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Powered Speaker Monitor for Home Recording
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Jerryd
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Joined: 28/07/2010 16:01:24
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Kibo -- I don't do a whole lot of recording (although I could) BUT the concept remains the same for the studio as well as live sound. Find some monitors that have a published flat response. This will hopefully eliminate the speaker issue. The next issue to fix will be your room in which you listen to these recordings in. The room WILL mess up what you hear & when you EQ it how you like it -- it will most likely not travel well.

What I mean by not travel well is when you stick the recording in a different stereo or vehicle system & say, "That is not what I had in mind" What happened???

To do it like professional studios do it -- at least most -- you STILL need an FFT program to help you identify the issues in the room. So you take a KNOWN FLAT response system in a UNKNOWN NOT flat room & very easily see what the room did to the system. From there you will have to apply acoustic treatment to get the room back to flat. The low end room modes and standing waves will drastically alter what you hear. This will be 300Hz and below and the standard treatment method is BASS TRAPS. I am not talking about those foam wedges you glue into the corners of your room. Look online for real bass traps. You could build those if you are handy with stuff like that. Don't throw up carpet everywhere -- it doesn't work that way.

To do it correctly -- you will have to give up some room space and alter the dimensions of your room. There can't be any EQUAL dimensions. Equal dimensions increase BASS significantly. After that is addressed -- the mids and highs will have to be dealt with. This will be in the form of early reflections. Here you will place acoustic material to walls where there can be off axis reflections coming from the monitors bouncing off the wall back at you. Don't forget the ceiling as well.

I know -- this can get crazy & may not be what you wanted to hear. You will have to decide how far you want to go with it.

If you really want to know what to do (I could tell you) BUY the Mixing and Recording CD by Secrets of the Pros. I have the series and it is awesome. A very big name in the biz Manny Carrubba (May have spelled that wrong) goes thru the entire process of acoustically treating a control room.

It is called a control room not because you are controlling BUT because it is supposed to be a CONTROLLED ROOM -- acoustic wise. So when you take a room that has been treated acoustically so that there isn't anything hyped or lacking in addition to FLAT monitors -- you will hear accurately and make wise decisions on your mix and the end result will be that it travels well from stereo to stereo.

My brother in law owns and operates Noise Gate Recording Studios in Pekin, IL He called me in and we used Smaart to go thru the process of setting it up. You can do a search online if you want to take a look at the studio. So -- If I want to record -- I just go there. He has had some pretty big name 80's rockers in there over the years and I have sat in on some sessions. Before Mudvayne (Metal band) was signed -- he recorded their demo. I am pretty close to those guys and have played in a few bands with the guitar player for many years.

Take care Kibo and get you a FFT program. It IS the only way.
kibo
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:08:13
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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hi jerry,

nice to hear from you.

most of the stuff that i do is for hobby and the recordings come from live at church. for now i just want a reliable monitor to do the mixing. i dont have a spare room too to have my set up. i use my room for my mixing.

i saw the mc1 thing from jbl too. i think it works the same right?

i dont know if it would happen that i will have a studio were i cud record stuff. i dont make music a lot although i play in a band at church. my passion is really trying to mix, play and do sound.

i will try to consider the dual fft again.

thanks,

kibo
Studiolive 1642, Tube Pre, QSC K12s, Imac 21.5 8GB 3.06 Ghz, MacbookPro 13" i5, Blue Spark Condenser Mic
Jerryd
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Joined: 28/07/2010 16:01:24
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kibo wrote:hi jerry,

nice to hear from you.

most of the stuff that i do is for hobby and the recordings come from live at church. for now i just want a reliable monitor to do the mixing. i dont have a spare room too to have my set up. i use my room for my mixing.

i saw the mc1 thing from jbl too. i think it works the same right?

i dont know if it would happen that i will have a studio were i cud record stuff. i dont make music a lot although i play in a band at church. my passion is really trying to mix, play and do sound.

i will try to consider the dual fft again.

thanks,

kibo


Kibo -- The JBL MSC1 doesn't do what a Dual FFT program can do. The missing piece is the electronic signal. You HAVE to be able to see what the electrical signal is doing AND the acoustic signal AND compensate for the delay between the two BEFORE you could ever get an accurate picture of what is going on. The mixer is a crucial piece in that signal so it needs to be taken into consideration as well. The electric signal is spliced into or "Y'ed" into the outputs of the mixer to capture that. The MSC1 doesn't do that. It seems to be a stand alone unit.

