point me in the right direction?

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point me in the right direction?

Postby Idk Probly » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:07 am

CONFESSION: i've been recording music at home for a long time, and i have yet to invest in a pair of powered studio monitors. They always seemed way too expensive, & i could use computer speakers or the AUX on the home stereo, whatever i could get to work. Recorded a lot of good music this way, burned a lot of CDs heard & enjoyed by a lot of people. No problems... but recently i got a job working for a major distributor of musical instruments, gear & equipment, and i get a discount. so i'm contemplating monitors.
And here's the question: can studio monitors & a mixer work for small scale performances? house party etc.? Or is a small P.A. system a better bet for this type of thing?
Before you answer, let me save you a little time & tell you what i DO know, which is:
Most stereo systems, home & car, are designed to accentuate certain frequencies in the mix to please listeners. They "color" or "sweeten" the sound to give people what they want. If a producer wants a seriously professional mix, he needs to use studio monitors that give a clear, accurate sound, and be "Flat" in terms of all frequencies equally represented (i think). So a mix that sounds great on one set of monitors might sound like poop on another set of monitors or another stereo system.
i also know that room dynamics play a big part in the mixing process, which is why rooms are treated with bass traps and what not. Any sound bouncing around the room will affect how you hear the mix, & it won't be accurate in the end.
all that being said (& apologies for the book length of this), as a home recordist (no DAW, all hardware) using a combination of headphones and conventional computer speakers (with separate sub); i'm always burning CDs to test them in various players & speaker set ups, car stereos, boom box, whatever. Experimenting, trial & error, til you get something sounding good enough to let people have copies. The overall loudness was always a problem area, compared to pro CDs, but i've gotten better with that. Of course i found fresh flaws in every listen, but the mix was always clear, not muddy, and the average listener always found it to sound pretty professional, and the CDs are quite popular.
i should note that the style of music isn't complicated to mix, really. Basement beats indie-hop, basically. No bass amps, guitar amps, live drum kits all pushing air & fighting for frequency space to worry about. the DIY ethos has always served me well, should i leave it behind? Above all, i always submit to the K.I.S.S. rule, first law of minimalism (keep it simple, stupid.)
any pointers? admonitions? stern scoldings?
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Re: point me in the right direction?

Postby madtheory » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:01 pm

Buy Mackie powered monitors, whichever ones you can afford. And make some bass traps.
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Re: point me in the right direction?

Postby synthroom » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:57 pm

A discount!!! Take advantage of it!
Fairlight IIx (Mid-Life Crisis - cheaper than a Corvette!)
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Re: point me in the right direction?

Postby meatballfulton » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:20 pm

Idk Probly wrote:can studio monitors & a mixer work for small scale performances? house party etc.? Or is a small P.A. system a better bet for this type of thing?


Studio monitors will not be loud enough. Get powered PA speakers instead.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.
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Re: point me in the right direction?

Postby madtheory » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:37 pm

Just re read your post Idk Probly. If you want to spend less time checking you mix on various systems, then you should treat your room. Position your speakers using the 33% rule. Most rooms need bass traps. These are easy. Two rolls of rockwool stacked in each corner. Then make at least 3 panels, for left, right and overhead mirror points. Put a heavy rug on the floor underneath your listening point.

More pointers here:
http://ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html

Mackie HR824 II are excellent value for money if you want accuracy. RCF Mytho 8 are even better if you can stretch the budget. Neumann KH120A are better again. After that it's crazy money.

But basically- the better your monitoring, the quicker you'll mix.
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