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Bob Katz FAQs: Nearfield not useful for mixing Studio Monitors
Old 22nd December 2010
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil456 View Post
funny thing is, he doesn't appear to have very many (that I can find) Mixing Credits... plenty of Mastering credits... and of those I don't really recognize many of those artists.

If anyone could tell me who "big" artists are on that list, I'd love to look up sales.

So it seems a bit odd that a guy who doesn't seem to do a lot of mixing also has such strong opinions about it.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #62
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark D. View Post
We'd want to address all fidelities. You don't want to overlook details that could be heard in even
limited, higher quality, play-back environments.
Right!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark D. View Post
Criticism of albums in industry publications are usually by folks with great playback
systems.
and usually very conservative type. and most of them tired. and a vast majority with old biases. and very few not interested in money. just assuming, you know...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark D. View Post
There's no reason what sounds great in those can't sound great in the inferior systems.
maybe there is: $.
Best example: loudness war.
what sounds good on high end, sounds good in "mass media". viceversa not true. lot of times.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #63
Lives for gear
 
Zep Dude's Avatar
 

Mixing nearfield is like mixing with a microscope. It gives you a look into the music that's almost like headphones. Hearing the detail with nearfields is helpful for EQing, hearing the fine details of compression etc. It puts you very much inside the music in a way that is not necessarily natural, but still useful for getting the job done.

At some point I do like to roll my chair back and hear how my work sounds in a position where things are gelling with the room. It's like a sculptor walking a few feet back after chiseling for a while to see the larger picture of how his work is coming together. From a distance he can see the impact of his work, but from there he might not be able to make the fine decisions of exactly where to cut the stone to get the desired effect.

For a while I tried mixing with mid/far mastering monitors. I picked up some Dunlavy SCV's which are considered some of the best speakers ever made. They are 6' tall and weigh about 300lbs each and are used in mastering rooms. I decided that I should hear things the way the mastering engineer would and that would give me better mixes.

The problem, I learned, is that mastering is all about "big picture" which is what mid/far field gives you. Forest from the trees kind of stuff. However, for mixing, you do need to see the trees from the forest for a certain amount of the time.

So for a while I then had both nearfields and the Dunlavy's in the room. Long story short, my mixes translated better when using nearfields (Adam or even Genelecs) than when using the Dunlavy's.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #64
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lives For Fuzz View Post
funny thing is, he doesn't appear to have very many (that I can find) Mixing Credits... plenty of Mastering credits... and of those I don't really recognize many of those artists.

If anyone could tell me who "big" artists are on that list, I'd love to look up sales.

So it seems a bit odd that a guy who doesn't seem to do a lot of mixing also has such strong opinions about it.
I think anyone that is going to criticize should post a link to their credits first.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil456 View Post
I think anyone that is going to criticize should post a link to their credits first.
By that logic anyone that agrees with someone should post their credits otherwise their opinion is no more valid than the guy that disagrees.

Or we could just have a conversation.

Anyway, yeah Bob doesn't like nearfields. I do like them. NS-10s in particular as it goes, but I'm just some hack with no-name credits too.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #66
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil456 View Post
I think anyone that is going to criticize should post a link to their credits first.
seriously? just sayin' for a guy who doesn't do a lot of mixing he has awfully strong opinions on what other people should do - just seems goofy to me.

I'd be more likely to take Mixing suggestions from these guys (and I do):

Serban Ghenea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mark Howard (producer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Old 23rd December 2010
  #67
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lives For Fuzz View Post
seriously? just sayin' for a guy who doesn't do a lot of mixing he has awfully strong opinions on what other people should do - just seems goofy to me.

I'd be more likely to take Mixing suggestions from these guys (and I do):

Serban Ghenea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mark Howard (producer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bob is a very active participant in the engineering/mastering world. I attended an AES discussion where he presented what he hoped would be a standardization of levels for mastering. I was impressed with what he had to say. He has written many papers and participates actively on discussion forums and we're lucky to have people so proactive who are always trying to improve the world of audio.

