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Monitors that work for you

Barter

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I'm curious what speakers folks here who do audio production work of some sort have had success with. Translatability and fewer regrets later. Do you use one set that is very accurate? Do you triangulate using NS-10s or an Auratone cube or boombox or whatever? What have you grown to trust and how did you arrive at that point? As a corollary to that, how may you have used measurements in choosing/calibrating your setup?
 

Philbo King

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I use JBL 308P MKII and love them! I have had no trouble with translation since I got these. However, I also have room acoustic treatments plus digital correction so measured response is within +/- 2 dB of flat...

I calibrate the level by using -20 dBFS pink noise, and set my interface and console gain to get 73 dBSPL (with no weighting).

Below 35 or 40 Hz the bass falls off quickly, so I always check very low bass using a spectrum analyser (with a 3dB slope) plugin. Normally I don't get bass this low in my mixes; I record using real instruments rather than synths or samples.

And I mix at pretty quiet levels. Typically 60 or 65 dB SPL. This prevents ear fatigue after a 10 hour mixing session. I do crank it up to 80 dB for quick checks on freq balance.

The reason I trust this setup is it translates very well to my Rav4 car stereo, and I've had great results since I got them, producing 5 or 6 CDs for other folks, and a couple of my own.
 
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B

Barter

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I really am impressed by the 306s I picked up a few months back. I have been shifting around my workspace at home, and so have still not done what I need to do to calm down reflections where they are now, but I still have had an easy time working with them. I need to get that in order and would like to investigate options for DSP correction, which I need to learn more about. I actually bought them before discovering this site, and the world of more/better measurements, so it was really great to see that the choice I made based on a much more haphazard afternoon of research actually does measure well. Much more confidence in what I think I'm hearing, haha.

Is what you describe the same as the Bob Katz method for setting levels that he describes in his mastering book?

I too keep my levels in those same ranges, and there the JBLs don't begin to distort, though past a certain point I can hear them get muddied. I'm sure a sub would make a difference there though.

I have worked a fair amount on Focal Twin6 Bes and had great luck. This is in a well designed studio w/ a sub, and the room helps immensely. I have other points of comparison, but with lots of variables that make it hard to directly compare.. I have spent a decent amount of time on other presumably comparable monitors but consistently had nasty surprises in my mixes. Hopefully some of that's just improvement with time, but the measurements support that the Focals should be trustworthy!

And..... NS-10s get used a lot as well. Obviously they are not flat.. Has anyone done a spinorama of one of those?? I would really love to see what is going on there. I was a skeptic for a long time, I basically just thought they sounded awful, but came to see what they are used for, or at least one way to use them. Not that I don't still think they sound kind of awful! I know I've happened across a bit of analysis of why engineers find them useful, something about console bounce was part of it perhaps, but as I recall it was a bit old.. I've assumed it's just a combination of low distortion midrange in the most important bands, maybe lack of resonances created by any attempt to play bass, and the bandwidth limiting being useful so as to focus on the most crucial frequencies for clarity in a mix without being distracted by bass or sparkly extended highs, a filter.
 
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Barter

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Oh, the JBLs do hiss though, as has been discussed a lot. Sometimes I'll realize I'm zoning out at my desk as if it were a ocean wave or rain sounds track, or think it's raining softly outside, and then get up and switch them off!

With the ambient noise floor at home however it's a small tradeoff for the value.
 

Philbo King

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.

Is what you describe the same as the Bob Katz method for setting levels that he describes in his mastering book?

I too keep my levels in those same ranges, and there the JBLs don't begin to distort, though past a certain point I can hear them get muddied. I'm sure a sub would make a difference there though.
!
Yes.

I haven't heard any audible hiss on my 308s. I have heard this about this on 305 and 306 units though.

I'm not surprised 6" speakers would begin distorting on low bass when pushing the level. It's pushing what's possible with speakers of that size.

On digital correction:
Bob uses the Accourate system, which by all reports is excellent.

Mine is a more DIY approach.
I used a measurement mic at listening position and captured response curves in REW for each speaker. Then I generated correction EQ in REW, and saved an IR convolution file for each speaker. I combined the two files into a stereo IR wave file. This file is loaded into a convolution plugin in my monitor FX, which gets all output headed to the outputs but does not affect rendering.

