Another Annoying Request for Budget Monitor Advice

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calaverasgrandes
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:06 pm

Who says room treatment isnt sexy? I have about 6 panels I have made with perfboard and acoustic foam. I dont feel like a new space is my studio until my big blue panels go up. I like how they change the acoustics but they also make it look more professional and serious.
I suppose rigid fibreglass panels are the hip thing now, but I like the look of convoluted acoustic foam!
I wish I hadnt lost my corner traps. Those big blocks of wedge tile were expensive! Right now I have a moving blanket hung behind a foam panel in a corner for a corner trap and its only so-so.
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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jgimbel
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Post by jgimbel » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:25 pm

It's not that room treatment isn't sexy, it's a little less so when you're looking to spend money on new monitors (though it may be more of a responsible one). I'm guilty of watching tons of videos and reading a lot of tutorials with folks making bass traps, talk about sexy.

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Budget Monitors

Post by nortstudio » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:19 am

I use Event 20/20 BAS and NS-10s at the studio - but for home I needed a pair that was self-powered, small and cheap. I have a small office/editing space, and anything 8" would have been overkill.

So I did the same thing at Guitar Center - best mixes in the little room with all the pairs they had that fit my budget/size. Firstly, that store has no concept of how to set up speakers so that you can have ANY idea of how they sound. Moving on...

I ended up with the Yamaha HS50s, because they seemed to be the most least hyped.

I have done a few ITB mixes here that i then took to the studio to check - and in the end, after a little getting used to them (like you must with all speakers), they provided adequate monitoring (albeit not overly fun to listen to).

That being said, I would follow the group here, in suggesting some used monitors if you have the space for them. You will get a good deal (and most likely a better monitor) - and they are some of the easiest things to fix, no matter your tech skill level.
"If you've never f*#ked up a punch - you ain't working." www.freqControl.com

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emptyframe
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Post by emptyframe » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:23 pm

I ended up with a pair of series 1 KRK V6s (mint condition!) for $200. They should be arriving tomorrow. I considered getting a used pair of MSP5s as well (for comparison), but came to realize that the "which monitor" dilemma was really holding-up several mixing projects that I desperately need to get back to work on. No time to waste trying every possible configuration.

As for room treatments... that's the next thing on my list. I know I'll be more motivated to improve my space with a set of speakers whose sound is worth improving.

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calaverasgrandes
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:12 pm

Sometimes I think the "which monitor?" question belongs on the shelf next to the "which strings?" question.
Nobody can tell you what will work for you. And really isnt it more important to just get at it than spend all week trying out different monitors/strings?
I am sure a lot of us have reached that point (usually at 1am) where we are really second guessing our monitors.
But you know I bet a better engineer would do just fine on my setup, same as I bet Jimi hendrix wouldnt be held back by lesser strings.
That said I am sure I could play exactly 5% faster with a new set of dunlop strings.
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Post by nortstudio » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:19 am

Amen brother! Obviously everyone has an opinion, and any new buyer should consider all of our thoughts with a grain of salt...

But it never hurts to throw your experience into the ring, see if someone might save themselves some heart ache in the end. Final word should always be "just listen to the monitors, using material you are very familiar with."

It certainly is the best advice we can give.
"If you've never f*#ked up a punch - you ain't working." www.freqControl.com

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Post by Matt C. » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:45 am

i'll throw in my two cents:

i've recently been wondering whether i should upgrade my monitors. i currently have a pair of Behringer Truth 2031A monitors, and because of Behringer's poor reputation, and because they are the only monitors i've ever worked on, i assumed i could benefit from upgrading.

i went to guitar center and started listening to all the different monitors they had, with some CDs i brought from home. obviously this is not an ideal listening environment, but anyway...i was not impressed by the sound of most of these monitors (they had most of the monitors that get mentioned often: M-audio, Mackie, KRK, Yamaha, JBL, Adam, Dynaudio...). everything sounded either too muddy, or had way too much high end, or was just really harsh in a severely-over-compressed sort of way. The Adam A7s and Dynaudios were the only ones that stood out to me as sounding decent. and not decent enough for me to spend $1000 on a pair. the bigger Yamahas (hs80?) also seemed okay too, but again, not worth the price (i am a serious cheapskate)

i came back home and listened to those same CDs on my Behringer monitors and they sounded good. maybe not perfect, but clear and detailed and not harsh.

i guess my point is it's good to have a bit of a reality check in this situation, because i know it's easy to start second guessing your monitors. i'm glad i now don't feel obligated to drop a bunch of cash on new monitors right away. for now i'll settle for putting some proper acoustical treatment in my control room and see how that does.

