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Old June 27th, 2015, 08:36 AM   #31
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Re: Studio monitor speakers

I have connected many different brands/models of self-powered speakers to computer 3.5mm (line/headphone/speaker) outputs and can't remember ever encountering a significant level mismatch. Furthermore the JBL LSR305 has a -10/+4 dB sensitivity switch if it concerns you.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 10:21 AM   #32
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Re: Studio monitor speakers

For low near close field monitors I agree that the JBL's (either 305 or 308) are one of the best choices. I've been using a pair of JBL's for years to mix documentary, live performance video, and narrative videos as well as mixing music. I would recommend getting a USB audio interface at the least. Plugging a decent set of monitors into your computer's internal sound card is like taking a 4K television and watching VHS tapes with it. Their are some very good USB interfaces for around $150 such as the Steinberg UR22, Focusrite 2i2, and some others. This will give you the added bonus of having some good (not great) mic pre's if you ever need it to record some ADR or VO's.


Some additional things to consider. With the smaller monitors it will take a little time to get your mixes right. All of them will tend to be a little light on the bass so your first tendency will be to bump the low end a little but when played back on most peoples home entertainment systems, which tend to be set up to emphasize the highs and lows, it turns out to be very boomy. You should also use a loudness meter or calibrate your monitor levels so that you don't end up with a mix that is too loud or to soft. ATSC A85 specifies -24 LUFS for broadcast which is a good target for material intending to be watched on TV's. Content intended for viewing/listening on computers or personal equipment is usually up around -16 LUFS.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 01:18 PM   #33
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Re: Studio monitor speakers

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Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
For low near close field monitors I agree that the JBL's (either 305 or 308) are one of the best choices. I've been using a pair of JBL's for years to mix documentary, live performance video, and narrative videos as well as mixing music. I would recommend getting a USB audio interface at the least. Plugging a decent set of monitors into your computer's internal sound card is like taking a 4K television and watching VHS tapes with it. Their are some very good USB interfaces for around $150 such as the Steinberg UR22, Focusrite 2i2, and some others. This will give you the added bonus of having some good (not great) mic pre's if you ever need it to record some ADR or VO's.


Some additional things to consider. With the smaller monitors it will take a little time to get your mixes right. All of them will tend to be a little light on the bass so your first tendency will be to bump the low end a little but when played back on most peoples home entertainment systems, which tend to be set up to emphasize the highs and lows, it turns out to be very boomy. You should also use a loudness meter or calibrate your monitor levels so that you don't end up with a mix that is too loud or to soft. ATSC A85 specifies -24 LUFS for broadcast which is a good target for material intending to be watched on TV's. Content intended for viewing/listening on computers or personal equipment is usually up around -16 LUFS.
OK but what do I gain if I don't hear any noise coming from my speakers plugged in directly to my computer? What benefit the Steinberg UR22 would give me?

I have Senal asm-3, small speakers and in comparison to larger monitors they sound alike so again what would I gain? All I'm mixing is narratives, no music. The Senals have an adjustable low, mids and highs so I can tweak them to my liking.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 04:28 PM   #34
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Re: Studio monitor speakers

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The Senals have an adjustable low, mids and highs so I can tweak them to my liking.
When doing production mixing, you don't really want your reference monitor speakers "tweaked to your liking". That is rather like saying that my yard-stick (or meter-stick) is inconveniently long, so I will cut the length down to be easier to handle.

Reference monitor speakers should be as "flat" (accurate) as you can make them so that you have a reliable point of reference on which to make qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the sound mix.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 04:35 PM   #35
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Re: Studio monitor speakers

Kathy,

If it works don't fix it. If it sounds good and there is no unwanted noise you will not gain hardly anything by adding another unneeded device. There are about three treads going right now discussing this same thing.

I understand why Garrett says hooking it up to your computes sound card is like watching VHS on a 4K monitor but I disagree. On board sound cards are notoriously weak. But if it works for your system go for it.

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Old June 27th, 2015, 05:05 PM   #36
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Re: Studio monitor speakers

I do agree that if you are satisfied with your results then there isn't a need to do more. However, I do hear a very large difference between even what I used to use, which was the audio output from a Black Magic Decklink Extreme and my USB interface. As Mr. Crowley said, when you mix, you want your audio signal to be as flat as possible and also as "uncolored" as possible. It is the same reason we color grade on production monitors which have a much flatter response than TV's. Noise is actually one of the concerns for post audio that is lower on the list. On the acquisition side it is a lot bigger issue.

As for the material that you are mixing, I would say that the audio for narratives is of great importance. It is more than 50% of your audience's experience. My post audio work generally is viewed by one of two viewers, either on their home entertainment system, or in a theater. I don't do much that is destine for the internet so my mixes and levels are done with those systems in mind.

Kathy, again, if you are happy with your set up then don't change it. However, if you notice that your mixes are sounding off on various playback systems you might consider changing something in your editing system. That's just my 2 pennies. YMMV.
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