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Anybody else using studio monitors? - Page 10

post #136 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
Adding a sub will help put some of the missing freqs back in and alleviate some of the weaknesses of near-fields. Although we have lessened the problems we have by no means eliminated them. We are likely to hear a well extended, though not necessarily a very accurate bass with a significant hole in the crossover freqs.
if you are willing to put the effort, there is no reason why you can't add a sub and do it well. I added a small sub to my desktop system and was able to get it quite flat with proper positioning, phase adjustment and careful adjustment of the crossover (around 80Hz)



You have been speaking in generalities. But as I said, I went through the excercise and found that studio monitors represented a real alternative. I suggest other people do the same. There isn't any secret sauce that makes studio monitors better, so you have to listen with your own ears and determine whether one speaker is more accurate overall. Since we have no idea what the target speaker was when somebody mixed a particular peace of music, saying that you're better off buying a consumer speaker is somewhat misleading and way too much of a generalization. I say ignore that, and judge the speaker on its sound quality. I found many great alternative in studio monitors in every price range. I have more bookshelf speakers in my house than my wife has purses, so I am pretty experienced in what can be had in the consumer speaker range under $1500
post #137 of 172
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post #138 of 172
Hi WarpDriver- According to your graph, your system is outputting half the power at 63Hz than it is at 50Hz and 80Hz, presuming of course that your 'Y' axis is in decibels. In your room this may not be a problem, especially if you have some room modes or standing waves around 63Hz.

I agree that it's always better to go by what your ears are telling you when looking for speakers. The danger though, is that because our hearing is more sensitive in the mid frequencies, it's easy to fool yourself into believing that monitors which are highly accurate in these mid freqs sound better.

The target speaker is usually dependent on the demographic of the targeted market. Rarely does this mean anything other than an average consumer system. You won't find many, if any, commercial releases aimed at near-field monitors or even at cans for that matter. In the case of film, most films are mastered for use in a full range cinema system. Some films are remastered for distribution on DVD, where consumer bass managed systems are taken into account. However, the majority of DVDs contain the original cinema release soundtrack.
post #139 of 172
Some of what you say is perfectly reasonable, then you come out with nonsense. I get the impression you like to argue.

One statement- which you have already made sums up your oppinion so leave it at that. (I am paraphrasing)

"Not all Nearfields will provide the full range of frequencies that were mastered in the source material" "Full range home speakers will give full range, but may be at the expense of overexagerated bass".

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
I agree that it's always better to go by what your ears are telling you when looking for speakers. The danger though, is that because our hearing is more sensitive in the mid frequencies, it's easy to fool yourself into believing that monitors which are highly accurate in these mid freqs sound better.
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What? If I listen to something that in my oppinion sounds better I'm fooling myself?? This statement is nonsense. Please clarify what you are on about.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
The target speaker is usually dependent on the demographic of the targeted market. Rarely does this mean anything other than an average consumer system. You won't find many, if any, commercial releases aimed at near-field monitors or even at cans for that matter. In the case of film, most films are mastered for use in a full range cinema system. Some films are remastered for distribution on DVD, where consumer bass managed systems are taken into account. However, the majority of DVDs contain the original cinema release soundtrack.
Yea this is a really good idea, I will research every peice of music I own, find out what studio it was mastered in and by who and also what equipment they used. Then I will ensure I have the most similar 'comercial' home system on the market that this producer was aiming at.

So pop should be listened to on an average mono radio with lots of ambient sound - thus hearing what the producer intended.

Rock should be listened to outside on a huge valve amp set up

Electro should be listed to only in a crowded sweaty room with a huge PA mainly hitting 40hz and 120hz played off vinyl only.

R&B should be listened to through 1960s valve amps only and so on.........


ORRRRRR you buy one set of speakers that will accurately represent most of the frequencies FROM THE SOURCE RECORDING!!!!!! and add a sub if necessary.

