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Old August 24th, 2003, 12:00 PM   #1
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What do you think of these for monitoring audio

Hi...

http://www.edirol.com/products/info/ma10a.html

Any one has them? heard of them?....

They are the only "serious" pair of speaker I´ve found that I can afford for monitoring sound... (at least they seem serious)...

I´m really short on the cash here.. and buying them would mean going for cheaper sound card...

I can get them here for around 135€ for the Analog and 170€ for the model with digital Input.. any other "serious" model-brand get way out of my league...

So can anyone give me a push here?

1.- Get these and a SoundBlaster Live or other similar price card?

2.- Get a cheaper pair of PC-Speakers and Audigy 2 Sound Card?

thanx
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Old August 24th, 2003, 12:15 PM   #2
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depends on what yoru after.. sure stereo is fine... for now.. but maybe you should look into a 5.1 setup...
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Old August 24th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #3
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Peter:

Well, I would use these monitors exclusively for monitoring audio while editing for video stuff...

I´m not into gaming, and I do not watch DVD on the PC... so for now I don´t really have a need for 5.1... ´
I won´t be making surround-DTS-ULTRA-THX-14.1 sound for my videos either...

So I´m pretty sure that right now I prefer the best quality stereo monitors I can afford than to buy some average 5.1 system... (anyway I have no space in my rathole-workspace to put more than a 2.1, neither the money to get a good 5.1)...

So the questions remains...
¿where to spend the money?
1.- good Soundcard - average speakers?
2.- average soundcard - good speakers?
3.- average soundcard-average speakers- good beer for the next four months?
4.- forget about audio and lead the new wave of silent movies revolution?

And of course (anyone know anything about this edirol monitors???)
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Old August 24th, 2003, 05:24 PM   #4
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I personally don't think there's any point getting good speakers if you have a bad sound card. It would be like running DOS on a Pentium 4. That said, the majority of soundcards available today are of good quality, and if you're not doing any audio recording through it then it will have no effect on your finished products. I say get some good monitors and a fairly good soundcard without going overboard.
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Old August 24th, 2003, 06:01 PM   #5
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Alex

All right maybe it´s a language thing... but when I say "average" or "cheaper" sound card I´m not saying "BAD soundcard"...
I´m saying it´s not going to be an M-Audio-something... or a Terratec-whatever... or even a Audigy 2 Platinum EX..

I´m saying something like a Sound Blaster Live or even an Audigy 1 OEM version...

Quote:
...the majority of soundcards available today are of good quality... ... I say get some good monitors and a fairly good soundcard without going overboard.
So that´s what I was thinking about, just needed the push so I have someone to blame if it doesn´t work.. (:-)).. now seriously I just need some reassurance... (does that word exists?)...

Anyone that can push me in the opposite direction?
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Old August 25th, 2003, 09:45 AM   #6
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Federico,

In my opinion, it is the speakers that will color the sound more that the sound card. Put another way, it is not difficult to make a sound card with reasonable frequency response. To make an accurate monitor speaker is not so easy, especially in a small enclosure.

Regarding the Edirol speakers that you mentioned, this is not a name that comes to mind when one thinks of small studio monitors. Typical brands with good reputations are Tannoy, Alesis, Mackie, Event, and Fostex.

If I were buying thinking about buying these ‘MA-10A Amplified Digital Micro-Monitors’ speakers, I would have some concerns:

- I question a manufacturer whose own web site promotes the product feature of a monitoring speaker as "Stylish wooden cabinet, high-quality sound". To me, this is a major problem. We are not told how low these speakers will respond. We can only guess that it can’t be low enough, as the drivers look to be pretty small (around 4”/10 cm??).

At the very minimum, there should be a statement of the frequency response (with +/- 3dB frequencies). Without that statement, I wouldn’t buy any speakers. Better yet, a frequency response chart. This chart is one way of seeing if the speaker will color the sound because of an uneven response through the audio spectrum.

- My concern is that bad speakers will make you equalize your sound track for problems that are created by the speakers. For example, you may erroneously boost the bass, just because you can’t hear the bass that is already there.

- 10 watts per channel, even for near field monitoring, is pretty low. I'd suggest 50-75W would be more typical. You may want to choose an external amplifier.

- Read any on-line reviews for the MA-10As before buying them. Find a place where you can listen to these speakers and compare them to others.

I'm sure that the “Now Hear This”, dvinfo.net audio forum, has a lot more info on an audio setup. Spend some time searching there.

Finally, if you're serious about good audio, read Jay Rose's web site ( http://www.dplay.com ) and his excellent books (Producing Great Sound for Digital Video and Audio Postproduction for Digital Video). Also browse around zzounds.com for ideas on the monitor speaker choice available http://www.zzounds.com/cat--Studio-Monitors—2862

Hope that this helps to get you started.

