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Speakers too detailed? I can hear so many flaws! Studio Monitors
Old 26th December 2010
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post
You hear more on high fidelity monitors because they respond faster and more accurately to electrical signals. also they respond better to lower strength signals (the quiet stuff on records). Its more accurate to say all speakers RECEIVE the same signal and respond to as much as they can, as fast as they can. If speakers could respond to it all, we would only need one driver, and everyone would use it. A speaker is really just a horribly inefficient piece of mass vibrating best it can to response to extremely weak electrical signals. some vibrate closer in accuracy to the input signal, but we are a long long way from perfection
I understand how it works. Doesn't account for some of nonsense claims / implications in this thread.
Old 26th December 2010
  #32
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Hmmmm... I smell some free advertising gear hype
Old 26th December 2010
  #33
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The idea that certain speakers are "too detailed to mix on" is also crazy.

Do sounds that were previously "not there" [on other speakers] now overcome the senses to such a degree that the sounds that "were there" previously are obscured?

No, they don't.
Old 26th December 2010
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post

Sometimes the truth is too much to handle.
Yeah, there's a lot of that going around (and not just in audio).
Speakers too detailed? I can hear so many flaws!-ewgoodmen.jpg
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Old 26th December 2010
  #35
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I had rather have speakers to detailed....
Old 26th December 2010
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
The idea that certain speakers are "too detailed to mix on" is also crazy.

Do sounds that were previously "not there" [on other speakers] now overcome the senses to such a degree that the sounds that "were there" previously are obscured?

No, they don't.
Maybe you don't have such good speakers or such good hearing Sometimes it can be overwhelming when you combine the two.

For me, there are three ideas at work here:
1. idea of too much information. Doctors make better time sensitive decisions with less information on the client. weird i know, read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell for example. Do you need to hear all the mistakes and engineering tricks tricks listeners will never hear, or do you just need to hear the ones they will?
2. is personal -it sucks hearing all the mistakes you have made! but oh well every other record has them too.... get over it and learn to work with them. are better speakers just plain better to work on?
3. the big one - will I mix better on better speakers? The answer seems obvious, but I don't think it is. Why else do we have our ns-10's? I often mix on mine though i have many 'better' pairs. The answer i'm sure is different for different people.

And no there are no 'new sounds' on records, you can hear the same sounds if you turn lesser pairs up high and listen for it. The louder, more predominate, sounds mask these effectively enough on lesser speakers that you might never hear them unless you listen at loud, sometimes uncomfortable, volumes. On better performing speakers these subtle sounds are noticeable to the degree that you may hear it clearly at normal listening volume. It's very neat! and the marker of a sensitive pair. I explained earlier in terms of driver properties why this is the case. Different experiences and opinions are not crazy, there just different, which makes them scary.

One of the things i like about this thread is that there a lot of valid opinions going both ways. The 'answer' is not so clear to me, and that is why i made this thread. Most interesting to me, before I made these most recent speakers, the my answer was a resounding, 'better is better!' That's why i made them
Old 26th December 2010
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post
Maybe you don't have such good speakers or such good hearing Sometimes it can be overwhelming when you combine the two.

There are two ideas at work here:
1. idea of too much information. Doctors make better time sensitive decisions with less information on the client. weird i know, read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell for example. Do you need to hear all the mistakes and engineering tricks tricks listeners will never hear, or do you just need to hear the ones they will?
2. is personal -it sucks hearing all the mistakes you have made! but oh well every other record has them too.... get over it and learn to work with them. are better speakers just plain better to work on?

And no there are no 'new sounds' on records, you can hear the same sounds if you turn lesser pairs up high and listen for it. The louder, more predominate, sounds mask these effectively enough on lesser speakers that you might never hear them unless you listen at loud, sometimes uncomfortable, volumes. On better performing speakers these subtle sounds are noticeable to the degree that you may hear it clearly at normal listening volume. It's very neat! and the marker of a sensitive pair. I explained earlier in terms of driver properties why this is the case. Different experiences and opinions are not crazy, there just different, which makes them scary.

