audio editing requirements

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by corby, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. corby macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #1
    Hi, I am buying a new mac pro this week and have been sorting through info trying to figure out what I need to monitor my audio properly. I'll be working with final cut studio 2 and CS3 apps and doing the best stereo mix I can. I don't need top of the line at all, if a project is big enough I'll have a post audio house do it for me. I need the basics to get a decent stereo mix, I just don't know what that is. I'm wary of computer speakers and I don't know if I *need* a mixing board. I'd love to hear what you guys have to say. Thanks.
     
  2. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #2
    You should tell us a little more about what you intend to do. Your post was pretty clear on the mixing/mastering part (you are looking for good stereo quality, and you are prepared for using a professional mixing/mastering house for the fiishing touch ups).

    What you haven't told us yet is how you are going to record audio, or if you will do that at all (as opposed to, say, relying solely on software instruments in your audio software).

    As for the monitoring, get yourself a decent audio interface and a pair of monitors. You don't need to spend thousands on the monitors, but stay away from consumer speakers. As you may already know, consumer speakers are designed to make audio sound good. For mixing, you don't want "good" sound, you want "accurate" sound. Very different objectives, which require different kinds of speakers.

    So, please let us know a little more about what you are planning on doing, and I am sure you'll receive more comments!

    Good luck!

    - Martin
     
  3. corby thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #3
    Thanks Martin,
    The recorded sound will come mainly from DAT tapes or from Panasonic HVX200 on P2 cards. Most likely I won't be recording music myself just mixing prerecorded music in with dialogue and FX. Making short films is what I'll be doing so I will be needing to clean up location sound and get a good dialogue mix. Thanks.
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    i agree you need decent monitors, but imho the best money you could spend is on some room treatment. i like the stuff from realtraps.com .

    grab 4 mini-traps, stick 'em in the corners, and see how much better (i.e. more accurate) whatever monitors you end up getting will sound.
     
  5. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    #5
    OK, that's good information. That means that the recommendation from the above post remains: get a decent audio interface (for output to the monitors) and a good pair of monitors. Zimv is right, the room in which you mix is important, but I don't know enough about this topic to give you specific advise.

    If you are looking into getting a control surface at all (that's the device that looks like a mixer, but the fader movement is sent to the computer instead of mixing "real" sources), I can only say good things about the Tascam FW-1082 which is a mixer, control surface and audio interface all in one unit, at a great price. If you think you'll be fine adjusting virtual sliders with the mouse, then you won't need that - in fact, since all your sources are digital (DAT, P2 cards), you capture hardware can probably be very inexpensive.

    - Martin
     
  6. corby thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #6
    Thanks Martin. The Tascam FW-1082 looks really nice and if I had the cash I'd consider it. I hope to upgrade to something like that shortly but what I need right now is the bare minimum. Do you have any suggestions as to brands/models of monitors and interface? I know the words 'good' and 'cheap' don't usually go together but if you know of anything close that would be great. Thanks.
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #7
    imho, the best $1000 you can spend on monitors are the adam a7's. if you can spare another grand(ish) for a stereo DAC, i recommend the Benchmark DAC-1.
     
  8. corby thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #8
    I'm looking hundreds not thousands. I've been looking at Edirol MA 15D. From what I understand I'll be able to connect directly to my computer as well. Any thoughts?
    I'm looking for a short term solution until I can afford to upgrade, but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  9. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    #9
    As far as audio interface "in the hundreds" price range go, I have an Echo AudioFire8, and I am very satisfied with it. The frequency response and dynamic range are excellent in its price class, both for input and output. It's got an S/PDIF, which I don't use but since you mentioned DAT earlier... I'd take a look at Echo's product line and see if they have something that fits your need and budget (the AudioFire8 is probably overkill for you in terms of the number of inputs and outputs). [Note: I should add that I am doing sound for video, not for music, so my requirements for a monitoring system are a little different from yours. You may want to run your selection by someone with solid music mixing experience to make sure that you are covered for your intended application.]

    Now to the monitors. I am afraid I don't have experience with inexpensive ones, so I don't want to recommend anything specifically. You could take a look at this forum: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=53 and do a search for monitors, but again, this is from people that do mostly video. http://www.soundonsound.com is another great resource, looking at it more from a music perspective.

    When you shop for monitors, I would think of it as a long term investment. Unlike a new computer or video camera, for example, a good monitor speaker will retain its value for a long, long time, and can serve you well for decades. The same is true for microphones. So with mics and monitors, I stretch further when reaching into my pockets than for any other type of equipment. When I first started, I bought on a tight budget, but soon realized that that was more expensive in the long run than if I had bought professional gear in the first place. I don't know your financial situation, and I know it's easy for me to tell you to spend a lot of money - it's your call in the end. But if there's only one item that you can really focus on right now ("focus" as in "spend money on"), make that item a good pair of monitor speakers.

    - Martin
     
  10. corby thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #10
    Thanks Martin. I guess I wasn't clear earlier. Doing sound for video is what I'll be doing. DAT use will be few and far between so I'll worry about it when I need to. I'm a student finishing my degree this year so money is tight now but that should be different next year when I'll be working so upgrading to something professional will happen then. Thanks for the advice. I'll check out that link.
     
  11. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    #11
    So you are looking for something to get by with just for the next year? Turning what I wrote earlier around, my advise would then be to NOT spend a lot of money right now on monitors. Buy cheap speakers that you can throw away next year without feeling bad about it; meanwhile, when you have a project that's ready to mix, use a friend's setup or work with a post house. You can cut video just fine with cheap computer speakers. Mixing and mastering the audio is a different story, but that's just a small portion of the video workflow, typically towards the end of the project. Once you have more money to spend (and a better feel for what kind of video work you'll do), you can upgrade to some decent monitors to complete your setup.

    - Martin
     
  12. corby thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #12
    Thanks. That's the direction I was leaning. I've been checking out Edirol MA 15D do you have any experience with them? They are $175 a pair. I was thinking that they are better than cheaper computer speakers, could hold up longer until I can seriously upgrade and like you said have a better idea of what I'll be doing, and I believe they can connect directly to my mac pro. Any thoughts?
     

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