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Best monitors for an untreated room? Dynamics Plugins
Old 22nd February 2010
  #1
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lagavulin16's Avatar
 

Best monitors for an untreated room?

It's clearly time for my to upgrade from my computer speakers. I won't be able to treat this room (shared space unfortunately).

I've heard that some monitors will work well in an untreated room, some great monitors are horrible in an untreated room, and there are probably plenty in between.

Ideally, I'd like to get some monitors that are great in either type of room, as some day I hope to move and have a properly treated room when I do so. Barring that, I'd like to get some monitors that will work well for me right now in an untreated room.

Any recommendations?
Old 22nd February 2010
  #2
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Most monitors are only as good as the room. The JBLs have some room eq tweaking capabilities but it's best to try to treat your room. Even with inexpensive options.

You can get a lot of help out of 2' X 4' 2 or 3 inch thick fiberglass insulation mounted to 1/4 hardboard and covered with fabric. It is a fairly economical way to cut down on some of the mid and high freq junk in your room, improve your imaging, and it can look pretty nice as well.

Bass is another story. If you can swing some corner bass traps you will not be disappointed.

Good Luck!
Old 22nd February 2010
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.evans View Post
Most monitors are only as good as the room. The JBLs have some room eq tweaking capabilities but it's best to try to treat your room. Even with inexpensive options.

You can get a lot of help out of 2' X 4' 2 or 3 inch thick fiberglass insulation mounted to 1/4 hardboard and covered with fabric. It is a fairly economical way to cut down on some of the mid and high freq junk in your room, improve your imaging, and it can look pretty nice as well.

Bass is another story. If you can swing some corner bass traps you will not be disappointed.

Good Luck!
It really isn't the price issue, it's just a shared space where I can't hang a bunch of fabric on the walls or put in bass traps.

I remember reading a thread where some people were saying "don't get these monitors if you have an untreated room" and "these monitors are ideal for an untreated room" but I'm having a hard time finding them now.
Old 22nd February 2010
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by lagavulin16 View Post
It really isn't the price issue, it's just a shared space where I can't hang a bunch of fabric on the walls or put in bass traps.

I remember reading a thread where some people were saying "don't get these monitors if you have an untreated room" and "these monitors are ideal for an untreated room" but I'm having a hard time finding them now.
They were probably saying don't bother getting nice ones if your room isn't treated. heh

Could you make some movable panels and store them elsewhere when you're not mixing?

If not, I'd probably go for a nice pair of cans to do most of my mixing, and flip to monitors or some other speakers for imaging and low freq reference.
Old 22nd February 2010
  #5
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Adda Audio's Avatar
 

In ear monitoring
Old 22nd February 2010
  #6
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^^ agreed.. get some AT M50's...great headphone..

No matter what monitors you buy, you will eventually find there idiosyncrasies; their flavour.. and when you test your mixes in your car etc.. you will evenually learn what it is you want to achieve from them.

Remeber they are referred to as "reference monitors"..

I have had Adam A7's. I loved them...

I needed to downsize my setup, so I downsized everything. I have Genelec 6010's with th 5040 sub.. I'm still learnng to understand what it is I want from them, but together with my AT M50 headphones, Im getting the sound I want!!!
Old 22nd February 2010
  #7
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headphones
Old 22nd February 2010
  #8
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I'm using A7s in a completely untreated room (student accommodation - I'm not allowed to do anything to it) and TBH it could be much worse. I've tried rear-ported speakers in here which I KNOW are actually rather good sounding speakers, and they sounded terrible.

I do actually find a lot of monitors are more sensitive to placement than others. Genelec 8000 series for example seem to be pretty sensitive to where you put them, much more so than my A7s.

Maybe look at A5s. Very limited bass extension which I would take as a blessing. IMO if your monitoring system (incl. the room) can't reproduce accurate bass, then it's best not to reproduce it at all...
Old 22nd February 2010
  #9
Gear Head
 

I don't really think there are monitors which are more tailored to working in a untreated room. But it's no big deal IMO: if you can't treat your room than that's too bad but not critical, in any way (depending on the music you do). I know many hot shot producers who produce all their stuff at home in untreated rooms. Some even have their Rokit or Tannoy speakers positioned like a total noob would, yet still they pump out hits that sound like they were produced in a hit factory.

