Are you using studio monitors? If so, which ones?

I have just been using various headphones over the past three or so years, mostly because studio monitors are not “fun” to buy. You know, they are not a synthesizer or something else that’s “cool”. I know, that is the totally wrong way of thinking and the monitors should have come before a lot of other stuff (the fun stuff!), but it’s also not pocket change.

So I finally decided to get proper monitors for my largely untreated room that is around 13-14 m². I should probably have posted here before ordering something, but I figured this is something I need to test in the specific room anyway since it’s such a relative matter. Still, I’m curious what studio monitors you guys use, in which room size, and what your experiences are, both good and negative?

I settled for a pair of Adam F5 monitors (and isolation pads), mostly because I feel that 5" is a good compromise for the room size. They will also stand only 20-30 centimeters (10 inches) from the walls. The bass reflex thing is on the front with these. I considered 7", but those don’t really do all that much more for the bass, and 8", where I think bass would be getting good, are both too big for the room and honesty too costly. There is a small subwoofer from Adam that costs around €400 (as much as the two speakers), so if I ever want more bass, that’d be a route to go.

I am unsure about the size, but it’s probably a good idea to start at 5" and see how that sounds. Worst case is I have to send them back (should arrive next week). I considered the KRK RoKits too, since those are so popular, but reviews at Thomann mentioned a rather audible self-noise and an annoying auto-idle mode. They would have been a little cheaper, too, though not by much, so that would be my next choice if the Adam F5s don’t work out. Yamaha HS5 were also in the same price range, with decent reviews. I also don’t want to spend more than €400 tops for a pair of speakers. Otherwise I’d have considered those BM5s from Dynaudio, which everyone seems to love. Definitely outside of my budget, though.

I still think this is a supremely boring purchase, but I’m a bit tired of always wearing headphones, especially since my desktop or the display don’t have any speakers. So even for non-audio stuff, like gaming or watching a film, having speakers will be a plus.

KRK Rokit 5

I’m happy with them, and yes, they do color the sound a bit, but considering I’m only Renoising as a hobby they are more than adequate for my production level. However, I’ve noticed the actual room you are in does more to the sound than the speakers themselves. I recently moved and noticed a dramatic change in some songs in my new “studio”. The room is bigger than before. Has straight vertical walls, as opposed to the slanted ceiling I had before. Less sound dampening too. I need to fix that.

Before getting the KRKs I looked at the Yamaha HS5’s (among others) since a lot of people said they didn’t color the sound much at all. But they sounded too sharp for my liking. Maybe that’s a good thing, idk, I just liked the sound of the KRK better.

Actually, I had a change of heart after some quality time over at Gearslutz. Called up Thomann and changed from the Adam F5 to the JBL LSR305. The folks over at GS really love the LSR305, even in direct comparison with the F5, and since the bundle (two speakers, with ISO pads) is only €285 vs. €399 for the F5, I decided to start with the JBLs. If they are what I want, great, I like spending less. If not, I’ll send them back and order the F5 again. The JBLs were in stock too, the F5s would have taken a few days extra, so this is more efficient… (okay, I’m impatient!).

Getting decent monitors let alone acoustically treating can be a little daunting. Some useful advice I seemed to have come across so far, is that no matter the monitor, just get used to it’s sound. Listen to it all the time in your room, even when you are not making tracks. Get familiar with your speakers and know what they are supposed to sound like. It may take some time to calibrate them to your environment and as suggested, room treatment will make a big difference (another subject that can be daunting in it’s own right).

I started a thread when for advice on monitors (http://forum.renoise.com/index.php/topic/46715-studio-monitor-suggestions/), and got some good tips, though in the end I was given a pair of Presonus Eris E4.5 as a gift.

I have already noticed a big difference. Monitors don’t hide flaws. This is a good thing. I had been previously been using some speakers that were lacking in lower frequencies and by comparison to the monitors, I was able to tell that much of my earlier problems with muddy mixes/ too much flab etc had been affected by my choice in speakers for one. The next step for me will be treatment.

Reflections can really colour the sound in a bad way. I had a friend come and measure my room and recommend me a plan.

Can’t wait to get that ball rollin.

I got the Rokit 5’s G2 (so without the auto-power, which I also read it can be pretty annoying). With balanced cables I don’t hear any noise from them. They are ok for my room size. My room is 3,50 x 4,50, with a bed, a sofa, a chair, a sleeping dog, a carpet, and two book shelves.