One of the things i like about this thread is that there a lot of valid opinions going both ways. It is not so clear to me, and that is why i made it.
You are wrong on a number of counts. I have good speakers and good hearing. Your rationale is something one would sometimes hear from an inexperienced engineer. No really competent mixer "dumbs down" his monitoring system under the mistaken belief that it would help him to make better mixes because of less information. No competent mixer is going to be "thrown off" by hearing what you term "mistakes".

It appears to me that you just need to gain more experience so that you are not so easily distracted, and so that you can take small things into consideration without losing control of the larger issues in the mix.

Basically, you need to learn to get your head around the entirety of the mix without becoming "overwhelmed".

Of course, if the tracks you are mixing are just full of stupid mistakes, noise, and poor tracking, then you are at a disadvantage to begin with, and you will probably end up with crap whatever speakers you use.

The argument that mixers do better with lousy speakers and only mastering engineers are qualified to listen on good ones is b.s. It is one of a number of strategies frequently floated by mastering engineers trying to justify their necessity.
Old 26th December 2010
  #38
GSF
Gear Addict
My rule of thumb is that more detail is generally good...UNTIL...one's awareness of all of the flaws in a recording starts taking precedence over one's enjoyment of the music. Being able to enjoy the material you're working on is important.
Old 26th December 2010
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
You are wrong on a number of counts. I have good speakers and good hearing. Your rationale is something one would sometimes hear from an inexperienced engineer. No really competent mixer "dumbs down" his monitoring system under the mistaken belief that it would help him to make better mixes because of less information. No competent mixer is going to be "thrown off" by hearing what you term "mistakes".

It appears to me that you just need to gain more experience so that you are not so easily distracted, and so that you can take small things into consideration without losing control of the larger issues in the mix.

Basically, you need to learn to get your head around the entirety of the mix without becoming "overwhelmed".

Of course, if the tracks you are mixing are just full of stupid mistakes, noise, and poor tracking, then you are at a disadvantage to begin with, and you will probably end up with crap whatever speakers you use.

The argument that mixers do better with lousy speakers and only mastering engineers are qualified to listen on good ones is b.s. It is one of a number of strategies frequently floated by mastering engineers trying to justify their necessity.
I agree about the mastering engineer bit, I think they were of paramount importance when we used vinyl, but we don't always need separate engineering to print a red book CD. That being a said a great ME is a huge boon, though ive found them to be few and far between.

It certainly is up to the engineer not be distracted by the subtle flaws, and even more important for him, on a nice set of monitors, to judge what flaws are important to correct, and which ones are not.

I'm not one to purposely dumb down my set, in fact ive build and/or modded every bit of my monitoring setup in the interest of optimally matched and performing gear. But I don't discount that some amazing sounding records have been made on ns-10s or other less than optimal speakers. Some engineers can and have mixed on those systems. I would never use soley hifi sets, or solely lo fi sets, but different strokes for different folks.

The point is its all about translation, and whatever works for you works.

I think once i get them in the right room with the right chain, the speakers will work very well for me, i'm anxious to try mixing on them!
Old 26th December 2010
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSF View Post
My rule of thumb is that more detail is generally good...UNTIL...one's awareness of all of the flaws in a recording starts taking precedence over one's enjoyment of the music. Being able to enjoy the material you're working on is important.
Old 27th December 2010
  #41
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSF View Post

My rule of thumb is that more detail is generally good...UNTIL...one's awareness of all of the flaws in a recording starts taking precedence over one's enjoyment of the music.

Well, then FIX THE FLAWS!

That's your JOB!

...And that's why you need good monitors (not for hiding flaws, and fooling you into leaving them there).

