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dual monitors or one 32" TV - pro's cons

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by audiokid, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    More screen, more screen, erk, my eyes aren't what they used to be. Anyone here using dual monitors, or do they prefer a larger flat screen for their DAW setup?

    I have a dual card and am now wondering if I should get the second 22" or just buy a 32" TV.

    What are the pro's and cons as well?
    I'm also thinking a bigger tv may be less sound deflection if it is set further back from the speaker monitors. Two screens may need to still be close so I can read the fonts etc.
  2. natural

    natural Active Member

    Well, 2 monitors gives you more width and less height.
    I kinda like that better.
    I usually have 1 monitor with all the drives and menus for displaying plugins or background programs like toast.
    The other monitor is for the DAW.
    Moving windows around on 1 screen doesn't bother the stuff on the other screen.
    You can position the more important monitor closer to you.
    The other one can be further or if on occasion not needed can be shut down, which will cut down on the heat generated.
    I find a single large monitor bulky and too tall for my purposes.
  3. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    I got a big flatscreen a year or so ago and thought, great, now I can hook up my laptop to it and have a massive workspace. Nope. Just because the screen is huge doesn't mean the resolution is equally huge. Maybe they make TV's designed for this with very high resolutions possible, but mine sure didn't - it wasn't even as high as the top resolution on my laptop. So sure, everything was a lot bigger than on the laptop screen, but there wasn't more space available to see more tracks or have lots of tracks and plugins open at the same time. And it looked terrible and fuzzy at that size to boot. Just something to watch out for - if you get a 32" screen, be sure that it supports high enough resolution for your needs (and that your video card does too).
  4. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I've been running 2 screens in much the same way as natural for awhile now. When the 2nd works - issues w/ the video card. :(

    Anyways, I really like the option of splitting the screen up.
    I use Cubase, and have the tracks and mixer on the left screen, all the plugs and such on the right, when mixing.
    When tracking, I leave the tracks on the left and put the mixer on the right, so I can use the expandable version w/ EQs and input assign.

    When you're running 16+ channels/tracks, it's nice to be able to see w/ the eye what kind of waveform you're getting, what the input level is, and how/when a compressor is responding - all at the same time and w/ a quick glance. I know, my ear should be the final judge - but it's beneficial to be able to see what channel has the problem when I hear one, quickly.

    My .02
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dual screens here - I don't do studio work but I prefer this setup. 19" + 19" both at 1280x1024.

    I can maximise an app and still see my IRC/MSN windows.

    Kristal runs short of space when you have more than 2 tracks. You can shrink windows and scroll around in them, or hide plugins and focus on setting 1 at a time, but I prefer to have it all available (like an analog console => instant access to auxes).

    Screenshot of a few plugin windows open on 1 screen.
    Screenshot of most of the plugin windows open across 2 screens.
    Both the same 4-track project, I shrunk them to make it easier to see the clutter.

    PS: Cons of dual screen:
    Maximised video/games is only as large as your first monitor.
    More desk space needed, also - 2 power cables, 2 video cables...
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I would most definitely go for larger than a 32 inch screen. And you want one that has real computer DVI/VGA and/or RGB inputs. You don't want to look at this with composite or even Svideo. So you need a computer monitor around 46 inches that also accommodates composite & S video. Not the other way around. And for heaven's sakes, stay away from Plasma monitors as they burn in terribly. Regardless of size, you will be restricted by your internal video cards capabilities.

    Why haven't you considered a projector? They are typically designed for computer displays. And of course they take regular composite & S video inputs as well. Then your screen can be the size of your entire wall. I'm not wild about using a pair of monitors side-by-side. Give me one big gigantic.... I'm sorry this is getting too graphic.

    Wink wink
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    I like multiple screens and always have
    go way back to 9600 mac and earlier
    but it was there on a Mix+ that I got the addiction and could never go single screen ever again
    one of those screens turns out to be 32 inch
    then so be it

    may be out of date these days but
    TripleHead2go from Matrox and an FCP system was a very sweet editor for video
    luv to use one on a PT system
  8. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    i use two monitors, too. one 15" of my macbook and a 20". i like having the arrangement window of logic on the bigger and the mixer and plugins on the smaller screen.

    but if you go the single screen way, then take at least a 42" screen with full hd resolution (1920 x 1080 px) and a vga input. I have mine hooked to a mac mini, which i use as a vcr and the picture quality is great. but like apstrong already said, the objects are bigger than on a usual computer monitor, because the pixels of the flatscreen are bigger.
  9. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    I have been working with one 19" LCD hooked to Pro Tools HD Accel and another one which is 17"LCD connected to a Mix Plus TDM.

    I am seriously considering picking a 46" Full HD from Sharp-LG or Samsung.

    You have to do lot of tweaking to have a nice top quality image. Be sure to use an HDMI input.
  10. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member


    You have to be careful with the distance between the LCD panel and you.

    Regarding a hometheater, it is said one should be at least 1.32 meters from a 32" screen and 2.5 meters from a 46" LCD.
  11. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    I have two 17" LCDs on a GForce 6200. Now that one of them has given the ghost and my eyesight is somewhat less than it used to be when I bought those I am also rethinking the LCD-monitors.

    One thing is for sure: I need a higher dotpitch It would ideally be a 1920x1200 pixels, not 1080 screen with a 0.294mm dotpitch (like a 19" LCD and me putting on my reading glasses still. I will still have the extra 17" on the side just in case I need the real estate.
  12. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    I'm running 3 monitors... a 32" for my HD3 (Quad Intel) waveforms and mix console, with a 22" for the OS/plugin/aux window.

    The "beater" box (dual G5) has a 22" on the opposite side that I use for email, ftp, skype, etc.

    So, it's Speaker, 22", 32", 22" Speaker, across the front... symmetry, and all that....
  13. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member


    Mad Max, I have a similar approach of yours.
    Would you mind showing us a link/pic of your sweet spot/environment?

    Thanks for the inputs!
  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Here, we're running the best of all worlds.
    For regular editing and post-production, I'm using 2 17" LCDs.
    I also have a 93" Front Projection system (incorporated into my Home Theater) that runs 1080P so you get a full resolution monitor. Since my video card can output 2 VGA and 1 HDMI at the same time, I can maximize this anyway I want.

    In cases where I'm editing large videos, I can run the preview of the video on the TV screen and the NLVE on the other screens.

    For audio editing, I'm almost exclusively using the dual monitors though.

    One note regarding the large screen -
    Given the size of a larger screen, you automatically need it to be at a certain distance. When using this as your primary video display, you'll find many plug-in GUIs that are simply too small when displayed at small resolution from halfway across the room.

  15. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member


    show off

  16. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    With that many inches...it's hard to be humble. ;-)
  17. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member


    It'll take a coupla' more weeks to get to that point in the build, but yeah, I'll definitely post back with pix.

    My temp set up in the basement only let me squeeze the 2nd 22" in on a temp basis. It was a tad too narrow to leave it in position, but since it was a dry fit for testing, it was good enough for that.

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