Home recording speakers. Any advice?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Jimbobbybob, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Jimbobbybob


    Jun 9, 2020
    Hi, I'm pretty new on here (and to playing bass for that matter) and I'm looking for anyone who may have experience in recording directly into their computer as opposed to a microphone. Bear with me.....

    I'm primarily a guitar player who has just picked up the bass to supplement my recording (plus it's great fun). I record guitar using a tube amp head and a Mesa Boogie cabclone, which allows me to record directly into Garageband. It sounds great through my computer speakers (B&W MM1's if that helps), plus it doesn't piss my neighbours off. And I'm basically trying to do the same thing with bass. I just ordered an Ashdown tone pocket which is apparently great for recording. The problem is, would I need to replace my speakers?

    So far I've tried the bass amp simulator on Garageband, which sounds like crap as expected, but I realise it could be me not dialling it properly as a total beginner, or that the speakers might not be up for the lower frequencies and would possibly need a 2.1 system or something like that. Anybody with experience in this area? To put it simply, I'm trying to record at home, but I want to enjoy the sound without getting an eviction notice.
  2. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    Wellington, NZ
    Totally recommend getting a 2.1 system. I have a 7 inch sub that goes down to 32hz. The two near field monitors are 4.5 inches, and they're not that great for bass. The Sub handles the low frequencies below 80hz, and the two hear field monitors handle the frequencies above 60hz. So the combination of the three produces a fantastic sound. Another idea is to isolate the monitors from the desk to get a decent sound from your monitors. If you're mixing tracks with drums, you'll need that sub to hear the interaction with the bass and kick. I also use a pair of Audio Technica M50x headphones, which are great for tracking and sound good with bass frequencies.
    nuage420b likes this.
  3. Jimbobbybob


    Jun 9, 2020
    Thanks for your answer How much would something like that set you back? And how big/loud is it?

    basically trying to find the sweet spot between great sound And not being too loud as I’m a flat dweller.
  4. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    Wellington, NZ
    Just looking at Sweetwater prices, a pair of Adam Audio T5V near field monitors is $400, and an Adam Audio T10S Sub for $400. That 2.1 system would give you an excellent sound and many years of use out of it. Yamaha and KRK do 2.1 systems also.

    When I'm tracking, I have the volume just above talking level. Mixing and editing, I'll sometimes have it as quiet as possible, or if I need it loud I use headphones. My DIY mastering, I've got a pair of Sennheiser HD650 headphones for loud playback. Those headphones have a lot detail and bottom end. I live in a quiet apartment block too. So for my home project studio, it's a combination of monitors and headphones, which seems to work well. I'd love to do everything on monitors at all volumes, but not possible at this stage.
  5. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I'm kind of on that journey myself. I've been using at set of Mackie MR5 mkIII. They're OK. I thought about investing in set of better nearfield monitors. But then I started to realize that my room needs treatment and/or possible reconstruction. Estimates for that started adding up. So I bought a nice set of headphones (Sennheiser HD600s) for tracking, mixing and mastering. Way cheaper than chasing down optimal room acoustics to make best use of a good set of monitors. It's working for me at the moment.
  6. To find that play back sweet spot with the gear you already have is simple. Listen to a lot of great recordings in your current room and speaker system. Know that these recordings are recorded under the best of conditions. They sound great under great conditions. Hear what they sound like in your room, which is not the best of conditions. After a while, you'll get used to how great recordings sound in your not optimal room. If your recordings start to sound like those, you're in the good range.

    Headphones are a good idea to add to what you already have. If you do want to upgrade speakers, hearing them in person is best. When music stores open up in your city again, check them out with uncompressed recordings you know well.
  7. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    2.1 systems are great for playing/tracking bass without over-exerting the mains. The one thing to watch out for is that tracks may end up being a little bit light on bass if you have the sub too loud during tracking. I have the Yamaha HS-8 with matching sub with a default (but adjustable) crossover point at 100Hz. Generally speaking, the more sub you hear, the less bass you will actually be tracking. My advice is to turn the sub down to where you barely notice it when tracking.
    Roland GR 88 likes this.
  8. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88 Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2013
    Ontario Canada
    Retail store manager
    If you're on a tight budget the sub can wait for a bit. A good set of monitors with 5" cones or bigger will give you a clear and defined picture of what's getting recorded.
    I would spend money on room treatments before getting a sub as its placement is the key factor in sending bass frequencies out into a room properly but that's just my opinion and I know I'm in the minority here.
    Good luck and welcome to T.B. :)
    TOOL460002 likes this.
  9. TOOL460002


    Nov 4, 2004
    Santa Cruz
    Agree with waiting on sub until you hear the speakers. I used KRK bookshelves (think 6in) for a while but wish I had gotten the sub. When I need monitors I'm going to get KRK again. They're popular for a reason IMO.
  10. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
  11. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    My studio doesn’t have a sub. The only thing that matters is how well your mixes translate to your car and other systems. If you know the speakers well, anything will work for you. That being said, it’s great to have expensive monitors but it’s not absolutely necessary to get a great recording.
  12. Jimbobbybob


    Jun 9, 2020
    Looks like I might need to do a bit of saving up :p

    The Ashdown tone pocket sounds great, even if my speakers aren't ideal, so I can live with them for the time being. Thanks for the advice guys :)
    mikewalker likes this.