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jordanrooben

Any advice for buying studio monitors?

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Now that I'm confident that I'll be working with music for the foreseeable future, I'm planning to purchase a pair of decent studio monitors.

Preferably, they should be 500$ or less, and have quality low-bass for electronic genres, like DnB, trance, and house.

I have my eye on the Yamaha HS80M's. Are they good? Are there better monitors?

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I couldn't tell you anything about the Yamahas, but I know a lot of people in the electronic genres sing the praises of these things. $500 gets you a pair from Sweetwater.

Those are exactly what I have, and I found 'em brand new and in-box for $450 on ebay. They're pretty nice.

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I couldn't tell you anything about the Yamahas, but I know a lot of people in the electronic genres sing the praises of these things. $500 gets you a pair from Sweetwater.

Yup, I gotz those too. Very pleased with them.

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sounds like everyone uses KRKs. lol. I got the 5" ones, they're pretty nice although lacking in the lows and low mids. But I think I might have null points in my room.

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sounds like everyone uses KRKs. lol. I got the 5" ones, they're pretty nice although lacking in the lows and low mids. But I think I might have null points in my room.

I was at a music store the other day, and I compared a few monitors, including the 8" rokits and it seemed that they also were a bit lacking in the low range.

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ive heard that the 6's are good for the price point. otherwise i would just say go test them out of theres a store near you and then just research the top three best sounding ones in your price range, and then go from there.

i ended up buying the rokit 6's

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I've owned the Yamaha HSM50's and the 80's, and the 80's are completely amazing. Literally there is nothing else to check. :P

The KRK's however are NOT good studio monitors because they are not true flat monitoring, they boost the mids which make for a biased mix.

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ive often heard one of two things on this topic:

1. the room is more important

2. in the end you just have to learn whatever monitors you have, because none of them end up being TRULY flat. just get lots of mix feedback and listen on numerous things ( car, ipod, laptop speakers) to see how it translates

I dont know how true either of those are, so take it with a granule of sodium chloride.

Ive also heard that the yamaha monitors are probably the best you can get without going into the higher price range. I just managed to get my krks for a hundred or so less, and since theres still some Vsts, and other gear i want, i figured i may as well go with these instead and just learn the flaws before someday moving up to some adams or something nicer.

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What do you mean by "quality low-bass"? Is it everything just frequencies?

I mean low(40-60Hz) frequencies that are audible, and flat. Mostly though, I just mean that those frequencies should be comparable in volume to the mid and high range sounds.

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If you want to hear true bass response as low as 40hz then you need to be looking at 7-8" woofers. And even then you might not get the "advertised" values.

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This is unfortunately pretty much a guarantee: for $500, you aren't gonna get 40Hz. Sorry. Even extremely nice, expensive nearfield monitors really aren't going to give you frequencies below about 60Hz with any amount of accuracy. Here's why:

When you're talking about sub-bass frequencies (let's just say below ~60Hz) your experience of those frequencies is more about feeling them than hearing them. You feel them in your chest. In order to create this experience, you have to move a LOT of air, which requires lots of wattage, and large drivers. This is why for instance it's near impossible to mix low end well on headphones, regardless of how nice your headphones are. You simply can't accurately judge on headphones the chest-rattling experience that low end gives you when you hear them at a venue, or out of really good speakers with a subwoofer. If you need bottom, you will need a subwoofer.

Also, Esperado is absolutely right about the importance of the room you're working in. On a budget it's pretty easy to treat for high frequencies: egg cartons, old rugs, etc can go up on walls. The trick is low end, which really requires you to fill up a lot of space in the corners of the room with thick absorbant material like fiberglass insulation.

Edited by Vig

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Also, Esperado is absolutely right about the importance of the room you're working in. On a budget it's pretty easy to treat for high frequencies: egg cartons, old rugs, etc can go up on walls. The trick is low end, which really requires you to fill up a lot of space in the corners of the room with thick absorbant material like fiberglass insulation.

I've been looking at getting a room correction system as I found out that what I have been working in has some pretty severe deficits and near deafening boosts. Does anyone have any opinions when it comes to the KRK ergo? http://www.krksys.com/krk-ergo.html

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Haven't used that system in particular, but generally speaking, "room correction" software can only do so much. What it's going to do is send out an impulse or pink noise and measure the sound as it exists in the room. It then will "compensate" for the room by adding EQ to your stereo output. This process is imperfect, and doesn't actually change the way your room sounds, nor does it change the frequencies your speakers are capable of reproducing. Your room will still have the same shitty reflections, nodes and peaks as it did before. By adding an extra layer of signal processing, it will make your music sound different, but not "right," and in my opinion it will just make it harder to judge what's actually happening in your mix.

