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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 23 2011, 01:05 PM
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Hey guys! A little bit of advice I would ask from everyone which has experience with studio monitors - I am building up my studio and I need a pair of good monitors so I would like a good recommendation based on the following aspects:

- what would be more appropriate 5',6' or 8' speakers?
- does the size and form of the mixing room influence the monitor type I should have?
- my budget is about 400-500 euros

What other important aspects should be taken into consideration?

Looking forward to your advice mates! Thank ye! smile.gif


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JaxN4
post Oct 23 2011, 01:14 PM
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Good thread, I am also interested to learn about ppl's exp in this area....Nice one Cosmo :-)


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tonymiro
post Oct 23 2011, 10:35 PM
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Preferably 3 way with a bass speaker at least 7 inch. Room needs to be properly bass trapped and treated and the worst shape for a room is a perfect cube, next is a multiple of a cube. Speakers should be on good stands at a suitable height, XLR connections with separate bass, mid and tweeter power amps. Good DA conversion as well.

500 Euros, TBH Cosmin your budget is very tight and personally I'd suggest you'd be best pending it on proper room treatment as without that you're guessing.


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thefireball
post Oct 24 2011, 01:54 AM
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Todd recommended these Alesis MK2 speakers to me. I am going to save up for them as they are a great start for the price. I don't have a lot of money. My budget is tighter than Cosmin's. Todd has these MK2s. Only thing I don't know is how they hook up to your computer.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 24 2011, 05:27 AM
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Alesis MK2 and KRK could be good options for that money... I also think that the room acoustic is veeery important. However if you can check in which frequencies your room have problems you can also add a graphic EQ before your speakers. This is not a professional decision but it works. I have a problem at 112 hz in my mixing room so I attenuate that frequency with an EQ from the Motu virtual console.



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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 24 2011, 07:38 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys!

I made a VERY rough sketch (I shall put on a detailed one with dimensions and everything) so that you experienced guys should let me know on your opinion regarding a proper acoustic treatment judging by the shape of the room itself!

Thank you smile.gif

Cosmin


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Attached File  Cosmin_s_Studio.bmp ( 1.82MB ) Number of downloads: 73
 


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 24 2011, 08:52 AM
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Hmm, how bout placing mixing desk and monitors on the northern wall (on the image)? If there is room there, I believe it's a better place for it.

If you're building a studio, treatment is a must. First thing to do is place carpets on the floor, second, to put some heavy drapes on the window. Ceiling could be handled with a diffusor similar to this one:


On the walls, specially around the monitors, these types of absorption tiles can work great:


On the corners, some bass traps and corner absorption components may be needed too:


That will help you tame the sound within the studio. The recording booth however will require better treatment with the wooden frame, so you have an air pocket that further insulates the room (and place the absorption/diffusion material onto it). Until you find all the right material (don't get carried away and spend the money all at once biggrin.gif ), you can handle most of these problems with heavy drapes, work with that a bit, and then introduce component by component, at least I would try it like that, and be careful with the cash.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Oct 24 2011, 08:56 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 24 2011, 09:04 AM
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Thank you Ivan! smile.gif I already have 19 pieces (2 m/ 1,5m) of sponge absorption tiles which I received as a gift from some friends who disbanded and took it off from their studio walls. So I think that would suffice even for the interior of the recording room. I would still need the bass traps though. I have made a little list with all I need to buy and hopefully, by the end of this year I'll have everything needed for the basic things. I can record video in this room right now - I got the lights, backdrop and the Nikon D3100 - yeah, I bought that one tongue.gif all the structures are built so, I just need to 'dress' it up smile.gif

QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Oct 24 2011, 07:52 AM) *
Hmm, how bout placing mixing desk and monitors on the northern wall (on the image)? If there is room there, I believe it's a better place for it.

If you're building a studio, treatment is a must. First thing to do is place carpets on the floor, second, to put some heavy drapes on the window. Ceiling could be handled with a diffusor similar to this one:


On the walls, specially around the monitors, these types of absorption tiles can work great:


On the corners, some bass traps and corner absorption components may be needed too:


That will help you tame the sound within the studio. The recording booth however will require better treatment with the wooden frame, so you have an air pocket that further insulates the room (and place the absorption/diffusion material onto it). Until you find all the right material (don't get carried away and spend the money all at once biggrin.gif ), you can handle most of these problems with heavy drapes, work with that a bit, and then introduce component by component, at least I would try it like that, and be careful with the cash.


