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What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby Directionless » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:21 pm

I know this was discussed previously, but I thought it would be nice to recap, as I saw keith303 and Airmann already revealed their goodies.

Keith303: Adam a7's.
Airmann: Also Adam a7's and a B) mix comparison - Avantone mixcubes.
Nice stuff guys! Proper monitors. Are those self-powered or driven with amps?

Me I'm doing a No No and mixing with stereo speakers but it could be worse:

directionless: Bose 301 series IV (made from 1996-2001).
http://en.audiofanzine.com/other-pa-live-sound-speaker-cabinets/bose/301-Series-IV/user_reviews/r.3559.html
I guess my only B comparison is a pair of Grado sr60 headphones.
http://www.stereophile.com/headphones/532/index.html

I was running them on an Onkyo amp but it burned out. Just running a cheapie Kenwood amp. Optical digital out from PC to AMP. My soundcard is an EMU1212m (been using the same card for like 10 years!):
http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/index.php/Emu_1212m_Review

Also using an Onkyo 160w sub set on low to fill in some of the bass lacking from the Bose. Of course running 2-channel with no DSP on the AMP. I have to angle the speakers a bit because they use that direct-reflecting gimmick which will be hard to capture the highs without positioning them just right. These pics show how the speakers are configured:
http://stuffedgarage.com/bose301series4.htm

Someday I'll like to get some proper monitors. But even this has made a difference compared to when I was trying to mix on a pair of $20 wal-mart headphones. I think what is helping more than the gear right now is listening to people that do good mixing and learning from them. ;)

Also for the first time ever, I actually tried to read up on some of my settings, like for compressor on how to get the attack right for drums. I've been lazy and always used preset functions. But now I'm trying to challenge myself by making a tune in Psycle all with in-built synth and effects, plus a few drum samples. So no presets basically. Hopefully it will be a good lesson. I'm trying to make it good enough to submit for inclusion in the next official release of Psycle.

Anyway.... you still got those Fostex monitors Scott? Anyone else using anything interesting?
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby organic io » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:13 am

Directionless wrote:Anyway.... you still got those Fostex monitors Scott? Anyone else using anything interesting?


Yeah actually, surprised you remembered that :D They are Fostex PS2.1. Nothing special, but I got a good deal on them about 10 years ago.

Honestly though, for most of my songs these days, I just mix on headphones. Usually my trusty Koss KSC75's which I swear are the best audio deal in the whole universe. Sound almost as good as my Sennheiser HD590's.

Anyway, I know mixing on headphones is supposed to be a no-no, but the room with the desktop and Fostex's is a total mess right now, you can barely get back there. So I don't. And I'm happy just to write a song these days, much less try to perfect it. Plus, I honestly believe that how you use your equipment is more important than what equipment you have. I think at this point I would rather spend more time learning how to write good songs, than spending hours and hours tweaking stuff. Mastering still seems like a black art to me, hard to figure out and I seem to get lost in a sea of options... Plus, if I ever decide to write an album or something, I'll just hire Airmann to do the mastering :D :D :D :D
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby chunter » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:05 pm

I'm in a similar position to Scott's, I make my music in the living room, where unplugging will disturb, and I have to make special time to record guitar or sing. As time passes it seems less and less likely that I'll have budget for gear...

On the other hand, I predict a large selection of rattles and bells for a sample pack...

Also, time has a funny way of changing things, so maybe I'll have budget and space for it after all...

The guy my friend records with has powered Mackie monitors, if I had my choice I'd probably get something like those, or Tannoys like another acquaintance used (because I got familiar with them.)

My interface is a Edirol UA-4FX which, despite having many input and output plugs, really only has one stereo out and one stereo in. The different plugs will cancel each other out, and on mine, the RCA plugs are defective. I use it to record with the microphone (a cheap chinese dynamic) and the guitars. I have a miniature amplifier (Vox DA-5) which I plug the guitars into, then use the headphone output from the amp to connect to the interface.

My PC is an Acer Aspire One netbook with its RAM upgraded to the maximum.
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby keith303 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:58 pm

interesting thread ! hope more posts of other SDC'lers will follow.

apart from the already mentioned Adam A7's, there also is an Adam Sub10 MK2 to support the weak low end of the A7s.
the whole is controlled by a cheapo Behringer Xenyx 1204FX, which does the job quite satisfactory, tho.
i once compared it to an allen & heath mixer of a friend which was about 4 times the price and i couldn't spot a difference.. so what the heck :D
i'm using this setup since four or five years, so i'm quite accustomed to it and that's probably even more important than having the highest end gear available for obtaining satisfactory results.

