What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Ask questions and get answers about how to make music in any particular way. Hardware or songwriting or whatever.
User avatar
nyjm
Team Drizzy
Posts: 1066
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:14 am
Instruments: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synth, various MIDI instruments
Recording Method: Reaper, Line 6 POD, GLS Audio 57 and 58
Submitting as: noah mclaughlin, Ford's Theater Disaster, Juliet's Happy Dagger
Location: atlanta, ga
Contact:

What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by nyjm » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:43 pm

It seems like the best next step in building my home studio would be to get some monitors. I am therefore opening the floor to suggestions. I'd prefer to spend about $200. That can be stretched to $300 if I'm motivated to be frugal.

This is entirely virgin territory for me; I'm not event sure what questions I should be asking or what parameters about my current set up matter.

Peanut gallery, go! :-)
"You sound like the ghost of David Bowie." - SchlimminyCricket | it was a pleasure to burn | my website | Juliet's Happy Dagger
User avatar
Billy's Little Trip
Odie
Posts: 12000
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:56 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Drums, Skin Flute
Recording Method: analog to digital via Presonus FireBox, Cubase and a porn machine
Submitting as: Billy's Little Trip, Billy and the Psychotics
Location: Cali fucking ornia

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:04 pm

Image
:P

Yamahas. The new versions, HS50Ms are damn good and around 200 new. But I'd step up to the HS80Ms for about 100 more.
User avatar
nyjm
Team Drizzy
Posts: 1066
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:14 am
Instruments: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synth, various MIDI instruments
Recording Method: Reaper, Line 6 POD, GLS Audio 57 and 58
Submitting as: noah mclaughlin, Ford's Theater Disaster, Juliet's Happy Dagger
Location: atlanta, ga
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by nyjm » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:32 pm

*googles*

Dammit, why the hell are these things sold as a single speaker by default? It's rather deceptive.

Allow me to rephrase: I'd prefer $200 - 300 for a pair.
"You sound like the ghost of David Bowie." - SchlimminyCricket | it was a pleasure to burn | my website | Juliet's Happy Dagger
User avatar
ken
Goulddigger
Posts: 3385
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:10 pm
Instruments: Guitar, bass, drums, keys
Recording Method: BLA modded MOTU 828mk2, Cubase 9, UAD-2
Submitting as: Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff
Pronouns: he/him
Location: berkeley, ca
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by ken » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:55 pm

I've been reading a lot of good things about the Equator D5 Monitor, which cost $299 for the pair.

www.equatoraudio.com

I suggest you save another $20 for the monitor pads as well.

Ken
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
User avatar
jast
Team Drizzy
Posts: 1176
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Instruments: Vocals, guitar
Recording Method: REAPER, Steinberg UR44
Submitting as: Jan Krueger
Location: near Aachen, Germany
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by jast » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:16 am

Just to make it a bit more difficult... many, many sources recommend that you spend about the same amount on room treatment that you spend on speakers.
most of my music
Song Fight-related stuff I host: ZIP archives // Circle of Titles
User avatar
roymond
Numanoid
Posts: 5098
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:42 pm
Instruments: Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Logic
Recording Method: Logic X, MacBookPro, Guitar Rig 5, Rig Kontrol 3, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, iPad3, Apogee Jam
Submitting as: roymond, Dangerous Croutons, Intentionally Left Bank
Location: brooklyn
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by roymond » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:37 am

Well, Noah just repainted and installed bamboo flooring. Does that count? ;)

One has to establish expectations to determine where the investment goes, and priorities. Improvement over current situation...any and all changes (barring marble paneling) will help. You can move incrementally by buying the monitors, laying a rug over those nice floors and hanging some absorbent quilts to cut room reverb, then make more environmental improvements as time/budget allows.
roymond.com | songfights | covers
"Congratulatons, roymond; you finally managed to write a song I don't really care for." - Märk
User avatar
nyjm
Team Drizzy
Posts: 1066
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:14 am
Instruments: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synth, various MIDI instruments
Recording Method: Reaper, Line 6 POD, GLS Audio 57 and 58
Submitting as: noah mclaughlin, Ford's Theater Disaster, Juliet's Happy Dagger
Location: atlanta, ga
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by nyjm » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:04 am

