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Studio Monitors - A Few Questions

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Kuroneku, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    Hello & I hope everybody's had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    As usual, my life always finds ways to keep me so busy that I unfortunately neglect music & recording, however I am starting to change that, which brings me to my next few questions:

    - Should my studio monitors be identical?
    - When both plugged into my audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett 8i6), do I have to pan them left and right, or will it automatically adjust?

    Thank you very much in advance, much love <3
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Yes, your monitors should be identical in order for you to be able to hear as evenly and as accurately as possible. Using mismatched monitors puts you at risk of hearing different characteristics of each speaker in terms of Frequency Range, EQ, phase, dispersion, etc.), and doing so will definitely skew the sonics of what you are listening to.

    If you are connecting an active pair of monitors to your Focusrite, there will be two monitor outputs, L and R. You don't have to manually pan anything, with the exception of how you would normally pan certain tracks in your DAW during a mix.

    The Focusrite will give an even amplitude with each output, and with the summing in the middle. In short, no, you won't have to do anything. Some active monitors have adjustable EQ curves on the rear, which let you add Hi Pass Filtering, or to adjust for certain physical placement. Make sure they are both set the same ( there are ways to compensate for room inadequacies by adjusting the settings for each speaker differently, but I wouldn't recommend doing that unless you really know what you are doing, and that you know exactly what the results will be based on your room's acoustic measurements).

    If you are using a pair of passive monitors, then that means you are likely using a stereo power amp to drive them, ( occasionally I've seen two mono amps for this, but that's rare these days) at which point you just need to be sure that the gain settings on each side ( L-R) of your amp are equal.

    PS... is your room treated?

  3. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    Thank you Donny for your response :)

    I was assuming that they should be the identical one's, I wanted confirmation. I've been having one studio monitor, the JBL LSR 305, and I've been wanting to get a second one.
    One thing that I find so odd about studio monitors is that I understand the purpose of them, however it's odd to know that studio monitors with that one purpose, they still sound different from another.

    The Focusrite has it labeled #'s 1-4. It doesn't say L or R. I will try and see if I can pull up the manual online somewhere. I should maybe use 1 & 2 and see what happens once I get my second monitor?

    My vocal room is treated, however the room I am monitoring in and have my Desktop in is not treated. I know this 'can' be a very subjective observation, but I would say my room in comparison with most rooms is not as bad by default when it comes to echo-ing for instance. I watched a couple of detailed videos on Lynda.com, made by reputable Engineer's, and they've had some really good advice on how to set up and place the equipment in the room.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Use outs 1&2. Actually, you could use any pair, but your software menu probably defaults to 1 & 2 as your main outs. The other outs are there for things like re-amping, aux mixes, outputting to a separate mixer, etc.

    The reason for treating a room is to balance the room's reverb time, (or "RT60"), so that what you hear when you mix is accurate. But ... it's not always necessarily what you can easily hear. Certainly, upper range "pinging" and flutter echo is something you want to rein in, but it's also the lower mids and lower frequencies too, and that lower end can often be most problematic.

    The idea is to make your room as "honest" as possible, so that when you are monitoring during a mix, what you are hearing is accurate - in that what you are hearing from the speakers is not being skewed by the room's response to the sound.

    For example, if your room has a high amount of RT60 in bass frequencies, this will falsely lead you to believe that you already have enough low end in your mixes, when in truth, you only think that you do, because that's what the room is "telling" you.
    The results would be that your mixes would be bass shy when played on other systems in more acoustically balanced spaces other than your own room.

    The good news is that much of this is easily treatable, and not for huge amounts of money, either. But it's best to know first what issues you are treating for. Your best bet would be to start with measuring your room, both dimensionally and sonically, just to see what you have happening first, before you start just randomly putting up sound treatment.

    Kuroneku likes this.
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I would buy a pair and not just one unless the one you have is brand new.. If it has a few years of work, the wear on it might have change it's frequencie response.
    Also buying a pair gets you better chances that they were produced the same day or week with the same parts.. Builders may replace parts without notice, caused availibilty and prices..

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