Help buying monitors/speakers

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Yash94, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Yash94

    Yash94 SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys.

    I am pretty much new to the whole mixing, engineering side of things, and by no means have great ears, but using upgrading from the Shure SRH440 to the SRH840s gave me a whole new perspective of sound. Everything is much clearer and I'm hearing instruments more separately, actually listening to what the bass guitar is playing in most tracks, and just noticing so many little details that I had never heard before.

    And finally, I've decided to get myself a pair of speakers. I would love to get some studio monitors or they can be some "bookshelf speakers". And, watching videos on YouTube and reading on the internet confused me even more, on what I do want to get. Do I get active studio monitors? Do I get some bookshelf speakers? Do I get some Amp or DAC or receiver then into the bookshelf speakers or monitors? Or is my PreSonus Audiobox good enough? All this audio stuff is too confusing!

    Currently, I'm considering getting the iLoud Micro Monitors. But, do I need those or will I be better off getting some cheaper speakers? I would like something in a smaller form factor. Should I go 2.0 or 2.1 with a sub? My budget is around, $100-200, or I can stretch it to 300 but that's the max I can go.

    Here's what I'll be using them for (in order of most frequent to rare use scenarios) I would actually weigh in the first three equally, as that's 90% of what I do.

    - Enjoy listening to music. I love heavy metal and subgenres. Some of my favourite bands would be Megadeth, Trivium, Children of Bodom, Bullet For My Valentine, Death, Metallica, Opeth, Exodus... You get the idea....
    - Enjoying watching videos and TV shows
    - Playing guitar through amp sims (I use the PreSonus AudioBox iTwo and Amplitube, currently, play only through the headphones, finally wanna lessen that and be able to play through real speakers and be louder!)
    - Playing some dialogue audio files for my day job (teaching English to Russians, so just some people talking to each other)
    - Watching movies and getting immersed.

    The room is kinda small (17 metres square) and more or less empty-ish with little furniture, but enough to not echo, in no way is it acoustically treated, and won't be getting any acoustic treatment as it's a place I've rented. And, I don't want anything too loud but that can always be tamed.

    Give me suggestions, ask me questions. Any help shall be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  2. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD EIght.Fold.Path / Hinge Theory Contributor

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    It's tough to get speakers that are good for recording/mixing and normal listening as well. For the former you generally want something with as flat an EQ as possible, but for the latter folks usually prefer a more scooped-ish or bass heavy sound. So I'd say, decide which is more important at this point, and which you can live with some compromise, and then get the best set you can afford :yesway:

    Oh, either way, if you can afford a sub, do it, makes a world of difference!
     
  3. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Not in your price range but i recently got a pair of yamaha hs7s which are great and just got a cheap behringer mixer to which i hook up my interface for recording and my ps4/tv for everything else. The behringer has bass and treble for each input so all my music and movies etc sound great.
    Im sure whatever you end up getting u could do something similar.
    Its great having nice flat studio monitors AND having the ability to make em NOT flat!
     
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  4. Hendog

    Hendog SS.org Regular

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    Good studio monitors are very flat and tuned for mixing. Good speakers meant for music and multimedia have more color. They are two different things.

    I also need/want a pair of studio monitors and I have come to grips with the fact that they are only really good for recording and mixing.
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    In your price range, for your intended use scenarios, I'd just get a nice pair of computer speakers, rather than anything intended for "studio" use. I don't know if they still make them or what they would even cost, but I used a set of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1s for years when I was first dabbling in recording - you CAN mix on them, even though they're nowhere near flat and checking your mixes on a bunch of other systems will be super important, and they're good sounding, probably cheaper than even cheap studio monitors, and totally fine as all-around speakers.
     
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  6. Yash94

    Yash94 SS.org Regular

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    The only things I would be mixing are YouTube cover videos and gear demo vids.. More or less.
     
  7. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    I just cant agree, normal music etc sounds FAN-freakin-TASTIC through my HS7s!!!
     
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  8. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Yeah, I'd just get a decent set of computer speakers, and at some point down the road maybe a decent set of headphones. If you're not REALLY concerned about really killer mixes, or rather if it's not such a priority that you want to throw a lot of money at the problem, then there's no need to buy dedicated monitors.