Actually, I record in my library upstairs which was not renovated and hence is still carpeted. To boot, I've found that walls full of books make for really good sound dampeners. So, I've already invested about... well we have 2600+ books plus good shelves... I don't have $10,000 to drop on monitors. :-)

Mostly, I want something to help with the mixing process. Default computer speakers are crap (tinny and no bass response to speak of) and my old stand-by headphones are 1) headphones, 2) a little bass-rich and 3) slowly disintegrating.
"You sound like the ghost of David Bowie." - SchlimminyCricket | it was a pleasure to burn | my website | Juliet's Happy Dagger
User avatar
Billy's Little Trip
Odie
Posts: 12000
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:56 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Drums, Skin Flute
Recording Method: analog to digital via Presonus FireBox, Cubase and a porn machine
Submitting as: Billy's Little Trip, Billy and the Psychotics
Location: Cali fucking ornia

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:32 am

ken wrote:I've been reading a lot of good things about the Equator D5 Monitor, which cost $299 for the pair.

http://www.equatoraudio.com

I suggest you save another $20 for the monitor pads as well.

Ken
I just looked at the specs on these and they seem to be awesome! I'd really like to mix with them or just hear them. They sound/read too good to be true for the price. The independent center mounted tweeter design really is the best coaxial speaker design for mixing "they say". A studio I checked out years ago bragged about his Tannoy monitors and post production speakers. His monitors were the dual coil center mounted tweeter design that cost thousands, apparently. We didn't record there because he was too expensive. But I was impressed with his studio.
User avatar
ken
Goulddigger
Posts: 3385
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:10 pm
Instruments: Guitar, bass, drums, keys
Recording Method: BLA modded MOTU 828mk2, Cubase 9, UAD-2
Submitting as: Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff
Pronouns: he/him
Location: berkeley, ca
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by ken » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:30 am

nyjm wrote:I've found that walls full of books make for really good sound dampeners.
I've heard that book shelves make excellent diffusers since the random depth of the books help to break up the sound waves. They seem too dense to offer any dampening.

Ken
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
User avatar
roymond
Numanoid
Posts: 5098
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:42 pm
Instruments: Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Logic
Recording Method: Logic X, MacBookPro, Guitar Rig 5, Rig Kontrol 3, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, iPad3, Apogee Jam
Submitting as: roymond, Dangerous Croutons, Intentionally Left Bank
Location: brooklyn
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by roymond » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:50 am

ken wrote:
nyjm wrote:I've found that walls full of books make for really good sound dampeners.
I've heard that book shelves make excellent diffusers since the random depth of the books help to break up the sound waves. They seem too dense to offer any dampening.

Ken
Sure, if it's all Nietzsche and shit, but if you use blank books or maybe Steven King...
roymond.com | songfights | covers
"Congratulatons, roymond; you finally managed to write a song I don't really care for." - Märk
User avatar
jast
Team Drizzy
Posts: 1176
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Instruments: Vocals, guitar
Recording Method: REAPER, Steinberg UR44
Submitting as: Jan Krueger
Location: near Aachen, Germany
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by jast » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:36 am

nyjm wrote:Mostly, I want something to help with the mixing process. Default computer speakers are crap (tinny and no bass response to speak of) and my old stand-by headphones are 1) headphones, 2) a little bass-rich and 3) slowly disintegrating.
[Reproducing what I've read. I haven't tested these things myself. I don't have any expensive speakers to compare to.] In that price range, forget about bass. Decent bass in near-field monitors is much more expensive, as in at least twice as much, per speaker. What you get in those cheaper ones is bass-reflex enclosures that do give you bass, but it drops off much more strongly at the low end than would be useful to monitor with (you'll get the impression that the bass is all perfect but you'll be missing low-end mud that will be audible even on an cheapish stereo), and it won't represent the bass very accurately, either. You might actually be better off randomly guessing what the bass part of your track sounds like than rely on that kind of bass response.

