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Advice on monitors, listening setup
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Advice on monitors, listening setup
nateflanigan
Hey everyone, I'm looking to improve the listening situation in my workspace. I currently have two options, 1) Avantone monitors, which do the ns-10 thing, very flat and unflattering, not much bass. Which is a great tool for mixing but can get kind of harsh and uninspiring for listening. 2) Headphones, they sound great, and I get a lot more bass response from them but well, they're headphones.

I'm looking for something big, rich, and detailed sounding and not really concerned with extremely accurate monitors since for actual mixing I take my stuff a recording studio.

My room is very small, and full of stuff, I'm trying to figure out how to make some space for a pair of floor standing speakers but a pair of bookshelf speakers could be a great option as well. It'll be tough for me to get anything more than an inch off the wall.

Do you guys use subs? I haven't used them much and I'm not really sure I understand how to properly use them.

Any advice?
mt3
Tips:
* know your room
* look at mastering studios' monitoring gear. Look into same brands but less expensive models
* REL Storm is a great sub to look into
* bring your fave cds to hi-fi shops and listen to your cds on a variety of their speakers/systems
jtregoat
if you can reference tracks you know on a system, and know how things translate, you can mix in any room. in a smaller room, you can probably skip the sub if you get a big enough speaker. you need to be wary of standing waves. 6.5" monitors probably solid depending on layout of your room. WRT your options, I can do headphones but I just don't like it for long term listening. if the avatones are what I saw online, you should skip those.

never had the 3" genelecs myself but I heard they were good despite lower bass response. depends what you're making and what you need
listentoaheartbeat
If you don't have to make critical mix decisions in your room, just go for whatever keeps you motivated while writing and performing. I actually do like the intimatcy of headphones for this. In a small room, I wouldn't use subs (in fact, it's easier to avoid them in any room), and I would monitor at very close range. Smaller Genelecs are fun, might suit your purpose well. Lots of people seem to use Yamaha's HS Series for writing, they also lean more to the fun side of things. Adam A7Xs are great, they are actually quite a serious tool for mixing. I personally prefer three-way speakers (have been using O300s forever), but if I wanted affordable speakers for a very small room, the Adams would be at the top of my list.
TS
My last upgrade was to a Focal Alpha 80 monitors. I absolutely love them. Definitely big, rich, and a detailed - 3D - sound. With these, I feel no desire or need for a sub.
Francosmo
I would advocate for purchasing or building acoustic panels for your space if you don't have them already. I sold my OB-8 to outfit my studio with GIK panels. Best decision ever. Mixing faster with better translation from system to system.

I use Neumann KH-120 speakers. I dig them. I used to use them with a sub. I found it to be weird in my room so I stopped. Subs in small rooms can get weird fast.
felixer
Francosmo wrote:
I would advocate for purchasing or building acoustic panels for your space if you don't have them already. Mixing faster with better translation from system to system.

thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up
jtregoat
TS wrote:
My last upgrade was to a Focal Alpha 80 monitors. I absolutely love them. Definitely big, rich, and a detailed - 3D - sound. With these, I feel no desire or need for a sub.


focal is so amazing. I used to have the CMS 65. you can probably find a pair for not too much nowadays since they're the older model, but still sound great - especially if they're broken in already.
Eichburger
nateflanigan wrote:
My room is very small, and full of stuff,


How small is small? Chances are the biggest issue for your studio listening is room modes messing with you low frequencies. A sub will only make this situation worse. What you need is bass trapping and there is loads of info out there on diy solutions.

My studio is tiny - only 6ft x 8ft. I built 3 'superchunk' style traps which really help. I also find that simply leaving the studio door helps a lot.
JohnLRice
nateflanigan wrote:
It'll be tough for me to get anything more than an inch off the wall.
In that case I'd definitely go for monitors that are front ported. What is your budget like?
dubonaire
For a small room I would suggest, as I always do, Neumann K+H 120.
listentoaheartbeat
dubonaire wrote:
For a small room I would suggest, as I always do, Neumann K+H 120.


I'd personally prefer these to my above suggestions, too. They are much more accurate. Fantastic speakers overall, and the most affordable of their class. However, I don't think (yes, subjective) they sound "big". Not much bass, not very loud. So they might not be what the OP is looking for.
dubonaire
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
For a small room I would suggest, as I always do, Neumann K+H 120.


I'd personally prefer these to my above suggestions, too. They are much more accurate. Fantastic speakers overall, and the most affordable of their class. However, I don't think (yes, subjective) they sound "big". Not much bass, not very loud. So they might not be what the OP is looking for.


That's true, they have an SPL limit that I reach sometimes but my room is quite large and I stand mine a fair distance off the wall. If the room is small I think they are suited. Half space SPL is 111db. But your AX7 recommendation is a good idea if the OP wants it really big. I'm not sure I'd like to be close to a ribbon tweeter at volume but I've never heard them up close.

I regularly go through periods of KH310 gas.
listentoaheartbeat
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
For a small room I would suggest, as I always do, Neumann K+H 120.


I'd personally prefer these to my above suggestions, too. They are much more accurate. Fantastic speakers overall, and the most affordable of their class. However, I don't think (yes, subjective) they sound "big". Not much bass, not very loud. So they might not be what the OP is looking for.


That's true, they have an SPL limit that I reach sometimes but my room is quite large and I stand mine a fair distance off the wall. If the room is small I think they are suited. Half space SPL is 111db.


