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Studio monitors for home recording

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Studio monitors for home recording

Postby notuno » Tue May 26, 2020 11:52 pm

I'm considering buying entry-level studio monitors, such as Presonus Eris 3.5, to be used with a computer, possibly via an interface (I have a Focusrite Scarlett i2 laying around that I could use). Considering my intended uses below, is this a good idea or does it make more sense to get good computer speakers instead? Budget is around 200 euros.

Intended uses:
- play backing tracks of classical music, usually piano and orchestra, on the computer while playing (and sometimes recording) one or two violins.

- play jazz backing tracks while playing (and sometimes recording) electric guitar.

- mix recordings, usually one or two instruments (violins, guitars), plus sometimes a backing track. These are usually shared with family and friends, often with video as well, and sometimes they are shared a bit more widely. No more than 4 stereo tracks total. I usually record the acoustic instruments with a Zoom H4n pro in standalone mode, or sometimes via USB through Audacity. Right now I'm using a pair of DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm Beyerdynamic headphones for this. In the not so distant future I will probably be compelled to learn how to record solo violin to a better level.

- listen to music from the computer.

The default room is quite small, so the violin or guitar player is quite close to the speakers (no more than 2 meters), though sometimes we use a bigger room (6m x 5m) and I move the monitors/speakers. The main reason I'm considering studio monitors instead of computer speakers is that I assume monitors would produce a more detailed and realistic sound with the backing tracks, especially the orchestral ones, which would be important for the player. Am I correct?
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Re: Studio monitors for

Postby Ramirez » Tue May 26, 2020 11:55 pm

What’s your budget?

Bax-shop has a seemingly bonkers good deal on the Pioneer RM05 at the moment. Just over £300 a pair.
They were very well received in the SOS review, with a stated price of around £900.

I have no experience of them though.

Aled

EDIT: Just seens the price for the Eris 3.5. I’ve no ideal around that budget sorry.
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed May 27, 2020 8:15 am

According to the O/P the budget is around 200 euros.

I have no direct experience m'self, but Paul White quite liked the Fluid Audio F4: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/fluid-audio-f4

... but with sort of budget I'd either be getting a decent set of headphones or exploring the secondhand market...
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby Ramirez » Wed May 27, 2020 9:31 am

Mike Stranks wrote:According to the O/P the budget is around 200 .

Oops missed that bit!

Perhaps worth trying to stretch to the Pioneers? They do seem a terrific bargain.

Phil Ward’s review here: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/pioneer-rm-05
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby notuno » Wed May 27, 2020 11:06 am

Ramirez wrote:
Mike Stranks wrote:According to the O/P the budget is around 200 .

Oops missed that bit!

Perhaps worth trying to stretch to the Pioneers? They do seem a terrific bargain.

Phil Ward’s review here: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/pioneer-rm-05

Thanks, I added the budget after reading your post. Unfortunately where I live I can't seem to find the Pioneers for less than 195 EUR each, which is way too much. They are also bulkier than the Eris 3.5. The Fluid Audio F4 fit in the budget, I'll take a look. But my main question is still if I should consider studio monitors at all or would I be better suited with computer speakers.
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby CS70 » Wed May 27, 2020 11:06 am

iLoud Micro monitors is my go-to recommendation in that range (well they are a little more on Thomann but not much).
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby cyrano.mac » Wed May 27, 2020 11:09 am

Around that price point, a 2nd hand pair of Behringer Truth speakers sounds like a good bet. Unless you're set on buying new, of course.
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby CS70 » Wed May 27, 2020 11:09 am

notuno wrote:But my main question is still if I should consider studio monitors at all or would I be better suited with computer speakers.

The general advice is that you get much more bang for the buck with room treatment. So if you don't have any in your room, that's usually the first thing to look at. Even an iphone will sound better in good-sounding room (or at least it will sound as it's supposed to sound).
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed May 27, 2020 11:20 am

Re: Computer Speakers...

... No

If you're serious about your music and the recording thereof, avoid them. Their purpose is complete different to audio 'monitors'.
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby notuno » Wed May 27, 2020 5:12 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Re: Computer Speakers...

... No

If you're serious about your music and the recording thereof, avoid them. Their purpose is complete different to audio 'monitors'.

Thanks everybody, I'll research a bit the Fluid Audio F4 and iLoud Micro, and maybe Presonus Eris 4.5 as well. With any of these, should I hook them up to the computer via the Scarlett i2? The Eris 3.5 can also be connected directly to the heaphone line out.

Regarding the room, unfortunately it doubles as office for my real job so the options are limited, but I should look into getting some panels. Recording is all brand new territory for me.
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed May 27, 2020 5:32 pm

Yup! Use the Scarlett...

Avoid connecting anything to computer audio ins/outs if at all possible... connection via USB, Lightning etc almost always much better.

Regarding room treatment, my room is tiny... sitting in my studio chair I can almost touch the walls either side of me. :o

My use is a bit specialised... used for recording/editing spoken word and a tiny bit of music mixing, so needs decent treatment in the human voice range.

I make extensive use of these https://www.studiospares.com/Studio-Gear/Acoustic-Panels/Acoustic-Panel-1200-x-600-x-25mm-Grey_465220.htm available in various sizes and colours. Most of mine are fastened 25mm away from the wall on battens, but where space is ultra-tight they're fastened flat against the wall.

The reason for spacing them off the wall is that the air-gap means they're more effective.
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed May 27, 2020 10:31 pm

Some kind of acoustic treatment is the biggest improvement you can make to a mixing room, almost anything you can do will improve things and it needn't preclude use of the room for other purposes (in fact IMHO it will improve the environment for anything that involves audio, whether it's zoom meetings, making, recording or listening to presentations or even just listening to the radio while you work). I would be perfectly happy working in my studio if I wasn't retired, it's a very pleasant place to be. My panels are finished in blue Cara fabric but, as the only cosmetically related requirement of an acoustic panel is that it be acoustically transparent they could look like paintings or prints and Gik Acoustics actually do panels made to look like prints.

The only downside is that when you listen to the other zoom* participants in their offices, conservatories, kitchens or living rooms you will wince at the sound they are sending you :headbang:

* Not the case with zoom SOS meets, obviously.....
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby James Perrett » Wed May 27, 2020 10:59 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:The only downside is that when you listen to the other zoom* participants in their offices, conservatories, kitchens or living rooms you will wince at the sound they are sending you :headbang:

* Not the case with zoom SOS meets, obviously.....

Well there was someone who was trying to use the mic built-in to a noisy laptop at the last meet :oops: :oops:

Blinddrew's setup has to be the most impressive though with the movable treatment.
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby blinddrew » Wed May 27, 2020 11:01 pm

Ha! No-one is more surprised than me that it actually all works. :)
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Re: Studio monitors for home recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed May 27, 2020 11:31 pm

Cummon Drew, it ain't rocket science, genius maybe, but not rocket science......
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