.
Old 27th December 2010
  #42
GSF
Gear Addict
If you worked 40 hours a week for 10 years on a single song, you couldn't fix all the flaws, and if you could, you'd only be creating new ones in the process.
Old 27th December 2010
  #43
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSF View Post

If you worked 40 hours a week for 10 years on a single song, you couldn't fix all the flaws, and if you could, you'd only be creating new ones in the process.
Exactly.

...But without a monitor providing something approaching some semblance of "truth", you will have no idea what to do or where to stop.

Being lied to is NOT a substitute for discipline!

.
Old 27th December 2010
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
I had rather have speakers to detailed....
+1

Truth hurts sometimes, but at least it's the truth.
Old 27th December 2010
  #45
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Exactly.

...But without a monitor providing something approaching some semblance of "truth", you will have no idea what to do or where to stop.

Being lied to is NOT a substitute for discipline!
Yes. thumbsup

Deciding which flaws to fix and which can be left is definitely part of the job. You can't do that if you can't hear them.

If good monitors reveal a flaw, there will always be some end user systems that also reveal that same particular flaw (even while they may hide other flaws). You need to leave only those flaws that won't detract from (or undermine) the artistic intent or "message" of the piece. If you can't make these judgements (for whatever reason) then you cannot do the work justice.
Old 27th December 2010
  #46
GSF
Gear Addict
Total agreement here, it's important to be able to hear the material properly in order to make the right decisions, but I will tell you that I have been in mixing situations where the monitoring was so detailed that I found myself getting a little too OCD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Exactly.

...But without a monitor providing something approaching some semblance of "truth", you will have no idea what to do or where to stop.

Being lied to is NOT a substitute for discipline!

.
Old 27th December 2010
  #47
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSF View Post

Total agreement here, it's important to be able to hear the material properly in order to make the right decisions, but I will tell you that I have been in mixing situations where the monitoring was so detailed that I found myself getting a little too OCD.
That's usually a good time to take a break and go outside (into the woods, if possible).
.

.
It's also a good reason to make an mp3 of of a mix-in-progress, and play it in a few "real-world" scenarios, just to see if the gist of what you're trying to put across is actually gonna make it to the listener.
.
Old 27th December 2010
  #48
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u b k's Avatar
 

Truth only matters if it has a bearing on the emotional connection the listener will experience. OP, it's telling that you heard all kinds of 'flaws' on material that, presumably, you loved and enjoyed completely up until that moment in time.

Which begs the question... does it *really* matter? I'm not being rhetorical, it's a deeply personal issue and everyone will have their own answer.

The older I get, the more I let the coin drop in favor of being practical rather than ideal. I got a friggin' life to live!


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 27th December 2010
  #49
GSF
Gear Addict
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Truth only matters if it has a bearing on the emotional connection the listener will experience. OP, it's telling that you heard all kinds of 'flaws' on material that, presumably, you loved and enjoyed completely up until that moment in time.

Which begs the question... does it *really* matter? I'm not being rhetorical, it's a deeply personal issue and everyone will have their own answer.

The older I get, the more I let the coin drop in favor of being practical rather than ideal. I got a friggin' life to live!


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 27th December 2010
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post

Truth only matters if it has a bearing on the emotional connection the listener will experience.
Gregory Scott - ubk
That statement is not true.
Old 27th December 2010
  #51
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
That statement is not true.

It's truly my belief. Sounds like you believe differently... c'est la vie!


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 27th December 2010
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post
I've built some 3-way floor standing loudspeakers as a prototype of what i'm going to flush mount in my studio, but they are so detailed its kind of intimidating. I spent a long time designing them and tuning them to be super accurate and cold, but i fear i've gotten what i've wished for!

I'm listening to some of my favorite records and i can hear all sorts of phase problems, eqing, and not to mention tape hiss is as clear as day. I even heard someone walking around during a track when i cranked it -_- They are clear as day, don't get me wrong, they sound great, but I can hear all the tool marks in recordings!

