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Studio Monitors


Johnjohn301

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Basically I'm looking for a pair of studio monitors (or an amplifier?) for the keyboard I'm about to purchase. Bare in mind I'm completely new to "professional keyboards" and synthesizers, hence why I am totally stumped on what to get.

 

My budget for a set of monitors/an amplifier would be around £100, as I'm not willing to spend a hell of a lot on something that will only be played for personal/home studio use. Also I would appreciate opinions regarding monitors; whether they're better than amplifiers, portability etc.

 

Thanks again. :)

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Head down to the local music store, plug in and check a bunch out. For that price you're not going to get an awful lot. I'd suggest getting some of the powered monitors (Edirol/Roland, Yamaha, etc.). You may be tempted to get a set of "computer" speakers in thta price range, but I would shy away form those (they probably won't take the long term abuse that you'll impart on them with a keyboard.

 

The better the speakers, the better your oard is going to sound, so don't skimp if you can afford it.

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Bill's right. Unless you're planning to use these for both playing and mixing, go for what your main application will be. If you just want to hear yourself, the active Edirols (MA15D) are a reasonable bet at 89 Sterling from Turnkey, as are other similar active monitors within that range. But these cheap monitors vary rather wildly in their performance levels so it really would be worth going in and auditioning stuff yourself. In any event with your budget, you know you're going to compromise.
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Glad you asked this question, Johnjohn ! I am using headphones from mixing board to practice with synth and bass guitar, waiting to purchase speakers.

CliffK mentions the possibility of using good powered monitors both to mix and play through.

I have wondered if the extreme dynamic range of synths and bass guitar would damage studio monitors if used to play through ?

Would a stereo compressor be useful to keep unexpected transients from exploding the monitors ?

Thanks

"Musicians are magicians"...W.Carlos
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Disclaimer - I import and distribute a pretty well known brand of studio monitors into the US.

 

If you want to use these monitors for a home studio I would wait and save up to buy something halfway decent...you can only mix as well as you can hear ;)
.

Agreed.

 

It can be very reasonably argued that monitors are one of (if not the most) important pieces of equipment in the studio. They are the tools by which you gauge and evaluate every sound you make and mix. More than a few people think nothing of dropping a couple thousand dollars on a synth, but then only want to spend a few hundred on the very things that will really let them hear the synth they just bought. For me, making the decision to get a really fine set of studio monitors changed the way I track, the way I mix and (at the risk of sounding overly dramatic) even the way I hear in general.

 

FWIW, take some time and listen to a few decent sets of monitors in addition to the budget guys. You might find it's worth it... :thu:

 

dB

 

 

 

 

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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Running the risk of derailing the original intent of this thread, what do you guys consider fine, decent, and or great studio monitors?

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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CliffK mentions the possibility of using good powered monitors both to mix and play through.

 

If you're planning on mixing with them, don't cheap out. You'll regret it later, and you'll have no resale value on your original expenditure.

 

Furthermore, if you're planning to monitor your bass guitar through them, those super-cheapies have tiny little drivers that don't output much below 80Hz.

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Running the risk of derailing the original intent of this thread, what do you guys consider fine, decent, and or great studio monitors?

 

I personally think the price of entry these days into "fine" studio monitors (at least for most guys building a decent quality home studio) is about US$1,000 for the pair. I also think the strongest contenders at that price range are the Dynaudio BM5As and the Adam A7s. I've A/B'd them both and actually prefer the Dynaudios (although just by a hair).

 

Obviously, you can spend much, much more on monitors, and there will definitely be significant performance upgrades as you do. My sense, however, is that studio monitors are a lot like other high-end audio components: You reach a point of diminishing returns where the increases in price far out-pace the corresponding increases in performance (for example, you pay twice as much money for something that delivers about 5% better performance). For people that truly want/need the best of the best, this is money that they are happy to spend (assuming they have it). For me, however, I tend to draw the line further down the price scale. YMMV.

 

Noah

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You might want to check out the Behringer TRUTH B2030A Active Monitors which can be purchased for around $279 a Pair. They are magnetically shielded and are powered by separate 75W and 35W amplifiers with an active crossover and provide an ultralinear frequency response from 50Hz-21kHz. They include servo-balanced inputs on XLR and 1/4" TRS connectors and they have an output exceeding 113dB SPL.

 

Granted, they are no ADAMS or Genelec but for a novice the Behringer TRUTH B2030A Active Monitors should meet or exceed your expectations with a price close to within your budget.

Mike
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If you are just playing your key's thru it, you could almost get away with a good set of computer speakers with a dedicated subwoofer at your budget(about $200 US). But you get what you pay for and it wouldn't help you much in the long run.

