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Old October 8th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #1
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Audio Monitoring Suggestions

I am editing on a Win7 based PC using Adobe Premiere CS6&CC. I want to upgrade my audio monitoring to something more "accurate" than what I'm using now.

Currently I monitor audio with headphones and use an internal Sound Blaster card to some very cheap (in every way) computer speakers. This has worked in the past and I usually ship the audio sweetening tasks out of the edit suite. But I'd like to improve the overall audio setup so I can more accurately monitor what I'm doing with my sound.

Any suggestions on PC to speaker interfaces, mic to PC (for the rare V.O.), studio monitors, etc? Setup advice? All that?

I'm looking in almost all budget ranges just to see what suggestions there are. Thanks, y'all!
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Old October 8th, 2013, 11:19 PM   #2
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Re: Audio Monitoring Suggestions

In my opinion the most important factor in choosing an audio interface is th quality of the driver. This is especially important on windows.

I will only use RME audio interfaces. They are expensive, but well worth it. The interface I use at work is PCI bassed and it has been working well for about 10 years now. The RME "Babyface" is their least expensive product, but is still around $700. It has all the I/o you need - mic input, digital, analog, and adat.

RME interfaces also include one extremely important utility, a good set of meters. Most audio software only has peak meters which make it hard to know the loudness of you project. The meteres that RME use also have a vu meter to represent loudness.

Good speakers start at about $500 per pair, and go all the way to $100,000. In my home studio I use Focal CMS 50 speakers with a CMS sub. That comes to about $2100. I think it's important to work on a full range system so you will know if there are any bass problems. Many professionals would disagree with me on that.

If you are on a tight budget, Tannoy speakers are an incredible value.

Good, accurate headphones are also important to have because, if you are like most people, your room will be less than ideal. Using headphones will help you hear what's going on in your mix without the negative effects of your room.

One thing that I recommend is that you learn to rely on reference material to compare your mix to. Find reference material that has great dialog, great sounding music, and overal great mixes. Then compare you mix to that as you work.

~Jay
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Old October 9th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #3
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Re: Audio Monitoring Suggestions

I have RME and Lynx interfaces and both are bulletproof. I've used a variety of very high end convertors over the years (Weiss, Lavry Gold) but low end conversion has improved so much that I no longer saw the need to have so much invested. You should have at least one good set of flat studio monitors and another that match your destination. If your videos go to youtube, do your mixes on your monitors, but check them on a pair of computer speakers as that's what they'll be heard on.

I have a high end monitoring system in a treated room but 99% of my mixes are done on an old pair of Tannoy Reveals which I find extremely flat. If mixes sound good there, they usually sound good everywhere. For mic to PC I'm using an API A2D which is a silky sounding unit.
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Old October 9th, 2013, 12:56 PM   #4
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Re: Audio Monitoring Suggestions

Thanks, Jay. I like your suggestion on using reference material for comparison. I never thought of that... Good Call!

And Duane, thanks for your suggestion of checking the mix on the delivery platform. I do this, sort of, by uploading a copy to YouTube and check it there and make a DVD (for that delivery) and check it in my living room. Round about way but it works.

I'll look into some good speakers. Those Tannoy Reveals seem to be right around where I'd like to start. Has anyone used the RME Babyface I/O device? I read some reviews but would like further input on it.

(When I looked at them online, RME has a pink version called the Ladyface. My wife saw it and said I should get that one because it's cute...)
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Old October 10th, 2013, 10:36 AM   #5
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Re: Audio Monitoring Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Adam View Post
I have RME and Lynx interfaces and both are bulletproof. I've used a variety of very high end convertors over the years (Weiss, Lavry Gold) but low end conversion has improved so much that I no longer saw the need to have so much invested. You should have at least one good set of flat studio monitors and another that match your destination. If your videos go to youtube, do your mixes on your monitors, but check them on a pair of computer speakers as that's what they'll be heard on.

I have a high end monitoring system in a treated room but 99% of my mixes are done on an old pair of Tannoy Reveals which I find extremely flat. If mixes sound good there, they usually sound good everywhere. For mic to PC I'm using an API A2D which is a silky sounding unit.
Some good advice here, and also nice to be reassured about Tannoy Reveal monitors. I've been using a pair of them (the active version) for about 10 years. I listened to 3 or 4 different makes at around the same price (including a pair of low-end Genelec) and the Tannoys were the pick of the bunch at the time. Things may have changed in the mean time, but they're a good, known quantity. Even better - Tannoy launched a tarted-up "Mark 2" version around that time so I picked up a pair of the originals for a 25% discount :-) I use them with an M-Audio sound card (Delta 1010, IIRC) and a little Shure 8-channel mixer. Not cheap, but not at all expensive, and has proved reliable so far.

BTW - avoid the Yamaha monitors with exposed white speakers in black cabinets (can't recall the model number). They are supposed to be "classics" but I thought they were nasty, "box-y" and harsh-sounding.

As mentioned, don't ditch the old computer speakers, but keep them for checking mixes. Likewise, play things back through a normal TV and a domestic hifi for comparisson. I remember when helping some friends to mix their first album making copies on cassette (that's how long ago it was!) to play in the car and at home. Very revealing!
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Old October 11th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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Re: Audio Monitoring Suggestions

Back in the 'old' days, it was easy , about every studio on the face of the earth, had the Auratone cube, then came the Yamaha NS10, (with or w/o tissue) now there's hundreds to choose from. Everyone has their favorite.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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Re: Audio Monitoring Suggestions

As most of us tend to have TV's in our edit suites it is always handy to be able to play mixes back thru the TV to get an alternative perspective on things.

I had auratones in the old days too but the NS10 was never that good although lots of people used them an the AR18 was also used. In TV we tended to use the fostex self powered monitors but as it was all mono in the 80's we only needed one of them.

These days I personally use dynaudio BM10's and have used dynaudios for about the past 15 years in various studios but Tannoy have also been a common make in a lot of the places I have worked but also have my LG TV available for domestic checking.

As said lots of choices but the self powered Edirol speakers can also be a good low cost option for starter or PC upgrades.
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Old October 15th, 2013, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: Audio Monitoring Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Krieger View Post
I am editing on a Win7 based PC using Adobe Premiere CS6&CC. I want to upgrade my audio monitoring to something more "accurate" than what I'm using now.

Currently I monitor audio with headphones and use an internal Sound Blaster card to some very cheap (in every way) computer speakers. This has worked in the past and I usually ship the audio sweetening tasks out of the edit suite. But I'd like to improve the overall audio setup so I can more accurately monitor what I'm doing with my sound.

Any suggestions on PC to speaker interfaces, mic to PC (for the rare V.O.), studio monitors, etc? Setup advice? All that?

I'm looking in almost all budget ranges just to see what suggestions there are. Thanks, y'all!
I monitor from the computer with a Grace m903 and ME-Geithain RL906 monitors.

I also have Sennheiser HD800 and HD25-1 headphones.


I don't record to a computer - I use an AETA 4MinX and Nagra VI for this and only transfer the files to the computer for editing.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 09:27 AM   #9
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Re: Audio Monitoring Suggestions

I wanted a low cost solution which closely matched playback from a soundstage without much tweaking. So I went with JBL 4228p monitors along with sub.
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