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What monitors are you using?

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I'm curious as to what everyone is using for monitors. I know some of our members here have some pretty sweet setups, and thought this would be good information to share with those who are in the process of equipping their home studio.

One thing I discovered as I was researching monitors is that it's a highly subjective topic - even more so than most other gear (i.e. guitars, amps, pedals, etc.). There doesn't seem to be a clear consensus as to the best set of monitors in *any* price range. The only consistent advice I found was that you have to "learn" your monitors - listen to reference material on them (e.g., commercial CDs that you like the mix on) and compare your own mixes on several different systems (car stereos, iPods, home stereos, computer speakers, etc.) to get an idea of where your monitors' strengths and weaknesses are.

So, which ones are you using?

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Yorkville YSM1p.

I did a LOT of research on various recording forums and these were constantly held in high regard. I would have to agree, these are great monitors! :thumbup1:

-tkr

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I mainly use headphones - a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-AD700s. But, like Fly, I have a Yamaha amp and a pair of PSB speakers. Can't justify the money for monitors.

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Nice thread Mac, be interesting to see whats being used. I use an older set of Event B.A.S. 20/20's for monitors and Koss{pro4AA Titanium} headphones, but want to upgrade to a more "studio monitoring" type of cans if that makes sense, these are just good stereo phones...any chance of throwing this subject in as well?

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I just bought a pair of M-Audio BX-5a's. Can't offer any critique of them because I haven't had a chance to use them yet, but they seemed to get decent reviews for low-end nearfields. MF had a deal where you got a pair of monitor stands and Auralex monitor isolation pads along with them, too. I should finally get a chance to play around with them in the next couple days or so. I've got everything set up (Macbook, PreSonus FireBox, BX-5a's, etc.), it's just a matter of having time to sit down and play with it all!

Kenny - the headphones I have right now are a cheapie pair of Sony MDR-150's. I eventually want to upgrade to something like the Sennheiser HD-280's or Sony 7506's. The 150's are prone to bleed/spillover when tracking because they don't isolate enough.

As far as using headphones for mixing/mastering, most of the advice I've read says that it's not such a great idea because the separation is so different from speakers, and the mix won't necessarily translate well.......although, if you've been mixing using headphones, it would be hard to argue that it doesn't work for you, as your mixes generally sound pretty doggone good! :yes:

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Thanks Mac, Thats due to all the help from here, LOL I still remember my postings before I learned something about panning.

I use both monitors and headphones when doing the final mix down, but there is quite a bit of difference in the overall sound quality between them, that's why I'm looking for better cans. Those Sennheiser's look promising, will have to see if I can find a set to test-out.

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I currently use three pairs plus headphones...for different reasons. Like you say, it's all about learning your monitors and getting your mixes to sound good on several systems against known good mixes.

The first speaker I recommend getting is a sub-woofer!!

One set I'm using are Tannoy Reveals (6"). These really are a great all around sounding set. Good bass, soft mids and soft highs. If I can get a mix to sound balanced on these, the mix seems to transfer well to larger systems.

My next set are Yamaha NS10M's. These suckers are really annoying in the midrange. So I tweak to get each track so it's where I want it to be as far as midrange, plus make sure that none of it is annoying. The other value of these is for the mono-sum check (can you hear every part in mono as well as stereo?).

The last set I use are a set of modified Yamaha NS10T's. I rebuilt these with reconed poly woof's and a souped up crossover network to give the speak's more power handling capability. These were the predecessors to the M's, and their main drawback is that they are annoying in the high end. So, I mix each so they're not annoying in the high end and that seems to transfer well.

I like to use headphones for monitors because they are also another set of speak's that the mix must transfer to in order to sound good! Yes, if you use headphones only you can get a false sense of stereo panning as most won't transfer as drastically to other sets. Plus, as you know they lack in low end. But that's just it--know thy speaker sets!

The problem I have in using these near-field monitors is that I get just that--near-field monitor-itis. Often times this means that since we mix on near-field monitors, the mixes tend to lack punch on the system in the car and the home because most of our near-fields are over-punchy.

So just listen to your mixes everywhere! Go to the car, your friend's car, Best Buy or Circuit City or some stereo store, then take it to an audiophile store and listen there. The differences will be shocking! But none-the-less great eye-opening and learning experiences.

Steve

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I always go back to my Tannoy M15s. Everything sounds great through them - £70 back in 1982. I've spent hundreds more since but these are the best all rounders.

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I myself am just using some £30 iWant speakers that were initially bought for my iPod, then i use the "Audio In" cable to connect to the headphone out put of my behringer interface and go. They're loud, portable, and work well enough for my uses, and, £30 for double use speakers? BARGAIN.

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Earlier in this thread I had said that I just used an old yamaha stereo and some speakers but that I mostly used headphones.

Well, as a Christmas prezzie to myself I went out looking at monitors. Since the style of music tends to be acoustic and the monitors would be sitting on my desk, I narrowed the choice down to smaller cones - 5" - 6". Looked at a few but I chose the Yamaha HS50m's and am pretty happy with them so far. It's to be seen whether it will make any difference to my recordings.

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