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The Definition of a Studio Monitor

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by yodermr1, Jun 15, 2004.


What do you consider yourself?

  1. Pro Recording Engineer

  2. Pro Mastering Engineer

    0 vote(s)
  3. Semi Pro Recording Engineer

    0 vote(s)
  4. Semi Pro Mastering Engineer

    0 vote(s)
  5. Amateur Recording Engineer

    0 vote(s)
  6. Amateur Mastering Engineer

    0 vote(s)
  7. Wish I knew enough to consider myself something on this list

    0 vote(s)
  1. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Boy have I reads alot on this topic, some practical advice, some experienced advice and way too much chest beating.

    From all of this (BTW thank you everyone for never letting it die), I come away with one question that seems unanswered. What is the definition of a studio monitor? If I was a speaker designer what would be the design specs for the following? Are they different specifications?

    Mastering Monitor
    Tracking Monitor
    Audio Reproduction Monitor
    Budget Monitor
    Prosumer Monitor
    Professional Monitor
    (Not including sound reinforcement, PA monitors)

    What is the minimum requirements to get labeled with the very generic and completely useless, Studio Monitor sticker?

    I see many seemingly semi pro people touting various mid level monitors and some very experienced people suggesting that you can do everything you need with a $500 pair of Yamaha MSP5s or must have $30,000 westlakes. It is certainly apparent that cost to value added is by no means a linear function. We also never hear about how poor room design can eliminate the advantages of higher cost units and make then no more useful than the cheapies.

    So I'm curious, you Audio Engineers, wannabees and weekend warriors. Whatever your education/experience is, you should be able to put this in terms of a design specification without including a manufactures name. What would it contain? How would you measure sucess of your design?. :wink:

    What are the user requirements for weekend warriors, semipro, pro, Mastering Engieers, hardrock versus acoustic instruments, etc... Is there a base level of performance/features (that could be measured) that would put the line in the sand?

    I have trouble determing how to differentiate between what vendors are trying to sell, personal preference and old dog won't consider that a new trick gets the job done. Of course the vendors want their cheapies to be standards for big pro studios but what stops them? Does it all boil down to word of mouth of the old pros?

    I hope this turns into a good discussion and most definately hope it doesn't digress into another series of my monitor is better than yours and allow me the time to brow beat you into submission.
    Straight up audio engineering theory extracted from true user requirements. WHat do I need to get the job done? Remember, a person can get to work with a yugo or a lamborgini while both meet the same user requirement.

    Thanks for allowing me to babble
  2. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    To me a studio monitor is by definition "any speaker/transducer used in a recording studio to monitor playback of audio material through the process of converting voltage (or digital data if you have "digital" monitors) into audible waveforms"

    For me to say I made a sucessfull "recording studio monitor", it would have to translate accurately to ALL audio playback systems.

    Some manufacturers have made monitors that can achieve this to a degree.....ns-10's would be a great example....
  3. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Because I am a Project Manager by trade allow me to pick on you for the sake of discussion..

    "To me a studio monitor is by definition "any speaker/transducer used in a recording studio to monitor playback of audio material through the process of converting voltage (or digital data if you have "digital" monitors) into audible waveforms"

    This description does not differientiate between any type of monitor or really speakers in general. I have some Peavey PA speakers, a guitar speaker, a computer speaker, etc.. that meet this requirement. I have all of these sitting in my recording studio. Any speaker converts voltage into audible waveforms.
    Being they are used in a studio doesn't make it have the correct qualities to achieve the desired results.

    "sucessfull "recording studio monitor", it would have to translate accurately to ALL audio playback systems"

    How would you measure this to determine if you were sucessful in your design?

    In both cases your description would not provide a manufacturer enough information to design what is required and determine if they were sucessful in the design process. A designer must have enough detail on user requirements to translate those ideas into a product that will meet the user's needs.

    Ultimately there will be a distinct difference between the design (user) requirements for each speaker application.

    Bare with me, it will become clear.

  4. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    You can pick on me...that's fine.

    My point was that you can use any speaker as a studio monitor. Just because someone says "studio monitor" does not automatically imply that the playback system has to be of some "super" quality. The purpose of a "studio monitor" is to monitor the audio being played back. The same applys to computer monitors. The purpose of a computer monitor is to monitor what is going on inside the machine. You can run a personal computer without one...but who would want to?

    If something sounds good on the "monitors" and will also sound good on your boom box, in your car, and on tv, and on high end audio systems then the monitor has done it's job.

