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Bob Katz FAQs: Nearfield not useful for mixing Studio Monitors
Old 3rd January 2011
  #121
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Originally Posted by Mixerman View Post
plus one
Old 3rd January 2011
  #122
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Originally Posted by Hornblower64 View Post
I think what Mr. Katz is observing are some shortcomings with nearfield monitoring. Sound traveling through a body of air in a real space, as with more distant monitoring (and live acoustic music) has many functions (effects) applied: Amplitude domain (compression), frequency domain (tonal balance changes), and time domain (ambiance or reverberation). If one wishes for ones recordings to sound natural played back in a normal room, then nearfields and headphones will not give accurate information. That many can create good recordings using nearfields is more a testimony to their ability to imagine how something will sound in other settings, than that they are getting accurate information from their monitors. Also, a sound source being near consoles, tables, and desks plays havoc with acoustics, and often creates more problems than are solved by using nearfields to reduce the influence of the room.
this is how i think about it as well sort of , the effect of large systems is simple , the bigger you go(in a big room) the larger the magnifying glass (or window) gets ,enabeling you to accuratly judge whats happening, especially when they are flush mounted , nobody denies that you cant get good results from nearfields, a skilled engineer can simply do better on larger systems if he would learn to work on them, wether it's financial not within reach or lack of enough room is not the issue.
Old 5th January 2011
  #123
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Originally Posted by Hornblower64 View Post
That many can create good recordings using nearfields is more a testimony to their ability to imagine how something will sound in other settings, than that they are getting accurate information from their monitors.
Yeah I spent so much time imagining how it would sound on a normal hifi filling up a room that I just rigged up a hifi as my alt speaker which plays out into the listening room adjacent to the mix room. Cool beans.
Old 5th January 2011
  #124
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far fields are different imo
to me they the show the disco situation
the midfields cant for me, they are like nearflieds, but less focussed, but i can better understand the overall picture
nearfields are great and there are many people who love mixing with them, no offence off course , all the best
i didn´t receive the rubber yet, so i switched to cans (replacing the nearfields) for the record i do atm
well, it´s good for this critical decissions for me and i think i could live with it
maybe you´ll laugh, but the midfield thing is new to me and i still think it´s one of the best things i ever learned
btw, i made this decision 2 weeks before this thread appeared (not that i´m more than clever)
peace ^^
Old 5th January 2011
  #125
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I may be crazy but these days I find myself working with 50 $ computer speakers and the nice pricey monitors havent been turned on in ages. I also do all my listening backed off and off to the side. Hardly ever right in front
Old 7th January 2011
  #126
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Originally Posted by JCRockit View Post
I may be crazy but these days I find myself working with 50 $ computer speakers and the nice pricey monitors havent been turned on in ages. I also do all my listening backed off and off to the side. Hardly ever right in front
LOL ! Now we only needed that ...
Old 7th January 2011
  #127
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Keep in mind, a proper far field experience can only be done in a really professionally treated room. I don't think there are many of us here who have that luxury... or am I wrong?
Old 7th January 2011
  #128
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Bob Katz FAQs: Nearfield not useful for mixing

I just put my nearfields on the ground, facing down, and monitor from a different room with my ear to the floor.
Old 7th January 2011
  #129
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Originally Posted by Ernest Buckley View Post
I haven`t sold a million records...
Just to put into perspective... neither has Bob. Not that it matters anyway...

Bob Katz | AllMusic
Old 7th January 2011
  #130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mixerman View Post


One day, Bob Katz and I will agree about something. That day is not today. Some of my best mixes have been done on nearfields, and nearfields only.

Enjoy,

Mixerman
Exactly. "The proof is in the pudding" so to speak. There many other factors that Bob is neglecting/overlooking that make near fields suitable for monitoring when mixing AND mastering.
Old 7th January 2011
  #131
Quote:
Originally Posted by rashman View Post
Keep in mind, a proper far field experience can only be done in a really professionally treated room. I don't think there are many of us here who have that luxury... or am I wrong?
nope, you are not wrong at all, and it is one of the factors Bob is neglecting to look at in his article. Mid and far fields are pretty much unusable in an untreated room
Old 7th January 2011
  #132
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
It strikes me that these are musings of a professional engineer that works at high end studios and can afford such luxuries, for the sake of others who are in a similar situation and who want to move out of their own comfort zone and improve.

I suspect the majority of responders who are upset by what he's saying are perhaps not really his target audience anyway, they couldn't do this if they wanted to. It's a hi-fi discussion.
Off the top of my head, three mastering engineers that have and use near fields as part of their setups:

Brian Gardener:
Brian Gardner

Bob Vosgien:
Capitol Studios & Mastering

Steve Marcussen:
Marcussen Mastering - Home
Old 7th January 2011
  #133
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Originally Posted by purple vista View Post

I swear, that some of the best mixes I had done early on were because I was literally mixing and monitoring on the same stereo system I listened to 100% of my recreational listening on - I had a level of intimacy about translation that was very deep.
thats how it should be done, you learned your monitoring setup for that room so when it came time to mix your stuff you knew to keep going if it wasn't sounding correct (like all those references you listened to) or when to stop because it was sounding good.

friends of mine would ask me to stop by and listen to the mix they were working on and i would tell them no because it was a waste of time ... since im not in my room on the monitoring setup i listen to everyday i would have no reference of how things were sounding. having them send me the mix to listen to in my room was the way i could really judge how their mix sounded because i had a reference of how all the other projects i work on sound in my room.

if you bounce around mixing in different places the very first thing you should be doing is listening to some cd references (the same ones you listen to all the time at your usually place) in that room for a little while to see how things translate before your start any mixing.

louie
Old 7th January 2011
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Off the top of my head, three mastering engineers that have and use near fields as part of their setups:


Steve Marcussen:
Marcussen Mastering - Home
nope not for a while now but he did for many many years.
Old 7th January 2011
  #135
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Originally Posted by mrlouie View Post
nope not for a while now but he did for many many years.
Really? Last time I was there (which I admit was a few years ago) he had them up and was switching between them and the mains. What about you Louie, do you use them in your room?

Oh well, I know Bob still uses them, he just mastered some stuff for me. I haven't been to Brian's in a few years but last time I was there he had them up and was using them.
Old 15th January 2011
  #136
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Since the start of this thread I have coincidentally moved my listening position to mid field (5+ feet) from nearfield. Long story short, we recently moved the rear wall back a foot for better bass response, which worked, and with the new acoustics I found a nice spot further back from the front wall.

Rather than move the speakers back with me to nearfield I left them where they had been and spread them further apart.

Having tried mixing from far field and nearfield (which is always the safe solution) I'm enjoying the mid field. I will call this the Hannah Montana position because I think it may be the best of both worlds.

It's nice to enjoy my S3A's from a position that allows them to bloom. I realized that from this position, combined with a sub, they really sound like audiophile speakers. From this position I hear things a little less analytically, but I can hear more clearly the impact of the whole mix. I successfully completed a project from this position so I was visiting mixes that had already been put together in the nearfield, but I did not find any problems when listening to individual tracks to tweak EQ, compression ect.

For now I am enjoying my new Hannah Montana position. We'll see how it bears out over the next few projects.
Old 26th January 2011
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
nope, you are not wrong at all, and it is one of the factors Bob is neglecting to look at in his article. Mid and far fields are pretty much unusable in an untreated room
OK if you don´t know who this is, don´t worry but i will say his mixes are very VERY good.. just listen to a bit of shpongled and you will get the point..

NOTE what he says about the room at the start.. therefore amazing mixes can be done in normal rooms. SIMON SAYS!
YouTube - Simon Posford Interview in the Studio // Hallucinogen Part 1
Old 26th January 2011
  #138
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utter rubbish

Lots of assumptions going on with that short article. My favorite is, "that will translate to home systems." Hey Bob, you ever hear of ipod earbuds? That's the home system of today for 99% of the music buying public. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE his book, but it's about knowing your equipment well that will get you good sounding mixes.
Old 26th January 2011
  #139
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I agree With Mr. Katz 100%. Although I'm not sure if my reaons are the same as his. Let me explain and give one example(many more may come :

Nearfields are great for first mixes, but you need to compare your mixes on a good farfield system as you go along. Nearfields are usually 3-4 feet apart and to'ed-in towards the listener. If you panned two instruments, for example, one at 50% right, and the other at 80% right on your nearfields and love the results, you will find that listening to your track on a farfield will sound odd. If your farfields are 10 feet apart, then your first track at 50% right will be 2.5 feet away from the middle. Your second track will be at 4 feet. This is a huge difference as you will hear/see a ''hole'' between the two instruments which was not apparent on the nearfields.
Yes, many kids today listen to music on ipods. Does that mean we need to mix with $20 earbuds? Of course not.

The same goes for the mastering stage - if not more so...
Old 26th January 2011
  #140
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of course

Well of course you need to check your mix on different systems - that goes without saying (at least I thought it did). Again, if you know your system well, it translates well. Nearfields can work just fine.
Old 27th January 2011
  #141
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In the old days studio monitors were soffit mounted full range speakers in a room without coloration.

