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Author Topic: Near field monitors  (Read 393 times)

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Offline down2earthlandscaper

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Near field monitors
« on: February 21, 2017, 01:15:42 PM »
I find that my M-Audio AV40's "lie" to me sometimes. What I mix sounds great on them, but when I move to the car stereo or a bluetooth speaker or whatever, there is either not the right amount of bass and the high end can be either or too bright or not bright enough.
I know people who love cheaper computer speaker/sub combos for mastering.

Does anyone have suggestions for a good all purpose near field monitor. I saw these.....   

http://www.klipsch.com/products/klipsch-promedia-2-1-computer-speakers?gclid=Cj0KEQiA56_FBRDYpqGa2p_e1MgBEiQAVEZ6-zXuCi3PG7Ot8n2oAPEkYcZ0gP4MORWc3yju65EMy6kaAsWn8P8HAQ
Mics: CA-14(cards & omnis) and CA-11(cards & omnis) ; AT853's(cards, hypers, mini shotguns); Busman BSC-1 (cards, hypers, omnis)
Nakamichi CM300's (CP-1,2,3,4) Nakamichi CM700's (cards, omnis)
Tascam PE-120's (cards, omnis) Peluso CEMC-6 (cards and subcards)
DPA 4061's DPA 4022's
Preamps: CA-9100; Naiant Tinybox (12v/48v + PIP 8V); Naiant Littlebox;
DPA MPS6030; Sound Device Mix Pre-D
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Offline morst

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Re: Near field monitors
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 01:39:59 PM »
I know people who love cheaper computer speaker/sub combos for mastering.
I am not one of them
Quote

Does anyone have suggestions for a good all purpose near field monitor. I saw these.....   

http://www.klipsch.com/products/klipsch-promedia-2-1-computer-speakers?gclid=Cj0KEQiA56_FBRDYpqGa2p_e1MgBEiQAVEZ6-zXuCi3PG7Ot8n2oAPEkYcZ0gP4MORWc3yju65EMy6kaAsWn8P8HAQ

How about a nice old pair of Celestion SL6's, for only about double what that klipsch setup sells for?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Celestion-SL6si-SL6-/141989370935?hash=item210f39dc37:g:kAoAAOSwAvJXC-JU

With any setup, you'll have to get used to it and learn how mixes made on it compare when played on car stereos, large home systems, boom boxes, cheap headphones, good headphones, home theatre systems, club PA systems, etc...
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Near field monitors
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 04:21:19 PM »
Quote
With any setup, you'll have to get used to it and learn how mixes made on it compare when played on car stereos, large home systems, boom boxes, cheap headphones, good headphones, home theatre systems, club PA systems, etc...

^This.

It is helpful to use the most accurate monitoring available to you, and the more accurate your monitoring is, the better chance is that subtle but important editing modifications like EQ and dynamic compression will translate correctly.

However, you will need to learn to "hear through" or "hear around" the personality quirks of your own system regardless, in order to develop an ear for how your mix will translate elsewhere.  And the only way to really do that is to make mixes that sound correct to you, then take them and play them on other systems and make note of what doesn't seem right.  You'll need to do this on a number of different systems in search of whatever issues are common to all of them, or at least most of them.  Otherwise you'd simply be modifying your corrections made specifically for your system for something specifically correct specifically for another, and not necessarily making it better in general.  What you are searching for is whatever doesn't seem right consistently across most of the systems you listen on.  When you think you've got a handle on what that is, make a new mix of the exact same material which aims to compensate for that, then check that new mix on the same systems (and others if you can) and see if that translates better.  If it does, you'll begin to internalize what to listen for when making mixes using your system - that is to say, you will learn to adjust the mix not to whatever sounds absolutely best on your system, but what sounds like what you've learned will translate best to most systems.  This sounds daunting, but you are likely to internalize it pretty quickly.  Car checks are  good.  For most folks, their best sound system is the one in their car.  But listen on other systems too.

