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Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Raynorshyn » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:22 am

I've been thoroughly enjoying Mike Senior's book and now I'm happily shopping for Avantone Mixcubes.

Based on the book it sounds like one active Mixcube in mono is the way to go, and I'm inclined to follow the advice strictly as I like powered monitors and it saves money buying just one. But I keep having a nagging feeling as I've always bought speakers in pairs :smirk:

My budget allows for either one active speaker or a pair of passives. However the only amp I have on hand is an old HiFi Kenwood Receiver with 100W a channel. Is it ridiculous to consider using an amp like this when I'm trying to listen for mix accuracy?
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:20 am

A true mono reference is very useful. I prefer a single one personally. I don't think you'll have too many problems with that amp but the active ones are more convenient if you need to take your rig elsewhere.
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Darclinc » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:31 am

I've also been thinking about the Mixcubes for some time now.

Thing is, you only really need one as you're buying it for overall mix balance / real world referencing, nothing more. Stereo and whatnot is what your nearfields are for.

But again, I dunno, I am sure at some point I'd want to listen to my mix in stereo and would be bummed that I don't have another Mixcube to do so. Worst case scenario for you, I guess, is buy one, try it out and if you feel the need for another one, get another one later on ?

Also, speakers just look better in pairs :-)

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby johnny h » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:36 am

They don't seem to sell them individually. Does anyone here own them and have they helped your mixdowns?
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby BenLD » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:33 am

I have a pair of actives - funnily enough one of them recently blew on me and has been sent back for repair/replacement, and I did find myself thinking, do I actually need two of these anyway?

I have used them for mixing as I find with my full range speakers (and sub) the vocal can end up being too loud when I listen on smaller real-world speakers, so yes I would recommend them for balancing vocals in with all the other mid-range stuff.

They do sound quite 'box-y' though and 'cardboard-y' - so take a bit of getting used to... it's recommended to burn them in, not sure if mine have had enough hours of use to get there quite...

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:47 am

Bruce Swedien uses two, but I guess it comes down to how you intend to use the monitor(s). If it is soley for a mono check, you may never use it as a pair, but if you want to check as a system, it may be useful to have a pair.
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:59 am

I have a pair of passives run off an Alesis amp. I have mono switch on my mOnotor control. I use the mixcubes much less than anticipated. Largely because I seem to get things pretty right with my PMCs. I do check mixes on them but generally rarely change anything. Overall I'd regard them as an optional extra as say compared to sorting out monitoring room treatment.

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby johnny h » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:28 am

So the general consensus is that they don't help that much?
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Mike Senior » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:37 am

johnny h wrote:So the general consensus is that they don't help that much?

If it is, then maybe I should speak up for them! To put it briefly, I'd be lost without some kind of Auratone-alike, and Avantone's version is the best modern version I've come across. If you want more details, then check out the review I did for the mag: Avantone Active Mixcube.
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Darclinc » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:55 am

johnny h wrote:They don't seem to sell them individually. Does anyone here own them and have they helped your mixdowns?

They used to sell them as a "mono block" option, according to the site, but I'm not sure if they still do now.

Also, I'm not sure how many distributors would want to keep them in that format, if the option still exists at all.

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Darclinc » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:02 pm

Here's one that does, for what it's worth :

https://www.kmraudio.com/brands/avantone/avantone-mixcube-monoblock.php

Rgds,

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:20 pm

johnny h wrote:So the general consensus is that they don't help that much?


Well they're very good at what they do, it's just that I find I don't need them as much as I thought I would as my mixes seem to translate well anyway. But then perhaps I wouldn't know that unless I had them!

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Raynorshyn » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:26 pm

Well thanks to all for the input. Dale Pro Audio (NY) sells active singles.

Some of the comments by Mike re real world listening environments really resonated with me. My mixes sound pretty good on phones and on a decent Hifi system but the midrange oomph and lead instrument clarity has eluded me.
I've got my room well treated but my monitors are KRK V8s and I don't have the budget to go up right now. I've also run REW V5 numerous times and have found a decent sweet spot, but its not cuttin it on other playback systems.
(BTW my New DT880 Pros are burning in as I write. I can already tell these are going to make a great difference.)

I think as Darclinc said I can always go back and buy another later.

On a side note Avantone's website has a Flash alert that a limited edition Mixcube is coming out in gloss black. WHEN!! I don't think I can wait.
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Darclinc » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:25 pm

I saw they were talking about the limited gloss black versions on the site ... hmmmm ...