I don't agree with everything he says, but I applaud his efforts, his knowledge, and he certainly is someone worthy of our respect.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #68
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Can someone explain to me why nearfield monitors should have problems with dynamics? I don't see the point. What is the technical reason for this? "Bad dynamics" but also "exaggerating transients" sounds like a contradiction. What is true about nearfield dynamics? Aren't modern nearfields good enough and this applies to some old systems only? I don't have mains, so no experience.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #69
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lives For Fuzz View Post
seriously? just sayin' for a guy who doesn't do a lot of mixing he has awfully strong opinions on what other people should do - just seems goofy to me.
Then ignore him, I am sure it wont hurt him a bit.

If you have a different opinion about nearfields that fine, IMHO thats what GS is for and I want to hear your opinion. That's completely different than indicating that Bob Katz or any professional is not qualified to have an opinion for some reason. To do that you need some serious credibility.

So you don't agree that he should have the freedom to express his opinion regardless of his experience? Just sayin' that seems a bit one sided to me and it does not seem to foster a free and open environment for sharing ideas.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
I don't agree with everything he says, but I applaud his efforts, his knowledge, and he certainly is someone worthy of our respect.
no disrespect intended, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I just find it odd that a person who doesn't actually do a lot of mixing has such strong opinions on how others should do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil456 View Post
That's completely different than indicating that Bob Katz or any professional is not qualified to have an opinion for some reason. To do that you need some serious credibility.
I'm just making an observation, it's not a judgment.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #71
Gear Nut
 
Madestew's Avatar
 

I disagree with Bob on some things. But this one I actually agree with...

For anyone to say that mixing on nearfeilds has been a seamless thing is complete balls. Just the fact that you have to "learn" the system, tells you that we have to make adjustments. You didn't have to learn to hear, or fall, or crap your diapers...those are natural things. And he's just saying that listening to speakers that close is not the most natural thing.

Personally I have tried and used almost every range of monitors, and I had my favorite. But without a doubt my mixes are translating much easier now than ever before. What am I using...? Good headphones. And I don't think I'm ever going back. I have monitors to excite the clients now...that's it.

Throwing a baseball isnt a natural thing either..but some people get by pretty ok doing it. YMMV
Old 23rd December 2010
  #72
Gear Head
 

once again, IMO, what Barefoot said is what Zep stating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
Mixing nearfield is like mixing with a microscope. It gives you a look into the music that's almost like headphones. Hearing the detail with nearfields is helpful for EQing, hearing the fine details of compression etc. It puts you very much inside the music in a way that is not necessarily natural, but still useful for getting the job done.

At some point I do like to roll my chair back and hear how my work sounds in a position where things are gelling with the room. It's like a sculptor walking a few feet back after chiseling for a while to see the larger picture of how his work is coming together. From a distance he can see the impact of his work, but from there he might not be able to make the fine decisions of exactly where to cut the stone to get the desired effect.

The problem, I learned, is that mastering is all about "big picture" which is what mid/far field gives you. Forest from the trees kind of stuff. However, for mixing, you do need to see the trees from the forest for a certain amount of the time.
this is just his POV. and mine too.
nearfield=microscope is an old and good comparison.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #73
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madestew View Post
I disagree with Bob on some things. But this one I actually agree with...

For anyone to say that mixing on nearfeilds has been a seamless thing is complete balls. Just the fact that you have to "learn" the system, tells you that we have to make adjustments. You didn't have to learn to hear, or fall, or crap your diapers...those are natural things. And he's just saying that listening to speakers that close is not the most natural thing.

Personally I have tried and used almost every range of monitors, and I had my favorite. But without a doubt my mixes are translating much easier now than ever before. What am I using...? Good headphones. And I don't think I'm ever going back. I have monitors to excite the clients now...that's it.

