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  #16  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:44 AM
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By the way, Alex, one approach to this is to make sure whoever you buy monitors from will let you return them. Ideally, try a couple at once and send back the ones you don't like. Guitar Center, Sweetwater, etc, should all let you do returns, and might even be accommodating if you're up front with them that you want to try several with the ultimate goal of buying one. It's helpful to hear what they sound like in your room, on your music, not just in the store, playing some impressive demo CD.
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2009, 12:35 PM
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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.

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.
Two very good point Doug, my problem with my Alesis M1's is that
1) One of them is significantly less powerful than the other one and I need to max the volume to get what the second one outputs at 70%
2) The mix sound is not flat.
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  #18  
Old 09-24-2009, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
By the way, Alex, one approach to this is to make sure whoever you buy monitors from will let you return them. Ideally, try a couple at once and send back the ones you don't like. Guitar Center, Sweetwater, etc, should all let you do returns, and might even be accommodating if you're up front with them that you want to try several with the ultimate goal of buying one. It's helpful to hear what they sound like in your room, on your music, not just in the store, playing some impressive demo CD.
Yep, I plan on spending some time at GC auditioning some but ultimately I will actually buy them from Amazon with a gift card I have (that's the challenging part)
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  #19  
Old 09-24-2009, 12:47 PM
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Two very good point Doug, my problem with my Alesis M1's is that
1) One of them is significantly less powerful than the other one and I need to max the volume to get what the second one outputs at 70%
2) The mix sound is not flat.
1 makes for a different story, something's broken :-) 2 is a bit harder to quantify. How do you know? These days it seems like all speakers specs say they're flat, and in reality, probably any costing less than an arm and a leg aren't. And again, if your room isn't "flat", at least in the mix position, it won't matter if the speakers are.
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  #20  
Old 09-24-2009, 02:28 PM
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Hi Alexrkstr--

When it comes to mixing music, you really need multiple monitors to make good judgements.

Since we all live in less-than-ideal mixing spaces, you just need to get to know the characteristics of what you have. It really all starts with the room.

I don't have any experience with any of the speakers on your list, but the brand I don't ever hear anything positive about is Behringer. It's not that they may not make a fine product, I don't know.

The thing is that unless they're expensive monitors, they will offer some-what unbalanced representations. I think that JBL and Yamaha probably make the better speakers on the list.

Mastering engineers listen in an almost perfect listening environment on the flattest response monitors. But since most of us don't mix there, we need to find the best spot in the room, your apartment, first. If you have the freedom to move your mixing environment around, set up your pair of speakers and then stand back and listen. Try this is a few spots around the room and see where the overall tone pleases you the most; might be the most balanced sound.

You might have to treat the room a bit if you can. If you can mix on multiple monitors, that's the way to go. Even though they say headphones are bad for mixing I have to disagree. Headphones are just like any other monitor system: you get to know them. Sure, they offer stereo separation that is not real, but you know that! Headphones, like many other speaker systems, compensate for their lack of frequency response by boosting in that range. That's all good to know!

So you gotta burn a disc and then listen back on several different systems, car stereo, boom box, home stereo and strive for balanced mix that sounds good across all of them.

Have fun with it!

Steve
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  #21  
Old 09-24-2009, 03:58 PM
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Very knowledgeable folks here.
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2009, 05:06 PM
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Much good advice here. Some years ago I spent some time at GC and chose the Rockit 5s, though the 6s sounded better, I didn't want to spend the extra money. Didn't like the M1s

In the end you need to play a lot of music on the speakers you will use to get accustomed to the sound they produce (the Rockit 5s are low on bass and have a peak at the low mid). What is particularly important is to listen to the mixes on many different speakers, in the car, home stereo, iPod, etc. to make sure it sounds good on all those systems.e
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  #23  
Old 09-27-2009, 09:11 PM
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Thanks for all your feedback guys. I ended up buying some Yamaha NS-10Ms off of Craigslist today

Now I need an amp... I will open another thread for that...
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  #24  
Old 09-28-2009, 06:53 AM
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Thanks for all your feedback guys. I ended up buying some Yamaha NS-10Ms off of Craigslist today

Now I need an amp... I will open another thread for that...
Nice choice on the old Yamaha's. I have 'em and love 'em. Not 'cause they sound so great but because they are so revealing in the midrange. If the mix sounds good on these dudes, then you're a step ahead...

Steve
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  #25  
Old 09-28-2009, 06:33 PM
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Nice choice on the old Yamaha's. I have 'em and love 'em. Not 'cause they sound so great but because they are so revealing in the midrange. If the mix sounds good on these dudes, then you're a step ahead...

Steve
..... Well... I decided to sell the pair... too much of a hassle to replace the tweeter, choose and amp, and justify the $$$.... I think I will be better off with the HS80s... Too many people discouraging me from using them and they are now discontinued....
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  #26  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:59 PM
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I will play the heretic for a home studio.

Behringer TRUTH B2031P Passive Monitors and any _decent_ amp you can find with power more than 75 watts per channel. Less than $200.00 shipped. More sound than your family or apartment neighbors will put up with and decent balance/flat as well. Add a sub, a crossover, an EQ and more power and you can rock the house.

You will find +/- reviews for the B2031P, my review would be +. I have sat in a couple of commercial studio control rooms and the Truth B2031P is nothing to look down on in a budget situation like home.

Jerry
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Last edited by solarix; 09-28-2009 at 10:02 PM. Reason: or apartment neighbors
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  #27  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:03 PM
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I will play the heretic for a home studio.

Behringer TRUTH B2031P Passive Monitors and any _decent_ amp you can find with power more than 75 watts per channel. Less than $200.00 shipped. More sound than your family will put up with and decent balance as well. Add a sub, a crossover, an EQ and more power and you can rock the house.

You will find +/- reviews for the B2031P, my review would be +. I have sat in a couple of commercial studio control rooms and the Truth B2031P is nothing to look down on in a budget situation like home.

Jerry

Thanks Jerry. When you mention the EQ and the Rock the House... my thought derails... I was thinking more along the lines of flat and no louder than 90-95dBs to monitor.

How are the Behringers in that sense? Do they have a flat Fz response? Does it vary with volume?
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  #28  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:37 PM
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Thanks Jerry. When you mention the EQ and the Rock the House... my thought derails... I was thinking more along the lines of flat and no louder than 90-95dBs to monitor.
You might want to research monitoring levels a bit. Above 85 db, you're not only endangering your hearing, but venturing into an area where what you hear is no longer flat. Your hearing actually varies in frequency response with volume.
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  #29  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:45 PM
Alexrkstr Alexrkstr is offline
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You might want to research monitoring levels a bit. Above 85 db, you're not only endangering your hearing, but venturing into an area where what you hear is no longer flat. Your hearing actually varies in frequency response with volume.

Yes, I agree, I mean to say at 90-95 dB MAX, but monitor and mix at around 80dB.
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  #30  
Old 09-29-2009, 07:32 AM
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Unless your room is perfect acoustically, you will have humps and dips caused by standing sound waves and reflections that may appear to be the monitors not being flat. I fought this with both my home theater and in my music room, that is the reason for an EQ. I prefer the Behringer Monitors and a good clean amp for music over the entire home theater setup I have using JBL Northridge series x 6, 2-15" subs and 700+ watts. The Behringers are much more transparent seeming they do not exist only the music and the sound stage. The theater is better by far for movies/surround.

If you are trying to master recordings good headphones in an apartment may be a better idea since you don't get any room effect and you do not want to EQ all your music recorded for your room. I will defer that one to the pros. I have not done that.

Jerry
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