Choosing studio monitors - Is it your most important buying decision?
According to this month's Sound On Sound magazine, choosing monitors is your most important buying decision. But is it? And how do you make your choice? This video will make your decision easy. It's a simple matter of either/or. Watch...
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The problems with bass reflex can be overcome my using dual chamber bass reflex as described by George Augspurger back in 1961. Some modern speakers use dual chamber bass reflex and have superb low distortion bass. Two examples are the Fyne Audio F502 and the Tannoy Revolution XT8F, both of which were designed by Dr Paul Mills.
I love my Tannoy FSM 🙂
What I like about your videos is that you give practical and, very importantly, untribal advice. What do I mean by untribal? For example, closed or bass-reflex? Well, in an ideal world, both, you say. Which brand should I go for? Well, most brands offer excellent monitors these days, so go with the ones you like, you say. Etc, etc. In other words, the focus is on production and not the gear itself.
"Untribal" - I shall try to incorporate that word into my vocabulary more. DM
@Audio Masterclass oops... 😉
Thank you Mr. Paul McCartney. This was very informative.
Is it deliberate that some of the images in the free book (pdf version) are laterally inverted?
Is he saying something ?
Are You dumb everyone knows that NS10s were garbage only reason they made their fame was thru wierd sound signature, that was so bad that only good recordings sounded OK on them. So people started using them in studio. That model was meant for home stereo but it sounded so bad nobody wanted it. If u tell me you listen something for reference on them I take you as a joke.
The room dictates how good which monitors will sound. l prefer closed back cans for myself and a pair for one other. I keep 4 pair of cheapo's ready when the gang shows up. Keeps everybody quiet while the tunes play. Keep your monitors because even moving the furniture messes with the din.
I have No boom in my system. I have front porten speakers
PSY Trance have rumbling basseline and it is simple sound can be made with any instrument, if you start with that Bass then it is SAW EQ and sometimes Compressor. SAW is what is happening and adding shine , suboscillatiors it is always Saw working with Kick that is pitched down shine . Thos results cam be achieved using different techniques and sometimes masking will give desired result. For that Genre of Music Rock rules are the best way to make Music with Drums, Bass , Guitar, Vocal, Keyboard spectrum placemat and everything is that simple but always tend to make something interesting
OK but people adapted to place and Acoustics and make decisions like PRO's but what is weird PRO Studios are not accepting rules and usually they they deliberately make wrong decisions but not too much of course. These are mistakes like hunger and accentuation of harmonics that the artist deliberately removed in order to get a warm sound or a deep bass, and then the professionals increase the volume of resonances just to fill Reference Levels .
There are a lot of excellent bass reflex speakers
I don't disagree. I would say though that there are some speakers that are excellent allowing for the fact that they are bass reflex. And people who like a lot of bass, and there's nothing wrong with that, will always prefer them. DM
Most studio monitors have a flat response. The only doubt I have is the quality of the drivers and the crossover components. Room treatment also is a big factor. Its better to have a reasonable quality headphones
Finally I understand why I never liked ported speakers, I've never heard it explained so easily as you describe. My ears so hate one note boom bass so much I always opt for sealed boxes.
What’s for lunch and, or dinner is always the most important decision
7:46 next time someone laughs at my Rokkit monitors I’m pointing them here!
The secret of bores is that they say everything
I love your clear and light-hearted explanations, David. Even with things I know already, your descriptions clarify.
nah, I chose none at all, headphones only, so picking speakers wasn't very imporant to me personally lol
I agree with almost everything in your videos, incl. what you say about base reflex, however only if it is designed to increase base output, which it really isn´t very good at.
So why should one consider base reflex at all?
I once had a friend who worked at one of the large loudspeaker makers, unfortunately he is not amongst us anymore.
Anyways I´ve learned a lot from him, and one of the things were the good and bad things about base reflex.
Normally people talk about pulse response which is the upside of closed speakers, and of extended Bas response as the upside for reflex. But he told me that this was not at all the truth.
First, he said, never design reflex for extended range, this will only cause you trouble and distortion.
Instead, you should tune the system for lowest possible distortion in the midrange, as so subwoofers are not considered.
This is done by searching two evenly large impedance peaks in the systems resonance behavior.
By doing this you will end up with something, that are likely not to extend the Bas response, but the drivers will hardly move when playing, thus the distortion is lowered massively.
Of course, there is other things that matters, but I learned how important this particular thing was for drivers that reproduces both bas and midrange. Looking at measurements on a lot of speakers, I guess not many designers have recognized this behavior, they mostly have bas on their minds, when designing reflex systems.