This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Oct 24 2011, 09:04 AM


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 24 2011, 09:06 PM
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Some great advice smile.gif Treatment is very important. If you can actually build some bass traps yourself, it will save TONS of money. Foam bass traps will do in a pinch, but as they are foam, their absorption powers can only go so low. If you are handy with wood and tools, you can build real bass traps and really cut down on the standing waves in your mixing room. It's these standing waves that can cause huge headaches when trying to mix in a nearly cube shaped space. I'm making do with foam bass traps while I try to get a carpenter buddy of mine to build me some real traps.

For the money you are talking about spending, you could look at a pair of KRK ROCKIT 8s ($500 U.S. pair street price). 8 inch woofer, dome tweeter, bi-amp design, xlr inputs. These are the upgrade from what I have (KRK 6 paired with a 12 inch subwoofer)

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Rokit8G2/
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Oct 24 2011, 04:04 AM) *
Thank you Ivan! smile.gif I already have 19 pieces (2 m/ 1,5m) of sponge absorption tiles which I received as a gift from some friends who disbanded and took it off from their studio walls. So I think that would suffice even for the interior of the recording room. I would still need the bass traps though. I have made a little list with all I need to buy and hopefully, by the end of this year I'll have everything needed for the basic things. I can record video in this room right now - I got the lights, backdrop and the Nikon D3100 - yeah, I bought that one tongue.gif all the structures are built so, I just need to 'dress' it up smile.gif



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Sinisa Cekic
post Oct 24 2011, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE (thefireball @ Oct 24 2011, 02:54 AM) *
Todd recommended these Alesis MK2 speakers to me. I am going to save up for them as they are a great start for the price. I don't have a lot of money. My budget is tighter than Cosmin's. Todd has these MK2s. Only thing I don't know is how they hook up to your computer.


This looks a good deal!


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 25 2011, 09:16 AM
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I was thinking about KRK monitors to be honest smile.gif it seems like a good choice!


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JaxN4
post Oct 25 2011, 09:43 AM
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Hey guys, great thread.

A quick and hopefully not dumb question wacko.gif . I will be getting a set of mixing speakers, but unlike Cosmin's setup I will record through headphones and then mix with speakers....So if that is the case I won't actually have to do the whole sound proofing to the walls of the room right?

Thanks


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 25 2011, 02:13 PM
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Not really mate, but it all comes down on the function of the room. If the room is intended for recording (drums, amplifiers, vocals etc), then it needs to be isolated from external noise and internal sounds should be more or less isolated, so they don't leak outside too much (because the mixing/tracking room is usually near recording room, so for example: you could not track properly the drummer playing loud, if you can hear him banging in the same time from the other room).

If the room is intended for mixing only, then it doesn't really need isolation of that kind, but still the sound must be tamed within the room, which means the sound reflection artifacts should be minimal: flutter echo, standing waves and bass booms in corners present biggest problems is such rooms and should be handled first.

Usually people start by adding small absorbent plates behind the speakers and opposite parts of the room from where the speaker is. This cleans up the sound a bit, reducing the reflections that get in the way. Hard and big flat surfaces should be avoided in rooms where good sound image is needed.


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JaxN4
post Oct 25 2011, 02:31 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Oct 25 2011, 01:13 PM) *
Not really mate, but it all comes down on the function of the room. If the room is intended for recording (drums, amplifiers, vocals etc), then it needs to be isolated from external noise and internal sounds should be more or less isolated, so they don't leak outside too much (because the mixing/tracking room is usually near recording room, so for example: you could not track properly the drummer playing loud, if you can hear him banging in the same time from the other room).

If the room is intended for mixing only, then it doesn't really need isolation of that kind, but still the sound must be tamed within the room, which means the sound reflection artifacts should be minimal: flutter echo, standing waves and bass booms in corners present biggest problems is such rooms and should be handled first.

Usually people start by adding small absorbent plates behind the speakers and opposite parts of the room from where the speaker is. This cleans up the sound a bit, reducing the reflections that get in the way. Hard and big flat surfaces should be avoided in rooms where good sound image is needed.



Ivan you are a True GURU indeed....Thanks!

I will be only mixing the final take in the room i am talking about, wont have and Live recording, ie drummer. Just mastering/mixing the final take. With that in mind you think some sort of insulation on the solid/flat large walls is required?

THX


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 25 2011, 10:11 PM
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Thanks my friend, learned all here on GMC and throughout the years smile.gif

Well, in the post #7, I described these methods, on how to handle these problems, check it out.

Here's an interesting example of treated room. Check out web for more of these, you will get some cool ideas and solutions there.



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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 25 2011, 10:13 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Oct 25 2011, 09:11 PM) *
Thanks my friend, learned all here on GMC and throughout the years smile.gif

Well, in the post #7, I described these methods, on how to handle these problems, check it out.

Here's an interesting example of treated room. Check out web for more of these, you will get some cool ideas and solutions there.



Thanks for the great tips Ivan! biggrin.gif I have to read more - any good suggestions on sites providing accurate schemes on different room shapes maybe? biggrin.gif thank you man!


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 26 2011, 02:41 AM
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QUOTE (thefireball @ Oct 23 2011, 08:54 PM) *
Todd recommended these Alesis MK2 speakers to me. I am going to save up for them as they are a great start for the price. I don't have a lot of money. My budget is tighter than Cosmin's. Todd has these MK2s. Only thing I don't know is how they hook up to your computer.


Well, you would come out of your audio interface, then to amplification (a home tuner/amp will do in a pinch) then to the speakers. These particular speakers are nice and cheap cause they don't have an amp in them. It's not a high end approach, but it will get you started and beats the pants off of ear buds, or computer speakers in general.

AURALEX KIT CALCULATOR! smile.gif

Here is a link to the Auralex Kit Calculator. Not the end word by any means, but you put in your variables and it helps you get an idea of what king of sound foam kit you might need.

http://www.auralex.com/ikc/default.asp


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 26 2011, 07:45 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 26 2011, 01:41 AM) *
Well, you would come out of your audio interface, then to amplification (a home tuner/amp will do in a pinch) then to the speakers. These particular speakers are nice and cheap cause they don't have an amp in them. It's not a high end approach, but it will get you started and beats the pants off of ear buds, or computer speakers in general.

AURALEX KIT CALCULATOR! smile.gif

Here is a link to the Auralex Kit Calculator. Not the end word by any means, but you put in your variables and it helps you get an idea of what king of sound foam kit you might need.

http://www.auralex.com/ikc/default.asp


Oooh biggrin.gif Super! Thanks Todd, let's see what this is all about... smile.gif


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tonymiro
post Oct 26 2011, 10:10 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 24 2011, 09:06 PM) *
Some great advice smile.gif Treatment is very important. If you can actually build some bass traps yourself, it will save TONS of money. Foam bass traps will do in a pinch, but as they are foam, their absorption powers can only go so low. If


Yes 100%. We build our own bass traps (not pretty becuase my woodwork skills suck but effective). The foam ones just do not work well enough.

One other thing about foam - proper acoustic foam is/ should be treated to be fire resistant. Normal, general purpose foam isn't treated and can cause a major fire risk.

Our main bass traps (we have 4 plus another 4 minor ones) are filled with several layers of rock wool to a thickness of 6 inches - the equivalent foam would be something like 7 foot thick. Ours are also open backed to let some diffusion through the rear, with a slight gap between the walls of the trap and the rock wool. We also have various diffusors and reflectors and a cloud for the ceiling - acoustic foam is ok for these btw as you're dealing with much higher frequencies.

What you need really depends not only on purpose, room shape and size but also on its construction. Ours was custom made at the same time as we built out house. The floor of our studio is a split slab of concrete, that's then covered in isulation, which in turn is covered by a wooden floor. The walls are slightly isolated from the floor, two outer walls, double skin of brick with a third skin of plaster; two inner ones are paster board so that bass passes through with minimal build up. Bass trapping in corners so that the shape of the room is a bit like a boat shape and the room is approx 3.4 times longer than it is wide. High wooden ceiling. We have a lot of electrical points set on separate rings - computer etc on one ring; monitor and dac on another; other ring for rubbish. For mixing you can get away with less bass trapping then we have but you will still need it in the corners. Most of your treatment will probably be reflection and diffussion. You can do a quick 'clap' test which will give you a basic idea of how 'live' the room is and what you're likely to need to do.

