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New Monitors (or more)

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New Monitors (or more)

Postby ant_in_wales » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:04 pm

Hello!
Longtime lurker, first time poster.

I love recording, but when I mix it never sounds like how it sounds on my headphones or other equipment I playback on.

I am blaming my M-Audio AV40 speakers, which I don't think I could call "'monitors".

I am considering blowing £250 on Presonus E5s, but is my problem more fundamental (ie the room)?
My table is in the corner of a 3m x 3m room.
One speaker is right in the corner, the other is in front of the window (can't work out how to post pictures here).
My chair is at the foot of the triangle.

Gear 4 has the E5 XT with stands for £299 - are the stands worth the extra?

Best wishes to you all
https://youtu.be/H0ZbCXL26LAm
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby Arpangel » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:50 am

:round1:
ant_in_wales wrote:Hello!
Longtime lurker, first time poster.

I love recording, but when I mix it never sounds like how it sounds on my headphones or other equipment I playback on.

I am blaming my M-Audio AV40 speakers, which I don't think I could call "'monitors".

I am considering blowing £250 on Presonus E5s, but is my problem more fundamental (ie the room)?
My table is in the corner of a 3m x 3m room.
One speaker is right in the corner, the other is in front of the window (can't work out how to post pictures here).
My chair is at the foot of the triangle.

Gear 4 has the E5 XT with stands for £299 - are the stands worth the extra?

Best wishes to you all
https://youtu.be/H0ZbCXL26LAm

You're right about the triangle set-up for monitoring, but your table is in exactly the wrong place. Stay away from corners, they make things sound very boomy, and at the moment I should imagine your sound is very lopsided tonally.
If you really haven't got any choice, then sometimes compromises have to be made, but the first thing to do before buying monitors is to make space so you can place your monitors in a more ideal position.
Acoustic treatment is also worthwhile, but it depends on your situation, the room, and how seriously you want to take this, there are very knowledgable people here who will advice you on that.
The Presonus Eris are very good and will be a big improvement over your existing speakers, and yes, take the stands too if they're part of the deal, you really don't want to put them on your table, rigid stands are a much better option.
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby John Willett » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:22 am

⬆︎ What he said. :thumbup:
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby ant_in_wales » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:12 pm

Thank you for the reply - I didn't think you'd like the mention of a corner.

I've worked out how to do a picture!
The room has another metre to the right, and is about 3m deep, with the desk over in the corner. And by the wall and the window.
Is this going to badly affect how I hear music, or is 90% of the problem the speakers (which I am already blaming and have turned against)?

Image

PS I appear to be miking the radiator. I didn't know I was so avant garde!
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:26 pm

Only way to get genuine analog warmth!
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:59 pm

Fixing the positioning and applying some acoustic treatment will be far more beneficial as a first step than changing the speakers. Try it with duvets at the mirror points and sorting the positioning and you will hear a huge improvement. Once you get the best out of your current speakers then you'll benefit from an upgrade.
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby CS70 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:12 pm

ant_in_wales wrote:Hello!
I love recording, but when I mix it never sounds like how it sounds on my headphones or other equipment I playback on.

Hi there. All the others said.. but in these conditions, unless you can reengineer your position and treat the room, you might be better off investing in good headphones and cut the room out altogether.

The main issue with headphones is to evaluate the stereo field and the reverbs and (at least in my experience) how the highs stick out or don't. It's perfectly possible to do so but you've got to learn how things sound.

Normally you would use monitors and headphones alternatively, to find the sweet spot where the mix works on both. Without (and perhaps without much experience on how a "good" mix sounds on both) it's a little harder, but with lots of referencing and a lot of trying out the mix on any playback systems you have available (your phone, laptop, your car) you may end up learning what works. An alternative is to bring the phones in a good studio and work there for a period to learn how the phones sound and how things that translate well sound on them. It is a lot of work and it'll take a while before you can reliable make mixes that translate, but better than the alternative perhaps.

The key is of course excellent headphones, but it would be a better investment than new monitors..

Just an idea, of course.
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby Dynamic Mike » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:57 am

Personally I'd go with the decent open-backed headphones option. If you've got anything left over in the budget consider https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/is ... iso-l8r155 to go with the AV40's. Not only will it raise them to a more useable height and cut down on reflections from the desk, but it stops the desk from vibrating sympathetically when you're monitoring. The foam pads supplied with the AV40's are as good as useless when it comes to isolating them.