    Yes....a good manufacturer will understand. You can say things like "it needs to reproduce freq's from 5hz-50khz with less than .2 db differentation across the spectrum" but ultimately it comes down to translation.

    I agree.....what works for live sound probably won't work in a studio. But the lines can be blurred quite a bit. I've seen a lot of home audio speakers used in studios, recording and mastering. B&W 802's for example....
    Again I'm back to the definition of a "studio monitor". Any speaker can be used in a studio. What works well is really the question.

    If I was explaining to a manufacturer for the first time what I would want in a studio monitor, and there was no monitors in existence, this is what I would say.

    The monitor must weigh less than 30 lbs each, must look somewhat attractive, be no more than 18" high and 15" deep, and most importaintly must be able to translate my mixes to the real world. No "hype" if you will.
    What the manufacturer does from there is what makes one different from another....
    Seems simple dosen't it? Untill you start to think about it...and that's not my job, that's what manufacturers are good at.
    That's why I love the ns-10's so much. If it sounds good there...it will sound good anywhere. Truely a great monitor. Yeah..it's nice to listen to great sounding monitors..all that high end bliss and sweet low's....but in the end...translation is key.
  5. Mario-C.

    Mario-C. Active Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    Mexico City
    Home Page:
    8) NS-10's foreva ! 8)
  6. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Terms like super, sound good, translation, hype are great subjective descriptors but wouldn't really help the vendor achieve anything. You can't test to them. There are no such things as calibrated super, sound good, tranlation or hype meters.

    "it needs to reproduce freq's from 5hz-50khz with less than .2 db differentation across the spectrum"

    Now there is a specification, with one problem which goes to the heart of what I am focused on. How is this measured? Does this test method provide us any useful information in the "real world"?(Assuming you mean Real world is defined as anything not in a anechoic chamber), What is the tolerance of the test method?
    As an end user (without a anechoic chamber) how could you test to be assured that you got what you paid for?
    As Audio Engineers, we should have some understanding for tolerances, tolerance stacking, manufacturing process variation, test method variation, etc.. and how that translates to the "real world"

    SO, as a end user requirement (as opposed to a design specification) what is acceptable? Your saying that the toerance here would be +/- 0.2 db differentation. Using 4:1 calibration tolerance engineering standards, if my end requirement is +/- .02 then my manaufactured range must be +/- .05. Getting pretty tight considering batch to batch variation and test method variation. etc. etc, etc....

    Well that's going in the wrong direction for end users. I would ask what can a user hear? +/- 0.5, 1.0, 2.0,??? Where does it actually create issues in achieving translation? I have read an old pro here stating that (I think I remember this correctly) +/- 1.5 db accross the range is the required tolerance ( I believe he was a Mastering Engineer)

    Still wondering if this spec would be applicable accross the board (tracking, Mastering, easy listening :wink: , etc...)

    Mario - Thanks for the NS-10 cheer, Could you put it into technical terms why? Again if you just throw out translation, please define how it is measured.

    Patience, it will all become clear. Requirement development is a PM's bread and butter.

  7. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Mastering engineers will require tighter tolerances than recording engineers due to their method of working. They are "fine tuning" an album....so Mastering Engineers need monitors that are as flat as possible and reproduce frequencies well over 20K. They need to hear what is there...exactly.
    Recording studios don't require monitors of such high calibration. Although we do specific work....we're not "fine" tuning audio. Tolerances within 1.5db is fine for recording studio monitors. It's been stated that many people can't hear a single db difference....so tolerances tigher than this are essentially useless. How high and low on the freq range the speakers need to reproduce is debatable (however you spell it).
    It also goes beyond just simple freq response plots (which is measured with pink noise in anechoic chambers). A manufacturer must take into account many things.
    Speaker cone material for the mid/sub are critical. Inverted or normal dust caps are debated, what tweeter material to use (males prefer titanium, females prefer silk domes...males and females have different hearing), passive or active, the material used to construct the speaker "box", the material used to paint/coat the box, if active...the components used in the amplifer, the crossover components and freq, the size of the internal chambers, the material used to seal the internal chambers, the stuffing if any used, whether to seal the inside of the wood or not (I would), how are you going to hold the box together, how are you going to solve the time difference question, 2 or 3 speakers, if three speakers...tri or bi amped........

    All these affect the response of the speaker and are critical to it's design. Getting the right combination to achieve a speaker that's "musical" (yes...another subjective term) is the key.

