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Postby decklyn » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:56 am

I see a lot of questions on studio monitors so I'll do my best to share some knowledge...

Section 0 - What is a Studio Monitor and Why do I Need Them to Make Killer Beats that would make my big boned Italian grandmother shit in her diaper.


You can skip this part if you know the dynamics of making grandma shit her diaper.

Studio reference monitors are like your ears. They let you hear the music. If I cut your ears off, or stick pencils through your eardrums, you don't really know what your music sounds like. That is an extreme. If you have ears that don't work well, you will write music that sounds good to you, but that probably won't sound good to other people's ears. This won't make my grandmother shit in her diaper.

I'll get more technical about getting grandmother to shit in her diaper now.

Let us say you are writing a song on speakers that accentuate 10khz by 2 db, and cut 100hz by 2 db. You have wrote your tune and now you are trying to make your track sound really really good - grandma shit herself good. when you mix down, you will be trying to get the sound to sound good on your speakers. Because your speakers accentuate 10khz by 2db, you will tend to find the sound harsher here or too loud so you may cut these frequencies with eq. Likewise, when you are mixing the bass frequencies, you will be trying to get the kick to make grandma shit without boom. But because the speakers cut the sound at 100 hz, you will tend to incease the ammount of frequency at 100hz.

When you then take that song in your car and drive around with grandma, the extra 2db of 100hz that you added to your mix to account for the lack of 100hz in your speakers at home will be noticable in your car. It will make your track sound 'boomy'. You won't know why - it sounded so good at home. Grandma no shit because of boom. Likewise there will be a big gap in the upper frequencies so granma can't make out the lyrics - she turn up her hearing aid and keep turning over to you going 'huh? huh?' because she can't figure out what is the music and what is her own farting and what is your voice.

So basically, by writing on good quality monitors (preferrably in an environment with some sound treatment, and with proper speaker placement) you will create a mix that will transfer well on to other systems, rather than it only sounding good on the system you are working on. You won't really understand this unless you've had a lot of problems mixing down in your music. If you're reading this, likely you've had problems with translation and now see the advantages.


Hopefully this clarifies.


Section 1 - I don't know a god damn thing about monitors but I want to learn more - what the fuck do I do! Jesus Christ!


First, if you want to learn a bit about monitors, the best place for reviews imo is sound on sound (www.soundonsound.com). It should truly be your first source of reference for looking for information on any potential purchase.

Now here are the big boys that you'll hear everyone talking about.

ENTRY LEVEL MONITORS:

Behringer B2030/B2031 series.

The Behringer series are really fucking entry level.
If you're seriously strapped for cash, these might do. I've spent a very small ammount of time on the smaller ver and they're not smooth, but they're a bit better option than hi-fi. Similar to most of Behringer's other gear, thier market stance is low quality low price with a lot of un-needed bells and whistles. I would recommend against these.

KRK RP5/RP6/RP8 series.

I own a pair of RP5s and have spent a small ammount of time with the RP8s. The KRKs have a slight aggressiveness in the mid-highs which most people find very pleasing (myself included). They're a real joy to work on. I notice that the RP5s definately have have a 'boxy' quality, which becomes extremely obvious next to my HRs. They have a pretty average bass response (RP8s go down to 45hz, RP5s down to 57hz I think - check SOS). Good speakers - great value.

Event TR8.

These things are bass. frequency response down to 35hz - which is lower than pretty much every other 8" reference monitor around. Due to the nature of speakers, deeper bass response means an inhibited ability to produce higher frequency sound. The result is a slightly 'unclear' mid range. All speaker design is about compromise and balance. These guys go for the deep tones rather than clarity. Not a bad choice necessarily for dubstep producers. My recommendation would be the KRK RP8s or Samson Rubicon 6As and save for a sub instead of going for these - a bit more long term and you'll get a more physical bass response with better mid and high end image, but it will obviously cost you more.

Tapco S5/S8s.

The new guys on the block. I've spend a bit of time with these - had the S8s in my studio for a bit but brought them back to the store. I'll discuss the S8s.
I think mackie have managed to create some hype with these (Tapco is mackie's entry level brand) Don't listen to the hype/reviews. These speakers have a really hollow and far away quality that is exactly the opposite to the KRKs and Rubicons 'visible' image. These do have good bass response - down to 40hz. They really lack the ability to show you what's going on, even if the frequency response is deep and flat. Not a bad choice on a budget if you really want the deeper bass, but listen to them first. I would really recommend against them if you've never spent time with reference monitors. Again, would recommend a speaker with better image/less bass paired with a sub.

Samson Rubicon 5A/6A

The least talked about reference monitors! No one seems to consider these. you're going to pay more for the woofer cone size than the others listed here, but they're my fav of the lot. These don't use a cone for the tweeter - they use a traditional ribbon tweeter design (different than adams ART ribbon tweeter). The design is good - a bit too above my head to express, but apparently these lack a lot of the negatives associated with ribbons (delicate, quiet) These speakers give an incredible image of equisite quality. They're very airy - you can see really deep into the sound. Best bang for the buck IMO - these are fantastic with the 6As at $600. Go listen to them - you'll see what I mean. The only problem is the bass response is not deep at all!! Grab a sub - when people come over and look at your monitors and go 'what are those' they'll walk out talking about how your studio is the best sounding joint around

MID RANGE

I'm just going to discuss a couple big ones here.

