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July 2016: Pioneer monitors

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July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:22 pm

So that's it then...

... us shallow-end guys all have to save our pennies for some PIONEER monitors! :o

Whoda thought it?!

[Mike - I've edited this post title to be more obvious/helpful, hope you don't mind? Forum Admin]
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:14 pm

Indeed! I'm yet to hear a pair, but I trust the opinion -- and Pioneer have a long history of quality monitors with its TAD brand.

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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby awjoe » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:51 pm

If you're willing to anthropomorphize a bit, it looks like a comically startled cyclops.

But yes, I'm interested. But something I've never understood is how you mix on something that goes down to only 50Hz (even if the port is tuned to 45 Hz). What do you do about the stuff that's lower than that? Guess?
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re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Forum Admin » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:42 am

awjoe wrote:...something I've never understood is how you mix on something that goes down to only 50Hz (even if the port is tuned to 45 Hz). What do you do about the stuff that's lower than that? Guess?

Use a subwoofer as well?

What monitors do you currently use?
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:38 am

awjoe wrote:...something I've never understood is how you mix on something that goes down to only 50Hz (even if the port is tuned to 45 Hz). What do you do about the stuff that's lower than that? Guess?

It's not a case of the monitor producing sounds at 51 and 50Hz, but nothing at all at 49 or 48Hz.

There's a smooth roll-off of energy at low frequencies, so it's still there, just a bit quieter than the same source level at 1kHz.

And given that the lowest E on a bass is 41Hz, you're not exactly missing a lot.... There are compromises to be made with monitor size versus bass performance, but it's perfectly possible to make good mixes on small montiors given sufficient experience and talent. Thousands of hit records have been mixed on crappy NS10s, after all! ;)

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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Forum Admin » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:06 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:... it's perfectly possible to make good mixes on small montiors given sufficient experience and talent. Thousands of hit records have been mixed on crappy NS10s, after all! ;)

Yes, but they were mainly used as a secondary reference in those big studios, and main mixing was done on the big wall/soffit-mounted monitors that go low enough to inform the engineer of what's down there.
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:43 am

Not in my experience... and there are plenty of big-name engineers who have stated in many SOS interviews over the years that they mix entirely on NS10s (or the like).

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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:52 pm

Please don't take this the wrong way awjoe, but this whole aspect of bass was something that another regular poster and I were discussing recently.

We discovered that we were in agreement about bass... we can get far too hung-up on it and where it sits in a mix.... That was somewhat reassuring for me as I've often thought I was in a minority of one and was perhaps seeking to rationalise being in less than perfect rooms with monitors with 4" woofers.

However, our joint conclusion was that if it's there and it's behaving itself then leave it alone. Once you start fiddling and tweaking you can get into all sorts of tangles trying to get the rest of the mix to sit with what you've done 'down below'.

Don't misunderstand this... bass is important. However, I find that if it sounds OK on my small monitors in terms of sitting in the mix and checks-out OK on my average cans it will transfer happily to other environments - great and small. Once I start a lot of tweaking then I find that transferring to other environments is fraught with problems.

... and although most of my work is with acoustic, choral and orchestral stuff the other person's certainly isn't. They're working in contemporary genres...
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Phil Ward » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:35 pm

I kind of started this so I thought I'd chime-in....

I guess having a discussion about the mix-relevance of LF extension of a monitor simply reinforce the point that our perception of audio is about much more than bandwidth and frequency response. There's a whole domain of psycho-musical-acoustics between the speakers and our perception. It is an immensely complex domain but there's little doubt I think that experienced mix engineers learn to make sense of it - even when some information (i.e. extreme LF) is missing.

So I absolutely agree with Hugh that it's perfectly possible to create a great mix on limited bandwidth speakers – god knows there's been a few, but awjoe also makes a good point that it is sometimes really useful to know what's going on (if anything) at extreme LF. Having said that however I'd perhaps argue that one of the important roles of the mastering engineer, in this age of small mix monitors, is to check that there's nothing nasty down at 30Hz.

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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:03 pm

Phil Ward wrote:I kind of started this so I thought I'd chime-in....

I guess having a discussion about the mix-relevance of LF extension of a monitor simply reinforce the point that our perception of audio is about much more than bandwidth and frequency response. There's a whole domain of psycho-musical-acoustics between the speakers and our perception. It is an immensely complex domain but there's little doubt I think that experienced mix engineers learn to make sense of it - even when some information (i.e. extreme LF) is missing.

So I absolutely agree with Hugh that it's perfectly possible to create a great mix on limited bandwidth speakers – god knows there's been a few, but awjoe also makes a good point that it is sometimes really useful to know what's going on (if anything) at extreme LF. Having said that however I'd perhaps argue that one of the important roles of the mastering engineer, in this age of small mix monitors, is to check that there's nothing nasty down at 30Hz.

Phil

Thanks Phil... that's a useful amplification...

Having realised a few years ago that most of the commercial CDs I really like from a technical perspective have a very tightly controlled low-end, I now, as a matter of course, use a spectrum analyser to see what's going on down there. More often than not I'll use one or more steep hipasses to deal with the stuff down near the subsonics.

