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#2672245 - 03/13/15 01:48 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: l5357]
Arnold B. Kruege Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/07/14
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: l5357
Arnold, the Newell book referred to by Ethan above does contain test results for the JBL LSR 25 and 32 and the Behringer truth monitors.


Yes, in Figure A.2.1 on page 667 there is on-axis frequency response and nonlinear distortion for the B2031s, and later on impulse response. However, its not clear whether these were the active or passive models, and there seems to be no information about the highly important off-axis response.

BTW I never said it wasn't here because when I made the comment the reference to the book hadn't gone up. I was strangely enough referring to what I could possibly know about the time - what was on the web. Sorry to fail your standards for omniscience. ;-)

Quote:

Those tests were conducted by Keith Holland who also did the tests posted at the resolution magazine website linked in my post above. Curiously, the book contains some test results not on the website and vice versa.


That the information about the Behrs and the JBLs apparently never made it to the web is a bit strange.

Quote:

It is remarkable how well the original Mackie HR824's perform relative to even much costlier monitors. Unfortunately, it appears that the Mk2 version of those don't have as flat a frequency response and have more low-frequency distortion, although whether that would be noticeable in actual use would remain to be seen.


I don't think it is all that remarkable that a well-designed lower cost speaker could perform well. IME most of the stuff that makes audio equipment costly is either intangible or comes from the tonnage and jewelry school of audio anti-engineering. ;-)

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#2672383 - 03/13/15 11:25 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Arnold B. Kruege]
l5357 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 11
Arnold, you apparently misread my post as being critical of your post. No such thing was intended. I was merely pointing out that there is additional information out there that was not available on the website.


Edited by l5357 (03/13/15 11:33 AM)

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#2672384 - 03/13/15 11:25 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
LOL at the response graphed at 20 dB per division. They don't even include horizontal lines so you can figure out the dB span. None the less, that doesn't seem too bad. Then again, the line looks like smoothing was applied, but they don't specify the amount of smoothing. freak

Distortion above 500 Hz seems pretty good at 1 percent or less, but who knows how bad it is below 200 Hz!

This is why I always suggest buying speakers from a local dealer when possible, with the understanding that you can return them within a week or so if to don't like them.

--Ethan

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#2672389 - 03/13/15 11:35 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
l5357 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 11
Agreed Ethan. I find the Holland-style of test results far more useful than what is posted by the manufacturer in the case of the Opals.

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#2672393 - 03/13/15 11:41 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: l5357]
l5357 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 11
I don't use a hardware monitor controller because my audio interface (RME Fireface) has a pretty good software controller for routing and mixing signals.

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#2672676 - 03/14/15 07:09 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: l5357]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
Went into a pro audio store in my city yesterday to listen to the Event Opals. To be honest I'm even more confused than I was before. I went in hoping (and expecting) to be blown away by the Opals but I didn't like them very much at all. In the store's listening room they had also had a set of Genelec 8040Bs, and a set of Genelec 8050Bs.

I found the Opals to be a bit scooped. The guitars seemed to sit at the back of the mix, and as a guitarist playing in a genre that is heavily guitar focused, this is pretty much a deal breaker. I also found I couldn't hear much separation between each instrument. The Opals didn't sound particularly detailed to me. I was absolutely shocked because I've never read a bad review of the Opals, in fact many reviews claim that these are the greatest speakers ever. Mine is the first negative review of the Opals I've ever heard, however the guy at the store said that most people that come into the store to hear them don't like them either.

I was much more impressed by the Genelecs. I could hear more of the guitars, although they probably still were a little too scooped for me. The bass was really good, and I could hear far more detail in each individual instrument. The high end seemed a tad harsh. I probably preferred the sound of the 8040B, but the 8050B extends right down to around 35Hz, whereas the 8040B only goes to around 45Hz, which is still probably low enough for my purposes.

I got home and did some research into the 8040 and 8050, and people were saying similar things about the mids being a bit scooped, and recommended the Focal Twin6 BE as a better option. I'd initially never looked at these because they only have 6.5 inch woofers. Apparently they still go down to 40Hz though, which is great for me. Where I live however they are far more expensive than the other options. Also, when I start researching the Focals, many people start talking about the Opals once again, or the much more expensive Focal SM9s (around $11,000 here - way out of my budget).

