Using hifi as a studio monitor

What's Hot
Might be a daft question but can you use your hifi as a studio monitor. ie. Can you use the line out RCA's from and audio interface into your hifi pre amp/power amp to monitor through your hifi speakers or the output from your PC via a DAW into the hifi system or do you need to get studio monitors specifically?

Ian

Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 28203
    You can, it is better than nothing but hifi speakers are usually a bad idea to mix on unless you are spending a LOT of money on them.

    Are you releasing what you mix on them?
    http://uptheoctave.com
    Audio Production Reviews and Technique.
    Latest article for Production Expert: Mixing with guitar pedals. https://bit.ly/3hCtIHF
    Latest article for Pro Tools Expert: Why I bought an Avid MTRX. https://bit.ly/30HGqPv
    Click here for all my articles.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 5554
    I did on a mid range system for many year before I got monitors, reasonably nice speakers etc and I have to say the improvement in clarity when switching to monitors was night and day.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 28203
    edited July 31
    Yes the issue is translation.

    You can get a good sound with consumer hifi in your room because you can mix to the inherent characteristics of that speaker.
    What mixers are looking for is neutrality and time-domain accuracy.
    Most hifi monitors don't give this.

    So when you take your 'good sounding mix' on your coloured hifi speakers to other systems they sound... unbalanced.
    If you aren't mixing for release then it is less important- any port in a storm and such.
    http://uptheoctave.com
    Audio Production Reviews and Technique.
    Latest article for Production Expert: Mixing with guitar pedals. https://bit.ly/3hCtIHF
    Latest article for Pro Tools Expert: Why I bought an Avid MTRX. https://bit.ly/30HGqPv
    Click here for all my articles.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • MusicwolfMusicwolf Frets: 1343

    The analogy which I always use is that of an artist painting a picture in their studio.  They require strong, natural, light in order to get the colours right.  The painting may be viewed in all sorts of lighting conditions but at least it will start out as being ‘right’.  By contrast if you were to try to paint in say the yellow light from a sodium street light you would most likely get the colours badly wrong.  It may look ok in the room where you painted it but it would be shocking seen anywhere else.

    When mixing this is the difference between good, neutral, monitors in an acoustically well treated room and a set of HiFi speakers in an untreated spare bedroom.  You have to use what you have / what you can afford so the best method is to keep trying your mix on other systems and take notes.  Also, a set of modest open backed headphones (I use AKG K702’s) can help, particularly with the bottom end.

    It’s a pain but, sadly, there are no easy (cheap) fixes.  The ‘correction’ software is improving but there is still a long way to go, if indeed we ever get there, to turn a bad system into a good one.


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Bill_SBill_S Frets: 77
    I also use AKG K702 headphones. I would  trust these over hifi speakers.Better still, good studio monitors in an acoustically treated room, for all the reasons given above, but may not be practical of course. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5286
    Technically a large amount of  records  are mixed on hi fi speakers, being as the good ol Yamaha NS10's were \ are  hi fi bookshelf speakers not studio monitors. I used those for years along with some large Panasonic's and some oddball Goodmans.  I'm using an Acoustics research hi fi amp now and the oddball Goodmans. Basically out of audio interface into RCA of amp. Being non balanced is of no consequence on short runs of less than 2 metres. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 28203
    Danny1969 said:
    Technically a large amount of  records  are mixed on hi fi speakers, being as the good ol Yamaha NS10's were \ are  hi fi bookshelf speakers not studio monitors.
    Yes, but generally with £3k amplifier- Brystons.
    http://uptheoctave.com
    Audio Production Reviews and Technique.
    Latest article for Production Expert: Mixing with guitar pedals. https://bit.ly/3hCtIHF
    Latest article for Pro Tools Expert: Why I bought an Avid MTRX. https://bit.ly/30HGqPv
    Click here for all my articles.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5286
    octatonic said:
    Danny1969 said:
    Technically a large amount of  records  are mixed on hi fi speakers, being as the good ol Yamaha NS10's were \ are  hi fi bookshelf speakers not studio monitors.
    Yes, but generally with £3k amplifier- Brystons.
    Yes Brystons were popular. I used the Yamaha PMXXX  stereo amp, BC recommended it on Gearslutz. Very simple linear old school AB amp with bags of clean headroom. 


    www.2020studios.co.uk 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 8163
    also remember that commercial releases have been professionally mixed and then mastered again - they are set up to sound good, and sit within normal dynamic ranges.

    When you record and play live through hifi speakers, you will have a large variety of levels, and will have a far higher chance of blowing the speakers, as I have done in the past. if you overload hifi, the distortion of the top end can put huge energy into the bass/middle, and cook the voice coils in the bass/mid driver
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 6679
    edited July 31
    Bands usually create 2 or 3 masters based on the media they expect them to be played on, and during mastering they use those media to listen. 
    "Misogyny ... enforces sexism by punishing those who reject an inferior status for women and rewards those who accept it." - a great quote from Guitartango
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Devil#20Devil#20 Frets: 74
    edited July 31
    also remember that commercial releases have been professionally mixed and then mastered again - they are set up to sound good, and sit within normal dynamic ranges.

    When you record and play live through hifi speakers, you will have a large variety of levels, and will have a far higher chance of blowing the speakers, as I have done in the past. if you overload hifi, the distortion of the top end can put huge energy into the bass/middle, and cook the voice coils in the bass/mid driver
    Yes you're right. If you drive into clipping the power spectrum of the high frequency content will significantly increase and overload the tweeters. If you keep the levels reasonably low then that shouldn't be a problem. Except you are then into the Fletcher Munson territory. However, in terms of FRFR then a hifi speakers (if they're good ones) fit the bill  as monitors don't they? By definition hifi speakers worth their salt should not produce any additional colouration of the source sound nor should any of the amplification stages. So surely they're as good as any studio monitors aren't they?  I have several pairs of good hifi speakers (Linn, B&W, ATC, Totem) so would they not suffice as passive monitors? What have I missed?

    Ian

    Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • WonkyWonky Frets: 151
    I always check my mixes on many different speaker types after mastering, 2 different monitor speakers, 3 different car speakers and an audiophile system.  What I find is the audiophile system makes everything sound very musical and very good.  That is to say, not a revealing as the monitors, but much more listenable.  It's a blessing and a fault.  TBH the various car systems are the biggest eye openers to me and I often have to go back to mix level after them.
    So, I personally wouldn't use a Hi-Fi system for music production alone, but certainly it's a part of the process.  Use everything you have.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 909
    I remember an original band I was in did a home demo of a rehearsal on a Tascam and mixed it using the summer's state of the art hifi. I wasn't there for the mix and it sounded shite as they didn't change his EQ (he was a raver and always boosted bottom end etc). I was so mad. LOL.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Devil#20Devil#20 Frets: 74
    Wonky said:
    I always check my mixes on many different speaker types after mastering, 2 different monitor speakers, 3 different car speakers and an audiophile system.  What I find is the audiophile system makes everything sound very musical and very good.  That is to say, not a revealing as the monitors, but much more listenable.  It's a blessing and a fault.  TBH the various car systems are the biggest eye openers to me and I often have to go back to mix level after them.
    So, I personally wouldn't use a Hi-Fi system for music production alone, but certainly it's a part of the process.  Use everything you have.
    That's good advice. Thing is if you use an amp modeller like say a Fractal Axe 3 it has to go through a 'real' speaker at some point. That will colour sound like any other speaker, including headphones, so unless you know what the consumer is going to play the final mix on then it is guaranteed not to sound the same.

    Ian

    Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RockerRocker Frets: 3878
    Generally, with about one exception, studio monitors do not make good musically satisfying hi-fi speakers.  The exception is Wilson Audio and a pair are way out of most peoples price league.  Studio monitors allow the sound engineer to really listen in to what is on the 'tape' whereas hi-fi speakers are for listening to music for enjoyment.  Logic would suggest that both objectives are the same but not so in practice.  As they say, horses for courses........
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Devil#20Devil#20 Frets: 74
    Rocker said:
    Generally, with about one exception, studio monitors do not make good musically satisfying hi-fi speakers.  The exception is Wilson Audio and a pair are way out of most peoples price league.  Studio monitors allow the sound engineer to really listen in to what is on the 'tape' whereas hi-fi speakers are for listening to music for enjoyment.  Logic would suggest that both objectives are the same but not so in practice.  As they say, horses for courses........
    But your perfect hi-fi speaker has a wide dynamic range and contributes as little colour as possible. That sounds like the requirements of a monitor speaker to me. Again, what am I missing?

