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Old May 8th, 2009, 02:50 AM   #31
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You are welcome Charles and good luck with you quest for good audio, it is great that you are taking such an interest in the one aspect of film making that tends to get sidelined.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 03:17 AM   #32
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What do you mean by ‘lock them into place’?

Mixing is like putting the pieces of a puzzle together, when all the ins and outs perfectly match, the pieces lock together. The exact meaning depends a little upon context. In this case I was talking about a vocal, so it is kind of like the difference between having a casual conversation with someone moving about the room, and having that person stand directly in front of you, feet locked to the floor, speaking directly at you. Compression helps create that kind of presence and consistent level. You can sense when the right point is reached - someone may be right in front of you speaking passionately, that is ok. If it feels like they are yelling it is too much (overcompression), it feels false. Too quietly, you miss the passion, (undercompression), also feels false. You know it when you hear it.

In terms of a mix it would mean all the pieces are there, everything clear, nothing sticking out, it all just feels natural, like it was meant to be. Even if you just spent the last eight hours trying 400 variations to get it there, ;-)

I hear that term used a lot here, but it may just be a U.S. thing.

The comment about audiophiles is kind if an insider joke. Anyone who has spent any time working in audio has run into the fellow who wants to be 'helpful' but is focused to a fanatic degree on things that are not really relevant. Like one 'consultant' friend of a band that had me spend about four hours pulling console modules to bypass certain caps, and replacing my speaker wiring with his special cables. All this for a demo of a bar band, mind you. The time would have been far more profitablly spent in a little more rehearsal for the band...

Oh and you need to have decent monitors, I have used dynaudio for the past 15 years

And I am still using my ancient and venerable Urei 811s, horribly out of date, but I know exactly what my mixes should sound like on them to translate well. And they are also large enough I can put an unlimited, unprocessed bass drum through them at levels as loud as I hear in the drum booth without them crappiing out.

For mid size monitors, some old Fostex RM780s, and auratones for the 'am radio' mix. ;-) All time aligned and having a pretty consistent sound - when the mix is right it sounds about the same on all three, just gets bigger and more full on the larger ones.

I think the most important thing with monitors is they be studio type (accurate, not pushing certain ranges), and that you be thoroughly familiar with them, and the way your room sounds.

I keep thinking I should upgrade, but...such a long learning curve for new monitors...

These little powered monitors that are all the rage now - they can't give me the levels I sometimes want. 'track loud, mix soft' - you need both. I am speaking of music production though. 125 DB bass drum levels are somewhat rare in dramatic productions. ;-)

Now what ARE those big monitors in the picture, I want to know too.

Here is my test for good monitoring, by the way:

Have a vocalist sing and play a deep drum plus something like a tamborine. Mic about 2-3 feet away with a high quality large diaphram condensor (U87 etc, omni or figure 8 setting). Close your eyes and listen from the mic position. Listen closely. Now go into the control room and listen on your main monitors. It should sound exactly the same, like you could reach out and touch the singer. Not worse, NOR 'better'. -Just the same-. If it does, you know you have accurate monitoring and the room is good enough.

If it doesn't, there is work to do in one area or the other.

I am expecting it to take a long time though.

Good plan ;-) Make your mistakes early and often.

When I think I’m not making any progress I feel depressed, empty, and tired of life—and I’m only twenty-three!

Normal for 23. It gets better. ;-)

I do not make films for fun

All of the arts are far, far, far, too much work if they are not also your greatest fun.

Even if you make films about depressing subjects, I hope you really enjoy being depressed.

-Mike
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Old May 8th, 2009, 03:47 AM   #33
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The big boxes are Dynaudio M3A's actually they are total overkill for mixing TV drama but very nice anyway, they are the same speakers that AIR studios use(George Martin's place)
There is a second hand set-up on e-bay:Dynaudio Acoustics M3A complete active system, used/new on eBay, also, Monitors, Pro Audio Equipment, Musical Instruments (end time 05-Jun-09 15:09:10 BST)
Here is a full view of the old dub suite at The Bill featuring an AMS Neve logic 1 and 32 track audiofile, they now have three top end pro tools/icon systems:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...rass/Dub1a.jpg

My home studio has the BM10's with a 12 inch powered sub bass, they still have the very smooth sound of the big boys but all dynaudios are nice and sensitive so you dont have to drive them hard like you had to do with the other speakers I used all the time in the 80's the tannoy red's.

