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Why is it that most mastering studios do NOT use "studio monitors"? Studio Monitors
Old 14th March 2018
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
That's not a function of the monitors - that's a function of your ears! ANY monitor will do that, flat EQ or otherwise.
If a monitor that measures flat is not listened to in the linear region of Fletcher -Munson it is not perceived as flat. If a flat sounding speaker is a requirement for mastering don't I need a speaker that sounds flat at the listening level I use?
Old 14th March 2018
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
That's not a function of the monitors - that's a function of your ears! ANY monitor will do that, flat EQ or otherwise.
I think that paul addresses a point that should not be underestimated in principle.
our senses are not technical measuring instruments. therefore, we can no longer speak of "objectivity" from all that is taken into account about the senses, but at best of "intersubjectivity" (i. e. a consensus, not a measured value).
a loudspeaker may be more or less linear in terms of measurement, but that doesn't mean that it is also balanced for a sound engineer.
he has to adapt it to his preferences.
as I (and others) have already mentioned several times, a good-looking measurement protocol is above all a performance of the person who measured - under circumstances that are far away from everyday life.
loudspeakers, room, positioning and the judge's preference must play together.
and by the way - a frequency writing without a waterfall diagram of the reverberation times in the room is useless anyway, because also direct/diffuse component is quite relevant.
In addition, for example, a good resolution speaker that is less bright in frequency response can appear brighter than a less good resolution speaker that is brighter according to the protocol.
added to this is the colouring of the diffuse portion of the listening area - and many more.
Old 14th March 2018
  #63
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Old 14th March 2018
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Gold View Post
If a monitor that measures flat is not listened to in the linear region of Fletcher -Munson it is not perceived as flat. If a flat sounding speaker is a requirement for mastering don't I need a speaker that sounds flat at the listening level I use?
Is this Bob Katz giving me a test?

1) There is no linear region in the Fletcher-Munson curves. It's always a complex curve and it's shape varies with SPL.

2) Yes! You need to be listening at the level the system was designed for (e.g., ~82-85dB SPL). If you are listening at much different levels your monitor system response may (or may not) be the same but your perception of it certainly will be.
Old 14th March 2018
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
I think that paul addresses a point that should not be underestimated in principle.
our senses are not technical measuring instruments. therefore, we can no longer speak of "objectivity" from all that is taken into account about the senses, but at best of "intersubjectivity" (i. e. a consensus, not a measured value).
a loudspeaker may be more or less linear in terms of measurement, but that doesn't mean that it is also balanced for a sound engineer.
he has to adapt it to his preferences.
as I (and others) have already mentioned several times, a good-looking measurement protocol is above all a performance of the person who measured - under circumstances that are far away from everyday life.
loudspeakers, room, positioning and the judge's preference must play together.
and by the way - a frequency writing without a waterfall diagram of the reverberation times in the room is useless anyway, because also direct/diffuse component is quite relevant.
In addition, for example, a good resolution speaker that is less bright in frequency response can appear brighter than a less good resolution speaker that is brighter according to the protocol.
added to this is the colouring of the diffuse portion of the listening area - and many more.
Yes, many factors in the "whole picture" involved, understood.

Now, what kind of speakers are YOU using for mastering monitors and why?
Old 14th March 2018
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
Is this Bob Katz giving me a test?

2) Yes! You need to be listening at the level the system was designed for (e.g., ~82-85dB SPL). If you are listening at much different levels your monitor system response may (or may not) be the same but your perception of it certainly will be.
The most linear listening level is somewhere around 95dB SPL according to the graph. Any other listening level must be a compromise because it's not as linear. My speakers don't come with a recommended listening level. I've never seen any that do.

I use ATC SCM100's because I like the way they sound.
Old 14th March 2018
  #67
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get some dsp and apply eq depending on listening levels.

95dB SPL leqA is closer to a rock concert than to reasonable listening levels for mastering...

still tannoy dmt10/kh810, genelec 1029/1091, fostex 6301 - and lake/smaart
Old 14th March 2018
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
Yes, many factors in the "whole picture" involved, understood.