    Ian

    Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Devil#20Devil#20 Frets: 74
    A monitor and a hifi speaker can be compared by their amplitude vs freq response curves. In what way are they fundamentally different?


    Ian

    Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RockerRocker Frets: 3878
    If I understand your questions @Devil#20, I cannot tell you what the difference is but there is a difference.  I know as I had both in my music room, a top of the line pair of PMC studio monitors and, what I bought in the end, a pair of B&W 803D.  The monitors were so detailed, it spotlit everything so much that the music seemed to be bypassed in the process.  It is fair to say that the B&Ws are not 100% accurate when compared to the PMCs, but they are more pleasing to listen to.  I listen to music for enjoyment and not to hear every creak the drummer stool makes.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 28203
    Rocker said:
    If I understand your questions @Devil#20, I cannot tell you what the difference is but there is a difference.  I know as I had both in my music room, a top of the line pair of PMC studio monitors and, what I bought in the end, a pair of B&W 803D.  The monitors were so detailed, it spotlit everything so much that the music seemed to be bypassed in the process.  It is fair to say that the B&Ws are not 100% accurate when compared to the PMCs, but they are more pleasing to listen to.  I listen to music for enjoyment and not to hear every creak the drummer stool makes.
    I've got Kii Three's which are marketed as both high end audiophile monitors and high end studio monitors.

    The higher end you go, the fewer differences there are.

    http://uptheoctave.com
    Audio Production Reviews and Technique.
    Latest article for Production Expert: Mixing with guitar pedals. https://bit.ly/3hCtIHF
    Latest article for Pro Tools Expert: Why I bought an Avid MTRX. https://bit.ly/30HGqPv
    Click here for all my articles.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RockerRocker Frets: 3878
    octatonic said:
    I've got Kii Three's which are marketed as both high end audiophile monitors and high end studio monitors.

    The higher end you go, the fewer differences there are.


    Congrats @Octatonic. ; Up to today I had never heard of Kii Three.  Having looked at a few online reviews, I can only be very impressed.  Serious quality actives with onboard DSP for circa €10K.

    The use of DSP has been floated about in Hi-Fi circles for the past fifteen or more years.  Some company marketed a 'box' that went between the source and the amplification way back then.  This used a microphone to listen to setup frequencies and adjusted the output to give a desired output and sound.  For some reason it simply did not catch on.  At the time I was interested but as no dealer had one to demo in my system, it did not happen.

    Your speakers look great and I have no doubt, sound great.  How does the DSP work in your room?  Is the setup more or less as on the older system described above?  Can you switch from treated to untreated sound easily?  I presume the controls are on an iPad or Smartphone App.

    Anyway, congrats on having the balls to spend what it took to get a good sound in your room.  Enjoy and maybe sometime I might get to hear a pair in action.... 


    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 28203
    Rocker said:
    octatonic said:
    I've got Kii Three's which are marketed as both high end audiophile monitors and high end studio monitors.

    The higher end you go, the fewer differences there are.


    Congrats @Octatonic. ; Up to today I had never heard of Kii Three.  Having looked at a few online reviews, I can only be very impressed.  Serious quality actives with onboard DSP for circa €10K.

    The use of DSP has been floated about in Hi-Fi circles for the past fifteen or more years.  Some company marketed a 'box' that went between the source and the amplification way back then.  This used a microphone to listen to setup frequencies and adjusted the output to give a desired output and sound.  For some reason it simply did not catch on.  At the time I was interested but as no dealer had one to demo in my system, it did not happen.

    Your speakers look great and I have no doubt, sound great.  How does the DSP work in your room?  Is the setup more or less as on the older system described above?  Can you switch from treated to untreated sound easily?  I presume the controls are on an iPad or Smartphone App.

    Anyway, congrats on having the balls to spend what it took to get a good sound in your room.  Enjoy and maybe sometime I might get to hear a pair in action.... 
    Yes I read the room with a measurement mic.

    Yes I can switch from exact to low latency mode with the press of a switch.
    It is controlled from a control box which connects to the monitors via ethernet.

