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Old October 11th, 2004, 08:33 PM   #1
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Getting serious about my audio- Studio Monitor Recomendations?

I'm thinking about using my Klipsch Promedia 5.1's for my other (gaming) machine and picking up a good pair of shielded studio Monitor speakers. I don't need 5.1's as I don't work with 5.1 audio.

Can anyone recommend a good set that will work with a (now don't laugh) Soundblaster Audigy 2. I'm not looking to change my soundcard as of yet.

Maybe a good pair of Mackies or something. When it comes to audio I'm admittedly very weak...and need all the help you guys can give me. Thanks in advance.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 08:51 PM   #2
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Glen, if your sound blaster has a digital audio out, run a digital wire(coax, or optical) to a receiver. A good onkyo, or denon reciver and a pair of von schweikert vr1 monitor speakers would be a huge step up from any "5.1 in a box" set up.

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Old October 11th, 2004, 09:50 PM   #3
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I actually need something a little more compact. Something that will connect directly to the sound card without a reciever.

Studio monitor speakers ARE better at doing audio edits than a pair of Klipsch promedia's that are marketed for gaming...correct?!
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Old October 11th, 2004, 09:55 PM   #4
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The reciever powers the speakers. More power, cleaner THD, more dynamic range, and better drivers means better audio. The whole set up, the card, reciever, drivers and wires all work together.


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Old October 11th, 2004, 10:16 PM   #5
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The only thing you have to ask yourself now is...... how far am I willing to take it....... ;) belive me it can get expensive, thats why most people have the "5.1 in a box" set up.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 10:27 PM   #6
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Well I paid $500 for my 5.1 all-in-one system. It provides some of the best audio money can buy (well at least before getting into exotic set-ups)...but in the realm of computer gaming. I know real-world audio is a different ball-game and even question if I "need" pro audio monitors?

I do event/wedding videography. So the majority of audio editing will be with the officiant and the bride/groom's vows exhchange. I know it's not the most involving audio editing but figured if I was planning on moving my WORK machine to a separate desk...why try to lug the uneccessary 5.1 system with it...if I can get away with a simple 2-peice audio set up that might offer more "accurate" monitoring during audio edits.

What's your take. Will I be fine with a Best Buy bought 2.1 system or should I go the Studio Monitor route? What is the benefit I'd reap from going with the latter?
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Old October 11th, 2004, 10:35 PM   #7
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Why go totally nuts. Get a pair of powered monitorsTannoy Reveals or Yorkville YSM1P You don't want a thumping base, just clean and accurate.

Look at the M-Audio 2496 card, it's around $100
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Old October 11th, 2004, 10:39 PM   #8
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To answer your question, no you dont "need" it. Most 2.1, or 5.1 in a box systems get there power from the sound card itself, not from a reciever, so you will hear a huge difference. I dont know how you would power large speakers without a reciever, so if sound is a critical part of your production, then a pro set up should be worth looking into.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 10:46 PM   #9
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bryan,

Using powerd speakers completely slipped my mind, the links look perfect for a step up from a 5.1 in a box set up.


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Old October 11th, 2004, 11:20 PM   #10
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Douglas uses some smaller M-Audio powered speakers for his seminars. They can be had with a subwoofer. They sound quite good.

KRK, Mackie, M-Audio are good brands. Just make certain you are getting speakers that are monitors designed for mixing sound. There are stereo speakers that are labeled monitors that are not at all what you want for good sound mixing.

I decided I didn't want powered speakers since I already had a Rotel amplifier. The KRK Rok-R's I got are awesomely good. I've yet to be able to over drive them except with very low frequencies.

Best upgrade for audio mixing that can be made.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 11:20 PM   #11
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It might be better to spend $100 on sound treatment instead of a better sound card? You might need to spend a little more than that even if you plan to build your own panels. Jay Rose's book Audio Postproduction for Digital Video ($30, see dplay.com for buying info) has instructions for building your own and is otherwise an excellent book.

Sound treatment may be needed to cut down the reverb time of your room, control flutter echo (clap your hands and listen for a 'boing' response), and make the room sound less boomy (it may not do all these things- it depends on your room's acoustics and the design of your sound treatment).

