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Starting my own business with 20k Studio Monitors
Old 12th November 2009
  #31
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Very well said silverking, thank you for that!
Old 12th November 2009
  #32
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Couldn't agree more with all that.

I mean, what am I on about, of all people? I started with some plugins and some good headphones. That was it. Had worked in rubbish studios before and didn't want acoustic nightmares until I could sort somewhere out. Ended up getting out of control and next thing you know I have all the stuff I wanted, and I'm going full time in a few months. All cos of some bloody headphones and a ****load of hard work.

Enjoy your Genelecs and ignore people like me
Old 12th November 2009
  #33
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Actually, macc is one of the most helpful guys on here, and most everything he posts is an honest appraisal of the topic at hand.

There's no debating that there's a long standing general negative bias towards Genelec's when it comes to mastering (mainly from mastering engineers who own other brands of speakers), my point is only that it's misplaced.
Personally, I feel Genelec's are a fine speaker, and most definitely designed for professional audio work. From the 8030's on up, it's a fine speaker to spend a day in front of. (there's many dozens of other brands to choose from, so Genelec's are definitely only "one" of many that can, could, and do work day in and day out in professional studios).

I rarely speak to an owner of Genelec's who uses them for tracking, mixing, or mastering who doesn't absolutely gush endlessly about how much they love working with them. They generally stay with them for many years, working up into the larger models as the money allows.

The NS-10M sort of debases the concept that "any" speaker can't do "anything" if it's owner wants it to.........those 10,000+ hit records mixed on the NS-10 put that idea to rest.

In the end, it's not about "Genelec's" or any other speaker brand...........it's just about what you as an engineer do with them.
It's never been solely about the wood and paper (or aluminum and fabric) making all the noise.
Old 12th November 2009
  #34
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First thing I would do (and did do once upon a time) is get Fuzz Measure (or pc app) and an omni measurement mic.

The suggestions of reading the acoustics forum here and elsewhere is dead on.

after reading a few hundred hours and using the search function - start some threads showing your room plot and asking for help.

703 and rockwool are your friends. Foam is not.
No need to buy pre-made products. You will learn a ton from making some corner traps and panels then re-testing your room.

Much of what you have learned already about mastering - especially your eq tendencies might change significantly once your room is flattened out.

With a nicely treated room you can get to work on monitor placement and integrating your sub.
Master a few dozen tracks. Take them everyplace. I always liked going to an electronic store and trying masters out on a few dozen boom boxes.
When you are making masters that translate well across many systems you will likely make better choices of both plugs and hardware.

Silverkings points about genelecs are valid. They are indeed pretty darn flat for small monitor. Certainly good enough to get you through tuning your room and balancing out your eq proclivities. I couldn't live with the 8040's but the '50's fit my ears better.

After that - buy used gear!
audiogon for speakers (N802's have recently sold for just over $4k). A set of PMC MB1's sold for $3400 with stands.

At some point you will have invested your $20K but s l o w l y .... each piece added to an already great sounding chain. Otherwise how the heck would you have any idea if it was really a good piece for you?

It won't take long and the journey is 90% of the fun. The other 10% comes when your accountant starts making you pay quarterlies because business is good.

Best of luck.
Old 12th November 2009
  #35
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I know of many successful MEs around that had to move studios and were forced to work in their spare bedroom/lounge room for a while. None of the clients complained about the results.
Old 12th November 2009
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post

Im a little affraid to put so much money in acoustics, because if the business dies can you sell the acoustics?
the way your room sounds is gonna have the biggest effect on your work more then any eq or AD converter, i would invest in the room and monitoring chain as a priority then go from there, even if that meant at first you had to start off all dig with plugins.