 

If you are doing anything more serious (recording and mixing), I would look to save a few more pounds and invest in a good set of studio monitors (they have them with woofers as small as 5.25"-6") that would suit your needs... KRK and Sky (I think Sky has a 2.1 system just reviewed in KEYBOARD a month or two ago that would fit the bill) are two choices that come to mind immediately.

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32

 

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I agree with others here that a decent pair of studio monitors makes sense in terms of hearing more accurately the sounds coming from your KB.

 

However, there are monitors within your price range i.e. M-Audio comes to mind. If/when you get tired of listening to your KB through them, they would make great computer monitors. ;)

 

The best thing to do is head down to a local music store and listen to a few pairs. Go with active monitors (powered) for home studio use. Good luck. Welcome to the forum. :cool:

 

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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The Event ALP-5s get good reviews in the forums.

 

Better than the comparable KRKs or Behringers from what I've read.

 

They can be picked up for 300 to 329 US delivered just about any day of the week. Like the KRKs there is a matching sub available if you decide to 'upgrade' down the road.

 

Near as I can tell the Behringer's, KRKs or Events are about the cheapest path of entry to credible monitors.

 

Nothing replaces listening tests w/ your own ears.

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My budget for a set of monitors/an amplifier would be around £100, as I'm not willing to spend a hell of a lot on something that will only be played for personal/home studio use.

 

None of the answers thus far provided are addressing what you're asking for; they're talking to the key words "studio monitors", which is the term you've used because you picked up on it in the "guitar amp" thread you started.

 

Given that you don't really care how it sounds, just buy yourself a good set of headphones, and be done with it.

 

 

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Sven, he does say "home studio use".

 

I agree with the above: if you're going to use them for mixing, they're more important than soundcard, microphone, and preamps, so cheap out there and max out the budget for monitors.

 

It's funny how many home recorders fuss forever over the best soundcard when they don't even have decent monitors, when the latter makes a significantly bigger difference in the quality of the end result.

 

It's also funny to see folks talk about monitors, yet when we see a pic of their home studio, those monitors are pushed up against a wall. For playing keyboards, that's fine, but for mixing, you gotta have them several feet from any walls!

 

NB: Do what I say and not what I do. I break many of the rules, but I know the reasons for the rules, what breaking them costs me, and the reasons I'm breaking them. I know what I'm sacrificing for lifestyle issues. (I mix using headphones! Gasp! Don't do this at home, kids! Really, don't do it if you can avoid it.)

 

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Oh I implore you not to go the cheap route!

 

I have a Yamaha S90ES and I did the $250, 500-watt Logitech media speaker thing. It was average.

 

I then moved that system to my HD-LCD in our bedroom and it rocks!

 

Then I bought a pair of Mackie HR-824s. They were a world apart! My keyboard suddenly sounded GREAT!

 

Well, I tired of the Mackies and had a few issues with mixing on them (personal issues - monitors are probably THE most subjective piece of equipment in your studio) so I started the massively long audition process.

 

Ended up with Dynaudio BM5As. Oh WOW! WOW! My S90ES has never sounded better. What a difference from the Mackies! What a world of difference from the Logitech.

 

I am now HAPPY! The bass rocks, the highs are crystal clear. I play my S90ES for hours at a time. I haven't touched the headphones in about 6 months! And I used to ONLY play with headphones!

 

Save up. Wait a year. Wait two years. Please don't do the stop-gap $200 monitor purchase. You will regret it.

 

As an aside, I am in NO WAY an audiophile. I always thought good-enough would be good-enough for a hack like myself. Wel, I was wrong. I guess I can appreciate quailty sound!

 

Good luck to you!

 

Tommy

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I am also plannig to buy me some speakers.

 

At the moment I do not mix my own songs and I don't think I will in the near future (no time); I would just use them for playing my P250 and my future S90ES (or XS). I would use them as well to play some softsynths.

 

Is it worth getting good active studio monitors (I was thinking ADAM A7) for what I would use them or are there better alternatives for this if I don't plan mixing?

 

Thanks,

DeCato

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90% of the time I play my S90ES I am not mixing, recording, etc. I am simply sitting down and either playing for enjoyment or working out chords. My monitors are incredible for this!

 

Mixing on them with true representation of the sound is simply a bonus!

 

High quality brands like Adam, Dynaudio, Mackie, etc. all will be perfect. Your individual preference will make the difference between those brands clear to you.

 

I noticed that lower-priced brands (Tapco, behringer, KRK, Yamaha) didn't have the punch and clarity I was after. Also, the place I purchased my monitors from was really pusing the Events for the same price as the Dynaudios and I REALLY didn't like the Events. Other people swear by them!