That said, I guess you can monitor the low frequencies with your headphones and everything else with monitors, perhaps high-passed. Not ideal, but then again we're all not made out of money, right?
most of my music
Song Fight-related stuff I host: ZIP archives // Circle of Titles
User avatar
roymond
Numanoid
Posts: 5098
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:42 pm
Instruments: Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Logic
Recording Method: Logic X, MacBookPro, Guitar Rig 5, Rig Kontrol 3, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, iPad3, Apogee Jam
Submitting as: roymond, Dangerous Croutons, Intentionally Left Bank
Location: brooklyn
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by roymond » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:40 am

jast wrote:That said, I guess you can monitor the low frequencies with your headphones and everything else with monitors, perhaps high-passed. Not ideal, but then again we're all not made out of money, right?
It's also a matter of learning with what you have. Monitors aren't going to make you good at anything, but they can facilitate the process of becoming more intuitive about what works and what doesn't.
roymond.com | songfights | covers
"Congratulatons, roymond; you finally managed to write a song I don't really care for." - Märk
User avatar
nyjm
Team Drizzy
Posts: 1066
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:14 am
Instruments: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synth, various MIDI instruments
Recording Method: Reaper, Line 6 POD, GLS Audio 57 and 58
Submitting as: noah mclaughlin, Ford's Theater Disaster, Juliet's Happy Dagger
Location: atlanta, ga
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by nyjm » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:53 pm

ken wrote:
nyjm wrote:I've found that walls full of books make for really good sound dampeners.
I've heard that book shelves make excellent diffusers since the random depth of the books help to break up the sound waves. They seem too dense to offer any dampening.
Ken
I stand corrected. I have awesome walls full of sound diffusers. I haven't really studied how they affect the way sound travels to the rest of the house.

@Jast. Perhaps my post focused to much on "bass." How about just increasing the quality of my audio output - period? I really want to start mixing in a stereo field, not just with headphones that provide total stereo separation that is then recombined in the listener's brain.
"You sound like the ghost of David Bowie." - SchlimminyCricket | it was a pleasure to burn | my website | Juliet's Happy Dagger
User avatar
signboy
Jepsie
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:33 pm
Instruments: things that make noise
Recording Method: lots of stuff plugged into lots of other stuff
Location: hillbillyland
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by signboy » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:59 pm

As far as I have learned, mixing on monitors is all about getting used to their particular sound. The flatter the frequency response, the better, but that's generally horrible for appreciating music on. The big important thing is that you get your ears to the point where you can hear something on your studio setup, and know how that will come out on headphones, earbuds, laptops, home theatre systems, cars, etc. That being said, it seems to me that it shouldn't really matter a whole lot what you're using, except that some really shitty speakers can actually bury parts of a mix. But then, that's just something to get used to, innit? I've been using Samson Resolv 65a monitors for a while, and while they've been ok, they're a bit heavy in the 5-10k range, which needs to be compensated for. They seem to be discontinued, but my main point is that cheap monitors will just take some getting used to, as would expensive ones. Bear in mind that I hold this opinion while never having tried to mix on $50 behringers.
Irwin: I'd sell my soul to jesus to program drums like signboy.
User avatar
Caravan Ray
Dingleberry
Posts: 8127
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:51 pm
Instruments: Penis
Recording Method: Garageband
Submitting as: Caravan Ray,G.O.R.T.E.C,Lyricburglar,The Thugs from the Scallop Industry
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by Caravan Ray » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:21 pm

nyjm wrote:*googles*

Dammit, why the hell are these things sold as a single speaker by default? It's rather deceptive.

Allow me to rephrase: I'd prefer $200 - 300 for a pair.
This is something I have mentioned before (something generally disagreed with, which is not surprising since I have no idea what I am talking about) - but since they are sold in singles - why not just buy one?

I do all my mixing in headphones simply due to practical constraints - then generally use my car stereo as a refence to make sure everying fits OK. I am thinking that a single good quality speaker would give another alternate reference to see how the mix stands up in mono. Especially for me since I suspect that one of my ears works a bit better than the other one so mono mixing might help keep things balanced better

I have never gotten around to trying this theory and since I recently moved house and no longer have a "seperate from the house" studio set up - I probably won't try this an just keep working with headphones

But mixing in mono seems to have advantages:
http://www.musicsoftwaretraining.com/bl ... g-in-mono/
User avatar
roymond
Numanoid
Posts: 5098
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:42 pm
Instruments: Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Logic
Recording Method: Logic X, MacBookPro, Guitar Rig 5, Rig Kontrol 3, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, iPad3, Apogee Jam
Submitting as: roymond, Dangerous Croutons, Intentionally Left Bank
Location: brooklyn
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by roymond » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:47 am

