Best Monitors for the Room

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Mustang Martigan
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Best Monitors for the Room

Post by Mustang Martigan » Tue May 26, 2020 11:25 am

I need a pair of monitors and I need some help figuring out what the best pair would be for my room.

It's shaped like a long rectangle.. 18' L × 10.5' W x 7' H
At the end of one side is a closet with a 5' long opening in the middle of a wall. It has a sliding door that can open from either side.

I'm trying to figure out if I should go with 8" monitors, or with something small, like the iLouds or Microcubes, along with a subwoofer.
That way I'll know how a mix sounds on smaller speakers, which is how most people hear their music these days, and still have the sub to get the low freqs right.

As of now I'm liking the latter idea, iLouds + sub.
What y'all think?

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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by digitaldrummer » Tue May 26, 2020 2:25 pm

any other room treatment?
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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by joninc » Tue May 26, 2020 3:13 pm

budget?
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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by Mustang Martigan » Tue May 26, 2020 8:55 pm

quote=digitaldrummer post_id=717663 time=1590528313 user_id=6246]
any other room treatment?
[/quote]

Not yet, but I am planning on it.. in the meantime, there's enough wall n corner coverage to disrupt reflections, even some things that will absorb 'em (to some degree) like bookshelfs, mattress, etc.
joninc wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 3:13 pm
budget?
I wanna stay under $1000. The cheaper the better tho. I want to hear an accurate representation of the entire freq spectrum. Anything beyond that is a waste of money to me...like bells n whistles or features that aren't necessary for someone that's just tracking/mixing their own stuff.

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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by losthighway » Tue May 26, 2020 9:17 pm

Mustang Martigan wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 8:55 pm
I wanna stay under $1000. The cheaper the better tho. I want to hear an accurate representation of the entire freq spectrum. Anything beyond that is a waste of money to me...like bells n whistles or features that aren't necessary for someone that's just tracking/mixing their own stuff.
This combination of goals is asking a lot. People spend thousands and thousands to get an accurate representation. Most of the bells and whistles these days are to try and help people get things more accurate in a flawed room.

For under $1000 my goal would be "slightly inaccurate, but in a way that I can work with."

I think some questions about treatment came up because a few hundred dollars for workhorse monitors and a couple hundred dollars on treatment might get you farther than $1,000 on monitors alone.

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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by digitaldrummer » Wed May 27, 2020 2:01 pm

losthighway wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 9:17 pm
I think some questions about treatment came up because a few hundred dollars for workhorse monitors and a couple hundred dollars on treatment might get you farther than $1,000 on monitors alone.
totally agree. I think that 7ft ceiling is going to give you grief. it's not that expensive to get some rigid fiberglass (or rockwool or even cotton batting if prefer) and make some bass traps and wall/ceiling treatment. There is lots of info on how to do it too. I did all of my own, it works, and it makes a big difference in sound (and in the wallet vs having someone else do it or buying pre-made).
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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by Mustang Martigan » Wed May 27, 2020 10:31 pm

losthighway wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 9:17 pm
I think some questions about treatment came up because a few hundred dollars for workhorse monitors and a couple hundred dollars on treatment might get you farther than $1,000 on monitors alone.
Were you referring of anything specific when mentioning workhorse monitors.
digitaldrummer wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:01 pm
totally agree. I think that 7ft ceiling is going to give you grief. it's not that expensive to get some rigid fiberglass (or rockwool or even cotton batting if prefer) and make some bass traps and wall/ceiling treatment. There is lots of info on how to do it too. I did all of my own, it works, and it makes a big difference in sound (and in the wallet vs having someone else do it or buying pre-made).


There was a misunderstanding from my last post. I've always planned on getting some kind of acoustic treatment.
However, I'm moving out of this current spot I described sooner than later and I want to wait n see what my new room will look like first (before I start with buying treatment).

I listed all that furniture in my current spot just to point out how it's not just bare wall.
I admit that it was confusing...and was written while I made sure my beer made it to my mouth.
I'm by no means a professional engineer. I just enjoy recording the stuff I write and I want to hear all the frequencies so I can make good mixing decisions.
I'd preferably like to keep my bedroom looking like a bedroom and not a full on control room. Is this possible?

This might contradict my previous posts, but I got a bit carried away. I'm trying to be completely realistic here.

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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by losthighway » Thu May 28, 2020 5:50 am

Mustang Martigan wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:31 pm
losthighway wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 9:17 pm
I think some questions about treatment came up because a few hundred dollars for workhorse monitors and a couple hundred dollars on treatment might get you farther than $1,000 on monitors alone.
Were you referring of anything specific when mentioning workhorse monitors.
I spent years on a pair of KRK Rokits, and couldn't justify replacing them until I put together the dough to graduate to Focal Shapes that cost about three times as much. They aren't perfect, but they're a strong contender in the <$1,000 for a pair range. I imagine some other folks on here have a couple others that are a good value. They're all going to have their own idiosyncratic footprint that you'll have to get to know to get satisfactory mixes. Some room/speaker combos means if it sounds just a little thin it's actually perfect, or if the vocals seem tucked a little low, they're going to come across just right. This is a nightmare to anyone working in a tuned room with soffit-mounted speakers, but it's real life with various shades of gray to everyone else. My room/speaker combo is better than I've ever had in my life but I still think I have to be aware of its own context when I think about how my mix will translate.

