Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Talk about anything related to the Electribes.

Moderator: Aciphecs

Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby StellarJay[aka Ruso] on Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:28 pm

Yes dudes... I found a MAJOR wall in my sound system and realized that ALL of my music is screwed up because of a single flaw in my setup so I thought I would share this with you so you guys don't make the same mistake.

Essentially ALL of music will have to be remastered.... I finally know how which is good but it is a mega snag.

Info about my setup. I use Alesis Monitor 1 Mk1 studio monitors.... these are some of the best affordable studio monitors of all time and even high end websites like sweetwater proudly sell them right next to 1500 dollar unpowered pairs.

I use a sony power amp. The amp has controls for bass, trebble and a bass boost. This is where I made the mistake!

Here's the problem.... I tuned the amp to make other music sound good and big on the monitors. I've been using the same setting for years. I also have another amp powering two 12 inch subwoofers. This added extra low end bas which helped me counter act my problem to an extent but I could never figure out what was wrong.

Symptoms: I take my tunes to my car or dance floor.... I have major weirdness going on with my mid bass, and my high ends. I tried noting the differences in levels and adjusting accordingly in the studio.... this improved my sound but still soudns fishy...

Today, with a fresh mind.... I tore my setup apart. Connected my monitors to my alesis reference amp (it's weak but is designed to work with the monitors).... INSTANTLY the weirdness represented in my car and other sound systems was present in the sound.

My sound is now weak but it is truly a reference sound. Folks, do not make this mistake. Keep ALL the levels on neutral (NO mixer EQ or ANYTHING). If you don't have enough bass.... get a subwoofer. Whatever you do do not boost your monitors.

Now I have a long couple of weeks ahead of me. I'll do a live set with the remastered tunes whenever I can get it done.
:evil:
User avatar
StellarJay[aka Ruso]
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1834
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby StellarJay[aka Ruso] on Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:55 pm

It's a double bitch too.... because now I have to retrain my ears and my hearing which will take a long time....
User avatar
StellarJay[aka Ruso]
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1834
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby DeFrag on Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:26 pm

Good but painful lesson.. thanks for the info.

Its very important to mix & master with monitors instead of headphones too, for those who don't know. Additionally, you want to test a mix in a multitude of settings: car stereo, boombox, mono-sum through a radio or TV speaker, hi-fi equipment, etc.. to make sure it sounds the best it can everywhere.
Korg microXL/Electribe MX • Moog Little Phatty, 6 MoogerFoogers _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Mesa Roadster, Egnater Rebel, Orange Terror, Blackheart Giant • Ric 360MG, Schecter C1, Martin OMC15
Alesis, Boss, Mackie, Peterson, Radial ( o )==#
http://gamefreaks.net/defrag/personal/music.html ♪♫
User avatar
DeFrag
Electribe Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:03 am
Location: Wa

Re: Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby cyberheater on Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:15 pm

Yep. It's very important to have your audio chain eq free and as flat as possible. Studios pay a lot of money to get flat frequency responses.

@Defrag

I'm not sure about the 'no earphones' bit. I know in general it should be the case but my earphones represent the most accurate monitoring solution I have. Due to not wanting to annoy the neighbours, I've been using them for years.
I'd find it quite hard to go back to using speakers for my mixes now.
cyberheater
Electribe Newbie
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 2:57 am

Re: Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby StellarJay[aka Ruso] on Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:31 am

Ya I agree, I actually have very very very decent headphones for mixing and mastering.
User avatar
StellarJay[aka Ruso]
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1834
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby TrondC on Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:51 am

yeah, I too have always used headphones for anything music-related, as I have always lived with or close to people who may not appreciate hours on end with the same loops...

the problem for me, is that things sound awesome on the headphones (the ghostmind tracks are good examples here), but on my cd player, car stereo etc, I hear that the mix is totally wrong, bass is drowning everything else, distorting or is even too subby to be heard...

I'm gonna buy a remote place in the woods or something one day, scaring the shyte out of local wildlife ;)
Techno/Dub/Ambient
-Monomachine/Machinedrum UW/Acidlab Bassline/KP3
-Korg Zero 4 mixer - Recordings in Reaper

http://siestasubmarina.bandcamp.com/
http://soundcloud.com/siesta-submarina
User avatar
TrondC
EF Special Task Force
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:43 pm

Re: Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby cyberheater on Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:45 am

TrondC wrote:the problem for me, is that things sound awesome on the headphones (the ghostmind tracks are good examples here), but on my cd player, car stereo etc, I hear that the mix is totally wrong, bass is drowning everything else, distorting or is even too subby to be heard...


I know what you mean. I've been in bands spending the whole night in a decent recording studio laying down a track which sounds great on the full range speakers and then listen to it on the way home in the car and wonder wtf happened to it.

I think you do need to be careful of the bass end when using headphones. I've got a fairly decent Ministry of Sound dj headphone that can handle oodles of bass but the average or sub par hi-fi / car system just won't extend down to that range. You have to reign in the bottom end quite a bit to not overload those little systems.

Check out tracks that you like from other artists using a spectrum analyser. Audacity (which is free) has one and it really shows were the energy is in a track.
cyberheater
Electribe Newbie
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 2:57 am

Re: Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby StellarJay[aka Ruso] on Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:57 am

I found that the best headphones for reference (although usually a bit bass boomy) are in ear earbuds that have the silicone surrounds to seal off your ear.

I've owned a couple of pairs of great over the ear headphones. One of them is the industry standard sony (forget model name, but they are the ones that have the golden accents). They were not even close to a 25 dollar pair of Moda headphones that I bought on amazon for reference.

The best, most accurate (but still a bit bass heavy) set of headphones I have ever owned were white in ear headbuds by sony which I bought at radioshack for 60 bucks. It was either these: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR-EX71SLA- ... 89&sr=1-18 or a similar model. Cheap now :)
User avatar
StellarJay[aka Ruso]
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1834
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby hseiken on Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:11 pm

I bought earphones that boost bass on their own because I always tend to over do the bass on flat earphones. I probably still over do it, but not as much. I don't master anything, though. Probably will start sending my tracks to my buddy who just picked up his audio engineering degree so he can get some practice and I can get some nice sounding tracks...everyone wins. :)
GEAR: ESX, Micron, KP3, Kaossilator, ER-1mk2, Xenyx 801, VS880, US-122
hseiken
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:31 pm
Location: USA

Re: Studio Monitoring.... MEGA reality check!

Postby StellarJay[aka Ruso] on Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:31 pm

the best way to master a track... is to properly mix it..... :)
User avatar
StellarJay[aka Ruso]
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1834
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Seattle, WA


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests