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Best monitors for sculpting mid range content on heavy guitars Studio Monitors
Old 4th April 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

Best monitors for sculpting mid range content on heavy guitars

Hi There,

My current mix setup is a combo of KH120a's with a KH805 sub, and then some Avantone mix cubes. (Room is fully treated.) Monitoring chain is fed by a Lavry DA10, routed through Drawmer MC2.1.

With big, chunky heavy guitars, I find that the mid frequency content can be a bit difficult to sculpt, and doesn't always translate well to consumer systems.

I'm wondering if anyone has a monitoring solution that both makes it easier to sculpt that mid range, and then translates a bit better to other systems.

Thanks so much,
Jed
Old 4th April 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
I always found that on my JBL LSR8P's, the mids were a bit cloudy but still defined if that makes any sense, and because of it, I was able to sculpt mixes that resulted in being able to mix for consumer systems, live events, theme park sound systems, theaters and even IMAX venues. Amazingly, they translated so well... Hope that helps. PS - they are pretty cheap used now - $400-500 ea.
Old 5th April 2019
  #3
Gear Head
 

your monitoring setup is fine, especially the neumanns despite them being a bit muddy and boxy. avantones are horrific and worse than most consumer systems today. there's no need for them when you can always check on a phone speaker. maybe throw in a pair of cheap yamaha hs5 for no mud and emphasized mids
Old 5th April 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thank you both so much for the replies. Super helpful - I really appreciate it!!
Old 5th April 2019
  #5
I wouldn't be able to find fault with your setup. So, maybe do a bunch of comparison of your guitar recordings and your favorite commercially released stuff. If you do this in both your studio on your different speakers, with headphones, and then with consumer systems then hopefully you can find a common denominator of what frequency bands are not working for you. Another trick is to take a DAW EQ and do the same comparison while looking at the spectrum analyzer and note any big differences. Then sweep some frequencies and see if your guitar sounds respond to EQ the way the commercial mixes do. I know this can be problematic with all the other instruments in there, but with heavy guitar music, the guitars are up front enough where this sort of technique is possible. Maybe give that a try. If you discover a pattern in there you won't have to do this sort of comparison very often.
Old 5th April 2019
  #6
Gear Addict
 

PSI A17m. A lot nicer than the KH120s. But keep the 805 sub that's an amazing speaker.
Old 5th April 2019
  #7
Ns10s are very good for that. Pretty cheap too!
Old 5th April 2019
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by citrusburst View Post
Thank you both so much for the replies. Super helpful - I really appreciate it!!
Going to be real now:

0. Have great licks and riffs. “Good enough to not be mocked” is not good enough

1. Nail a decent tone on an amp. Do not use distortion pedals for a tone; use them only for distortion. Do not be afraid to use “bad” amps, cabs, and speakers. Skip Celestion and scoop slightly the mids. Do not use typical “modern rock” and “modern metal” “good gear”

2. Stop overprocessing and stop reamping with the “good” modeling plugins

3. If the tone comes through in your mix on the muddy, scooped, and boxy KH120, then it will translate. KH120 is not a great sounding monitor but it does translate to modern consumer playback systems and it is fairly pleasant to listen to

4. Get something with clearer mids than the KH120 as another reference. Yamaha HS5 is that and cheap despite the honk. Avantone are not and are far worse than the current Auratone

5. If you have the funds to replace your entire monitoring setup with something fuller range than KH120 with clearer mids, then do so if you truly detest KH120

Referencing your mix to sterile modern rock recordings with an awful tone will do you zero help too. Reference it to recordings with a great, unique tone. If you want to make some awful mesa canned modern rock, djent for “smart” people, or anything with cleanly sung choruses, then please take off your pristine denim tuxedo and Suicidal Tendencies hat, smash your guitar, and listen to better music.
Old 5th April 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

horn loaded and 10" woofers (such as tannoy dmt10)
Old 6th April 2019
  #10
Gear Head
 

Thanks everyone for the fantastic input! And thank you, Noctambulant, for the very detailed, insightful advice. I'm grateful!
Old 6th April 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 

ATC. Obviously.
Old 8th April 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 

i used to have o300 and never felt like being able to judge the mids. atcs work great for me.
Old 17th April 2019
  #13
Gear Head
 

Andrei and Salomonander, out of curiosity, which ATC models do you use?
Old 18th April 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by citrusburst View Post
Andrei and Salomonander, out of curiosity, which ATC models do you use?
I'm on ATC SCM 20ASL. This are superb if you need to "sculp" the mids. They do the job, period. If you don't get enough low end(you can mix very well down to around 48-50Hz on the 20s) add one of their subs like the SCM0.1/12 Pro. I don't need a sub for now, but I've heard excellent reports going this route. Or you could consider the larger models, like the ATC 50. Expensive stuff, but anything ATC does is brilliant and highly professional, wonderful company, so expect the best.
Old 18th April 2019
  #15
Gear Head
 

If your tone is butt on what you already own, then it is probably starting out butt if you. Can’t get reasonable results. The monitors are not your problem. If you are reamping some idiot’s direct input rough tracks then just stop. Accept that those idiots are losers who can’t afford any amp (all of those old death metal albums were done on cheap stuff) and a couple hours of studio time so they can take what they give you or pay for you to retrack them.

ATC SCM 20 is good for what it is but lacks low end and grunt. ATC SCM50ASL are the tightest ATC. The bigger ATC speaker with the two SCM50 woofers is probably great too. The massive woofer ones go lower but the disparity in speed and tightness between the woofer and the dome is noticeable.
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