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Old 09-24-2009, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
S The best solution is to narrow your choices as best you can and then go listen to them. Make a choice, and be satisfied that you did your best.
Bob's advice is excellent as always. The thing with monitors is that it's not always a matter of "better". Each speaker is going to sound different. You just have to find what works for you, and learn what the kind of music you're creating sounds like on them, so you can "know the speaker" and mix accordingly.

A little explanation of the headphone option a couple of us suggested. I agree with the conventional wisdom that headphones aren't a good way to mix. But, if you are budget constrained, they have some benefits. $400 doesn't really get very much in a studio monitor, but it will get you really good headphones (as an add-on, not a complete replacement, to your current monitors). The other issue is room acoustics. Even the best monitor won't let you hear correctly if your room acoustics aren't reasonable. You might be better off spending that $400 on room treatment, and suddenly your M1s may sound better than you thought they did. One supposed benefit of in-ear headphones is that they eliminate the room from the equation, which is the other thing I had in the back of my head in my first response. Few pros would recommend mixing over headphones, but in a budget home studio, it's all about compromise.

I think, as with the "do I need a new guitar" option, I'd start with identifying the problem. Not "I need better monitors", but something like "my mixes always sound too bassy on my friend's stereo" or whatever. Then look at your budget and figure out what the most effective solution within that budget is, from a new guitar to new monitors, to room treatment, to a class on mixing at the local community college (gaining access to their studio along the way...), to booking some time in a pro studio to compare results, etc.

The upgrade path is endless, there's always something better out there that costs just a little more, and the differences are pretty incremental unless you throw a lot of money at everything at once. Going from a $300 speaker to a different brand of $400 speaker will change things, just as going from an 814 to a 614 will change things. But it may not be better, just different.
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