i bought an old house in december 2012, so the year 2013 was _entirely_ about renovating, sanifying, etc... didn't make a single key stroke into renoise for one year .. even though there is till is a heck of work to do and a lot of money (which i don't have) is still to be spent, the worst part is over and i'm finally able to enjoy music in my new dedicated room again:
Image Image Image

concerning my audio interface:
EMU 1212M PCI :mrgreen: - i think also since 10 years or so.. really still loving it and i have ZERO problems, even though the drivers have never been the best :)
i think they're even still beta for win7, but as they work flawlessly here, why bother?
they even work well under my win8.1 test install.
so no worries concerning that for at least another 5 years ;)

oh and computer-wise, there still is my old trusty Tower-PC based on Intel Q9650 overclocked to 4 x 4.3Ghz, 8GB RAM, SSD, GTX470, etc.
it's all watercooled by a rather big radiator (Watercool MO-RA 2 PRO), so even though there's a lot of heat dissipation, it's inaudible from a distance > 1m.
the only reason why i am looking for a successor to my rig is that it draws around 300W idle and 450W under CPU load.. even 500W and beyond with CPU/GPU under load...
electricity is quite expensive in germany, so i'm currently gambling with a Gigabyte P34G 14" laptop, which supplies about the same performance unoverclocked.
the only problem is: it lacks a displayport connection, so i can't feed any monitor with a higher signal than 1920x1200 digitally.. and since i have two monitors with 2560x1440.. well life ain't easy. :P

sorry for getting off topic a bit ...
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby Directionless » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:53 pm

wow keith that is a sick setup! very nice everything. style. ambiance. and gear! :D how cool is that same soundcards. hahah yeah it works. The drivers are OK. But same here, got it working in Windows 8 which I'm running.

That sucks about your power consumption. Your video card is a beast though. That's gotta account for half of it maybe (at peak loads). I've got an older GTX and I'm running a separate power supply just for it. My last PW SUP failed and I lost my MB. Got a new MB but for now only 4 MBs of ram because not enough slots for my existing until I upgrade ram. CPU just a bargain price AMD quad core running at 2.6 ghz.

I love your mixer. I have an analog Behringer Eurorack UB1202.

Also have a vintage Roland Alpha Juno II but not in "studio" atm as my buddy is restoring it for me. It works but he's just redoing the internal power and cleaning. He gave me that little m-audio O2 usb midi controller. I don't use it much, maybe I should? I signed up for Music Theory I at Uni next semester rather than all IT and business class. So that could be good. Also mic is the same Sure 57a beta my dad gave me years ago. Also have a couple Behringer C-2 Condensers.

And here is a pic since your's were so awesome. Mine is missing all the ambiance of yours! But i'm fortunate as well to have a room just for office/studio (fiance and I bought a house last summer):

Image

Thanks for sharing everyone. and congrats on your house and awesome studio keith!
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby organic io » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:13 am

Directionless wrote: only 4 MBs of ram


LOL

That's pretty impressive to run Renoise on, how many hours does it take to load? :D

Directionless wrote: ///picture of studio///


Not bad at all. Especially CRAZY to my brain is the fact that initially I thought you had this tiny MIDI keyboard about the size of a Korg Nanokey or something. Then I realized you said it is an M-audio O2. I also have an M-audio O2, which is actually a pretty comfortable size... And then it hit me, your monitor must be a monster!!!

Just to join in, here is a picture of my "living room studio"
Image
(click if image is truncated in forum thread)

:) It is a 2006 Macbook 13", Core 2 duo 2ghz with 2gb RAM. Functional for what I need it for right now. Given to me generously by a good friend. :)
I added the black keys after getting it. They are WONDERFUL when tracking for helping find scales and visualizing where the notes are. :D For mic I use a Zoom H1 digital recorder which is really nice because it can be used portable standalone, or as an extra USB interface.

P.S.. When put in front of the Macbook, the M-audio O2 is about 5 inches longer than the computer, just to give a perspective on D-less's monitor!

Edit: Just out of curiosity I tried to eyeball measure your monitor, knowing that the CD cases up top are about 5 inches each, and using my thumb-nail. I estimate your monitor is at least 45 inches, maybe over 50. Confirm?
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby Directionless » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:42 am

That's pretty impressive to run Renoise on, how many hours does it take to load? :D


My monitor is big cuz i'm overcompensating for my lack of ram. hah 4mbs, yeah. I did upgrade to 4mbs of ram once, in like 1994 on my 386. it cost me $200!

It's not a PC monitor. That would be keith-level expensive. :D it's a Samsung 39" LED TV running at 1080p. This is also where I do my gaming. There's a beefy center channel behind the monitor and two rears in the back that. I switch from 2-channel to dolby digital for gaming. Actually the emu1212m doesn't do DD or DTS or even passthrough. Which is one thing that sucks about it. But Pro Logic is ok but not really. Also a 360 is hiding back there too and that does digital surround of course.

