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Arcana
12-08-2009, 05:33 AM
Wondering if Guides and Tutorials posts kind of get missed so I am going to post a pointer to the "Monitors or Headphones" thread here in which I have a question:

http://ocremix.org/forums/showpost.php?p=620283&postcount=74

I have a possible $400 to spend on stuff and I'm considering something like monitors. However based on this thread I've heard a few things.

First, my room is definitely untreated. Is this a huge factor? Like, does it basically mean I waste $400 if I put them in an untreated room?

Second, the thread recommends against low-end monitors, like those in the $400 range. I am wondering, with the recent explosion of inexpensive studio monitors, if this still holds true.

Currently I mix on headphones but I'm kind of getting mixed results with them and I am wondering if I can improve my mixing abilities. Perhaps you can recommend if monitors are a good idea, or if I should consider something else (for example, to simply mix more, or read a book) until I can get a stronger setup.

Examples of stuff in my price range are the Rokit RP5G2, the Mackie MR5, and Alesis M1.

Regards,

Souliarc
12-08-2009, 03:12 PM
Hey sorry, I saw your post in the other thread and was meaning to post but I got distracted at work and forgot :/

Before I got the wonderful M-Audio BX5a Deluxe's (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BX5aDeluxe), I mixed with audio-technica ATH-M30's (http://www.zzounds.com/item--AUTATHM30) and there is a HUGE world of a difference. With the headphones, everything I mixed would sound muddy and bass heavy in my car, or on decent computer speakers at work. Given, those were only $60 headphones, but I'm just telling you how it was from my end. I'm NOT saying that the BX5a's are completely flat, but for the 5" Kevlar driver, it does a damn fine job without blowing my neighbors away in my apartment complex. There is a dramatic difference when I listen to my mixes elsewhere now.

My Sweetwater sales engineer has never steered me wrong. He actually steered me away from the Alesis M1 Active 520's (can't speak for the MKII's but considering how the 520's went...), that I purchased anyway, and the tweeter went out in them in two weeks. He recommended the BX5a's from the start and that's where I'm at now. He even said to stay away from Rokit's which shocked me, but I can't remember why.

Also, if you're mixing with headphones, if you don't have the hdphx (http://refinedaudiometrics.com/products-hdphx.shtml), you should. It makes the sound less harsh by getting rid of the extreme panning that headphones naturally have, and makes it more like you're sitting in front of two monitors in a triangle configuration with yourself.

DJ SymBiotiX
12-08-2009, 03:34 PM
I personally have a pair of Rokit 5 G2's, and my room is by no means treated, but they have made a WORLD of difference in my mixing/mastering.

my 2 cents

Souliarc
12-08-2009, 04:41 PM
As far as treating your room goes, M-AUDIO provides a page full of different frequencies and noise (http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=media.overdub&show=tones1). Because what we here is represented by direct and reflected sound waves, you can test what frequencies are being boosted or cut at your listening position with an SPL meter. I bought a used ART SPL-8810 (http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/American-Recorder-Technologies-Sound-Level-Meter?sku=420954&src=3WWRWXGB&ZYXSEM=0) off eBay for $45.

I wouldn't say that it's a waste to get monitors if your room isn't treated, unless you're sitting in a room with very dense, reflective materials (like tiles in a bathroom :P ). Also, bass/mid-range frequencies are reflected from different materials so you can't just worry about higher frequencies. I don't have my Sound Reinforcement Handbook with me so I can't remember what types reflect lower frequencies.

Actually, you know what, just read that whole Overdub issue #1 and you'll learn a lot about tuning your room. As long as you know what your frequency situation is, you can adapt for your mix by treating the room or boosting/cutting those frequencies in your mix.

I am still in the process of testing my room. I can post results afterwards, but it might be a while.

PrototypeRaptor
12-08-2009, 05:00 PM
I love my mackie mr5's - definitely the best money I've spent on my studio by far.

Room treatment is important, but not as important as having something nice to put in it, IMO.


-go to a place where you can take a CD and listen to each of the monitors back to back
-buy the ones you like best
-practice mixing (this could take a while)
-end up having to slam tracks with a limiter anyway
-??????

-Profit!

Arcana
12-08-2009, 11:06 PM
Room treatment for me is a non-option unless you can do it simply by moving furniture around. I live in a rented apartment so I can't do anything to the walls or ceiling. However I'm getting the feeling that monitors can be beneficial regardless.

The only standing speakers I have are two hi-fi stereo speakers that I use for TV, movies, music, and games - else I have to listen on headphones.

Room treatment is important, but not as important as having something nice to put in it, IMO.

What do you mean by something nice to put it in?

Souliarc
12-08-2009, 11:27 PM
That is one way to do it, but there are many other homemade remedies for room treatment. I'm telling ya, read that issue of Overdub (http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=media.overdub) and you'll get you fill. It speaks of things like wrapping a framwork in carpet for bass traps, or attaching heavy cloth to a piece of plywood for mid-high frequency absorption. All can be put on wheels for easy mobility or just to help them stand freely away from the walls.

Honestly, without even treating my room yet, the mixes I've made from the monitors and the way they sound elsewhere (car, other generic computer speakers) is phenomenal compared to the headphones. But then again, Zircon makes great mixes from his headphones! They are great headphones too. Me personally, I feel better having monitors in front of me, regardless if the room is treated, rather than using headphones.

BlackPanther
12-09-2009, 04:02 PM
Also, if you're mixing with headphones, if you don't have the hdphx (http://refinedaudiometrics.com/products-hdphx.shtml), you should. It makes the sound less harsh by getting rid of the extreme panning that headphones naturally have, and makes it more like you're sitting in front of two monitors in a triangle configuration with yourself.

Oooo sweet thanks for the link. I do my mixing and whatnot on my headphones, so that plugin will definitely come in handy. I'm glad I checked out this thread lol.

Josh Whelchel
12-09-2009, 06:24 PM
Before I got the wonderful M-Audio BX5a Deluxe's (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BX5aDeluxe), I mixed with audio-technica ATH-M30's (http://www.zzounds.com/item--AUTATHM30) and there is a HUGE world of a difference.

The BX5a's are where it's at. Also, souliarc, I'm from Louisville myself! :D

Souliarc
12-11-2009, 03:13 AM
The BX5a's are where it's at. Also, souliarc, I'm from Louisville myself! :D

Well where'd ya go to!? *scans location* Ahhhh.. I love Cincinnati as well! Come back and say hey sometime.