You are here

Monitors seem to be at subtly different volumes

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Monitors seem to be at subtly different volumes

Postby HollowAxis » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:49 pm

Hey all

Simple question. I have KRK Rokit 5 monitors... and they seem to be at very very slightly different volumes. Is this something that usually needs to be adjusted?


A little detail if you want to read on...
I've never noticed this problem with these monitors before.
I've owned them for three years and know them pretty well.
However.
I've never used them in a room like the one I'm currently in.

My previous rooms were treated sparsely. This room is different and better.
Basically In my new flat I've been able to take up the whole large lounge area as a listening and mixing space (I live with my drummer and his kit is in here too, so no one is complaining)

I have more space, I've bought a lot more proper bass traps and other treatment than I used to have.

I believe I have put the listening position, the desk, the monitors and all the treatment in the very best places they can be in.

The room sounds brilliant.

But I do hear a very very subtle difference in the volume between the two monitors.

Am I just hearing my sub-par monitors finally for what they are?
Or could it be placement?
Could it be my monitor volume controller (a Nano Patch)?
My DAC?

I know this is difficult to answer.
I have adjusted the volumes to match (Via the knobs on the back of the monitors) (and using a decibel meter to measure levels).

I'm happy with how it sounds now... but intrigued as to what might be going on.

Any assistance or comment would be welcomed.

thanks

HollowAxis
Regular
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:00 am
Location: London

Re: Monitors seem to be at subtly different volumes

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:27 pm

It's not unusual for active monitors to have slightly different sensitivities. That's why they put adjustable sensitivity controls on them.

All you need to do is send the same signal to both speakers, and then tweak the input sensitivity of one to place the phantom image in the dead centre. I prefer to use well recorded mono speech for this, either from a test CD or from BBC radio 4. This is a far more precise technique than using a sound level meter.

If the phantom image pulls away from the centre at different frequencies, then either the speakers' frequency responses are not well matched, or you have some room mode or local reflection issues.

If the central image moves with different volume settings on the monitor controller, then you have a volume control with poor track matching. This is a common problem on most low costs controllers, especially at very low volume settings, because of the large resistances involved and the difficulty in matching them precisely across the whole potentiometer track, but the imaging should be stable at least over a 10dB range either side of the reference level, even with the cheapest controllers.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 17069
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: Monitors seem to be at subtly different volumes

Postby hollowsun » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:20 am

HollowAxis wrote:Simple question. I have KRK Rokit 5 monitors... and they seem to be at very very slightly different volumes. Is this something that usually needs to be adjusted?
If it's any consolation, I had the same here when I moved The Lab to a new location.

It wasn't noticeable in the old place (room too small, not great acoustics and so on ... kind of just blurred things). Here, however, the room is much larger, it's a really old place built in 1700-and-something so NONE of the surfaces (walls, floor, ceiling) are parallel and the walls are lumpy old things with very uneven surfaces ... no standing waves or unpleasant resonance ... and sounds fab.

But I did have to adjust the level controls on the rear in the new place (which is more revealing) to get the right balance between the two ... just trial and error, really.

Hugh's comments above about level control sensitivity - manufacturers tend to use mini pots and they can be a hair's breadth away from a balanced stereo image and one that's a bit wonky or biased one way of the other.

There's also the sensitivity of one's ears - it's not uncommon, with age, for one ear to be a tad down.

And, course, where you sit in relation to the speakers is important.
User avatar
hollowsun
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2122
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Monitors seem to be at subtly different volumes

Postby HollowAxis » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:44 am

Thanks for the quick replies!

Your comments give me a lot to go on.
Ultimately I'll be buying better monitors, but this should get these current ones working as well as they can be.

Thanks again
HollowAxis
Regular
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:00 am
Location: London


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest