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Old September 8th, 2009, 03:25 PM   #16
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A composer friend of mine with golden ears has an older pair of Blue Sky 2.1s and loves them. I haven't heard them myself, but can pass on a very strong recommendation from a solid source.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 03:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Richard which model do you have?
Garrett
I've got the 8030as. They would be over the $500 budget so I probably shouldn't have recommended them. They go for about 400 each in the UK. I think they were nearer 300 when I bought mine, which might have put them nearer the target $500 for two. So often pounds = dollars when buying kit etc
HOWEVER it's not like you are buying a camera or computer that will be out of date in three years time. Decent speakers will last you a lifetime and still do the job.
As Garrett says, I understand it you don't want speakers that are designed for music. You want a neutral sound. I understand that the Genelecs have some colouration but it's beyond my powers of discrimination.
I love them. You hear everything. Well worth the money.

ps I did a course in sound recording with this guy:
http://www.chriswatson.net/
He didn't say buy the Genelecs and nothing else ie I'm sure there are other speakers that are just as good. But he suggested Genelecs and I took his advice. You could do a lot worse.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 03:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Paul Whittington View Post
Hi there,

I'm looking to upgrade my basic PC speakers to something better for when I edit audio for my films. Please keep in mind that I am not a master audio editor so I'm not looking for anything too high end, just a decent set of stereo speakers that will give me a better interpretation of what the audio I'm editing actually DOES sound like. Up too $500 dollars is my price range.

I know next to nothing in the area of computer speakers so any good recommendations would be great. Or if there is a good standard set of speakers out there that most people are using please let me know. I usually buy from B&H in case anyone knows something they sell that is good.

Thanks!
Paul:

You need to look at how you are going to connect and use the monitor system you are planning on buying. Most people tend to use the stereo mini plug rather than a digital connection. The stereo mini plug uses the on-board DAC which is usually from the motherboards built-in audio. Not good. Or do you have a good sound card ($100 to $200) to use for the DAC?

I believe in using a good sound card for DAC rather than one of the monitor speaker systems with a built-in DAC. That gives you a lot more flexibility for expansion in the future and allows you to run your studio monitor headphones directly off the computers sound card.

I think your first purchases should be:
1. A high end sound card ($100+)
2. Sony 7506 headphones for critical work & reality checks on the monitor system ($100)
3. One of the higher rated 2.1 speaker systems for a starter. Although a high end monitor system would certainly sound far more accurate and cleaner, I doubt your workspace (like most peoples) is acoustically correct in the first place, and an emphasized sounding system is probably more what an end user would hear your audio on rater than a monitor system. Use the headphones for monitoring and the 2.1 system for one variation of real life.

Also, lot of people in your situation buy a 2.1 system like the Logitech Z-2300 (a massively boomy system) and replace the satellites with a high end bookshelf speaker like the BA 150 with very good results (a fairly balanced system) reported at a manageable cost.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #19
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Make it easy on yourself, and keep this in mind:

99.9% of your audience will be listening to your work on cheap PC speakers, or whatever feeble sounds their TV speakers can reproduce.

I produce content for websites and DVD distribution....mostly live music shows. I am also generally the sound man at the shows that I film. So I know a little bit about sound reinforcement and reproduction. I mix ALL my audio on my PC in Adobe Premiere Pro or Soundbooth using a $120.00 pair of Altec Lansing VS4121 speakers with a separate powered sub. Studio quality monitors are great if your audience will be listening back on high-end equipment (like a 5.1 or bigger Dolby Surround Sound system), but the majority of MY audience isn't. So, I mix the audio to sound good on the equipment that the audience is most likely to be using.

And, I've had nothing but compliments...in Nashville, TN....a town full of wanna-be sound engineers. And I'm producing content for musicians to use for their own promotional purposes, and have never had a complaint!

I am not trying to flame any of the other comments here....just keep your audience, and their equipment, in mind.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
...I doubt your workspace (like most peoples) is acoustically correct in the first place, and an emphasized sounding system is probably more what an end user would hear your audio on rater than a monitor system. Use the headphones for monitoring and the 2.1 system for one variation of real life.