Dont forget you are gonna need a separate DAC for the monitors and a cd player connected to some type of dig switcher/router so you can very easy A/B the CD (your clients will bring and want to compare) against your workstation thru the same monitor chain.

and a good high speed internet connection for all the files you will be downloading and uploading

louie
Old 12th November 2009
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edham View Post
First thing I would do (and did do once upon a time) is get Fuzz Measure (or pc app) and an omni measurement mic.
I use Fuzz Meassure Pro, and an Earthworks measurement mic constantly.
I often see (hear?) things differently after viewing them onscreen.

Your ears should always be your final judge, but I'm surprised how often my ears seem just a bit more able to tune into the problem more quickly after I look at the FuzzMeasure screen.

I think FuzzMeasure (or equiv) and an Apex measurement mic ($40.00) should be one of the first things you purchase prior to treating your room. It will show you exactly what's happening as you're making it happen.
Old 12th November 2009
  #38
If I'm you I save the money things will get hard when the Amero show's up
put the 20 K in Swiss FR.
Old 12th November 2009
  #39
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IMHO......


Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
1k for web site
At your service! Wow, people really don't get english when it's enclosed in brackets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
3k for mac pro
And you're buying this from apple? Why so much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
1,5k for genelec sub with my 8040´s
Are you having a laugh? Plenty of mastering grade speakers out there by 8040s aren't em.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
4k for thermionic culture phoenix mastering
2-5k for some good eq??
Maybe buy second hand or something, with so much money it would be cool to have more analogue gear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
maybe some good plugins like flux?
I have "strange" views when it comes to plugins, I would elaborate but for fear of intense bickering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
Also i need good mastering program/DAW for mac?
This is your only "problem". Check out sound blade. Again, I have "strange" views when it comes to DAWs......

You forgot to mention very important factors such as building costs, decor and details on your actual property! IE have you got neighbors? If so, double your budget.

But MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, do you have customers, is there demand? And are you actually good at mastering? Do you LOVE mastering?




Edit: I was being dumb as assumed you mean £GBP, but most still applies
Old 12th November 2009
  #40
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Hey macc,

Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
I haven't heard Genelecs in some time but by memory they are a long way from my O300.
It isn't that simple. It never is. As a freelancer I get to hear many different speakers in many different studios for long enough to get a pretty good idea of how they sound.

I would say that the O300's are certainly very nice to work on. They sound great! They are not so fatiguing and have an amazing stereo image. The phantom centre image is so solid I have literally stood up and walked up to the centre speaker (in a surround setup) to check whether it was on while mixing in stereo. (It wasn't). The low-end is very smooth and due to its closed cabinet designed rolls off nicely. It feels like it is in a bigger cabinet.

On the other hand the O300's don't have much headroom. You reach maximum SPL very easily. Especially in the low-end. This is probably due to the 12 dB peak in the bass driver's amp (at +-40Hz) used to even out the frequency response. This also means that the O300's demonstrate quite a bit of compression. Some of it mechanical.

I always felt that when working only on the O300's, my faders where a bit mushy. I would push the level of a channel up but the loudness in the mix would not respond as much as I am used to. It is a little bit like working with a very fast compressor with a very low ratio set over the master bus.

Adding a pair of 0800 subs helps tremendously. One of the studios I worked at had the K+H digital speaker management system and I could switch between different setups with or without the O800's engaged. When engaged nearly all the problems I describe above would vanish. The total system would have plenty of headroom and would not feel nearly as compressed any more while still maintaining great stereo imaging and frequency response.

I also believe that the very high bass cutoff used when adding a sub to the O300's is due to the uneven acoustical response of the bass driver which is compensated by the amp boost in the low-end. Hi-passing so high completely bypasses this issue.

The Genelecs, to me at least, have less dynamic compression. On the other hand I find them tiring to listen to for long periods of time. I don't think that they have so much of a high-end boost as that they are a bit harsh sounding in the high-mids to high frequencies. Detailed but at a cost.

I find myself listening at lower levels in studios with Genelec monitors unless they are the big ones. I like the 1037C's and similar or bigger ones. They are not so fatiguing and feel as though they have a more even frequency response. (But obviously they cost much more).