... and thanks, as always, for another great review! :thumbup:
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:36 pm

Phil Ward wrote:I'd perhaps argue that one of the important roles of the mastering engineer, in this age of small mix monitors, is to check that there's nothing nasty down at 30Hz.

I'd think that was absolutely vital for the mastering engineer nowadays Phil :headbang:


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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby awjoe » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:15 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote: There are compromises to be made with monitor size versus bass performance, but it's perfectly possible to make good mixes on small monitors given sufficient experience and talent.

Ah, that small detail! (The corollary being that without experience and talent, monitors that went all the way down to 35 Hz wouldn't be much help.) 8-)

I understand it better now. Thanks.
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby awjoe » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:50 am

Mike Stranks wrote:
Having realised a few years ago that most of the commercial CDs I really like from a technical perspective have a very tightly controlled low-end, I now, as a matter of course, use a spectrum analyser to see what's going on down there. More often than not I'll use one or more steep hipasses to deal with the stuff down near the subsonics.


Yes, I put a highpass on just about everything these days. One of the most instructive/useful features of the Fabfilter ProQ2 plugin for me is the spectrum analyser. It often shows tons of stuff going on down there that I'm not aware of.
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:02 pm

Steep high pass here too. When I was at the beginning of my career I did a mix for a modern dance work. As usual there were last minute changes so I was forced to do an all nighter mixing under crap headfones as the missus was asleep in the next room. I showed up in the nick of time at the theatre for the sound check.
The house mixer played my music and at one point the grill suddenly popped off the sub! I vaguely remember all eyes on me. Seems there was some major low end I had no idea about going on! We had a good laugh, I was slightly red faced. The mixer engaged the high pass and the show went on!
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby AdrianTatar » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:20 pm

There's a smooth roll-off of energy at low frequencies, so it's still there, just a bit quieter than the same source level at 1kHz.

the smooth roll-off is a feature of sealed box not of the bass reflex

Thousands of hit records have been mixed on crappy NS10s, after all! ;)H

I presume that the mixing was made on NS10's not the mastering. The reason why you are so used is that it has a very good time response similar to a large flush-mounted studio monitor and no masking effect. This is opposite in the case of an small bass reflex design that sounds louder than you expected.
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:14 pm

AdrianTatar wrote:...the smooth roll-off is a feature of sealed box not of the bass reflex

ALL monitors have a SMOOTH ROLL-OFF -- as opposed to a brick-wall cut-off -- which is the point I was making. The response doesn't go down to 50Hz and then stop, it continues on below that frequency with a progressively diminished level.

Yes, sealed-cabinet monitors have a more gentle roll-off SLOPE than reflex-ported speakers, and thus maintain the deeper bass at a slightly higher level than an equivalent ported-speaker, but that isn't relevant to the point I was making.

I presume that the mixing was made on NS10's not the mastering.

Obviously.

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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:17 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Thousands of hit records have been mixed on crappy NS10s, after all! ;)

You can easily see if you've got too much bass on NS10s ;)

Come to think of it, I'm sure there were some older Pioneer hifi speakers with white cones too.
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby AdrianTatar » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:52 am

AdrianTatar wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote: The response doesn't go down to 50Hz and then stop, it continues on below that frequency with a progressively diminished level.

I agree that, but looking at the freq response graph on the pioneer official page the RM-07 has a low freq roll-off of around 36 dB/octave, am I right ?

Let's not forget that small bass reflex studio monitors maybe from any manufacturer use a electrical protection circuit below resonant freq, that is a resonant circuit and mess details in that region. On small studio monitors this region is used almost all the time because makes part from the used freq response.

Looking at the problem from another angle, for producing low freq the capability of low freq driver to move air is crucial because the air volume displacement increases by 12 dB per octave with decreasing frequency. With small cones this is a tricky situation because the coupling between air and cone is small, the cone is controling with dificulty the movement of the air and apears some turbulances. With a coaxial construction like of RM-07, the hi freq driver also reduces the effective surface of the low freq driver.

I tend to think that the RM-07 is a music recording/production studio monitor rather that a mixing one.

I hope that I'll be well understood by anyone that reads this I got nothing against this model and what I said above don't make others models beter.
I just said my opinion and if I'm wrong I'll happy accept any modification.
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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby ef37a » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:45 am

.........^........

Makes all these boutique DC coupled pre amps look a bit silly don't it?
And don't get me started on the other end of the spectrum!

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Re: July 2016: Pioneer monitors

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:19 am

AdrianTatar wrote:I agree that, but looking at the freq response graph on the pioneer official page the RM-07 has a low freq roll-off of around 36 dB/octave, am I right ?
Ya, which is steep. Exactly what Hugh said.

I don't think there is much to be gained in focussing on one or two parameters in a speaker. There are SO MANY interacting parameters that any speaker will be a collection of compromises, even if you're spending big money. Frequency response is especially over emphasized, because it's much easier to understand than, say, transient response or impedance vs frequency. Not that I'm an expert by any means! I find there's always something new to learn :)

Having said that, I often wonder how we could solve the problem that speakers project sound in a fairly diffuse manner, which makes the brass section in an orchestra sound a bit odd compared to the real thing, which hits you in the face, usually.
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