    I don't think a great studio monitor can be measured in terms of freq response or tolerance across the spectrum. The freq response of a pair of 824's far exceeds that of the ns-10's, but the ns-10's "translate" very very well. What that means is what you hear on those speakers..you will hear just about anywhere else. That can't be measured......

    Monitors are very subjective (hence all the subjective terms used to describe great monitors)...and manufacturing them is hit or miss.......you either get it good or you don't. I'd highly recommend having a good recording engineer on your side.

    Maybe someone can give you some kinda "specifications" for manufacturing the perfect monitor.....but I doubt it.
    Sure...you can make a speaker that has a freq response from 20hz-30Khz with a single db tolerance...but that don't mean it will do well in recording studios. Many have tried......some have failed.

    I look forward to more discussions with you...
  8. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Great, your following my logic. Lets focus on where the rubber hits the road. Given this user requirement for translation and a design goal for a particular tolerance level we're zooming in. I purposely state it as a design goal instead of a design spec for obvious reasons. You indicate that the Mastering Engineer requires a tighter tolerance than a Recording Engineer. Is it safe to assume that the required tolerance falls out from there? - Mastering>> Recording>> Audio Reproduction>> General speakers (radio, computer, car), etc...

    Now, because we are not speaker manufactures the details of crossover design, voice coil construction, box construction, etc.. don't mean much to the user.

    So the vendor has a design spec based on a user requirement specifcation. Assuming that the tighter the tolerance the higher the cost, this somewhat sets the stage for price point versus application (Mastering application versus Recording application, etc...). Don't beat me up on this one point, just a fence post for discussion. I will say this is certainly not hit or miss. A vendor needs to control costs to assure profit. They design for a particular market segment. Now I will say that their marketing staff wants to promise you the sky. I am here to help take that back. Lets not let vendors bamboozal us, lets come up with verifiable user requirements and pick based on winner of meeting a requirement not winner of marketing campains!!! Knowledge will ultimately push the vendors back to the good ol days when sound quality, not hype, was required. Just need to educate the aspiring Audio Engineers on what to be demanding on. On wards>>>>>

    What other user requirements are there? Remember a user requirement is something that a user can state, that is important to them in achieving the desired results. A user really doesn't concern themselves with Woofer cones material, crossover design model, etc.. They may benefit from these designs but the design itself doesn't make it work well for them. So user requirements are stated in business process terms not technical ones.

    Ok, we have this fuzzy thing called translation. We need to expand on this term, what does it mean? More importantly, how do I know when I have it? Critically, how can the vendor test a design to validate that they have met this user requirement?

    WHat about frequency response? Start with what a typical human can percieve? In scientifically verifiable terms. We must be careful of the placebo effect. At what point does a human loss there ability to descern frequency? Stay away from things that might actually be attributed to DA conversion quality. Sounds airy, etc...

    How about power requirement? How loud does an Audio Engineer
    need to play the program material?

    Noise level? How low does it need to go before the program material is swallowed up by the noise floor?

    To your comment on having a experienced Audio Engineer on you side... Your suggesting a user training issue. What does this Audio Engineer have that an inexperienced user doesn't? WHen the Audio Engineer was a pup, how did he/she know they achieved the necessary skills? I smell a test method that could be used to verify this attained (necessary) auditory skill level. Soon handing down storys of NS10s from old pros won't mean crap when nobody can buy one. HOw can this be independantly verified?

    One HUGELY over looked requirement is the installation environment. How can a speaker vendor sell a reference monitor without a disclaimer on room response? If a user were to verify the room didn't introduce any unacceptable frequency artifacts, how would they do it? This is measurable and up against the frequency tolerance, feasible. I would suggest that this installation /room adjustment process is definately a user requirement.

    Enoough for now my fingers are tired..

    Patients, I can see the fog lifting!!!

  9. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    What is your purpose for this discussion anyway? You keep referring to "the fog being lifted" and "clearing things up"....so..what are you trying to clear up? I'd just like to know.....if it's studio monitor defenition, I gave my definition of what I feel a studio monitor is. If it's defenition of a great studio monitor that your looking for...then that's fine.

    Regarding your last post.......

    I would say this is correct in my beliefs. Though audiophile quality home stereo equipment can and does get used in Mastering and Recording facilities...so the lines do get blur'd as I've stated before.

    You'll have to ask some others about this...I've stated my specifications...I'm sure some other will have different opinions.