I like the ambiance of your coffee cup next to your macbook.
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby organic io » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:00 am

Directionless wrote:My monitor is big cuz i'm overcompensating for my lack of ram. hah 4mbs, yeah. I did upgrade to 4mbs of ram once, in like 1994 on my 386. it cost me $200!

It's not a PC monitor. That would be keith-level expensive. :D it's a Samsung 39" LED TV running at 1080p. This is also where I do my gaming. There's a beefy center channel behind the monitor and two rears in the back that. I switch from 2-channel to dolby digital for gaming. Actually the emu1212m doesn't do DD or DTS or even passthrough. Which is one thing that sucks about it. But Pro Logic is ok but not really. Also a 360 is hiding back there too and that does digital surround of course.

I like the ambiance of your coffee cup next to your macbook.


Yeah we upgraded our 486 from 4 to 8mb's around 1994-95 and I remember it was about $179, which was a good deal at the time :) A good 250MB hard drive was about $300. Those were the days.

I thought it was probably a TV but I didn't want to speculate and be wrong. Sweet gaming setup. Most of my gaming is done on the Macbook, or alternately my Xperia Play.

Thanks for saying my picture has ambience, I didn't think it did compared to yours and Keith's, but that cold camera flash will suck the life out of just about anything. My photography skill is only about 1% :D
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby chunter » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:26 am

If you can pardon the mess, I forgot that I had taken this while testing the phone:
Image

This is the living room of the apartment we're staying in while we figure out what is to be done about our house.
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby Directionless » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:32 am

Well now this is getting real off topic..

redirected here.
Last edited by Directionless on Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby organic io » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:36 am

chunter wrote:[/img]
This is the living room of the apartment we're staying in while we figure out what is to be done about our house.


Is that cola, or a stout beer? :)

Directionless wrote://Sweet console setup//


It all looks really nice, but I just use emulators :D Although I will say I was looking at an Atari 2600 with 20 games on craigslist yesterday, would be fun to mess with and show my kids and see their expression :) Video game system + wood paneling together, what an anachronistic concept...
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby Directionless » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:48 am

It all looks really nice, but I just use emulators


Of course, I emulate a shit-ton too. But beyond hoarding a collection, there is nothing like the real physics of platform gaming on the console vs. the emulator. In particular, for example, Super Mario World for SNES plays like garbage on any emulator regardless of your gear. So I had to go full circle. But emulation rocks for sure. There's a modded original x-box in the front room on the Samsung 55" LED for family gaming of bomberman and mario kart. :D

@Chunter, it looks like you have some good space there. I've worked in all kinds of environments including being homeless on my buddies couch, tracking and gaming on the kitchen table. It's all good. :)
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby chunter » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:28 am

Yes, I'm definitely in a better both literal and financial place than I was even four years ago. I have an assortment of Sega and C64 gear sitting at the house wasting space because I don't want to make a mess of the apartment with it, but can't find time to properly catalog it all and sell it like I really should. It's been more than 7 years since some of that stuff has been powered on.

I have a few Playstation 2s that are dead for different reasons, I've saved them in the hope of building Raspberry Pi or similar things in them. I don't know if it will stick, but I'd like my daughter to know that real computing happens outside of an app store. ;)

The glass is most likely Dr Pepper, although I have some beer around, I only drink it on certain occasions.
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby Directionless » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:42 am

I have an assortment of Sega and C64 gear sitting at the house wasting space because I don't want to make a mess of the apartment with it, but can't find time to properly catalog it all and sell it like I really should.


I have a c64 and a bunch of disks too. It's in the loft above my gaming closet. What Sega gear/games do you have? I'd be interested in first dibs if the price was right and my school loan money is sufficient @ end of summer. :) I'm sure you'll like the cash for diapers. :D
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Re: What are your "Studio Monitors"? .. and gear

Postby organic io » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:47 am

Directionless wrote:, Super Mario World for SNES plays like garbage on any emulator regardless of your gear. So I had to go full circle.


What is garbage about it? It does well on my Core2duo in snes9x. My fiancee and I play weird Mario hacked roms. While the SMW ones run fine, I find the game more boring than regular old SMB1, simply because the physics in SMB1 rock... The gradual momentum to accelerate and decelerate... Really makes it a challenging and deep game, especially with hacked roms with difficult levels.

chunter wrote: Raspberry Pi


I have the idea to build a Raspberry Pi box for my Dad's birthday with Doxbox on it and some old CGA graphics games we used to play in the 80's. But that is in about 3 weeks, I don't think I'll be able to do it in time now. Maybe Christmas :)

But I don't want our retro gaming discussion to throw anybody off.. Discussion about your music gear is still welcome!!!
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