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Old January 23rd, 2007, 06:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Hartzell
Alright, you could spend thousands of dollars on speakers and you would get really great, acurate speakers and I would agree with anybody in saying that. That said, this guy wants audio monitors for a video editing set-up, not for mixing feature soundtracks or for recording a cd. Am I correct in saying this Greg?
Well kinda, Greg. I'm setting up to make low budget indie movies, but I think there's a long distance between what folks suggest are good ones here and what I can currently afford. I'm learning this stuff as I go along, and it's clear I didn't budget for enough for monitors (actually, didn't budget at all, since I thought I could use cans) but we all live and learn.

Hsien, thanks for the Yama pointer.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 07:17 PM   #17
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On the same subject, has anyone any experience of Behringer Truth B2031A's?
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Old January 25th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #18
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Okay I know some of you will laugh at this, but just remember that 'low-cost' DIY is a way of life for indie filmmakers. If we can get 50% of the performance for 5% of the cost, it's a grand accomplishment!

It all started when I found a pair of sealed (but of course used) 1st class airline headphones, the noise-cancelling kind, lying on a seat in an airport terminal. The range was decent, but they just didn't have enough kick from a regular headphone jack.

So I bought a poor man's 'hearing aid' for $5 from ebay. Basically it's a mic with an amp and a headphone jack that runs off a single AAA battery. I replaced the microphone with a mono jack and sturdied up the case with electrical tape and sealant.

$6 in the hole and I have an amplified monitor that runs for months off a single AAA battery. And I don't worry too much when someone accidentally drops them.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #19
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Hi Greg,
My two cents worth, having gone through this issue recently.

Just because editing software allows you to do everything yourself (video, audio, effects), doesn't mean you should. You can very well edit video with a basic set of audio monitors and for more complex/critical projects, do the final mix somewhere else with someone who knows what they are doing and who will most likely have their own set-up including much better reference monitors than you need to invest in.


For basic video editing, you can use multimedia speakers, essentially a little better than your average computer speakers, but not quite reference monitors, such as; Behringer MS-40 (about $130 pair) , and Edirol/Roland MA-15D ($180 pair). if you can't distinguish your dialogue on these, chances are you don't have very good audio. Some will even argue that these speakers probably reflect better what the average viewer will actually hear at home...

Just above that price range (approx $300/pair) you begin to find your basic reference monitors which are actually well suited for small rooms: Alesis M1 Active 520, Behringer Truth 2030A mentioned below, and Events ALP5. Personally this is what I've opted for (Events), given that audio is always a longer term investment. They are not perfect, but once you get used to their particularities they work quite well for editing.

Lastly, if you own a good stereo amplifier, you can pick up a decent pair of passive reference monitors such as Behringer B2030P or Alesis One Mk2 passive for under $200.


Hope this helps
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Old January 28th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #20
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The Difference between Nothing and Something

Reading a post on this forum last Fall, I realized the consumer grade equipment I was using for event video work was probably producing deafness in my ability to hear the audio.

I did some research here and elsewhere, and purchased a set of M-Audio BX5a's and an M-Audio 192 PCI card for a total of ~$300.

The difference has been amazing. Good news: I can hear words that previously were unintelligible. Live recorded music sounds full and pleasant. ~Bad News: listening to the DVD's on a normal TV disappoints. I wish everyone had the audio system to hear what's really there. But that's up to the client. I've fulfilled my end of the bargain.

Since implementing this upgrade last October, I've seen an increase in urgency and motivation to record better audio. There's beauty I'm missing and want to capture via better recording practices and gear.

Granted there's plenty of upgrade room for this audio setup, but my ears tell me at least I'm in the ballpark and maybe even on the playing field.

ciao,
Scott
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Old January 29th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #21
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Alesis One Mk2 were the worst sounding speakers I've ever heard! Sent them straight back.

ps. I know that monitors are designed to be flat, not pleasing to the ear, but I found these speakers just offensive to my ears!
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Old January 29th, 2007, 06:50 AM   #22
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There is a huge amount of marketing hype behind audio monitors.

If you're really serious about audio monitors, you really can't buy cheaply. The Mackie 824 powered monitors are a good place to start.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 29th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #23
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My recommendation. . . coming from the audio recording business. . . would be to skip the monitors at this point and just buy a pair of Sennheiser HD-650 open-back headphones on Ebay for $325. They are, to a whole lot of professionally-qualified ears, the finest headphones on the planet. A number of people are actually using these phones to mix music with these days, including super stud George Massenberg (inventor of the parametric equalizer).

Seldom in life are normal folks actually able to buy "the best" equipment available, but in the case of the Sennheiser HD-650, that just isn't the case. They sound simply awesome, are incredibly comfortable to wear, and the mixes you'll make with them will translate well to other settings. And, best of all, you don't have to worry about how your room sounds!

Lovers of Etolytics and Grados will no doubt disagree, but most folks consider the HD-650s the best of the breed.

