Subs in monitoring

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Tarkovsky, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #1
    Being involved in the recording arts at a very basic level (I do mashups, make basic recordings, do the tech for my student radio and edit interviews/segments) I'll quickly admit that I'm no studio guru. However as of late a friend of mine has been getting me into serious hi-fi. And, under his guidance I bought myself a sub. The REL storm. And it's fantastic. Now for those of you who aren't in the know, the general consensus AFAIK is that using a sub gives you an unnatural impression of the bottom end of your mixes And unless you're mixing D n B or club music, it's more than a waste of money, it's a sonic trojan. Now I understand some dislike of subwoofers - one note bass out of hot-hatches, burberry and dogging, but we're talking about something entirely different. A high quality, well set up, musical subwoofer does not sound like this at all. In fact, you shouldn't really be able to hear it. It should just effortlessly and transparently extend and improve the sound of your speakers at all frequencies. This is perhaps the most remarkable thing about a well set up, musical subwoofer; it seems to improve sound across the range. Furthermore, in my situation at least, putting in a sub improved bass imbalance in my 'studio'. Apparently this is a known phenomenon amongst hi-fiers. I mentioned to my aforementioned friend about the awful bass response of my room and he explained that a proper sub could well improve it. I was sceptical. But it really does sound miles better. So for £180 you could drastically improve your monitoring set up, and when you want to hear the mix without the bottom end, just turn it off. Does anyone still know of a good argument against them?
     
  2. JG271 macrumors 6502a

    JG271

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I can't think of any reason not to have a Sub, if it doesn't overpower the other frequencies.
    The best studio monitors will have three independent speaker cones, a woofer, middle and tweeter... so maybe best to get one that has all-in one rather than separate speakers.
    So... no i can't think of an argument against!
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    here's what i don't get about subs: when i re-did my control room, everything was planned around treating the room and sitting in the correct position. i've got over a dozen bass traps, plus diffusion and absorption.

    i had stands custom made and not only got the pointy feet on them, but put the pointy feet into padded metal discs.

    all this effort was to take as much of the room out of the sonic equation as possible.

    so why would i want to introduce an element that not only puts out more bass frequency than is there, but couples the room (and the house) into those bass frequencies? if i got a sub, why did i bother doing all that bass trapping and decoupling?

    that's what i don't get. but i'm happy for someone to explain what i've overlooked.

    what about the school of thought that says one full-range cone is preferable, because there are no cross-overs involved?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #4
    There are arguments for and against speakers with many different driver arrangements. 1-way designs have the advantage of no crossovers and no chance of disruptive/constructive wave interference in the frequency where two drivers cover the same sound (around the crossover point) when listening to the speakers from different angles. However, a good 4-way design will give you many advantages over this, and yet may introduce other issues such as audible crossover points.

    RE subwoofers - I find subwoofers still be quite directional. Even with one placed right in the centre of the stereo image, I can hear that all the bass is emanating from a single unit...
     
  5. Tarkovsky thread starter macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

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    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #5
    It has been said that full range cones lack the same sort of transient response as separates. And you shouldn't decouple your speakers, they're designed to use their weight and sitting leverage to the air not the cabinet...
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #6
    no, i mean i decouple them from the room. the monitors themselves are quite intact. or did i misunderstand you?
     
  7. Tarkovsky thread starter macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

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    #7
    Yes, physically decoupling them from whatever they stand on with sorbothane feet decreases bass response.
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    of course, because the room and the rest of the building no longer acts as a resonator. that's desirable, at least to me, because i want to hear the bass as it actually is, not in some kind of extra-amplified way.
     
  9. Tarkovsky thread starter macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #9
    No, it's not the case of the stand resonating (it won't if it's a good heavy one), it's that the speaker will shake itself instead of the air around it. If anything, isolating them will give you the least accurate response.
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    oh, i did misunderstand you. the monitors are on some good, very heavy stands. it's the stands that have the pointy bits and padded discs, to isolate the whole-shebang from shaking the floor.
     

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