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Recording Studio monitors.

mpjbiker

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Hastings, East Sussex
How are studio monitors different to hi-fi speakers? I have my desktop going through an amp and decent speakers. If I was to use a focusrite interface, why couldn't I use my current speaker set up? Perhaps I'm overthinking!
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
It depends on the hi-fi speakers.... Monitors are meant to provide a 'flatter' i.e. tonally neutral sound. Good hi-fi speakers do as well. For example, my main hi-fi speakers are Neat and they are very neutral. I also have a pair of Dali 'bookshelf' speakers and I use them for what passes for my studio set-up: they are also neutral and better than cheaper monitors.
 

Pete Effamy

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Hampshire
Hope this article sheds a bit of light. When you mix you should check the mix on as many setups as you can - mainly, the ones that will show them up the most. It always used to be the car stereo back in the day but now many people listen on their iPhone, and through the earbuds that come with them. They shred everything. They also really show up any booming bass or holes in the mix too.

"People" say not to mix on phones - I confess that I do too - but sometimes this leads to a bad mix.Of course there are hi-fi headphones and studio 'flat response' phones too. Basically it comes down to knowing your gear and room that you mix in so that you can compensate. You may, for example, have some bass traps in the corners of the room - this is perhaps most common - though steps to calm this down are fairly inexpensive these days. Proper acoustically treated rooms are very expensive though.

Monitors vs Hi-fi Speakers: Part 1
 

Pete Thomas

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St. Mary's
Funnily enough, the go-to (small, ie "nearfield") studio monitors that were almost obligatory back in the 80s were the Yamaha NS10, and I believe originally developed as hifi speakers. Engineers discovered that they were good monitors for mixing as they did not flatter the sound. Often they would place a piece of toilet paper over them.

But very often hifi speakers are designed to flatter the sound. Some people like a lot of bass, others want sparkly top (or "air") or whatever. So a flat sound is the the best way to mix and know you are hearing a realistic sound. If the speakers were enhancing the bass, you might do a mix with too little bass. Ideally you need something that will work best on all possible types of system. Plus headphones, so you then need to double check on headphones.

Also check yourmixes very quietly, purely turning the volume up tends to make things sound better, so again you may not bother working as hard on a good sound as you might otherwise.

However just as important is getting the room acoustics to not be causing issues.

See here:

 

mpjbiker

Member
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199
Location
Hastings, East Sussex
Thanks for such quick replies-sounds like a whole can of worms! I was just idly toying with improving my set up. I only record so I can hear myself and improve-I just use an H4 and play it back through the stereo amp and speakers, or stick the memory card directly into the PC. It's good enough to identify timing and tuning issues, and generally critique my crap attempts at solos !
 

Guenne

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1,108
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Austria
"People" say not to mix on phones - I confess that I do too - but sometimes this leads to a bad mix.Of course there are hi-fi headphones and studio 'flat response' phones too. Basically it comes down to knowing your gear and room that you mix in so that you can compensate. Y
Right.
I bought a pair of Neumann NDH-20 headphones, which are far more useful for mixing in my "studio" than my Adam A7X are. You just need a good room to mix which I don't have.
There is software to put some kind of EQ on the master after checking the acoustics of your room with a mic from IK Multimedia
and there are also plugins to simulate a room when you mix with headphones from Waves

I have mixed a full "virtual concert" - songs I have recorded in the weeks where we didn't have a lockdown before christmas with the Neumanns, and the results were very cool and reliable in terms of volume ratio and place in the mix. For some I had to use other plugins too (autotune), but that's a different story :)

Cheers, Guenne
 

ellinas

Well-Known Member
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Location
Athens, Greece
Yamahas are standard not because.they are accurate but if you sound good on those Yamahas you sound good everywhere....
I have 5 inch tannoys ... They are amazing value for money and my good monitors are my trusty genelecs ... Huge problem is I have 0 time for recording lately :(
 

Dave Dunn

Member
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74
Location
South Australia
A tip I came across recently was using reference tracks when mixing to get a more realistic view. If you import a song or two with a sound similar to what you are going for into your DAW, and compare back and forth between those and your mix, any colouration caused by your speakers or headphones, or any part of your set-up, is being applied to those professional mixes too, so matching them should negate the effect somewhat.
 

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