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Decisions, more modules, or some good studio monitors?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Decisions, more modules, or some good studio monitors?
pristak
I'm about to send a bunch of stuff in to AH for store credit. I'm giving up my current studio room so my step son can get his own room and taking over the dining room with some small eventual renovations to turn it into an office. So, some stuff has to go, especially pedal and synth box based stuff. If I can't rack it easily and I haven't used it very recently it is out of here.

I was planning to get some new modules including a Mankato filter and a few other things. However, my studio is in poor shape. I'm mixing on headphones and then printing a cdr to play on a few different stereos to check the mix. I think I'll almost have enough for the Adam A7's that AH has. I'm very tempted to start focusing on getting the studio in better shape since I'm totally reorganizing everything anyway.

The concept of better utilizing what modules I have, and focusing on gear that will help improve my recording abilities and the ease of the recording process is really appealing to me the past few days.

Thoughts?
johnnymad
i say go for the monitors.
JohnLRice
ye, monitors . . . no use having all dem synthies if ya can't hear how purdy dey sound! hihi
Soy Sos
I say monitors, save a little money and keep an eye out
for some used Mackies HR824's.
thetwlo
i'd say skip the mackie's(I hear the china made ones aren't so hot anyway)
the only choice i see is ADAM A7 or Dynaudio BM5a. anything that competes? at this price?
Kent
What are the dimensions of your work area? Taking into account the whole room. This will tell me a lot about the size of monitors that you should look into. Is there any way to put up a quickie diagram of the layout?
timmah
monitors.

the A7s are great in that price range. also check out the smaller genelecs, KRKs (i don't like the sound of these two but some people do) and focal.
Scaff
Soy Sos wrote:
I say monitors, save a little money and keep an eye out
for some used Mackies HR824's.


SlayerBadger! I have mine since 8 years now and love them for their bass!!!
pristak
It is 10' by 11'.

The ceiling is 9' high by the sides, and it has 2 terraced steps up into a higher center that measure about 8" each. The ceiling must be about 10 1/2 feet at it's highest.
Audio Resistance
A few years ago I upgraded from a Mackie 16 vlz-pro to a Speck mixer, Mackie and Alesis monitors to Focal Twin 6 be, and Motu interface to a RME Fireface 800.

The Focals are one of the best things I have ever purchased, they have a Solo version that are a little closer to the Adams A-7 in price I think. Cleaning up my recording and playback path like that has allowed me to take advantage of the LO-FI gear I have by being able to dial in the positives aspects of it, not to mention that those Focals are a piece of cake to mix on.

Cheers,
Rob
synthetic
ADAM A7s are great. Add a subwoofer down the road.
elemental
another vote for monitors. I got the genelec 8040's but the ones down from that are sweet with a sub aswell.

monitors are your eyes in the studio. so important to get a) a decent enough pair but most important is b) to get to know them, by testing on other peoples speakers, checking your tunes in clubs if thats possible etc - I've heard of people that can do mixdowns on hi-fi speakers just cos they know how they translate really well.
Soy Sos
I know the Mackies are not the be all end all. The are however
affordable (for me), easy to get used to and translate well to other
systems. I've been using them for 12 years and although I've spent
more money on mics, preamps, computers, and yes modulars,
they've served me well. But hell there are better choices out there.
grin
Scaff
Youn are right that the mackies are not state-of-the-art but i found a good tool to feel my music even if i am living in a small flat. If i had the money i would buy some lipinksi monitor but i spent all my money for modular stuff Mr. Green
plord
I'm dying to hear the Dynaudio monitors in a controlled environment. I have their Audience 80s as my main stereo speaker and they are stupid good.

In the meantime I've still got some ancient JBLs in the studio, and a Mackie HR-120 sub, about which: hell yes. Good monitors are the gift that keeps on giving, go for it.
GeneralBigBag
Monitors, no question. It's not a sexy buy, but it's probably one of the highest improved sound/$ ratio things you can buy.

The A7s are great, but you may also want to try out the Yamaha HS50/80. They don't do the same thing as the A7s (sound great, spacious detailed etc), but there is truth in the saying that if you can get something sounding good on Yamaha HS50s, it will sound good on nearly everything...
criticalmonkey
monitors no question - don't scrimp on them and you can use them as long as most synths

dynaudios are great - have both the 6a and 5a versions at the office- go 6a if you can - best value for the dollar imho, not to mention they are solid down to 50hz (but disappear quickly after)

haven't used the a7's - never seem to be able to get a demo of them to compare

btw - this is one of craziest thing i've ever posted - but my ears don't lie to me - consider getting those primacoustic speaker pad things - cost like $100, but they actually work great - far better then the aurlex foam probably better them most speaker stands
and yes i tried them in a studio environment and in a crappy office room and they made a sizable difference - i was super impressed and didn't want to be
Kent
pristak wrote:
It is 10' by 11'.