Anyway, I'm more confused than when I started. Monitor selection seems to be a giant rabbit hole which once entered you may never return.

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#2672792 - 03/15/15 12:38 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
The proliferation of "professional" speakers having an intentionally scooped response is a huge problem. But it's possible that effect was due to lack of acoustic consideration. What was the listening environment like at the store?

--Ethan

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#2672881 - 03/15/15 10:22 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
The store's acoustic treatment (or lack thereof) is the other big issue. Considering I'll have to go to other stores to try out speakers as well, I'll be comparing different speakers in different acoustic environments. Very difficult to make an accurate assessment this way.

The store where I listened had some foam-style diffusers in the room, but no bass trapping or broadband absorption that I could see. The lack of proper acoustic treatment in these areas is pretty staggering.

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#2673056 - 03/16/15 01:25 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
Yes, it's amazing that some "pro" audio stores are so clueless about the importance of acoustics, and how strongly it affects the sound of the loudspeakers they're trying to sell you. freak

--Ethan

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#2673354 - 03/17/15 01:31 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
NigelSpiers Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 31
Loc: New Zealand
Hi,
Having just been through the process of purchasing a second pair of studio monitors - I fully concur with Ethan - you have to listen to them in YOUR room before you buy.
I live in a smallish city and therefore had to contact the distributor in another city and ask them if I could buy the chosen monitors on a sale or return basis.
Thank goodness because despite the rave reviews and the fact the half the studio owners and musicians I know have the same monitors they were not right for me and I returned them.
Best Regards
_________________________
Nigel Spiers
NZ Acoustics Ltd
Acoustic solutions for studios, home theatres, schools & cafes
www.nzacoustics.com
info@nzacoustics.com

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#2675806 - 03/28/15 11:18 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: NigelSpiers]
Rky Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 162
Loc: Chicagoland,Illinois,USA
Follow up on the Phillip Newell book: My local library is a member/participant in two different library networks. One local and the other seems to be nationwide. I just picked up my copy that came from the Vincennes University Library (Indiana) via the latter. If you look hard enough, I'd hope you would be able to get a hold of this book too. It really is a weighty tome chock full of audio and acoustic goodness. I'll just skim this for fun but I would think any serious studio designer would want to keep this book on a shelf within easy reach.

Cheers,
Rock


Edited by Rky (03/28/15 11:18 AM)

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#2679630 - 04/13/15 08:39 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Rky]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
Unfortunately being in Australia our library networks probably aren't as extensive as yours in the US. I'll still keep searching for the book however.

On another note, on the weekend I went to another pro audio store and tried out the Focal Twin 6 BE monitors, as well as 'The Rock Mk2' monitors by Unity Audio. The store recently moved locations and hasn't had a chance to properly acoustically treat the listening area yet (so frustrating..) but these monitors still both appeared to be far superior to the other monitors I've tried so far.

I was amazed at the detail I could hear in the Focal Twins. On a CD that I previously thought sounded perfect I could hear small imperfections in the double tracking of the guitars. Very impressive. The bass extension wasn't as great as I'd like, but the saleperson (who owns a set of Focal Twins himself) said that the bass extension in his treated room at home is much greater. The speakers are supposed to extend to about 40Hz so I believe him in this regard. The only drawback that I could find was that the guitar tone on the CD (which is quite a harsh-sounding distorted tone) appeared to sound a tad smoother than it perhaps should have. I could also hear the slight nasally tone that some people complain of with the Twins, but didn't find this to be nearly as bad as others have said.

The Unity Audio speakers revealed the guitars and midrange better than any other speaker I've heard so far. The harsh guitar tone definitely sounded harsh on these speakers, however listening to the mix in my car again afterwards led me to believe that the monitors may have made the guitar sound overly harsh. The bass response seemed a tad better on these monitors (again, difficult to know how accurate this is in the untreated room), but overall the speakers seemed less detailed. Listening to the Focals everything seemed incredibly open, and I could pick exactly where everything was panned. With the Unity Audio monitors everything seemed a bit squished together.

Overall both monitors were very good, but the Focals are probably the best speakers I've heard so far. Just a pity about the price tag ($5,800 AUD for the pair). I ran out of time this visit but next time plan on auditioning the Quested S7R monitors too.

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#2679776 - 04/14/15 10:52 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
According to their web site:

http://www.focal.com/en/71-sm6

The SM6 is -3dB at 40 Hz, and that's certainly low enough for most monitoring needs.

--Ethan

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#2690644 - 05/24/15 05:24 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
Hi again all,

Just thought I'd give you an update on my acoustic treatment. I asked my brother-in-law to help me build some stands for my acoustic panels and he ended up doing an amazing job. The stands (pictured below) can be adjusted vertically, so their height can be altered when I get new monitors. Let me know if you'd like more information on the design of the stands and how they were built; I'd be happy to explain.



Also, having the panels on stands allows me to space them nice and far from the walls. Currently they're sitting 26cm (just over 10 inches) from the walls.



How the panels look set up in the room. The one extra panel laying against the amp is to be hung on the ceiling above the listening position.




The only thing left to do is to hang the ceiling panel and my treatment is done! As you can see there is only one corner that is not treated, due to there being a door that is left open.



So after the ceiling panel is hung I'm ready to get new monitors! I'm currently reading Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio by Mike Senior, and he says that in his experience small rooms require at least twelve 10cm thick bass traps in order to achieve a usable monitoring environment. I currently have six 20cm thick bass traps, as well as one 10cm thick bass trap. Do I have enough treatment or do I need 5 more bass traps as he suggests? When I started this process I planned on only spending about $1000 on monitors, but I am now looking at monitors in the $5000 range. Do I need to treat my room more extensively before looking at monitors in the $5000 range? Obviously my goals and budget have changed during this process.

Thanks again for all of your advice guys,
asdfasd

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#2690970 - 05/25/15 10:33 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
Looking good. thu

Small rooms need as much bass trapping as possible. Only you can decide when it's enough. Either by measuring, or just listening and concluding "this is good now."

Room treatment matters regardless of how much you spend on loudspeakers.

--Ethan

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#2691101 - 05/25/15 06:58 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
Thanks! twothumbs

I guess what I mean is that with this level of treatment, perhaps I won't be able to tell the difference between a $2000 set of monitors and a $5000 set of monitors. Perhaps getting another 5 bass traps would be a better use of money? So many questions. Further and further down the rabbit hole.. hitt

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#2691273 - 05/26/15 12:15 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
I tend to reject equating quality with price. Yes, $5,000 loudspeakers probably sound better than $500 speakers, but not always! The worst speakers I ever heard cost $11,000 per pair. I heard them at a hi-fi show in New York City, and they were atrocious. I mean really terrible. Each speaker had a single 5-inch driver. No woofer, no tweeter, just one midrange speaker.

In any case, I don't think you need more bass traps to appreciate better speakers. If they really are better, you'll hear that with half as many bass traps. grin

--Ethan

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#2695806 - 06/10/15 09:27 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
I often hear people with very small rooms like mine talking about staying away from 8 or 10 inch woofers because they get too many problems with the bass. Would I be better sticking to smaller woofers? Or is it another case of hearing/measuring whether you have enough bass trapping to deal with the extra low end?

P.S. Found my dream monitors. A lazy $15,000 here. freak

http://www.awave.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=4898

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#2695950 - 06/11/15 09:04 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
I disagree with the advice to use small woofers in a small room. That's like sticking your head in the stand. Better to treat the room as fully as possible.

Barefoot speakers are supposed to be great. But personally I'd never spend that much money on a pair of speakers. Well, maybe if I was rich. grin

--Ethan

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#2696682 - 06/14/15 01:45 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
If only hey? Even if I was rich, getting my wife to agree to spend $15,000 on speakers would be a different matter altogether. wink

I guess at least now I know that I'd like 3-way, non-ported monitors. The Focal Twin6 BE still fits the bill, but also isn't cheap. The search continues.

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#2696855 - 06/14/15 06:49 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57

I didn't want to hijack the 'air space between panels' thread for my own purposes, so I thought I'd post this query here.