I know it may sound complicated. I think the MSC1 is a glorified RTA which attempts to tell you loudness of frequencies. It cannot tell the difference between a speaker issue versus a room issue. What you would end up doing is spend a lot of time on the room when it very well could be a speaker issue.

So the idea is to separate the two for the time being BEFORE bringing them together. You correct the speaker issues first an establish a known response. Something you can count on and then take it into a room and run it again. The change that you will see won't be the speakers this time -- it will be what the room did to those speakers OR change how your ears hear those speakers because of the room.

Some people would reach for the EQ BUT top priority goes to acoustic treatment FIRST to see if it has an effect on the response. When everything else is done the best you can -- then the EQ can finish the job.

Since you mostly record church activities I think the extra $300 you would save on the MSC1 should go to monitors that have a published FLAT response. That would at least separate possible speaker issues from the room. The only thing left is the room to deal with. It would be interesting to see how a really flat set of headphones would work. I am looking at the cost factor hear for you. Look on You Tube at the Dave Rat videos where he does a headphone shootout. Not sure what else to say Kibo. Keep at it though. We all learn by making mistakes BUT hopefully the mistakes we make don't cost us money. Those are the worst type to make.

Jerryd
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Joined: 28/07/2010 16:01:24
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Kibo -- if those monitors really are flat to start with (manufacturer's like to say they are when they really aren't -- maybe thru THEIR stuff) then you could probably make use of the MSC1. I don't want to discourage you BUT I also hate to see you fall for Marketing errors. It is really bad now days so be careful.

Do a search online for ROOM MODE Charts and you will find a bunch. Here are a couple: http://www.mcsquared.com/metricmodes.htm
http://www.realtraps.com/modecalc.htm

Punch in your room measurements and look for the resulting modes. All the numbers can be mind blowing BUT stick with the axial modes. For most rooms it will be 300Hz and below and you can almost never get enough bass traps going. See if the MSC1 correlates to what the room mode calculator says -- If so -- go ahead and make an adjustment.

If your recordings "Travel" well from what you hear to say for example -- your car system or even someone else's stereo -- then I think you are ok.

Here is another article for you to check out if you want: http://www.bobhodas.com/publications.html

Isn't this stuff fun? I love this type of thing. Hey -- one more thing -- do a google search for "Super Chunks" Bass Traps. More cool stuff.

"Changing sound transmission one sound guy at a time"
Mcameron
Prenoob
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Joined: 24/01/2011 01:39:02
Messages: 36
Location: Nova Scotia
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I cannot say what is good, but I know one brand that is not good. mAudio. The speakers sound great, and the price is very affordable. But the catch?

I thought fantastic, I will buy 30 pairs of various models for classrooms in a university. 14 pairs have failed within a year. Almost a 50% failure rate because the amp chips they use fry out in them.. they run VERY hot when simply powered on. Essentially a $4 part (give or take $3). Horrible heat dispersion on all mAudio speakers I have... AV series, BR series, and the DX5s I have (or had). They might be ok if you turn them off a lot.

I thought it was a great way to do small classes that play youtube videos... sound ok, and won't kill me when (not if) they get stolen. They simply fail.

I have some KRKs which sound fine for the money as well. They still work under abuse... a predecessor of mine installed 8 of them in a dance studio... totally wrong application, but they still are working, and totally abused. That is more on the durability than the actual audio quality though.

Again it is only knowledge what doesn't work.

rockstardave
Presonic
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Joined: 29/07/2010 01:02:17
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Location: buffalo ny
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mcameron-

weird to hear that. i work at a major musical instrument retailer and we sell a TON of m-audio speakers. i myself have owned bx8a speakers and DSM2 speakers for year and never once had a problem. at the store we hardly hear any problems either.

i dont doubt your statement, i'm just surprised to hear it. sorry about your lack of success. maybe look into the KRK or Tannoy reveal series. about the same price, great quality too
2xSL16 , KW-series , Macbook pro / ipad , fairly decent mics and DI boxes.
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Mcameron
Prenoob
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Joined: 24/01/2011 01:39:02
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Location: Nova Scotia
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Yeah, I suppose the application I put them in was simply turn on and leave them 24/7. In that sense they burnt out. Still have 16 pairs working in newer buildings, so it could have been a roll out of several lemons ... All to me, lol.