But honestly I wish I had saved my money for a little bit longer and then went for 8’’. I think the low end is just not enough in 5’’ (same with the 5’’ Yamahas a friend owns), and a lot of times I catch myself using the good old HiFi speakers, because I can hear the bass so much better with them…

I’m constantly thinking about getting better bass, but can’t make up my mind between an additional subwoofer or 8’’ speakers (not Rokits b/c of that auto-power). And even in the rare moments when I think I finally made up my mind, I’m afraid I won’t be able to really use the planned configuration because of the neighbours. Argh! That’s how I ended up with new headphones a while ago. (And still there’s the wish for better speakers nagging in the back of my mind…)

Adam A8x and Yamaha HS-10m.

But i advice you to do the best acoustic treatment of the room. If you do that the cheap monitors will give you the most clean sound, if you will not do that then the most expensive monitors will sound as bad as possible.

I got the Rokit 5’s G2 (so without the auto-power, which I also read it can be pretty annoying). With balanced cables I don’t hear any noise from them. They are ok for my room size. My room is 3,50 x 4,50, with a bed, a sofa, a chair, a sleeping dog, a carpet, and two book shelves.

But honestly I wish I had saved my money for a little bit longer and then went for 8’’. I think the low end is just not enough in 5’’ (same with the 5’’ Yamahas a friend owns), and a lot of times I catch myself using the good old HiFi speakers, because I can hear the bass so much better with them…

I’m constantly thinking about getting better bass, but can’t make up my mind between an additional subwoofer or 8’’ speakers (not Rokits b/c of that auto-power). And even in the rare moments when I think I finally made up my mind, I’m afraid I won’t be able to really use the planned configuration because of the neighbours. Argh! That’s how I ended up with new headphones a while ago. (And still there’s the wish for better speakers nagging in the back of my mind…)

Are you hearing the bass better or is it that the bass is it emphasized/coloured on the hifi speakers?

I only have 4.5’s with the bass port hole in the rear and I still find it sufficient, but then I don’t really want anything too boomy.

I suppose it does come down to what you prefer to hear.

How close are the neighbours? Is there any way to work around it (lower volumes or even speaking with your neighbours and come to some kind of arrangement)?

I’m constantly thinking about getting better bass, but can’t make up my mind between an additional subwoofer or 8’’ speakers (not Rokits b/c of that auto-power). And even in the rare moments when I think I finally made up my mind, I’m afraid I won’t be able to really use the planned configuration because of the neighbours.

I had thoughts along the same line, for future planning. I feel, at least right now, that a subwoofer may give you more flexibility, especially since you already have speakers that you are presumably happy with, except for the bass. If or when you upgrade them, you’d still have the subwoofer for your new set. Plus, you can turn it on only when you need it, so it may be more neighbor-friendly in general as its an “on demand” thing. It’ll give you better low end than 8" speakers, too. The downside is that it’s an additional device that takes up space, though that is also its strength in terms of greater flexibility.

Are you hearing the bass better or is it that the bass is it emphasized/coloured on the hifi speakers?

I only have 4.5’s with the bass port hole in the rear and I still find it sufficient, but then I don’t really want anything too boomy.

I suppose it does come down to what you prefer to hear.

How close are the neighbours? Is there any way to work around it (lower volumes or even speaking with your neighbours and come to some kind of arrangement)?

Well my HiFi speakers claim to go down to 38Hz, while the Rokits say 53Hz, I think that really makes the difference rather than some sort of HiFi emphasizing (To my big surprise they seem to be pretty flat - old MB Quart QL40 Cs with a harman/kardon amp set to neutral settings).

Yeah, the neighbours are nice and friendly, but they are really close, and I share a flat with a young couple with a baby like 2 months old… They are all ok with what I do now, which sometimes amazes me, but I don’t want to go too crazy. (Because they’re all friendly, haha.)

I had thoughts along the same line, for future planning. I feel, at least right now, that a subwoofer may give you more flexibility, especially since you already have speakers that you are presumably happy with, except for the bass. If or when you upgrade them, you’d still have the subwoofer for your new set. Plus, you can turn it on only when you need it, so it may be more neighbor-friendly in general as its an “on demand” thing. It’ll give you better low end than 8" speakers, too. The downside is that it’s an additional device that takes up space, though that is also its strength in terms of greater flexibility.