2- The Audigy 2 isn't THAT bad is it? I listened to one a little bit although my ears didn't have anything better to compare it to at that point in time. The recording part of it kinda sucks as it has mystery limiters... but the playback seems fine. It doesn't have hiss like the Soundblaster Lives do. Not sure how far the bass extends (although you may need a subwoofer to hear that) or how good/bad the distortion and detail is compared to a better card.

There's a review on the 'net where someone compared the SB Audigy2 to the M-Audio Revolution 7.1 and the Terratec DMX-Fire ($200 card, very nice). They tested playing music on headphones to real people (blind testing), who judged the cards on enjoyment (not accuracy). The Terratec card won out, and it was a tossup between the Audigy2 and the M-Audio Revolution for 2nd/3rd place.
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Old October 12th, 2004, 12:02 AM   #12
 
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Mackie 624, Mackie 626, M-Audio SPBX-5, SPBX-8, Genelec 1029's, these are all good SERIOUS monitor enclosures.
Then there are
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Old October 12th, 2004, 01:54 PM   #13
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Huge can O' Worms here.

OK. Not an audio-head but here goes...

If you want to hear the sound exactly like the average person will hear it you need to have the same setup the average person has. Good luck even figuring out what that is.

Next best bet is to get accurate reproduction from a studio monitor. Genlec comes to mind but are quite high in the cost range. You need to look for flat response. No subs unless they come with a flat system. Everyone gets in trouble with Bose and all those systems that have the tiny satelite speakers and a bass box. The response isn't as flat across the range as they would have you believe.

Something simple like the Mackies, they also have a smaller division called Tapco. We have been selling a bunch of these with our smaller Avid suites. They sound reasonable and replace the venerable old Roland 12 series quite well.

If you are whole hog serious about flat sound reproduction, find an EQ that has a pink (not white) noise generator, 12 or more band graphic display and matched microphone. Pump that annoying pink noise out of the system, place the mic at listening position and run the EQ faders until the display shows a flat response.

What you have just done will be to boost the gaps in freq response where your crossover lie in the speakers or the bi-amped system (sometimes used on amplified systems) misses a bit. You are also adjusting somewhat for room acoustics but that's a really tricky bit there.

Carpet Everything....The walls, the ceiling, the cat... Cushy furniture and soft materials help absorbe reflections. And NEVER place your speakers in a corner. You are going to have dead spots. Try pumping out tone and moving your head around the listining position. You will likely hear nulls where the tone is self canceling, etc.

How good is good? Do you think it's good sound? Will your clients? That's what counts. Try not to spend too much on all this. I use gaming speakers, Altecs on my small Express Pro / Premiere Pro system. We playback for proofing on a 14" 16:9 capable component/S-video monitor, both audio and video.

We haven't even mentioned noise floors of mixers, pre-amps, tube mics, Digital Audio Workstations, 12 bit vs 16 bit, etc.

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Old October 12th, 2004, 02:25 PM   #14
 
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<<<Carpet Everything....The walls, the ceiling, the cat... >>>

I'd have to dispute that comment in an otherwise very good post.
Carpet not only is a lousy diffuser, but it can also lend to more problems than it removes.
So far, since no one has mentioned it....
Avoid eggcrate foam. It's illegal in most states anyway for anything but going under mattresses?
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Old October 12th, 2004, 03:06 PM   #15
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Check out either of Jay Rose's books Producing Great Sound for Digital Video or Audio Post Production for Digital Video. Note esp. what he has to say about small speakers. In the latter book he also has a lot of useful things to say about acoustic treaments for a room (you really only need to worry about 1/3 the surface area if done properly)

Look at the range of studio monitors from a good broadcast supply outlet B&H or http://www.bswusa.com. Forget consumer market speakers.

Rose writes: " Some people claim small, cheap speakers are better because they're like ones in cheap TV sets. The reasoning is that these speakers will give a more accurate picture of what most people will hear . . .

"The fact is that most cheap speakers are bad in random ways. What improves sound on one can make it worse on another. What is consistent is that most cheap speakres will miss an octave or more at both ends of the spectrum. The affects how you balance voice and music because music has more energy at those extremes. And the restricted range can hide serious problems with hum, boominess are noise

"Make your mix decisions on good speakers, so you'll know what's actually going to be on the track."
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