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Mackie 824s after treating your room: Much Better?
Old 2nd January 2008
  #1
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

Mackie 824s after treating your room: Much Better?

I realize that all monitors will be much more acurate in a well treated room.

I would love to know specifically if those of you who have Mackie 824s have found them to be really great after your room was treated.

Do you now feel like they are acurate?

I have a pair and have always really stuggled with getting the low end right. I have had them in two different rooms, neither with any real treatment to speak of.

I am about to correct that. I plan to really work hard and spend what I need to to get my room right.

I am also really interested in stepping up to something like the Focal Twin.

I won't purchase anything before treating my room, but I am interested to know what some of you guys have found regarding the Mackies.

Am I still going to want the Focals?

I realize that I won't really know until I try for myself, but the experiences of others are always helpful and appreciated!

Thanks
Old 2nd January 2008
  #2
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Protools Guy's Avatar
 

I was able to hear the low end much better with mine after I got the sub woofer.

I think I've gotten to the point where I've "learned" my monitors.

I'm still getting better at judging the low end, and sometimes, it means getting away from mix position and standing in the back of the room.

HTH...
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #3
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peeder's Avatar
 

It may be one of those things where you work so hard fixing something unfixable that when you give up and replace them you're in better shape than you would have been otherwise.

So if you just upgraded the monitors you might be happy enough without fixing the room, but by fixing the room first and then bringing in the new monitors when that still doesn't work you'll be in the best overall shape.

The easiest way to judge your monitoring system is to see what your mixes look like coming out of it. Not after you've cross-referenced and tweaked, but how you naturally are led to mix on them. The Mackies I don't think I could mix on now with any confidence at all (I now use them as home theatre fronts).
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #4
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zimv20's Avatar
 

yes, my mackie 624's were more useful after i treated.

and they're now unused; i'm using focal solo 6's now and my mixes have improved a lot. imho.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #5
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Yes. My control room is small, inherently problematic for low end. After adding bass traps, mixes are translating extremely well in all areas of the spectrum.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #6
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Treating room = better with any speaker in the room!

War
Old 2nd January 2008
  #7
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptoolate View Post
I realize that all monitors will be much more acurate in a well treated room.

I would love to know specifically if those of you who have Mackie 824s have found them to be really great after your room was treated.

Do you now feel like they are acurate?

I have a pair and have always really stuggled with getting the low end right. I have had them in two different rooms, neither with any real treatment to speak of.

I am about to correct that. I plan to really work hard and spend what I need to to get my room right.

I am also really interested in stepping up to something like the Focal Twin.

I won't purchase anything before treating my room, but I am interested to know what some of you guys have found regarding the Mackies.

Am I still going to want the Focals?

I realize that I won't really know until I try for myself, but the experiences of others are always helpful and appreciated!

Thanks
The weak point of the 824 is it's floppy, inaccurate low end. Even with a more acoustically accurate room, they will need quite a bit of eq to be closer to accurate. That is why even though the 824 is a nice unit, many people are seeking other more accurate choices. You can definitely improve them with a quality eq and the use of an FFT analysis tool such as Smaartlive or Spectrafoo. These tools are used in the live realm to wrestle with giant systems in cavernous, nasty rooms with crazy resonances and long RT60 times. With proper use of this technology, it is amazing how much your mixes will improve. ALL monitors, even great ones will need at least a bit of eq tuning, unless you are mixing in an anechoic chamber!
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #8
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Just curious, do you use a HP filter on your main buss? There's a bunch of useless garbage below 30Hz that will add flab to the low end in the digital world. Try adding one and see what changes.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #9
LFO
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Any monitor will sound better (rather, you will be able to hear what is coming from the speakers more accurately) when you properly treat a room. I found for small rooms that plenty of bass traps was the highest priority and that any traps mounted on the side, etc were best if they were 4' thick.

I've been looking at purchasing new monitors and looked closely at the 824s. Almost every source I've asked about them said the low end is the Achilles heel of the monitors. My conclusion was I needed to look elsewhere. Right now Adam monitors are the front runners, specifically the Adam A7s. (The A7 because of budget limits.) Everything looks good on paper, however I want to hear them before committing.

For what it is worth..

-Kevin
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #10
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

You need to treat the room regardless. You may like the 824's after that, or you might need to upgrade anyway, but you can never go wrong with a properly treated room.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyersound View Post
The weak point of the 824 is it's floppy, inaccurate low end. Even with a more acoustically accurate room, they will need quite a bit of eq to be closer to accurate. That is why even though the 824 is a nice unit, many people are seeking other more accurate choices. You can definitely improve them with a quality eq and the use of an FFT analysis tool such as Smaartlive or Spectrafoo. These tools are used in the live realm to wrestle with giant systems in cavernous, nasty rooms with crazy resonances and long RT60 times. With proper use of this technology, it is amazing how much your mixes will improve. ALL monitors, even great ones will need at least a bit of eq tuning, unless you are mixing in an anechoic chamber!
If a speaker's LF response is "floppy" or innacurate ie the speaker doesn't respond to the transients well (at least, that's how i interepret floppy) then any amount of EQ isn't going to help. You're trying to correct a time domain problem in the frequency domain, which Ethan or any other acoustician will tell you doesn't work.

In all the studios for the company I work for, apart from tuned crossovers, there's NO EQing on the monitors - and they've been setup by a well known studio acoustician, and are reportedly some of the best sounding rooms in london. It's not always necessary.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #12
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the 824's sound real floppy without any room treatment, due to oversized bass response compared to other monitors with same dimensions. this could likely be the reason why ppl hate 824's... cuz often they hear it in an untreated room.

i treated my room, and the bass is much more manageable. it's not perfect, but a lot easier to judge levels and more importantly EQ. it's still good to have other references to double-check, such as computer and car subs.

i don't use 824's for critical monitoring anyway. the reason why i haven't changed'em to a better pair of monitors is cuz at times, i need that extra bass hype for the clients. these are somewhat my pseudo "mains"; and i can't exactly get the clients to get excited or wow'd with NS10's... and budget's tight for monitors at this moment.

even if i had a pair of Dyn's or Gen's to replace Mackie's, i'll prob have to plunk down dough for a sub to have a pair of mains for the clients.

i'm wondering if i should put sand in my speaker stands, whether it'll tighten up the low-mid's/bass response more.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #13
SRS
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Make sure you first have the room treated properly. Good bass trapping and parallel walls treated right. Then and only then did my 824s respond predictably. I find that the low end roll off is almost a must on them as well to keep the bottom end in a range that is able to be judged correctly.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #14
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Autocrat's Avatar
I liked the Mackies down to about 100Hz. Below that, they're a pain to work with...even in treated rooms. But yes, treated rooms help.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #15
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They'll still be Mackies.

If you're starting to think about things like room treatment, I'd guess that 824s won't be very exciting to you much longer. My room is gnarly (acoustically speaking) and I'm getting tired of my Genelecs.

Whether you should upgrade there or elsewhere would likely depend on what else you are using. It doesn't do much good to get too far ahead in any one area of your chain.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Nut
My room is well treated (I have real bass traps built into the room - not LENRDS stacked up in the corners), and the Mackies sound fine. I still use NS-10s and a boombox for reference checks, though. Room treatment is a good first priority, for sure.

I moved from Genelec 1030s, by the way. I thought at the time that those had a problem with the low end, but it was probably me. heh
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #17
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Thanks for the input guys.

As far as cutting lows on the mackies, are you saying to switch the hpf on the back to it's highest point?

I am doing that, but honestly can't hear a huge difference. (more evidence that my room is bass heavy)

Also, someone said to try running a HPF across the mix bus.

Great idea. I will give that a shot.

The truth is that I really want the Focals. I am tempted to buy them right now, even before I treat my room.

But, I will be patient and wait. People say those boxes are so great, but I know I need to hear them for myself.

Ok....Now I will spend some time learning more about room treatment.

This is not as fun as researching new monitors!
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
Someone mentioned the A7's which I recently picked up and Love, I think they just sound clear and honest. The bass felt a little light at first but the mixes translate great so it's not a concern at all anymore. You may want to consider these also!
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #19
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peeder's Avatar
 

You should mix on what you have and see what's wrong with what you are doing (ask a mastering engineer?) and compensate for it that way.

Another approach is to run sine sweeps and try to get them sounding as even as possible, and what's more, get them sounding as much as sine sweeps as possible, rather than the dreaded "one note bass" you are probably experiencing. You will discover that the response curves are far more jagged than the coarse filters on the back of the mackies can compensate for.

You would need to use a good parametric EQ, and that will probably introduce phase distortion across your entire signal. And again, the slogan "you can't correct a time domain problem in the frequency domain" applies.

This isn't an either/or. You need both room treatments and better monitors, if you care enough about this.

There really isn't much more important in this field than the ability to hear.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #20
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
If a speaker's LF response is "floppy" or innacurate ie the speaker doesn't respond to the transients well (at least, that's how i interepret floppy) then any amount of EQ isn't going to help. You're trying to correct a time domain problem in the frequency domain, which Ethan or any other acoustician will tell you doesn't work.