I think the best monitors for a untreated rooms are the once where you listen very close to (like the Focal CMS50). I think it works better then monitors positioned farther away, in your case. I'm looking for something like that as well, but not in the Focal prices range. Then, still there is some level of detail you might want to check but will never be able to hear on low-end monitors in a untreated room. I think a good headphone will do wonders in that department.
Old 22nd February 2010
  #10
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Harry Hughes's Avatar
 

I've found that surprisingly enough, my Behringer Truth B2030As translate well despite my untreated room.
I do sometimes have a translation problem with the lower mids of drums, but apart from that, guitars seem to come across well, bass not too bad and the mix in general will translate to smaller systems.
However how good it sounds on really good systems remains to be seen (well, heard) by me
Old 22nd February 2010
  #11
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ruff mix's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
I'm using A7s in a completely untreated room (student accommodation - I'm not allowed to do anything to it) and TBH it could be much worse. I've tried rear-ported speakers in here which I KNOW are actually rather good sounding speakers, and they sounded terrible.

I do actually find a lot of monitors are more sensitive to placement than others. Genelec 8000 series for example seem to be pretty sensitive to where you put them, much more so than my A7s.

Maybe look at A5s. Very limited bass extension which I would take as a blessing. IMO if your monitoring system (incl. the room) can't reproduce accurate bass, then it's best not to reproduce it at all...
This is as good of advice as I think you've got. Get nearfields with a 5" speaker and listen at relatively low volumes for the best response. Cans aren't good for mixing in (I believe Blue Bear Sound has an article on here about that). There's not going to be an ideal in this, that's for sure. You're biggest problem is going to be bass management, among many other things.

Also, like was mentioned above, if you can treat your room with stuff you can store away when you're not working, then that's your best bet.
Old 22nd February 2010
  #12
RTR
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I think a lot of people convince them selfs that room treatment cant be done where they are at, because it is no fun buying room treatment, gear is always more fun..I also think a lot of people say they cant do room treatment because they know thats the majority of answers they will get on GS instead of what they really asked about!!
Old 22nd February 2010
  #13
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You know I can't wait till next year when I'm living in a house and I can actually build some traps/diffusors. I find faffing with room acoustics quite good fun...
Old 22nd February 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lettenmusic View Post
headphones
+1
Old 22nd February 2010
  #15
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Crash's Avatar
What about some portable treatment on some sort of stands or what not? This way you can move them in and out as needed. Maybe something like these from GIK?

GIK Acoustics: GIK Monster Bass Trap

...or something like these:

Primacoustic - Acoustical Solutions
Old 22nd February 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lettenmusic View Post
headphones
Despite the limitations and critical perspectives, the bottom line is that you can mix with headphones and you can mix well. It simply requires even more attention to checking your mixes on a variety of different systems and also listening to some reference tracks on a regular basis. Your ears will "learn" what is required in order to create good mixes. And this will take some time.

That said, I am a huge supporter of good acoustic treatment. Without question it is the best investment I have made in my studio and has provided a better cost/performance ratio than any piece of gear I have.
Old 22nd February 2010
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post
...or something like these:

Primacoustic - Acoustical Solutions
I was afraid you linked to those recoil stabilizers: they should ban products like those by law to protect people from being tricked into buying those...
Old 23rd February 2010
  #18
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Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post
What about some portable treatment on some sort of stands or what not? This way you can move them in and out as needed. Maybe something like these from GIK?

GIK Acoustics: GIK Monster Bass Trap

...or something like these:

Primacoustic - Acoustical Solutions
They 244 or the screen panel would also work.
Old 23rd February 2010
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Kuras View Post
The 244 or the screen panel would also work.
I was just trying to show a picture of what you guys had available for portability. That was the only pic I could find at the time. I see you have stands listed on the other pages as well, I just didn't look since the Monster trap is shown already attached to a stand on the products page. DOH!!!!
Old 23rd February 2010
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
Maybe look at A5s. Very limited bass extension which I would take as a blessing. IMO if your monitoring system (incl. the room) can't reproduce accurate bass, then it's best not to reproduce it at all...

Totally - throw up a pair of tweeters and call it a day.
Old 24th February 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbam View Post
Despite the limitations and critical perspectives, the bottom line is that you can mix with headphones and you can mix well. It simply requires even more attention to checking your mixes on a variety of different systems and also listening to some reference tracks on a regular basis. Your ears will "learn" what is required in order to create good mixes. And this will take some time.
agree totally. you have to listen to music on your headphones, not just mix on them. I've always used headphones for HiFi, so mixing on them is my favorite way to mix. I have a decent HiFi for referencing. ( bass can difficult / impossible to judge on 'phones)
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