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Monitoring My Wonderful Audio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EricIndecisive, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Hi everyone, my speakers (terrible pieces of junk computer speakers) are dying and becoming very unsuitable for listening to my mixes. I want my next big purchase to be a decent pair of monitors.

    So I'll look up past threads for some budget monitors, but can you all post what you have just so I have more things to reference? Doesn't matter how much they cost.

    My main question is will a nice pair of headphones also give a more accurate representation of my mix?

    My last question is I have the Soundblaster Xi-Fi Fatality sound card which I plug my headphones straight into, and listen through that. Will this card not give an accurate sound because it is a gamer's audio card?

  2. ganubis

    ganubis Guest

    You want your frequency response as flat as possible. Normal headphones may EQ what you hear, like drive up the bass or something. If the only one hearing it will always be in front of your computer thats fine, but everyone's listening device is different, and EQ different. Not to mention that your sound card changes audio at the output. so yes a good set of monitors will help, only if they're not messed with before the output to them. but you should always look at the spectrum analyzer and make sure your end product is as flat as possible, and leave it up to the listener's hardware to figure it out.

    Does this make sense to anyone other than me?
  3. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    It makes sense, but where do I get a spectrum analyzer? 0_+

    Maybe I'll just end up putting it on my ipod, in the car, friends house, etc, and keep working it until I get it right haha.
  4. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    It makes sense, but where do I get a spectrum analyzer? 0_+

    Maybe I'll just end up putting it on my ipod, in the car, friends house, etc, and keep working it until I get it right haha.
  5. ganubis

    ganubis Guest

    well some pro audio software come with a spectrum analyzer. hell even windows media player has one. It's basically a graphical representation of your audio output. in windows media player play a song and got to visualization. choose bars and waves then check bars. play your song and look at the way the individual bars respond. that is a spectrum analyzer, sorta. but it's been equalized. that one is kind of limited. you want one with many more bands. but the end result is the same. flat as possible. and normalize.
  6. ganubis

    ganubis Guest

    Sorry I realized I wasn't very clear in the last post. You want to analyze the audio before it even gets to you speakers or headphones. That is what your pro audio software is for. if your's is worth a crap it will have a spectrum analyzer with it. I used to use cakewalk for my sequencing and soundforge for my wave mixing. that was like 10 years ago though.
  7. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    I have pairs of EV MS-802s and Mackie 824s.

    NO! Headphones may be a necessity for some people who work in an apartment or something like that but they are never preferred over actual speakers....unless the speakers are just totally crap. Computer speakers are generally not good for mixing audio.

    I'm guessing that at this point this is a hobby for you and for that, this sound card is probably fine. Really, the important thing is how it sounds to you. If you are unhappy and thinking about getting something else, you may want to look into a dedicated recording audio interface. There are quite a few on the market that simply plug into your USB port and they are quite affordable too.
  8. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    One note about spectrum analysis...

    Most "in-program" spectrum analyzers only represent the audio when it's in the computer. What you hear coming out of your speakers can be drastically different from what you see on the screen. There are tons of factors, room size and dimensions, speakers, speaker positioning, etc.

    If you were me, you wouldn't worry too much about spectrum analysis.

    A good set of monitors should come with a frequency response graph. Look for relatively "flat" speakers. They'll have a relatively flat line across all frequencies.
  9. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I'm with progr4m on this. A spectrum analyzer is a nice tool to have, if you know how it works and what it represents. It's fun to look at and see what's going on, in the general scheme of things. It's also handy to have if you're going to do room tuning and such.

    But using it as some kind of A/B reference tool - by using just your ears vs. your eyes - isn't going to do you much good at this stage of where you're at. It's also easy to overdo this sort of thing and drive yourself nuts messing with it.

    You still need to decide first on what kind of speaker, amp & even headphone setup you're going to choose for your workspace.
  10. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Thanks for all the replies! I guess in the end all that matters is how it sounds coming out of the speakers.

    This is only a hobby for me, so I'm glad what I'm using will be ok. I will definitely just save up for a decent pair of monitors. I record in my room, right now I use the crappiest pair of speakers I've ever seen that have a sub woofer. Unfortunately they don't even have a middle spot for the bass, so I don't even know where it should be.. And for headphones I use a pair of the Sony wrap-around-the-head ones.

    By the way, I saw that these got pretty good reviews, is it worth saving up for a pair?


    Another question, how do you hook up a pair of monitors? Do they hook up just like regular speakers or would I have to run it out through my firepod? Forgive my ignorance, but thanks for the help!
  11. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    The KRK's are nice for the money, I bought a set for school, and you will have to run them out of your firepod, there should be some kind of out for you somewhere, I'm not sure, I haven't played with one of those before. As well, as far as frequency analyzers go, Bluecat's got a nice one, called (surprisingly enough) freeqanal, or something like that which is a VST plugin, which should run in your proaudio software (i.e. your DAW) , and they're not asking anything for it, so while it's not amazingly well coded, it does the job for what you want, and it'll be better than nothing. And it's free!

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