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Monitoring, what do you use?

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

Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:07 pm

I'm still using the compact ATC SCM10 Pro loudspeakers I bought 23 years ago, and they sound wonderful. A little light at the bottom end, but placing them close to the front wall of my studio reinforces the lows nicely, giving me some output right down to 20Hz.

I also have some AVI Biggatron Red Spot monitors for general TV/music/film listening.


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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby IAA » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:15 pm

I track on my KRK phones, comfy and a little hyped which I like for tracking my synths. Mixing (bear in mind I am not an engineer by any means!), I use my HD650s and reference on my little KRK VXT4s which are valiant little chaps when grappling with the sine bass and orchestral basses....... :D

Oh,and I use some fave reference tracks just to get me a little (lot) closer on the headphones.
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:42 pm

Arpangel wrote:
AlasdairEaston wrote:be better. That's been prompted by the arrival of a QSC K12.2 (active PA speaker) into my life.

I had the chance to drop in on a session at the studio of an extremely well known and successful pop/dance band, they rented a space in an industrial unit in Camden, just a small room, but most of the space in the room was taken up with two massive Peavey PA speakers, used as their only monitors, and all in mono. They told me that they like to hear what the audience is going to hear, and really "feel" the bass etc, and that stereo monitoring really wasn’t necessary, as they normally mix most instrument to mono.
The rest of the room was taken up with a big old Tascam mixer, it was very enlightening.

Proper big studio monitors will do the same thing - I don't do it often but sometimes I have clients who want to feel like they're doing a gig so I crank up the monitors. I also have a pair of dB Technologies PA speakers set up for an alternative perspective (and for the times when other people are rehearsing in the control room so that I don't have to worry about the monitors). And for one particular client I mixed some backing tracks through their Peavey PA speakers as they knew them well and knew what they were looking for.

I currently have two working setups - one newly created in my living room and one in the studio. The living room has a pair of LS3/5a'a driven by a JVC hifi amp. I'm still experimenting with the placement of the LS3/5a's to minimise their upper bass hump. I managed to find a position that did this but I would have to stand up to listen to them and then sit down every time I wanted to do something on the computer. I need to find some adjustable way of raising them up - books perhaps?

The main studio has a pair of Tannoy Berkeleys driven by a Hypex powered Quad 405 (ie it looks like a Quad 405 but just about all the internals are Hypex modules). I also now have a pair of NS10's driven by a real Quad 405-2 but I've yet to use them on a session in this room.
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby Arpangel » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:18 am

James Perrett wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
AlasdairEaston wrote:be better. That's been prompted by the arrival of a QSC K12.2 (active PA speaker) into my life.

I had the chance to drop in on a session at the studio of an extremely well known and successful pop/dance band, they rented a space in an industrial unit in Camden, just a small room, but most of the space in the room was taken up with two massive Peavey PA speakers, used as their only monitors, and all in mono. They told me that they like to hear what the audience is going to hear, and really "feel" the bass etc, and that stereo monitoring really wasn’t necessary, as they normally mix most instrument to mono.
The rest of the room was taken up with a big old Tascam mixer, it was very enlightening.

Proper big studio monitors will do the same thing - I don't do it often but sometimes I have clients who want to feel like they're doing a gig so I crank up the monitors. I also have a pair of dB Technologies PA speakers set up for an alternative perspective (and for the times when other people are rehearsing in the control room so that I don't have to worry about the monitors). And for one particular client I mixed some backing tracks through their Peavey PA speakers as they knew them well and knew what they were looking for.

I currently have two working setups - one newly created in my living room and one in the studio. The living room has a pair of LS3/5a'a driven by a JVC hifi amp. I'm still experimenting with the placement of the LS3/5a's to minimise their upper bass hump. I managed to find a position that did this but I would have to stand up to listen to them and then sit down every time I wanted to do something on the computer. I need to find some adjustable way of raising them up - books perhaps?

The main studio has a pair of Tannoy Berkeleys driven by a Hypex powered Quad 405 (ie it looks like a Quad 405 but just about all the internals are Hypex modules). I also now have a pair of NS10's driven by a real Quad 405-2 but I've yet to use them on a session in this room.