Now, what kind of speakers are YOU using for mastering monitors and why?
"karumba" (who is also a mastering engineer) and i developed and builded our own speaker, because we didn't found a speaker who fit exactly to our wishes

suter/ohlhorst | Modular Loudspeaker Systems

this should not be understood in such a way that our speaker is "objectively seen" better than others on the market, it simply meets our needs better.

because some of our customers listened to it and wanted it, you can also buy it in the meantime.

but because we do not believe that a speaker can function in every room and in every position, we believe that a part of the speaker is built up and calibrated by us together with the customer - until it fits the customer.

then he can work on it for a few weeks and after that he will be fine-tuned again if necessary.

this is one of the reasons why you can only buy it in german speaking countries, we don't sell it without our installation.
Old 14th March 2018
  #69
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Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
Thank you!

A better title for this thread would have been, "What kind of speakers are you using for mastering monitors and WHY?
PSI Audio A25/3. Because they are flat (frequency and phase) without any DSP correction (they don't have any DSP at all), have a super tight impulse reponse AND sound great with loads of detail.



Alistair
Old 14th March 2018
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
PSI Audio A25/3. Because they are flat (frequency and phase) without any DSP correction (they don't have any DSP at all), have a super tight impulse reponse AND sound great with loads of detail.



Alistair
...and now make a messurement in your room

btw - it's a good speaker & he use no dsp, but look once inside the housing and you will see a lot electronic - many many ic's - in a way a "analog dsp" ;-)
Old 14th March 2018
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
PSI Audio A25/3. Because they are flat (frequency and phase) without any DSP correction (they don't have any DSP at all), have a super tight impulse reponse AND sound great with loads of detail.

Alistair
Holy performance specs, Bat Man! Really, no DSP? Wow.

Of course you have to be careful setting up the sub for that lower octave, and the room, so as not to ruin this!
Old 14th March 2018
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
btw - it's a good speaker & he use no dsp, but look once inside the housing and you will see a lot electronic - many many ic's - in a way a "analog dsp" ;-)
Ah hah! That's OK - if it works it works.

DSP is OK when applied to an already good system. The problem is when it's overused as a band-aide for a BAD speaker system. It could be boosting 10+dB at some narrow frequency, for example, and when your audio hits that frequency the driver amp distorts. In other words, DSP can seriously dig into the available dynamic range.
Old 14th March 2018
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
Ah hah! That's OK - if it works it works.
psi is one of the speaker companies i really respect, they go their own way without compromises.
i have a few customers with psi and they make good work on them.
i worked a while on the a215 and they are in a way 'real mastering speakers', but it was for me not enough FUN to work with them, i just didn't get enough 'emotional information'.
Old 14th March 2018
  #74
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it might possibly be possible that mastering engineers use the speakers that they use because they get good results with them.
Old 14th March 2018
  #75
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To me one factor is most important, I would call it transparency (and Im fully aware that its only an subjective approximation). With this I mean the ability of the speaker to show details and differences between sources in a (subjectivly) very honest way. To me a lot of speakers are showing a kind of an uniform behaviour that always makes quite different sources quite similar sounding (and I do not mean a signature sound which comes with every speaker).

I use a very puristic passive system for about 7years now (and in this time I have tried many others, much more expensive ones, active and passive, with DSP and without and with none of them I could feel this (sometimes quite brutal) honesty that makes me really feel "connected to the source".
Measurements are a reasonable way to show if you are within a healthy ballpark with your speaker/setup, but in the end it just had to fit to YOU.
I just had some speakers in my room that might be the most flattish on the market atm, but to me they are just lacking all those other characteristics that are so important tome to connect to the music, from an analytic AND an emotional point of view.
As Paul had already mentioned: speaker design is all about compromises. Theres no technology that is superior to another per se. You have to choose your poison, and no theoretical discussion about marketing (hifi vs studio) or technology (active, passive, closed, ported, whatever) will change this.

Im fully aware that quite some engineers always likes to put those things in "objective" numbers by classifying one parameter over another. And that those kind of posts like mine and others here might feel "esoteric" to them. But to me this only shows an overall uncertainty. Years ago I was in the same camp, and it just leads me to the confusion this thread is all about...

Last edited by JP__; 14th March 2018 at 11:48 AM..
Old 14th March 2018
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
In imagery a long time ago a solution was already found in color management, where an added profile secures maximum color integrity between calibrated screens and also between screens and press. What is the sound equivalent of that and why is there not something like a calibrated reference sound monitor, exactly like we know it in the world of screens?
= A good pair of speakers in a well treated room with Sonarworks, Trinnov, Genelec GLM etc
Old 14th March 2018
  #77
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Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
No speaker response curve that I have ever seen is ruler flat and can be even worse when put into a room that is not acoustically designed. GOOD ROOM+GOOD SPEAKERS=GOOD MONITORING.