...
Cans are good for evaluating takes and some editing but they are NOT good for mixing. Phones introduce their own frequency distortions and mask other problems and cannot be calibrated for levels. Properly calibrated monitor speakers are a necessity for the final production mix.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #21
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Further to Steve's comment: in an environment where one EXPECTS the mix to be heard on speakers (instead of headphone, which music oftimes is), it's imperative to AT LEAST quality test on speakers to see if the interaction of the waveforms as they leave the drivers and mix and mingle with each other before hitting the listeners ears cause any bizarre and disastrous phase related issues.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 07:22 PM   #22
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Having a nice pair of headphones is great as a sanity check and for midnight work, but, as others have pointed out, they have limitations. The main two problems that I've had in the past are 1) you can't tell if a channel is inverted (you hear the cancellation with speakers, but not with headphones, and 2) you will mix details way too low. With closed headphones especially, you hear tiny details right next to your ear in a silent environment. Play the same thing on speakers, and the details are much quieter. Play it on you living room TV or car stereo and you;ll never, ever hear them.

But as Jeff wrote, good headphones make for a great sanity check, if you can't afford true reference monitors and an acoustically tuned room - especially when you are first learning the sound of your studio. You might mix something that sounds great on your system, but sounds horrid on you cans. If so, there is a problem with your mix. It should sound good on both. You can also try the mix through your TV. It won't sound great, but shouldn't sound bad.

I have and recommend Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones for studio work over Sony 7506s. The 7506s have too much high end. This is great for cutting through the ambient sound when tracking or recording dialog in the field, but not good for checking a mix. The Senns are much more neutral, IMHO.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #23
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Wow, so many great responses - thanks everyone for all the good info! I've read though all the responses and narrowed it down to the 'Behringer MS40' and 'Edirol MA15D'. For what I'm doing I think either of these will do the job great. B&H is currently out of stock on the
Edirol MA15D so it looks like I'll be getting the MS40 (thanks Garrett for mentioning them). I just started editing my new film so I need the speakers asap.

All the user reviews for the MS40 are 5 star ratings with nothing but good things to say about them so that's a positive sign. Plus they have Optical In which is what I'll be using.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old September 8th, 2009, 10:10 PM   #24
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I'm assuming you can't audition the speakers anywhere?

Just last week I was reading about how "great a Beringer calibration matched my SM58 in stereo mic'ing a piano" on an online review. There's no accounting for taste.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 11:40 PM   #25
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Yeah, auditioning is good. If nothing else, once you've purchased the speakers, you'll know how the other speakers felt in comparison, and why you chose the ones you did. You'll never have to wonder if the ones you skipped were way better.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 12:19 AM   #26
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Yeah, I always love to try before buying whenever possible. Unfortunately I live on an Island with no big cities near me and the stores around here have nothing you want, lol. That's why I usually have to order online a lot.

Thanks for all the input people! You guys rock.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 01:06 AM   #27
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I'll give a shout out for the Yamaha HS50M's.

Yamaha | HS50M 5" Two-Way Bi-Amplified Nearfield | HS50M

They seem to do the job well, IMHO.
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Last edited by Peter Moretti; September 9th, 2009 at 03:33 AM.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Just to muddy the waters, I have the Blue Sky EXO 2.1 and absolutely love them:

Blue Sky

Award winning, great reviews, external hub with xlr inputs, etc. $350 at B&H:

Blue Sky International | EXO - 2.1 Stereo Desktop | EXO | B&H
Hey Vito -

I too am interested in the EXO's....but was wondering, did you get a chance to compare them (in person) to the MediaDesk and ProDesk versions?
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Old September 9th, 2009, 06:03 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Paul Whittington View Post
YUnfortunately I live on an Island with no big cities near me and the stores around here have nothing you want, lol.
For those that AREN'T aware, Vancouver Island is massive and quite possibly the closest thing we have to non-tropical heaven here on Earth.

But yeah, it's a ferry ride (and a spendy one at that) into Vancouver City to get to any of the wonderful shops that you COULD ear test speakers.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #30
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Hey Vito -

I too am interested in the EXO's....but was wondering, did you get a chance to compare them (in person) to the MediaDesk and ProDesk versions?
Unfortunately, no. I couldn't find anyone in Montreal that carried any of the Blue Sky monitors. I took a chance after researching.

Couldn't be happier.
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