The newer 80X0 series Genelecs have a slightly hyped low-end. Not too much of an issue if you are familiar with them. At this price range there is always a compromise anyway.

This was going to be a short post. It got a bit out of hand.

Alistair
Old 12th November 2009
  #41
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Haha, not at all, it's an interesting read. FWIW I meant the overall sonic signature of the two as I recalled it, rather than the quality of speaker

I'm no expert on speaker design but with the K+H it's the tradeoff of the sealed box innit, so far as I am aware. In my current set up I don't miss SPL - at a distance of 4.5-5 feet or so they go way WAY louder than I'd ever consider working. I did the SPL measurements once but forget the numbers - point being even considering a fairly 'soft knee' compression I feel I'm still some way under that.

Of course, in a larger room they'd struggle and the subs become essential, but where I am integration of the subs with such a high x-over at that short distance is more of an issue than SPL/headroom. And they do sound great! Plus I was surprised the O800 are -3dB at 30 Hz. They're definitely a 'headroom gainer' rather than an 'LF extension gainer' (*tm kjg) so far as I understand it.

Anyway - I just think of Genelecs as forward/almost-brittle and K+H as smooth, non-fatiguing. That's all I was saying... and this was supposed to be a short post too. :D
Old 12th November 2009
  #42
kjg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post

... This also means that the O300's demonstrate quite a bit of compression. Some of it mechanical.

I always felt that when working only on the O300's, my faders where a bit mushy. I would push the level of a channel up but the loudness in the mix would not respond as much as I am used to. It is a little bit like working with a very fast compressor with a very low ratio set over the master bus.
...
Hello Alistair,

Thank you for an interesting post.

At what distance and SPL were you using the O300's when you noticed this effect? Would you consider it significant even in a nearfield application (say, under 2 meter) and levels under 90 dBSPL?

Regards,
Klaas-Jan
Old 12th November 2009
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
Anyway - I just think of Genelecs as forward/almost-brittle and K+H as smooth, non-fatiguing. That's all I was saying... and this was supposed to be a short post too. :D
Heh. Yes your one sentence description pretty much sum up their sound.

My current home speakers are quite amazing as far as headroom is concerned. (PSI Audio 25/3) When I first got them I experimented to see how loud they would go. I had to stop before the clip indicators came on as I just couldn't stand the level even for a short time. And I have been in many a club where 110+ dB SPL is normal! (With earplugs of course).

Now I run them at -20 dB (trims at the back) and still don't put them at full volume. EDIT: Typical monitoring would be at -22 dB on the monitor controller so that is +- -42 dB from maximum level.

Alistair
Old 12th November 2009
  #44
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We're talking about Genelec's and K&H's and trying to determine which one is "better" when even 20 years ago there was absolutely nothing on the market in their size and price range that comes close to either of them

I now skip over posts from people who state things like "they're not mastering monitors", or "those won't work for mastering", or the classic "you must be joking".

I find the above statements display a fundamental lack of understanding of an industry that has no technical absolutes other than you must work in a treated room with a system (which includes speakers) that you understand the sonic signature of intimately.

It matters less and less (within well understood constraints) what brand those speakers are.

I think it's time some folks might want to face up to the fact that the price of admission is at an all time low, and that constantly kicking folks in the nuts for asking about mastering on a budget is now old and tired.
Old 12th November 2009
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjg View Post
Hello Alistair,

Thank you for an interesting post.

At what distance and SPL were you using the O300's when you noticed this effect? Would you consider it significant even in a nearfield application (say, under 2 meter) and levels under 90 dBSPL?
Hey Klaas-Jan,

I don't know at what level but they were not in near-field. More mid-field to far-field. 4 maybe 5 meters from the listening position but I have heard others make the same comment while they were set up in near-field...

Alistair
Old 12th November 2009
  #46
kjg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Heh. Yes your one sentence description pretty much sum up their sound.