    Translation means the speakers will reproduce music transparently and not add any elements to the audio so as to change the listeners perspective of the audio. This goes way beyond freq response.
    To test for this the monitor would have to be used for at least a 6 month period of time with a number of various Engineers/Producers and their feedback noted. I would say at least 20 participants....maybe more.

    This is a topic that people could write books about......it's been stated for a long time that the human hearing range (with the exception of a few extremest) is from 20hz-20Khz.
    What a human can perceive is a different story. We can obviously feel freq's well below 20hz, and I personally believe we can perceive freq's well above 20khz not by hearing them..but by feeling their presence. This is where we get into harmonics and their role in speaker response. What exact freq's has yet to be proven....I certaintly haven't done any testing....so I can't say.

    Personally I'd like a speaker with a s/n ratio of at least 100db. Although anything more than that is desired. Optimal would be around 150db

    as long as the speaker can reproduce 120db with a THD rating of .01db I'm happy....No..I don't monitor that loud all the time.

    An experienced engineer will know what "translation" is and how to identify it. They will know how to achieve a great mix...and how that mix will sound outside the studio on other sources. They will know what about a speaker makes it great, and when the sound in the studio is "good"
    Training course?....They should come up with a listening test for all applicants/trainee's. Keep in mind...just because you can hear a .5db difference at 5k DOES NOT mean you know what sounds good.
    You are looking for specifics from me considering this...and I don't have any. I've never given it much though....but I'll think about it and when I come up with a better answer I'll let you know.

    Every room introduces unacceptable artifacts save for anechoic chambers. Tuning that room is an art in and of itself. There's a lot of thought that goes into tuning a room....some tune their rooms for better bass response, some for better top end, some for a flat sounding room.
    You can't have a perfect room, it's impossible. I do agree it would be a good idea for a speaker manufacture to require some degree of room tuning. An inspection from the manufacturer's "QC" staff would be nice.....but there's a problem with this...end users won't buy a speaker that require's you to spend more money on acoustics. Although I think every studios control room should be properly tuned.....not everyone can afford high quality tuning. All marketing aside.....I think it's a great idea.

    You also have to remember that monitors are subjective. There's many factors aside from the response of the speaker that affect one's opinion of it.
    The look of the speaker, it's price, the mood of the listener at that point in their life, the lighting, temperature, humidity, the room, the audio being played back (does the person like the music or not).....

    So many variables. I'm not suprised that the NS-10's are the only speaker that came close to a "standard"...and they came very close.
  10. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    The purpose is to add some value to the site and learn some facts.
    My background is in Psychology, Project management and Business Process Analysis. I run projects that change the way multibillion dollar companies do business. I get paid a significant amounts of money to do this on a daily basis. I'd just like to help....

    I have read alot on this board and have come to a few conclusions.
    Some observations from reading here...
    >> Studio Monitors go through endless debate with no real fact based conclusions. Monitor vendors take advantage of this by spreading hype. This containimates the industry and the quality of recordings
    >>A few true Engineers here are constantly fighting ignorance (not demeaning anyone by saying this) on technical issues from people who believe they know it all based on some seemingly good results in attempting to be an Audio Engineer.
    >> Identify how many people (by poll) think they are qualified to state fact. Wanna be Engineers are dangerous. In Audio its not that critical because your not engineering things that people rely on for safety but it creates way too much fog.
    >> Moderators sometimes suggest they are teaching but seem to miss the mark on teaching and holding people to the science behind the art.
    >> Separate the wheat from the chaff. Monitor vendors don't do you any service by stating alot of techinical specs without the users really understanding what this means. Again, a certified Audio Engineer would know what it means, those who aren't think they know.

    I really enjoy recording and playing. I highly appreciate what everyone pours into this board in the quest of better recording results. I read and learn. I don't read and argue. I am very long winded. I feel bad for moderators who never get past first level lessons with folks. Its obvisous that people are much more comfortable talking about equipment than the science. The focus on how do I spend my saving to become a better audio engineer is just plain stupid if your not trained on the basics. I have skills in turning endless babbling into actionalble steps.

    In my job, I fight Phd level people on a daily basis. I mold their knowledge into business processes that anyone can follow and achieve optimized results. It starts with converting unmeasurable techno babble into measurable steps (design specs >>> user requirements). I'm doing this because I think some of the pros care but I believe you guys just need a facillitor - thats me.

    I picked this topic as a good place to start. If no one is interested, this thread will die and I'll just go back to reading and learning. I am the grasshopper who has listened and achieved. I do not brag that I am or my equipment is better but everyone who listens to my recording results are impressed. To the point where I am putting the finishing touches on opening a side business recording studio. I owe this to each and every professional here. I just want to try to return the favor with my particular skill set.

    It takes patients to learn what requirement development is all about. The results are clear actionalble steps that can be used as constants in discussion and making CDs for your clients. I would like to establish basic facts, define where science ends and the art starts. A good understanding of requriement development is applicable to every person getting paid for recording and every person trying to decide where to spend their hard earned cash. Everytime you take a client in you are a Project Manager. Project Management skills are focused on getting the user's needs right the first time to make the most profit.

    I hope people engage in this discussion that attempts to separate science from art. Maybe the pros are too tired fighting hype. This is a huge change in a line of thinking that I'm not certain will take hold or that I have the energy and time to facillitate.

    So, maybe my crazy idea is missed place. Let me spin it around. WHat is the purpose of this site?

  11. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Sounds like your quite educated...congratulations on your success.

    I agree. But keep in mind the greatest monitor test is to each one's own ears. Marketing always hype's products...and they will always lie to us...but those of us who trust our ears will ultimately be happy and will know what we want.

    Yeah...it happens on a lot of forums. Everyone was a newbie at some point and made mistakes.....I know I sure have...still do quite often.

    I agree

    Don't get me started.........

    Marketing is great isn't it? Who cares if a monitor can reproduce 50Khz if it sounds like crap and dosen't translate well? I sure don't.


    Me too....

    What we're doing right now.......

    Can I see it when your done? I'd love to see pictures at least:)

    I hope I didn't offend you by asking why you were doing this....just wanted to be cleared up on the direction we are taking.....

  12. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    Pondering on this issue, and realizing that this process will take some significant effort to get to useful user requirements. Again not being an Audio ENgineer but a PM/facilitor, this would work much better with other points of view involved. Well this is just for fun, so we'll see where it goes. In any case, this discussion is much more enjoyable than squeezing a few more thousand units out of the factory floor.

    The biggest hurdle I see is one of "we have always done it that way". Its typical organizational shackles. Thinking outside the box is another way to look at it. This is the major roadblock in every group. Call it comfort zone, stubbord, conservative thinking, old dog, pride, etc... We typically don't have true knowledge, we have many things accepted as is and then we build on it. The world wouldn't advance without is but it also inhibits us from correcting our course when we've gone astray. People have to be comfortable with saying they don't know or they were wrong instead of steering the conversation to hide this fact.

    Going back to the NS10 -standard and putting some meat around it will help. Learn from history or be doomed to repeat...
    How did they become a standard?
    Were there any other near field monitors when they came out?, If so why did the NS10 win out?
    Maybe it was a matter of economy. Get it close on the near fields then take the work elsewhere to tweak on the big speakers ($$)
    Was this just an improvement on Auratones?
    From all the talk, one would think that God hadn't created the world before the NS10.
    Understanding the shift in thinking can ellicite some user requirements.
    I have to say it again because its critical. User requirement states the need without reference to the solution. The solution is where design requirements come into play.

    On my little studio, I am currently trying to finish some woodwork then I have to put in a floor. (Many thanks go to the folks in the acoustics sections for their guidance.) I have someone developing a web page as well. With my schedule, I think by Fall I'll have it ready. The web page will have pictures and such.

    Gotta go
  13. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    You try all you want, but monitors cannot really be approached from a specification standpoint.

    The proof is that the professional studio monitor that is probably most popular is not even a good sounding speaker and I am sure its specs are nothing close to broadband or flat (NS-10) but it works.

    The other problem is that your specs in your lab do not mean anything to me because they will not hold true in my control room. This is reality.

    I happen to prefer very flat speakers. And flat is defined by "to me it sounds flat in my room". I do not use nearfields. I am the exception so my needs would probably not line up with those of many other engineers.

    If you want to look for design parameters for a studio monitor you should look more how they solve real world problems of the studio. i.e. - how well do they interact with reflective surfaces behind, to the side and in front.
    - Where is the sweetspot of the stereo image, what happens if the engineer likes to stand?
    - Are they loud enough for musicians to track to when they are overdubbing in the control room?
    - How linear are they at very low volume?

    No speaker does it all for even a single engineer. People who mix in NS-10's hear almost no bass so they need something else in the room to check the bass on. People who like really flat accurate speakers generally need something else that is loud enough for their clients etc.

    Chances are if you could define the "perfect studio monitor" it would probably be unusable by most of the target customer base.

    I note that you are a Project Manager. Maybe you should confer with a "Product Manager" to learn how to specifiy things used by real customers.
  14. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Posted by yodermr1:
    I certaintly don't feel that way. The reason I bring up ns-10's is because they have been the only monitor that is very transparent and sounds the same from room to room. If anyone else had done this I would mention them also....and when someone else does it I will give them due credit.
    If you want to take a tire and make a monitor of it I would support it pending some qualifications. Translation, price, and a reasonable size.

    Word of mouth and listening/realizing their potential

    There was other near fields being released..and still are. I don't think it was a matter of economy....cheap or not..engineers will buy what works for them.

    A little information about the "bigs".
    Those really big, really expensive speakers you find soffit mounted in studios usually sound like crap and are not used as a sound quality reference by any means. They are there to "wow" the clients and provide the engineer with an idea of what the audio sounds like really really loud.
    Theres no "getting it close" on the ns-10's and checking on other speakers....simply put...if it sounds good on ns-10's..it will sound good anywhere. Those little suckers can put out some bass too but it's still always good to check the lows on a PROPERLY set-up system with a sub. Sub calibration is a thread in its self.

    Some still use auratones and love em....but far from the amount using ns-10s.

    No.....it's just that no-one has created anything close to that kind of a standard...and untill someone does the ns-10 talk will continue.

    Sweet! I look forward to it.
  15. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Great points!
  16. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

  17. yodermr1

    yodermr1 Guest

    I'm a little confused. It seems like you were suggesting that the advent of the NS10 and its great recording qualities was a complete random occurance on the part of the designer.

    I would suggest that Yamaha had some notion of what they were going for. Just can't be a random design.

    So far I'm hearing two user requirements. Transparant and translation. Can you guys put some more definition to those qualities? How do you know when you have it?

    Forget about speaker specifications, thats whats messing this discussion up.

  18. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    "So I'm curious, ..... How would you measure sucess of your design?. "

    :( This is the science of speaker designers. I'm not.

    I think inexperienced people are swayed by an onslaught of marketing hype. Sure it gives you choices but creates a lot of confusion too! Time will teach them.

    I think you have to have a reference point, so you don't want to alter or add a response curve, or a variable dynamic response curve that makes your reference unreliable. So much physics involved assuring this; hence you're going to pay for that. But from this reference, you may not be locked into it forever.

    A stupid example, old dad got used to tweaking the hue on his TV for more red, well, if I put up color bars it would clearly show the spectrum to be shifted out of phase, or offset in spectrum.

    Now that I knew that the visual color was offset, I could effectively use this display, and compensate for the variance. So can experienced audio engineers and various speakers, but they must have a reference background on which to base decisions on the limitations of the "less than ideal" monitor at hand. That reference might be one of their own pieces of music, or another commercial piece. Their brains remember the sound, and their experience will allow compensation for nearly every halfway decent monitor, or horrible sounding monitor. IOW, they will know where the weakness is, and work around it.

    In the pro environment, and with a system of high calibration and rock solid everyday reliable reproducing gear, the lab is the working reference. From this standpoint, the engineer is tuned to make careful adjustments on sounds through the spectrum at far less than a single DB in accuracy. To make this universal, as in tracking, and mixing, a common reference speaker is a comfort when traveling from one studio to the next.

    Sure, high-end speakers sound wonderful, but are they REALLY needed to get good results? I think the experienced engineer, based on his level of reference, can be effective with high-end, NS-10 or many other speakers. So, set a standard for reference, it can take years.

  19. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Actually the NS 10 was a random occurrence ...

    Yamaha initially released the NS10 as a bookshelf hi fi speaker for home use. Bob Clearmountian is credited with discovering them and turning other recordists on to them.

    NS10 attained their status as an industry standard simply on the merits of how well mixes executed on them translated to other systems and as Randy mentions, because they sound the same in different environments ...

    BTW, I am curious as to what ax is being ground here.. what monitors (or speakers) are you using? I'll show you mine, if you show me yours!
  20. djui5

    djui5 Guest


    What manufacturer are you working for gathering this information...and will I get paid for my contributions?.....a pair of the monitors your developing would be nice.

    Like Kurt said.....it was an "accident" at first. I'm trying to find the interview with their creator.....I'll post it when I find it. It's really revealing.

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