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Surround monitoring considerations

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Re: Surround monitoring considerations

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:21 pm

Might be tempted by 2x310, 3x80 and one 750 personally. Assuming that you'll be using the same set up for stereo mixing? I can't remember what your plan is. If not then 5x80 +750 would probably cover it.
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Re: Surround monitoring considerations

Postby The Red Bladder » Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:15 pm

Jez Corbett wrote:Hello, I'm looking at this again as I'll be starting the project that required the upgrade in a few weeks and should really get on with it!

Current situation is, the Neumann setup still looks good, however I have reservations about the sub options ... howeverrr... they might not actually be an issue. But lets ask some questions:

1. I realise the 750 is designed for being an accompaniment to a stereo setup, not a surround one. But I guess, looking at the back, I can just route my sub channel to Input B and it will just work as a standalone sub? Seems I can't use it to do bass management of a 5.1 system regardless of my issues with the app?

2. Maybe the 810 isn't too big, but anything else I should consider? No to Genelec please, I have never got on with the sound of their midpriced subs.

3. The 120 x 750 combo plus all the bits I need is looking like about €4500. Might I see a dramatic improvement if I were to, say, double that budget?
OK, back to basics -

About a year ago, we made the jump to becoming a film company and for that I had to convert our mastering room into a film viewing and editing room with 5.1 and 7.1 sound and pre-wire for 3D sound (Atmos, DTS-X, etc.)

Half your sound is the room. Bad room = bad sound. Even with the best speakers money can buy! And the biggest problem is always the bass. That means you are going to have to strip the room of everything and measure every inch of the place. That means it's sig-gen and sound-meter time.

Remember that imaging and other considerations are harder and more critical for surround.

Step 1. Find that spot in the room where the sub produces the most bass and is at its' loudest in the listening position. There will still plenty of null-spots in the room, but those will go away with proper treatment.

Step 2. Find where the bass is too loud - usually in the top- and side-corners of the room. That is where you need bass-traps and I suggest that you limp-wall structure and not those foam things. You will probably have to do all the corners and wall-ceiling corners.

Don't discount Genelec just yet. They didn't achieve their market dominance by being bad! They are rather neutral though and not to everyone's taste. That said, they have always been a safe bet!

I happen to have M&Ks and Genelecs, but were I equipping from scratch today, I would probably opt for a set of Neumanns as I trust the Sennheiser company (and the family!) to come up with the better product as a result of better research.

So which one? The choice is (IMO) obvious - the 810 or the 870, as these have a full 7.1 speaker management system built-in. Trying to bodge a 7.1 controller is a task filled with gotchas! And price-wise, the 810 is a bit of a steal as some 7.1 speaker management systems are as expensive as the 810.

So, to your questions -

1. Please don't try to bodge a speaker management system. If you go for the 750, you will have to add a 7.1 controller. (We use a 24:12 mixing desk in the listening room, which sounds OTT but is so that we can add 3D audio later - and we have a 7.1 M&K controller in the CR.)

2. The 870, but that's only a few dBs louder. The 810 is plenty loud enough and a perfect match for the KH120 NF monitors.

3. Go with the 810 and all will be sweetness and light! (IMO!)
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Re: Surround monitoring considerations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:07 pm

Jez Corbett wrote:1. I realise the 750 is designed for being an accompaniment to a stereo setup, not a surround one. But I guess, looking at the back, I can just route my sub channel to Input B and it will just work as a standalone sub?

Yes... that would work for the LFE channel, but if your main 5 channel speakers aren't full range -- like the KH120s -- you'll need some form of bass management to route the low-end from those channels into the sub too.

There are plenty of options for external bass management, though, depending on your system and requirements. Having it built into the sub as a central monitoring hub makes a lot of practical sense, but there are other practical solutions too.

For example, the larger Yamaha digital consoles can do it as part of their built-in surround monitor control facilities, and there are several stand-alone surround monitor controllers that also have bass management options.
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Re: Surround monitoring considerations

Postby Jez Corbett » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:26 pm

@theredbladder

Hi yes, the room is already semi treated with a big bunch o' GIK traps, however my current studio is a very temporary space and should be moving to a new dedicated place this year (hopefully - covid has stalled an awful lot of the project manager's progress), so treatment is a secondary concern right now.
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Re: Surround monitoring considerations

Postby Jez Corbett » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:33 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Jez Corbett wrote:1. I realise the 750 is designed for being an accompaniment to a stereo setup, not a surround one. But I guess, looking at the back, I can just route my sub channel to Input B and it will just work as a standalone sub?

Yes... that would work for the LFE channel, but if your main 5 channel speakers aren't full range -- like the KH120s -- you'll need some form of bass management to route the low-end from those channels into the sub too.

There are plenty of options for external bass management, though, depending on your system and requirements. Having it built into the sub as a central monitoring hub makes a lot of practical sense, but there are other practical solutions too.

For example, the larger Yamaha digital consoles can do it as part of their built-in surround monitor control facilities, and there are several stand-alone surround monitor controllers that also have bass management options.


Hmm, I had originally been thinking about managing my bass 'in the box', but some more flexible and less fiddly solution is something I should really be thinking about, especially if, as you say, I should really be using the sub to compliment even when not specifically monitoring in 5.1

My work is sound design, mostly for games but occasionally ads and animation stuff, and I do it all in the PC. I am often working with video game console hardware, but I tend to route all the audio from that through the PC (REALLY wish someone would make a pro audio soundcard that takes Dolby / DTS in over optical grrrr) and direct monitor it right out again, so essentially everything would be coming out of the 6 outs of my Fireface.

Certainly some kind of desktop box would be preferable for managing bass crossover point, speaker configuration etc rather than fiddling behind the back of a sub every time I want to monitor to a specific standard, test whats just the sub and whats the sub complimenting the mains etc, so if you have something to recommend there, that would be great!

(It would also be good if it has easy to recall volume position too, I have my room aligned to a specific listening volume)
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Re: Surround monitoring considerations

Postby Luke W » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:51 pm

Jez Corbett wrote:Certainly some kind of desktop box would be preferable for managing bass crossover point, speaker configuration etc rather than fiddling behind the back of a sub every time I want to monitor to a specific standard, test whats just the sub and whats the sub complimenting the mains etc, so if you have something to recommend there, that would be great!

(It would also be good if it has easy to recall volume position too, I have my room aligned to a specific listening volume)

Crookwood do a bass management option for their controller systems. They also have some useful options built in for calibrated listening levels, so it may well be worth looking into them.

I've got a C3 and I haven't got a bad word to say about it. They were an absolute joy to deal with as a company as well, really helpful from start to finish. I've even had one or two emails since just to follow up on the sale and check that everything is working as I wanted!
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Re: Surround monitoring considerations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:36 pm

Another happy Crookwood user here and that would have been my suggestion too....
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Re: Surround monitoring considerations

Postby Jez Corbett » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:49 pm

Looks like I might need to extend the budget after all, but not to better speakers :lol:
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