- Matt

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Post by nortstudio » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:42 am

I had the same type of situation with my studio monitors a few years back. I had owned the Events forever, and it seemed like maybe it was time to upgrade.

Went to Dale Pro Audio in the city, and listened to a ton of stuff, on a ton of stuff on a ton of speakers in their monitor room. In the end, I realized I didn't feel it was worth it (the pair I had narrowed it down to were $2700/pair). I was about to start a new record, and trying to learn a new set of speakers would have started me out on odd footing. I had tracked and mixed so many records on them -they were/are like a nice worn in pair of jeans.

I stuck with the Events for that record - and damned if I don't have them there still. Maybe some day....
"If you've never f*#ked up a punch - you ain't working." www.freqControl.com

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calaverasgrandes
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:17 am

That is kind of how I got stuck on my awful alesis montor one actives. I got these so many years ago. I forget. I have learned all the bumps in the response so I know that when a snare is too loud its probably right, when a guitar is dissapearing its just right as well. I got sick of the black hole at the crossover so I went out and got some cheap KRKs. The KRKs are a lot easiser to listen to and are a little clearer on the midrange. But then they come with their own anomalies and bumps as well! So after a few months on just the KRKS I put the Alesis (Alesae?) back up so I can switch back and forth when I am getting frustrated.
Likely when I get my next pair of monitors (something passive) I will be at 4 sets of monitors until I learn the new ones.
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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giuseppe_fl
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Re: Another Annoying Request for Budget Monitor Advice

Post by giuseppe_fl » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:12 am

emptyframe wrote:I am looking for monitors that represent the best compromise between: (A) non-fatiguing and inspiring and (B) results in a decent mix. Any suggestions are appreciated.
M-Audio BX8a's.

This decision caused me no small amount of distress a couple years ago.

At the end of the day, I almost went for the Dynaudio BM5a's but I knew they'd be in a square, concrete room, untreated save for a couple freaking moving blankets.

I decided to hold off on the nicer speakers until I can build a nice, proper room (or seriously upgrade this one) and went got the BX8as for about $320 new at the Guitaarrrrrghhh Center.

Even in the worst conditions imaginable, I'm able to get reasonably good mixes. And for rough mixes (where the mix is finished at a nicer studio, and by more capable folks) it's an ideal work setup.

I have to test each mix out on a few other stereos, and that's some extra work, but in the room I've got the Dynaudios would come up against alot of the same trouble.

It ain't Olympic but I've never regretted the decision. Recordings from the basement here have seen release on vinyl and CD, and everybody's been happy.
Last edited by giuseppe_fl on Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by nortstudio » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:20 am

Another vote for picking a pair of monitors (whatever they may be) and sticking with them long enough to become comfortable on them.

I think this approach, in the end, outweighs some large investments.
"If you've never f*#ked up a punch - you ain't working." www.freqControl.com

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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:22 pm

I just received a pair of Axiom M3 v2s from a bunch of friends who I do work for. They were a B'day present. I turned a friend onto them back in September after lots of love for them here on the TOMB. Anyway, he was blown away by them, I heard them, was blown away by them, etc. And now I have a pair thanks to him.

Had them hooked up to the '76 Pioneer in the living room for a few days. Today I brought them into the Laundromat to see how they sounded hooked up to my Adcom GFA 545 II. All I can say is wow. WOW! I've spent the afternoon A/B'ing them with a borrowed pair of Genelec 1029As and my Yamaha NS-10Ms. I absolutely love these speakers. They have a beautifully balanced sweet spot, are a pleasure to listen to, and sound amazing with my Black Lion modified MOTU 828mk2 and the Adcom. The only thing that is a little annoying is that they are not as hot at output as the NS-10Ms, so I have to adjust volume by about 4-5 dB before switching speakers. However, I can live with this. I find the sound of the Genelecs to be really boxy with exaggerated low mids compared to the Axioms. Not that they sound bad. Obviously having three sets of speakers to compare mixes on is better than two.

This is a $500 monitoring system. I totally recommend the Axiom /Adcom combo.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my home studio, Ch?teau Blanco, and in various spaces in the Philly area. http://jeffwhiteaudio.com/

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