I never feel that limitation with my O300 either (and they cannot do loud at all if there's a lot of bass), especially in my current room where I am listening at close range. Actually, I think my mixes benefit from moderate listening levels. It's only when I am visiting friends with systems involving larger speakers or well-tuned subwoofers that I am lusting after serious SPL. Not an option though since I am working at home. Probably for the best (of my ears!).

Quote:
But your AX7 recommendation is a good idea if the OP wants it really big. I'm not sure I'd like to be close to a ribbon tweeter at volume but I've never heard them up close.


Oh right, good point. Fatigue is a real issue with Adams, and some people get easily annoyed. I remember this was the main reason I decided against the Adam S-3A and went for the O300.

Quote:
I regularly go through periods of KH310 gas.


I would say it really depends on your room if this even makes sense, there is a chance that the KH120 sound better overall. The O300 are pretty good at reproducing the octave from 33-66Hz, and things get messy easily. I have spent a lot of time getting this right in every single room for over 10 years now. It only worked out every time because I was able to make it top-priority in those rooms. Everything else had to follow speaker placement. wink
felixer
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Actually, I think my mixes benefit from moderate listening levels.310 gas.


[/quote]
in fact all mixes do ... it is a serious mistake to mix loud! only after mixing you might want to play 'm back at high level. just to make sure that this works too. but i also always play at very low levels on very small speakers (like a radio in the next room). this is much more revealing and usefull ...
snes
I used to own the KH120a's, and they are great, until i heard the APS klasiks side by side... Make them sound like a toy in comparison. They go much lower at 35hz +-2db , so you wont need a sub, but the only issue i find is that the max spl isn't too loud if you wan't to blast them.

In regards to detail and accuracy, i would pit them against monitors more than double in price...they are really that good!
dubonaire
snes wrote:
I used to own the KH120a's, and they are great, until i heard the APS klasiks side by side... Make them sound like a toy in comparison. They go much lower at 35hz +-2db , so you wont need a sub, but the only issue i find is that the max spl isn't too loud if you wan't to blast them.

In regards to detail and accuracy, i would pit them against monitors more than double in price...they are really that good!


Well you are comparing a 5" woofer with a 7" woofer so you are obviously going to get more bass perception. I haven't heard them, but if you are in a small studio with not much room behind the speaker you would need to be mindful of them being rear ported.
snes
dubonaire wrote:
snes wrote:
I used to own the KH120a's, and they are great, until i heard the APS klasiks side by side... Make them sound like a toy in comparison. They go much lower at 35hz +-2db , so you wont need a sub, but the only issue i find is that the max spl isn't too loud if you wan't to blast them.

In regards to detail and accuracy, i would pit them against monitors more than double in price...they are really that good!


Well you are comparing a 5" woofer with a 7" woofer so you are obviously going to get more bass perception. I haven't heard them, but if you are in a small studio with not much room behind the speaker you would need to be mindful of them being rear ported.


Yep, agree on all points. Rear ported speakers require some space behind them, but with the money you save buying the Klasiks, the rest can go into some floor stands.
dubonaire
snes wrote:
Yep, agree on all points. Rear ported speakers require some space behind them, but with the money you save buying the Klasiks, the rest can go into some floor stands.


The OP has a small room though.
snes
I read this line from op "I'm trying to figure out how to make some space for a pair of floor standing speakers but a pair of bookshelf speakers could be a great option as well" and thought that he wants to make space for floor stands? Anyway, the best way to get advice is maybe for op to take a photo of his room?
Might make things clearer.
felixer
it's not just the space to put the speakers. it's also (or mainly) about the acoustics of the room.
and in between floorstanding and bookshelf there is a whole world of usefull speakers. in fact that is where the good ones are ...
dubonaire
Well I just think we are chatting amongst ourselves because the OP never returned to his thread.
snes
dubonaire wrote:
Well I just think we are chatting amongst ourselves because the OP never returned to his thread.


Lol seems that way. Without input from the op, its kind of dead in the water.
StrangeAttraction
I've been using 5 inch monitors (nearOne I think) in a small room, they are OK, but I often misjudge how much bass to mix in and remove a lot of low range mid or high bass because of boominess of these speakers in my little room.
Now, I've ordered KRK VXT8 to add some bass (which I love to hear on my Mother 32).
I've also got Beyerdynamic headphones BT880 (semi-closed/open), and they are just fantastic. I actually prefer them to HD650 from Sennheiser. They are a bit more closed, so you feel the sound in a more intimate way.
Great clean bass and non-fatiguing highs. Also, recommended when making sounds at night if you don't want to wake up neighbours or family members.
Good luck!
calaveras
I'm going to drop in and leave a ringing endorsement of the Equator series of coaxial DSP monitors. I picked up a pair a few years ago and have to say they are much easier to mix on than my prior KRKs (a bit dodgy low mid) Alesis Monitor ones (dodgy mids in general) or my JBL 3 ways.
Don't get me wrong, my JBLs sound great. In fact they kind of sound too good. They are awesome for listening to records or watching movies. They have that shiny JBL presence which is both euphonic, and also not actually very high fidelity. Fun to jam on my synths through them. Not so great trying to make judgements about balance and eq.

The Equators I picked up are the D5. Kind of tiny actually. But they kick like speakers twice their size. I'm thinking of getting the D8 eventually or the Q10/Q12, which are their pro studio models.
The D5 are almost like Genelecs in that they are not going to give you that chest thumping hip hop sound or make your Pink Floyd LP sound like warm butter. They are honest and sharp.
Gotta say, I'm a little concerned about Equator as a company. They seem to have gone from 5 models in 2 lines to 2 models in one line recently.
Which is too bad!
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