I can't imagine mixing on these things, I'm not sure I could ever be happy with my own mixes if I hear so many 'flaws' in my favorite records. I think i might have to build a tube pre just to warm these things up.

Anyone else have this experience?
spice house:
After you built your 3-way floor standing speakers did you run any lab grade tests on them to determine how accurate or flat they were.
What sort of bandwidth response did you get?
What type of drivers, crossover, amplifier did you use?
Old 28th December 2010
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmukilteo View Post
spice house:
After you built your 3-way floor standing speakers did you run any lab grade tests on them to determine how accurate or flat they were.
What sort of bandwidth response did you get?
What type of drivers, crossover, amplifier did you use?
No I typically tune by ear for quite a long time before I break out the equipment. Once i get them into a proper room and build some components for them I will be able to begin on them, but for now they are just unfinished massive decorations I'm not ready to give out my designs as they're still young, but it is built on the philosophy of using the least amount of crossover components I can - no caps allowed.
Old 28th December 2010
  #54
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Plush's Avatar
These complaints are common for people who have not listened for many years on detailed monitors. I think it is also true that the ear seeks detail and wants to hear "into" the music production. After a while it is almost a felt need to seek out higher resolution speakers.

I cannot agree that it is a drawback or a problem. It is only a tool.

The solution is to have several monitoring systems. I use ProAc Response 2 "S" monitors here to simulate a good home stereo.
Old 28th December 2010
  #55
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Another possibility is that there is something wrong with the speakers or their set up.

Things that will falsely lead you to believe your hearing detail and that productions don't sound as good as you remember include:

-phase issues in the room (not the drivers out of phase, but acoustical phase cancellations)

-speakers not angled inward enough to create solid center image

-poor bass response due to speaker interaction in the room, design, placement etc (this is a big one).

-Speakers too close to the listening position so their drivers don't have a chance to gel.


All of these, in my hard earned experience, can cause you to hear greater "detail" due to the fact that they are removing masking frequencies. For example an acoustic guitar string squeek that is acceptable with normally set up speakers will suddenly sound obnoxious if lower mids are attenuated due to phase cancellations. Attenuated mids and lower mids create a false sense of heightened detail -something I do intentionally with eq when mastering if a mix is muddy.

When I first set up my Dunlavy SC-V's I thought I was hearing incredible detail and flaws in records. But after too many "good" sounding records sounded horrible I realized it wasn't them, it was my setup. It took several days of tweaking and moving by inches until good records sounded good and then, yes, some records didn't sound as good as I had previously thought.

Warning: mixing with "mastering" quality speakers will cause you to under use effects like reverb, echo etc What sounds correct on those speakers is inaudible to the rest of the world. Put on Peter Gabriel "So" for instance and check out some sounds you always thought were so cool on the radio. They'll be so in your face you'd never instinctively mix them so out front -but that's how they sounded great!

I gave up trying to mix on the SC-V's after learning that I could nail a mix in half the time with almost no recall issues on the ADAM S3A's.
Old 28th December 2010
  #56
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djmukilteo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post
No I typically tune by ear for quite a long time before I break out the equipment. Once i get them into a proper room and build some components for them I will be able to begin on them, but for now they are just unfinished massive decorations I'm not ready to give out my designs as they're still young, but it is built on the philosophy of using the least amount of crossover components I can - no caps allowed.
????
I guess I'm confused by your original post then...I thought you were listening to completed monitors of your own design that were too detailed?
Out of curiosity....what exactly is it you're "typically tuning by ear".
No caps?...interesting...are we talking about bullets here or capacitors in electronic circuitry?
Old 28th December 2010
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
Another possibility is that there is something wrong with the speakers or their set up.

Things that will falsely lead you to believe your hearing detail and that productions don't sound as good as you remember include:

-phase issues in the room (not the drivers out of phase, but acoustical phase cancellations)

-speakers not angled inward enough to create solid center image

-poor bass response due to speaker interaction in the room, design, placement etc (this is a big one).

