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Studio monitors question

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Ash Telecaster, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's

    Hello all,

    Right now I am using a decent Yamaha integrated amp, ax-596, and 2 pair of decent but cheap speakers. They are JBL j2060's and Polk T15's.

    Initially I was just trying to be loud enough so that everybody in the practice room could hear if I played a song. It works fine for that. Sounds okay for general use as well. The issue is I seem to have a very hard time getting a good mix. Mixes that sound great on these speakers don't translate well to the car, mp3 player, other systems, etc.

    It might be me or maybe some studio monitors would help.

    I was considering the Yamaha MSP7's. They are expensive but not crazy expensive like a lot of monitors. They are front ported and can push all the way against the wall and you can still plug them in. Other Yamaha gear I have, including the integrated amp and a powered mixer, has been very good.

    I don't want to buy hype and perhaps there are other options worth considering. I appreciate your thoughts on the subject.


  2. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars TDPRI Member

    Apr 15, 2017
    ...playing in traffic
    Equator D5s. Great imaging with nice midrange focus. Self powered.

    If you want a set of passives, I really like Tannoy PBM 6.5 series II. In fact I still have a set.

  3. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's

    Super, thanks, I'll check them out. I hadn't actually considered passives but the IA is pretty nice and that might be a good cost effective alternative!

  4. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    It's not just a studio monitor question though.
    All things considered, the entire process, signal chain
    comes into play. The other components also have to be
    addressed in order to get your mixes to shine.

    Great monitors will help a lot don't get me wrong, but don't expect them
    to pull double or triple duty. A nice studio monitor setup in a medium room
    will sound great until you have to listen to something right after band rehearsal.

    I would stick with some JBL's for a good monitor, and that's powered monitors.
    Your integrated amp will have too much home stereo machismo.

    Use your existing amp/speaker setup as your primary listening system.
    You will then have two separate systems, one for mixing and the other

  5. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's

    This sounds like logical advice. So you like the JBL monitors over the Yamaha's? Is there a particular model you are thinking of?


  6. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2013
    Yamaha HS5/7 seem to be popular, with the comment that they translate well. I bet those MSP7's would work great. Getting a set of good quality and then listening to all your favorite music on them, mix on them, and get used to them, and any number of speakers of the "studio monitor" type should work well. Often this means they aren't flattering or boosted in the bass and/or treble, like speakers that can sound good but not translate well- you end up with too little bass and treble if you mix on speakers with hyped bass and treble.

  7. bluzkat

    bluzkat Tele-Meister

    Feb 20, 2011
    Lansing, Michigan
    Another recommendation for the Equator D5s, I love mine.
    GuitarsFromMars likes this.

  8. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    What are the acoustics in your practice room like? If your room has a standing wave that sucks out all the bass, no monitors are ever going to sound right. I'd look into doing some basic acoustic treatment in any room I was going to be mixing in.

  9. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2013
    Checking and treating your room is not a bad idea.
    Making sure that everything is in phase, and well positioned with regard to walls and corners helps.
    Biggest thing is, Gain staging.
    In my case, I had my monitors set too low on the output of my DAW, and was pushing the mix and it didn't translate.
    I read up on monitoring, made my ;levels more correct and consistent, and then ran a noise program and check the loudness with a Db meter in my Android pad, to get close to the 83 db listening level. Its loud for me. But at least I know where I am at, and can turn it down and still be getting some optimal sounds.
    paratus likes this.

  10. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 26, 2008
    There are some great deals out there on older JBL's, especially the 4400 series. We mixed the last album with a pair of 4410's, super accurate but a little much for the room.

    We downsized to 4408's and everything seems to be right. The material mixed in studio sounds pretty good in the car and on the office computer.

  11. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    Ever comment here so far has been a different degree of
    getting your overall mixes straightened out.

    that's the primary goal of a recording forum.

    The issues arises when someone wants to perform more than one
    function in the same room. We all can guess the life sucking energy
    that a totally built for recording room would sound like for a live
    venue, and we can guess that a total brick and mortar box
    wouldn't be the ideal recording environment either.

    So, how do we treat the room that does double duty?

    How about we start with movable, temporary fixes!

    you can have your room one day be the rockin' rehearsal stage,
    and the next day turn it into a decent mixing environment.

    Are you going to record the next Stairway to Heaven in that room?

    There have been many examples where bands found a recording "home"
    in less than Hollywood studio buildings.

    I love the sounds of The Pet Shop Boys as reference material.

    Temporary and modular bass traps and diffusion devices would do you wonders
    and creep you into the world of acoustics and that information follows you
    around from room to room! Haunting your every minute! Lol.

    I would recommend the JBL's only because you had mentioned that you
    are currently listening on JBL's. Is this correct?

    So then, your ears are the number one tool not credited to your
    overall expertise in mixing. Sad but true my friend. I do live mixing
    in a different room all the time. I only carry with me my knowledge
    and my ears to make whatever room sound respectable. Different room,
    different sound systems. No wonder I'm nuts.

    Don't get me wrong Yamahas would be great for you IF you were planning
    on involving yourself with the Yamaha sound. If you buy them you will hear differences
    in every speaker from different manufacturers. Your ears are already adjusted to
    hear the JBL sound, and that plays out in your head. IMO, you will
    mix differently on different speakers etc.