The pic of my home studio has an AMS Neve logic 3 and audiofile but this has now gone as it was too big I now just have the pro tools 002 rig with the dv toolkit:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...s/DSC_0191.jpg
I also edit and tracklay on final cut pro studio 2.

Oh and one last audio secret for Charles, to get the best sounding mix you need a Duck and a Sheep to keep you right, a lava lamp is also essential for nightime mixing :)
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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:21 AM   #34
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I may have to try to find some Dynaudios to listen to. I like Tannoys and in general monitors with a sort of emphasis in the midrange rather than pushed highs or lows. If the Dynaudios have that kind of sound I might like them.

I agree about the lava lamp, but sheep? Must be a Brit thing and I am not entirely sure I want to know more... ;-)

-MD
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Old May 8th, 2009, 05:38 AM   #35
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Certainly the dynaudios are the closest I have come to the tannoy sound and they are used a lot in the UK dubbing world.

The sheep can be a problem at times but at least they stay awake during the dub unlike the assistant editor:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...s/DSC00053.jpg
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Old May 8th, 2009, 06:41 AM   #36
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You have worked with the large Dynaudio, and the small. I am curious how you would describe the difference between them. (but read below first)

I am a bit frustrated right now with the available choices for speakers. For instance, I thought maybe I would see what Tannoy was offering lately. What I find on their site - for studio use - is a whole range of nearfield monitors. And absolutely nothing else! Having near fields is fine, I just don't think those should be the -only- monitors available. I understand that lot of the market now is home studios, etc, usually with too small rooms, where near fields are a godsend. But...

The available choices now seem to be, not just from Tannoy but almost all the manufacturers, either near fields or a few offering really large systems designed for very large rooms which only the likes of George Martin can afford to build. I tend to like and build medium sized control rooms - a little small for the largest systems, but which need more than nearfields. Something with maybe a 12 or 15 in woofer. Not two.

It's important to me because I simply don't feel I am getting the full picture from nearfields. All these seem to be little 6 or at most 8 inch speakers. While it is technically possible to make these speakers reproduce much lower frequencies now, with long excursion cones (at the price of inefficiency) they just do not sound the same as larger speakers.

It's very hard to describe what I am hearing, but something is missing. On the nearfields, I never can get away from the sense of sound coming out of two boxes. On larger, non-nearfields like my ureis, the speakers just disappear. The test I mentioned above for accurate monitoring - I never get the feeling I am 'there' like on larger speakers. Accurate frequency response - yes. But never, really that I am there in that room. The larger speakers sound, somehow, effortless. I can almost feel the nearfields straining. Regardless of what the numbers say, the bigger speakers sound - bigger.

We are being told it is ok not to have full range speakers in each cabinet, that a single driver in a subwoofer can handle this just fine, because 'we can't localize low frequencies anyway'. And crossing over much higher is fine. The numbers come out the same. Apparently Tannoy beileves there is no longer any need to make truly full range monitors any more.

If this were really true, I should be able to line up nearfields and large monitors, at the apprpriate distances, match levels, and then A/B between them with my eyes closed, hearing no difference. But that is not what I hear.

It's great for the manufacturers, they are building smaller, less expensive boxes to build, using fewer large expensive speakers, and charging us a premium price for them.

I have this vague feeling we are being had.

So I am wondering if you have the same kind of sense about the difference between the nearfield Dynaudio's and the full size ones. Or maybe I am just an old dinosaur who is having trouble adjusting.

There is so much hype around speakers...

-Mike

Last edited by Mike Demmers; May 8th, 2009 at 07:17 AM.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 07:53 AM   #37
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The dynaudios do all sound similar BUT I am using the BM10's that I have as nearfield speakers with a sub to just add some bottom end for the lowest octave. They certainly go loud enough for home use.

I agree that large boxes are the best for a decent sized room but I have also used these dynaudios as main speakers:M2

The laws of physics are that to monitor correctly in a large room you do need to have big speakers, and in the case of music studios a small PA system sized set of monitors.