 

It's all relative! You'll love Studio Monitors with your P250 or S90ES.

 

Tommy

 

Edit note: Advent changed to Event. I've got Christmas still on my brain!

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Sven, he does say "home studio use".

 

Jeff, his first thread (clonk here) was about using a guitar amp for his keyboard.

 

In that thread, someone suggested he should buy some 'home studio monitors'; prior to that post, he had never used the term.

 

This is a completely newbie that isn't really sure what he needs, and is using terms that I'm pretty certain he's not familiar with.

 

That being said, there's nothing wrong with that, but everyone suggesting he save up and invest in a good pair of Adams is completely missing the point, and is intense overkill for the original premise, which is to allow this person to hear himself play at home, by himself, on his yet-to-be-purchased keyboard.

 

I'll agree that there's nothing better than a sweet pair of reference monitors, but my point is that everyone's suggestions are missing the mark, and aren't really serving the OP very well.

 

Anyway, he's not posted anything since Christmas Day, so he may very well have gotten himself a guitar amp and is happily playing away, not realizing he's not hearing what his keyboard is actually spitting out, and wondering why everyone raved so much about the {insert random keyboard model here} when it sounds like utter crap... ;-)

 

:wave:

 

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Sven, he does say "home studio use".

 

 

I'll agree that there's nothing better than a sweet pair of reference monitors, but my point is that everyone's suggestions are missing the mark, and aren't really serving the OP very well.

 

 

 

I understand where you are coming from Sven, but again, I think we ARE doing a service to the OP by telling him to avoid the interim solution (guitar amp, media speakers, iPod SoundDock, etc.) and go with a pair of reference monitors.

 

I didn't know what Stuido Monitors were really for a few years ago and I wish somebody would have told me to avoid using my Motion Sound KP-200S, and then my Logitech speakers, and just save and purchase quality Studio Monitors.

 

I think you're saying that the OP's ignorance (forgive this term, not a critique in any way) should be rewarded with suggestions to purchase $39 media speakers and be done with it. I am suggesting quite the opposite. None of us really know enough about him and hence have to make judgement calls.

 

All suggestions are good.

 

Tommy

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I understand where you are coming from Sven, but again, I think we ARE doing a service to the OP by telling him to avoid the interim solution (guitar amp, media speakers, iPod SoundDock, etc.) and go with a pair of reference monitors.

 

. . .

 

I think you're saying that the OP's ignorance (forgive this term, not a critique in any way) should be rewarded with suggestions to purchase $39 media speakers and be done with it. I am suggesting quite the opposite. None of us really know enough about him and hence have to make judgement calls.

 

All suggestions are good.

 

Tommy

 

 

THe OP merely wants to hear himself play (based on what he's posted so far), and has a budget of £100. Not sure where you see me suggesting a $39 solution; I'm merely saying that talking to him about $2000 monitors is somewhat off the mark.

 

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THe OP merely wants to hear himself play (based on what he's posted so far), and has a budget of £100. Not sure where you see me suggesting a $39 solution; I'm merely saying that talking to him about $2000 monitors is somewhat off the mark.

 

 

You're correct, my $39 comment was a little over the top.

 

Then again, my brand new Dynaudio BM5As were $US 765 delivered to my house. His budget is around $US 150 and my advice to him is still to save up the additional funds and purchase quality studio monitors. I realize it's a pretty hefty difference but in my opinion, well worth it.

 

If he indeed just wants to hear himself play, the headphones suggestion cannot be beat. My Sennheiser HD-280 Pro headphones were around $75 and have astonishing clarity and tone. I have since moved on, however.

 

Tommy

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Then again, my brand new Dynaudio BM5As were $US 765 delivered to my house.

 

Tommy:

 

Out of curiosity, where did you get the Dynaudios for that price? That's a sweetheart of a deal on monitors that typically sell for around $1000 bucks for the pair.

 

Noah

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Within the first few posts, a few budget priced monitors were mentioned including my recommendation of M-Audio which start around $100 USD.

 

Headphones are great epecially considering the time/place of practice, however, there is a time when the cans have to come off. Helps to have a decent pair of boxes. ;):cool:

 

 

 

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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what do you guys consider fine, decent, and or great studio monitors?

 

Absolutely Damn Awesome Monitors ;). I've got the A7 set - they're gorgeous. Switching from my old Alesis Monitor Ones was like getting new ears.

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Somebody gave me a pair of these Yamaha MSP5, they are not bad for their size:

 

http://www.e-av.co.uk/products/YAMMSP5MONITORS.jpg

 Find 660 of my jazz piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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