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BEST Near Field Monitors SURVEY Studio Monitors
Old 13th May 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
BEST Near Field Monitors SURVEY

This has probably happened here before, but I'm wondering what you seasoned PROS out there consider to be the BEST near field monitors for final mixing with a REAL ANALOG CONSOLE ??? Since I'm about to plop down $25K for the console, and another $5K to get my control room contoured for final mixing, I'm figuring I DEFINITELY ned to make sure I get the RIGHT PAIR of monitors that are both accurate and preferably NON-ENHANCING of the overall sound.

My final objective is to arrive at 1/2" analog mixes to take to the Mastering Studio that will sound GREAT on the whole spectrum of consumer stereos out there, from small factory car stereos to home stereos. Of course, I know this is most any commercial producer's objective who's looking to sell a million records, so I want to follow this protocol as close as possible.

I want a pair of nearfields that are SMALL enough to force me to tweak the sound to get it up to par for smaller consumer systems, but not too small. And I DEFINITELY want something that DOES NOT "hype" or enhance the sound where I later get to somone's car and say "what happened?"

I thought first Genelec 1031 or 1032, but the more I look around the more I hear that people think these are deceptive and make the music sound better than it really is. I've worked with a small pair of 1029A's on my PT system, and I think they are OK, though I'm not too impressed with them.

Any suggestions out there on what the real PROS use for final mixdown ?
Old 13th May 2006
  #2
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Oldone's Avatar
NS10s.
Old 13th May 2006
  #3
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
ADAM P-22A's
Old 13th May 2006
  #4
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Genelec 8040's... or whatever monitors sound good to you in your room!
Old 13th May 2006
  #5
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

B+W 802s
Old 13th May 2006
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691

Any suggestions out there on what the real PROS use for final mixdown ?

Translation is less about the speaker and more about the confidence and skills of the guy mixing it.


Find a speaker that you feel comfortable with and work on building up the confidence and skills.
Old 14th May 2006
  #7
PMC AML-1

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Translation is less about the speaker and more about the confidence and skills of the guy mixing it.
Very true. After two years of failure and disappointment with Mackie 624s (but the charts looked so flat!) I upgraded to PMC AML-1s. In addition to sounding 10x better, they also provided the accuracy that helped my mixes translate much, much more easily.

Quote:
Find a speaker that you feel comfortable with and work on building up the confidence and skills.
Very, very true.
Old 14th May 2006
  #8
I'm not seasoned, and I don't understand what the difference between a digital or analogue setup should have for your monitor section, but I can tell you I really love my Klein & Hummels.
all of their stuff is very accurate.
and not harsh.
I hate harsh
lots of good choices though
you have to listen
monitors is like underpants
some like long ones
some old fashioned
some miniscule
some flashy
some just plain white
K&H

*edit ah oh someone did the comfortable thing already-- some comfortable *
and I don't mix at loud levels. I'm starting to dislike ppl. that want to let me hear something and they turn the volume up really loud. the reaction of my ears and brain is to RUN, not listen, instead of just a little too low volume almost, so you have to focus...
so eh, erm ah yes the K&Hs I use don't do very loud.
they do translate low frequencies though. not only distortion-- sinewaves


I think I need some sleep. can hear the birds waking up
(really nice)

some not so loud
Old 14th May 2006
  #9
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audiomichael's Avatar
 

Quested H108 + Bryston 4BSST

mmmmmmmm....love.
Old 14th May 2006
  #10
nearfield/midfield monitors

I was in a similar spot a year ago - looking for a speaker that I can trust not to provide some sort of "house sound" but the simple unvarnished truth - for mixing and mastering.
After a year of painstaking "research" - mostly advice from engineers and others who had heard all or most of the usual suspects (Tannoy, Dynaudio, PMC, ATC, Quested, ADAM, B&W, Yamaha NS1000, Genelec, Mackie, KRK, Meyer, Lipinski, JBL) the trail kept leading back to a very obscure speaker.
This was the SP Technology Timepiece 2.1. Not the prettiest nor most likely to impress clients with their wow factor, and pigs for power, they, from all reports, are the most neutral speaker out there, and within fairly generous off-axis limits (±30º vertically ±45º horizontally). Additionally, they show almost zero power compression up to 100W steady state input which translates to 109 dB per pair in a typical room. They have a single 8" driver and a 1" fabric dome loaded by a hybrid horn/waveguide which allows the crossover of this 2-way to be an very unusual 590 Hz. I expect to take delivery of a pair in about a week. They are made to order and the process takes about a month and a half.