Adam A7

Now we're breaking the $1000 mark. These are a compromise between cost and quality. Adam have stuck thier infamous(ly expensive) new fangled ribbon tweeter design into a less ideal enclosure/woofer combo. You're going to get that impressive depth and visibility on the highs, but you might find some holes in the rest. You'll probably want a sub as these guys are only 6+"s and won't have a real deep bass response, although it is still impressive for a smaller woofer ( I think 47hz)

Mackie HR624/HR824 (MKI or MKII)

Mackie recently redesigned thier HR series. They're now quite possibly the sexiest looking monitors on the market. I own a pair of the HR824MKIIs and I love them. These use a different design than all of the above. They're unported with a 'radiator' which is basically a big oval inside the enclosure which you can't see. This allows deep bass response (37hz on the mkIIs, I believe, or 39hz). The design is good, the quality is reliable. While Mackie may have you believe they're the best on the market, they're not. A lot of people find them brash - I think they're quite smooth so listen to them. The tweeters are aluminum/titanium depending on the version which colours the sound differently than the silk and ribbon designs in above speakers. These are very flat, very reliable. The image is reasonably upfront - not hyped or aggressive. The image could be a bit easier to look in to. I like the ribbon design of the Samson/Adam for this.
All in all, looking at price vs quality, these are probably more on the price side with speakers like the KRKs popping up.

TOP END SHIT


I'm not getting into this stuff. If you're looking at Dynaudio, Genelec, top level adam shit, then you know what you're doing and don't need my help[/b]
Last edited by decklyn on Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tempest » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:51 am

ledgendary post decklyn...

always happy when i see ya posting, always coming with some informative shit.

cheers

edit: can't wait to have my nan shitting herself all over my car, peace
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Postby decklyn » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:07 am

I just see a lot of posts on this shit. i'll add some pricing in there shortly.
if you've got a review of another speaker or having something to add, pm me and I'll incorporate.
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Postby auan » Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:47 am

Big up decklyn 8)
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Postby chunkie » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:46 am

quality post :W:
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Postby grime suspect » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:22 pm

big up cheers
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Postby djake » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:24 pm

fankooooooooooo :D
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Postby decklyn » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:25 am

glad it's appreciated. wrote it at the airport. flight was delayed 6 hours so not much else to do!

Please - let's keep the ball rolling. Next to the wobble, monitor questions are huge. So send your reviews and I'll integrate them. What are your thoughts and feelings on your monitors? Strengths? Weaknesses? I'll convert this into a dubstep forum speaker review if necessary, because our needs are slightly different than many other producers (BASS).
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Postby tempest » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:37 am

I want to get a 2.1 setup but my main concern is whether the speakers i get will go well with the sub i choose, and whether they will work well with my setup... Gunna be buying a m-audio 2496 i think..... I assume it wouldn't be too much of a hassle to rig up but i just dont wanna order shit that will cause hassle..

Maybe something along the lines of good setups, what speakers/subs work well together and maybe combine it with soundcards/amp info
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Postby will schiller » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:48 am

I've heard that buyin slightly bigger monitors is better for dance music production.. ie dubstep. But i've also heard people saying that smaller one are better for production and are more accurate? I was thinking of gettin Krk 5's or 8's. Or possible saving up for some nice dynaudios? what you reakon?
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Postby drwurst » Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:14 pm

big post!

fostex pm5
very good bass, very crisp heights (a little too crisp)
like making music on them, but when it comes to mixing theyre difficult.

anybody know about the alesis monitor one?
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Postby will schiller » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:39 pm

My mate has the alesis one monitors. They are pretty good for the price but i personally don't like them. The bass is way too boomy! sounds a bit messy
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Postby holik » Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:16 pm

okey, entry level

esi near 05

surprisingly good and even monitors.

compared to genelecs a bit on the boxy side, but that´s a given.
a tad bassheavy on overall sound, but overall soundquality is very good for the price. (185e/pair)


*edit: sub needed of course. these are small.
Last edited by holik on Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby psychonaught » Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:32 pm

ahh thanks for that deckyln. very helpful
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Postby ramadanman » Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:59 pm

cheers for the guide - looks useful. what do you make of the adam p11As?
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Postby decklyn » Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:52 pm

I'm not sure how adam do it but they manage to get a lot of bass out of such a small enclosure/sub.
I'm sure that the p11as are spectacular. I've never spent any time with them. I truly love the art tweeters though.
If I got another pair of monitors I'd probably go with adams over the other top end brands just because I like the quality of the tweeters so much.
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Postby will schiller » Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:38 am

I went shopping yesterday.... Monitor shopping not your average girly shopping. Had a listen to a shit load of monitors have to say. Adams a7 are well nice. lackin a bit of bass so i think i'l get a nice 10inch sub to go with em. KRK vxt 8's also sounded very nice. Wasn't so impressed with dynaudio ones they had in as they were 1500quid compared to KRK price tag 0f 950ish and they dont sound as good to my ears??? Oh yea they also had a mackie sub the size of my house. it was 15000quid tho and the guy wouldnt let me plug it in!
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Postby grooki » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:49 am

I recently got a pair of BX8as, but, seeing as they are my first pair of monitors, I can't really tell you whether they are good or not compared to others... But, to my ears they are good.

Pretty much it's about getting used to your monitors, whatever they are, so that you know what shit should sound like on them, innit?
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Postby spiro » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:02 pm

I might get my hands on some Genelec 8020A monitors to something around £500.
How does this price sound ?
Im mainly going to use them for mixing [the dj type, not the mix down type]
They look like they are portable . . .
Will taking them here and there shorten their life-span a lot ?

Is this a bit overkill ?

Would Samson resolv 80a at about £340, be more than enough for my use or do i get more for my money with the Genelec?
[also hoping to do some producing in not too far future]
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Postby __________ » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:39 am

this should be a sticky, there's the amount of people asking about monitors all the time. stiiiiiiiiicky its in your interests mods
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