Bass reflex is a wide universe, according to drivers, multiple alignments are possible. Some of them are near to closed speakers. Anyways there's no free lunch, to have bass you have to go big.
It totally depends on the build, whether one should use one over another.
No frankly, you hear the real thing on NS-10 because they have no bass reflex ? What about the resonance of their poor cones, f. response, phase shift ? Well, whatever, I've been recording for over 30 years, I still prefer my Trio 6 be.
I think that speakers are kind of like acoustic guitars. Each one of them has its own characteristics. You chose your speakers, with a general idea of what you're looking for (like whether or not you're choosing a dreadnaught, concert sized, etc. sized guitar) Then you find out the weak spots in your monitor speakers, and you compensate for those weak spots (rolling back the treble, or enhancing it. Or, rolling back the bass or enhancing it, etc. You do these things to establish a base point. ) You learn to compensate for your speakers. No speakers are perfect, but some have a more flat response than others. Generally the bigger the woofer in a speaker, the further back you have to stand from a speaker box, in order to get an accurate representation of what the speaker sounds like. Bigger speakers require bigger rooms. Smaller speakers have the advantage of allowing you to sit closer to the speaker and still hear it fully. I think that trial and error is one of the best teachers. You have to make mistakes in order to know what not to do next time. There is no substitute for experience. Fortunately home studio recording doesn't involve an hourly clock or big budgets, generally, so you can make mistakes without a costly result. This is one of the great things about being able to record at home. (PS: If you really learn the limitations of your speakers, you can mix on damn near any set of speakers. But, you have to know the limitations of your speakers, and know them well. If you have this knowledge, you can compensate for their characteristics, when recording and mixing.)
There is a new development. The new Neumann KH150 dsp speakers eliminate that bass reflex resonance while keeping the low frequency extension. See the reviews of this in Sound and Recording and Audio Scientific Review. The frequency response is quite flat and distortion is below audible level.
It is ironic that you focus on a flat frequency response when you use Yamaha NS10 speakers, which have a terrible frequency response curve. I encourage viewers to look at the frequency response curve of these.
In addition, you have completely ignored the issue of a subwoofer.
I have a variety of speakers yet my mains are the Alesis Monitor 2 set, which are midfield and have larger woofers, along with some medium sized floor speakers. I just bought 2 more sets of speakers and I have a time delay device to tweak the room. I spin records and play are lot of different genres,so I like to mix and match amps,speakers,preamps,and cartridges...
Just catching up with some of these Audio Masterclass videos. I bough this edition of SoS and found the article very informative but felt there was a glaring omission. That of using a separate sub.
Using a subwoofer would be a whole topic in it's own right, in my opinion. I might have a go at it myself, unless SOS beats me to it. DM
@Audio Masterclass After some searching I did find an article on the SOS website dating from 2007. I know the principles would be the same but it might benefit from an update. By the way, thanks for the videos and keep up the good work!
I have seen so many up and coming producers produce flawless mixes on budget headphones, some even on cheap consumer gear. Theres lots of bad options but good options seemingly dont have to be expensive.
I find fancy monitors to be an absolute waste of money if the room is not properly treated, both transient detail as well as any sort of detail in the bass is lost to the room.
Agreed. I reckon Mark Ronson could produce better on a $1 eBay earbud than I could in Abbey Road. DM
A lot of producers hire engineers with a good room and great speakers
Sound advice. A lot of listeners will be hearing through earbuds and from laptop or phone speakers. So these days perhaps the reflex speakers should be supplemented with them as well. As an aside does anyone know how "The Todd Terry Project- Bango (BONUS BANG)" manages to put sounds behind you when listening to stereo speakers?
Think of what makes a sound sound like its behind you.
Theres a couple key elements to it:
Its quieter than the other elements.
It has more small room reverberation than the other elements (convolution reverb does it beautifully).
It may have binaural properties such as slightly muffled high end.
I agree, I normally do recommend a range of listening systems, including New York cyclists. That's worth looking up. As for hearing stuff behind you, there have been systems that claim 3D sound from two speakers. I've tried them and they are impressive in the short term, but tiring to listen to in the long. Again, worth checking out. DM
David, what Are your favourite bands?
Come on, has to be the Beatles - Every song has a different arrangement. And if you ask guitarist, then David Gilmour - Every note with a different articulation. Discuss.
@Audio Masterclass Thank you
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