Powered Monitor Speakers

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by mac.head.high, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular

    mac.head.high

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    So I'm about to invest in some self-powered monitor speakers and I was hoping everybody might want to chime in and provide opinions on which is their favorite brand and/or model for music mixing and all-around television post production.

    Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    #2
    Within the past week I picked up a pair of M-Audio BX5as. They go for around 300 dollars, and so far are working great for what I need. I will admit I haven't had a chance to mix anything on them yet, but on a basic level they are pretty nice for the price.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    mac.head.high

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3

    Cool. That's good to hear, because I own some M-Audio stuff already and I've been very happy.

    May I ask how the high-end souds on your pair?
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #4
    just a question...

    do you have an M-Audio sound card already? I ask because I too thought of buying some powered speakers when it occurred to me that I could just use the RCA outs on my M-Audio card to connect my G4 to my stereo. I've had great results with this arrangement, and it certainly was cheaper than buying new speakers. It might be a good alternative for you, though the powered speakers would allow the kind of portability/flexibility that a direct stereo connection wouldn't...

    cheers
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    mac.head.high

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    That sounds good too, but no I don't have an M-Audio card. I'm running Pro Tools LE 7.0 on a Digi 002 Rack. But to be honest the stuff I work on goes directly to T.V. or radio, so I'm looking for a more professional solution in my audio needs.

    But I apprcaite the suggestion.
     
  6. ibn
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #6
    i own the Behringer TRUTH 2031As. they are great monitors, they're my first pair so i don't have much experience with them. tired them out at GC before i bought them. the sound is amazing. my friends come over and are blown away by the sound. the cost is around 400 dollars, got mine for around 280 thanks to a friend at Musician's Friend.

    my advice is to go to your local music store and try a bunch of them out. then choose. good luck
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    mac.head.high

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7

    That's what I'm going to have to do, just listen and compare. Good times.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    #8
    i suggest taking in a cd of your own work or some music you're very familiar with when you go check out monitors. i don't know your price range but here are a few of my favorites:

    m-audio bx8's, event 20/20 bas and the event studio precision 8's.

    the mackies and JBL's are nice but neither of them seemed quite balanced enough over the full frequency range (though the mackies do have an amazing low-end).

    for low-priced monitors, the bx8's give A LOT of bang for the buck. the bx5's are ok but seem rather strident to me.

    i've never liked krk's but i do have a friend that gets some nice mixes off of them.

    it's all pretty subjective and the bottom line is you can get great mixes off of just about any monitors once you get used to them.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    I own a pair of Dynaudio BM5a's. Not cheap but very flat and neutral frequency response, as well as very good, tight, focused bass. Using Pro Tools LE 6.9 at home, mixing music is a joy with little to no ear fatigue. I was considering getting cheaper monitors for a while, but your mixes only come out as good as the weakest link in your chain. Monitors being no exception I decided to spend a bit more to get good quality monitors. If you are looking to spend way less than $1000 however, KRK makes great monitors for the money.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    steelphantom

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    #10
    I also own the Behringer TRUTH monitors and they are indeed a great bargain. I had a few smoking (Yes, smoke really came out of them! :eek: ) issues with them at first, but they were repaired quickly and have worked perfectly ever since. The ones I have are the older models from a few years ago, so I'd imagine the new models have fixed any such problems that might cause them to potentially catch fire. ;)
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    compost heap
    #11
    FWIW, many people who work in audio (mixing music), love the Yorkville YSM 1P studio monitors. They are not expensive at all ($400 for a pair), and have a very true frequency response with minimal coloring. For the money, they are tops and beat out many much more expensive speakers.
     
  12. ibn
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #12
    smoke?!?! :eek: wow!!! can't say i have ever had that problem.

    but behringer is the TRUTH when it comes down to quality monitors for the price.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #13
    about powered monitor

    personnaly m-audio is ****. if you want good studio monitor for less than 1000$can i suggest you the Yorkville YSM1p instead of those m-audio bx series. If you wanna go into something more professional you have KRK V series that is great or the new Genelec Series that is awesome but for true professional studio. But for about 650$can the Ysm1p is a lot better than the BX5 or BX8
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    #14
    You can have an ADAM, Genelec or Quested.
    But they won't be at their best if you don't treat your room acoustically.


    Why nobody mentioned about acoustic ?
     