Yeah I think KRK will be my next look... Seriously most videos the faculty show are YouTube, or some other compressed streAm, so the audio quality is second to the durability.
kibo
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:08:13
Messages: 401
Location: Toronto, Canada
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hi guys,

till now i havent bought a set of monitors. got side tracked with a few things.

i got to talk to a local dealer here in toronto and they are willing to give me a good price on a Roland DS-8 monitors. i dont know if anybody tried this but i could need an a dvice on this. they sell it for $1250CAN inclusive tax.

appreciate your suggestions.

thanks,

kibo
Studiolive 1642, Tube Pre, QSC K12s, Imac 21.5 8GB 3.06 Ghz, MacbookPro 13" i5, Blue Spark Condenser Mic
Jerryd
Presonic

Joined: 28/07/2010 16:01:24
Messages: 698
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Kibo -- took me a while to find this. I don't really know studio monitors at all. There are so dang many of them that it is hard to tell without mixing on some.

In studio mixing -- the goal is to have a product that "Travels" well. That means you get it sounding just the way you like it -- you dump it down and every home stereo, boom box & car stereo you play it on -- it sounds good. It "Travels" well.

You can spend a whole lot of money on monitors and if the room you mix in is horrible -- your mix is going to get jacked up. The room is largely responsible for messing up your mix.

I don't think you have to spend a lot of money to get a set of monitors that have a FLAT frequency response BUT you will end up spending a lot of money on acoustic treatment.

If your room was treated top notch -- you could mix on a $200 pair of monitors and make it sound great over a $2000 set with horrible room acoustics. How can i say this? I have tuned a system in a studio before. They had so much gear going on and the gain structure & system response of the whole thing was a disaster that everything they mixed sounded like mud once they took it out the door. It didn't travel well. They also couldn't do anymore acoustic treatment. The friggin control room where you MONITOR the mix is the most crucial for acoustic treatment...??? Nothing in there. So much to take into consideration.

For this reason -- I have opted for a great set of headphones. I don't have the desire to waste money and pack a room full of bass traps so I use headphones or IEM's. This eliminates the room issue. Plus -- I use them live to compare with the room so I can instantly remove the room issue to gain more perspective on the mix. I am not saying you should do it or anyone else BUT headphones are more affordable than all of the rest. For what I do -- it works great. I don't plan on getting into the studio business but I do like to record bands and give them a copy if they ask. I don't get carried away with it.

I know this is probably not what you were expecting but studio monitoring is just like live sound. You have your system and then you have your system in a room. Rooms mess it up.


kibo
Presonic
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:08:13
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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hi jerry,

it makes sense jerry what youre telling me... i dont really do mixing like studio thing. although i'd like to learn...

my room is just our living room... no bass traps and acoustic treatments or anything and i dont plan to put some treatments... at least for quite sometime. like years to come.. i like to do more live sound thing and be able torecord the band and give the copies to them.

im just afraid that it will not do good to my ears if i use the headphones and i notice that i get tired easily with using it.

to the most part of my learningand practicing with mixing stuff ive been using just the headphone. its been a over a year now... but its not really all the time... like im doing recording for our church cantata last christmas and easter this year... didnt really had the chance to use my mixer for the band.. i got lazy... maybe this coming months i will really try to use this mixer to its potential

so back to the monitors... my place is just a regular room with hard surfaces and i know from the very start that i will not treat this room.. i was just hoping that my ears cud compensate to the issues of my room .. i use my car stereo to try my mixes after using the headphone.

so now its either i buy a very good headphone or buy just the krk's and know that it wouldnt sound as good?

i will give you an idea of my place. i will attach a picture... tell me what you think.

http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/197987_10150101380038127_519268126_6398777_738366_n.jpg

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/190331_10150101380748127_519268126_6398793_6994669_n.jpg

kibo

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 04/05/2011 07:00:42

Studiolive 1642, Tube Pre, QSC K12s, Imac 21.5 8GB 3.06 Ghz, MacbookPro 13" i5, Blue Spark Condenser Mic
Jerryd
Presonic

Joined: 28/07/2010 16:01:24
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Hey Kibo -- nice flat you have! Sounds like you really want the monitor thing to work out. I would love to have a nice set of Studio monitors but I just don't think between live sound and the work involved in all of that -- that my wife would let me do it UNLESS .... I make money recording.

