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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #1
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Audio Monitor Speakers - advice

Hello!

I finally want to buy better, professional audio monitor speakers. I am not looking into fancy 5.1 surround ones, but a pair (maybe plus subwoofer if needed?) of very good, professional quality stereo speakers that I can do some serious work in sound design + mixing.

My budget is around $300, give or take a few dollars.

Anyone can recommend some excellent professional speakers for that kind of money?

Thanks!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:16 AM   #2
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A friend of mine just got a pair of m-audio bx 8's. They sound great for the money. I think he paid $300 at guitar center. Go give this line a listen.
http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=...studiomonitors
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Old May 26th, 2005, 04:49 AM   #3
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I've had a pair of KRK Rokit RP5 powered monitors for about a month. They sound great and I had a much easier time mixing the music for my last video compared to the computer speakers I was using previously. Great value. Comes with unbalanced RCA and Balanced XLR and Phono. Should be around your budget.

http://www.krksys.com/v3/rokit_rp5.asp

with optional matching sub http://www.krksys.com/v3/rokit_rp10s.asp

In my experience, bass is pretty tight especially when used nearfield.

USD149.95 each at BHP.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=314486&is=REG
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Old May 26th, 2005, 06:09 AM   #4
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I;ve been shopping around myself and have heard good things about Behringer 2031's. Planning on giving them a listen soon.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 08:39 AM   #5
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Check out the M-Audio Studiophile DX4: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/DX4-main.html.

Here's a review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1728338,00.asp.

Note that it might not be optimal to use regular stereo system speakers for mixing with a computer system, as they are optimized for listening at greater distances than one sits at a computer.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:09 PM   #6
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All of the suggestions here are good ones ... try to audition these somewhere (Guitar Center?) if you can. See what you like.

Another M-Audio speaker to check is the BX-5. I use them to mix video and they are nice, flat near field monitors.

Good Luck!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 06:45 PM   #7
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After a little research, on my limited budget I got a pair of M-audio BX-5's also. Later I picked up a cheap KLH subwoofer at Best Buy. All together they were less than your budget. But you need to do some balancing of your system also.

Audio really isn't "my thing" so take my advice with a grain of salt... but I got a Radio Shack digital sound level meter, then I created a whole series of audio clips with tones that spanned the most important frequency range. I fiddled with the controls on the sub and studio monitors to create as flat a response curve as I could. One thing I learned from this excercise was that what "sounds good" is probably completely wrong if you want accurate frequency response. We're all used to cranking up the high and low ends way too far.

No doubt I'm just fooling myself with all this pseudo-science, but at least I ended up with something a little more reasonable than the cheapo computer multimedia speakers I had before...
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Old May 27th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #8
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decided on m-Audio

Thanks very much for all your advices!

I think I've made a decision, I'm gonna settle on the M-Audio product, the BX-5 or the BX-8 if the latter fits into my budget (that is if I can find an offer around $300 which I doubt).

My primary (if not only) use is sound design and mixing for my short film(s). Do I really need a subwoofer in that case? This can add up quite a bit to my budget.

Thanks once again!
Bogdan
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Old May 27th, 2005, 12:08 PM   #9
 
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A sub is a virtual necessity if you are doing sound design. If you are only mixing dialog and limited bed music, no sound design, Foley, or other FX, you can squeak by without a sub. But if you have FX stems, you NEED a sub. (unless you are listening at almost imperceptible levels)
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Old May 27th, 2005, 12:20 PM   #10
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DSE,

I think I recall some good advice you gave before that said, after you do your mix in studio quality headphones/speakers, listen to the mix in the target audience sound system. In other words if you know your audience will only be listening on pitful computer speakers, adjust for that.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 12:41 PM   #11
 
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Absolutely. You need to listen to your mixes in a variety of settings.
Back in the "old days" we had an FM transmitter in the control room. Most studios that did commercial airplay mixes did. We'd run out to the car to listen to the mix over an FM radio to be sure everything was great. We'd also monitor on little AuraTones, and even today, I still check mixes on an old Craig boombox in addition to my far more accurate systems. And, I color-check my vid on a crappy Sanyo TV from Walmart, even though I do all my correction work on a Sony BVM monitor. It just pays to double check on junk gear. You never know what might creep in there.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 02:49 PM   #12
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Hey, Spot, what brand/model sub would you recommend for the BX-5s?

Thanks!

-Matt
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Old May 27th, 2005, 02:56 PM   #13
 
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I've forgotten the model #, but M-audio has a nicely matched sub for their smaller systems. I've got the older 12", and it does just nicely in smaller rooms.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 06:31 PM   #14
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Sub advice

I would be very careful to match your subwoofer to your speakers, personally I would not use one unless you are mixing in audio effects that have very low frequency extension content. Matching the sub output to the speakers and making sure the crossover is set up correctly are not trival and I would be surprised if you would end up getting a flat response. I would be much more inclined to spend the money on a good set of near-field monitors with good flat response. I would think you can get a good feel for the extended bass a sub will provide from a good set of monitors, then just calibrate your ear by burning test DVDs and listening to them on a home theater set-up. Studio headphones are also a good thing to use as well. I would suggest the AKG K240s ($99) they have been an industry standard for years and years and know for their flat response and comfort! Mark
PS I would consider my advice to be a supplement to DSE's, which is spot on, no pun intended... ;)
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Old May 31st, 2005, 11:37 PM   #15
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I don't know why you need the sub. I would not use a sub. Professional studios put the right monitor at the right position after analysing the room and correct it with EQ. I know that this sounds too much but you can at least have a pair of flat responce monitors at a good price.

I haven't heard of pros mixing down with m-audio! Now maybe I am wrong-last studio mix i ve done was 10 years ago.

I would trust JBL, Tannoys, Yamaha, e.t.c. The ones that I am mixing my wedding videos are Tannoy Reveal where you can get them for $300 from B&H. Are cheap but you find them on recording studios as a near filed, because they are flat and that is what you need from a monitor.



Good luck

Anthony
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