  15. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #15
    I use ESI nEar05's, they are price competitive with the M-Audios and the Behringers, and they sound great. EMu has just released a line of small monitors, Mackie has their Tapco line, Samson used to have some but I haven;'t seen much of them lately. I have seen some Tannoy Reveals on eBay recently. JBL is making some noise with their small monitors that have electronic compensation built in. Pick up some Recording, Sound on Sound, Electronic Musician, EQ and Mix magazines and read the reviews, then audition as many of the monitors as you can. (Note... please don't spend two hours auditioning at your local music shop, and then order for $20 less online from Musicians Friend... that's not kosher.)

    There seems to be a divide in small monitors, the under-$500 a pair group, and the $1000+ a pair group (ADAM, Genelec, BlueSky, etc). You need to look at the level at whic you are working -- if you are mastering or mixing final cuts, then you probably want to go for the high end. Of course, it means you have already also acoustically treated your control room, bought noise-abatement cabinets for your computer, will be mounting the speakers on non-resonant stands, and have rearranged your furniture and mixing surface to minimize early reflections, wall and corner effects, and created a sweet spot for critical listening. All of that is beneficial for cheaper monitors as well, but it makes no sense to buy premium speakers and then put them in a bad acoustic environment.

    Would you like to back that up with some reasons? It is not enough to say "The $400 monitors are ****ier than the $650 or $1000 ones and leave it at that...
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #16
    M-Audio makes some nice stuff
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    #17
    Hmm

    M-Audio sounds too nice, as in better than flat.... so I avoid them. I've heard issues, problems, with almost every brand, at some point......
    Also, speakers are not just Gear, it's a speacialized area.... usually good speakers 50 years ago, still are good....

    Near Field Monitors, which reveal what was actually recorded, while forming a triangle, with your ears @ the apex, even with tweeters - are super important.
    ( You don't really need to treat a room acoustically, you only want to hear them once, not bouncing back through the room, hence near field, close up, listening... )

    Some Mastering Headphones are out.... AKG 240 DF Digital Reference <Mastering Headphones>, with 20Hz - 22KHz +/- 1db !!! So, that is cool also....

    The original & still in 66% of studios are Yamaha NS 10's - for 25 years.... they were flat.... and not pretty.... but if you made a mix on those, it translated to anything, and so few can say that....
    Now, the wood for speakers, pulp, needs to be exactly the same trees, same place, same age, so every pair is identical.... but the trees are all gone! So, no more New NS10's - maybe still available?

    The Yamaha MSP 5's, 5" is a good size, very close to most cars, stereos, TV's, Computer speakers.... and new, as a replacement for the world standard, the have frequency response from 40Hz - 40 KHz +/- 3db( No speaker get's that high up! ) & if you like, There is a subwoofer with 10" or 12" to grab all freq below 110Hz - but highest fidelity of ANY price....
    27 watt tweeter amp, 40watt Woofer amp... XLR Sub inputs.... I found them when Guitar Center had every synth set up with these... whole store.... so you could compare.... very nice.... highest fidelity... and legend in speakers for mastering, mixing, since.... ever....

    Oh try Mastering Headphones also.... AKG 240DF - and some others - check Mastering category, and frequency responses...

    Yes, and LISTEN.....

    It's not so much what you buy/ use.... it's how used to them you are.... over time... never "Upgrade", add another pair to compare, but keep old faithfuls.... You need to know how the recording translates on anything people may use.... so same speaker.... stick with it.... Yamaha MSP5's are easy to get used to..... and inexpensive.....


    Good Luck,
    LT
     
  18. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #18
    the engineering community disagrees with your conclusions.

    strongly.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #19
    I'm kinda with zim...

    pretty much any room is going to sound OK, but if you really want to get a nice master an acoustically "dead" room is where it's at. I use the stereo in my living room to mix, and it usually sounds pretty good but there have been some occasions where what sounded great in my living room sounds like total crap in my car or on the iPod...
     
  20. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #20
    NS10's - a reference check standard because they are consistently crappy, not because they are accurate or flat.

    Wood from the same trees -- are you serious?

    Near Field Monitor is actually the trade mark of E.M. Long Associates /Calibration Standard Instruments. In the context you are using it, it means a physically small monitor meant to be used at distances of 4 to 12 feet from the listener. Near Field Monitor has no connotation of delivering exactly what was recorded, it is simply a description of the relative size and placement of the monitors. All of the montiors mentioned in this thread meet that definition.

    You suggest that monitors in near field placements do not need room treatment -- do you think the sound magically stops when it reaches your ears? Any monitoring environment is coloured by room sound. With near-fields in particular, reflections from the worksurface or mixer, and the ceiling above the listening position both have to be considered, as well as the normal room issues of standing waves and reflections. Placement of the monitor against a wall or corner will affect the bass response.
     