My current home speakers are quite amazing as far as headroom is concerned. (PSI Audio 25/3) When I first got them I experimented to see how loud they would go. I had to stop before the clip indicators came on as I just couldn't stand the level even for a short time. And I have been in many a club where 110+ dB SPL is normal! (With earplugs of course).

Now I run them at -20 dB and still don't put them at full volume.

Alistair
Glad the PSI's are working well for you. Heard them only once, but that impressed me. Simply gorgeous. Very dry and accurate, with lots of headroom indeed. A different league from the K+H's, but also twice the price, to be fair.
Old 12th November 2009
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjg View Post
Glad the PSI's are working well for you. Heard them only once, but that impressed me. Simply gorgeous. Very dry and accurate, with lots of headroom indeed.
Indeed. And not fatiguing at all. I'm very happy.

Quote:
A different league from the K+H's, but also twice the price, to be fair.
Unless you get a great deal like I had. I paid as much excluding taxes as a new pair of O300's including taxes cost. In other words, 20% more.

If anyone can find a pair of well maintained ex-demo's I highly recommend them!

Alistair
Old 13th November 2009
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBM View Post
If I'm you I save the money things will get hard when the Amero show's up
put the 20 K in Swiss FR.

You might be quite right. Would put it into the ££ thats for sure...
Old 13th November 2009
  #49
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I would love to hear those PSIs

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Unless you get a great deal like I had. I paid as much excluding taxes as a new pair of O300's including taxes cost. In other words, 20% more.
Ahh, but I got almost 30% off my O300, natch

Don't get me wrong; I understand where they stand in the great scheme of things. But they're just right for where I am - and they have expandability. They also have the benefit of being highly sexual.

Anyway this wasn't about them, it's a bit OT really
Old 13th November 2009
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
Don't get me wrong; I understand where they stand in the great scheme of things. But they're just right for where I am - and they have expandability. They also have the benefit of being highly sexual.
"Those 0300s don't 'alf give me the horn."
Old 13th November 2009
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
Don't get me wrong; I understand where they stand in the great scheme of things. But they're just right for where I am - and they have expandability. They also have the benefit of being highly sexual.
Heh. The O300's are great for their size. I love working on them!

Alistair
Old 13th November 2009
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
I would love to hear those PSIs



Ahh, but I got almost 30% off my O300, natch

Don't get me wrong; I understand where they stand in the great scheme of things. But they're just right for where I am - and they have expandability. They also have the benefit of being highly sexual.

Anyway this wasn't about them, it's a bit OT really
Funnily enough I had a call from the new UK distributor of the PSIs yesterday, as Id enquired about them (direct with PSI) when I was choosing the new speakers. At the time they had no UK distribution, so I wasnt able to audition a pair.
Old 14th November 2009
  #53
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Hi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
So you are working as a part time master engineer, how did you deal with acoustics?
Do you have room in your house which you threated with acoustics? Did you do it by yourself or help with some professional company?

Can i ask how much was your budget? Im trying to get the picture, how good acoustics you really need? What speakers you end up getting?
Had to think about this for a while. There's been some truly excellent suggestions in this thread by now! To be honest, I don't know what to add. So I'm adding too much! :D To me, on my very own journey, acoustics have been the alfa omega in mastering. But.. That's very possibly not how it turns out for you. We're all different. So this will be a very personal post. Hope you can gleam some info that may be useful for your own path.

You could throw up some basic treatment, get going and not think about it for years. There's so much to learn and not having a great room will not stop you from learning. It will be easier though. And chances are if you love precise sound, you'll get hooked on it!

If you're the type that likes to use the same gear til you've learned it in and out and can push the limits of it way beyond what's normally possible, processing probably doesn't need to be your first concern. To me, it's just tools. GAS hits hard at times, but then again, it doesn't take much philosophical musings to once again come to the same old driver and car conclusion.

