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Monitor question for Kurt...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Bri, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. Bri

    Bri Active Member

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    By complete accident I came across the infamous Mackie thread. Long story short, I was initially a little uneasy(you know how the brain works...I have the Mackies), but ultimately, it all made sense and I agreed with you completely....I've had the same problems as everyone else. I want to get the most professional and most accurate sound possible, but I'm far from being as experienced as you all, and when I bought the Mackies, I knew even less. I was glad I came across that thread. I have a few questions though. I'm of course looking for some good replacements for the Mackies...trying to stay within the same price range. I was looking at the Dynadudios, the BM6As and the BM15As. I know you would recommend Dynaudio, but I also saw that review over at prorec.com. Since that guy gave similar high praises to both the Mackies and the BM6As, I was worried that the BM6A's were a little "hyped" sounding(something I want no part of) and was curious if you were familiar with them. Also, if one had the money, are the BM15As worth the extra grand or are the BM6As adequate enough for tracking and "mastering?" Lastly, did you ever get to review those Yamaha MSP5s? Your advice is greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Bri,
    Welcome to RO! The review of the Yamaha MSP5's is on its way as we speak. Keep an eye out..

    The only experience I have personally had with Dynaudios were in a studio where they had the big soffit mounted ones and once when an engineer that booked my old studio brought in a pair of the samller ones..the BM6A's I did not hear any sense of them being hyped at all. These are excellent monitors from what I have heard of them.

    If you want to do mastering, you are going to want to get as close to the fullest range speakers you can (the biggest) with extended bass response. You also need to take into consideration if your listening enviornment can handle all the deep low end. If it can then proceed. If you have doubts, you should think about doing something to remedy the listening situation before you stick a set of monitors in there that go to 30 Hz... Kurt
     
  3. Bri

    Bri Active Member

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    Thanks for your quick reply and advice, Kurt. I will keep an eye out for that MSP5 review. ;)
     
  4. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    Hey Bri, I was really really close to buying the mackies after reading the prorec article. Like a week before I was going to bring them home and check them out I read the opinions here and a few other places. After really reading and re-reading what was being said here I changed my mind.

    But, you already have them. If you've adapted to them-- just like you'd have to adapt to what ever monitor you buy (I mean it is like buying an Alembic bass or your first really nice tube amp if you're a guitarist: you still have to learn to use the gear which is very different than playing a cheap solid state amp or a cheaper bass because they respond different)-- then shouldn't you consider sticking with them?

    I mean if you're not getting the results you've hoped for with them in terms of your mixes, then you should switch; but if your working fine with them and you're not like due for an upgrade then why not stick with them?

    For me, I'm stuck with my monitors (Adam p-11's); I mean I'm happy with them, they are my first real monitors so I don't have any frame of reference to judge them with yet, I've only had them like a month, but I can't imagine being able to afford bigger or "better" unless the lottery gods smile fortuitously on me.

    I've got preamps to upgrade, could always use more mics, etc, and acoustic treatments that will make bigger improvements in my monitoring and recordings. I bet most people here could say the same, almost regardless of what their set up is. I'm not trying to talk you out of buying differnent monitors, I just raise these ideas because if you are working well with the Mackies then you should at least consider holding off on switching.

    As many experts here and elsewhere have knocked the Mackies, I don't think many would say dump them if you already own them and can't return them.
     
  5. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

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    Bri,

    I never contribute to threads like this, but I'll make an exception this one time.

    A lot of people like the Mackie 824s a lot, and I'm one of them. They are clean, accurate, and have very low distortion. Pick a brand and model of anything, not just audio gear, and you'll find people who love 'em and people who hate 'em.

    That said, the acoustic quality of your room is at least as important as the speakers you use, and probably even more so.

    --Ethan
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Of course you would say that, seeing as your focus is in acoustics and room treatments :D (good natured rib, not flame). I would say as important, but crap into a "perfect space" would still be crap. Transducers are an equally important part of the equation ...
     
  7. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

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    Kurt,

    > crap into a "perfect space" would still be crap. Transducers are an equally important part of the equation <

    Absolutely. But Mackie 824s are hardly "crap."

    If folks want to attack a popular but truly crappy loudspeaker, Yamaha NS-10s are surely deserving. I have a pair sitting on stands right in front of me. Now these are surely crap. I bought them 25 years ago, and the only reason I still have them is I'm waiting for their resale value to go up a little more. Yes, I am serious.

    --Ethan
     
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Ethan,
    I never said they were (at least not in this thread) and IMO, the Mackie monitor question is a dead horse that has been beaten at least one too many times. All the answers to this are in previous threads.

    (Dead Link Removed)


    (Dead Link Removed)


    I was addressing this;
    I don't think it is a case of even more, but a case of at least as important ...
     
  9. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

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    Kurt,

    > at least as important <

    Agreed. Deal.

    But how about this: The choice of speakers is more important at mid and high frequencies, but the room is more important at low frequencies. At least this is how I see it. Clarity is indeed a tweeter issue, but even the finest speakers have a badly skewed low end response in just about any untreated room you put them in.

    --Ethan
     
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Ethan,
    I agree 100%! Like I said though, You can use cheap $.99 a loaf white bread or the best Multi Grain $3.00 a loaf bread but if you smear sh*t on it you still come up with a sh*t sandwich! :D
     
  11. Bri

    Bri Active Member

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    Hey everyone, thank you for your knowledge and advice. Musicalhair, I'm with you on the "lottery gods" issue. :)

    I've never really been able to get used to/adapt to the Mackies, and I am definitely aware that the room acoustics are just as important. Ironically, Ethan, that is something I've been wanting to discuss with you for awhile now...I'm glad you were motivated to post a reply. I've been writing up a description and questions concerning a studio space I've been building which I'll post over in the acoustics forum if that's okay. :) Is it possible to add a sketch of the room along with a post?

    Kurt, I have many more questions that I know you can answer, considering your experience. I'll space them out over time so I won't be a bother. ;)

    Thank you everyone, I do value all your opionions.
     
  12. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

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    Bri,

    > I've never really been able to get used to/adapt to the Mackies <

    Well, there's certainly no arguing with that. But I think the Mackies are great, as do an awful lot of other people I know. Often, the real problem is the room. In most rooms early reflections off the side walls sends the left channel to your right ear and vice versa. So of course the imaging will be strange. And if the room has too much ambience, and that ambience is not "directed" properly, that too makes listening wierd and fatiguing.

    > I'll post over in the acoustics forum if that's okay. <

    Of course.

    To post an image you need to put it on a web server somewhere, and then you can include the URL of the picture in the message to make it display automatically.

    --Ethan
     
  13. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

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    Kurt,

    > All the answers to this are in previous threads. <

    The most amazing thing about those threads is that in hundreds of posts the word "trap" was mentioned only once, by Bill Roberts, who said in passing that they might help low end problems.

    You know my position on this, and I saw that you even agreed with me that at low frequencies, anyway, the room is usually more important than which speaker you use. So when someone in a room having no acoustic treatment says Brand X has more or better or clearer bass than Brand Y, all I can think of is the speakers were moved a little, or some other room-related issue is the real cause of the differences. In an untreated room it's very difficult to hear what the heck each speaker really sounds like below a few hundred Hz.

    --Ethan
     
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Ethan,
    I agree that all rooms need trapping and probably some other treatments to make them useable. I am sure that most of the comments contained there assume that room treatments were done.

    If you read those threads (as I know you have) please take note of the parts that speak about the linearity of the Mackies vs. other speakers..

    No amount of trapping or room treatments are going to change those characteristics, If a speaker has a different response at different spl's IMO, it's worthless. Linearity is what made the NS10 such a great speaker. K.
     
  15. golli

    golli Active Member

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    Apr 17, 2003
    Regarding the 824Mackies, they are the most controversial monitors I've seen people talk about on the net, never even heard them myself.
    But I've also noticed people agree upon the smaller Mackie model, the 624's,being a great unit, both users and reviewers, so why not have a listen to those puppies??
    And as Kurt said here above, the Yamaha msp5's seem to be a great deal. If I remember correctly, it was RecorderMan who brought those to our attention, and I think most of us can agree that he knows his $hit ;)
     
  16. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

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    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Hey guy's, and ladies, what we need is a monitor doctor that makes house calls. :D

    If you are undecided about which to purchase, or what to look for in a monitor. The monitor doctor will set up a pair quality monitor speakers in your living room, with your (hopefully decent amp). The kind of speaker that does the job.

    Not expensive ones, but studio proven ones. After the end of the day, you can hook up your test run choice of speaker, and judge for yourself.

    You will hear any nonlinear dynamic response immediately. The bass will vary at certain levels, and frequency's, giving a confusion in dynamics and EQ perception, regardless of room treatment.

    Not that it couldn't use treatment, the ugly sound will be heard, treatment or not. So you have to know what it is you have to treat, the room, or attempt to makeup for a lousy speaker.
    Maybe we need a bass trap doctor too! Do you make house calls Ethan? :D Dr. Ethan Winer, Ba.Ss.

    --Rick
     
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    I just unboxed the MSP5's today and set them on the meter bridge. I have to figure out a way to hook them up so I can switch between the MSP5s and the NS10s and compare them.. The MSP5s are powered and the NS10s are passive... As soon as I work this out, I will let you all know my impressions.. Kurt
     
  18. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

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    :) Kurt, use a couple bus outs!

    Just a suggestion,

    --Rick
     
  19. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Rick,
    No that won't work. I have a SMackie mixer that I use only to monitor while I track for reference. I would never want to do any critical listening or route to the recorder through it.. (expensive ears, remember?) .. I normaly monitor through a Nakamichi 450 pre amp into Haffler P3000s. I need a passive switcher between the Nak and the Hafflers that I split off to the MPS5s.. I think I found a solution, an old passive tape routing switch I have dug up. Thanks for the suggestion... Kurt
     
  20. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

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    Kurt,

    > I am sure that most of the comments contained there assume that room treatments were done. <

    I doubt that very much. Even you didn't have acoustic treatment until very recently. BTW, you never reported on your FoamByMail purchase. How did that work out?

    > If you read those threads (as I know you have) <

    No, sorry, I did not read every single word. :D

    --Ethan
     

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