  21. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #21
    "OK" is a subjective term, so what's okay for you may not be so for me.

    following on what Canada was saying, the question isn't the liveness or deadness of a room, it's whether the frequency response of your listening position is flat. if it is, then you'll hear what the speakers are putting out. if it's not, then you'll hear some distortion of it -- some frequencies will be attenuated, some will be amplified. you'll get a false picture of the music.

    few rooms just "happen" to be ideal; they're designed that way.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    #22
    LaoTzu

    You seemed to be very subjective in your posts.

    What's your profession ?
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    #23
    every room needs some acoustical treatment. if it's built from scratch, the treatments can be part of the actual materials themselves. if you're using an existing room-it's gonna need some work.

    near field monitoring setups need treatment also. early reflections, standing waves..they all exist regardless of the size of the room or the listening position. there are plenty of articles online that discuss these issues. you can also study designs by firms such as Russ Berger Assoc. or Chris Pelonis.

    and don't get me started on the mythical NS-10's. After years of happy mixing on other monitors i succumbed to peer pressure and bought a pair of these clunkers. I tried to like them, i really did but finally sold them. since they're now "rare", i got more than i originally paid for them...SUCKER! aurotones, minimus 7's...every few years there's a new "golden" monitor....meh.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #24
    Every studio I've ever mixed in has had a pair of NS-10s on the meter bridge. They're the standard. If you're actually doing work in real studios, you MUST know what they sound like.

    That said, I don't own a pair - I used to, I know what they do, I can mix on them in any studio, it's fine. (The magic translation thing is sort of true - if it sounds great on NS10s, most of the time it'll sound great anywhere). My monitors of choice are Hafler TRM8s. Little-known, I don't think they're made anymore, but I've never heard a better low end (it's so tight and fast... big but controlled), imaging is good, mixes translate.

    A friend of mine just got a pair of ADAM P11a's in his studio. The imaging is absolutely amazing, to die for, I want them - but his room has some problems (very hard / corner-y - needs some serious bass control) so I can't really talk about the low end. Despite room problems, it sounded extended (had some power in the 40-50hz range), if a bit large and undefined. Probably the room. But the ribbons! oh...

    I'd never buy m-audio, behringer, etc. for monitors. They're too important, and you'll never see them in real studios... you're just shooting yourself in the foot with them. (and I'm not a gear snob in other areas - ie I have all kinds of "semi-junky" mics - but definitely not my speakers)

    Treatment is very very important. You don't need dead. You need diffusion, no slapback, bass control, elimination of modes. I've done mixes in fairly live control rooms that sounded great.

    I just noticed that you say you do work for tv/radio - make sure you have junk speakers and boomboxes wired up and easily switchable.

    So - listen a lot, preferably in studios (not stores), and buy the best monitors you can afford. Stay away from low-end brands. Go krk, dynaudio, adam, hafler, jbl, etc. (in my opinion genelec is WAY overpriced - but they're another standard speaker - so you should know what they sound like). And I don't know how people mix on those mackies, but they do...
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    #25

    I'm an engineer. I went to college for it, and have 20 years experience... I often am begged for technical help from BIG studios.... Mix/ Master engineers, as I know more about the constantly changing technology - A/D D/A Conversion, Dither, how Digital alters sounds, reducing multiple gain stages, etc. etc.
    Most developers & companies that MAKE this gear... call me if it's acting weird.... Professors, artists, scientists.....

    Humbly, I have studied a LOT for a LONG time, and pro's find my expertise second to none. ( No idea how one measures these things.... but "They" say )

    Near Field is for listening in 1 Meter or less 3 feet, 2.5 feet? 2 feet? Whatever you have room for - you & speakers should be equally spaced in an equilateral triangle - your ears/ sitting at the hypotenuse of triangle - ears even with tweeters - Speakers @ 45 degree angle inward ( Triangle )
    The "Sweet spot" will vary - but you can move and HEAR inside- outside - then you have a perfect stereo image/ frequencies / to objectively compare.

    A 40Hz ( Low E on Bass Guitar ) is actually a 4 foot wave form - it cannot be recorded, heard, or mic'd unless you move back 4 feet. ( So say a subwoofer may be on the floor 6 feet away ) but tweeters are tiny wave forms ( Many speakers make woofer stick out, tweeter back inches so both hit ears @ same time.... )

    The idea of being so close, is to minimize ANY room sounds. Lots of Mastering guys ( 20 grand a day types ) Carry their own speakers - into strange rooms, and as they know a speaker - how mix translates to other systems - consistently achieve the same results.... see MIX oe EQ Magazines 4 example....

    Peace,
    Lao Tzu
     

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