Not everyone had these in their listening enviroment.

A mix would be checked on a set of bookshelf speakers that most people listened on and adjusted the mix on them without wrecking it.

Later on an old clock radio 2"speaker did the trick.

Nowadays earbuds are the listening enviroment.

Yes, a mix needs to be checked on them. You wouldn't mix on them so why mix on the bookshelf speakers?

But one day someone checking out a studio will see the mix engineer checking the mix on a set of quality earbuds and the next thing you know
they become the standard to mix on.
Old 27th January 2011
  #142
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In mixing it's most important the mids are in balance. You can easy hear that on a near field system. However checking mixes on mid fields or mains is important to check if your lows are okay. I do not agree with Bob this time.
Old 27th January 2011
  #143
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrintact View Post
OK if you don´t know who this is, don´t worry but i will say his mixes are very VERY good.. just listen to a bit of shpongled and you will get the point..

NOTE what he says about the room at the start.. therefore amazing mixes can be done in normal rooms. SIMON SAYS!
YouTube - Simon Posford Interview in the Studio // Hallucinogen Part 1
LOL... and at 6:03 you see him at his mixing console with NEAR FIELD monitors a couple feet from him! Simultaneously disproving Bob and reinforcing what I've already said LOL
Old 27th January 2011
  #144
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Probably a bad time to mention the fact that a top mix engineer I've assisted - who's definitely sold over 10 million records - nowadays spends the first 95% of the day mixing through his Macbook Pro speakers and a ****ty pair of tiny Bose computer speakers at ridiculously low volume, and only then switches to the 10s to check a few things before printing. Then he'll play it out on the mains, but usually only after the final print and kinda just for fun. It's completely mind-blowing to watch. Oh and most of the mix is ITB too. Just sayin'
Old 27th January 2011
  #145
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Hornblower64
'' I think what Mr. Katz is observing are some shortcomings with nearfield monitoring. Sound traveling through a body of air in a real space, as with more distant monitoring (and live acoustic music) has many functions (effects) applied: Amplitude domain (compression), frequency domain (tonal balance changes), and time domain (ambiance or reverberation). If one wishes for ones recordings to sound natural played back in a normal room, then nearfields and headphones will not give accurate information. That many can create good recordings using nearfields is more a testimony to their ability to imagine how something will sound in other settings, than that they are getting accurate information from their monitors. Also, a sound source being near consoles, tables, and desks plays havoc with acoustics, and often creates more problems than are solved by using nearfields to reduce the influence of the room.''


Very true, in my opinion.
Old 27th January 2011
  #146
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Nop, it's ridiculus.
Who defines "normal rooms"?
Is he even aware of the consumer i-pod earpudbs?

This man tries so hard to be an authority.
Old 27th January 2011
  #147
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I think Bob has a problem with the placement of his nearfields :D

Or he never listens to music with headphones.

If everything is right about the acoustics, placement (angles, height, direction etc) and monitor choice, there should be no big difference about stereo imaging, frequency response, ambience etc.

I can finish a mix only on the nearfields, but not only on the mains.

And I wouldn't use those genelec's even if they pay me to use them

If everything is done on farfields, I think everybody would learn what "problem" is :D
Old 27th January 2011
  #148
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Originally Posted by Steab View Post
Nop, it's ridiculus.
Who defines "normal rooms"?
Is he even aware of the consumer i-pod earpudbs?

This man tries so hard to be an authority.
He doesn't need to try. He is. He is also very well respected in the industry. He is also known among the audiophile community - a community that we Gearslutz members tend to shun. We can learn a lot from them, and they from us. The chasm was perpetrated by mainly marketing techniques, and marketing techniques want only one thing - your money.
Old 27th January 2011
  #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misja View Post
In mixing it's most important the mids are in balance. You can easy hear that on a near field system. However checking mixes on mid fields or mains is important to check if your lows are okay. I do not agree with Bob this time.
Yep.
Old 27th January 2011
  #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plugin View Post
... audiophile community - a community that we Gearslutz members tend to shun. We can learn a lot from them, and they from us. The chasm was perpetrated by mainly marketing techniques, and marketing techniques want only one thing - your money.
The chasm was perpetrated by mainly by a disrespect for science and engineering and the substitution of magical thinking for logic and reason.

The marketing came later and merely takes advantage of this medieval superstitious mindset. Advertising can't make you stupid. To be moved to purchase these resonators or these pebbles, or the clever little clock you have to already be a fool - no advertising is THAT effective.
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