Apart from construction material the size and shape of a room is an issue. A perfect cube is the worst possible shape, followed by any whole number multiple of that shape. You get nasty frequency build up with a perfect cube. The room should be longer than it is wide and not a whole number multiple of the width. The room needs to be wide enough to be able to site the speakers so that they can produce stereo and so that that they are far enough from both the rear and side wals to allow for reflections, etc. As a minimum for small speakers you'd need at least 4' between the speakers and 1 foot from each side wall/rear wall - so at least 6 feet wide. You would sit at the apex of an equilateral triangle, each side is 4 feet - so you would be % 3'10'' back, plus the distance from the rear wall for the speakers (1 foot); so your listening position would have to be about 5' from the rear wall. The length should be a little over 3 times that listening distance - ie about 16 feet or so. So for small speakers you'd need a room of at least 6x16.

As the room is for mixing I'd guess that you're likely to sit the speakers either side of the console/mixer and pc screen. TBH that's an awful position due to comb filtering, reflections, etc but it's still probably the favourite one in mix studios. If you have to mount the monitors on the meter bridge put some isolation under them and tilt them slightly down towards you. It's much better though to mount them on proper stands though.

Stands will also help put the speaker at a proper height and stop them moving about. Speaker height for a 2 way requires the tweeterto be at the same height as your ear when you are in your listening position. Most speakers are also designed for a particular orientation, i.e to stand up right with the tweeter above the bass and not be laid on their sides. There are some exceptions to this though but it depends on the speaker.

2 way monitors for mixing nearly always need to be sited quite close to the rear wall since they make use of the wall to artificially enhance their bass response and so you will probably need to put treatment behind them. This also forces you to sit in a position where the stereo field is really quite small; if you move to either side, or forward and back, from the ideal position you will lose stereo. Small rooms with small monitors are very constrained as to where you can sit.


QUOTE (JaxN4 @ Oct 25 2011, 09:43 AM) *
Hey guys, great thread.

A quick and hopefully not dumb question wacko.gif . I will be getting a set of mixing speakers, but unlike Cosmin's setup I will record through headphones and then mix with speakers....So if that is the case I won't actually have to do the whole sound proofing to the walls of the room right?

Thanks


As Ivan says mixing and tracking/recording have different requirements and so in an ideal world require different treatment etc. (Same is also true for mastering - treatment is different to recording and mixing). For mixing using monitors you will still have to do room treatment.

As a minimum for tracking with headphones - use closed back phones. This will help prevent minimise external ambient noise. Also be aware that headphones do not present the stereo image the same as monitors/speakers. So things like reverb and echo and stereo placement can be an issue. For tracking on headphones you really should also use a properly calibrated headphone amp - if you don't then you may run in to problems judging levels and recalling them. Personally I prefer to use monitors/speakers for the majority and to just use headphones occassionally/rarely for checking fine detail.



Cosmin - just looking at your pic of your room:

Shape of room is odd as an L shape. You might want to think about partioning it so that the mix desk sits in a recangular room. Large window behind the desk isn't great. As Ivan says you will need to screen this with heavy curtains. Positioning of it looks like it sits on top of several important reflection nodes - not much you can do though short of bricking up the window. Same is also true of the small window. If you have the monitors on the desk then they would fire down the width and not the length - also not good. Put the desk, or at least the speakers, on the narrow wall so they point down the length. Don't know what the backdrop is but it might have an affect.

This post has been edited by tonymiro: Oct 26 2011, 10:13 AM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 26 2011, 11:29 AM
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Two layers of thick curtains (and wrinkled) is a guaranteed and one of the cheapest ways to remove reflections. I suggest making a plan of work, and doing everything DIY. It's a cool project, make some food (I know you can do it! biggrin.gif ), and bring your friends over to help - you can finish it in no time! smile.gif


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