You are here

Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby Edd M » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:57 am

Having been wanting to upgrade my monitors for a while, I've gone for 'KRK Rokit RPG2 6', mainly due to a friend selling them at a very reasonable price!

My issue is that the low end response goes to 49Hz.
As a 7 string guitarist and 5 string bassist, I often use the low B strings. On the bass this is a whopping 31Hz (B0)!

49 would presumably only achieve a G above this?
I'm assuming that the psycho-acoustics of harmonics would make the listener hear the correct note, even if technically it were not there?

Any answers would be lovely.
A Subwoofer is out of the question money wise and studio ethic wise!
Cheers,
Edd
Edd M
Poster
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:20 pm

Edd M wrote:Having been wanting to upgrade my monitors for a while, I've gone for 'KRK Rokit RPG2 6', mainly due to a friend selling them at a very reasonable price!

My issue is that the low end response goes to 49Hz.
As a 7 string guitarist and 5 string bassist, I often use the low B strings. On the bass this is a whopping 31Hz (B0)!

49 would presumably only achieve a G above this?
I'm assuming that the psycho-acoustics of harmonics would make the listener hear the correct note, even if technically it were not there?

Any answers would be lovely.
A Subwoofer is out of the question money wise and studio ethic wise!

That's not bad at all for speakers of that size and price. But if you want to FEEL that low bass, no it won't happen!

There's a couple of points here. Unless you're sure your mixes will be played on systems with extended bass responsem it's a good idea to drastically filter out anything below about 40Hz anyway. It just soaks up power, rattles speakers to bits and can distort material that IS audible. You'll note that the Rokit specs mention not only a lower response point (which isn't a hard cut-off point, just the frequency at which response falls below a certain level) but they also have a hi-pass filter designed to remove signal below a frequency about 10Hz lower.

If you DO want those low frequencies, you'll need bigger speakers. One will do - Rokit make sub-bass units designed to go with your speakers. I understand you may not be able to afford one, but where's the moral issue? :-)
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5652
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK

You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:45 pm

Edd M wrote:My issue is that the low end response goes to 49Hz. As a 7 string guitarist and 5 string bassist, I often use the low B strings. On the bass this is a whopping 31Hz (B0)!

49 would presumably only achieve a G above this?
I'm assuming that the psycho-acoustics of harmonics would make the listener hear the correct note, even if technically it were not there?

The quoted bandwidth of the speaker should be given with specific limits such as +/-3dB or +/-10dB or whatever.

Speakers (and microphones) don't just stop producing sound below (or above) a certain frequency -- they simply become less efficient or sensitive, resulting in a smooth roll-off.

So it the speaker was nominally flat to 49Hz, it would probably still generate an audible signal an octave or more below that, but with lower intensity. So the chances are that your KRKs will still produce your low Bs, but they won't be as loud as notes played on higher strings with the same volume.

Moreover, as you say, the ear/brain has the amazing ability to infer fundamentals when it only hears harmonics.

Hugh
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 17512
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby Edd M » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:54 pm

Cheers guys! I thought that was the case, although it worried me a bit!

I have some 'Genius' speakers at the moment, And I'm sure several consumer level (not studio level) speakers say 20Hz-20kHz on them, but perhaps they don't bother with the flat response patterns as you suggested Hugh!

My moral issue with the sub, is that I hold the theory of 'not everyone has decent speakers, let alone a sub' to my chest very closely!
I'm also looking at monitors and the reviews say things like, 'speaker sound quality is not loud enough or of good quality' - so therefore, not only are they not 'in-the-know' of what a 1w pair of speakers in an LCD monitor should produce, they obviously don't use a sub! Or consider a sub!

I don't do much for clubs either, so I feel a sub would be wasted!

Cheers for the responses anyway, I'm sure I'll be happy with them =D
Edd M
Poster
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby narcoman » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:34 pm

I would say - with bass instrument a great deal of what you hear isn't the fundamental. Even your low B - most of what you'll hear will be above the fundamental note - in fact I've found it's generally the third harmonic that you hear most of!! So that's right up at 124hz!

Generally it's only really full range systems (including those with subs - they count) that reproduce those deep frequencies. I haven't really heard monitors below £10k that do this cleanly and properly. In other words - don't worry too much about it, you'll get enough information about whats going on with your monitors as you will much else until you get into high end monitoring and decent listening rooms. Mixing bass, at the lower price end, is as much about doing a quick check with a meter as anything else.

One reason to perhaps consider a sub is, even though most people won't hear it, it will eat up headroom. Bass is hungry.
narcoman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3439
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:00 pm
Battenburg to the power of 20 - said by Richie Royale in a moment of genius. 4pm. Wed 16th Nov 2011. Remember where you were....

Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:49 pm

Edd M wrote:My moral issue with the sub, is that I hold the theory of 'not everyone has decent speakers, let alone a sub' to my chest very closely!

Quite correct, but I think you're misapplying it.

Why are you buying quality monitor speakers at all? Yes, mostly your work will be heard on inferior systems - inferior in plenty of ways other than bass extension. Want a list of those ways? - well, make a list of everything you think make the Rokits good! You will hear (hopefully) a less coloured, more detailed, cleaner and more accurate sound than most other people who listen to your music. This helps you to make mixes that translate well to other systems.

You can manage quite nicely with monitor speakers that don't go way down. Just filter out inaudible low bass (check on a spectrum display) and make sure your mixes sound good within the frequency spectrum everyone can reproduce. Or you can monitor on speakers with an extended low range and really feel those bottom string notes - but make sure you're not distributing something that will distort on lesser systems. I get the impression that you would quite like to have monitors that let you hear the full bottom end. But why on earth does it matter if you achieve this with two large boxes or two smaller boxes and one larger one?
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5652
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK

You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby ef37a » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:26 pm

Look at where the pickups are on the bass (or a lead for that matter) you won't be picking up much 31Hz!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:48 pm

ef37a wrote:Look at where the pickups are on the bass (or a lead for that matter) you won't be picking up much 31Hz!

