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Why is it that most mastering studios do NOT use "studio monitors"? Studio Monitors
Old 24th August 2018
  #121
Gear Nut
Did you come across the old sound on sound articles that did technical comparisons between studio monitors and hifi speakers of the same price range? (EDIT: actually the hifi speakers were lower priced than the studio montiros tested) Kind of lower price ranges I guess you could call it. Was quite interesting.. I'll find it and post the link. It's not on the mastering end of things, just home studio, but still interesting.

Here they are:

Monitors vs Hi-fi Speakers: Part 1 |

Monitors vs Hi-fi Speakers: Part 2 |
Old 24th August 2018
  #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nat8808 View Post
Did you come across the old sound on sound articles that did technical comparisons between studio monitors and hifi speakers of the same price range? (EDIT: actually the hifi speakers were lower priced than the studio montiros tested) Kind of lower price ranges I guess you could call it. Was quite interesting.. I'll find it and post the link. It's not on the mastering end of things, just home studio, but still interesting.

Here they are:

Monitors vs Hi-fi Speakers: Part 1 |

Monitors vs Hi-fi Speakers: Part 2 |
Yes, good reading. I especially like the last line of the conclusion: "So, can you use hi-fi speakers as nearfield monitors? Well, as I wrote at the start of this article, it depends..."

LOL - and 'round it goes...

One of comments I like here was from Scraggs: "...mastering engineers use the speakers that they use because they get good results with them"

In the end that's all that matters.
Old 24th August 2018
  #123
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
I agree! I've gone in circles. But it's not because I'm naive - it's because of TOO MUCH information like this:
I guess the problem is that most of those sources that you quote are talking about typical budget/mid price hifi speakers which are often designed to sound impressive in a hifi shop demonstration. They're not really talking about the well designed high end hifi speakers that mastering engineers would use.

I have some reasonably respectable mid price hifi speakers that I use in the house but they're not up to the standard that I'd want from monitors and often produce the flattering sound that is mentioned in those examples you posted.
Old 25th August 2018
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post

One of comments I like here was from Scraggs: "...mastering engineers use the speakers that they use because they get good results with them"
Do exist ME using speakers that don't give a good result?

-1


I knew ME who worked with martin logan quest. All the contrary of a neutral speaker and a caricatural hifi speaker (with a beautiful sound, this is true)
Old 26th August 2018
  #125
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
A bit of history will help with understanding. Traditional studio monitors placed emphasis on the midrange so that we could easily spot musical problems in an ensemble before the musicians left the studio. Because broadcast music directors typically made decisions using hi fi speakers, the concept of a "reference monitor" or "near field" monitoring started being used for mixing in the late 1960s. With tape, the heavy lifting was done during tracking taking a conservative approach to signal processing using the big midrangy full range monitors. Mastering using transparent full range high-end hi fi speakers began with Bob Ludwig at Sterling Sound in New York in the 1970s. The results were stunning with his only competition being Doug Sax who was using home brew hi fi speakers and a very conservative approach to processing with all custom gear at The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles.

Mastering is all about translation. The transparent full range monitoring simply translates better because most speakers are all over the map response wise.
Hey Bob!

I think that’s why the big Dunlavy’s many of us MEs use for mastering, work so well.
Lots of midrange and HF detail for detecting problems.
three-way, with different crossovers, especially on my SC4A’s.
one drawback, they scare attending clients sometimes, who are used to bass heavy sounds,
on cheap nearfields with typical 2k crossovers, in poorly treated mix rooms.

i added a pair of subs to help reveal the lower octave, since most pop music is sub & vocal centric these days.

always enjoy your posts Bob, one of the few valid viewpoints on the GS forums!

best, JT
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Last edited by Jerry Tubb; 26th August 2018 at 07:26 PM..
Old 26th August 2018
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinococcus View Post
Do exist ME using speakers that don't give a good result?

-1
No and that's his point. Your interpretation of his comment is polarity-flipped. If they were NOT getting good results they would change speakers.
Old 26th August 2018
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
No and that's his point. Your interpretation of his comment is polarity-flipped. If they were NOT getting good results they would change speakers.
How ME work in studios where they are employed and where they do not choose the speakers? In audio and in cinema?
In audio, they are lucky, the loudness war save them but in cinema they have not the same chance: they know work or they are fired. .
Old 4 weeks ago
  #128
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Just wanted to say this was a very insightful forum to read.
the monitors i usually do my finalizing on are ADS L910 which, the manufacturer calls them studio monitors, but i only really see them in audiophile vintage home setups at this point. go figure... i like them though.

i a/b the ADS 910s with genelec 8050 generally, in a mastering situation.

i track and mix a/b with ns10m and krk v8 series 1.

i also have yamaha hs80, more for production, and krk rokits which i let other producers and engineers bang out on, almost in fear for all the rest of my monitors.

Out of all these, the ns10m stems from a bookshelf home speaker, and ended up more studio standard than all my other monitors lol. all these speakers sound waaay different from one another, but they serve their purpose to me.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #129
Gear Maniac
 

To play devil's advocate: In a way, wouldn't it kind of make sense to master for sort of average speakers that most of the audience would be listening on?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #130
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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"Average" speakers are full of peaks and dips at a variety of frequencies depending on the design and driver uniformity. High-quality speakers are much flatter which gives more consistent results that will sound good on a wide variety of "average" speakers. In other words, they are MORE average in response.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #131
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
"Average" speakers are full of peaks and dips at a variety of frequencies depending on the design and driver uniformity. High-quality speakers are much flatter which gives more consistent results that will sound good on a wide variety of "average" speakers. In other words, they are MORE average in response.
That makes sense.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #132
Gear Maniac
 

UK mastering legend Kevin Metcalfe uses NS10's (shocker)..

Quite the impressive CV (Queen, David Bowie, Kinks, The Who, ELO, The Police, U2, etc etc) :


Kevin Metcalfe engineer at Soundmasters International
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #133
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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first mastering room to set up an online mastering service

There are also PMCs. A lot of mastering engineers have NS-10s so mixers can reference what mastering is doing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #134
Quote:
Originally Posted by RE201 View Post
UK mastering legend Kevin Metcalfe uses NS10's (shocker)..
...but also PMC BB5s, according to their gear list.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #135
Gear Maniac
 

A producer/engineer pal of mine attended a session there (some years ago) and reported in amazement that the bulk of work , on their session anyway, had been on the NS10's with only occasional trips to the 'big blasters' to check low end etc.. I too was astonished to hear this information.

I have no idea if this is the usual practice or indeed like Bob O points out NS10's could be for the benefit of the mix engineer/producer present.. ( good point btw - I never considered this ,, seems logical)

The ensuing album sounded great (mixes, music, performances, mastering etc).

I've long been a 'fan' of Kevin Metcalfe's work with numerous records he's touched in my record collection.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #136
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Silvertone's Avatar
I use the same speakers Abby Road uses for tracking, mixing and mastering. They work incredibly well for all three.

YMWV

Nearfields only became popular because of home based or project based studios where people could not set up or install big mains.

Altec 604’s were king for over a decade at one point. NS10M became the next king due to room sizes. That lasted for a couple decades. I had them for other engineers to use at my studio but never got on well with them... personally I always tracked and mixed through my Westlake Audio system.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #137
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Silvertone's Avatar
Mixing room and mastering room...
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Why is it that most mastering studios do NOT use "studio monitors"?-8dbb8c58-39e4-4604-8e83-c8494574d8f5.jpeg   Why is it that most mastering studios do NOT use "studio monitors"?-345d5731-aa0e-476c-acf3-c512dad20e34.jpeg   Why is it that most mastering studios do NOT use "studio monitors"?-2e07999d-89c5-452c-8e2a-d589d49ff677.jpeg   Why is it that most mastering studios do NOT use "studio monitors"?-c101f497-ce0b-4f63-b889-a55c66921be1.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #138
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eternalsound's Avatar
You'll find in mastering, like a lot of other things, that it's not what you do, but instead who you are doing it. For example, a major label mastering engineer could master on nearfields and it would silence many mouths. So, in short, yes you can master on nearfields ...but ...you would be positioned in ....nearfield range. To say you can only master on high-dollar luxury midfield speakers is in reality to be no more than a slave to the rule.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #139
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

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i use a little fostex as a mono checker, works great to listen to the core of the mix; kick, bass, snare, vocal balances.
and is the compleat opposite of the big Duns.
then a Grado HP check if needed.
my NS-10s live in my office...
jt
Old 3 weeks ago
  #140
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SASMastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RE201 View Post
UK mastering legend Kevin Metcalfe uses NS10's (shocker)..

Quite the impressive CV (Queen, David Bowie, Kinks, The Who, ELO, The Police, U2, etc etc) :


Kevin Metcalfe engineer at Soundmasters International
I can see the the spokes in the Volt bass drivers which look like soffit mounted PMC's at a guess. Many have a secondary set of nearfields.

"If it sounds good on NS-10's it'll sound good on anything"... Why not mix on anything then ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #141
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Deptronic's Avatar
I wondered the same thing until I bought my Tylers. No studio monitor comes close to the depth and clarity of mastering speakers. Also, full range means monitoring down to 17Hz without an additional sub--which is why low end sounds so much better when you get your records back from an ME.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #142
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MichaelStAmour's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deptronic View Post
I wondered the same thing until I bought my Tylers. No studio monitor comes close to the depth and clarity of mastering speakers. Also, full range means monitoring down to 17Hz without an additional sub--which is why low end sounds so much better when you get your records back from an ME.
Same here.

So far, my Tyler's bring me something no nearfield gave me.

But with the newer technology I guess we could be surprise by speakers like the D&D 8C and the Kii Three.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #143
You can use monitors such as Barefoots or higher end Genelecs like the 8260A for mastering. Genelec 8260A |

What is not talked enough however for a mastering studio to have a great room with professionally done acoustic treatment. This is very important.

Heck even David Kutch uses Focal Solo monitors for mastering.
Mastering Engineer David Kutch Opens New Facility - Mixonline
Old 3 weeks ago
  #144
Quote:
Originally Posted by RE201 View Post
UK mastering legend Kevin Metcalfe uses NS10's (shocker)..

Quite the impressive CV (Queen, David Bowie, Kinks, The Who, ELO, The Police, U2, etc etc) :


Kevin Metcalfe engineer at Soundmasters International
He may use the NS10s, but they can't be his only monitors as you won't be able to properly adjust the low end that these speakers won't let you hear.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Bucci View Post
He may use the NS10s, but they can't be his only monitors as you won't be able to properly adjust the low end that these speakers won't let you hear.
Unless, perhaps, you are also using the subs that Yamaha apparently intended to be used with the NS10M: the YST SW-100.

This one:
Yamaha YST-SW100 - Manual - Active Subwoofer System - HiFi Engine
...not this one:
Yamaha YST-SW100 130W Powered Subwoofer YST-FSW100PN B&H Photo
Old 3 weeks ago
  #146
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nandi's Avatar
Mastering is much more than EQ. Midrange forward monitors compensate the Fletcher Munson curve at low levels and help working at low fatigue listening levels. It is useless to have a full range great set of speakers in a great room when you have damaged and fatigued hearing.
Old 1 week ago
  #147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
Instead of "perfectly flat, uncolored" studio monitors like Adams, Focals, Barefoots, etc., it is more common to see audiophile grade STEREO SPEAKERS, like B&W, Lipinski, etc., in mastering studios.

Why is that? Aren't stereo speakers designed to be "flattering"?

Okay, so I read all the posts here and nobody really tried to answer the question in a technical way, except a few of the guys who know about speaker design and room design. Those were some pretty awesome posts!

Now I can't speak for every mastering engineer concerning his speaker choice, but what is true is that speaker design is not at all simple.

When designing a speaker for mastering it should more than likely be a multi-way speaker with high quality drivers, great high quality inductors, resistors and capacitors, a realtively lower order crossover design and a speaker chassis that distorts the sound as little as possible. Ruler flat might not always be possible when all things are being considered.

As a speaker designer you are looking for the best sum possible and every speaker component is, in a way, a compromise on what I need vs what I want.
For example, a dome tweeter vs a ribbon tweeter vs inverted dome, each one has its advantages and I could go into more detail, but this isn't the kind of thread for something like, also when dome or inverted dome, what material, silk, aluminum, beryllium or maybe even a diamond tweeter? What about paper cone versus polycarbonate compounds or plugin whatever flavour is in right now....

Most highend studio speakers tend to use similar drivers to some of your best hifi speakers, so it's really more of a form meets function type of situation.
I personally mix on a pair of B&W DM610's that I've had for years, they are great and don't do anything they aren't supposed to, and a pair of Dynaudio Audience 72, that have the same tweeter and driver as the BM6a, but has two drivers in parallel and can then go down to 28 Hz. It was more affordable used, than a pair of BM6a, since I already had an amplifier and they went deeper. This is a win win situation for me.

Let's look at some respected studio brands like amphion. They use Seas components, the same ones used in some crazy expensive hifi speakers. Also, Tyler Acoustics has his Decade X Pro Series, which according to how I understood it are definitely geared for studio work, but mainly does other hifi systems if I'm not mistaken. Tyler uses drivers from Seas as well. ATC used to use a seas tweeter till they designed their own, PMC uses Volt woofers, so does Quested. In the Klein & Hummel O410 there is a dynaudio woofer and the Unity Audio speakers mentioned in a later post use Elac components... It's pretty much an Elac speaker in a sealed enclosure.

So what's hifi and what's studio?

I can definitely tell you that a KRK Rokit 10 with its 3 way design is just awful because of the crap tweeter they installed in that speaker. But a three way KS Digital studio monitors sound fantastic... But they also make hifi speakers as well, using the same parts as their pro audio speakers....

Last edited by mista min; 1 week ago at 03:24 PM.. Reason: Grammar problems
Old 1 week ago
  #148
Concerning, DSP and non-DSP, you basically always have to compromise somewhere and a linear phase FIR filter network for the crossover and to correct frequency response will always have pre-ringing and if you use iir filters you get phase shift, so making a speaker flat with DSP isn't necessarily better than having a none DSP system with great drivers and a simpler second order and third order crossover design. The Matrix 802 for example has a third order high pass on the tweeter, second order filters for the mid woofer and a third order for the bass, this keeps phase shift to a minimum and helps keep the speaker sounding less like a speaker and more like the source material. Not saying one design is better than the other and the best two speakers I've ever heard where built using both technologies.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by mista min; 1 week ago at 09:42 AM.. Reason: Correction
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