A ton of questions about studio monitors..

Discussion in 'Production' started by Unknown Artist, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Unknown Artist

    Unknown Artist New Member

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    Huge wall of text incoming, TL;DR version on the bottom :)

    I had some questions regarding reference monitors. I am looking at getting a pair, but I live in Alaska and I have found exactly 0 pairs for sale here, new or used. It appears I will have to order some online, and the shipping will cost me damn near as much as the monitors will, depending on which pair I get. I'm going to have to make sure I get a pair that i'll be happy with, because that's a huge investment, and it will be too late to change my mind once I pull the trigger on a pair. I have been producing on headphones for a long time, and with the free time i've had as of late, i've finally got an album close to finished that I am happy with for once. I have had just about every popular pair of headphone under 500 bucks but the ones i'm using currently, and that have the flattest response i've found, are the AKG q701s. As much as I love the q7s, I don't think I'm doing myself any favors going through the whole process with headphones like I always do. I just moved into a new house, and now that my noise output isn't as much of an issue, I think that I really need to mix down the whole album on a real pair of monitors. Before I even consider a pair I have a few things I need to sort out.

    -Do I need a sub? I have noticed that many people selling monitors attempt to pair them with a sub. Rokits, Yamahas, etc have their own model sub that go with the monitors. I wanted to get a pair of 8" monitors because I thought I wouldn't need a sub if I did, but I see that the sub is often sold together even with the 8 inch. If that's the case, why do people buy the 8 inch at all? from what I understand, the bass is deeper, and clearer with the 8 inch versus the 5 inch cones, but why bother with that if you are going to get a sub anyway? Something I have read, is that a sub needs to be calibrated in order to get proper functionality in line with your monitors. That could be a whole can of worms in itself... I know that some people don't use a sub, so I'm not even sure if I need one.

    -Do I need an audio interface for monitors? from what I have read, everyone seems to be plugging their stuff into an interface. I might need to get one anyway, in order to record electric guitar, and make it easier to have my devices connected in one place, but the microphone I use is USB. From what I understand, it also helps lighten the load on the sound card? *shrug*.. Monitors I was looking at had a 1/4 inch jack, so if I was going to use them without an interface, I guess I would need to put a 1/8 converter on them, which might be a problem also.

    -I'm concerned about acoustic treatment of my room. The room i'm going to be occupying for my audio equipment is a pretty huge room, something like a U shape and a total of about 450 square feet maybe. It's like 25 feet wide, with an A frame ceiling (It's the loft room). The only position available to me to put my desk and monitors is going to be in one of the corners. I assume that bass traps, foam, all that kind of stuff, if needed, would be totally wasted on a space like that. Does anyone have any experience mixing in a huge room with slanted ceilings?

    -I'm not sure which monitors to get. After reading tons of forum threads, articles, and reddit posts, over several months time, I still don't have any clue which ones would suit me best. I think that any pair I get will be something my ears will get used to, and I'll eventually be able to mix properly on them once I have experience with them. Based on some things i've heard, and my price range, some that have looked like possibilities to me were the Yamaha HS8s, the KRK RP8G3-NA Rokit 8 Generation 3s, and the JBL LSR308s. My price range is pretty flexible, as I have some money set aside for this, but I was hoping to spend under 1,000 or so for my first pair, especially factoring in that shipping will be so much, although I wasn't sure if I was going to be getting a sub or not.

    Very sorry for the huge wall of text... TL;DR..


    -Do I need a sub even if i get 8s? If it is recommended to use a sub, why get 8s at all if it's only for bass definition? Is there any other benefit to having bigger cones?

    -Do I need an audio interface? Is it recommended to use one even if I'm just using monitors for now?

    -Do I have to worry about treating my huge room? If so, how could I even go about it, being a weird shape, and being stuck in the corner?

    -Which monitors do you guys recommend? What do you think of the ones I listed?

    Thanks so much for any input, sorry for the massive read, and sorry if some of my questions were stupid / uninformed. Theres so much to know about all of this, and I know so little, despite having been a bedroom producer for the last 15 years. I guess I just have a weird way of doing things, and I was in a pretty tight spot for a long time as far as noise level / income. I hope that I can learn something, and maybe someone can help steer me in the right direction. Thanks for reading!
     
  2. TinnitusD&B

    TinnitusD&B Member

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    firstly write a shorter question.

    Ive got two M-Audio BX8 monitors and the BX10 sub. My monitors go down to about 50Hz so i bought a sub just to help with the really low frequencies. Make sure you read the frequency range of your monitors before you decide if you want a sub. I have a Focusrite Scarlette 2i2 interface and its great. It has two inputs that can connect either mics or 1/4" jacks. Its a relatively cheap set up and its performs perfectly.
     
  3. Unknown Artist

    Unknown Artist New Member

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    I figured someone would say that, that's why I included the TL;DR in there. Good point about checking the frequency of the monitors, i've noticed that they usually don't go below the 40s. Makes sense, thanks for your input!
     
  4. Summers

    Summers Member

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    I personally would say it would be better to go without a sub, I can't imagine it to be very clear to produce on a sub with a big rumble, monitors on their own are perfect. I would recommend any of the yamaha 'hs' series, I have the hs8's and they are amazing, krk's are always ok if you're on a budget
     
  5. Unknown Artist

    Unknown Artist New Member

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    Hmm. The reason i'm concerned is because even on the 8s it only goes down to like 38hz. I know that's pretty low, but supposedly you can hear the sub down to 15-20hz. I mostly make dnb and dubstep, so bass is a concern. I am excited about the hs8s, i can't try anything out seeing as how I live in the middle of nowhere, but I'm pretty sure they will do fine. Glad to hear you like em!
     
  6. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    There's no real point putting monitors into an untreated room, that's pretty stupid. A rough rule of thumb is spending about the same on the room treatment as you spend on the monitors. The good news is a big room with sloped ceiling is lots better than a small square box. Just do some reading on how to determine what problems you have (unfortunately this often requires monitors anyway). 'Mixing secrets for the small studio' has an excellent chapter or two on this, and there is plenty other online info for studio building.
    That said however, with the cost of monitors, treatment, and the shipment, would it be easier/cheaper to outsource the final mixing and mastering to some studio online and get it professionally finished?
     
  7. Unknown Artist

    Unknown Artist New Member

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    Very good point. I'd considered outsourcing everything in the past, and although mastering is relatively inexpensive, to have someone mix everything down as well as master would cost a pretty penny after a couple albums. I figure, if i'm going to try to finish up at least a few albums, it's probably worth it to invest in enough equipment to be able to at least do the mix myself... I think. :)