Buying new studio monitors - please advise.

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by ChugThisBoy, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    Yes. in the context of what this post is about - comparing speakers under a specific budget. A better built smaller driver will respond better than a larger one for the same price.
    If you have a ton of money to blow then by all means go as big as want.
     
  2. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    I would just use a tone generator to create pink noise. Levels really would depend on how you want to work.
    if you want 0db on your daw meter to be at 85db at your listening position then calibrate each individual monitor to 82db with 20hz-20khz pink noise
     
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  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    But this kind of works around what my question was. I'm not asking "is a better built driver going to be better than one that is cheap but bigger", it's whether or not smaller means better dynamics if all other things are equal. The question is about what the basis for "smaller speakers means better transient response" comes from. Because if the assumption is that smaller speakers (within the same line/range) are going to be better made than bigger ones for some reason, then I don't think that's a safe assumption to make.
     
  4. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    And, what did I say right after that sentence? LOL
    The whole point of this thread was about buying speakers on a budget. Not about what is ultimately the greatest speaker to mix on because there isn't one. The ideal solution is multiple speakers of different sizes. But, again... that is a LOT of money.
    If you want to just go by the frequency response curves that manufacturers put out than by all means use that as your guide to buying speakers.
     
  5. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    All things being equal I would then say yes that a smaller speaker will have better dynamics and faster reponse for sure. Take a pair of good headphones for instance. They have superior everything than even high end monitors, just not at the SPL as the high end monitors.
     
  6. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    You know, it's really a pity studio monitors don't combine a driver large enough to provide flat, full low end reproduction, with a tweeter voiced specifically to reinforce the high end. How we've ever gone so long without proper dynamic response is truly one of the great mysteries of western recorded music.
     
  7. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    I dunno, man... you didn't post a graph to reinforce your point. I don't believe it.
     
  8. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    No kidding. I think because flat systems just aren't really needed. It's more of a want than a need. I'd bet almost every speaker system ever made isn't like a studio monitor so by mixing on something closer to what is the norm it just translates as acceptable anyways. I don't think people really care that much as long as it sounds normal or decent to them. I'm just glad to finally hear the price coming down on monitors.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I mean, we've already covered this argument.

    Oh, but you can't trust those because they're made by the manufacturers, remember?
     
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  10. thrashinbatman

    thrashinbatman SS.org Regular

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    I only trust graphs posted by grumpy old dudes on Gearslutz that are incredibly complex and come with no explanation of what they mean.
     
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  11. nightlight

    nightlight Well-Known Member

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    A bit late to this thread, but I would have suggested that the OP stick to the monitors he has and buy a grotbox for critical listening.

    I think something like the Avantone or Auratone cubes are amazing, because listening to a mix on a low fi speaker can really open your eyes to how most people perceive it when listening on their phones or a mono/pseudo stereo speaker tucked away in a corner of the room.

    It's also great for setting the levels of your tracks, which is what I primarily use it for, though I also refer to it for hearing the mix in mono.
     
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  12. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    Are you working in the same room as those measurements were taken? I don't think so. Those graphs tell you nothing about how a speaker actually performs. It's a good graph for sales though.
     
  13. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    another thing I disagree with is this notion that you need bigger speakers to hear what's going on in the low end.
    A quality set of 5" monitors will still give you the ability to hear phase issues or weird rumbling in the sub-40hz range.
     
  14. AboutBlank

    AboutBlank SS.org Regular

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    Partially very steep and generalizing statements in the thread, but nevertheless very interesting reading pleasure.

    I definitely think that you can judge a monitor on the basis of the measurement results if they are complete (not only frequency response but also distortion/isobarics etc.) and you have the experience.

    This of course does not make a personal hearing test obsolete.
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I suspect this is a waste of time, but here goes nothing.

    There's a couple factors in the frequency response equation, clearly, and obviously the room is a very big part of that. But, the speakers are hardly irrelevant, and if your speakers themselves (measured in a dead flat or anechoic space) are not capable of producing a flat frequency response, then the best room in the world won't give you a flat frequency response. And, let's be honest, you don't really believe that companies are measuring the frequency response of their speakers in a random, untreated, unpredictable, and irregularly-responding room.