    Active cardioid bass is brilliant for less than ideal rooms, although my room is acoustically treated it is not acoustically designed.

    http://uptheoctave.com
    Audio Production Reviews and Technique.
    Latest article for Production Expert: Mixing with guitar pedals. https://bit.ly/3hCtIHF
    Latest article for Pro Tools Expert: Why I bought an Avid MTRX. https://bit.ly/30HGqPv
    Click here for all my articles.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5286
    Devil#20 said:
    A monitor and a hifi speaker can be compared by their amplitude vs freq response curves. In what way are they fundamentally different?

    Well no speaker has a flat frequency response, things like size of the box, reactance of speaker coil, distortion in passive crossovers and non linear radiated angle spread. When you consider how old the basic design is it's a wonder it's a good as it is. All you can do is make a speaker that's not perfect but enjoyable to listen to  ... like a hi fi speaker or one that's not perfect either but is good for showing you how your mix will sound on all the imperfect speakers in homes. 

    Generally in a studio you have a least 2 sets of speakers and normally 3

    The Mains - these are generally big and good for tracking and blasting the mix in progress to the band on the sofa. Building them into the sofet was all the rage at one point as that created a very large baffle front and extended low response. 

    The Consoles - these generally sat on the console and are what most engineers mixed on. Generally book shelf sized speakers like NS10's or Genelec 1031. You can't shake the room with these speakers but they had what's called "translation"   ... if you mix sounded good on those it would "translate" well to other speakers. They aren't nice to listen to .. being a bit harsh and shouty but that fact they were kind of made you work hard to lose that harshness. 

    The last pair was generally something small and shit sounding like modified getto blaster or in our case little computer speakers. Basically to see how the mix sounded on really shit hardware. 

    So basically no speaker has a flat response regardless of what the manufacturers state. I could say my guitar speaker has frequency response of 50Hz to 14Khz and negate to say it's 30dB down at those extremities  so completely pointless. But in general a Hi Fi speaker will be flawed but enjoyable to listen to over long periods. A studio monitor will be flawed but will "translate" well ... that's the difference

    Then of course there's mastering speakers which is another level up and they are probably the closest thing made in terms of flat frequency response  
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Devil#20Devil#20 Frets: 74
    Danny1969 said:
    Devil#20 said:
    A monitor and a hifi speaker can be compared by their amplitude vs freq response curves. In what way are they fundamentally different?

    Well no speaker has a flat frequency response, things like size of the box, reactance of speaker coil, distortion in passive crossovers and non linear radiated angle spread. When you consider how old the basic design is it's a wonder it's a good as it is. All you can do is make a speaker that's not perfect but enjoyable to listen to  ... like a hi fi speaker or one that's not perfect either but is good for showing you how your mix will sound on all the imperfect speakers in homes. 

    Generally in a studio you have a least 2 sets of speakers and normally 3

    The Mains - these are generally big and good for tracking and blasting the mix in progress to the band on the sofa. Building them into the sofet was all the rage at one point as that created a very large baffle front and extended low response. 

    The Consoles - these generally sat on the console and are what most engineers mixed on. Generally book shelf sized speakers like NS10's or Genelec 1031. You can't shake the room with these speakers but they had what's called "translation"   ... if you mix sounded good on those it would "translate" well to other speakers. They aren't nice to listen to .. being a bit harsh and shouty but that fact they were kind of made you work hard to lose that harshness. 

    The last pair was generally something small and shit sounding like modified getto blaster or in our case little computer speakers. Basically to see how the mix sounded on really shit hardware. 

    So basically no speaker has a flat response regardless of what the manufacturers state. I could say my guitar speaker has frequency response of 50Hz to 14Khz and negate to say it's 30dB down at those extremities  so completely pointless. But in general a Hi Fi speaker will be flawed but enjoyable to listen to over long periods. A studio monitor will be flawed but will "translate" well ... that's the difference

    Then of course there's mastering speakers which is another level up and they are probably the closest thing made in terms of flat frequency response  
    That's a pretty comprehensive and informative answer Danny. Cheers. Leads me to another question really. With amp modellers you connect them to a power amp and a speaker cabinet. Both of these will add colouration to the output from the amp modeller so how can you get them to sound like say an AC30 or Fender Twin Reverb and be indistinguishable to the real thing. I've never understood that. 

