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> Studio Monitors Mackie $150!
Todd Simpson
post Oct 31 2014, 11:18 PM
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MACKIE has just released a new model of studio monitors calle the CR series which, though FAR from "high end" would be a KILLER addition to any home studio. Especially if you have yet to get "real" monitors. They come in 3 and 4 inch driver versions and would pair well with a sub or do pretty well just by themselves to go with a nice pair of headphones.

They don't have HUGE bass drivers but they would be far more accurate for mixing than standard laptop/desktop speakers which is what they are meant to replace. The 3 inch is $100 PER PAIR!!! not each, PER PAIR. and the 4 inch is $150 per pair!!!

Here is a vid.



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bleez
post Nov 4 2014, 08:21 PM
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seems like a pretty decent price smile.gif

do studio monitors give you the same quality you get from listening through headphones?
for example, I play through a ux1 via headphones and it sounds really good but if I put my ux1 through my stereo ( or PC ) speakers..... it doesnt sound nearly as good.


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Mertay
post Nov 4 2014, 09:13 PM
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In professional use, small monitors like these are used as reference to see if the music translates to cars, tv, laptop or other portable sources etc...I heard they are also useful for those TV channel vans as well.

So its safe to say one can record and do the basic mixing process with them (level, pan balance...) and its always nice to listen music on something better than affordable computer speakers.

But expectations must be fair, going to more advance mixing like critical eq'ing or using analog coloring emulations won't translate well. Homestudio type mastering can be ok though, a very short chain like eq+ limiter plug-in type approaches should deliver ok results (considering things like youtube shares rather than mixing a whole album).

I can never say this enough; Avoid long time use of headphones! using as a source (with speaker!) or listening to a few songs is ok but the longer its on, hearing sensitivity decreases and one slowly starts to increase volume without noticing how loud he/she's listening. As this turns into a habit, the damage that occurs in time cannot be cured.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 4 2014, 09:14 PM


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bleez
post Nov 4 2014, 10:31 PM
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after 10+ years playing with a band in small clubs with a loud assed backline and no earplugs I fear the ship may have sailed on any preservation of my hearing but I take your point about the headphones smile.gif I'd like to be able to play through speakers / monitors a lot more but getting a sound close to what I get through headphones has so far eluded me!

why is it that when I play via pod farm through my headphones, which are fairly okay-ish I guess ( certainly not top of the line ) it sounds pretty good but even though I have my PC going through quite a decent stereo system it sounds nothing like as good as the headphones?

what kind of quality monitors would you need to come close to replicating the headphone sound?
*not for mixing albums or anything like that, just playing guitar over a backing track


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Mertay
post Nov 4 2014, 11:18 PM
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biggrin.gif

To be honest in my homestudio I'm using adam p11a's and even they (maybe used are affordable today but wasn't at the time I bought them new) don't sound like heardphones.

Speakers have to have good freq. range, resolution (like 3 speaker cab. instead of 2) and powerful quality amps to give that "feel" but besides that they also need a treated room+some listening distance. It can get really expensive but once setuped they sound better and more real than any headphone.

Also headphones don't need a good room and we can blast them as much as we want without worrying someone from the neighborhood will call the cops smile.gif I guess that why its also a psychology thing...

After getting used to mid-field monitors in studios (bigger monitors with 2-3 m. listening distance) I never felt comfortable mixing in home environment. But its all about adapting to what you have, if you want them to translate well you must know "how" they sound good rather than how you want them to sound. This is the main reason there are so many monitor brands are out there and everybody has a personal fav.

But even though they can't sound like headphones I never get tired, I even sleep better if I didn't use headphones much.

Finally for mix and mastering, headphones aren't ideal for some duties. Like master a song with headphones, it will sound very dark in real world environments.

It's only good at focusing imho, also since the guitar is a mid. freq. range instrument I'd guess this makes headphones more tempting though it shouldn't be forgotten that what we consider best is only good enough until we experience the better.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 4 2014, 11:23 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 5 2014, 02:34 AM
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It really depends on the monitors. These monitors, the answer would be NO simply because they don't have great bass response (tiny woofer) but they would be pretty "accurate" monitors, meaning you could trust them. When mixing, you don't want "great sound" you really want "accurate sound" which is where folks often miss it in home recording. Folk just use what is at hand snd sometimes that means mixing on ear buds which are not very accurate and it makes your mix not "travel" very well when played on other systems.

