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Topic: OT: Active midfield monitors for surround

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  1. #1

    OT: Active midfield monitors for surround

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    I am considering buying a set of cheap(er) active monitors for surround purposes, so that I will get front L+R, back L+R and possibly a subwoofer. a 4.1 setup I guess. I will use this for music only and am prolly not gonna use if for any real projects for a long time, but I wouldn\'t mind fooling around a bit with this and be prepared.

    Two questions: Do I really need a center monitor for music surround purposes? I asked a sound designer and he says I prolly don\'t.

    Next: What monitors to get. The back L+R monitors will be hanging on a wall about 14 feet behind me - close to the ceiling, hopefully pointing downwards... My front monitors (Mackie HR824\'s) are 2-3 feet from me typically. So I figure I would need some \"midfield\" monitors instead of nearfield. Anyone who can recommend some cheap active monitors for that purpose? I am looking into the new Tapco/Mackie\'s coming out soon, Genelec 1029a or M-Audio Studiophile BX5.

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Active midfield monitors for surround

    Two questions: Do I really need a center monitor for music surround purposes? I asked a sound designer and he says I prolly don\'t.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">From my experience a center monitor isn\'t a nessecity, but it sure makes surround mixing easier. Also, it can help you keep a little more control of the final product, depending on which format it\'s being dubbed in.

    Next: What monitors to get?

    If you\'re chosing between the Genelec 1029a or M-Audio Studiophile BX5, I would go with the BX5\'s. I\'ve worked with both and for surround mixing the BX5\'s will do great and you can\'t beat the price! On a subjective note, and I know I may get flamed for this, but I absolutely hate the Genelec 1029a\'s. I purchased a pair and had them for almost a month and eventually returned them. I won\'t go on a tirade on all the things that bother me about them...Bottom line, I had tons of translation problems with them. That being said, if you\'re just wanting to use the monitors for surround placement, both will work fine.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Active midfield monitors for surround

    Thanks a lot Lance! How about the Alesis Monitor One MK2 active? They are very cheap, bigger than the BX5\'s though, and they got a nice review on Soundonsound (what doesn\'t... ) - any experience with those?

    BTW Alesis recommends putting your \"rear\" speakers on your left and right, pointing directly towards eachother. Does this make good sense?

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Active midfield monitors for surround

    Regarding the position of the surround speakers, everyone is using the ITU standard - 110º for each side (+- 10º margin).

    Stereo is built in a 60º angle. With that angle, there isn\'t any hole in the sound image, so many people can tell you that you don\'t need a center speaker - IF YOU STAY IN THE HOT SPOT. If you move a little in any direction, you will begin to have a distorted sound image. Center speaker helps in that problem. Even without beeing in the hot spot, you can get a good sound image.

    The center is very important in cinema because of that question. A lot of people stay out of the hot spot, so the dialog based only in left-right, will give a wrong sound image. If the music is a little more in the right or left, there isn\'t so important because you don\'t see the musicians. With the dialogs you have a visual clue and it\'s easy to tell that the sound is a little off direction...

    A lot of people think that space is the last big challenge in audio - there is still a big diference between a CD and a live concert because in the concert you hear sound coming from a lot of directions (most of music instruments send diferent frequencies in diferent directions), so i think every addicional channel is welcome...

    About the speakers, although i haven\'t heard any of them, you can go from roland edirol UA20D, to the new behringers 2030A (below $400), entering behringers 2031, alesis, m-audio bx5, and ending with Mackie 624 (the perfect mach for you mackie speakers)

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Active midfield monitors for surround

    I have heard good things about the new Alesis Monitor Ones, but have yet to work with them. Also, don\'t forget the BX8\'s if you\'re looking for a bigger speaker in a medium price range. They have a much better low end response as would be expected from a larger speaker.

    Nuno nailed the center speaker question. If you are dubbing for a film that is going to be Dolby encoded (which most are) that\'s where the fun begins. Most film mixers (people not soundboards [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ) don\'t want to hear too much music coming from the center speaker. They want the dialogue to have center stage. This fact, coupled with the strange Dolby encoding process, can leave your music sounding uneven and out of place if not mixed properly. Make no mistake you still have to have music in the center speaker, you just have to make sure not to overdo it. Also, if you slightly exaggerate your stereo spread it will help keep a good balance between the Left, Center and Right speakers in a theatre. If your stereo spread is too narrow a bad dub job can squash your music to almost mono in a theatre with everything coming out the center speaker.

    I hope I didn\'t ramble on too much. This is something I\'ve been studying a lot lately so it\'s easy to get carried away. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Active midfield monitors for surround

    Stereo is built in a 60º angle. With that angle, there isn\'t any hole in the sound image, so many people can tell you that you don\'t need a center speaker - IF YOU STAY IN THE HOT SPOT. If you move a little in any direction, you will begin to have a distorted sound image. Center speaker helps in that problem. Even without beeing in the hot spot, you can get a good sound image.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">100% true. And yet I\'m so used to hearing the phantom center that it sounds very wrong to me when there\'s a center speaker there!

    That\'s only for music, not for film. And of course you need the center speaker to mix in surround.

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