    But, let's generalize anyway, just for the sake of discussion. We both agree that flat monitor response IS desirable. And, at the start of this discussion and even to a certain extent in this post here, you've never really denied that smaller drivers do tend to have less-flat response in low-mid and bass frequencies than larger drivers. Here you're saying that the fact that bass frequencies are being artificially attenuated with a 5" driver shouldn't matter because "you can still hear phase issues or weird rumbing in the sub-40hz range," but it's certainly a heck of a lot harder when those frequencies are 3-6db quieter than they should be, no? That's a pretty big shift in amplitude.

    We can nit-pick on how accurate any particular frequency response chart is, and whether it's an honest attempt to measure the response of a speaker vs a handy sales tool, but at the same time you've never seriously disagreed with what I'm saying, that smaller drivers generally have artificially weak low end compared to the standard 8" nearfield monitor, and aren't generally flat in these frequencies. And, if the point of a flat nearfield monitor is to make it as easy as possible to hear issues in a mix, then what exactly are we disagreeing about? The actual chart is kind of irrelevant, if we both agree that smaller drivers aren't flat for low-mid and bass frequencies.
     
  16. nightlight

    nightlight Well-Known Member

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    Just my own experience to share.

    I went to a music store sometime last year to pick up a new set of monitors. I went there with the idea of picking up a 5" or 6.5" Eve Audio monitor.

    When I auditioned though, I was really impressed with how the low end of some mixes I tested on it translated. Just so much more accurate and detailed.

    And this was a treated space in the music shop for showing off different kinds of monitors. There was just so much more information presented to me sonically, so I brought an 8" pair home with me.

    My home studio space is pretty laughable. No treatment whatsoever and a lot of reflective surfaces to foul up my mixes.

    I fired up my Sonarworks Reference 4 room measurement plugin and I was surprised by how much less correction was done compared to the old pair of Dynaudio BM5A speakers I was using. Not really sure why that is, better reproduction of frequencies with the bigger drivers?

    The end result has been better mixes and I am pretty pleased with the fact that I spent more to get the 8" version of the Eves. Very non-fatiguing to listen to and very detailed, with great spatial reproduction as well. Especially in the low end, I can tell when something is too muddy, which helps me EQ it.
     
  17. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    it's not really because even if you don't hear the source rumbling you can hear the effect it has on the overall phase of your low end when you have timbre changes in your kick or bass because you had some synth come in that's got useless info sub-40hz. Learning to use an oscilloscope and a spectrograph to see phase as well helps a lot especially with training yourself to hear those issues.
     
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  18. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    The BM5a is a good example of a speaker that is sluggish at recreating low-end. I think they fixed that issue in the BM5A mkII series.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 11:29 PM
  19. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    I've used high quality hifi speakers to mix on. lower quality "flatter" studio monitors to mix on. and finally nowadays I have Amphion One15 monitors. There's no real comparison to using a better made driver even if a speaker is "flatter" on paper because ultimately you are going to hear a lot more details since the better built speaker will reproduce the true peaks more accurately. the notion that you need 8"+ speakers to mix low end accurately is just silly.
    And, when measuring my room with sonarworks the 100hz and below tends to always be overhyped so choosing a smaller monitor definitely seemed like the better move versus what everyone told me "GET AN 8"!!" lol
    I can do a quick song on these speakers and expect them to sound pretty much like what I'm hearing on a laptop, smartphone, car, bluetooth speaker, etc.
     
  20. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    I just had an epiphany. It will revolutionize the home studio as we know it. I'm going to make a sound-proof / treated mix-cube. It will fit over my head like a medieval torture device. I will look like a block head wearing it, but this cube will be sound treated with diffusers and sound proofing material inside and out. All I'll need to do is take a highly efficient and flat pair of speakers and put them in the cube (like high end headphones being used as monitors) and calibrate them to this little room my head goes inside of. It will be like a little room that I wear over my head like a helmet! It can be customized with reflective surfaces too and calibrated like a scale modeled room. It's the only way I can think of being able to afford the sound proofing and diffusing methods I really want with the accuracy of monitors I want and also not disturb the neighbors too. Am I crazy? Am I serious? Am I studpi? Am I a genius? :lol:
     

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