Given the compromises you're forced to make with the room, different monitors might just give you different problems.
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby ant_in_wales » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:35 am

Thank you all for your interesting replies.
I have a pair of AKG K92 and tend to move between those and the speakers, with the phones matching the mix in the outside world better.
Do you think I'd get noticeably better results with better phones?
Raising the speakers is a nice, unobtrusive idea too.
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:52 am

Can you not make room and place the desk on the longest wall? You'll also be firing across the short axis of the room which is preferable. Headphones are OK, but I wouldn't use them exclusively, certain aspects I find always sound better on speakers, like effects, also tonally you can judge how a mix sounds by listing in different parts of the room, even outside the room, strange I know, but it works if you're trying to judge the "big picture"
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:25 am

Arpangel wrote:Can you not make room and place the desk on the longest wall? You'll also be firing across the short axis of the room which is preferable.

Not my understanding, firing down the long axis of the room is usually considered preferable. But the OP's room is square so any wall will do, just try to set up so the side walls are symmetrical around the mix position.

ant_in_wales? Do you have the opportunity to install some acoustic treatment?
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby CS70 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:47 am

ant_in_wales wrote:Thank you all for your interesting replies.
I have a pair of AKG K92 and tend to move between those and the speakers, with the phones matching the mix in the outside world better.
Do you think I'd get noticeably better results with better phones?
Raising the speakers is a nice, unobtrusive idea too.

I don’t know your headphones, but they are closed back, open back will give you a more natural sound. I use Beyerdynamics DT990 Pro, but the AKG K702 have a good rep here and might be nearer to the sound you already know.

There’s no question however that you’re gonna spend lots of time referencing and testing on many different playback systems the first months, it’s unavoidable.

Still is a great skill to learn, as it allows you to bring your “room” anywhere you want!
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby James Perrett » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:54 am

My first thought would be whether you can rotate your working position by 45 degrees to the left so that the corner is directly ahead of you. This will give you a more symmetrical arrangement although the window would still disrupt this to some extent. Acoustic treatment on the walls would also help.
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby James Perrett » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:57 am

Sam Spoons wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Can you not make room and place the desk on the longest wall? You'll also be firing across the short axis of the room which is preferable.

Not my understanding, firing down the long axis of the room is usually considered preferable.

Over the years I've seen both arrangements recommended by equally knowledgeable people. In my opinion they both have advantages and disadvantages.
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:59 am

Sam Spoons wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Can you not make room and place the desk on the longest wall? You'll also be firing across the short axis of the room which is preferable.

Not my understanding, firing down the long axis of the room is usually considered preferable.

Indeed firing down the long axis is normally preferable (although as James says this may not always be the case, depending on the individual room), because you generally get less 'nasties' as a result of the rear wall being further away.

This image of mine has been trotted out a number of times over the years (and even been used in a book), but it illustrates how in my own small studio before any acoustic treatment had been fitted that firing down the long dimension gives you a head start achieving a flatter response at the low end compared with exactly the same measurement firing down the short dimension.

Minitraps-figure6.jpg



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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:01 am

Yes, swings and roundabouts, but on balance firing down the long axis does seem to give better results more consistently... in my experience.

H
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby Wonks » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:07 am

I don't think the OP's got room to fit swings and roundabouts in there as well. ;)
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby CS70 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:20 am

Yeah it's a squar-ish room?

In the end of the day is about how fast reflections bounce back to the listening position, how much energy they have kept upon bouncing and how much they dissipate during travel.

Having them running the length of the room helps with the more directional frequencies. But if the issues are related to low end, it makes little or no difference, and can even worse things off... both because the difference in the length of the two sides of a normal rectangular room will be relatively small with respect to the wavelength, and because long low-freq waves will immediately reflect back from the sides (which in a long-fire configuration are nearer...), not just the back wall.. so you will have two near (hi-energy) reflections instead of one, which can make things even worse.

If I had to choose, I'd try both and listen. But there's really no alternative to a treated room, especially for bass. Maybe a super-big one :D

One thing the OP could also do, however, if he really wants to use monitors, is to keep the volume really down. This will make everything dissipate much faster and may help a little..
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby cyrano.mac » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:44 pm

James Perrett wrote:My first thought would be whether you can rotate your working position by 45 degrees to the left so that the corner is directly ahead of you. This will give you a more symmetrical arrangement although the window would still disrupt this to some extent. Acoustic treatment on the walls would also help.

This feels like a simple solution. Adding some absorbers to the walls later wouldn't be too hard either.
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Re: New Monitors (or more)

Postby WaterSharp » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:36 am

For your recording room, hard flooring such as concrete, tile, or hardwood is ideal.
Carpeted rooms often cause problem...
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