Am very tech-nerdy and have spent lots of time doing scrutinous testing on all plugs and digital processing involved. Some digital audio routines fail miserably on the most basic of audio tests! Have been able to set up a "chain" of very clean tools, along with some means to add small portions of deliberate junk to get that "analogue feeling" when needed. It's interesting to see how many people make comments about "warm sound"! There's even been some net rumors about fancy analogue gear, which I guess goes to show that the digital stuff is working out al right for all sorts of purposes. That was not my first goal though. Clean, hifi processing without regard for level was the first goal when starting out. Had a few years where I simply did not attempt to go loud at all. Concentrated solely on tone and found that to be the right path for me. The loudness and warmth things came naturally and easily as the tone part fell into place!

Started out with a dbx quantum do-it-all digital unit in the monitor path. Listened/tweaked on as much different music as I could find. A plain old decently clean eq/comp/limit combination. At least I knew it was good enough that I couldn't blame the tools for the lack of results. There was a lot of self blaming. :D Had about two years of intense play with it, along with some n00b attempts at room treatment and intense reading on the subject. Which led to the $20K investment on better speakers, serious treatment and various practicalities for having a somewhat smoother workflow. The norwegian price level is much higher than just about anywhere else, so it isn't as much money as it may seem. OTOH, there's a lot of DIY in it, which makes it worth more. Got a pair of hafler trm8 powered monitors with ditto 10" subs. Your genelecs are very possibly better speakers, probably at least as good as. You should be able to do good work on them! The only thing I can think of right now for you is a pair of stereo subs. Never got the hang of having a single sub, although it was low passed at 40 Hz. There was always something iffy about the Xover zone. Dual subs was a worthwhile investment for me. Most of the money went on absorption, monitor DAC, various computer stuff and a bunch of small things like lots of fabrics, lightning, chair and such general infrastructure.

The acoustics became lots better after that first big installment of treatment! Have since kept on upgrading it, to the point now where it's getting hard to find space for more of it! Recently built a bunch of diffusers which was insanely work intensive and quite a lot more expensive than first imagined. The most typical DIY comment you'll ever find. It worked. Have a new honeymoon with the room now! It was good, but it's qualitatively different now; more refined and sublime, more fun to listen to and more of a "wow!" thing for visitors. There's only small patches left of the apartment living room to be seen, the rest is covered in absorption, diffusion and some deliberately reflective surfaces. Being a digital processing only camper is so much easier now than when starting! It's just tools anyway. Hearing what I do have always been priority number one.

May had been better off commercially getting processing gear to show off, don't know. Obviously haven't tried. The processing gear was the least of the concerns when starting out! Would perhaps have learned faster on real gear. Probably a bit. Tactile interfaces are great! Am a hardware fanatic when it comes to my own electronic music and understand all too well the importance of a good interface. But I can't seriously blame the mouse and keyboard for the sonics.. Been four years since the initial 20K investment and it's definitely going on the right track. Have return customers who previously used to do much more expensive/experienced places. Have also had customers do stuff here and later decide to use a "proper" place instead. They ended up preferring my work! Not to brag or anything, just want to justify the existence as a part time masterer that's aware that it can and will be better in ten years. Or however long it takes to reach a sorta stable level. Expect that it'll be the time when the gear will be the limit, and a truly worthwhile object to pursuit in itself. As for now, the processing adjustments are the easier part, getting the right idea of what it could sound like is the difficult bit!

Have spent way too much time listening to great music of all sorts. This may sound stupid but I actually find it very hard to get a solid grasp of what the "good sound" thing, practically speaking, really is. Seems that if I can know that by heart, mastering will be easy! Great monitoring makes it all the much easier. Or perhaps that's just poetic BS. Bring on the sontecs! :D

BLAH BLAH. Hope I didn't bore anyone to sleep now.


Best regards,

Andreas Nordenstam
Old 14th November 2009
  #54
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Nice read Andreas.

Alistair
Old 14th November 2009
  #55
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Yeah, I enjoyed that too

Nice how we all start in different places and take different routes, but the aim is always the same
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