-Speakers too close to the listening position so their drivers don't have a chance to gel.


All of these, in my hard earned experience, can cause you to hear greater "detail" due to the fact that they are removing masking frequencies. For example an acoustic guitar string squeek that is acceptable with normally set up speakers will suddenly sound obnoxious if lower mids are attenuated due to phase cancellations. Attenuated mids and lower mids create a false sense of heightened detail -something I do intentionally with eq when mastering if a mix is muddy.

When I first set up my Dunlavy SC-V's I thought I was hearing incredible detail and flaws in records. But after too many "good" sounding records sounded horrible I realized it wasn't them, it was my setup. It took several days of tweaking and moving by inches until good records sounded good and then, yes, some records didn't sound as good as I had previously thought.

Warning: mixing with "mastering" quality speakers will cause you to under use effects like reverb, echo etc What sounds correct on those speakers is inaudible to the rest of the world. Put on Peter Gabriel "So" for instance and check out some sounds you always thought were so cool on the radio. They'll be so in your face you'd never instinctively mix them so out front -but that's how they sounded great!

I gave up trying to mix on the SC-V's after learning that I could nail a mix in half the time with almost no recall issues on the ADAM S3A's.
Yes this is why my ns-10's aren't going anywhere

And yes those are all valid acoustic reasons why something would sound... strange... though i might consider many of them 'bad' sounding and not quite what i'm referring to. damn vague audio language!
Old 28th December 2010
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmukilteo View Post
????
I guess I'm confused by your original post then...I thought you were listening to completed monitors of your own design that were too detailed?
Out of curiosity....what exactly is it you're "typically tuning by ear".
No caps?...interesting...are we talking about bullets here or capacitors in electronic circuitry?
in the crossover

These are completed monitors in the sense I have designed them and built them, but now i have to work backwards do the rest of the chain - amp and preamp - which will likely change the crossover design. Crossovers are very important to me, I spend a lot of time listening then making fine adjustments. All these things are very interactive and thus its very hard to get them all right. Not to mention the room...
Old 28th December 2010
  #59
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ubk
Truth only matters if it has a bearing on the emotional connection the listener will experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon
That statement is not true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
It's truly my belief. Sounds like you believe differently... c'est la vie!

Gregory Scott - ubk

We are not discussing something that is susceptible to differing valid beliefs.

Perhaps if you stated, "Truth only matters to me if it has a bearing on the emotional connection the listener will experience", then you could claim it as an individual belief, albeit an unfortunate and erroneous one. But as you actually stated it, broadly, saying "Truth only matters if it has a bearing on the emotional connection the listener will experience", it is simply wrong. It is simply and categorically untrue. To believe otherwise is not an opinion, but a mental illness [delusion].

Truth is truth, and it is paramount by its very definition. Its validity is not dependent on anyone's "emotional connection". Who are you, claiming to be the arbiter for all as to when truth "matters"? That is in fact grandiose and delusional.

Your statement seeks to limit and trivialize truth, and who are any of us to do that?

Truth does not submit. There is no argument against truth. In the final analysis, the truth remains.

This may sound harsh to you, but there is way too much pseudo-philosophy and pseudo-wisdom being paraded around by people with no real basis in truth, often at the expense of the inexperience who may be misled.

Furthermore, as a practical matter, low quality speakers do not legitimately provide a superior "emotional experience".

Moreover, if a track has so many engineering or performance flaws that they literally ruin the listening experience, then it is not a speaker issue, it is just a badly engineered track, or a poor performance. It seems to me that what people are referring to in this thread is simply amateur, low quality engineering. I never work with material that is "full of mistakes" such as what is being described here. Something like that should simply be re-recorded.
Old 28th December 2010
  #60
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camus's Avatar
 

Er. Why not just mix on your NS10s and check the mix occasionally on your 'too detailed' monitors till you strike a happy balance?
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