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HR824's

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I was in a local studio not long ago and they had Mackie'824s. At first I thought they sounded really good, although they seemed to have an exagerated bottom end.
I asked the engineer about the sub, and he replied " There isn't any. We shut it off, there was to much bottom end." As it was, everything I was hearing was from the
824's. Somewhat skeptical, I played the part that I needed to play for a session, and then went back to my own studio with some doubts about my own monitors - EV
Sentry 100's and some YSM 1's. About 6 weeks later I heard the final mix of that project and whaddya know? The mix had a very poorly defined and weak bottom
end. The room they were in was a well designed room and was designed and tuned by an outside consultant; so what gives? All reports I have read and heard from
users indicate this is a great monitor...
Bill Y

Comments

K-Sound Studios Fri, 12/27/2002 - 14:15

Ahh.. see that's the problem.. the Mackie's are very smooth. A bit too smooth in the crossover area, and then a bit falsely big on the lower end. So that's a combo that really is pleasing and used on a lot of good home stereo speakers. The engineer's problem is that everything has to be heard as you EQ (one example .. you do have to hear the other stuff too!) .. so lets say you are twisting an EQ knob and it just seems a bit unreal .. like your trying to head for that 14 to 20 on a volume knob .. something is up .. the room and/or speakers, the gain structure .. something.. so you go to another set of monitors and .. whoh.. it's OK... which one is right, eh?

That's why I mentioned that I'll throw on the Mackies to please a client when they have that "where's the bottom like I hear on my stereo" thing. It's really there if I throw the Mackies in, but somehow it's not the right bottom, and one you can depend on elsewhere .. even at 87-95db ... that's what's not good.

Don't get me wrong they are still a very viable speaker.. they may just leave you with scratching your head sometimes.

audiowkstation Fri, 12/27/2002 - 14:49

Damn this is fun!

This is for Randy and K-Sound

Randy,

K-Sound is correct in the Mackies being layed back. They are dynamically compressing the sound due to delay time of the enclosure and woofer. In better words, the tweeter is much faster than the woofer and in a 2 way, the time alignment is critical. The crossover and electronics is absorbing dynamics and the surround of the woofer will not allow for serious woofer speed. Dynamic compression and phase in cohenency are the problems.

Any speaker below 91dB 1W/1M will compress. Period. It is the law of Physics just like any speaker above 98dB 1W/ 1M will emphesize dynamics.

See if you can land a set of 4311 or 4311 WX JBL's off ebay...used.

They truely are a great reference.

Unfortunantly, no below 40 hZ

If you listen to "feeling stonger every day" by Chicago on 4311 set flat nearfield...it will mess you up. They do not image like a modern speaker but the 45 to 17K is what you need to mixdown on and reference. They are a 12" 3 way of modest size (a little large for the meter bridge, designed for 2 meter listening tucked in tight with a good 200 Watt/channel amp (they are rated at 50 watts but I never blew any with 500 a side, or NS10's for that matter with 500/side)

The attenuators on them should be set flat (0 presence and 0 brilliance) for early listening and I have a technique for actually setting them for your room acoustics which is simple and strat forward.

Other than that, you have to have something with some air motion and forget a sub. I hate them for obvious reasons they are mono. A woofer cannot move both directions at the same time (phase cues).
K-Sound,

I hope I answered your questions above.

Ck the search engines on the Yamaha NS1000M's I have..

K-Sound Studios Fri, 12/27/2002 - 17:27

Bill yep you answered them well, thanks... I will check into those NS-1000's for you .. I'm not so sure they're what I may want, and I'm also not getting a solid idea yet of what to replace the Mackies with. I fully agree, but now understand (thank you Bill) about the speaker efficency issue .. I have always prefered the image presented by something at the higher end of efficency.. always seemed more real, now I have the last missing part of the puzzle found .. very interesting.
edited part:
I did know about power (watts) vs/sound level, and air masses moved, etc ... it was that "other part" I didn't know!

crunch Fri, 12/27/2002 - 21:43

Good God. Whew.