This same stereo file is loaded into EAPO (Equalizer for Audio Processing Objects) to provide the same EQ correction to Windows audio output.

Followup measurement with my measurement mic proved the correction was effective.
 
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dfuller

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The best luck I've had has been my KH310s. They translate magnificently compared to basically everything else I've owned. ATCs generally do pretty well for me, too.

Genelecs really, really don't for me. Things just do not translate ever.
 

Scrappy

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Aug 4, 2022
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I really am impressed by the 306s I picked up a few months back. I have been shifting around my workspace at home, and so have still not done what I need to do to calm down reflections where they are now, but I still have had an easy time working with them. I need to get that in order and would like to investigate options for DSP correction, which I need to learn more about. I actually bought them before discovering this site, and the world of more/better measurements, so it was really great to see that the choice I made based on a much more haphazard afternoon of research actually does measure well. Much more confidence in what I think I'm hearing, haha.

Is what you describe the same as the Bob Katz method for setting levels that he describes in his mastering book?

I too keep my levels in those same ranges, and there the JBLs don't begin to distort, though past a certain point I can hear them get muddied. I'm sure a sub would make a difference there though.

I have worked a fair amount on Focal Twin6 Bes and had great luck. This is in a well designed studio w/ a sub, and the room helps immensely. I have other points of comparison, but with lots of variables that make it hard to directly compare.. I have spent a decent amount of time on other presumably comparable monitors but consistently had nasty surprises in my mixes. Hopefully some of that's just improvement with time, but the measurements support that the Focals should be trustworthy!

And..... NS-10s get used a lot as well. Obviously they are not flat.. Has anyone done a spinorama of one of those?? I would really love to see what is going on there. I was a skeptic for a long time, I basically just thought they sounded awful, but came to see what they are used for, or at least one way to use them. Not that I don't still think they sound kind of awful! I know I've happened across a bit of analysis of why engineers find them useful, something about console bounce was part of it perhaps, but as I recall it was a bit old.. I've assumed it's just a combination of low distortion midrange in the most important bands, maybe lack of resonances created by any attempt to play bass, and the bandwidth limiting being useful so as to focus on the most crucial frequencies for clarity in a mix without being distracted by bass or sparkly extended highs, a filter.
 

Scrappy

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Couldn’t find the other write-up about how the linearity of the NS10 is very similar to the linearity of large soffit-mounted mains, albeit band-passy. Small studio I worked at for a bit had HS80’s and NS10’s, always wanted to try cobbling a 3-way setup with em.
 

Sawdust123

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The guy that did a lot of the acoustic design of the JBL 3xx series had also done the JBL M2 and LS-700 series. He left JBL to help start up Kali Audio. I have the Kali IN8s with the Kali 12" sub. These replaced my old Vandersteen 2s. I am not mixing on this system but the bang for the buck was huge. The designer just gave an AES talk this week on his measurement technique. I have heard the talk before and I am impressed with approach used and the checks they did to validate it.
 

JohnnyAudio

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I really like my Pionner TAD TSM-300's
Dual edgeless 6" woofies
Amazing center horn
Not used in studio any longer, happy at home.

IMG_1995.jpg
 

kemmler3D

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I'm curious what speakers folks here who do audio production work of some sort have had success with. Translatability and fewer regrets later. Do you use one set that is very accurate? Do you triangulate using NS-10s or an Auratone cube or boombox or whatever? What have you grown to trust and how did you arrive at that point? As a corollary to that, how may you have used measurements in choosing/calibrating your setup?
I haven't done any serious mixing in a long time, but I had good results from some old Blue Sky Sat 5 MKIIs. The mix translated well enough to whatever I played the music on. I did spend time checking the mix on random stuff like earbuds and TV speakers and whatnot. Granted, the music sucked, but the mix turned out good IMO.

I recently got some Genelec 8030Bs and I think they're better, but haven't done any mixes on them. But in terms of tonality they're pretty close to EQ'd Audezes and/or LS60s that I have in the house, (which is what the measurements would lead one to expect, more or less) so my initial reaction would be to trust them as far as that goes.
 
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JohnnyAudio

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We would make mixes for the Daytona Beach car audio show and mix the CD on the exact car's system it was to be played on. That worked quite well.
 
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