    Ian

    Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 280
    Devil#20 said:
    Danny1969 said:
    Devil#20 said:
    A monitor and a hifi speaker can be compared by their amplitude vs freq response curves. In what way are they fundamentally different?

    Well no speaker has a flat frequency response, things like size of the box, reactance of speaker coil, distortion in passive crossovers and non linear radiated angle spread. When you consider how old the basic design is it's a wonder it's a good as it is. All you can do is make a speaker that's not perfect but enjoyable to listen to  ... like a hi fi speaker or one that's not perfect either but is good for showing you how your mix will sound on all the imperfect speakers in homes. 

    Generally in a studio you have a least 2 sets of speakers and normally 3

    The Mains - these are generally big and good for tracking and blasting the mix in progress to the band on the sofa. Building them into the sofet was all the rage at one point as that created a very large baffle front and extended low response. 

    The Consoles - these generally sat on the console and are what most engineers mixed on. Generally book shelf sized speakers like NS10's or Genelec 1031. You can't shake the room with these speakers but they had what's called "translation"   ... if you mix sounded good on those it would "translate" well to other speakers. They aren't nice to listen to .. being a bit harsh and shouty but that fact they were kind of made you work hard to lose that harshness. 

    The last pair was generally something small and shit sounding like modified getto blaster or in our case little computer speakers. Basically to see how the mix sounded on really shit hardware. 

    So basically no speaker has a flat response regardless of what the manufacturers state. I could say my guitar speaker has frequency response of 50Hz to 14Khz and negate to say it's 30dB down at those extremities  so completely pointless. But in general a Hi Fi speaker will be flawed but enjoyable to listen to over long periods. A studio monitor will be flawed but will "translate" well ... that's the difference

    Then of course there's mastering speakers which is another level up and they are probably the closest thing made in terms of flat frequency response  
    That's a pretty comprehensive and informative answer Danny. Cheers. Leads me to another question really. With amp modellers you connect them to a power amp and a speaker cabinet. Both of these will add colouration to the output from the amp modeller so how can you get them to sound like say an AC30 or Fender Twin Reverb and be indistinguishable to the real thing. I've never understood that. 
    Really, these are questions at opposite ends of the spectrum.
    The type of speakers used in the amps you mention, are chosen for the way they affect, or filter the sound produced from the particular amp. They accentuate or attenuate certain guitar frequencies, which are also modified by the amps circuit-depending on drive levels. This all together produces the sound we recognise as the typical Vox or Fender sound. This is all manipulated in creative ways to produce the track that will be used in a mix. This is a creative process and there are no rules-your ears dictate what is good.
    At the other end of the line, this track, along with others has to be mixed together to produce a final product. To do this effectively requires a system that is neutral, or as neutral as possible. The key thing here is that the person who is mixing will be aware of the areas that are missing from his 'neutral' system.
    Allowances have to be made, there is little point mixing a track to sound great on the best speakers in the world, if the final product will be consumed on ear buds, or tinny laptop speakers as there will be frequencies present in the mix that can not be reproduced by these low end speakers- the mix will have glaring holes in the spectrum.
    As described above, current studio practice is to mix on the most accurate speakers, but also check these things on more consumer grade equipment. The NS10 was a useful shortcut for producers and engineers as it was a fairly standard platform that allowed them to concentrate on the most important, or rather congested areas of frequency, the mids.
    These engineers got to know the characteristics of this speaker, and could mix in frequencies that they could not hear through the speakers, and it generally worked well. Tissue paper was used to tame some of the tinny highs, and the movement of the cone would give a visual of the bass frequency content, it took a lot of practice, but they became a studio staple.
    There is no reason your home HiFi speaker X can not perform the same function, but it is always useful to hear a mix in as wide a variety of environments as possible. 
    All of this used to only be possible in a dedicated recording studio, as corrections could be made on the fly, by checking through various monitoring systems, and was necessary to get a mix across the finish line, at least to the mastering stage.
    At home, we now have the luxury of  being able to use gear that is on a par with high end recording equipment, at least virtual versions, and there are solutions to most problems, room correction and studio simulation is not quite there yet, but it is close and is a valuable tool to making our space close to neutral. At least it can show us areas that will need compensation.
    It takes many years to build up the experience and confidence to mix music for a paying customer and to know what will make them happy.
    There is a lot to learn, and really there is no competition, only evolution. Try listening to a track you mixed a year ago to hear how your knowledge has expanded and your mixes improve over time, as you gain experience.
    Mixing on Hi fi equipment will soon reveal it's problems, unless you learn what has to be allowed for, and at first it will be confusing, a shortcut to learning all this is to use the best open backed headphones you can afford, and use these as the first mix comparison tool, immediately you will hear what the speakers cannot reproduce, or what they enhance, and you can get half way there straight away.
    This all takes time, and there really is no short cuts.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 887
    Devil#20 said:
    Danny1969 said:
    Devil#20 said:
    A monitor and a hifi speaker can be compared by their amplitude vs freq response curves. In what way are they fundamentally different?