You seem to be missing something here, maybe you are dumb. Producers and engineers DO NOT guess at what their mix will sound like, they do not APPROXIMATE what it will be like on most comercial systems.

They will listen to their mix in the most accurate FLAT way possible using in the first instance near field monitors. They will then make adjustments if the reference monitors or comercial speakers sound too harsh at a certain frequency. This will be what they want it to sound like, but once they have made these changes it is EXACTLY what the near fields will put out since they are DESIGNED to be as flat as possible.......

How can you say that a speaker which represents all the frequencies from the source accurately isn't what the engineer or producer intended?
(I will concede that many reference and nearfields will be weaker at the lower frequencies..... but no more so than most home hifi's using bookshelf speakers)

You have a valid argument from one standpoint but you keep pushing it too far into the realms of 'studio snobery'.
post #140 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lock View Post
Some of what you say is perfectly reasonable, then you come out with nonsense. I get the impression you like to argue.
Well said Lock

(and it gave me a good laugh too)
post #141 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
Hi WarpDriver- According to your graph, your system is outputting half the power at 63Hz than it is at 50Hz and 80Hz, presuming of course that your 'Y' axis is in decibels.
Yes it is down -3dB at 63Hz at my primary listening location. That is fine because in my secondary listening position, the opposite happens, the system is up another 3dB at 50Hz, and this the best blending I could achieve without skewing the FR for the other listening positions (my goal was to be +/-3dB from 40Hz up to 100Hz from three different seating positions). I have a parametric EQ that I can use to flatten my response even more but I posted this as an example that there is no hole in at my crossover @80Hz, and this was done JUST using the existing sub controls to prove that a sub can be successfully integrated with good results provided you the time or software to analyze the FR like I did. Again your generalizations are just that.

I think Lock's response two posts above has been what I was trying to say in some of my previous posts. It doesn't make sense to choose a speaker based on some gross speculations and generalizations about speaker design and producer's intent. Unless you have actually talked to those producers about how they compensated their mix relative to their reference monitors, we have no idea whether consumer speaker A or studio monitor B conveys what the producer's intention was. Second guessing all this is counterproductive. Using good quality recordings, and experience with live sound is a far more useful reference.

I have a few very accurate bookshelf speakers in my possession, and they aren't really that different than any good studio monitor in the same price range even when reproducing mass market music, except for the fact that they look better and cost more (after you factor in the need for separate amp). They have the same bass extension as any studio monitor in the same size class. I can say that I prefer a good studio monitor than any of my hifi speakers for nearfield environment due to the extra features of the studio monitors.
post #142 of 172
I think my Harbeth M30 qualifies as studio monitor; I think BBC use those for monitoring their classical music broadcasts.
post #143 of 172
WarpDriver - Duh, if your crossover frequency is 60Hz rather than 80Hz as is found in most satalite speakers then around 60Hz is where you are going to have the problems and plus or minus 3dB is quite significant.

Lock - I think you're just being dense now! The average listener is on a mono radio are they? Come on, use your brain a little. What, you think that a mastering engineer owns every bit of consumer gear on the market and then checks his mix on all of it. I think you've also mis-understood the term "flat". Flat means an equal response across the frequency spectrum. This is most certainly not what a near-field does, they are quite flat for some of the freqs but not all and the freqs where they are weakest, between 40Hz and 120Hz, is an area that producers spend a lot of time working on. Good mastering engineers will use high quality full range monitors, not near fields. Producers may primarily use either near-fields or the main CR monitors but even if using the near-fields they will still usually spend a fair bit of time with the main monitors. The reference monitors may only be used once or twice during production.