I thought it was just me... It's extremely comforting to know others are hearing/not hearing the same things... I've been having a HELLISH time mixing on these... I've been sitting in front of NS10's so long, they're really getting kinda annoying sounding (Yamaha Ear Daggers), so I went and got the HR824s a year ago... They are "fat" on the bottom end, but it's a mushy and kinda flabby fat, so my description seems kinda apt, hehheh... My mixes still sound great on the NS10's, so I'm not "completely" insane...

Snare and kick (and sometimes bass guitar, depending on the song) just don't sound right, and then I fire up the NS10's and everything is ok... What about the "switches" on the back of the Mackies? Has anyone measured what's going on with those?

In the likely event I move on to another set of monitors, what's a 2 way nearfield out there that has a more accurate midrange and bottom end (but fuller sounding than the NS10's), without breaking the bank? (can't afford Meyer HD-1's, just ain't gonna happen)

I'm a little too afraid of hooking up a subwoofer with the NS10's (and getting thin mixes), but the lack of bottom on those is getting a little shrill... Is anyone else monitoring with NS10's and a sub with accurate results? What are you using for a sub? Do I ask enough questions for a 1st post? hehheh...

cheers!

K-Sound Studios Sat, 12/28/2002 - 11:11

Don't hook up a sub to anything for mixing .. you can however, hook it up so that it can be used for playback .. to impress clients. Also, if's going to be a sub .. make sure it's a sub .. 15" or better with a ton of watts!
The switches on the Mackies will do quite a bit .. and certainly placement is critical. If you don't hear much difference as you move those swiches, then I'd suggest to take a deeper look at the room .. something would have to be up there.
The Mackies did better for me once tuned for the room with an RTA and EQ, but that bottom and smooth transistion is still a problem ..

Macaroni Sun, 12/29/2002 - 13:34

I have the Mackies and I think they are great.

Here's an article that compared most of the available powered near fields, including $4,000 Genelecs. You may be surprised at the results.

http://www.prorec.com/prorec/articles.nsf/3fbdd95be86013f1862567f30025b305/0b7fae7ed3205d3c86256ae100044f41?OpenDocument

Every review I've read on the Mackies as well as user reviews has been very good to excellent. And many of these reviewers were top studio guys who put the Mackies through various lab type tests and their conclusions were all very favorable regarding their accuracy, etc. And I don't think THX certification comes that easily.

From reading the above posts, I don't think it's necessarily correct to blame all of the sonic problems on the Mackies, considering that many people don't have their rooms tuned properly and/or they may not have the settings on the Mackies correct. I'm not disputing the expertise of anyone here, but there are many other experts whose opinions differ greatly.

And I just don't get this NS10 thing. I tried some once and they simply do not accurately reproduce all of the detail that is available with today's digital recording quality. Not even close. I know some people love them and have mixed thousands of tunes on them, but why use a speaker that won't even reveal what's actually on disk? What's the point? I want to hear everything that was captured, as close to accurate as possible.

Bill, you recently remastered an MP3 of one of my tunes to show me how it should sound on proper speakers, but to be honest, it came out very bassy, a bit mushy and lacked a lot of detail. I know my mix/mastering was bottom shy, which you blamed on the Mackies, but when I play other very well recorded/produced/mastered stuff on my setup, it all sounds fantastic and nowhere near how your remastering sounded. I'm talking about Steely Dan, Shania Twain, etc.

These recordings sound very tight, clean, detailed, nicely defined bottom and nothing exaggerated. My mix/master sounded much closer to them (albeit bottom shy) than your remastering, so it just doesn't make any sense to me. If my speakers are that off, then why doesn't other top quality stuff sound bad on them and why don't they sound like your remastering?

I've also played my mixes on other systems, big & small, including a state of the art theater system in Fox Studios and they hold up very well with no drastic problems in any one area.

I'm not saying that the Mackies are perfect, but I don't believe that they are as inaccurate and as bad as you all are representing here, all things considered.

Check out the above link/review and see how the speakers compared relative to one another.

audiowkstation Sun, 12/29/2002 - 13:53

That's great! you have found something you love. Cool.

Your MP3 was clearly thin. You admitted that much.

...That mushyness seemed to come from the MP3 being done 3 times, download (mp3), transfer(mp3) and back to MP3 for upload. I can assure you that the wav would have corrected for this.

The think with the ns10's is to make them display all that detail. Then you will have even more detail and a translatable mix.

Those who says they are painful should adjust their mix to sound fantastic on the ns10's.

One other thing, it is impossible to make a master-like quality final if the source is an MP3, the x fer is an MP3 to wav, the mastering is done in wav, the wav is converted to MP3 and the MP3 is uploaded and then downloaded.

All this transfering , you cannot expect it to sound remotely close to what I had here, the format does not travel with all of those transfers nor did I try to compensate for that.

Also, if the bass is slightly heavy (naturally for the mackies) then you will get double the amount of bottom PLUS the mp3 artifacts. Hence Mush.

You really did not expect it to sound better than your original wav did you?

I will say this though, those who are getting good results with them, that is great! Keep them and produce, it is about making music. I simply have measured the mackies in a free field environment (without any perks or recognition or advertising money) and they had a peak at 55hZ of over 6 dB. I would expect my mastering to be horrible knowing I incorporated a 6, the mp3 added 6 and the mackies added 6 again. Nothing sounds right at an 18dB boost.

See if this is bass heavy, if it is, then the mackies are. Any of these are flat as a board on my spectrum, after d load and sound correct.
For sake of a single song, look at
Golgi Apparatus

6+6+6= 18. Translation does this.

[[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/alb…"]mp3's[/]="http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/alb…"]mp3's[/]

I guess what I am trying to say, I have done this hundreds of times on critique and if the mackies were accurate to begin with, we would not have this mess, and bad translations.

Profile picture for user Kurt Foster

Kurt Foster Sun, 12/29/2002 - 14:12

So I cruised over to the site and read most of the reviews just to see what the hub-bub was and I don't agree at all. Mackies WOOF WOOF WOOF.. Too much bass. This is simple to see for yourself ... just run some tones and do a read out with a radio shack SPL meter.... Exaggerated low response. One of the speakers that got the worst reviews was the KRK V8's which is actually probably the best one of the bunch. The reviewer also spent some time slamming NS 10's which shows where his head is..(rectal cranial inversion). It's all subjective, but I tend to wonder what the room was like for this test / comparison and who the guy that performed the test was. After all it is his opinion we are left with. Basically I wouldn't put one ounce of credence to that particular review. I think it's a "load"... Fats

P.S. Puleez go back and insert a line break in the address you posted. It runs on and makes the page real hard to enjoy / read

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It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!

audiowkstation Sun, 12/29/2002 - 14:56

Acid test.

I know the radio shack (analog) is a +/- 2dB device. I suspect the fox theater has huge subs with separate amplifiers to shake your chest.

Set the meter to C weighting (full range) and fast ballistics.

Copy and paste a 1.5K sine wave into your editor.

Make another file with 55hZ.

See if the meter is within 2 dB at your listening position pointing the meter between the speakers where your head normally is in mixing.

Set the meter to 80 dB and increase the level until the meter reaches zero on the 1.5K wave. Play the 55hZ at the same volume and meter position. Watch the meter pin itself againt the stop.

Rest my case.

I gurantee it.

Macaroni Sun, 12/29/2002 - 16:40

Hi Bill...

I listened to Golgi Apparatus and it didn't sound bass heavy. Everything seemed fairly well balanced frequency wise.

I understand what you explained about the mushyness being due to multiple transfers, etc. I kind of figured that. But it was surprising none the less.

Unfortunately I don't have time for the tests, but I'll take your word for it.

Hey Cedar... I think you are discrediting that comparison article too hastily. I think it would be fairly easy to find out Rip Rowan's credentials, which I believe have some credibility. And the fact is that he compared all the monitors in the same environment with the same source material, so at the very least his comparisons between the speakers gives some valuable insights into their characteristics relative to one another.

Bill, I did learn from your critique of my mix and I remixed it the other day in Logic Platinum. Everything is much warmer now and the bottom is much better. I'll upload it again in the next while and let you know so if you're interested, you can have another listen to see the differences.

audiowkstation Sun, 12/29/2002 - 16:49

Very cool, that is all that matters is that is is as level as you can get it (for translation purposes) and that you can work with the speakers you have.

I actually pulled off some wonderful things with auratone cubes and we know they sound like ass.

Profile picture for user Kurt Foster

Kurt Foster Sun, 12/29/2002 - 16:59

Ron,
took your suggestion and did a Netscape search on Rip Rowan. His main claim to fame is Pro Rcording.com and as a developer for Lotus. I didn't see any record credits to speak of other than a self produced cd he did. That being said, what is they say about teachers (writers also apply) "Those who can, do … and those who can't......" I stand by my comments. The thing that clues me in is when someone starts whining about NS10's and fatigue. I know immediately they don't know what they are talking about.. what a bunch of flop! Fats

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It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!

3dchris Sun, 12/29/2002 - 19:07

Hello :w:
I'm a new guy on this board. I must tell you that I'm a happy owner of HR824s and I'm extremely pleased with them. There is one thing I do not really understand from what most of you are saying. How can you say the speaker is not accurate when most of the reviewers from the most respectful recording related magazines claim it is? Also, is Mackie lying about it's accuaracy? I strongly believe that the problem lies with very poor acoustic environment you tested this monitors in. Another thing is that most people are so much used to listening to bass lacking monitors for so many years that suddenly full sounding speakers seem to produce "too much bass" for them while the truth is that all other monitors produced "not enough" of it.
I would like to say here that there is no "perfect" monitor and the monitors we select is a matter of preference rather than accuaracy cause most of them are accurate enough to make a great sounding mix if placed in accusticaly accurate room (and even in not accurate one!). It doesn't really matter if we mix on $300.00 cheap monitors or $40,000.00 ones as long as we KNOW the sound of them. That's why I do not quite understand why someone does not play tons of commercialy released CDs through their monitors BEFORE even attempting their first mix on them. This is the common mistake many people make...they do not LEARN the sound of their monitors and then they are surprised that thay can't get good sounding mix on them. I can gurantee that a good engineer can make a great mix on a pair of headphones or a $30.00 radio shack speakers, just give him the time to LEARN how other great recordings sound through them.
So if you can prove that HR824 are not accuarate you have my attention, but if not then maybe you should re-evaluate your statements?

tnx,

chris

audiowkstation Sun, 12/29/2002 - 19:34

I have nothing to re-evaluate at all.

If the speaker has a huge peak out of doors at one meter, their is no room in the world that will provide flat frequency response.

I will not argue the point further after this.

These are facts.

It is Mackies attempt to intergrate boomy speakers into the professional realm. You make them sound good, great! Then all professional recordings from 1955 until 1997 is now rendered useless and all speaker manufactures have to redisign to mackies terms? I do not buy that.

I am extreamly well respected in the field of acoustic measurements. How about over 20 years?

If you take the most expensive anechoic chambers in the World (Eglin AFB Ft Walton Beach Florida and the two at NASA) and you have worked in all three, and you have had your monitors in two of the three and ran a complete dianostic using millions of dollars of highly calibrated equipment in a climate controlled environment and seen the curve of said speakers, and designed your room to accomodate those speakers to measure simalar results and you have the HD824s in that room and they are hot on the bass, then you simply have an inaccurate speaker. IF you take the same speaker (HD824) and walk outside in a free space field and measure a rise at 55hZ, you have an inaccurate speaker. If you measure the HD824's phase at crossover frequency and it is 190 degrees, you have an inaccurate speaker. If you spend 24 years of your life, designing and developing top quality loudspeakers and this one does not translate true (basied on mixes I get here to master with time and time again) on all systems I have even the car, you have an inaccurate speaker.

To come in here and tell me that BS will not work. I am 43 years old and have worked with the finest loudspeaker manufactures in the world. I have worked beside Paul Klipsch. I have worked beside Hector Martinez (JBL) I have worked beside Matthew Polk, I have has long sessions with Toole and Raymond Cooke of KEF.

Mackie makes shitty boards as well. Noisy, bad gain management.

To think they are the cats meow in accurate reproduction when the speakers have serious phase error at crossover frequency, poor rise time in the low frequencies, wide impedance curve, poor loading of the enclosure, ringing at 270 hz due to thin enclosure and cannot faithfully reproduce the sound of a well recorded snare drum is just plain BS again.

If you feel the written word of "respected reviewers" is not jaded by the dollar and payoffs, then you have another learning curve in front of you.

I am a moderator here. I did not become one by spreading falsehoods and noise. I became one because my work "checks out"

Tell me, why is it that my Stax lamda pro headphones and my Sennheiser headphones and my Yamaha headphones and all of the 10,000 plus recordings I have sound normal on those and everytime I get a mix done on a set of Mackies, the bass is thin at 45 to 75hZ and the 3K is killing me. All of them.

Because the speaker is inaccurate. They may be fun to listen to, they may work well for you, they do not coincide with the average that has been established by the recording arts and coutless engineers and thousands of records since the beginning of stereo.

We have awful sound coming from certain studios because this has not been realized.

I do not discount that you can make them work for you. I discount the notion that they are accurate speakers. They simply are not. It takes accuracy to coincide with the standards set forth to keep consumers from having to replace their systems because xxxx studio used inaccurate speakers.

Go ck out some PSB's. They are made in Canada and are far more accurate.

Home loudspeakers and professional loudspeakers do not go by the same rules as does home audio and professional audio.

Are the recordings you like on the mackies mastered already?

It may be more complex than you realize.

Your turn fats...

realdynamix Sun, 12/29/2002 - 20:07

Originally posted by Macaroni:
I have the Mackies and I think they are great.

Here's an article that compared most of the available powered near fields, including $4,000 Genelecs. You may be surprised at the results.

I was interested in them, once, nice marketing spread, I believe LF compensation switches for corner use, etc., But I know thats not the real way to mate a speaker to a room. Now this could be an earlier version. I was impressed however, in a store, Mars..They had the speaker demo area about in the 1st third of a large 150' deep room, I was about 25 feet from them, and they sounded very detailed in the mid-highs, almost pin-point, but no real bottom. Some of the components would make for a great far field system, but the required low end design, and re-egineering would price it out of the market they are looking for, and it wouldn't be small anymore.

For what it's worth, and as Bill said, way more to it then that.
-- Rick

Profile picture for user Kurt Foster

Kurt Foster Sun, 12/29/2002 - 20:28

Well.....
There you go kiddies...That's 3 of us who have made real records that vote against the HDR824... it must mean something. Bill told you about himself, Ricks reputation precedes him and me ??? Well let me say I have received $18000 checks for work I have done. Not from clients but advances from record labels who want to buy my productions. I keep saying this so much I get tired of it but I gotta tell ya...if it sounds good on a set of NS10's your in the ball park! A lot of speakers sound good but don't make good sounding recordings. We run into this a lot here and we are sorry we can't validate your speaker choices but that's just how it is. There are only a few speaker manufactures' who make a real quality speaker and if you think a $300 set of monitors is going to give you the same advantage as a $10,000 set, your wrong. If you listen to a favorite CD on a set of speakers and then mix a song to that same balance, sure you may be in the ballpark but that doesn't help when you're tracking.. studio monitors need to be accurate, not sound good. Trying to mix on a set of flattering speakers is the same thing as putting lipstick on a pig...it's attractive but it' really just a pig.
I also grow weary of this....
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It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!

Macaroni Sun, 12/29/2002 - 22:27

So what are the recommendations for an accurate set of powered monitors in the same price range as the HR824's?

What say you, learned ones?

Profile picture for user Kurt Foster

Kurt Foster Sun, 12/29/2002 - 22:55

I like just about everything that other guy hates. NS 10's (not powered, I know) KRK V8's cause they sound like NS10's :D , I also like the Hafler powered speakers. Anything he does is good sh*t and inexpensive to boot! I know these speakers all have a rep for being mid rangy but IMO that's what it takes. A speaker that will drive you nuts until you get that low mid dealt with!. Thanks for asking, ..... Fats

K-Sound Studios Mon, 12/30/2002 - 07:37

Hmmmm... room tuning .....
well, I thought something might be up with the Mackies after I built the new control room, and tuned the room with an old friend of mine who designed the rooms at Atlantic .. a couple of times over....
In my case, the Altecs related perfectly after hard listening to mixes done on them,no matter where, and the mixes on the Mackies, were a bit off.
The bass end was not my major complaint because it's a small box with a small speaker, so I expect something off down low, but I had huge quesions regarding the snare sound between the two, so I concentrated there, for a good two months, since I wanted to prove my ears out. The snare sound is not well represented on the Mackies; it will seem smoother and further back with the Mackies, and as as result, with less "crraaack" that I was hearing on the Altecs, and in the car, and even on the little computer speakers. This alarmed me in the sense that I was #1 surprised, and #2 knew I better not rely on the snare sound from them.
On my end, I consider the snare the most important sound in a rock mix, and as a drummer, I see my kit's sound and tuning starting from there forward .. even it's sound combined with the cymbals... This difference was not just on my mixes, but prerecorded cd's like Sting, Jeff Beck , Albert King, and James Brown.
Lastly, and perhaps most important to me and any owner of these, is that they ARE a decent speaker. Any of these small nearfields have problems. NS-10's are just an excuse to use a bad speaker as a reference to make mixes sound good "everywhere", I see no net worth at this point in using an NS-10 with all the other options out there to use them. I had a pair of NS-10's and the best day in the studio was selling them. The KRK speakers are, IMO, also not offering a good sound image.
I thought a bi-amped small monitor might be the ticket, but I am now leaning away from that thought, and thinking that simplicity is the answer.. a good amp, with an efficent speaker that is not hyped or designed for the "hip market". Frankly, I'm having a real problem with why this is such a huge problem for the manufactures to offer. My 2 cents, probably worth less than 2 cents :) !!

3dchris Mon, 12/30/2002 - 10:27

Bill and Fats,
Are you saying that an engineer can't make a good souning mix on HR824s? I'm sorry but I do not buy that. Bill, I think you misunderstood my message. I am not saying that other monitors are bad or anything like that. I'm just saying that we select monitors according to our preferences. And if you listened to enough commercially released CDs before you did mix on Mackies you would learn the sound it produces (all monitors sound differently, don't they?) and that would allow you to set the bass level and eq accordingly. If you say you don't like that much bass or sound of it, I understand. That's a different story. But I'm sorry I do not agree that these monitors cannot make a mix sound great. It's just a matter of learning their sound. And to me they sound great. I agree with the snare sound..but if I make my snare sound same on them as Omar Hakim's then I'm perfectly happy with it :) But hey, we all are different. Thanks God we have variety of monitors to choose from :)

txn,

chris

P.S. Do you guys test your mix only on 1 set of monitors? I use at least 3.

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