And remember that although bassists love playing that bottom string, just about everyone else would rather prefer they didn't :-)
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5652
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK

You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby ef37a » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:01 am

Morning E.W.
"But why on earth does it matter if you achieve this with two large boxes or two smaller boxes and one larger one?"

I actually think it does matter quite a bit?

I am sure Hugh or another has covered this before but a single subwoofer is always a compromise. The general advice is I seem to remember that getting what LF you can from the monitors is better and spend the money there rather than a sub if possible and the smaller the room the less useful a sub becomes.

There is, as I understand things a very strong case for TWO subs to augment smaller speakers and these should be placed as near to them as possible.

A refresher article perhaps SoS?
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby Edd M » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:38 am

ef37a wrote:A refresher article perhaps SoS?

I think that'd be a really interesting (and informative) experiment actually, trying out different tops with/without a sub and then with two, perhaps even dare for the 'centre' speaker often found in surround but apply it to pop?

If I were to do it (...if money were no object) it'd be interesting to try 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 then 3.0 3.1 3.2 and 3.3

Presumably having stereo subs would free panning choice for the low end entirely! Although the centre monitors could be overkill. In pop anyway!
Edd M
Poster
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:33 am

Edd M wrote:
ef37a wrote:A refresher article perhaps SoS?

I think that'd be a really interesting (and informative) experiment actually, trying out different tops with/without a sub and then with two, perhaps even dare for the 'centre' speaker often found in surround but apply it to pop?

If I were to do it (...if money were no object) it'd be interesting to try 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 then 3.0 3.1 3.2 and 3.3

Presumably having stereo subs would free panning choice for the low end entirely! Although the centre monitors could be overkill. In pop anyway!

Heh! I was not thinking along quite such grandiose lines Edd! Just a page maybe on the pro and cons of subs in "small" rooms and some guidance re positioning.

Still! A nice big article comparing the same system in 3say, different "domestic" spaces would be very informative I would guess.

The room sizes I would suggest: Sub 900cu ft* 1200-1500cuft and ~2500+ for those lucky B's with a nice old high ceilinged Victorian property?

If the results came out to suggest that subs can never give good results in the average projjy bedroom, (~1000cuft?) this might prove unpopular with some advertizers? And I suspect this might be the case!
*Cest moir!
Be a lot of work, on a par I would say with the excellent '07guitar mic'athon.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:56 am

Are you edging towards suggesting that if a room is not large enough to contain a full wavelength at a certain frequency, that frequency cannot be heard?
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5652
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK

You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:07 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:Are you edging towards suggesting that if a room is not large enough to contain a full wavelength at a certain frequency, that frequency cannot be heard?

Well, for any given frequency and any given room there will be pressure nulls and peaks. Easy enough to run some sines and walk about a bit! Then as rooms get smaller the amount of trapping begins to exceed the space required by kit and person I understand!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby Edd M » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:35 am

ef37a wrote: For those lucky B's with a nice old high ceilinged Victorian property

...Like me? Win.

ef37a wrote: Be a lot of work, on a par I would say with the excellent '07guitar mic'athon.

I did something similar to the guitar mic'athon for an assignment last year, it was excellent research!

If it were a one pager it would probably have to be done in a standard size room me thinks, with good acoustics. Just to hear the difference the subs make!
Edd M
Poster
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:27 am

Edd M wrote:
ef37a wrote: For those lucky B's with a nice old high ceilinged Victorian property


...Like me? Win.

ef37a wrote: Be a lot of work, on a par I would say with the excellent '07guitar mic'athon.


I did something similar to the guitar mic'athon for an assignment last year, it was excellent research!

If it were a one pager it would probably have to be done in a standard size room me thinks, with good acoustics. Just to hear the difference the subs make!


Nooo, surely it would be best done in a small, C 1000cuft room with no specific treatment since that is where the projjy noobs are coming from? THEN you can see how much trapping you have to stuff in to make it work, if you can!

But try two subs first.MIGHT be cheaper!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:17 pm

properly setting up two subs, is bloody fiddly.... and no, they might not simply go as close as possible to the normal speakers.....

getting the smoothest most balanced frequency response, basically requires a fair bit of fiddling about, even with one sub... doing it with 2 is more complex yet...

and panning is perceptually irrelevant at sub frequencies , LF down there is omni directional.



(we use 2 subs in our main monitoring rig, there are good reasons for doing so, and it is far from being the compromised poor solution some seem to be implying..... )
. . . Delete This User . . .
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2368
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: Is speaker frq. response of 49Hz good enough?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:22 pm

Off duty BBQ lighter wrote:properly setting up two subs, is bloody fiddly.... and no, they might not simply go as close as possible to the normal speakers.....

getting the smoothest most balanced frequency response, basically requires a fair bit of fiddling about, even with one sub... doing it with 2 is more complex yet...

and panning is perceptually irrelevant at sub frequencies , LF down there is omni directional.



(we use 2 subs in our main monitoring rig, there are good reasons for doing so, and it is far from being the compromised poor solution some seem to be implying..... )

Nope, not implying twin subs are a "poor compromise" quite the reverse. They make abundant sense. Pure LF tone IS hard to locate in a reasonably small room but any hint of a harmonic in the sub will announce its presence, hence putting them close to the small speakers removes at least that problem.

But all this is the room's fault! Were it infinite in extent LF would not be onidirectional!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ramirez and 9 guests