Monitors (warning: dumb question)

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by jdier, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. jdier

    jdier Active Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Home Page:
    OK, I am a dumbass.

    Help me understand near-field monitors. I am setting up a home studio (largely for recording our band.) I had planned on plugging my DAW into my harmon kardon amp and powering two JBL bookshelf speakers and two larger american acoustic speakers. My thought was that I would be able to a/b large and small speakers while mixing.

    What am I missing? Is there any major fault in my logic?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    No fault in your logic. Sound acceptable to me. Does the Harmon Kardon have facilities to switch speaker pairs? If it does, then you should be fine. I would say that there are much better amps than a home receiver / stereo to power your system with but until you decide to get some serious studio monitors what you are doing should work. Kurt
    I have no ax to grind! I’m not trying to sell anything!!! :D
  3. GT40sc

    GT40sc Active Member

    Jan 14, 2001
    Seattle WA, USA
    Hey Jim,

    You know the drill..."The only dumb question is one that is not asked"...etc.

    There is no major fault in your logic...your current setup will get you started just fine. You may feel the need for a more professional monitoring system "somewhere down the road."

    Cool for now...

    Near-field monitors are designed for "close-up" listening, so that you can hear more of the direct signal from the speakers themselves, and less of the early reflections from various surfaces in the room.

    Of course this depends on the acoustics of the room itself, speaker placement, playback volume, and too many other factors to mention, but we won't worry about all that for now...

    Your JBL bookshelf speakers are probably good enough to get you started here. How big are the cabinets? What size is the woofer? How much power do they want to see?

    To start with, set them up in an equilateral triangle, with your listening position at the "sharp point." If the speakers are 3.5 feet apart, for example, make the point of the triangle 3.5 feet from each speaker.

    You may want to angle the monitors slightly in toward your listening position, but not too much; be careful that the sound does not bounce off your computer monitor before it gets to you.

    The speakers should be placed on stands, so that the tweeters are at approximately "ear-height" when you are seated in your mixing chair.

    Of course I don't know anything about the room you will be working in, or if you have any options as far as placement of the monitors themselves. Try to keep them away from walls and out of corners as much as possible...these may cause un-natural boosts in bass response. Remember, the idea is to hear the direct signal from the monitors, and to minimize "room tone" as best you can.

    Wes and Ethan in the Acoustics forum can help you more on that front...

    The only other thing to mention now is that you may want to monitor your work in MONO from time to time. Can you do this with the Harmon-Kardon amp? If not, maybe you can just pan everything to one side in your's important to see how your mixes hold together, and to correct any polarity problems before they go out...

    best of some of your mixes!
  4. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    New Jersey (right outside the Big Apple!)
    Home Page:
    GT40sc made a great point regarding Etan's Acoustic Forum. You should read some of the posts there and check out the articles on his website. For some small change you can substantially improve the acoustic of your room.
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