too much !)

The way I see it there really shouldn't be any difference between the "audiophile" world and wanting accuracy in playback ( But even that's a mine Field when you consider how wide and varied recorded loud speaker music is , and how bad the general public has let it get through complacency...)

If you read allot of sterile type "pro"reviews , I'm not convinced that every reviewer is using Identical criterias... One thing that is still not even been mentioned too much in this discussion is the Dispersion patterns and the effects of these on different rooms. There are two distinct camps ; folks who champion serious directivity ( wave guides and horns ) and those who say Omni directionality gives more pleasing results.

Remembering that sound travels somewhere around 750 MPH , it's a good Idea to keep in mind that even though you might be in the near field , the room still has it's effects ! And all that the stuff folks park right next to their speakers ( LCD anyone ?? ) cause all sorts of issues .

Mr.Olive's article was also about showing how different rooms and layouts can throw things asunder . Really , The best thing you can do is to settle on what you feel is best ( and since you are obviously discriminating) you need to try things in your environment so online or local dealers who will let you have a fair trial period would seem to be the way to proceed....


Choose and then get on with learning your monitoring like the back of your hand ... Imperfect solution for an imperfect world!!


Cheers
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