Ken W.
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Old August 25th, 2003, 10:38 AM   #7
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Well I´ve had a hard time finding a decent review on these... mostly from synth people or home studio forums... but I´ve found a lot of
"for less than 300$ everything is crap"... or

"They are great.. I´m very happy with them"...

But haven´t found many info backing up the statements...

From the little of what I´ve read they are what you pay for... meaning that for a 135€ a pair you can´t expect anything better...

Yes the site doesn´t give much info on anything.. althoug EDIROL is the PC Division of Roland... (never liked their guitar effects)...

So maybe I´ll just stay with my good old pair of headphones for a while to see if can listen to the monitors (very hard to do around here) or if can catch some more info on these or anything else...

It´s just that all known good monitors out there are way out of my budget... And I´m a very cheap impatient kind of person... so let me do some breath in... breath out...

Thanx again...
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Old August 25th, 2003, 11:11 AM   #8
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Federico,

Yes, headphones can be useful. With pretty good headphones (such as Sony MDR-7506 [available for <$100 USD], which are almost the de facto recording & video industry standard) you'll certainly have a much more accurate frequency response than with those low cost speakers.

Purists will tell you that you can not make a good sound mix using headphones. Perhaps this is because of changed spatial characteristics and too much detail in what you hear with headphones.

Anyway, you can certainly start with good 'phones. Later you can move up to decent monitor speakers.

When you are ready, in addition to Jay Rose’s advice & DVinfo forums, there are a number of articles on the web to help you select monitors. Just search for combinations of “home recording”, monitor, speaker etc. Here is one:
http://homerecording.com/monitors.html

Have fun!

Ken W
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Old August 25th, 2003, 12:29 PM   #9
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I'd stick with the headphones until you can afford a reasonable setup.

I paid $300 for the pair of my KRK KROK nearfields (already had a 60 watt per channel amp). They make a massive difference without my having to change my style of editing. They just let me hear the sound.

I have a second editing system with a pair of speakers that were designed as the back pair in a 5.1 system. Nice speakers. Lousy to edit sound on. Time to get another pair of the KRKs.

I don't know how it is in Barcelone (love the city, by the way) but in the US, the best deals on audio gear is at a discount guitar shop. I buy my microphones, speakers and sound editing tools from the local Guitar Center store. The KROKs list at $600 for the pair.
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Old August 25th, 2003, 02:19 PM   #10
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Yes I love Barcelona too.. (I´m not from here... actually I´m from Venezuela)..

And to find video or audio stuff around here is no way near as "easy" as it would be on the US (At least in Miami or Minneapolis... I lived there too)..
There are a few cool stores.. but just a few and you know.. no real competition... so prices are more expensive here... even on European brands...

I still have to check a few shops I haven´t been to, but my expectations are not really high... so I guess I´ll just have to try and save money (ja ja ja sorry private joke) and get a pair of decent monitors...
In the meantime, I´ll trust my headphones (I make music with them and they work pretty well, now I just have to see how they work with spoken words, sound fxs and enviroment noise)...
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Old August 25th, 2003, 04:40 PM   #11
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On speakers check out the advice of Jay Rose, and Emmy and Cilo award winner. He has a couple of good books, the recent one is Audio Post Production for Digital Video frm CMP Books.

Long story short his advice is, if you are serious, don't skimp on speakers.

You can find his regular column at www.dv.com
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Old August 25th, 2003, 07:38 PM   #12
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Yeah... but what if you are serious.. but really poor.. ??

Anyway, thanx for the literature advices... I´ll keep reading... it´s cheaper...
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Old August 26th, 2003, 08:30 PM   #13
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prorec.com has great information on audio engineering and it has a review of several monitors, but those are likely out of your price range...
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Old August 27th, 2003, 09:00 AM   #14
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Yeah.. I´ve been doing some reading on audio forums and specialized websites... asked a few audio engineers friends (although almost of these refer only to music mixing and masterint) but it seems that "any" decent monitor is out of my price range.

And it seems that audio (or audio people?) is/are not as forgiving as video...

It seems that you can actually do a "decent" job with color on a regular TV if you "pseudo-calibrate" it...
But according to audio people (most of them anyway) you can´t mix audio with cheap monitors... not to say with normal hifi speakers.. You can´t "pseudo-calibrate" them to give you a flat response....

So maybe I´ll just start the "New wave of silent Digital Movies"...
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Old August 27th, 2003, 07:51 PM   #15
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Most of your viewers will not be picky about technical aspects. A lot of them are probably viewing TV on some really cheesy speakers (I know I am!).

Just focus on good content. This is what audiences notice the most! ;) As long as the productions values don't get in the way (shaky camerawork, unclear audio, etc.) then you will be fine.
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