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Old 12th September 2005, 03:06 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Columbus, OH
Default ISO: Studio monitors on a budget

My brothers and I are beginning to record some of our music on a pretty small budget. My brother is looking at getting a Motu 828 for recording onto his Mac and the one thing we're lacking are some studio monitors. We don't want to spend a lot of money on these ($300 for parts per pair max) because we're really just doing this for fun.

http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/828/body.html/en

Do you guys have any suggestions on some monitors that would work well? My brother has a Roland TD-10 drum module that can do some crazy things so we *may* be using some sub 40hz bass in some songs. In that case, should we build a larger monitor to handle the bass or just transition the low end to a small sub?

Thanks!
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Old 12th September 2005, 02:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: San Francisco
Send a message via AIM to joe carrow
I have a little experience with this, and I have a few questions-

First, are you using the monitors to produce a serious final mixdown? If so, you want a lot of accuracy. I recommend spending almost ALL of your budget on a set of headphones. It's astounding how much more accurate $300 worth of headphones can sound compared to speakers in the price range. Headphones help with accuracy by taking the room out of the equation, and the high-end models can have bass extension into the 20s.

Second, are you using the monitors for you and your brothers/band to review takes together, picking which one makes the mix? Do you only care about mixing this well enough for the final product to be a "demo"? I think that to get the sub-40hz bass, you'll definitely want to go to a subwoofer. I've heard satellite/subwoofer systems that would fit your needs- just "computer speakers".

What's working against you is that you need amplification and an active crossover for stereo speakers and a sub. If you can explain a bit more about exactly what you need to use these for, and what you might be able to get "used" or "found", then some folks from the forum might give some more opinions.
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Old 13th September 2005, 02:30 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: paris
hello

i built myself a pair of so called studio monitors, and buyed me some in the past too. at 300 bucks a pair you dont have much choice though. in speakers that go sub 40 hz you only have the behringer i think, and i personnally dont like their sound that is too much on the Harsch side for me, although some friends have them and like them very much. under 300 i would advise you to take the KRK RP5, that are only 299 in us, and have a really good sound, although they don?t have hearthbreaking bass as they have 5" woofers
all the "cheap" monitors all are two ways, when having good bass they tend to have imaging problems as using really big 8" or even 9" woofers, i tend to enjoy way more the smallers two ways. so my advice :

- take a 5" woofer active two ways, like the RP5 that i like very much, although you have other choices (tapco s5, fostex pm5 , and others i don't remember)
- when you have the money, buy a sub and a good pair of headphones, in the order you want

the advise of joe carrow on headphones is very true, although, as a musician that did do music only on headphones during 6 months, i would not advise youy to do so, it can become very unenjoyable, and tiring for your brain and ears, especially if you do electronic music, but it's very good to have a good pair of headphones for checking your mixes. i would not advise you to spend you more than 100 bucks on headphones though, AKG 240 studio are very good and are around this price i think

my 2 cents =)
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Old 13th September 2005, 03:47 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Columbus, OH
Thanks for the replies!

I have a set of Sennheiser HD5x0 series (forget which, my brother has them right now) that I got from Circuit City around 3 years ago. They were $150 but with my discount from working there I got them for about $60. They do sound VERY good and pretty neutral so maybe I'll give them a shot for now and test some others out in the near future.

Again, thanks for the input and any other input is GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 17th September 2005, 04:45 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: chico CA
Default Ahhh you can do it!

C'mon man !
This is the diy site!
Just find yourself a recepie for a diy speaker that a boast itself to be flat or neutral sounding.
Thats what you want.Check the graphs on the sites.Try to minimize the distortion.Focus either on small speakers with sub or bigger speakers without.There is no other way because you need the bass to be in the mix.I built some HT 10.1 from adire audio.They was WAY more revealing than my old KRKs.
Just hang around this site and you will find out what to do.
__________________
thanks for reading.
H.Honda Chico CA Land of the fooled
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Old 17th September 2005, 07:14 AM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Tampere Finland Europe
Build these speakers - one or two pairs depending on how you need to place them. They should be listened close (nearfield), so put a pair around the edrums set and another where you mix.