So in short, it can sound very nice and accurate depending on how much money one spends. But for under $200, you can get better quality in headphone than in monitors. However, headphones distort the stereo field and are not great for mixing. Generally, they are used to "spot check" a mix to find errors.

These little mackies would be good starters for folks with no real monitors. You'd want to add a subwoofer at some point to take care of the bass and hopefully it would be "matched" meaning a mackie subwoofer that takes up where these leave off smile.gif

But just to offer an idea, you could always grab the KRK 8 monitors which have an 8 inch woofer and thus plenty of bass. They are actual monitors and great for home recording. Also, they have plenty of bass so you can go without a sub. If you get KRK 5 or KRK 6, you will probably want to add a sub simply because they drop off near the low/bass frequencies.

The ADAM speakers mentioned are very nice but not cheap. Also, you probably want to get the adam 7 or bigger to sound "good" without adding a sub and they run nearly double the cost of the KRK.
Todd

QUOTE (bleez @ Nov 4 2014, 03:21 PM) *
seems like a pretty decent price smile.gif

do studio monitors give you the same quality you get from listening through headphones?
for example, I play through a ux1 via headphones and it sounds really good but if I put my ux1 through my stereo ( or PC ) speakers..... it doesnt sound nearly as good.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Nov 5 2014, 02:38 AM


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bleez
post Nov 5 2014, 08:46 PM
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thanks for the info guys, definatley given me some food for thought smile.gif
if I stop buying guitars for a while I might look along the lines of the KRK8 and treating my room.

Im guessing, then its quite common for average folks using gear like ux1's ect to play through headphones rather than speakers?


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Mertay
post Nov 5 2014, 10:48 PM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Nov 5 2014, 07:46 PM) *
Im guessing, then its quite common for average folks using gear like ux1's ect to play through headphones rather than speakers?


I have a friend who has 4-5 guitars using that soundcard. He recently sold his old roland cube 30 amp and seems regretting it although he bought a half-decent 2+1 sound system (best of wallmart sort of quality) which he also uses like monitors (no mixing, jsut vsti level adjustment and guitar rig sort of demo records).

He couldn't get the feel of the amp from those speakers, my thought was he needs a small amp-like pedal.

I have a 65w peavey right next to me, I removed the speaker connection from amp. I plug the guitar to the amp, amp fx send to the soundcard and play guitar through DAW...loving it smile.gif

Even though I'm not using the benefit of a loadbox (like can't use the reverb, transtube knob and whatever electrical is there after the fx loop on the amp) this really gave me the feel I was looking for. After I buy 1-2 things on my list, I'll definitely buy an amp pedal smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 6 2014, 01:50 AM
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That's certainly one way smile.gif Very creative solution and low cost. I"m guessing you have to put it through some skort of cabinet emulation once it's in the daw though? Amps without some decent cab sim usually sound pretty rough run direct without some impulse loaded on it. Sadly, baking in the distortion means you can't change it later which is why so many folks use vst/plugins etc. for recording guitar tone at home.

QUOTE (Mertay @ Nov 4 2014, 04:13 PM) *
In professional use, small monitors like these are used as reference to see if the music translates to cars, tv, laptop or other portable sources etc...I heard they are also useful for those TV channel vans as well.

So its safe to say one can record and do the basic mixing process with them (level, pan balance...) and its always nice to listen music on something better than affordable computer speakers.

But expectations must be fair, going to more advance mixing like critical eq'ing or using analog coloring emulations won't translate well. Homestudio type mastering can be ok though, a very short chain like eq+ limiter plug-in type approaches should deliver ok results (considering things like youtube shares rather than mixing a whole album).

I can never say this enough; Avoid long time use of headphones! using as a source (with speaker!) or listening to a few songs is ok but the longer its on, hearing sensitivity decreases and one slowly starts to increase volume without noticing how loud he/she's listening. As this turns into a habit, the damage that occurs in time cannot be cured.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Nov 6 2014, 01:50 AM


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Mertay
post Nov 6 2014, 10:29 AM
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Yeah years ago a developer friend sent me a filter that help the guitar react better to amp sims. I analyzed it and all it was doing was "tilt'ing" the eq to highs with some flavor.

