Studio Monitors

After investing in a pair of Sennheiser HD497’s (headphones), i thought it would improve the sound of my music. It did when playing on my headphones but anywhere else it sounded off. After reasearch and reading posts in forums i learnt that studio monitors were the way to go. More reasearch lead mt the the shock of how much a set of these baby’s would set me back.

As an unemployed high school student i cant afford these kind of luxuries so any tips on what i could use instead.

I was thinking about these old speakers my dad gave me. they plug straight into my audio out on the soundcard so theres no extre processing. having an average sound quality and bare sound i was wondering if these would be sutible?

Wat do you think?

investation in Studio Monitors is realy big improvement for your soundquality. and they gonna last a long time. but i tell you dont go for anything under 500$ in this, cause under this you wont get real good quality. and the idea with your dad´s speakers is not a realy good idea, cause the frequency range is for sure not good, like the impulse response. the expensive thing on Reference Monitors is that they are VERY linear, like 40hz-20khz with ±3db only. while hifi speakers have a very bad frequency response, often up to ±20db on different frequencies. ah and btw, go for Active monitors cause the amplifiers are build in in the Monitors and are perfectly tuned for the Monitor itself and you can directly plug them into your soundcard. again, dont buy cheap ones, its like you cant get a Ferrari for the price of a Ford. hard, but true.

best regards :)

There are other things you can do to help…

If you are using “normal” speakers remember to set your bass, mid and treble on your amp to +/- 0 so your sound is flat then bring up your levels using eq…

When you render, play your tune on diffrent speakers so you can find a happy medium in sound, say on your hifi and then on your desktop speakers etc… This way you’ll know that when someone else listens to your tune on a diffrent setup the’ll still be hearing it as you intended…

additionally your dad’s speakers may sound quite differently than today studio monitors.

i have a friend bought 20 or more year old B&W which have too much high’s overall and while it may be perfectly suited for vinyls for todays CDs it is too much highs.
they manufactured hi-end speakers different at that time.

additionally, you might want to consider picking active monitors (more expensive with built in amplifier) so that you don’t have to care about adjusting cables + amplifier + monitors to get more even frequency response curve.

but you are looking for cheaper solution: i suggest small HI-FI speakers from well known manufacturers like JBL, B&W, Infinity etc. You can learn about their quality by reading reviews in hi-fi magazines and eventually you’ll be able to choose one.

you need those with flattest possible frequency response curve (nowadays this curve is drawn only for studio speakers) usually you’ll encounter values like “frequency response 20-20000 Hz, +/- 3db”. Studio monitors have +/- 1,5 db, normal hifi speakers have something like 3db.

completely other thing is speaker placement: they need to be somewhere in height where your ears are - you need to sit in the center (better studio monitors have this sitting point quite dispersed while lousier ones - you need to sit at exactly one point to get perfect sound).

moving speakers closer to walls will increase bass, moving them away will decrease it, moving it lower will increase bass, moving it upper will increase highs… etc…etc.

on high end studio monitors you even have a setting to emulate normal speakers and also setting for adjusting sound, relative to speaker placement in the room (it is not the same if they are in the center of room and you have some space in front and behind them, on the room edges, just before wall in front of you…)

as a final word, you can achieve quite decent quality with hifi speakers (not the ones from mini-systems) but for final production some studio reference will be probably needed. and always target your music to sound better on speakers rather than headhones. more people listen on speakers :)

isnt that what i replied already :)

I believe that you could achieve pretty good results with just pretty ok speakers or headphones. If you listen to other music on them often you will of course compensate for the frequencies louder/more silent when doing final mixing. But if you are in a studio with superexpensive monitors you are not used to at all, it will for sure sound wrong. Just my 5 cents…

yep! :) more detailed ;)

If you do want to buy a pair of studio monitors, I enjoy using Event Project Studio 5. They’re self-bi-amplified, so you wouldn’t have to worry about an amplifier coloring your sounds.

They’re also sheilded which is nice if you put them next to your computer screen.

You can’t buy Yamaha NS10’s brand new anymore which is unfortunate. The cons with the Studio 5’s is that because of their smaller size, the low end response at high volumes isn’t quite as good. Which means, if you play them loud, then you might hear a little more mid+hi’s on them. Which is fine with me – I can save my ears from fatigue.

If you are on a budget, try using any set of speakers – and use them all the time. Don’t try to change speakers. Learn how music sounds on your set of speakers, and use it on your own tracks.

I will also warn that buying a set of studio monitors will take some time to get used to. Because they have such a flat frequency response, everything coming out will sound flat and somewhat dull. But that’s what matters – make them sound alive on these speakers, and it will sound explosive on other speakers.


i recommend you some bigger ones, you can get the full range on small studio monitors. and please please NEVER buy Yamaha NS10! :) biggest crap monitors ever out there, google some if you dont believe me :) i would go for some Dynaudio BM* or Genelec 10*. well and maybe if you sell your dads car you can go for some Klein & Hummel :)

best regards

im confused.
gone are the days of simple tracking and having fun making boppy tunes.
to get to the next level ill need these monitors. but how i dunno. Anyone willing to be the getaway driver for my next robbery? :(

a part time job may help?

btw, you can always return to good old tracking days - simply run Amiga emulator (UAE) and run ProTracker and good old days are back :)

I did that few days ago, and I couldn’t remember anything from Protracker. I thought that program was easy to use, but now I don’t know nothing about it anymore. And only 4 channels? How could I do anything with that? And where are envelopes? No DSP? What was a pattern command for volume? Aaarrhh… back to Renoise :)

even beyong robb’s suggestion:

listen to your track EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE you can. a cd burner helps here … :ph34r:

when listening, notice how your song sounds different on various systems at different levels… remember what it sounded like on your own and compare. that will help you get to know your own speakers more quickly and you’ll start compinsating for what you are hear on them as you compose (or go back to a track to change levels+eq and all that other mastery stuff i don’t really know about :o).

not only will your ears be getting good training, you can also hit your friends up for their thoughts on what you’ve come up with :lol:

and also, i’ve always been of the opinion a set of well trained ears are all you need to make good music … if it sounds good, it is. “the next level” you speak of is just moving that idea beyond your bedroom + working on having your stuff sound good in as many places as it can. i’ve knowen enough people without monitors who have acheived that (even gotten radio + club play) so i don’t think they are so necessary to the goal.

i’ll drive for you tho if u still think you need 'em :lol:

kh9dERw0n’ dEDBOIz + :|kREw
:yeah: 6 :yeah: 6 :yeah: 6

m . e . 0 . w > > >

the reason why so many project studios have NS10 monitors (as secondary or pfl system) is because they are equal to most of the car audio systems .
in US most of the music is consumed in cars so producers get monitors that sound quite like them to optimize the final mix in this way.

anyway , they sound quite ok,really !

I recommend krk for a quite cheap one, and dynaudio if you have about 400 $
and i DONT think that active monitors are better than passives and a good amp.
better get good cables (monster cable)!

look at the HK active systems or yamaha actives
the freq split is there AFTER the amp.
if you don’t believe me , I can mail you some circout plans.