    Don't get me wrong, I own and love a set of Yamaha HS80s and some REALLY choice AD/DA conversion gear... But I also have gone way down the recording/mixing rabbit hole and recording is something I'm really into. If I was just using them casually to make and share videos, it would be a total waste of money.
     
  9. Hendog

    Hendog SS.org Regular

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    You are probably right. A really nice set of $600+ monitors sound so good they can be used for anything.
     
  10. Hendog

    Hendog SS.org Regular

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    You are probably right. A really nice set of $600+ monitors sound so good they can be used for anything.
     
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  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I do use my HS80s for casual listening, but they're definitely not designed to make music sound good, so much as to sound accurate. Then again, let's keep in mind here that my HS80s and Gmork's HS7s share the lineage of the Yamaha NS10s, which WERE consumer speakers, and not terribly good ones at that, that became popular because they had a fairly pronounced midrange spike, so anything mixed on them would likely have a baked in "loudness curve" to them. They're not exactly known as an uber flat reference monitor. :lol:
     
  12. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    There are lots of decent $200-$300 monitors:

    Eris E5
    JBL 305P
    Yamaha HS5
    M-Audio BX5

    Out of all these I've actually am most fond of M-Audio in the lower priced tier but all should be better than computer speakers and are perfectly fine for listening to music.

    Behringer Truth B2031A if you're OK going for a bit more will get you 8in speakers. Don't let the name put you off, these are quite good!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  13. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Everything just sounds so clear. And obviously you can dial in your prefered eq curve with whatever youre using to play music
     
  14. Yash94

    Yash94 SS.org Regular

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    The question with the non-monitors is - will they be able to handle my guitar through BIAS or Amplitube? Monitors, for sure will, and they'll also handle everything else, but as I move away from them and go around the room doing my stuff, the music is gonna lose quality, right? That won't happen with other speakers. Is that correct? But, for sure, monitors will be able to handle the guitar playing applications.
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Sound is sound - any speakers can handle any sound, really, though studio monitors are going to be a little more full frequency, for better or worse, while consumer speakers are designed more to sound "musical" than to sound accurate. Also, all speakers are designed wiht a listening "sweet spot" and your sound quality degrades as you go around your room doing stuff and leave that spot, but that's not something to be overly concerned of - even real amps sound different as you walk around and get out from right in front of them, so it's not really a huge deal.
     
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  16. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    OT Rant incoming. Maybe its just me but I think that the whole "studio monitors aren't good for listening" is a complete myth. Most of the people posting that probably have never heard high end studio monitors, and I'm not talking about HS7's. I'm talking about speakers that are $1500+ each. They sound fucking incredible. And they will translate your mixes exceptionally well, because that's what they're designed for. No speaker has a truly flat response, if that was true than there wouldn't be such a huge market for high end monitors. I've demo'd a number of high end monitors, and all of them sounded different, but "harsh" and "flat" would never be words i'd use to describe my listening experience. "flat" monitors might not even deliver the best mix translation, NS10's are anything but flat and yet they are one of the most popular reference monitors in the world for professional mix engineers.

    Anyway, to OP. I have not demo'd these personally, but Glenn Fricker speaks very highly of Kali Audio LP-6's which are $150 a piece. I trust his judgement.
     
  17. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    I have the Mackie mr6 mk3 that I paid (i think) $150/each.
    I really like them (I have not used any other monitors... but they sound very clean and clear to me).

    I:
    mix on them
    listen to music
    watch youtube/netflix/etc
    play guitar through my line 6 hd500 or vsts

    I have no frame of reference against any other monitors, but I do have some cheap bookshelf speakers beside them to reference my mixes on (and a soundbar mounted above them), and my Mackie's are about 100x nicer sounding.
     
  18. Yash94

    Yash94 SS.org Regular

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    So, I did buy the iLouds. Very happy with them, and loving them. The bass is pretty good for the current setting I am in, more than enough. And playing guitar throught them is a treat. Just perfect
     
  19. gunch

    gunch chungus

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    Hey man are you talking about the xenyx 502?
     
  20. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Yep
     
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