Throwing a baseball isnt a natural thing either..but some people get by pretty ok doing it. YMMV
With many headphones I find that it's like listening through a multiband compressor. No way I could work with them without final correction on my bm6a
Old 23rd December 2010
  #74
Lives for gear
 
Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

we agree to disagree sometimes, which is normal
but i really disagree to question the credibility of Mr. Katz
Old 23rd December 2010
  #75
Lives for gear
 
Eganmedia's Avatar
I used nearfileds all the time in my last studio. The control room sucked. My currrent room sounds great, and I use soffit mounted mains exclusively (with a cheap boombox for occasional quick reference). They work for me. I firmly believe that any reasonably flat speaker in a reasonably flat room can be learned and used effectively. If that wasn't the case, people wouldn't be mixing great sounding records under those conditions.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #76
Lives for gear
 
Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
Mixing nearfield is like mixing with a microscope. It gives you a look into the music that's almost like headphones. Hearing the detail with nearfields is helpful for EQing, hearing the fine details of compression etc. It puts you very much inside the music in a way that is not necessarily natural, but still useful for getting the job done.

At some point I do like to roll my chair back and hear how my work sounds in a position where things are gelling with the room. It's like a sculptor walking a few feet back after chiseling for a while to see the larger picture of how his work is coming together. From a distance he can see the impact of his work, but from there he might not be able to make the fine decisions of exactly where to cut the stone to get the desired effect.

For a while I tried mixing with mid/far mastering monitors. I picked up some Dunlavy SCV's which are considered some of the best speakers ever made. They are 6' tall and weigh about 300lbs each and are used in mastering rooms. I decided that I should hear things the way the mastering engineer would and that would give me better mixes.

The problem, I learned, is that mastering is all about "big picture" which is what mid/far field gives you. Forest from the trees kind of stuff. However, for mixing, you do need to see the trees from the forest for a certain amount of the time.

So for a while I then had both nearfields and the Dunlavy's in the room. Long story short, my mixes translated better when using nearfields (Adam or even Genelecs) than when using the Dunlavy's.
fantastic post!
That´s it!

Thanks!
Old 23rd December 2010
  #77
Lives for gear
 
janjaal's Avatar
Bob iz an idiot and what i know about him is that he has a mastering book written... pfff
bruce swedien is an idiot and what i know about him is that uad used him for harisson eq or something?... pfff
cla is an idiot and what i know about him is that he complained in a video not to crack waves... pfff
who else???
oh surely phillysulman and felther on this forum are idiots too.. and what i know about them is that they are on this forum... pfff

in conclusion, I AM THE SHIEEEEEEEEET why?
cuz i don't use near and mid field monitors, not even headphones or loud spearks...
i meter the signal and use my EYES to mix... how about that???
Old 23rd December 2010
  #78
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janjaal's Avatar
and everyonen got their personal opinion no? heh
Old 23rd December 2010
  #79
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limey222's Avatar
 

Nearfields/mid-fields

By moving them back so they are 2 feet behind our console are you not concerned about reflections from the back of the console?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying_Dutchman View Post
yes, the highs are a little less, but the main advantage are the mids for me
if i sit closer to the speakers, i can hear frequency problems better
i think i´ll get a mono auratone in the middle on the desk and use the adams for the general mix + headphones for cleaning tracks / noise issues and so on...
i´m really very happy that i tried it (the moving of the speakers) and it really improved my sitution. my room is treated, but the distance really did it.
before i placed my speakers like it was recommanded in the books, but i dont think that this theory is the best for me anymore.
the coolest thing is that it is for free. just move your chair for- and backwards, close your eyes and listen to some tracks you know well, the difference 1 feet can make is huge imo
peace
Old 23rd December 2010
  #80
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

What I have the most difficulty understanding in the nearfield are transients; when I'm primarily hearing direct sound from monitors that are close, something about the transient hasn't had time to bloom and it's not quite in the right proportion. Sliding back to a midfield position gives me a much better sense of how things are actually hitting.

Not sure why that is, but I'm sure there's an explanation.