    I don't know the size of your room so I can't really give a detail on
    what size JBL you should buy. But it could also be Yamaha if you wish!
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    LiteAsh likes this.

  12. suthol

    suthol Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 15, 2010
    Sydney - Australia

    Apart from technical comments to improve my previously very rough mixing attempts, this is one of the main things I have taken away from replies to my mix content posts on here.

    Learn to hear the sounds you want in what you have.

    Having been retired for a number of years funds to go and buy the latest best and fairest new toys are hard to come by so I have my old powered Altec Lansings and Sony headphones then listened to heaps of CDs for reference through these so that I have a good starting point to work from.

    Still pretty crap at this game but getting better with each new mix

  13. vintagelove

    vintagelove Tele-Meister

    Oct 18, 2014
    2 sets of monitors.

    1 - something capable of letting you actually hear what's happening on the bottom. A cheap set of events will fit the bill.

    2 - a small speaker, ns10, auratones, etc. This is what will get your mix translating asap. There's a reason these monitors have been on top of every console in the world for the last 30 years.

    Good luck.

  14. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    From Radio Shack many many moons ago.......

    vintagelove likes this.

  15. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    What i have noticed is the role maturity plays in mixing.
    As people get older, their tolerance for over the top
    accentuated highs and ground shaking lows takes a back seat
    to clarity and separation of instruments.

    A person no longer wants to deal with how hot, rather than
    getting the song to sit in a sweet spot. IMO this makes the ears
    of a well seasoned individual a true gem in the world of earblasters
    that get stuck in their genre driven mixes. Not all of them, but here in
    Los Angeles you can pick them out by the clothes they wear almost!

    An older individual who has recently taken up mixing has an advantage
    in that their ears are not war torn too badly from days on end of mixing
    fatigue. Plus the advantage of patience and the ability to study not only
    a mix, but an individual track. I like that.
    chulaivet1966 likes this.

  16. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Holic

    Nov 17, 2011

    I had my 4410's for 20 years (purchased in 1991 - 850$ for the pair) and loved them.
    Sold them to Starving sitting down?.....for 50$ each and they were in excellent shape all around.
    So yes....should be some good deals on the 4400 series. :)

    My music needs changed after the live band days and entering the digital recording world.
    I needed to lean out the studio real estate.
    I've always used two sets of monitors.

    About three years (after selling the 4410's) ago I purchased the KRK Rockit 8's to compliment my Tascam S1010M's near fields (I've had those since 1986).
    I mix on the Tascams at very low volume....get a 1st mix then treat myself to some higher db listening on the KRK's.

    (EDIT: and what studio said has always been my mixing goal re:..."As people get older, their tolerance for over the top accentuated highs and ground shaking lows takes a back seat to clarity and separation of instruments".)

    Back to topic....
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017

  17. suthol

    suthol Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 15, 2010
    Sydney - Australia
    I wonder too if it is also because we enjoyed a golden period of listening when music wasn't squashed flat so our ears & minds want to hear this again

  18. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

    Feb 18, 2013
    St. louis MO
    Whenever I have troubles on mixes I immediately plug in a single berhinger c50a I have in mono. It tells me a lot. I still check on a set of studio monitors and a set of hifi speakers. The c50a tells me the most.

    I just looked them up to see if they are still making them. I bought mine when they just came out I forget how much probably about 70 dollars. It's just a cheap speaker with a amp. I wouldn't buy one for the 150 dollars they are charging now. Probably isn't exactly the same as they were making when they first came out either.

    I will say this it is astounding what that cheap speaker can tell you. It sounds like a piece of crap transistor radio or something. Really low fi. For what they are charging now you might as well get the avancube.

    I know berhinger is a cruddy brand in general. They do have one or two decent products that work. I know it's weird but even the best studios have one or two peices of behringer gear they have that they actually use.

    Edit....... I have to take back what I said about berhinger and the price. Reason it cost so much not is they don't make them anymore. It's a shame. I use mine on every mix and when i don't I regret it. I guess it's not that big of a shame. I have used a lot of berhinger gear and the only things I have ever used that aern't complete useless peices of junk are the c50a monitor and the uca202. The 202 is only really good for audio out into a hifi stereo.

    I have used there keyboard/pa stuff, mixers, rack reverbs, seriously anything else I would be better just flushing my money down the toilet. I have bought new stuff from them that is already broke. I think the only way they stay in business is when your online shopping and you set the search price lowest to highest their products come up first. I mean besides that the c50a is great. I think as a company they would be better of just making that and the uca202 throwing out every design and product they have away including the midas stuff and strarting fresh trying to make a better name for their gear.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017

  19. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    Yes, but one has to take into consideration the listening devices
    the modern era has given us.

    Gone are the days of beautiful consoles and affordable
    hi fi gear. Everything nowa days fits in your pocket and
    you aren't expected to carry around 15 inch woofers!

    So we kinda have to mix within our given environments.
    Who is our listening audience? What are they listening on?

  20. Ooba Tooba

    Ooba Tooba Tele-Meister

    Jul 10, 2017
    Toledo Ohio USA
    Use both headphones and monitors to mix. Read up on JBL LSR's. I use headphones only at this point, and it's just ok. Everything I have read on the subject suggests using both. I am getting the LSR 308s.

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