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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 10:02 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 642

any advice on a good pair of speakers to hook up to my editing pc for monitoring sound?
budget: in the $150 area, will go up a little if i think it's worthwhile, would be happy to spend less if i can get a satisfactory set of speakers that'll do the job.

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Old March 22nd, 2003, 11:31 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
I don't know what you are going to do with your edited pieces, Adi, but given the software you are going to use, I'd guess some professional application.

As with many elements of video editing, as you have found, there are few unimportant parts. Especially audio. Audio is truly more than 50% of the finished piece and therefore should get more than a passing glance with regard to equipment.

It is hard to know what you have available locally but if most brands of near-field monitor speakers are available to you, then you are in luck and can pick among a reasonable group of devices.

You do want to avoid computer and stereo speakers. In either case they distort sound which will normally cause you to mix audio that will not sound correctly (what you want it to sound like) in different venues.

When I started editing, I had a terrible time with sound. What 'sounded' good at my editing station would sound different (and poorly) when played in different environments. A TV set sound would be different from the same clip played on a home entertainment system or on a PA system at a large venue. Not only different but BAD. BADLY different on each system. It was almost impossible to mix sound that would be acceptable on the majority of systems.

Finally listening to people like Jay Rose and Douglass Spotted-Eagle, I purchased an set of near-field studio monitors. What a difference! They were correct. Computer and stereo speakers and even headphones distort the sound and lead to mistakes when editing.

The strange thing is I'm not doing anything different with regard to sound editing tools. But I can truly hear what is going on with the sound and make my adjustments as I always did.

I was able to get a pair of unpowered KRK monitor speakers for $300 from the local guitar store (a great place to save money on audio equipment (in the US, at least)). I already had a decent amplifier so after connection to the sound-card line-out, it was up and running.

The difference is enormous. I can set up my audio so it sounds OK no matter where it is played. Not that it does not sound different when played on a 2" TV speaker or on a surround-sound system. But the sound is more than acceptable. A state that was hard for me to achieve before I installed the monitors.
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 08:52 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Honolulu, HI
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Hey Adi, check out this thread as well to add to the great info Mike's provided:

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Old March 23rd, 2003, 03:45 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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thanks for the advice mike. i couldn't agree with you more on the importance of good sound. most of my work will be documentaries and it seems as though a bad looking shot on a doc (out-of-focus, shakey camera) is somehow excusable, but if you can't understand what the guy in the shot is saying because of bad sound, no matter how sharp and beautiful the shot may look, it won't hold. i guess i just have to remind myself of this every now and then. will look into finding ways to get myself a descent pair of speakers.

great linc chris. thanks.
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