Similar situations, and tastes, I used to have LS3’s, and Tannoys, I find that the older stuff just sounds better, IMO.
I had my LS's driven by a 70’s Trio amp, Trio were amazing, I’ve still got mine, they made some of the best amps around at the time, way ahead of Quad.
Now I’m using a Quad 405 11 with KEF/STC transmission line speakers.
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby fruitcake » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:14 pm

my setup has been in a temporary space for so long it’s hard to still call it temporary. Someday I’ll get around to having a properly treated room...
In the meantime, I’ve been using NS10s for broad strokes then headphones to dial in the mix. Then I do a mix down and go play it on a hifi and in my car at different volumes. Early on with this method the bass would inevitably to too strong, so I’ve attempted to preemptively attenuate the bass when I’m mixing. Not very effective, but I’m not releasing any of this for the general public.
What I just tried recently is Sonarworks. I created a profile for my untreated room and the sound from the NS10s is significantly different. Whether or not it’s more accurate, I’ll hope to find out soon.
Now that I won’t be going to work for awhile I’ll use the time to try and learn something new and make semi beautiful sounds.
I wish you all health and safety in these uncertain times.
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby James Perrett » Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:29 pm

fruitcake wrote:I’ve been using NS10s for broad strokes then headphones to dial in the mix. Then I do a mix down and go play it on a hifi and in my car at different volumes. Early on with this method the bass would inevitably to too strong, so I’ve attempted to preemptively attenuate the bass when I’m mixing.

One trick with bass on NS10's is to watch the cones rather than listen to them.
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:37 pm

James Perrett wrote:I currently have two working setups - one newly created in my living room and one in the studio. The living room has a pair of LS3/5a'a driven by a JVC hifi amp. I'm still experimenting with the placement of the LS3/5a's to minimise their upper bass hump. I managed to find a position that did this but I would have to stand up to listen to them and then sit down every time I wanted to do something on the computer. I need to find some adjustable way of raising them up - books perhaps?

In my living room (where I haven't arranged the entire space around monitor speakers as I have in my studio) I experimented with angling the loudspeakers upwards towards my ears when I was sitting down on the sofa. It needed a couple of tweaks (carefully measuring using a tape measure and alternately slouching and raising myself up on the sofa until I got the sharpest stereo imaging, but it now works really well.

I used a loudspeaker's width of ancient Dexion Speedframe tubing at the front of my loudspeaker stands, along with Blutak, to get the best angle, so it's solid.

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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby James Perrett » Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:29 pm

Thanks Martin - I'll try adjusting the angle and see if it helps.
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:45 am

This is interesting, upward firing speakers do give a very good stereo image, for some strange reason.
I made a pair myself, back in the 70's, out of two dustbins! I put two Wharfdale 10 inch dual concentrics in them, firing upwards, they sounded incredible, especially on organ music!
And the imaging was very realistic, they shouldn’t have worked at all really.
Does anyone remember Sonab speakers?
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby John Willett » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:08 am

Arpangel wrote:Does anyone remember Sonab speakers?

Yes - very interesting design - upward angled facing mid, with four tweeters at about 45º pointing to the four points of the compass. An omni-directional design.

I think that they also had a downwards facing bass unit.

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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:32 am

John Willett wrote:with four tweeters at about 45º pointing to thr four points of the compass. An omni-directional design.
Or not it would appear. Looks like the tweeters are positioned to try and avoid corners and maybe produce more of a cardioid response?
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:47 am

John Willett wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Does anyone remember Sonab speakers?

Yes - very interesting design - upward angled facing mid, with four tweeters at about 45º pointing to the four points of the compass. An omni-directional design.

I think that they also had a downwards facing bass unit.

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They were very nice John, a friend had the Sonab amplifier too.
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:54 am

There have been some utterly bonkers speakers designs over the years. :lol:
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Re: Monitoring, what do you use?

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:39 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:There have been some utterly bonkers speakers designs over the years. :lol:

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