The only way to stay honest with what's actually going on is to reduce the acoustic signature of the room, and when you're talking about low frequencies, your solution is going to be either expensive or time consuming.

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on a similar note. whats the difference between a studio subwoofer and a generic one youd get from bose or something? i figured i could get by with a generic one until i could afford a nicer one at some point. i mean, it IS garage sale season . good idea? terrible idea?

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I have a pair of KRK Rokit 6s. They sound great, but I've noticed a problem - every time I give a mix to someone they tell me there's all kinds of low/mid mud. It sounds perfect in the monitors, though. Then, I'll play it in my car, or something, and I can definitely hear the mud. I'm thinking about grabbing a studio sub to see if I can't tweak it a bit so I don't have to do so much back and forth.

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I have a pair of KRK Rokit 6s. They sound great, but I've noticed a problem - every time I give a mix to someone they tell me there's all kinds of low/mid mud. It sounds perfect in the monitors, though. Then, I'll play it in my car, or something, and I can definitely hear the mud. I'm thinking about grabbing a studio sub to see if I can't tweak it a bit so I don't have to do so much back and forth.

That's my experience as well with the 5s. And it's not like the really low end, more 100-250hz, frequencies that the speaker should have no trouble producing. Could be the KRKs, although if your room isn't treated you could have null points canceling out your low mids. I need to make a bunch of bass traps and see if things change.

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FWIW, I've got a set of 5" E-Mu monitors, and I'd be completely lost without my subwoofer. Anything below about 60-80hz is cut off completely from the monitors. Has to do with the lowest frequency that a certain size of speaker can produce--I think even an 8" speaker can only go to like 35hz or something, the exact numbers aren't coming to mind.

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on a similar note. whats the difference between a studio subwoofer and a generic one youd get from bose or something? i figured i could get by with a generic one until i could afford a nicer one at some point. i mean, it IS garage sale season . good idea? terrible idea?

Accuracy and definition--most consumer subs that I've heard sound floppy, they sound like cardboard: colored by harmonic distortion. A good sub will sound smooth and defined.

Check it out with your ears.

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Could be the KRKs, although if your room isn't treated you could have null points canceling out your low mids. I need to make a bunch of bass traps and see if things change.

You saw my room in the other thread. The only thing it's treated with is 1970's design principles.

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The KRK monitors aren't bad but they tend to have quality control issues. I used to have a pair of Rokit 6's until one of them died after about 3 years. I found it impossible to find another one that sounded like the one I had left. It's kind of hard to explain but I often found a bit of distortion in the upper frequencies in many of the new ones I tried. I also got one that had a bad coil in the wolfer. I think I went through about three or four new speakers before I gave up.

I now have a pair of Yamaha HS80m monitors and they sound great. They definitely have a lot more going on in the low end but that's mostly due to the fact that these are 8in speakers compared tot he 6in on the ones I had before. I'm starting to really believe that you need a sub if you're going to have a pair of monitors with wolfers smaller than 8in. Otherwise you're going to have a hard time catching things that are down in the 80hz and below area.

From my research, the best budget monitors that you can find at your local music store will most likely be Yamaha or Mackie. There are other great brands out there but you'd have to order them online since most stores don't carry them. Monitors are the kind of thing I like to buy locally since I can easily return them if they're problems.

Edited by theshaggyfreak

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If you are still in the market for Studio Monitors... I can tell you flat out that the Yamaha HS80Ms are the best monitors I have ever listened to and had the pleasure of purchasing. Their frequency response is definitely the best I have heard, with pristine highs, warm mids, and flat response sub all the way down the spectrum. To be honest, I bought the HS10W subwoofer to go with them and quickly realized that I did not need it at all.

I have worked with Mackie HR624s and KrK rokits, and these are absolutely my favorite.

Good luck, I hope that helps!

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Not having heard them myself, I'm somewhat surprised to hear the Yamaha HS80s getting so much praise. I was under the impression they were designed as a spiritual successor to the NS-10s. Was my assumption false? People raving about their frequency response and how good they sound would seem to indicate that I am mistaken.

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