Noah, I think nothing short of a farm in Wiltshire is what you need to emulate.
roymond.com | songfights | covers
"Congratulatons, roymond; you finally managed to write a song I don't really care for." - Märk
User avatar
Billy's Little Trip
Odie
Posts: 12000
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:56 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Drums, Skin Flute
Recording Method: analog to digital via Presonus FireBox, Cubase and a porn machine
Submitting as: Billy's Little Trip, Billy and the Psychotics
Location: Cali fucking ornia

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:43 am

Caravan Ray wrote:But mixing in mono seems to have advantages:
http://www.musicsoftwaretraining.com/bl ... g-in-mono/
This is interesting because I've thought about this before for some of the reasons mentioned in the article. Paco told me once that he uses a "Tivoli" single speaker system to listen to his final production and other music as well.
User avatar
nyjm
Team Drizzy
Posts: 1066
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:14 am
Instruments: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synth, various MIDI instruments
Recording Method: Reaper, Line 6 POD, GLS Audio 57 and 58
Submitting as: noah mclaughlin, Ford's Theater Disaster, Juliet's Happy Dagger
Location: atlanta, ga
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by nyjm » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:07 am

roymond wrote:Noah, I think nothing short of a farm in Wiltshire is what you need to emulate.
So, do I understand this right: one would/could use the Big Room to effectively perform in the round? Like, surrounding the mixing board? Those pictures are confusing; I swear some of them are not of the same space... Really cool concept for a studio, but I'm still not doing that to my house. :-)

... OMG, you can get them to master your stuff a The Real World Studio: http://realworldstudios.com/emixing/ Not that I'm going to kid myself that any of my stuff to this point is professional grade, but I'm curious about the price.

The article about mixing in mono is interesting food for thought. I'll have to give that a try some time.
"You sound like the ghost of David Bowie." - SchlimminyCricket | it was a pleasure to burn | my website | Juliet's Happy Dagger
User avatar
Caravan Ray
Dingleberry
Posts: 8127
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:51 pm
Instruments: Penis
Recording Method: Garageband
Submitting as: Caravan Ray,G.O.R.T.E.C,Lyricburglar,The Thugs from the Scallop Industry
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by Caravan Ray » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:49 pm

ken wrote:
nyjm wrote:I've found that walls full of books make for really good sound dampeners.
I've heard that book shelves make excellent diffusers since the random depth of the books help to break up the sound waves. They seem too dense to offer any dampening.

Ken
Wow!!

Who'd have thought those "book" things would ever turn out to be useful!
User avatar
fluffy
Juggalo
Posts: 9627
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/her or they/them
Location: The Plaidlands (also, Seattle)
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by fluffy » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:58 pm

My crappy M-Audio monitors gave up the ghost after just a couple years, so I just spent $130 on a pair of Fostexes, and I have no idea why I put up with those glorified computer speakers for so long because these ones sound incredible. So much detail that I was missing before, wow. I can also hear them up to 16.5KHz, so apparently my hearing is still pretty good.

Also, they're sold as a pair so I was expecting it to be the same old one-houses-the-circuitry-for-both deals, but nope, inside the box is two completely separate powered monitors each with their own amp. That alone gives me way more confidence in them.
Lunkhead
Numanoid
Posts: 5989
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:14 pm
Instruments: many
Recording Method: cubase/reason/mac/tascam4x4
Submitting as: Berkeley Social Scene, Merisan, Tiny Robots
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Berkeley, CA
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:40 pm

I still love my Event 20-20s but they are huge. I have them up on some big ass monitor stands with some foam under them. The whole setup takes up a lot of room and is kind of an eyesore. If those little mini monitors like the ones you got fluffy are actually good, that seems like a good way to downsize my recording setup a bit perhaps. Are there any other similar compact monitors you evaluated other than the Fostexes?
User avatar
fluffy
Juggalo
Posts: 9627
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/her or they/them
Location: The Plaidlands (also, Seattle)
Contact:

Re: What Monitors Should I Save Up For?

Post by fluffy » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:50 am

Nope, I just went to Musicians Friend and looked for ones under $400 that had good reviews, and these were both on sale and had such glowing reviews that I figured I'd give them a shot. I'm glad I did.
Post Reply