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Thread: looking for affordable general* studio monitors

  1. #1
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    looking for affordable general* studio monitors

    hi, iam stuck with old gear and looking for new general* studio monitors, not those who are used as "reference", iam talking about a speaker that gives a good image of the final result, pretty much like a regular speaker but more accurate as most studio monitors 10 years ago were

    i tried todays yamahas' HS-5's and JBLs' LSR 305, which were completely not what i was looking for, ssound, iam looking for the simple method, the one that gives the image of final result.
    if you know what i mean, please help,

    for example... the old yamahas' "hs-50" and hs-80\ the Samson "Resolve A6s' and the "classic" Rokits' that were there 10 years ago
    Last edited by Dj O.C; 12-11-2019 at 08:03 AM.

  2. #2
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    Try Focals, i've got cms 65's very nice sound

  3. #3
    Moderator DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    looking for affordable general* studio monitors

    Quote Originally Posted by Dj O.C View Post
    hi, iam stuck with old gear and looking for new general* studio monitors, not those who are used as "reference", iam talking about a speaker that gives a good image of the final result, pretty much like a regular speaker but more accurate as most studio monitors 10 years ago were

    i tried todays yamahas' HS-5's and JBLs' LSR 305, which were completely not what i was looking for, ssound, iam looking for the simple method, the one that gives the image of final result.
    if you know what i mean, please help,

    for example... the old yamahas' "hs-50" and hs-80\ the Samson "Resolve A6s' and the "classic" Rokits' that were there 10 years ago
    If you like the old KRK Rokits, why not buy a pair of good used ones on eBay?😊 I kinda like my JBL LSR 305ís.

  4. #4
    I was told the new Yamaha HS' aren't the same as the NS-10 which was the lousiest monitor on earth (which is why it became so popular, it sounded like most peoples' home hifi with it's pronounced midrange but was considered professional)

    Many studios kept them for that exact reason, although spares and 2nd hand units are getting hard to come by.

    The story tells the sound was partially a result of the iconic white cone material which became unobtainable over the years as the manufacturer ceased the production (it was an unique mixture of pulp or something)

    I think these days the "one-driver" speakers like Avantone are trying to fill the gap but with a hefty price tag (ie. starting a studio without the NS-10 which many sound engineers are used to could set you on a mission to either find rare 2nd hand ones or buy one of the expensive, specifically designed models on the market)

    I'd use just about any bookshelf speaker for this purpose but it's more of a mastering engineers problem to be honest, usually monoing the mix and/or turning it down will give you an idea what it sounds like on a consumer-level system.

    As for "monitoring" speakers I think you'd look at either a pair of industry-standard Genelecs (1k and upwards) or Behringer Truths (around 300-400), depending on how much you're willing to spend. If you're a hobbyist like most of us there are quite a lot of options, for instance I had Fostex PM1mk2's for 12-13 years or so. I've heard the Behringers too and they're ok to mix on I guess, a friend of mine had them in his studio (I can't remember which model, B2031 iirc)

    Then there's stuff like Adam, M-Audio and Mackie (Tannoy is good too I heard) but I wouldn't necessarily get the small "multimedia" speakers (the same friend had a pair, they were M-Audio iirc) for mixing, they usually have features like USB/RCA inputs and all sorts of gimmicks (plus you may end up moving them around as their weight&size allows it which is when you mess the carefully set stereo image, ie. you should position yourself as far as the distance of the speakers)

    Many advice to invest in monitors if you're serious about producing.. then there are home studios that do very professional-sounding stuff on budget-level gear which could actually be their key to success (in lay terms they make up in musicality what they lack in gear).. I remember reading many rave anthems of the late 80's-early 90's sounded like crap because they were recorded and mixed god knows where.

  5. #5
    Not sure what you want to spend.. you seem to want a bit better than the average but not TOO expensive and in that league there are some good ones eg. Adam A7X, Dynaudio BM6A... Those would be in the $1500/pr range new, prob under 1000 used. My friend has the BM6A's they're nice.