Depending on the media and demographic, we may modify our mix slightly. Radio Edits are usually compressed more than a CD release and we may widen the stereo image more but crucial balancing of freqs is not so important because virtually all radio stations employ multi-band compressors which skews the freq content. Some of the different TV and Film standards require consideration of the frequency content, as does mixing for DVD rather than for cinema. If we're doing classical on a SACD we may decide to leave a bigger dynamic range and pay particular attention to clarity and postioning, compared to a CD. Why, because people who have the money to spend on a SACD player are more likely to own higher fidelity equipment. I also know that the average listener won't have the precision in the lower freqs that I experience on my system, therefore I will compensate. I may add a some additional mid freqs to the kick drum for example, to aid clarity and punch when played back on a system with less definition than mine in the lower freqs. Consideration of what the audience is going to experience is usually paramount for any good producer or mastering engineer. We have no choice but to work in generalities and get it sounding as good as possible, so we have to make decisions which may compromise the fidelity for the minority of listeners while improving the experience for the majority. This is what I meant by target audiences and demographics.

You may not want to keep track of good quality producers and studios to know how good a CD is likely to be but it is about the most reliable indicator. The classical music world does this routinely, they don't just look out for the piece they like but also for a reputable orchestra, conductor and record label.

"What? If I listen to something that in my oppinion sounds better I'm fooling myself?? This statement is nonsense. Please clarify what you are on about."

It's only nonsense because you don't understand it. When you have more experience of critically analysing audio systems you will understand this statement better. Basically, it's quite easy to be fooled initially by a particular monitor's sweetness and it's clarity in the mid freqs but when we actually work with them for a period of time we realise that the speaker has a lot more weaknesses than we first thought. It's not uncommon to find that over time many near-fields can be quite fatiguing to the ear because of this mid and high-mid content.
post #144 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
WarpDriver - Duh, if your crossover frequency is 60Hz rather than 80Hz as is found in most satalite speakers then around 60Hz is where you are going to have the problems and
Duh back to you, my crossover is @80Hz. You missed my whole point, this is an untreated, unEQ'ed response in a real living space. I could easily get it flatter for one listening position, but point is that the sub is well integrated with the mains, with no droop @ the crossover with a 12dB/octave slope. That is to counter your assertion that subs, in general, do not integrate well.

Personally, I find your posts fairly condescending. I'm not your typical mass market consumer easily fooled by exaggerated FR, and it's pretentious to assume all of the members here would be also. Please offer some real world advice other than "buy a KEFF (sic)". If you are actually that experienced with listening to monitors, I would have expected more specific recommendations. You have offered little in that regard except sweeping generalizations that are not reflected in current offerings on the market today.

I will say it again: I found Studio Monitors to be very satisfying and highly recommend one seek out stuidio monitors for a desktop listening setup after comparing real world products from known good manufacturers. I disagree with your recommendation to avoid studio monitors for any of the reasons you stated (which are stereotyping both the listeners buying them and the design of speakers). If you want to talk about specific consumer speakers, and active studio monitors in various price ranges, I'd be glad to engage in that conversation. I have had a good number of passive consumer bookshelf speakers pass through my hands, and have experience setting up many subs, so I know what they are and aren't capable of.
post #145 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
"What? If I listen to something that in my oppinion sounds better I'm fooling myself?? This statement is nonsense. Please clarify what you are on about."

It's only nonsense because you don't understand it. When you have more experience of critically analysing audio systems you will understand this statement better. Basically, it's quite easy to be fooled initially by a particular monitor's sweetness and it's clarity in the mid freqs but when we actually work with them for a period of time we realise that the speaker has a lot more weaknesses than we first thought. It's not uncommon to find that over time many near-fields can be quite fatiguing to the ear because of this mid and high-mid content.
I'm tired of this debate. You are insistent on looking at it from a studio engineers perspective and have based your arguments on your opinion but state it as fact. It is a very weak from of argument and I'm ceasing this debate. I will however respond to your comments.

I do understand what 'flat' means in regards to a studio monitor. A studio monitor should produce the most accurate representation of the source as possible. This means being as flat across all frequencies as possible so as not to colour the sound.

This whole arguement is about whether a studio monitor... near field or reference can be used as a good hi fi speaker in a home set up.