I do actually prefer mixing in the midfield, but it requires two things: a really tight room (no wonky rt60's), and distortion-free monitoring... because I likes it loud.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 23rd December 2010
  #81
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by limey222 View Post
By moving them back so they are 2 feet behind our console are you not concerned about reflections from the back of the console?
Interesting question, but i didn´t notice any problem
higher frequency = higher directionality, maybe bacause of this? i really don´t know
i really noticed that i get the big picture much faster and this is just great, i´m really happy and i´m also kind of angry because i was so stupid and did realize this after all these years have passed, but well, better now than never
the most studios i worked at got farfields (westlakes most time) and near fields (K+H, adams, genelcs, dynaudios)
i never (!) was at a studio with midfields, i maybe worked at 20 studios and do this since 10 years or more...
maybe this is insane, but i will build a kind of railroad system for my speakers, with 2 positions, optimal near and mid position, with a motor, no kidding
Old 23rd December 2010
  #82
If you really listen and A/B with reference tracks, the advantages/disadvantages of each mixing position should be almost non-existant. Yes, there will still be differences but if you know how to listen you can usually overcome those, unless the speakers or the room have serious issues.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #83
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaTr1x2051 View Post
If you really listen and A/B with reference tracks, the advantages/disadvantages of each mixing position should be almost non-existant. Yes, there will still be differences but if you know how to listen you can usually overcome those, unless the speakers or the room have serious issues.
i don´t think i can easily overcome this
if i have to understand the speaker system that doesn´t show me how it should be, i´m always in an inner struggle, that kills everything
i can put my reference tracks, no problem, but i´m not feeling familiar
than i got to understand how it should sound on the speakers that are strange, i don´t think that this is possible to get great results easily
i don´t doubt that you are able to do this, all the best
to me it´s impossible
Old 23rd December 2010
  #84
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lives For Fuzz View Post
seriously? just sayin' for a guy who doesn't do a lot of mixing he has awfully strong opinions on what other people should do - just seems goofy to me.

I'd be more likely to take Mixing suggestions from these guys (and I do):

Serban Ghenea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mark Howard (producer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bob works in audiophile territory - sales aren't everything. He's a leading quality expert and that's that.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #85
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Gearhero's Avatar
 

Yeah whatever Bob. It's becoming clear that mastering is no longer useful for music.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #86
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Madestew's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeProducer View Post
With many headphones I find that it's like listening through a multiband compressor. No way I could work with them without final correction on my bm6a
I've had bm6a's, and just about every other range of monitors. I mean I've been doing this for years...But the work I'm doing right now is a one shot translation. There is no going back...there is no the bass isn't there, or too loud etc. And yes my room is properly tuned etc. I'm getting outstanding results with my akg 240's. All headphones are not created equal. The 240's are flat. I can hear changes at a tenth of a decibel. Not so with nearfields.

I do a lot of mixing and mastering work. Recently I sent a mix to a well known mastering facility. They have barefoot monitors...

What they sent back was pedestrian. I sent them back my version of the same song...it was a huge difference. Now part of that is the guy sitting in the chair, but if you're using $8000 monitors, you SHOULD be able to hear things you can't hear on $100 headphones...

Not so in this case...Do what works for you.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #87
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Chris Parsons's Avatar
 

This just shows that even top-end professionals can say dumb things every once in a while. It means they're human so let's move on.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Parsons View Post
This just shows that even top-end professionals can say dumb things every once in a while. It means they're human so let's move on.
Exactly. I've hired A List mixers, working in the best rooms, with the best gear and rejected their mixes - should I never hire A List mixers or conclude that high end, A List, perfectly tuned rooms designed specifically for mixing are not effective? and no, they were not mixing on near fields...
Old 23rd December 2010
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
What I have the most difficulty understanding in the nearfield are transients; when I'm primarily hearing direct sound from monitors that are close, something about the transient hasn't had time to bloom and it's not quite in the right proportion. Sliding back to a midfield position gives me a much better sense of how things are actually hitting.

Not sure why that is, but I'm sure there's an explanation.

I do actually prefer mixing in the midfield, but it requires two things: a really tight room (no wonky rt60's), and distortion-free monitoring... because I likes it loud.


Gregory Scott - ubk

totally agree!
Old 24th December 2010
  #90
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

if CLA would give a statemant like this, would there be more people moving their speakers?
hell, there would be a plugin ^^
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