  6. #6
    Yeah, with the mid-level stuff you need to weigh your options.. either get not-as-loud and sensitive, smaller ones or loud, less accurate larger ones (depending on your room size and material, if your clientele consists of bands where you mix together with them in a large room get the bigger ones, if you do lots of tracking with session musicians get the small ones)

    Most near-fields are meant for the engineer/operator only and as such are 2-way to save space.. with large 3-way main monitors you're looking at sums around 5-10k (they're usually sold L/R separately, some with a middle speaker too) but I have no experience with them, usually a large studio monitoring room has 2 (or more) sets of monitors, main and near-field and the engineer/producer would track the band/artist on the near-fields and mix with either/both (I read in some studios it's part of the customer service and recording experience to let the band hang around in the monitoring/mixing room while the engineer would mix on the mains; on large, older mixing desks when multitracking became available it was the norm as the band and sometimes studio personnel were used for "fader automation" which was choreographed and rehearsed before printing the mixdown) once the tracking is done.

    These days it could be up to the producer/engineer as it can be intimidating to write Pro Tools automation with the band/artist/producer breathing down your neck, so as the producers job is to oversee the production process depending on whether the mixing engineer is hired or not the band/artist(s) could be in the monitoring room or take a break although many like to hear the results of a tracking session.

    In 2-track studios the engineer would set levels and track & mix in real time, with overdub it was possible to record the instruments one after another but there was no "editing" as it would take place when setting the next track or in post by splicing the tape, I guess depending on the studio they made backup copies and session sheets of the project.. the current style of recording uses multitracking the instruments on separate channels and re-recording, punching in and bouncing tracks (sometimes with the whole band, then you'd do some parts with individual members until the piece was done), but if the aforementioned was the case the band could rent the whole studio and track themselves for which they necessarily wouldn't have the skills, then the mixing engineer would likely be credited as the recording engineer who usually takes care of mic placement, setting up monitoring, cabling etc.. I remember reading an interview of a mixing engineer who said he uses nearfields 70% of the time.

  7. #7
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    thats some sound advice right there... cheers efinque

  8. #8
    I've been lately digging into designing a separate control/monitoring room.. mad expensive, I know but a wise investment at some point seeing high-end microphones, preamps and monitoring costs several thousands; ie. it makes no sense to track with them in a living room (in some cases it's not possible/practical to build one but if you plan on relocating I thought I'd share)

    Other benefits are soundproofing for privacy, isolation from ambient noises etc.. the problem is the labour and costs (a door height ~2x3m room which houses the bare minimum for tracking, ie. a small mixing desk, multitracking, monitors etc gets hot too, and you need to easy on the volume because the room size makes the monitors appear louder) but I believe it's easier to control room reverberation and spill (you'll only hear what the mic captures) etc, probably later add an isolation booth for vocals and/or a dedicated live room.

    I estimated the costs for a modest control room/booth and ended up with some 50-60m of 2x4" (or 2x2" on the walls/roof to isolate/decouple them) for the frame, 30m2 absorbtion in the floor, walls and roof, PVC pipes/chassis for lights/mains cabling, 55-60m2 of 11-22mm MDF covered with 3mm drywall paneling, 6m2 roof paneling, 10m2 wall paneling, paint, 6m2 floor carpet/vinyl flooring, skirting board, a soundproof door (or two normal ones), AC/ventilation ducts, 10A wall socket(s), flush-mount lights, diffusers/absorbers, cabling, multicore breakout panel, patchbay etc.. the costs are hovering around 1k depending on how much you need to modify the existing structuring I guess and how much you spend on interior design (for comparison a high-end microphone could cost 2-2,5k)

    EDIT : I quickly sketched something like this :



    I shamelessly used the floor plan of my old apartment (it's not to scale though) but you get the idea.. then there's stuff to consider like electrical safety and the obvious fire hazard.. also I think soundproofing the AC intake is kind of tricky, and getting the roof sturdy enough if it's decoupled (the drawing isn't accurate in the sense that a 2m wide control room wouldn't have fit in practice without blocking the door next to it.. I fixed a few things like the room height etc and some other stuff)

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