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Topic: Importance of Monitors?

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  1. #1

    Importance of Monitors?

    i just have a very general question about monitors, and that is are they important?

    until recently i did all my mixing with headphones, and the result was this: it sounded great through headphones, but terrible through speakers. after reading some of these mixing posts i realized why, so i figured i should start using speakers. but my question is why are $1,000 monitors so important when you can just buy regular speakers for like 40 bucks, because thats what most people will be listening to music through?

    i'll say that i'm sure there is a reason, but i'm just curious as to what it is. any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  2. #2

    Re: Importance of Monitors?

    Different speakers color sound differently. You want to use "neutral" speakers so the result will be good regardless of whether the target speaker is tinny, honky or boomy.

    That said, you can mix on non-neutral speakers if they have good frequency coverage (not $40 speakers) and few distortions. But you have to learn them and mix to that sound. In other words, it's up to you to neutralize them in your head.

  3. #3

    Re: Importance of Monitors?

    Exactly that (I'll echo probably Jon here).

    Any normal speaker (not audio monitors) have tendencies. Some augment the bass, some the mid fr. some the highs, etc...

    What needs to be done, is that you need to make sure that your monitors produce a netrual sound (if you are working in orchestral music), to make sure that you won't be compansating in your tracks, because your own speakers lack bass, and thus be booming everywhere else.

    If you were working in dance music then you would need huge bass, only because your music would be heard through such systems...

  4. #4

    Re: Importance of Monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by keithjfuller View Post
    .....
    why are $1,000 monitors so important when you can just buy regular speakers for like 40 bucks, because thats what most people will be listening to music through?

    i'll say that i'm sure there is a reason, but i'm just curious as to what it is. any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
    I was also wondering this.

    First, I understand entirely the issues of audio monitors v standard speakers and the real importance of neutral sound as in audio monitors v the coloured sound of many if not most standard speakers. What I query is the $1000 tag often quoted (around £500 British pounds).

    I've been looking at the M-Audio BX5As Studio Reference Monitors for my small room and these are priced at around $400 (£200 British pounds). Having made a few enquiries I can pick up a pair of new for around £150 ($300) These are advised as being neutral studio monitors and are less than a third of the price of the suggested $1000 minimum tag. They have received good reviews.

    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_u...luxe-main.html

    Has anyone tried these or has any knowledge of how good or otherwise they are?
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  5. #5

    Re: Importance of Monitors?

    Don't forget that if you use monitors then the room in which they are situated can have just as much effect and needs to be made neutral. It all gets very expensive

  6. #6

    Re: Importance of Monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by buckshead View Post
    Don't forget that if you use monitors then the room in which they are situated can have just as much effect and needs to be made neutral. It all gets very expensive
    . . . and then there's the neutral mansion you'll need to go along with the neutral room!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: Importance of Monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_uk View Post
    I was also wondering this.

    First, I understand entirely the issues of audio monitors v standard speakers and the real importance of neutral sound as in audio monitors v the coloured sound of many if not most standard speakers. What I query is the $1000 tag often quoted (around £500 British pounds).

    I've been looking at the M-Audio BX5As Studio Reference Monitors for my small room and these are priced at around $400 (£200 British pounds). Having made a few enquiries I can pick up a pair of new for around £150 ($300) These are advised as being neutral studio monitors and are less than a third of the price of the suggested $1000 minimum tag. They have received good reviews.

    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_u...luxe-main.html

    Has anyone tried these or has any knowledge of how good or otherwise they are?
    The BX5as are decent. I could work with them if I had to, but I'd never trade them for my Mackie HR824s. I'm very happy with the Mackies.

  8. #8

    Re: Importance of Monitors?

    so with monitors, do you try and make your music sound good through them? or since everything is neutral is it supposed to sound bad or what? i still don't get it.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  9. #9
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: Importance of Monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by keithjfuller View Post
    so with monitors, do you try and make your music sound good through them? or since everything is neutral is it supposed to sound bad or what? i still don't get it.
    I hear ya ... that was my initial reaction to my Mackies ... but once I got aclimated to the sound it was appearent that my conscept of "good" was subjective and skewed based on my past experience.

    Once you get used to a good pair of monitors it becomes effortless.
    The real perk for me is ........
    I don't have any *second guessing* going on anymore. I just make it sound the way I want and it translates propperly everywhere.

  10. #10

    Re: Importance of Monitors?

    it should sound "good" to you, but most important for studio monitoring is for it to sound "honest". meaning that there aren't weird things going on that will show up on other systems that are absent in your monitoring set up (like over-emphasizing certain frequencies).

    as important as the monitors are: 1. the environment you listen in, and 2. getting used to how mixes made on your monitors sound on a variety of systems.

    for 1: it amazes me how many people buy nice monitors and then set them up wrong. they should face directly at your head with the tweeters at approximately ear level, about three feet away from you and six feet away from each other. all approximate of course but something close to that is fine. if you don't follow this simple step then a majority of the money invested in monitors is immediately wasted. there are lots of other details but that's a start for positioning.

    for 2: once you've used a pair of monitors for a bit and then listened to the results on other systems, you can correct for any problems you see arise across the board...like certain frequencies that are always harsh on other systems, you can downplay a little in your mix. i've had mine for years (krk v8s) and while they aren't the best in the world, i'm very used to them so its easy for me to get good mixes out of them.

    also be aware of ear fatigue (a particular problem when mixing in headphones)...give your ears a break every so often, as they get 'tired' just like any other body part.

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