That would look very good next to my Adam's !

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Raynorshyn » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:46 pm

Yeah, you know, I emailed Dale Pro and they said they didn't have them in stock but were looking into it. Couldn't wait. Bought the cream one. :bouncy:
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby johnny h » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:37 pm

The review in the magazine is what made me very interested in these things in the first place! However I do think its important to get some different opinions. The Mackies got good reviews too and they are (imo) very bad for mixing.
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Mike Senior » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:42 pm

johnny h wrote:The Mackies got good reviews too and they are (imo) very bad for mixing.

I know what you mean. I've never really got on with them myself either. I never really felt I could tell what the low end was doing.
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Andi » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:40 pm

Which Mackies are those that are referred to above - I scanned the post and couldn't see an initial reference?

Other question - if I want to test how my mixes will tranlate to "ordinary" systems, why don't I just use an "ordinary" speaker or pair - why not a £60 pair of PC speakers rather than a £375 pair of Mixcubes. Now my requirement is for checking rather than mixing, but am I missing something?

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby The Elf » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:00 pm

Andi wrote:Other question - if I want to test how my mixes will tranlate to "ordinary" systems, why don't I just use an "ordinary" speaker or pair - why not a £60 pair of PC speakers rather than a £375 pair of Mixcubes. Now my requirement is for checking rather than mixing, but am I missing something?
You’re missing the fact that there is no definitive ‘ordinary’ system. My hi-fi system might be bass heavy – your windowsill CD player may be tinny. Which do you mix for, and which do you consider ‘ordinary’? Get an honest mix on honest, neutral speakers and you should find that your mixes translate to most anything – at least in a sense that it doesn’t sound any worse than other commercial material played on the same. Neutrality in speakers doesn't come cheap.
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby johnny h » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:11 pm

Andi wrote:Which Mackies are those that are referred to above - I scanned the post and couldn't see an initial reference?

Other question - if I want to test how my mixes will tranlate to "ordinary" systems, why don't I just use an "ordinary" speaker or pair - why not a £60 pair of PC speakers rather than a £375 pair of Mixcubes. Now my requirement is for checking rather than mixing, but am I missing something?

A.
The point of them isn't to sound crap, its to avoid the distortions in the time domain and frequency response inherent in ported speaker designs.
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Andi » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:28 pm

Perhaps I am missing the point. The real check that I want to do is to hear how the mix sounds with limited bottom and top-end and this works fine on cheaper speakers - I can tell if I need to add harmonic frequencies to compensate for lost bass or kick for example. If I lose a part of the mix I'll switch back to my proper monitors and work from there. I don't think I have a problem if the check speakers lose detail - although I certainly would if they were very peaky.

I'm not trying to optimise the mix for the check speakers and I'm not trying to mix on them. I wouldn't deliberately seek-out crap speakers but their role IS to be limited. I agree that neutrally-limited speakers are going to be the better option (which really answers my original question I guess) but I'm probably listening to them for about 10 - 15 minutes per mix at the outside.

Anyway, cream cabinets might clash with my wallpaper.

Cheers

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:29 pm

johnny h wrote:The point of them isn't to sound crap, its to avoid the distortions in the time domain and frequency response inherent in ported speaker designs.

That's certainly true, and extremely important -- especially for anyone using budget ported speakers which are likely to have far worse time domain performances than high-end ported speakers which will probably be better sorted.

But it's also about using something which places the emphasis very much on the midrange since that tends to the part of the spectrum that dominates in smaller systems like portable radios, smaller Tvs, small integrated CD player systems, iPod docks and so on.

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby AllyB » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:12 am

I had a pair, one got wet so now I just use a mono one. I'd say go mono.

They are great btw and every time I flick it on from my dynaudio's I can make loads of mix decisions, changes very quickly, flick back to my dynudio's and it doesn't sound any different.. so they certainly have an edge even over that level of ported design
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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby Andi » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:47 am

I stole a pair of Aletec Lansing cheapie desk-tops from the kids yesterday and went to install them as a secondary set of speakers - 3.5 mm terminated lead on the speakers, XLRs on the M-Patch - sometimes it just all seems like too much trouble.

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Re: Avantone Mixcube, one or two?

Postby johnny h » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:46 am

They seem great. What have people gone for, active or passive? What kind of amp is sufficient to drive them?
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