Other than that, check your mix on headphones you know well.  They lie too, but you can similarly develop a good sense of in what way they lie.  Some editing is easier to do with phones, other editing is best with speakers.  Easy enough to through on a pair to double check whatever change you are making at the time.

Using cheap systems for mastering is a bit misleading.  An accurate system in terms of a smooth frequency response is going to be easiest to work with.  What can be helpful is checking on both a big system and a small one (but not an otherwise horribly inaccurate one).  Small systems are incapable of reproducing much bass, so it's helpful to listen for what happens when the bass is not reproduced fully on the small system verses the big one where it is.  Small systems also usually reach their dynamics limits before larger systems, so extreme dynamics which work well and sound "life-like" on large systems may need to be compressed a bit more to translate well for playback with smaller systems.

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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Near field monitors
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 04:32:48 PM »

Take your audio player with a couple of shows on it to Guitar Center and audition every single monitor. Almost all the stores have a switchboard setup and a mini cable to plug your device into.

My critical listening setup is computer > USB > Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 > ART amp > Acoustic Research M2 two way bookshelf speakers + subwoofer borrowed from a 2.1 crappy computer speaker setup (perfect for me though...it's high range folds right in where the low range of my monitors starts to fade)
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Near field monitors
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 10:22:11 PM »

Other than that, check your mix on headphones you know well.  They lie too, but you can similarly develop a good sense of in what way they lie.  Some editing is easier to do with phones, other editing is best with speakers.  Easy enough to through on a pair to double check whatever change you are making at the time.


Great advice.  In my experience, you really need to use both.  I have a set of KRK studio monitors that have very accurate mid/treble and excellent imaging, but limited bass.  I have a set of sealed Sony HD380 Pro phones that have phenomenal bass extension and impact, but I don't trust the treble accuracy like I do on the monitors, and of course you can't really get true imaging on headphones like you do with well-placed speakers.  So I've learned to mostly lean on the KRKs when mixing / mastering, but keep the headphones nearby to check the bass and for general translation through headphones.  The phones are also my go-to when doing intense iZotope RX work to counteract HVAC rumble.  It's easy to miss unless you're listening to something with full bass response.
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Offline down2earthlandscaper

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Re: Near field monitors
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 11:03:27 PM »
Great tips everyone. Thank you. I have open-backed Sennheiser HD598SE that have proven to be pretty good for assessing bass, where the AV40's have fallen short. Checked the specs on the AV40's and discovered something interesting

AV 40 Specs

    Type: Two-way desktop reference monitor.
    Low-frequency Driver: 4" diameter, magnetically shielded and curved cone with high-temperature voice coil.
    High-frequency Driver: 1" diameter, magnetically shielded silk dome tweeter.
    Frequency Response: 85Hz - 20kHz.
    Crossover Frequency: 2.7kHz.
    RMS SPL: 101.5dB @ 1 meter.

I wonder if the 85Hz bottom end response is part of the bass issue? (My results always seem to turn out better when I use the headphones in conjunction with the near field monitors...)
Mics: CA-14(cards & omnis) and CA-11(cards & omnis) ; AT853's(cards, hypers, mini shotguns); Busman BSC-1 (cards, hypers, omnis)
Nakamichi CM300's (CP-1,2,3,4) Nakamichi CM700's (cards, omnis)
Tascam PE-120's (cards, omnis) Peluso CEMC-6 (cards and subcards)
DPA 4061's DPA 4022's
Preamps: CA-9100; Naiant Tinybox (12v/48v + PIP 8V); Naiant Littlebox;
DPA MPS6030; Sound Device Mix Pre-D
Decks: Sony PCM M10; Edirol R-4; Zoom H6; Marantz PMD-661; Sound Devices 722

Offline morst

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Re: Near field monitors
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 03:10:29 PM »
    Frequency Response: 85Hz - 20kHz.
You could try borrowing a subwoofer, or even buying one from a big-box retailer with plans to return it after testing?
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