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thawkins: I can’t watch the video now, but I’d highly recommend demoing it yourself (I believe they’ve refined their code quite a bit since that iOS app version).

 

I’ve chosen to be 100% ITB for various reasons but am quite absurdly obsessed with monitoring. I remember how puzzled / disappointed I was when I first played a nice venue with a nice PA years and years ago, hearing my tunes sounding so different from what they sounded at home... then spending an insane amount of energy remixing them prior to releasing some / playing another live set. Now I trust what I hear, and get much better results (closer to what I want/like anyway) with less efforts. Actually I’m stunned that my rough demos now sound better than anything I’ve released before (and painfully mixed).

 

You have a lot of good points there. I don't know when (if ever) I can play any of my stuff on a nice PA, but still it would be nice to have a monitoring setup that is more or less decent. Since I probably can not remodel my apartment significantly (i.e. bass traps and foam sculptures are right out), my best options now seem to be:

1) get those isoacoustic stands, make sure the monitors are placed as best as possible

2) do some calibration thing to flatten the EQ of the monitors in the listening spot

3) after steps 1 and 2, A/B the monitor sound with headphones and use some processing to try and make it sound the same (although I think I would still prefer to do it old school and just "know" the differences between monitors and cans)

 

Thinking about it a bit more I probably can never achieve a good monitoring setup at my current place because already the noise floor is pretty high due to the city noise (some generators humming, cars, AC, more cars) and as a nice cherry on the cake - the occasional high speed train that goes past the house. Normally the trains are real quiet except there's some connection spot which is not really noisy but you're really intently listening to some quiet parts, it can sound like someone just banged some pots and pans outside your window. This only happens 3-4 times a day because it's not the main line and the trains just go to the depot (or come out), but it's sometimes annoying as fuck.

 

So yeah, probably I got to figure out how to make better use of my headphones.

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I’d try sorbothane before IsoAcoustics. Sorbothane bumpers (when using the right ones for a given set of monitors, you have to calculate which diameter/density to use (and how many hemispheres you need)) are inexpensive and extremely effective to decouple speakers from a desk, stands etc... while IsoAcoustics are great to position and tilt them. That’s why I use a combination of both now.

 

If you can use anything solid and heavy enough to raise your monitors at the right height, I suppose you’d better skip the IsoAcoustics and directly go for sorbothane.

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how much does the equilateral triangle speaker setup really matter? i mean mine are pointed directly at my ears but i'm thinking about buying a larger screen which means i'd have to break that equilateral a bit. to be listening to it proper i'd have to sit back farther.

it's at the expense of having a really large screen. what do you guys figure?

Edited by yek

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how much does the equilateral triangle speaker setup really matter? i mean mine are pointed directly at my ears but i'm thinking about buying a larger screen which means i'd have to break that equilateral a bit. to be listening to it proper i'd have to sit back farther.

it's at the expense of having a really large screen. what do you guys figure?

 

I would just move my sitting position backwards until it's equilateral and then set the screen so it is at a comfy distance. This assumes that you have the room for this maneuver of course.

 

My triangle is really not equilateral - I have pointed the monitors towards my listening position (when I look towards either, I see the monitor's facing me), but the distance between the monitors is something like 180cm while I am barely 50cm in front of them. I have no qualms about the sound though (this is probably because I have no comparison to how it should be).

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Yeah, I'm not sure how perfect you need to make the triangle. I'd say it's almost impossible to be sat perfectly at all times. I think it's more about clarity/acoustic treatment at the end of the day.

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thanks guys, it'll be hard to know until i have this new screen in front of me.

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it depends a lot on the monitors as well I think.  Some I find have such a narrow stereo field and sweet spot you really have to make sure you have it spot on.  And then some are really wide and it just works without having to be really refined.  As well the room, I've had my same monitors in different rooms and moving 30cm forward and back can massively disrupt the bottom end.

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^good point that it likely matters more or less dependent upon your monitors.

 

I was able to have my monitors in a good equilateral triangle (at the correct height, separation from walls, etc) for a couple of years and I can recommend it. Though, I never did treat the room so it could've been better I'm sure...no matter, I miss it (can't really do that where I am now). I don't know that it's a 'bad' thing that for me now without that good sweet spot setup, I've adjusted and know to compensate and what to expect with it now, I think that's really the most important part, perhaps? Knowing what your setup does to you, be it placement or the specific monitors or headphones, or whatever else...just being aware of all that I think goes a long way. Also, I'm not a pro, so my opinion isn't exactly from a place of expertise (others here on this forums surely have more than me!)….just a lot of experience, than may be colored. lol

 

Sitting (or standing) in that sweet spot really spoiled me...ideally I'd love to have two setups contained in one, some more generic speakers that I can blast when 'performing' (as I'm often moving a couple feet left and right between hardware) but also have the monitors for more specific tweaks (I'm always mixing as I write/record/perform) and final mastering stuff. One day. 

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Guest Chesney

Also, whether the bass is ported makes alot of difference to how far you place your monitors to any surface/wall.

I chose front ported so I can have them fairly close to the back wall. Some high end monitors have side ported/drivers so need to have more consideration with placement.

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Knowing what your setup does to you, be it placement or the specific monitors or headphones, or whatever else...just being aware of all that I think goes a long way. Also, I'm not a pro, so my opinion isn't exactly from a place of expertise (others here on this forums surely have more than me!)….just a lot of experience, than may be colored. lol

 

You're right. I tend to give broad advice when it comes to monitors as getting into the details isn't always necessary. Especially when it's for personal use and not for delivering to clients. Feeling comfortable with a reasonable understanding of what the end product will sound like is more important than stressing over precise monitor placement. Whatever helps in feeling the music and have fun doing it is key.

 

In general, playing reference tracks where you like the mix, showcasing the frequency spectrum, and walking around the room while they play to get an idea of what the low end is doing helps in getting familiar with what your monitors and room sound like. I focus on the low end since that's where most of the problems lie when it comes to electronic music: either too much or none at all.

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^very true on the reference tracks to help 'learn' your setup. I've never done the pro thing so I only know personal preference, and I'm sure that's very colored by my tastes...which leads to your point of bass being a key problem area for electronic stuff: I most likely focus way too much on hard dark (sometimes unclear, occasionally muddy) lows, and harsh ugly highs in my music. But ultimately, I (mostly) know my strengths and weaknesses in these terms, so I feel it's more of an artistic decision than a 'problem' with my production...though of course I know I could do better at trying to impart the same feelings and such with as good of a lasting quality as possible. (always am trying to improve in these areas, without losing the rawness and energy I strive for with my current output)

 

ASIDE: That said, I think those choices artists make in terms of mixing and general 'sound' beyond simple song composition and structure can play a huge role in the electronic landscape these days. Hell, look at shit like lofi hip hop, vaporwave, etc., lots of the current trends and genres are dependent upon the stylistic choices and treatments of the compositions as much as any other aspect of them. Not that this is necessarily new, but it's definitely much more of a major component than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. 

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^very true on the reference tracks to help 'learn' your setup. I've never done the pro thing so I only know personal preference, and I'm sure that's very colored by my tastes...which leads to your point of bass being a key problem area for electronic stuff: I most likely focus way too much on hard dark (sometimes unclear, occasionally muddy) lows, and harsh ugly highs in my music. But ultimately, I (mostly) know my strengths and weaknesses in these terms, so I feel it's more of an artistic decision than a 'problem' with my production...though of course I know I could do better at trying to impart the same feelings and such with as good of a lasting quality as possible. (always am trying to improve in these areas, without losing the rawness and energy I strive for with my current output)

 

ASIDE: That said, I think those choices artists make in terms of mixing and general 'sound' beyond simple song composition and structure can play a huge role in the electronic landscape these days. Hell, look at shit like lofi hip hop, vaporwave, etc., lots of the current trends and genres are dependent upon the stylistic choices and treatments of the compositions as much as any other aspect of them. Not that this is necessarily new, but it's definitely much more of a major component than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. 

 

Riffing on the artistic choices and deliberate lo-fi production and whatnot, I think it's still somewhat important to have a good monitoring setup, just to be sure that you are hearing what you are doing as best as you could. Knowing how reference tracks sound in your studio will help make sure that your music does not end up on depending on some quirk or (for lack of a better word) "soundstage" that's only present in your studio.

 

My thanks to all the guys who said that it's not so much important to have the perfect golden ratio equilateral triangles, foam sculptures on every vertical surface and flat frequency responses as far as the eye can see, but it's more down to you being comfortable making music and enjoying listening to others' tracks as well in the space where you create. I am sure when (if ever) I get to a place where I start playing live more often, I will care about more professional monitoring but at the moment the need just isn't there.

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Guest Chesney

Knowing your monitors/room no matter what the gear/setup is obviously the most helpful but it is a weird one as you have to spend alot of  time getting used to it, spend lots of time listening to everything and not releasing anything until you're confident. A good setup initially (as much as you can afford obviously) or at least some initial thought gone into the environment is going to give you a better chance moving on.

Also reference material is similar, and one of the most important I reckon. Trouble is, you can copy it and get close but if you're hearing the reference material in a less than complementary situation then you're maybe not getting the bigger picture. If you're not hearing the lows correctly for example you're not going to get a good result in your material.

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i was fucking around in the studio the other day and by accident had this crazy loud noise come out my new monitors for a second or so. could that have damaged them? everytime i listen to music now i try and spot speaker damage , which is everytime i hear distortion in a track... i'm just paranoid but thoughts? 

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From my experience speaker damage results in some distortion always when the sound gets loud enough to make the broken membrane vibrate. My experience is only with a bass cabinet though, so ymmv.

 

I think if I was you I'd run it through some testing sine waves and then A/B some songs with your known good headphones.

 

I also think that if they're powered monitors (i.e. the amp is already in the monitor) you probably could not damage them anyway as line level signal that you send to the monitors by definition can't push the monitors beyond what the amp circuit allows. (Disclaimer - I have no actual idea if this is the case, I am basing this on my rudimentary knowledge of electronics)

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Hmm makes sense... They are powered

I'll do the headphone thing

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i was fucking around in the studio the other day and by accident had this crazy loud noise come out my new monitors for a second or so. could that have damaged them? everytime i listen to music now i try and spot speaker damage , which is everytime i hear distortion in a track... i'm just paranoid but thoughts?

Do they have overload indicators? If those didn’t flash they’re probably fine. If that 1 second didn’t pain your ears I wouldn’t worry too much... otherwise you could do a spectrum analysis and compare it to the specs

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my speakers are  great, i got the triangle down and everything

BUT

 

 

 

 

rearranging the studio, my speakers are now 14 inches from the side walls and 16 inches behind them. can i get closer do you think ?

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Yes.

Maybe.

No.

If you want?

 

Really, I guess do some testing? It depends on lots of stuff I think (no expert at all) but that sounds like a decent distance away from the walls. Would say not too much closer to the walls probably.

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i guess it depends on how much i want to cram into this room. it's pretty spacious right now, not much stuff so i can afford that ammount of distance. the more space the merrier 

 

one thing i've noticed now though is the acoustics are way different. got some reverberation going on

Edited by yek

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Okey doke, third or fourth poster here looking to jump from KRK Rokit RP-5s to something decent. Recommendations and mockery welcome.

I'm a lazy dilettante, so while I'd like something detailed and fairly flat, I'm looking for something a hair on the sweet side - basically, accurate but not super punishing. While I'd like to be able to go down to about 30/35 (or at least accurately down to 50) I don't want to deal with the crossover and external sub that 2.1 requires. I know a lot of it is subjective and down to room physics, but I don't want to have to churn through a lot of different pairs if I can avoid it.

Tentatively looking at the Adam A7x and Genelec 8040a. Looking to spend no more than 2500 USD.

Should I try to fix my room first? It's about 12x12x8' with a like 6x4x8' closet (bass trap? lol) and honestly I haven't even scratched the surface of that whole thing. That seems like a real rabbit hole from egg cartons and blankets to treatment foam to I don't even know what.

I don't want to deal with a shitload of math or black magic. I just want something I can plug in, with a minimal amount of prep, and make sound good, and I have a little bit of money to throw at it.

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Acoustic treatment + APS Klasik. That's what I recommend to my students, and I've heard their mixes improve 100 fold (and have seen the smile on their faces). I hate both Genelec and Adam monitors with a passion hehe, both being unnecessarily, absurdly harsh.

Or hunt down a used Amphion One15 + Amp 100 combo. Best purchase I've ever made. Punishing BUT they sort of tell you what to do to instantly solve out any issue, they really do.  So once you've tried what they suggest, it's audio bliss. And they translate perfectly, 101% of times. They're surprisingly indifferent to the room too.

I could rave about them for days, so ask away if you have any question, I'll happily answer.

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Oh yes, acoustic treatment for sure! As Nil says, your mixes will improve like there's no tomorrow because all of a sudden you actually know what you're doing.
Basstraps in all corners would of course be ideal. Build them yourselves. I'm all thumbs but I was able to build them easily and there are millions of guides on this online. Secondly, acoustic treatment on the walls and above you is a must as well, and if you wanna go completely mad, like I did, you should buy Sonarworks Reference just to put some extra icing on your studio. I was super sceptical about this at first, but holy shit, it fixed some nasty holes in the frequency spectrum in my studio. I can't recommend this plugin enough.

As for studio monitors, I would recommend Dynaudio. I have the Dynaudio BM15A and I absolutely LOVE them. They are some of the best studio monitors I've ever heard and the bass is so fucking tight. The highs are crystal clear as well. I upgraded from the Rokit 8s and I was almost embarassed that I had used them for as long as I had once I heard the BM15As.
But recommending monitors is like recommending headphones. I would never tell anyone that THESE are the studio monitors/headphones you should buy, because it all comes down to taste. So find a store where you can give them a listen and ask them to play some music you know.

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Never heard of APS and they seem hard to find for order online, but holy smokes did the Klasik get glowing reviews. They seem a lot more affordable than comparable options as well. I'm intrigued. With the bass ports on the back, how far from the wall should they be?

The Dynaudios are a little north of what I was looking to spend but "so fucking tight" is just the kind of bass I'm looking for, and the front ports will be handy in my small room, especially since I'm looking to cut down on the amount of clutter and bulk in there as I upgrade - for example, replacing the big ugly garage sale dining table  for my desk right now with, uh, a desk.

And more generally, what would acoustic treatment look like? Does this generally mean a bunch of foam panels? The DIY bass traps sound interesting too.

Also, my ceiling is this funky foam-looking tile. I'll try to take a pic. I don't know exactly how to describe it or what the material is (hopefully not asbestos lol), but it looks like something you might find in a retail store or office, especially in the 80s or 90s. It seems like it has dampening qualities - is there a way to objectively test this without dumping a bunch of money into test equipment I'll only use once every 10 years? I can ask around but I don't think there's a big recording community in my town that I could loan equipment from.

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All the previous suggestions are good!

i own neumann kh120a and imo they’re best buy under $2k and for a general work they’re good-enough like in ‘if you can’t produce and mix music with them it’s something else that you have problem with’

yes, the one15 are better but are also much more expensive 

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