Originally Posted By: Ethan Winer
Yes, using panels that are too thin leaves gaps in the absorption at some frequencies. You can probably use a gap up to twice or even three times the panel thickness. But at some point the panel is too thin to absorb down to a given frequency, no matter how big the gap is.

I'd say 400 Hz is a reasonable lower limit for reflection absorbers. Early reflections are mainly about mid and high frequencies. Though going lower is also useful.

--Ethan


In light of the above post:

1. Are the absorbers at my main reflection points (pictured above) too thin? The rockwool is 50mm thick but the hessian may have squeezed it down to closer to 45mm.

2. Due to the design of my stands (also pictured above) I can only get the panels to about 8-9 inches from the walls. Do I need to alter the stands to get the panels closer to the walls to avoid gaps in the absorption at certain frequencies?

3. Will the panels be effective enough down to 400Hz?

I'm also a tad confused, as the absorption coefficients for OC 703 seem to indicate that a 16 inch air gap for a 51mm panel is superior:
Freq(Hz) 125 250 500 1000 2000 4000 NRC
On wall: 0.17 0.86 1.14 1.07 1.02 0.98 1.00
16" gap: 0.66 0.95 1.06 1.11 1.09 1.18 1.05

There was no air-gap data available for my material unfortunately.

Sorry for the further barrage of questions. Up until this point I was convinced I was doing everything right!

Cheers.


Edited by asdfasd (06/14/15 07:21 PM)

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#2697030 - 06/15/15 12:29 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
5 cm is thick enough for reflection absorbers. Even flat against a wall you can see it's highly effective down to 250 Hz.

I'm surprised by that data showing so much increase even as low as 125 Hz. I'm sure the data is valid. The problem with "holes" in the absorption is mainly for very thin panels, like 1 cm thick or thinner. There's a graph in Everest's book showing holes with curtains.

I'm sure this data applies exactly the same for all other "standard" porous absorber materials.

--Ethan

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#2697121 - 06/15/15 07:29 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
Thanks for the reply! That's great news.

The absorption coefficients for my material are as follows:

125 250 500 1000 2000 4000 5000 NRC
0.21 0.69 1.13 1.15 1.16 1.18 1.14 1.05

I can only assume that this was measured against a wall.

In my position, would you keep the panels at their current distance (10 inches from the wall), move the panels closer to the wall, or move them out to 16 inches? I have to hang my ceiling panel soon, so want to make all panels the same distance away.

Thanks again.

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#2697234 - 06/16/15 10:05 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
I'd put them at least a few inches away from the wall, but at a distance that looks okay and doesn't impinge too much into the room. Ergonomics matters too.

--Ethan

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#2697991 - 06/19/15 01:03 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
So assuming ergonomics allow me to put the panels wherever I want, 16 inches would optimise the effectiveness of the panels without leaving holes in the absorption?


Edited by asdfasd (06/19/15 01:04 AM)

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#2698105 - 06/19/15 09:56 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
I guess 16 inches should be fine. The RFZ panels (1.5 inches thick) on the sides of my living room are about 11 inches out from the walls, and they work fine.

--Ethan

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#2706803 - 07/19/15 07:45 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
Just had a bit of a panic - realised that in my original post I wrote my room size in centimetres instead of millimetres. Hopefully everyone assumed this anyway, as I said my room was small. The measurements should have read:

3400mm length
3040mm width
2550mm height

Will I still be able to get good results in a room this size? Is it still worth investing in awesome monitors? razz

Cheers

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#2706843 - 07/20/15 05:11 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: asdfasd]
Speedskater Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/15
Posts: 18
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
For those of us that are old school.

3400mm length = 11.2 feet
3040mm width = 10.0 feet
2550mm height = 8.4 feet
_________________________
Kevin

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#2706912 - 07/20/15 10:19 AM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Speedskater]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
Small and close to square. But I understood mm versus cm. grin

--Ethan

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#2707334 - 07/21/15 05:48 PM Re: General Recording Setup Advice & Studio Monitor Selection [Re: Ethan Winer]
asdfasd Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 57
I guess a room with a length of 34 metres wouldn't have exactly qualified as 'small'. blush

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