You know -- if you buy the KRK's and you mix with them you may like how they sound. If you don't -- well there are ways to improve the situation like acoustic treatment. It would quickly change the looks of your living room. If you had a Driverack and some measurement equipment -- you may be able to compensate for some things BUT the whole process is complicated.

Is there anyway you could swing both? Buy the KRK's & a good set of headphones. I think the Sennheiser HD 280's would be cool for you: http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD-280-Pro-Headphones/dp/B000065BPB

At $89 bucks -- not bad. I believe these even made it in Dave Rat's top 5. Then there is Shure SRH 840 at $199.00

So I think you just need to jump out there and do it so you can start mixing. Shoot -- buy the KRK's and mix on them, burn it to a CD and see what you think. If you don't like it -- take your system out back and mix it outdoors away from walls and reflective surfaces...... burn it down and see what you think. I bet you will like the improvement.

I know -- I am crazy.... "A man has got to do what a man has got to do"...
kibo
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:08:13
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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hi jerry,

thanks for the compliment...

about the monitors... i will let you know if i get it... i just want to hear that its decent and im fine. i really dont make money out of this... wish i do. hehehe... so cant justify a very expensive one. i was willing to go ahead with the roland ds8 they are selling now for 850 a pair. but like you said its not that i really make money on this... i will probably settle for the KRK's it 5" G2.

the headphone that i have is the SRH 440. i wish i bought the 840s. i didnt know a lot about this audio thing when i bought the mixer together with the headphones last year. i just thought all headphones are the same. LOL.

i think im going to go with the KRK's. let you know the updates.

thanks,

kibo
Studiolive 1642, Tube Pre, QSC K12s, Imac 21.5 8GB 3.06 Ghz, MacbookPro 13" i5, Blue Spark Condenser Mic
mstorch
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Joined: 07/01/2011 20:26:51
Messages: 118
Location: Michigan
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Second the recommendation of the HD280s. I use the 280s for the drummer in the studio and I use HD380s live because they were surprisingly flat and have excellent isolation. The HD380s are a little flatter, and don't sound as appealing out of the box (if they sound really good, they're probably not flat), but the HD280s are great for the price.

I just saw you have the Shure - not a bad choice at all, Shure took a huge portion of the headphone market when they came out with the SRH series, they surprised everyone. I've sold quite a few SRH440s and I can't recall a dissatisfied customer.

If you haven't firmly decided on the KRKs yet, my choices would be the Yamaha HS-50M or the JBL LSR2325P. The Yammys are very flat for a $200 monitor, where the JBLs are a little more "smile" EQ, but only by 1-2 db so you're less prone to overmix than on something really bass or treble heavy.

I currently use Behringer B3031A's with a ribbon tweeter. I'm normally not a big fan of Behringer, but I decided that since they won't ever move I don't have to worry as much, and they are a damn nice monitor for $249 - they have an 8" driver, not a 5", so that's a bonus.

When testing them the other day I decided to see how loud they are, as I've never run them anywhere near the full 240W (minus 10-15% because it's Behringer). WOW...I wouldn't go within 10 feet without ear protection. I just played some music through the SL16 with the master out at 0db and the monitors at unity (+4 dbu), and I was very impressed. The bass response is closer to flat at higher volumes (although I'm assuming this was due to room reflections not heard at lower volumes), and they are very crisp. I'd still prefer the LSR4328P, but they're 3x the price .
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kibo
Presonic
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:08:13
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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mstorch,

thanks a lot for your advice. i will look into the headphones and monitors you suggested.

the srh-440 are a bit on the smiley thing. i think.

let you know...

kibo
Studiolive 1642, Tube Pre, QSC K12s, Imac 21.5 8GB 3.06 Ghz, MacbookPro 13" i5, Blue Spark Condenser Mic
funkafize
Prenoob
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Joined: 29/07/2010 06:28:43
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Smiley ratings:

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