My argument is that for the same money an active studio monitor will often give you a cleaner less coloured sound with better definition accross all general frequencies exhibited by an equivalent book shelf speaker.

You argue that during production and mastering some frequencies may be emphasised or deminished depending on the target audience making listening on monitors not give the best listening experience.
I don't agree with you. Simple. Having listened to many monitors I find that they sound better, pound for pound than more expensive home book shelf speakers. I'm not being fooled by exagerated treble (incidently this is EXACTLY what most comercial manufacturers do which is why I'm not keen on Home stereo generally). They give a better overall sound and are more revealing. They may not give the definition in frequencies below 60Hz but show me a similar sizined bookshelf speaker that does!!!! You concede in your own post that you often emphasise the mids because home stereos don't portray the lower frequencies well! You are contradicting yourself!!!!

How can a lack of definition below 60Hz in a studio monitor make it worse in comparison to a Home stereo speaker when you concede that Home stereo equipment represents these frequencies badly????????

If you want to tell people to go and buy home stereo equipment because they will get a better auratory experience then you are giving bad advice.
As with anything people should audition the equipment and judge for them selves but I will make a very clear statment.

YOU WILL GET BETTER VALUE FOR MONEY IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO CONSIDER STUDIO MONITORS OVER HOME STEREO SPEAKERS. - There are exceptions and you should always audition first but this is a fact not a feeling or an opinion....

Enjoy your high horse. I wish I knew who your worked for, or who your clients are. I'm sure they would be very interested in this thread and your presented attitude would do wonders for your buisiness....
post #146 of 172
OK, you go right ahead and enjoy your monitors. You want to keep your mis-understandings, broadcast them to others and not believe a word I've said that's up to you.

Of course I'm basing my comments on being an engineer and producer. Who is it do you think that creates the music frecording that you are listening to? The process of music production and mastering goes well beyond just creating a mix which sounds good in a particular control room.

"How can a lack of definition below 60Hz in a studio monitor make it worse in comparison to a Home stereo speaker when you concede that Home stereo equipment represents these frequencies badly?"

Surely you're being deliberately obtuse?! A home system may not represent the low freqs very accurately but they do at least try to represent them. The colouration of near-fields is very different to consumer equipment, which is why we need reference speakers (in addition to main monitors and near-fields) when producing. And why should we need reference speakers if we are not taking into account the colouration of consumer equipment when we're mixing?!

Agreed that cheap bookshelf consumer speakers are generally very poor but then again, so are cheap near-fields. You want quality for very little money buy some decent cans. If you've got a little more to spend, best bet is with consumer Keff's, Acoustic Energy or an equivalent, not a similarly priced near-field.

Warpdriver - Your crossover is at 80Hz, that explains the significant peak in your graph at 80Hz. I've heard quite a few bass managed 2.1 systems, all of them exhibit weaknesses compared to mid-priced full range monitors.

You want a CV of all the studios and performance venues I've worked in, my professional credits and the other professionals I've worked with in my 25 years in the business, apart from being a very long doicument it's not going to change the truth of what I'm stating. I now spend most of my time teaching others to be engineers and producers. So whether you believe I'm wrong or not does not change the fact that what these engineers and producers are doing is based on my guidance and my guidance is based on current professional practice.
post #147 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
"How can a lack of definition below 60Hz in a studio monitor make it worse in comparison to a Home stereo speaker when you concede that Home stereo equipment represents these frequencies badly?"

Surely you're being deliberately obtuse?! A home system may not represent the low freqs very accurately but they do at least try to represent them. The colouration of near-fields is very different to consumer equipment, which is why we need reference speakers when producing. And why should we need reference speakers if we are not taking into account the colouration of consumer equipment when we're mixing?!
You can't expect any bookshelf sized speaker to accurately produce sub 60Hz frequencies. That said, I would much much rather have a clean, if lacking representation of those frequencies rather than bloated. That's what a sub is for.