DON'T FORGET THE ROOM! It is just as important or in some cases MORE important.
QFT Quoted for truth!

assuming one’s monitors are relatively flat,

and the room acoustics are also relatively flat, at least in the listening positions,

the human factor comes into play, the MEs ears and working methods,

to make the music translate out in the real world,

on the wiiide variety of consumer playback devices,

from iphone’s internal speakers to a giant speaker array,

and everything in between, including most bluetooth car systems.

so it’s really a matter of making the best of whatever monitoring system you have.

we’re also assuming the flatter the better, for translation.

below is my Dunlavy freq response graph, also far from flat!

so the big 3; ears, knowledge & experience are perhaps more important, as always.
best, jt
Attached Thumbnails
Why is it that most mastering studios do NOT use "studio monitors"?-ea41c064-b10b-42b2-ad7a-621778dc2746.jpg  
Old 14th March 2018
  #78
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And here is one from the :

Georg Neumann GmbH - Professional Monitoring
Does it make it a good mastering speaker or even the most true to the source speaker around? Hell ye... mmh no! Not at all. It actually sounds quite boxy with lacking dynamic to me. Any hints in the measurings about this? No!
Sorry to say, but looking at random freq graphs is for kids...
Old 14th March 2018
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
And here is one from the :

Georg Neumann GmbH - Professional Monitoring
Does it make it a good mastering speaker or even the most true to the source speaker around? Hell ye... mmh no! Not at all. It actually sounds quite boxy with lacking dynamic to me. Any hints in the measurings about this? No!
Sorry to say, but looking at random freq graphs is for kids...
...you left out a detail: before neumann took over k+h, there was the k+h pro c28 dsp loudspeaker controller which was recommended for use with their loudspeakers - let me tell you that it did make a difference: one could easily get rid of any boxiness without shooting at 'random freq graphs'!

i need yet to come across an installation that could not profit from the use of some dsp...
Old 14th March 2018
  #80
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---

Last edited by JP__; 14th March 2018 at 03:19 PM.. Reason: Nah, not really interested in another speaker debate at GS... Have fun, guys.
Old 14th March 2018
  #81
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If you ever heard a direct (switchable) comparison between a time-aligned speaker and a conventional one, then maybe a lot would forget about (digital faked) frequ. graphs.

Sure, a flat response is important, but don´t forget to look to:
- impulse response (of every chassis and also the whole speaker)
- distortion over loudness
- waterfall measurement and others…

Which manufacturer show you that?
Which manufacturer can do that perfectly without DSP, only with a passive X-over?

Don´t forget that there are small manufacturers with better knowledge about physics, electronics and built quality as you can find in a commercial e-shop. Commerce destroys quality because of its costs. It is similar in acoustics.
Old 14th March 2018
  #82
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Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
it might possibly be possible that mastering engineers use the speakers that they use because they get good results with them.
So far the best answer IMO - speakers are another tool, another part of the chain, part of the tuned room. People use speakers that allow them to do the work they choose to do in the room they choose to do the work in on the kind of music that they work on, and do it as well as possible. For some this means great stereo imaging and placement, for others it's amazing impulse response; a ~feeling~ of musicality, a disappearance of the speaker as a point source, extra detail in the sensitive midrange, least fatigue, and so on - or as best as possible a compromise between many of these. Whatever helps the engineer make decisions that translate as well as possible to the way the client and the world outside the studio hear things.

Since we make much finer-grained changes in mastering, the speaker choices and the differences in levels of detail they present can seem to become more...esoteric? However, it's been said time and again on this forum that speaker choices are both extremely subjective and room-dependent. Find what works for you based on real-world experience and don't get lost in the branding or language or graphs.
Old 15th March 2018
  #83
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Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet but, one thing to keep in mind has nothing to do with the wording slapped on the side of the box.......2 way vs 3 way. Most of the monitors you mention as typical 'studio monitors' that you don't see in mastering rooms are smaller 2 ways. Most mastering room will use 3 way (or more) monitors. Reason being it's rather hard to properly judge vocal level when then vocal range overlaps smack dab in the middle of a crossover between the woofer and tweeter. A 3 way with a well-implemented crossover is my preference, regardless of if they call it a 'studio' or 'consumer' level monitor.
Old 15th March 2018
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
it might possibly be possible that mastering engineers use the speakers that they use because they get good results with them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenMarsh View Post
A 3 way with a well-implemented crossover is my preference, regardless of if they call it a 'studio' or 'consumer' level monitor.
QFT!

my viewpoint as well.

cheers, JT
Old 16th March 2018
  #85
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Originally Posted by ummm_r View Post
So far the best answer IMO - speakers are another tool, another part of the chain, part of the tuned room. People use speakers that allow them to do the work they choose to do in the room they choose to do the work in on the kind of music that they work on, and do it as well as possible. For some this means great stereo imaging and placement, for others it's amazing impulse response; a ~feeling~ of musicality, a disappearance of the speaker as a point source, extra detail in the sensitive midrange, least fatigue, and so on - or as best as possible a compromise between many of these. Whatever helps the engineer make decisions that translate as well as possible to the way the client and the world outside the studio hear things.

Since we make much finer-grained changes in mastering, the speaker choices and the differences in levels of detail they present can seem to become more...esoteric? However, it's been said time and again on this forum that speaker choices are both extremely subjective and room-dependent. Find what works for you based on real-world experience and don't get lost in the branding or language or graphs.
+1 for this, except for "since we make much finer-grained changes in mastering": when mixing live with tenthousands of watts under the control of your fingertips, mixing in front of tenthousands, goin' on air to millions of listeners, you better trim carefully too...
Old 19th March 2018
  #86
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you have to know your own earing curve if you are after the flatest curve

and i m not talking only about how loudness influence our earing , but how your earing evolved with the years , the bumps the slopes in the frequency range and in the 2 ears
Old 19th March 2018
  #87
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Flat is best but it must be measured properly and diffraction in both the speaker and the microphone must be handled.
Old 20th March 2018
  #88
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Let me try to answer to the original question of "why many mastering studios use different monitors and have other differentiates?"

One of the differences of the mastering facilities is that "we" mastering engineers cannot afford spending time on subjective results. These days mastering is a direct continuation of working on the mix. Many people send mixes to mastering facilities to "help finish the mix", "improve the mix". Therefore, to get the objective result of what we hear and what changes can be made to the sound material we have to have:

1. (as many already mentioned) A room that not just subjectively sounds good, but also measured properly. As mentioned, response time and waterfall measurements are important. Removing or softening the nulls are also important. Getting flat curve is not that a big deal and not that important as the response time.

2. Getting used to the room acoustics. We can have a really "nice" monitors placed in untreated room and it may take half a year for the brain to adopt to the sound. After that adaptation period our brain still will be working hard on calculating a desired sound. We may have several pairs of monitors in our room to make "better" judgments (yamaha ns10 + genelec + something else + two pairs of s**t control, three pairs of headphones. Sounds familiar? ) Why do we need so many? Why we can't trust only one pair of monitors, plus maybe some extra pair? Mix translation...? Maybe many mixing studios have several pairs of monitors and it "looks cool"...? I constantly have these conversations with our mixing engineer who has many pairs of monitors. We can spend hours discussing this topic

3. What is the main difference between the workflow for the mixing and mastering engineer? "We"... mastering engineers spend most of our time listening to different songs. Everyday we listen to many different songs. Mixing engineers don't have that luxury time that "we" mastering engineers have to listen and compare different music materials and get uses to different types of sound.
Mixing engineer spends most of the time on developing the sound of the same song for long... long hours and days, thus getting used to the sound and decreasing the objective judgement.

4. Many mastering engineers prior to the mastering path have a lot of years of mixing background (including myself). And when "we" morph from mixing to mastering "we" desire to assess the sound much faster and make judgments in much more accurate way.

5. Based on 1.2.3.4 many mastering engineers invest their time and $ into room acoustics and different monitoring equipment than many mixing engineers have.

6. What monitors to use for the mastering? Anything that works better for you (if you can demo 10 different models in your studio ) Sorry... I know this answer is not very helpful.

P.S. I just finished tweaking my new room and testing mix translation on different music material. It took few months to get to the desired acoustics and sound of the room. But then... few different pairs of monitors that I have, all started to sound great and translate well. And it took about a month to get used to the new monitors (neumann kh310).

Hope... I didn't not deviatе too much from the original question
Old 21st March 2018
  #89
Hi end consumer audio is where the great designers have fled to after the record biz broke.
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