I'd consider perhaps a smaller speaker size (maybe a pair of 4-5" ones) coupled with a sub you can turn off/on, or a high quality pair of headphones so you can check bass when needed, but aren't constantly flooding a tight space with more low frequencies than you can get an accurate read on.

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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by Mustang Martigan » Fri May 29, 2020 4:38 am

losthighway wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 5:50 am
I'd consider perhaps a smaller speaker size (maybe a pair of 4-5" ones) coupled with a sub you can turn off/on, or a high quality pair of headphones so you can check bass when needed, but aren't constantly flooding a tight space with more low frequencies than you can get an accurate read on.
I've never owned a subwoofer.. not even for a home stereo​. They don't over accentuate the lows? Is the boomy sound I always hear when a friend has one cuz they prob just have it turned up too high

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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by losthighway » Fri May 29, 2020 6:01 am

Mustang Martigan wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 4:38 am
losthighway wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 5:50 am
I'd consider perhaps a smaller speaker size (maybe a pair of 4-5" ones) coupled with a sub you can turn off/on, or a high quality pair of headphones so you can check bass when needed, but aren't constantly flooding a tight space with more low frequencies than you can get an accurate read on.
I've never owned a subwoofer.. not even for a home stereo​. They don't over accentuate the lows? Is the boomy sound I always hear when a friend has one cuz they prob just have it turned up too high
It's a way to find out what' going on down in the 20-80hz region. If turned up too loud it will definitely be a mess. In a smaller room, I wouldn't even mix with it on all the time, more of a 'and let's see what's going on in bass land, check'. A fancy pair of headphones could be your other way to get a second opinion. Focal and Beyerdynamic both have some highly regarded, mixing quality headphones. But they might be about as pricey as one of your new monitors.

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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri May 29, 2020 7:12 am

If I were you:

I would focus on fixing what DOES NOT work currently with what you have.

Spend time listening to your room with the monitors you own now.

Measure and map out your nodes and peaks. Learn a bit of Acoustics.

Measure all this at 82dB at your listening position. Pink and white noise. They will reveal issues that are part of the room more than the monitors.

Once you do this, you will better know what to fix and how. We can help here, many of us have built studios, both personal and for clients.
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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by floid » Fri May 29, 2020 11:45 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 7:12 am
If I were you:

I would focus on fixing what DOES NOT work currently with what you have.

Spend time listening to your room with the monitors you own now.

Measure and map out your nodes and peaks. Learn a bit of Acoustics.

Measure all this at 82dB at your listening position. Pink and white noise. They will reveal issues that are part of the room more than the monitors.

Once you do this, you will better know what to fix and how. We can help here, many of us have built studios, both personal and for clients.
Cheap measurement mic, ~$30
Room EQ Wizard, free

I have a few different monitor options, none fancy or awesome. Some experimentation using the two items above was eye (ear?) opening
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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by The Scum » Fri May 29, 2020 12:41 pm

I added a sub in early 2019...it took some learning on my part to get it integrated. I also added some serious bass trapping as the process evolved. Working with low frequencies got significantly easier as a result. I could probably do a mix on Minimus 7's with the sub filling in the hole.

The various pro-audio subs typically have a switch (or footswitch input) that allows you to defeat the sub and run the mains as full-range, to gave a picture of how things will translate without a sub. When I hit mine, it's like the lowest parts of the lowest notes are now present - not overly hyped, just there and audible.

If you aren't getting the sub and mains as a matched set (like the JBL LSR's), be sure the sub has continuously variable volume & crossover frequency controls. I see Monoprice have a pro sub for $200 with all these features.

Subwoofers cut both ways - if they're set up properly, they give you some low frequency extension. You can also just wind 'em up to rattle the walls, it might be exciting, but it's not a mixing tool at that point.

In an untreated small room, they'll also expose all of the room-mode related troubles. Seriously, like a textbook-perfect example of the standing waves, and the way to solve that is to add treatment to soak them up.

I got pretty deep into room calibration as I was getting this set, too. So if you get a sub, get a measurement mic (Winky just posted one in FS...), and learn to use Room EQ Wizard. It's free, you can watch some videos to get started, and it's also very easy to generate more data than one can easily comprehend.
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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Fri May 29, 2020 1:43 pm

My thinking is how do you evaluate your new monitors if the room is all wonky? Room treatment has to come before any decisions about how things sound.
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Re: Best Monitors for the Room

Post by Mustang Martigan » Fri May 29, 2020 10:30 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 7:12 am
If I were you:

I would focus on fixing what DOES NOT work currently with what you have.
I don't have monitors, just Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones and the Reference 4 software.. and I'm pretty sure that the 280s aren't even good enough for referencing the low end. There not even closed backed.

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