Monitors + sound card Help!!!

Discussion in 'Production' started by Summers, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Summers

    Summers Member

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    So I'm planning on buying a pair of Yamaha hs8's because so far iv'e been producing on headphones and however I feel I do fine with them, I keep getting told to get studio monitors. Could anybody give me the re-assurance that it is the right choice to move from headphones to monitors because I'm about to dish out quite a bit of cash on these and a sound card. (also which soundcard should I get?)
     
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  2. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    The major difference (imo) is that your ears dont get tired as fast. This obviously also includes that you dont listen too loud (listening loud will result in weird-sounding mixes anyways because of how ears work.) and take breaks. You lose focus and concentration quicker when using headphones, so I'd use them to check bass + take a reference if youre familiar with the headphones you have. I bought a pair of little Genelecs a few years back, and they roll bass off at 80hz + my room rings at 120-140hz which results in me unable of hearing the 70-80hz at all. When I mix, I do balancing, panning, etcetc on monitors and only switch to headphones (DT770) to check bass and have a reference listen.

    Also, if you buy monitors I really suggest buying stands and so getting the freedom to move the speakers away from the wall and to avoid the reflections from your table.

    About the soundcard, Ive had good experience with Focusrite stuff, both USB and firewire. If you have enough budget, consider Motu or UA (apollo, the little one).
     
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  3. Summers

    Summers Member

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    Thank you for the useful reply :) yeh I was planning on getting stands. But for a soundcard, i was expecting to spend around £100/$150, is the soundcard really that important to spend like £500/$750? what does a soundcard even do >. >
     
  4. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    Soundcard is used to make analog audio (synths, microphones, guitars etc) into digital so your computer and finally DAW can understand it, record it, and play it back. The pros of external, proper soundcard in playback use is that its isolated from the computer and doesnt get so much interference from the magnetic fields and whatever inside the computer.

    In that 100/150 pricerange Id say Focusrite Scarletts could be a very good option if you use USB, and Focusrite Saffires if you have Firewire. I personally have Saffire 18i20 (8 XLR/line inputs, 10 physical line outputs + ADAT slot to plug another 8mic preamp in) because I also record live drums, several microphones at once and so on. The smaller Scarletts/Saffires/pretty much every card in that pricerange have 2 XLR/line inputs + 2-4 outputs which means it is a good solution to plug your monitors into. Using a soundcard also results in less latency via Asio drivers or similar.

    Why the prices differ so much? More connectivity options, better quality preams, better connectors, and so on. I also own a basic M-Audio Fast Track Pro USB (2in/2out) card which I use with my older laptop to plug monitors in, it works fine doing just that but the preamps are quite bad and when you are recording anything more silent (so you have to crank the gain up) you get noise quite fast.

    If you have any questions, ask away :)
     
  5. BirdsOfWar

    BirdsOfWar New Member

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    So basically if were sticking with keyboard and mouse for now i can stick with my onboard? I have a nice gaming rig i turned into music production as well. It is onboard audio but i can get the latency to 64ms which is less than midi i think. Well whatever it is, its quick enough. I dont get any underruns and am still curious if i will need to upgrade in order for monitors to work. Sorry see its an old thread but still relevant.
     
  6. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    Its no problemos to work like that, but when you buy a proper pair of monitors you want to get the audio out as clean as possible. Its no surprise professional studios use AD/DA converters like Prism etc - even when completely out of everyday comprehension the same idea and practice can be applied in home studio environment :)

    Midi itself doesnt have latency in the same meaning, the latency comes from the computer doing the digital / analog converting and trying to calculate your plugins at the same time. When I record guitars, bass or drums, anything over 5ms or so results in bad playing if I use input monitoring.

    Also its _much_ more reliable to use 3/4" TRS (to TRS or XLR depending on monitors) from your soundcard from separate outputs, than buy a 3,5mm -> dual TRS or dual XLR cable. Youll have worse sound quality that way.

    That said, I worked for years using just a basic hifi system via 3,5mm out because of no money and only recently have started getting proper stuff.
     
  7. Summers

    Summers Member

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    Thanks for the help, just got my monitors and sound card today, they're soo good :p ended up getting the yamaha hs8's with a focusrite 2i2

    just having some issues with ableton, it's having major latency and bad sound quality, i think i have it set up wrong and i don't know how to fix it, i'm gona make a new thread about this though.
     
  8. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    Nice to hear that, enjoy :)

    Have you downloaded and are sure you are using the Asio drivers or the Focusrites driver in Ableton? Im not an Ableton user so can't help very specifically :(