If I still needed something like an NS10M for crosschecking and couldn't find a pair, or wanted to buy new, I would (and will) look into the new Yamaha HS50M and 80M. The HS50, if it works, could function as a location recording playback for the kind of recordings I do - mostly acoustic - as well as serve as representative of typical home theater if the optional sub were added.
http://www.yamaha.co.jp/english/prod...80m/index.html
Finally, here is what some people think can function as an Auratone replacement
http://www.orbaudio.com/index.asp?Pa...n=Custom&ID=33
- the "Orb" speaker. It'd cost $229 to find out.
Old 14th May 2006
  #11
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Dawkins
If I still needed something like an NS10M for crosschecking and couldn't find a pair, or wanted to buy new, I would (and will) look into the new Yamaha HS50M and 80M. The HS50, if it works, could function as a location recording playback for the kind of recordings I do - mostly acoustic - as well as serve as representative of typical home theater if the optional sub were added.
http://www.yamaha.co.jp/english/prod...80m/index.html
Finally, here is what some people think can function as an Auratone replacement
http://www.orbaudio.com/index.asp?Pa...n=Custom&ID=33
- the "Orb" speaker. It'd cost $229 to find out.
I was in the same situation and picked up the Blue Sky Media Desk 2.1 system for around the same price as the HS50's... I couldn't find one person to say anything good about the HS50's... Apparently they are harsh and fatiguing.

I will say the Blue Sky system is amazing for the price point!
Old 14th May 2006
  #12
Maybe that's why Yamaha themselves say:

"If Your Mixes Sound Good On These, They’ll Sound Good On Anything"

That's a classic example of a claim that can be taken two ways!
Old 14th May 2006
  #13
Gear Head
 
socologan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone
NS10s.
agreed.
Old 14th May 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Not having a bad time with Adam S3A's.
Old 14th May 2006
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Translation is less about the speaker and more about the confidence and skills of the guy mixing it.

Find a speaker that you feel comfortable with and work on building up the confidence and skills.
I'm pretty much with this statement.
However, it is very relaxing working with the best monitoring available right from the beginning. The mixes we made decades ago with monitoring who weren't that great, the music done was fine. But it is a additional, and unnecessary stress to work with speakers who are imperfect, this in a age where a new generation of engineers make monitors with nearly perfect reproduction. I don't think that all this brands available in music stores today are that good. To my ear, i.e. Westlake monitors are pretty good, and i could work with them every day. I personally work with CMS monitoring.

.
Old 14th May 2006
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
aapee's Avatar
 

A.D.A.M. P11A's

AaPee
Old 14th May 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Genelec 8050A's. Sublime. Great depth. Excellent stereo imaging and my mixes translate well everywhere.

Paul
Old 14th May 2006
  #18
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
The choice of speakers is probably different for each set of ears, but after a lot of expensive messing around with different brands, the ADAM S3As do the job for me. thumbsup thumbsup
Old 14th May 2006
  #19
K+H O 300 D or ADAM S2.5A/S3A
Old 14th May 2006
  #20
Moderator
 
matt thomas's Avatar
I'd go ns-10s and genelecs, mostly because they are standard.

Yes genelecs are a bit "hyped" I use lipinski's and they are very natural sounding, some people here say they are bright but I haven't found that at all, perhaps it is the amps they are using, to me they sound natural in a similar way that a ribbon mic sounds natural, wheras genelecs sound more like a condenser.. if that makes sence.. I suppose ns-10s sound like a dynamic

I've never tried adams, which actually ARE ribbons, but thats not what i was meaning in my analogy above

if you get passive monitors make sure to get a good amplifier.

narco
Old 14th May 2006
  #21
vls
Gear Maniac
 
vls's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
ADAM P-22A's
hi!

dito! how have you set your P22A EQ's (HIGH GAIN, LOW SHELF < 150hz, HIGH SHELF>6khz)?

Volker
Old 14th May 2006
  #22
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kingofswing's Avatar
ADAM P11A or P33A or S3A's or Klein & Hummel O300D's
Old 14th May 2006
  #23
Gear Nut
 

do the pros get so confident of their mixes?

do the pros get so confident of their mixes they don't have to check on a boombox? :P i have a 3 set computer speaker and a fm transmitter to my boombox in addition to my dynaudio bm5a :P
Old 15th May 2006
  #24
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by-tor's Avatar
 

I've got Blue sky media desks and Manley ML5's. I dig them both. The Blue Skys translate very well and the Manleys reveal all midrange issues... Very Nice..
Old 15th May 2006
  #25
Gear Nut
 

I just ordered the Yamahas HS80m's. I hope they translate well.
Old 15th May 2006
  #26
Lives for gear
WOW!

WOW, thanks for all the replies! I see this is a sensitive subject, with many varying opinions.

Keep in mind the reason I want "UN-hyped" sounding monitors is because I would finally like to ELIMINATE that seemingly endless experience of being all smiles listening to a mix in the studio, and then feeling manically depressed when hearing a 16 bit version of the SAME mix on an average car stereo or jam box. To me, the jam box is the DEFINITIVE JUDGE of whether or not my mixing is up to par. I want to know what the AVERAGE CD buyer is going to be hearing when he/she buy's the CD. I can care less about what the eccentric audiophile with a $40,000 home stereo system will hear!