    Well no speaker has a flat frequency response, things like size of the box, reactance of speaker coil, distortion in passive crossovers and non linear radiated angle spread. When you consider how old the basic design is it's a wonder it's a good as it is. All you can do is make a speaker that's not perfect but enjoyable to listen to  ... like a hi fi speaker or one that's not perfect either but is good for showing you how your mix will sound on all the imperfect speakers in homes. 

    Generally in a studio you have a least 2 sets of speakers and normally 3

    The Mains - these are generally big and good for tracking and blasting the mix in progress to the band on the sofa. Building them into the sofet was all the rage at one point as that created a very large baffle front and extended low response. 

    The Consoles - these generally sat on the console and are what most engineers mixed on. Generally book shelf sized speakers like NS10's or Genelec 1031. You can't shake the room with these speakers but they had what's called "translation"   ... if you mix sounded good on those it would "translate" well to other speakers. They aren't nice to listen to .. being a bit harsh and shouty but that fact they were kind of made you work hard to lose that harshness. 

    The last pair was generally something small and shit sounding like modified getto blaster or in our case little computer speakers. Basically to see how the mix sounded on really shit hardware. 

    So basically no speaker has a flat response regardless of what the manufacturers state. I could say my guitar speaker has frequency response of 50Hz to 14Khz and negate to say it's 30dB down at those extremities  so completely pointless. But in general a Hi Fi speaker will be flawed but enjoyable to listen to over long periods. A studio monitor will be flawed but will "translate" well ... that's the difference

    Then of course there's mastering speakers which is another level up and they are probably the closest thing made in terms of flat frequency response  
    That's a pretty comprehensive and informative answer Danny. Cheers. Leads me to another question really. With amp modellers you connect them to a power amp and a speaker cabinet. Both of these will add colouration to the output from the amp modeller so how can you get them to sound like say an AC30 or Fender Twin Reverb and be indistinguishable to the real thing. I've never understood that. 
     2 thoughts on that:

    Many will tend to use FRFR active speakers if speaker emulation or IRs are part of the modelled signal. They attempt to be flat, but there are still variations in how they sound - hence a qsc K10 will sound a bit different to a Yamaha drx10, although both in the same ballpark.

    Also, an ac30 won't always sound exactly the same anyway depending on the room it's in, the mic that's on it, position of that mic etc, so it isn't a case of being able to sound "exactly the same as" in my view.

    I think some people like to remove the power amp modelling and speaker emulation / IR from their modellers and then play through an actual power amp section and cab for an experience that is closer to a traditional amp in the room (as opposed to listening to a mic'd up amp)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Devil#20Devil#20 Frets: 74
    horse said:
    Devil#20 said:
    some stuff. 
     2 thoughts on that:

    Many will tend to use FRFR active speakers if speaker emulation or IRs are part of the modelled signal. They attempt to be flat, but there are still variations in how they sound - hence a qsc K10 will sound a bit different to a Yamaha drx10, although both in the same ballpark.

    Also, an ac30 won't always sound exactly the same anyway depending on the room it's in, the mic that's on it, position of that mic etc, so it isn't a case of being able to sound "exactly the same as" in my view.