Yeah, there are pros and cons with subwoofers. I don’t really have enough room somewhere on the floor. Might be tricky to place it in a good spot, that’s why I’d prefer the 8’’ right now, even though I see the advantages of a sub you mentioned.

Dang it, I shouldn’t think about this too much, I got those new headphones now, that’s good enough! (Plus I couldn’t resist Bitwig two weeks ago.) I need to buy food , LOL.

Dang it, I shouldn’t think about this too much, I got those new headphones now, that’s good enough! (Plus I couldn’t resist Bitwig two weeks ago.) I need to buy food , LOL.

Don’t I know what that’s like! I only went to the Thomann site to buy a tuning fork, for €6.50. When checking out it said if I spend ten or so more euros, the shipping will be free. Ended up with the €285 speakers! Oh, and the tuning fork, too. Almost couldn’t afford it after the speakers. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well my HiFi speakers claim to go down to 38Hz, while the Rokits say 53Hz, I think that really makes the difference rather than some sort of HiFi emphasizing (To my big surprise they seem to be pretty flat - old MB Quart QL40 Cs with a harman/kardon amp set to neutral settings).

Yeah, the neighbours are nice and friendly, but they are really close, and I share a flat with a young couple with a baby like 2 months old… They are all ok with what I do now, which sometimes amazes me, but I don’t want to go too crazy. (Because they’re all friendly, haha.)

Yeah, there are pros and cons with subwoofers. I don’t really have enough room somewhere on the floor. Might be tricky to place it in a good spot, that’s why I’d prefer the 8’’ right now, even though I see the advantages of a sub you mentioned.

Dang it, I shouldn’t think about this too much, I got those new headphones now, that’s good enough! (Plus I couldn’t resist Bitwig two weeks ago.) I need to buy food , LOL.

I suppose in the long run, it really doesn’t matter if you are getting the results you wish and you are comfortable with your speakers. If you know what your speakers should sound like and how they translate your reference track/s, it matters not, what type they are. If you are more comfortable using your hifi speakers rather than the monitors, then that is what works for you.

Whatever keeps you trackin’ :badteethslayer:

I like my monitors, as they do a good job of revealing problems in my mix. I also have a set of hifi speakers and a really crappy speaker (temporary kind of grot box till i upgrade) that I check my mix in mono all running through a mixer (I use the mixer mainly to level match when comparing, the monitors go straight into my interface). The fact you have these two speakers means you can cross check your mixes too, which is indeed beneficial.

Do have any acoustic treatment, is it on the cards and is there room?

Once I insulate my roof and rear wall that joins the garage I will be adding bass traps first.

I was going to make my traps (Broadband absorber panels) but have decided buy. Even just four to begin with. I will be making my other panels and a cloud too. I want to build so that I can dismantle easily if need be. I also have some foam. When I have all the panels, i will experiment to find what works best for my room and tune my monitors accordingly.

I was very fortunate to have a friend that did an acoustic measurement on my room and recommended me with a plan to get the most out of my room. There was some compromises with the space, though you have to work with what you have. Right now I have a ringing that is like a plate reverb. It’s only slight, but does colour the sound to me. There is also a lot of bass build up in the corners of the room. I am sure I will be able to tame it enough though.

My room is slightly sunken from the rest of the house, carpeted, with a high ceiling, two walls fibro, two walls brick. the room is rectangular and the one of the walls (rear to my desk) leads into the garage.

The room used to be part of the garage and is only separated by a fibro wall. I can work with the space and get what I am after.

abyssis_crypt1_web_sml.jpg

abissus_crypt2_web_sml.jpg

There is still a few things on my list to do for the room. I do have a little more gear to get too (and also go without too, all my clothes are old and fading, have holes…I have two pair of old sneakers that are falling apart that i use to alternate between when it rains :badteeth:). I also have some pieces that will be arriving soon like rack storage etc.

The room has changed as I have built and It has come along way. Though, there is still so much I want to do with this build … I also plan to theme the room like a crypt.

I am designing things like a faux coffin suspended from the roof that is actually a cloud and skeleton hands coming out of the walls to hold my axes (I have others not pictured and will in future have a bass).

Everything will be easy to dismantle, package and transport, so I can essentially have my build in any room.

Nice studio, I like it! Looks professional to me! What’s that synth looking keyboard in the back of the second photo?