I used to own a facility in london and I kitted the whole place out with modern tannoys and they certainly did the job well. The main 5.1 room had three srm12 at the front two srm10 at the rear and a 18 inch sub.
I dont know if tannoy still make these but they did the job without me having to get horn loaded JBL's installed.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Demmers View Post
...
It's very hard to describe what I am hearing, but something is missing. On the nearfields, I never can get away from the sense of sound coming out of two boxes. On larger, non-nearfields like my ureis, the speakers just disappear. The test I mentioned above for accurate monitoring - I never get the feeling I am 'there' like on larger speakers. Accurate frequency response - yes. But never, really that I am there in that room. The larger speakers sound, somehow, effortless. I can almost feel the nearfields straining. Regardless of what the numbers say, the bigger speakers sound - bigger.

...
Give a listen to the JBL Pro LSR43xx nearfields. Their digital correction magic includes time and phase alignment for the listening position as well as tuning out room resonances. The sensation of the speakers disaappearing and the sound coming from a stable stage between the boxes that you're describing is precisely what I hear on my pair of LSR4328.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #39
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Oh and one last audio secret for Charles, to get the best sounding mix you need a Duck and a Sheep to keep you right, a lava lamp is also essential for nightime mixing :)
Now look, we could have saved days of confusion if you'd just said that from the start. I've put in my order for the "mixer's secret" duck, sheep, and lava lamp kit from B&H ;-)

Mike, thanks again, and again. You continue to provide great info, and inspiration.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 09:35 PM   #40
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The sheep can be a problem at times but at least they stay awake during the dub unlike the assistant editor:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...s/DSC00053.jpg
How much are you paying him?
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Old May 9th, 2009, 02:53 AM   #41
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I used to own a facility in london and I kitted the whole place out with modern tannoys and they certainly did the job well. The main 5.1 room had three srm12 at the front two srm10 at the rear and a 18 inch sub.
I dont know if tannoy still make these but they did the job without me having to get horn loaded JBL's installed.
That is exactly what I was thinking - buy whatever the upgrade to SRM-12s was. I would go to their site, select 'studio monitors' and read all about the new magnets and/or other improvements.

Here is what I found:

Tannoy - Studio - Summary

Not a single monitor that is not near-field. Not a single woofer larger than 8 inches.

The closest thing I could find was in their DC12i, sold as a home theater speaker. Maybe that would work.

JBL seems to have ONE, amidst all the near fields.

Apparently these manufacturers now think all studios are located in small spare bedrooms. ;-)

-Mike

Last edited by Mike Demmers; May 9th, 2009 at 03:43 AM.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 03:35 AM   #42
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Give a listen to the JBL Pro LSR43xx nearfields. Their digital correction magic includes time and phase alignment for the listening position as well as tuning out room resonances. The sensation of the speakers disaappearing and the sound coming from a stable stage between the boxes that you're describing is precisely what I hear on my pair of LSR4328.
Yes, interesting comment.

I was actually already looking at these. I love listening to music on JBLs, but have always been afraid to mix on them, because they always seemed to flatter anything sent to them. I think they have become much more neutral over the years, but old fears die hard. I will definitely try to have a listen when I can.

I have been talking about main music monitors (meaning two for stereo), but my real problem is slightly different. I want to do 5.1 mixes. My control room is small enough that I am sure I can use near fields for that there, but my main recording room, which is set up to double as a theater, really needs full size or mid size monitors (it is roughly a square 24 feet on a side with some of the corners clipped off , 10-12 foot ceiling. ). Remember this is basically a home studio (with some commercial ideas that may work out - in which case upgrading speakers wil not be a problem, or may not, in which case I'd just as soon not spend $25,000 - M2s - on a personal use studio ;-) I'm picky about audio, but not wealthy. Whatever I wind up buying 5 of twice, I will be feeling serious pain...

Finding nearfield choices is not much of a problem. The bigger ones are much more difficult.

'Esoteric' is out.

Right now I see

Tannoy - DC12i - about $1200 each.

JBL - LSR6332 about $1400 and I really can't go much higher in price.

I've considered building some myself, it's within my technical skill level, and by the time I am done building these rooms my carpentry skills should be quite well honed.

Here is another crazy idea - why not just buy REAL theater speakers? I would not have considered this, figuring it was too expensive, until I saw this:

JBL 3632 Three-Way Bi-Amplified ScreenArray Cinema Loudspeaker System at Performance Audio

$1600 is barely more than the JBLs, and imagine being able to say to a producer, "No, this is not LIKE a theater system to proof your mixes on, it IS a full THX approved theater system, exactly the same as you find in many multiplexes".

Undoubtedly a bit more optimized for 'loud' than ' accurate', but I am not sure I care. I can worry about the fine details in the control room ;-)

-Mike
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