That said, I think you are really imagining this huge difference between consumer speakers and monitors. There are monitors that have accentuated frequencies just as many consumer speakers do. There are monitors that are bright or warm just as there are consumer speakers that are bright or warm. I really don't think there is a hard and fast rule that can define a speaker as either being only for studio monitoring use or only for home use, the end result is often just too similar. The real difference for me comes down to price... I got my KRK's for 100.00 each, and the compareable KEF speakers I was looking at were more like twice that price.

In any case, it comes down to this... Several other people here, as well as myself, think monitors provide great sound at a value that just can't be found elsewhere. It's pretty obvious that this debate hasn't gone anywhere, so maybe we should just agree to disagree.
post #148 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
OK, you go right ahead and enjoy your monitors. You want to keep your mis-understandings, broadcast them to others and not believe a word I've said that's up to you.
It's not a case of not believing what you are saying. It is partly down to your closed minded attitude that is the problem.

What you are saying about production and mastering is true. What you are saying about the types of speakers used in studios is true. Why they are used is also true. What I disagree is your argument of why monitor speakers are never a good choice for home listening, this is simply flawed viewpoint.

Take $400. With that money you need to buy an amplifier. interconnects, speaker cable AND a set of home stereo speakers.

Now take that same $400 and buy just a 3.5mm to XLR lead and some active monitors.

I'm using this example, but the same is true at almost any price point. You are telling me you will get better listening experience from the comercial home stereo equipment than the studio monitor equipment?
You are correct that some monitors poorly colour the sound in a way unsuitable for home listening.... but not all.

we can agree to disagree but I think maybe the problem is you only consider speakers costing $1000 or more. Just read what hi fi magazine and see how often speakers and amps costing $10k plus are slated.... home hifi is sold on name. studio equip is more often sold on performance and reputation.... this says it all for me...
post #149 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
Agreed that cheap bookshelf consumer speakers are generally very poor but then again, so are cheap near-fields. You want quality for very little money buy some decent cans. If you've got a little more to spend, best bet is with consumer Keff's, Acoustic Energy or an equivalent, not a similarly priced near-field.
How can we take your recommendations seriously when you can't even spell "KEF" properly? Even if I believe you are as important and experienced as you say you are, your advice has been nearly useless generalizations, and misleading to boot. Even I can make better recommendations than "Keffs" for anybody looking for a desktop monitor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lock View Post
Take $400. With that money you need to buy an amplifier. interconnects, speaker cable AND a set of home stereo speakers.
I have precisely gone through this exercise for myself. I compared what it would take to buy a complete setup for a computer system. Dollar for dollar, the studio monitors tend to exceed the sound quality of consumer offerings for the $200-$1000 range I was shopping in.

Now, if the master technician at Abbey Road Studios stepped in and said "get Consumer Speaker A" because he thinks it's the best value for consumers after evaluating many speakers, I'll happily take that advice. But so far gregorio, you have not stepped up to the plate with any real usable advice. Oh, I guess I should google "Keff"
post #150 of 172
What's the point of this discussion? If one wants truly accurate sound and the very best bang for your buck, where would one look besides monitors - with, perhaps, a mated subwoofer? With active monitors and a powered subwoofer you have built-in amps that are optimized for the speakers themselves. Is there a simpler and more cost-efficient path to accurate sound than this?

Even my humble Henry Kloss-designed Cambridge Soudworks MusicWorks 300 2.1 system draws enthusiastic appreciation from all who hear them. From non-audiophile friends, they always say it's the best sounding set of speakers they have ever heard. More audio-savvy buddies are impressed by the sheer quality emanating from this tiny 2.1 system, given the meager $400 sticker price. (I actually bought them discounted for $300 back in 2000.) This miniature system, with the system amp housed within the subwoofer enclosure, literally provides enough clean volume to fill a small auditorium.

If I am to upgrade this system for more accurate sonics, the active monitor + subwoofer route is a no-brainer for me. Why mess around trying to mix & match a bevy of multiple components when simple, reasonably priced and highly accurate monitors are available.
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