Here's the link:
http://www.zaphaudio.com/audio-speaker18.html

These have only 3" drivers so they need a sub. Something like Behringer 2029 is enough. Alternatively to Hi-Vi drivers you could use the 3" Aura (NS3-193) or Tangband (W3-871) drivers mentioned on Zaph's web site. Aura is propably the best of them as they need no filtering and have bigger xmax (5 mm) and because of this are louder.

For critical mixing and mastering you should first have a room with soundproofing and tuned acoustics. You must get rid or standing waves (room modes) to get a good and even bass response, the the reverberations time for high frequenciens should be damped. Until then it's no use to really do any critical work or buy expensive speakers. Here one some links:

http://arts.ucsc.edu/EMS/Music/tech_.../teces_14.html

http://www.rivesaudio.com/resources/links/frame.html
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Old 17th September 2005, 01:18 PM   #7
Previously: Kuei Yang Wang
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Default Re: ISO: Studio monitors on a budget

Konnichiwa,

You need to really clearly define your requirements.

The Terms "Studio Monitor" covers such a wide range of things.

1) What is the room configuration and listening distance?
2) What sort of SPL do you guys want?
3) Can you afford to properly treat the room acoustically?

PERSONALLY I would probably lean towards a large, farfield design using controlled directivity all the way (meaning dipolar/unipolar), but that is hard to do for 300 Bucks.

A good alternative perhaps would be a pair of nearfield speakers using Jordan JX-92 and maybe a ribbon tweeter. These would be miles ahead of anything commercial in terms of small monitors and might just about fit the budget, add a subwoofer later.

Sayonara
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Old 17th September 2005, 04:01 PM   #8
amperex is offline amperex  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MI
Default Wesnor Model 1....Huge 'bang for buck'

One design with two drivers come to mind for a huge 'bang for the buck' sonics. The Seas Excel T25CF 001 & less expensive Usher replacement for the Scan Speak 18W 8545K (due to your budget).

Use the less expensive Usher mid/bass, but do not skimp on the stellar performing Seas Excel T25CF 001. Use that Seas crossover design with the Usher crossover design.

I modified my Pro Ac 2.5 Response to this design. Blows away the Pro Ac 2.5s to a jaw dropping performance beyond words. Apparently, this designer spent a lot of time refining this design.

Do a google search 'wesnor speaker model 1' as the web address I have in my favorites will not work when published here- go figure.

BTW- don't be surprised if the speakers end up at your brothers house on his stereo.
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Old 19th September 2005, 10:02 AM   #9
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Join Date: Aug 2005
i am a musician and i have been running my project studio for seven years.

firstly, may i must reinforce what another person said: when it comes to mixing/mastering, room acoustics are infinitely more important than choice of monitors, and in a properly constructed facility, they are extremely interdependant.

secondly, even more important than the above two, is the experience of the engineer. listening for personal enjoyment is a different ball game from listening to make critical adjustments in balance and timbre.

thirdly, you'd need a large room and tremendous amount of acoustic treatment to do justice to 40 Hz and lower. you may be able to enjoy 40Hz in many rooms, but you cannot make critical judgements in that frequency range.

these things said, mixing is great fun, and if you've got the knack and some good luck, you might end up making some pretty key stuff.

lastly, i must recommend yamaha msp-5 powered monitors, which can be had for about $400 a pair, i think. i'm getting interested in DIY, mostly for 'feel' and enjoyment, and personalization, but for accuracy and a sound that translates across systems (on your budget), i'd suggest you stick with one of the the proven studio workhorses.

a great forum for you to get into would be www.gearslutz.com where these things are discussed to death.

.02,
self.
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Old 20th September 2005, 01:42 AM   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Columbus, OH
Just got back from my vacation. Thanks to everyone who responded!

Our intentions for the recordings are to make copies for friends and family and to be able to listen to them years from now, so we can remember what we wrote. We *might* hand them out to local clubs later on if we decide we'd like to play a few small shows.

I think for now we'll use a pair of small bookshelfs I built that sound pretty good. If those do the trick we can continue to use them. If not, we'll look into something else.

Thanks again!
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