I guess every amp and some pedals does that a little+since the eq's on the amp are analog (and well designed) they add a lot to the tone wink.gif

I arranged the dist. channel subtle like a tube screamer, the dist. from computers to my ears are pretty good. Yeah then delay and a cab. sim and thats it smile.gif

The clean channel from fx send is actually very transparent, its like using different pickups as you turn the eq knobs on amp. I didn't do any multiple tone shape testing on it but I think its something one can use forever with 1 setting for each guitar smile.gif

This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 6 2014, 10:30 AM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Nov 6 2014, 04:48 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Nov 6 2014, 09:29 AM) *
Yeah years ago a developer friend sent me a filter that help the guitar react better to amp sims. I analyzed it and all it was doing was "tilt'ing" the eq to highs with some flavor.


presumably an upward Baxendale shelf if it was multipole. It's reasonably easy to do a simple version using two wide bells and with the crossover somewhere between 700-1200 Hz. An upward type shelf and you will skew the mix brighter, downward it's darker.

Two other things - if you have a very small room to mix in then you may well need small monitors. Try and use ones with large bass drivers and you wll end up with a whole lot of boomy, resonant bass at your listening position.

Also, as Mertay said earlier headphones do not produce proper stereo and so you can end up with an odd stereo balance if you're not careful.

For mastering I use 3 way mid-feild ATC SCM Pro monitors and do clean up work mainly on AKG 712 Pro headphones. The monitors cost about the price of a new BMW, the headphones are a lot less - about $350. Both are fed by a calibrated, stepped monitor/headphone controller. That way I know that they are at the same output level but if I do change it I can return to the same level easily and precisely.

This post has been edited by tonymiro: Nov 6 2014, 04:50 PM


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Mertay
post Nov 6 2014, 08:10 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Nov 6 2014, 03:48 PM) *
presumably an upward Baxendale shelf if it was multipole. It's reasonably easy to do a simple version using two wide bells and with the crossover somewhere between 700-1200 Hz. An upward type shelf and you will skew the mix brighter, downward it's darker.


Exactly, I couldn't find it now but yeah it was something like that. I remember though it was compex but the format was for nebula (impulse with slight coloration) so maybe that harmonic coloration didn't make it seem smooth on the graph.

I also guess amp eq's in general are designed very close to what you described, the more I analyze vst amps eq freq. changes I'm so surprised their structure borrows so much from mastering point of usage.

QUOTE (tonymiro @ Nov 6 2014, 03:48 PM) *
For mastering I use 3 way mid-feild ATC SCM Pro monitors and do clean up work mainly on AKG 712 Pro headphones.


I had the chance to listen 3 way ATC monitors in a very respected studio in Turkey, for many I know its hard to believe but they are totally worth their prices smile.gif

This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 6 2014, 08:11 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 7 2014, 01:38 AM
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GOOD POINT!! If your mixing room is quite small, putting monitors with 8 drivers in it can do more harm than good for your mixes. Also, if your mixing room is BOX shaped, the problems get even more severe due to "standing waves" created by parallel surfaces bouncing bass around. For most home studios, monitors with a 5 or 6 inch driver are adequate and and then a sub can be turned on and off when needed to make sure you've got control of the deeep stuff. smile.gif

Todd
QUOTE (tonymiro @ Nov 6 2014, 11:48 AM) *
presumably an upward Baxendale shelf if it was multipole. It's reasonably easy to do a simple version using two wide bells and with the crossover somewhere between 700-1200 Hz. An upward type shelf and you will skew the mix brighter, downward it's darker.

Two other things - if you have a very small room to mix in then you may well need small monitors. Try and use ones with large bass drivers and you wll end up with a whole lot of boomy, resonant bass at your listening position.

Also, as Mertay said earlier headphones do not produce proper stereo and so you can end up with an odd stereo balance if you're not careful.

For mastering I use 3 way mid-feild ATC SCM Pro monitors and do clean up work mainly on AKG 712 Pro headphones. The monitors cost about the price of a new BMW, the headphones are a lot less - about $350. Both are fed by a calibrated, stepped monitor/headphone controller. That way I know that they are at the same output level but if I do change it I can return to the same level easily and precisely.


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