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Studio Monitor Speakers worth it?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Robert Luscombe, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. I've been doing more field recording lately and editing the audio on my Mac, and I've also doing video editing. Right now my Mac is plugged into a cheap Sony home stereo in the corner, and I've been wondering if it would be worthwhile to get some studio monitor speakers and a small amp for the computer.

    I'd need something smallish that would fit on my work table (maybe 10" x 10", 12" or so tall), and I'd like a small amp, maybe with an optical audio input. A second input would be cool too, I could stream to it with an Airport Express. I was thinking in the $500 range, does that sound reasonable? Is this a logical thing for me to do?

    I'm on a dual 2.7 ghz G5, btw.

  2. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    i'd get some active monitors going..no need to mess with amp these days. there are quite a few in your price range:

    stay away from behringer, roland and yamaha.. tannoy are a good bet..

    these little puppies are in your price range and a mate of mine just got some and while they won't set the world on fire they are pretty damn good for the do$h:

  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The M-Audio Studiophiles are quite nice for the price.
  4. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    Think about it this way Bob, every mix decision you make is on the basis of what your monitors are telling you. If they're misleading you, you're making inappropriate decisions. If they're not telling you what's really going on, or not accurately relaying your mix decisions, you're going to do the wrong thing. My opinion is that if you're serious, buy the very best monitors you can afford, they're a critical link in the whole mix process.
  5. What is the best way to go out from my computer to active monitors? Would I want to go directly from my mac's 1/8th inch stereo out, or would I benefit from some sort of firewire/usb interface? What's a usual setup? I don't really have much in the way of input requirements at the moment, although I may be making recordings from the direct out of my Acoustic Image amp in the future.

  6. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
  7. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I know everyone loves to dis Behringer stuff, but I have a pair of the larger biamp ones (3201?) and IMO they work very, very well. I've taken 4 CDs in for mastering & the mastering engineer didn't have any big issues with my mixes, and they didn't require much correction at all. Not bad for under $400 a pair.
  8. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I think it is a good idea to have something neutral, so you get a realistic idea what the track actually sounds like, so you get an exact image what each instrument sounds like in the mix. Stereo systems have all kinds of colorisation going on, especially the cheaper ones.

    One of my guitarist friends - who knows what he does - has been very impressed with his ESI nEar05's, which are less than 200 bucks a pair - if you go with these you can still add a small sub for 300 and be exactly in budget.

    Other possibility would be getting some neutral headphones, like AKG K240M's.
  9. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    I have no complaints about my BX-8's. They're probably the best of the 'cheaper' monitors.
  10. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Wharfedale Diamond Pro 8.1 actives. Best deal in the price range. I've heard great things about the M-Audio and Tannoy cheapie lines, too, but no personal experience.

    Make sure you give yourself time to get used to whatever monitors you buy before doing any critical mixing, though. Find what you think is the best spot accoustically in the room, set up the monitors, and listen to albums you are intimately familiar with sound-wise for days on end until you're adjusted to the sound of your monitors. Although even cheap monitors are more accurate than computer or home stereo speakers, they still have an affect on the sound, and mixes may come out funny until you're familiar with their response. Good monitors start to reveal flaws, and various mixing techniques really start to stick out while you listen. When I got my Wharfedales I discovered that some of my favorite albums are almost unlistenable on them :meh:

    Anyway, find a good pair and use them, you'll never regret it.
  11. remo


    Jan 15, 2005