In all the studios for the company I work for, apart from tuned crossovers, there's NO EQing on the monitors - and they've been setup by a well known studio acoustician, and are reportedly some of the best sounding rooms in london. It's not always necessary.
What I mean by floppy is a voicing issue, not a physical sound. Mackie 824s have a large upper bass/low mid resonance that is not caused by room acoustics or time problems. I am well schooled in those disciplines and can empirically test for them. I do eq and time correction for other studios with inaccurate monitors (especially the big client pleasers!!). It is wonderful that you work for a company that has the deep pockets for rooms that are actually acoustically engineered and monitors that are basically equalized and corrected from the crossover(that's what is really happening). Many of us however have to buy monitors "off the the shelf" and work in rooms that were constructed before the acoustics were considered and don't have a fortune to work with. These are situations where eq is a necessity, and can be very effective. Those of us with the proper software and FFT/Spectrum analysis chops, can be extremely effective in this regard (and cost effective). Of course whatever room treatment that can be afforded gets you even closer to start with! Cheers
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #21
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
If a speaker's LF response is "floppy" or innacurate ie the speaker doesn't respond to the transients well (at least, that's how i interepret floppy) then any amount of EQ isn't going to help. You're trying to correct a time domain problem in the frequency domain, which Ethan or any other acoustician will tell you doesn't work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblotted View Post
the 824's sound real floppy without any room treatment, due to oversized bass response compared to other monitors with same dimensions. this could likely be the reason why ppl hate 824's... cuz often they hear it in an untreated room.
Both of the above quotes are right on the money. Mackie 824s are not "floppy" - they are very tight and have very low LF distortion. It's the room that's floppy, but lesser speakers don't go low enough to reveal the room problem.

--Ethan
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #22
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peeder's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Both of the above quotes are right on the money. Mackie 824s are not "floppy" - they are very tight and have very low LF distortion. It's the room that's floppy, but lesser speakers don't go low enough to reveal the room problem.
I disagree...a careful test will reveal that "floppy" is an outstanding description for the low-end of the HR824s.

No, really. They sound floppy down there. In any room. I've used them for 10 years. And I have a pair of ultra-tight S3A's to compare them with. In a treated room.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #23
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u b k's Avatar
 

my impression of the 824's is that the low end in particular is extremely fickle when it comes to room and placement, but even at they're best they need to be learned because their voicing is not, at least to my ears, accurate. they're also sluggish on the transients, so that the finer nuances of compression just aren't audible.

mostly, though, they simply lack a lot of the more subtle information in between and around sounds that makes for a deep, detailed picture of the soundscape. fine front-to-back adjustments, reverb info, miiniscule eq adjustments... these things are masked. there's certainly enough there to work with and build good mixes with, but they are nowhere near as quick or effortless as the big boys on the scene, and the level of fine tuning i'v become accustomed to simply isn't available.

all imho.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 2nd January 2008 | Show parent
  #24
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bitman's Avatar
When I got my 824s. I thought OK now, this is gonna be cool.
I put up a CD that always sounded like a sweet bass orgasm on "stereo" speakers and in cars but all that bottom was not there with the 824s ! I have to mix "bass shy" now or I'm always way too hot in the bottom end just like when I had my Audix 1As with a 5" woof.

Is this normal? I got them off eBay.
Old 3rd January 2008 | Show parent
  #25
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Astrain's Avatar
I have a small-medium room full of bass traps , floated floor, diffusers...and in my years using makies i didnt liked the way my mixes translated, I always had to compensate mainly in the low freq, so I sold them, now in the same room I have A7s and sub8 and there is no comparison, mixes translate way better.

I heard focals are great, I whant a pair of those for my other room.
Old 3rd January 2008 | Show parent
  #26
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KFMG's Avatar
 

+1 for the ADAM A7s. "Maybe" Mackies as B monitors.
Old 3rd January 2008 | Show parent
  #27
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luctellier's Avatar
I mix on Mackie HR824 (I also have a pair of NS10) and I'm always struggling getting the low-end right. I tried everything even getting a really good sub and highpassed the Mackie at 80hz. My room has been treated and no matter how or where I place my monitors, I always have a problem with the low end.

I recently noticed that I have a 80hz resonnance when I hit the floor with my feet. I'm sure this doesn't help and I will hire an acoustician to fix it ASAP. I don't know if the monitor stands can accentuate this problem, maybe Ethan Winer could answer this?

My friend is also working on Mackie HR824 and everytime I mixed in his room, everything was fine. He also never complained about the Mackies. I'm almost sure that my problem is my room.
Old 3rd January 2008 | Show parent
  #28
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I treated my room by turning off my Mackies. My mixes sound much better now.
Old 3rd January 2008 | Show parent
  #29
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protools Guy View Post

I think I've gotten to the point where I've "learned" my monitors.

HTH...
best statement in this thread.
Old 3rd January 2008 | Show parent
  #30
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So I guess the general consensus is that in a perfect room the Mackie's are acceptable.

Seems to me if you had the cash to build a perfect room you'd have better monitors anyway.
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