And since this music is a bit on the edgy and aggressive side, my philosophy is that very FLAT and accurate sounding monitors will force me to PUSH the EQ of individual tracks to arrive at that sound that, once mastered, will BUST BALLS on the ****tiest $20 jam box or car stereo. To me, THIS is the Holy Grail of mixing -- and when you listen to truly great records from the past they invariably ALWAYS acheive this result!!! If you can get it to sound great on a little jambox with NO graphic EQ, then it should sound absolutely PHENOMENAL on a hyped system!!
Old 15th May 2006
  #27
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DirkB's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
Keep in mind the reason I want "UN-hyped" sounding monitors is because I would finally like to ELIMINATE that seemingly endless experience of being all smiles listening to a mix in the studio, and then feeling manically depressed when hearing a 16 bit version of the SAME mix on an average car stereo or jam box.
Big chance your CR acoustics and your ability to adjust to your monitoring environment have a lot more to do with it than the actual choice of monitors.

On the other hand, can't go wrong with S3a's .

Good luck,
Dirk
Old 15th May 2006
  #28
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nlc201's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
WOW, thanks for all the replies! I see this is a sensitive subject, with many varying opinions.

Keep in mind the reason I want "UN-hyped" sounding monitors is because I would finally like to ELIMINATE that seemingly endless experience of being all smiles listening to a mix in the studio, and then feeling manically depressed when hearing a 16 bit version of the SAME mix on an average car stereo or jam box. To me, the jam box is the DEFINITIVE JUDGE of whether or not my mixing is up to par. I want to know what the AVERAGE CD buyer is going to be hearing when he/she buy's the CD. I can care less about what the eccentric audiophile with a $40,000 home stereo system will hear!

And since this music is a bit on the edgy and aggressive side, my philosophy is that very FLAT and accurate sounding monitors will force me to PUSH the EQ of individual tracks to arrive at that sound that, once mastered, will BUST BALLS on the ****tiest $20 jam box or car stereo. To me, THIS is the Holy Grail of mixing -- and when you listen to truly great records from the past they invariably ALWAYS acheive this result!!! If you can get it to sound great on a little jambox with NO graphic EQ, then it should sound absolutely PHENOMENAL on a hyped system!!



So, why don't you just mix on a jam box? Many do it, even the big names. Start on something bigger to get some basic balances and EQ, especially concerning the low end. Then mix on a jam box, switching occasionally back to bigger monitors. Brauer apparently does this with his Proac Studio 100s and his little mid 90's Japanese sony boombox. The majority of mixing is spent on the boombox. Search the guest mod archives on that.


On the exact opposite tangent of that, I recently had the experience of having a pair of the PMC AML nearfields around for awhile. At first I hated them because they simply dissected the mix to the point where it almost came unglued. You can hear EVERYTHING! I really started paying attention to all the massive amounts of phase shift going on in modern mixes. It was quite educational actually. I gradually started to love them though, after getting used to the sound. They're the most natural thing I've heard from 30 Hz (they're pretty much flat down to there) on up past 20k (not that I can hear that high). They remind me of what stuff sounds like when you play back at a mastering house on some really high end mid/far field monitors. The few things I actually got to mix on them came out wonderful. Mixing was quick and I didn't tweak a thing after I heard stuff out of the studio (and these were cheezy ITB mixes at my home studio on my PTLE rig). The levels all came out perfect with no guesswork. Alas the day came when I had to give them back to their rightful owner. I'm considering picking up a pair but at around 6-7k, that's gonna be tough......but what do you expect from an active monitor bi-amped with custom matched Bryston amplifiers?! Slutty.....but worth it. You need to really get your room in order to really take advantage of these things, but if you do.......look out! Oh yeah, a Benchmark DAC-1 or something of similar quality is absolutely required as well, along with high quality wiring. On these speakers, you will hear the difference.....


Enough ranting......go PMC!
Old 15th May 2006
  #29
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Pro Mix Monitors

NS-10M, Genelec 1031 and Focal SM8.

Cross-referencing on these and a set of cheap speakers (such as the internal pair from a laptop) ensures translation to the outside world with no surprises.

Be warned, however, that your speakers need to be a good match with your room. For example, for many years I mixed at Westlake Audio with 1031s on the meter bridge, so I spec'd my room with the same--but the bass was overwhelming for the smaller size of my own space. A significant amount of time was spent to dial them in.

If I had to mix on only one set of monitors, it would be the SM8s because they are clear and revealing. No surprises at mastering…

I really dug mixing on Meyer HD1s at Front Page. The only reason I didn't put them in my room is that my "trained" ear appreciated them, but rock bands did not understand them--they could hear, but not feel, guitars in the manner to which they were accustomed. I learned quickly to mix on the Meyers, but play back on the Yamahas. Go figure…
Old 15th May 2006
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Michael Maeurer's Avatar
Adam P22A or Tannoy Ellipse 8...

Using the Tannoys now and happy for lightyears.

Greetz,

Mike
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