The ceiling is 9' high by the sides, and it has 2 terraced steps up into a higher center that measure about 8" each. The ceiling must be about 10 1/2 feet at it's highest.


I'm going to assume that this room is not acoustically treated in any way whatsoever.
Also, being nearly a cube really works to your disadvantage. There will be standing waves a plenty.

I don't know if you are intending to mix 'finished' product or 'demo - quality' product out of this room. Maybe it is just for making noise in and getting things ready for gigs and such.
In any case, it would probably be best for you to not seek out larger speakers like the Mackie HR824s for this room. These really are 'mid-field' speakers. The HR624s are more suited to the room that you described.
Unless, of course; you absolutely need that extra 10Hz of low end. You can always add a subwoofer later (which I would not recommend for this room).

I'm only speaking of the Mackie Brand speakers because these are the ones that I know intimately. However, the laws of acoustics apply to all brands.
flts
criticalmonkey wrote:
dynaudios are great - have both the 6a and 5a versions at the office- go 6a if you can - best value for the dollar imho, not to mention they are solid down to 50hz (but disappear quickly after)


Yeah, I've had a pair of BM6As (mk1) for something like 6 to 8 years now... I don't have a single bit of regret and I haven't felt like shopping for new ones unless I move to a way bigger room or manage to break them up. A great pair of speakers.
pristak
It's not acoustically treated. But, at least a little is in the first year plans for it.

Thanks everyone for the advice. I think it was 100% in favor of monitors over more modules.
pristak
Well the Adam A7's should be on the way soon. Shawn said they should ship today. Thanks to everyone for their help.

Now I just need to break them in and get used to them before I record Blood OV later this month. See my thread in Production Tech for info on that.
Kent
A tip for breaking them in. Most speakers need some time to settle in. They are physically vibrating transducers, much like acoustic guitars and most tend to be quite 'hard' sounding and uneven until they've been broken in.

If you can place them in a closet or somewhere where they won't be heard very well, for the duration of the break-in period, then all the better. Just factor that in to the following:

    Make a polarity reversed cable to one of the speakers. In your case it will be an XLR or 1/4" inch cable. If using passive speakers, just wire up one speaker with the polarity reversed.

    Plug that cable into one of the speakers and feed it the Left or Right signal from whatever is handy: Ipod, Stereo System, DAW... etc. You could even run mono frequency sweeps all day long which is easy as pie with a synth.

    Plug the other side (the normal one) of the stereo signal into the other speaker

    Place the speakers so that they are facing each other and are nearly touching each other.

    Flip your stereo output to MONO. If using a DAW or mixer, just put both pans straight up the center.

    Turn that shit up as loud as your family, neighbors, pets, that nice old couple down in 3A, or the police will let you.

    Simmer overnight or for at least as long as you can. 3 hours, whatever. I'd say the minimum time for breaking in speakers would be 12 hours of rockin'. It varies per model & brand.

    Add some lemon zest and cinnamon bark to taste


Checkered Flag Done! Checkered Flag

Because the speakers are out of phase (polarity, actually) with each other and are almost occupying the same space, much of the volume will be reduced.
However, regardless of actual audible output level, they are in fact exercising their components. Just don't blast the shit out of them so that they are clipping. You don't need 'Roaring Bellows of Satan' loud for this to be effective. If you could pull off 60-75 db, that would be dandy.

Good luck on mixing a record on speakers that you've never used before. Be sure to do lots of reference checks and listen on systems with which you are familiar.
consumed
well thats some crazy advice, ive never heard of the 'breaking in' procedure.

so my gear is all crammed into a room nearly a cube 11' x 11' with a 10' ceiling or so. it is the shittiest environment ive ever worked in and ive used mackie hr824s for years and still do. i wonder if i should dump them and get smaller monitors. this room is killing me. i think even most of the recordings i put into the album reflect a certain lower midrange honkiness/wonkiness which i really do not like.
parasitk
Even less glamorous than monitors is getting broadband/bass traps. But they work wonders. w00t Just sayin'.
Glitchmachines
Dynaudio monitors,for sure. Not a "fun" purchase, but one that is vital.
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