    I think some people like to remove the power amp modelling and speaker emulation / IR from their modellers and then play through an actual power amp section and cab for an experience that is closer to a traditional amp in the room (as opposed to listening to a mic'd up amp)
    The more sophisticated amp modellers like the Fractal Axe allow you to simulate an amp with various mic placements removing that difference from the real thing presumably (I don't have an amp modeller so no real experience in this regard). Also I've no real experience of knowledge of what various amps should sound like except for the one's I own or have owned. Again, as Danny says the flat response of a speaker is the intent rather than the reality and an FRFR speaker will suffer from this too, hopefully to a lesser extent. I don't really understand what an IR is. It's a wav file I think but of short duration and not something you can listen to in isolation. I presume then it is digitally mixed with the source signal before it hits the amp modeller and uses maybe a convolution to produce the output signal. Are the various presets in the amp modeller just an internal library of IR's, including all the pedal effects? I'm guessing so.  

    Ian

    Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Tex MexicoTex Mexico Frets: 1171
    I mixed on hi-fi speakers, cheap ones, for years before I could afford anything better. Going from those to a £200 set of M-Audio powered monitors my friend lent me meant that my mixes would actually work on anything other than the exact setup I mixed them through.

    In between I've owned a few other sets of monitors but my current Focal Shape Twins (still not really high-end, more like decent midrange, about £1,300 a pair) make my mixes sound good on anything I play them through.

    I'm not a pro and before I spend any more on speakers I'd need to treat my studio. I mix-check on AKG K712s. I used to dual-monitor with Yamaha NS10s but for all their hype and expense they didn't really help. YMMV. For my dirty/mono monitors I use a Sony solid-state amp and speakers from the 70s which don't reproduce anything below 250Hz or above 5KHz. Great for clearing midrange clutter.

    You should absolutely use what you have until you can afford better. It's better to put out a hundred shit mixes on hi-fi speakers than do nothing until you've saved up for dedicated monitors. You'll be a 100% better mixer for having had to make do.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5286
    One thing to remember, whatever you mix on it's still 90% skill and 10% the speakers. I was OK but never that brilliant at mixing so I actually send my mixes to a guy who used to work at my studio during his Uni days and now works as a freelance mixer. He can actually mix on headphones and get a better mix than I can ... just younger, better ears and a talent for it. 

    Nine times out of ten someone else mixing it is the better option anyway. If your just making projects for yourself then I can understand not wanting to spend money on external mixing ... but then again if no one is going to hear it the end result isn't that crucial. 
    If you are wanting radio play, sales on Apple music and streams on Spotify though then you are better off finishing tracking and let someone else mix it for 2 reasons. They will have fresh ears to the project and they won't have emotional attachment to any recorded part. 
    There's many a talented musician and mixer who just can't bear to do this .... non one knows your music better than you right ?

    Trouble is your not selling your music to yourself, you are generally wanting others to like and buy / stream it and as an artist your not the one in the best position to do it. 

    So have a go on monitors, hi fi speakers, listen in the car and on earbuds but keep in mind there are plenty of good freelancers doing £100 mixes too
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Tex MexicoTex Mexico Frets: 1171
    Danny1969 said:
    One thing to remember, whatever you mix on it's still 90% skill and 10% the speakers. 
    This is a fair comment, but what I would say is that the split starts heading the other way the better you get.

    It really depends on the speakers. There's probably as much difference between crap hi-fi speakers and good hi-fi speakers in terms of fidelity as there is between any hi-fi speakers and flat-response monitors.

    My first set of speakers were on an Akai midi system but I was just starting out with my cassette 8-track and didn't have a clue. I eventually got a much worse Alba system (didn't know that at the time, it was bigger and more powerful so I thought it was better) and probably spent about five or six years attempting to produce anything decent on that.

    When I got my first set of "real" monitors, cheap as they are, the quality of my mixes skyrocketed immediately, which demonstrates if nothing else that trying to mix on bad kit will hold you back.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SnapSnap Frets: 3974
    I used to record using a hifi set up as the sound for my PC. It was OK and for a hobbyist did the job. Then I moved to a pair of good monitoring headphones and that was easier as I could hear a more balanced sound. Then I moved to proper monitors, and again it was a bit of a night and day moment - you can just hear more stuff, and things are less cluttered. 
    I will listen to commercial music on my monitors too, and I like it, but it does get a bit tiring after a few hours, compared to hi fi. Hifi is more of a cossetted listen, easier on the ears, whereas I can only describe listening on monitors as a bit more brutal - maybe the increased range of frequencies is a bit overwhelming for the auditary system after a bit, dunno.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.