If you are insistent upon monitors, the JBLs are very nice, but the smart money these days is on the mid-to-high-end Adam monitors (which have sort of taken over the place of the Genelecs). . . but those will cost you upwards of $3000 for a pair. And you still have to worry about sound-treating your room! And trust me, it is a whole heck-of-lot harder (and probably more expensive) to make a room sound good than it is to buy a pair of great monitors.

Unfortunately, you probably won't be able to use the HD-650s on the set, unless you really turn them down low or stand quite a ways back from the mics. Those open backs really transmit sound into the air.

Stephen
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Old January 29th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #24
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I would never trust headphones only for a mix.


Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 29th, 2007, 12:44 PM   #25
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Stephen and Ty both make great points:

* For a small amount of money you can get world-class headphones. You don't need furniture to support them, and you don't need room treatments to optimize them. No matter where you are (aside from noisy environs), they give consistent results.

However,

* Don't rely on headphones alone. They don't image properly, they don't tell you if something is out of phase, and they make small details sound more forward than they will sound in a real mix.

Personally, I like owning good studio headphones. (Mine are Senn HD280-Pros.) For $99 I got a top quality product that will never need an upgrade. On the other hand, with a $500 pair of monitors I'd be itchin' for an upgrade from day one.

The best uses of headphones are
* when you need to be quiet in consideration of others
* when you need to block outside noises
* when you're doing a sanity check and want a second opinion
* and, of course, for live recording and multitracking

But like Ty wrote, don't use headphones as your only monitors for a mix.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 01:36 PM   #26
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There are some problems that can occur in a mix that will go undetected if all you use are headphones. For example, even something as basic as having one channel accidently inverted in phase with respect to the other will be noticable when listening on monitors due to the comb filtering it produces but the effect will be inaudible on phones because it is generated by the sounds from the speakers interacting with each other in the air.

I'm starting the think that another 'must-have' part of an editing workstation would be an inexpensive home theatre receiver and basic surround speaker setup to check even regular stereo mixes. I've noticed a number of incidents while watching regular broadcast TV on my home theatre system the last few years where the sound suddenly goes wonky for a few moments and I've finally learned the likely reason. My audio receiver defaults to Dolby Pro-Logic when getting a conventional stereo signal from the cable box. Every so often, the sound goes very diffuse with the dialog jumping from the front channels over into the rear surrounds. I've recently learned this is a phenomenon called 'phase flip' that is a characteristic of a Dolby decoder when it's presented with a stereo signal containing mono material appearing at equal levels on the left and right channels and one channel's phase is inverted. The out-of-phase condition causes the decoder to send material that should appear front centre into the surrounds instead. Because this is something that only happens sporadically and with specific progam material, most often local ads and promos, I can only conclude that the problem is caused either by a faulty stereo mix of the original program material or an interconnect or piece of equipment somewhere along the broadcast chain having one channel inverted (if it was my setup it would be constant with all program material). Trying to mix only on cans makes it even more likely such a thing could get by undetected.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #27
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I actually have w of the behringer B2030P monitors and I bought a small used Alesis RA-100 studio amplifier to power them. The amp was under $100 on ebay. I've been quite pleased with the Flatness of the monitors. I have everything running through an Eurorack UB1622FX mixer. This allows me to add reverb or delay or any number of effects to my audio as I capture (if needed.) I know Behringer is known for backwards technology, which means they get other companies gear and take it apart in order to copym but I am very pleased with the quality they produce for someone like me on a budget.

I've got a picture of it under the last page of post pics of your setup
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Old January 29th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #28
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They are not top of the line, and seldom talked about, but I love my Yahama MSP-5's. Self powered and $500 for the pair. You will need to get a sub for low critical work, but they seem to hold their own in that price bracket.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #29
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Hi Bennis,

The speakers you are referrring to are speced at only going down to 75Hz.

The woofer is only 6 3/4" in diameter, which explains the lack of LF.

There is a universe below 75Hz that can not be ignored. These speakers simply are not capable of reproducing those frequencies.

An analogy might be a video monitor that shows red and green, but not so much blue.

You need monitors with the dimensions and the power to let you hear what's going on. Then you have to actually put them in the right places. Otherwise it can be a confusing and painful experience when your mix doesn't translate to monitors in the outside world, especially ones in theaters and bigger home theater systems.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 29th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #30
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I agree the great monitors are the best way to fly, but I must heartily disagree about the inability to notice phase idiosyncracies over headphones. Just a few milliseconds of phasing error is all that's necessary for me to hear it in normal vocal frequencies every time. (Three milliseconds is easy to hear except at the top of the audio spectrum. . . where I'm probably deaf, anyway. . . and 10 milliseconds is considered "phase coherent" for almost all audio purposes.)

When something is 180 degrees out of phase it makes my head almost explode. Comb filtering adds to the effect, of course, but I can hear it every time.

Stephen
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