I got the JBL LSR305s a few hours ago, and these are keepers. Can’t really compare them to the alternatives, so I can only go by what sounds good/neutral to me, and these things sound great to me! Some reviews had mentioned a boxy, tubey sound, but I experience them as open and wide (for 5"). The bass surprised me. Much better low end than I had expected, though it’s not a frequency area where I dabble in a lot. Listening to Chris Liebing stuff right now, and the bass is of the “would bug the neighbors” kind if I cranked it up (might have to test this…). A subwoofer purchase just dropped off my “things I need want” list, which is fabulous! This would probably be different in a bigger room, but in my 13-14m² tiled floor room this is more than sufficient.

So far this is one of those rare hype-triggered purchases that I don’t regret. Should have done that sooner – what a difference in aural experience this makes.

Nice studio, I like it! Looks professional to me! What’s that synth looking keyboard in the back of the second photo?

I got the JBL LSR305s a few hours ago, and these are keepers. Can’t really compare them to the alternatives, so I can only go by what sounds good/neutral to me, and these things sound great to me! Some reviews had mentioned a boxy, tubey sound, but I experience them as open and wide (for 5"). The bass surprised me. Much better low end than I had expected, though it’s not a frequency area where I dabble in a lot. Listening to Chris Liebing stuff right now, and the bass is of the “would bug the neighbors” kind if I cranked it up (might have to test this…). A subwoofer purchase just dropped off my “things I need want” list, which is fabulous! This would probably be different in a bigger room, but in my 13-14m² tiled floor room this is more than sufficient.

So far this is one of those rare hype-triggered purchases that I don’t regret. Should have done that sooner – what a difference in aural experience this makes.

Thanks Mivo, i appreciate it. I have thought about it lot and have worked on it for a while to get it where it is. I don’t want to do shitty jobs anymore, I want to produce and write music, in my cave and I think it’s possible with a little hard work.

I am routinely training my ears every day and working in a factory is destroying my fingers and damaging my hearing. It is however, financing my room and allowing me to live :wink:

I emptied the room of gear and sealed as many gaps i could, painted, installed a lock on the door and have since changed the layout around and have been slowly buying bits and pieces over time, from a list I developed at the start of the build.

I estimate I am about half way there. the eleven rack will live in a rack mount case I will be getting as a gift soon (with the hope of adding more hardware in the future). The mpc,303 and br1200 will most likely be housed in a tiered shelf on the table that they are on, so I can have better access to them. The doors will be painted black, window better sealed and a few small things, then treatment, calibration and I can get to work!

The keyboard is my wife’s casio something. She got it as a gift, though she never plays it as she is learning violin. A synth will eventually live in that spot I suspect, maybe a Nord lead, that’s later down the track.

I am really glad to hear you are happy with the JBL’s Mivo. I noticed a big difference too when i first started using my monitors.

So many benefits. Its nice to get those kind of wins!

Adam A7 + Adam Sub 8.

Very happy with how they sound.

Genelec is also a good choice, very good monitors.

Adam A7 + Adam Sub 10 MKII since almost 10 years.

Certainly not perfect:

  • port breathing noise

  • one of them developed a slight rattling noise, audible with LF-only audio

but definately worth their money in terms of general build quality, overall sound quality and honesty.

I btw think buying monitors is very fun and tempting. I can actively enjoy a new and freshly bought setup for months or even years until it ultimately loses itsspectacularity and appeal.

The only part not being fun for me is paying them, because my next monitors will definately be in a price range that hurts the average guy, so i’m gambling a lot with models and when to make the spending.

Adam A3X perfect for my little room

I recently went through the same dillemma. I almost went with the JBLs LSR305, but in the end I found a shop in Warsaw that hade some 8 different pairs of small monitors plugged into a switcher and a cd-player. They didn’t have the LSR305, but they had some other popular ones in the price range, including F5, Rokit 5 and HS5. I spent some time there listening to some of my reference music there and settled on Focal Alpha 50, which also got some good reviews on Gearslutz and other places. I’m pretty happy with them, certainly abig step up from Logitech X230… I would recommend them for the price.

The studio I work at is equipped with JBL’s LSR6328 and LSR 4328. Perhaps I’m gonna take my Focals there to do some totally unfair comparison (since the JBLs are by some orders of magnitude more expensive). I wonder how they would compare.

PMC TB2SA MK2

I am using studio monitor. Monitor is :Genelec: