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Lower SPL monitoring—speaker recommendation? Audio Interfaces
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Lower SPL monitoring—speaker recommendation?

While I will check at higher SPL levels here and there, I feel most comfortable working at lower (<70db) levels.

Any recommendations for those who monitor on the quiet side as far as speakers? Currently using a pair of Tyler MM5x.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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You're mastering at <70dB SPL? Setting EQ at that level?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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macc's Avatar
 

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I usually work at about ~78 or so but do quite a lot of work on my -20 dim setting.

I've said it a number of times in the past, there's something about the Kii Three that makes them feel/behave 'the same' at lower levels that I've never had from any other setup.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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Benoit D's Avatar
 

I'm also working most of the time at lower SPL lvel than the "famous" 83-85dB SPL. And to avoid surprises when I'm checking at higher SPL level , I'm using the very unique feature bring by RME on the ADI-2 Pro called "Loudness".

Like a Loudness function on a power amp, but smarter !

You choose a Low Volume Reference => a volume setting below this point have maximum Bass/Treble gain (adjustable between +1 dB and +10 dB in steps of 0.5 dB)

+20dB above the Low Volume Reference you have the High Volume Reference => all volume settings above this point have zero Bass/Treble gain

And between Low Volume Ref and High Volume Ref, Bass/Treble gain is variable !
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Monitoring with a constantly shifting bass/treble gain sounds like an absolute nightmare to me, but whatever works I guess.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Apostolos Siopis's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
Monitoring with a constantly shifting bass/treble gain sounds like an absolute nightmare to me,
+1
..in addition to the above,
one of our "jobs" is to make sure the material translates "equally" at different SPL
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Benoit D's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
Monitoring with a constantly shifting bass/treble gain sounds like an absolute nightmare to me, but whatever works I guess.
Not constantly. Only in a certain volume zone wich start, for me, -10dB bellow my qualibrated listening level reference.

So when I activate my -20 dim setting, I have half of the Bass/Treble gain engaged.

It felt strange at the beginning but it quickly became essential when use daily. And of course, it could be disabled by the push of a button.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Giuseppe Zaccaria's Avatar
 

I dont like to work at high level, usually under 80db, and here and there checking at around 83db, feels good to me with GS3a and translate well.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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Benoit D's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apostolos Siopis View Post
+1
..in addition to the above,
one of our "jobs" is to make sure the material translates "equally" at different SPL
Of course, of course.

But Boxtone is asking recommendations for monitors that sound "equal" at lower levels right ? I bring him a DSP solution that mimic this behaviour, compatible and adjustable according to speakers response, with the benefit to be engaged or not.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
You're mastering at <70dB SPL? Setting EQ at that level?
No, but I would love to be able to from a comfort standpoint.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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Do you mean that louder levels hurt your ears?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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Monitors can really influence this issue - especially in a mastering context. When my monitoring system got good enough to listen loud comfortably and without fatigue it became easier to know when a mix holds up well or when it sounds wrong because it's strident (sibilant, resonant, etc.) rather than just because it's loud. IWO, a good master will sound good when played loud on a good system. A bad master will reveal issues when played loud on a good system. Both can sound "too loud" on a lesser system.

I find that low listening levels reveal things like distortion and compression artifacts but if it's too far down the Fletcher Munson curve then EQ decisions are not going to translate well.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
Do you mean that louder levels hurt your ears?
correct.

trying to stave off tinnitus getting worse (hearing not effected at all).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxtone View Post
While I will check at higher SPL levels here and there, I feel most comfortable working at lower (<70db) levels.

Any recommendations for those who monitor on the quiet side as far as speakers? Currently using a pair of Tyler MM5x.
what's wrong with your current speakers when listening at lower levels? - i enjoy listening on my tad/augspurger speakers at roughly the same level (around 70dbA lufs per hour) - actually on most any (large) speakers. i hardly ever change listening levels and if so, i go lower, at least when checking something on a broadband mono center speaker.

i do however use lake speaker controllers to apply any curve i want to any speaker - this cannot not fully emulate the effect of a speaker getting driven hard but close enough so i don't have to touch the volume knob unless i need to impress some musicians or a producer.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxtone View Post
correct.

trying to stave off tinnitus getting worse (hearing not effected at all).
Well, I am all for staving off tinnitus!

But you *should* be able to listen at 83ish db without it hurting. How's your room treatment?

I personally don't really enjoy listening to music super loud, but I DO enjoy listening to it pretty quietly...if I'm working on my own music I spend a lot of time around 60-65ish.

That said, when mastering I make pretty much all decisions around 83db, and if I have the eq right at that level, it sounds right at 63 too. I know for sure the opposite wouldn't be the case.

THAT said, years ago my band had a record mastered by Alan Douches at West Westside, we attended and he monitored at a pretty quiet level the whole time. I'd guess low 70s...it definitely wasn't loud in the room. When he cranked it up to check the fades we were Like Wow, but that was the only time it was loud. The record turned out great and Alan's done a million of 'em, so whatever works.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
But you *should* be able to listen at 83ish db without it hurting. How's your room treatment?

...

when mastering I make pretty much all decisions around 83db, and if I have the eq right at that level, it sounds right at 63 too. I know for sure the opposite wouldn't be the case.
+1 on all of that.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxtone View Post
correct.

trying to stave off tinnitus getting worse (hearing not effected at all).
Do you have auditory recruitment issues? That puts this conversation well out of the expertise of all of us.

Recruitment Definition
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Do you have auditory recruitment issues? That puts this conversation well out of the expertise of all of us.

Recruitment Definition
Fortunately my hearing is perfectly normal. Been tested for the above as well.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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Ah, well that is good news!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
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In France the threshold of audition without damage during 8 houres is 80 dba.

You could have a perfect audition, you could not support more than 75 dba caused by the stress, sick headaches, work environment...

The audition is not only an audio gram but a set of different stages starting by the flap of the ear until the awareness of the sound.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxtone View Post
correct.

trying to stave off tinnitus getting worse (hearing not effected at all).
As Scraggs suggested, there might be something you can do with your monitoring environment improve fatigue at louder levels.

I had a similar issue and dealing with some reflections from my desk and toeing my speakers out a touch reduced the fatigue significantly.
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