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low-end nearfields, alesis vs. m-audio - opinions?

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Brant Mills
low-end nearfields, alesis vs. m-audio - opinions?
on Jan 4, 2006 at 2:23:12 pm

I'm looking for some lower end nearfield monitors for my home studio and was looking at the alesis m-1 530 actives and the MAudio BX5A Actives. I know they're not the best of the best - but I just need something that will give me an accurate mix in pro-tools. There's a lot of marketing hype out there, and I'm a compositor/editor, so audio is not my forte. Also, I'm looking at a Rode ntk for vo work and was curious of any experiences with these mics. Thanks.


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John Fishback
Re: low-end nearfields, alesis vs. m-audio - opinions?
on Jan 4, 2006 at 4:20:32 pm

Best idea with speakers is to find a vendor in your area where you can go in and listen. Burn audio from a couple of your projects and bring that as well as some audio CDs along with you. Buy the speakers sounds best.

The NTK is an excellent mic. As for a very inexpensive mic, IMO you can't beat the Marshall MXL-990. Find a place where you can listen to it against more expensive mics and you'll be very surprised.

John

Dual 2.5 G5 4 gigs RAM OS 10.4.3 QT7.0.3
Dual Cinema 23 Radeon 9800
FCP Studio 5
Huge U-320R 1TB Raid 3 firmware ENG15.BIN
ATTO UL4D driver 3.50
AJA IO driver 2.1 firmware v23-28
SonicStudio HD DAW, Yamaha DM1000, Genelec Monitors


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Bob Cole
Speakers similar to our clients'
on Jan 4, 2006 at 7:39:06 pm

There is a post on the FCP forum here which raises an issue which is probably better handled by youse guys (and gals).

The question: how come my audio mix which sounds great on my system is not so great on my customers' home DVD/tv setups? The music drowns out the dialog, for example.

One answer was a particular set of headphones, but is there a set of speakers which would "represent" the typical household audio setup?

-- BC


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John Fishback
Re: Speakers similar to our clients'
on Jan 5, 2006 at 2:16:57 am

Creating an accurate monitoring environment is part art part science. There are many factors that contribute to the the difference that you and your client are hearing. If you've ever sung in the shower, you've probably heard how certain notes resonate and sound very full and present. This is due to standing waves which occur at sound frequencies defined by the dimensions of your shower. When you hit that certain note, it sounds great.

However, it's not great when this happens in a listening environment. And in untreated rooms, it happens all the time, although, usually not as dramatically as in the shower. The distance between parallel opposite walls, and floor and ceiling cause effects at certain frequenies. The objective in designing a proper listening environment is to eliminate all these unwanted effects. You do this by using devices that absorb, refract and diffuse sound. But, it has to be balanced. The bathroom is a very "live" environment (many reflections). A heavily draped and carpeted room would be a "dead" environment (less reflections). The best listening rooms have a combinaton of both dead and live elements.

I suggest you look at http://www.rpginc.com/. RPG sells many products that are used in various environments to control sound - listening rooms, recording studios, concert halls. There's a lot of terrific information about acoustics on their website http://www.rpginc.com/research/index.htm. They are very helpful on the phone.

As to your current problem, there's no easy answer to what's happening. You could be listening to excellent monitors and your client might be listening to cheap speakers. Your room might be dead and his live. You might be listening very loud and he could be listening at lower levels. Your monitors could be near-field and his set back. All these factors affect how the audio is perceived.

The best approach is to try to make sure your monitoring environment is "right." There's no way to ensure every listener will hear the sound the way you do in your edit room or studio. BTW, the same thing is true of video. You have no control over what the viewer is watching your program on. It could be a ten-year old TV or a brand new HDTV.

John

Dual 2.5 G5 4 gigs RAM OS 10.4.3 QT7.0.3
Dual Cinema 23 Radeon 9800
FCP Studio 5
Huge U-320R 1TB Raid 3 firmware ENG15.BIN
ATTO UL4D driver 3.50
AJA IO driver 2.1 firmware v23-28
SonicStudio HD DAW, Yamaha DM1000, Genelec Monitors


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Brant Mills
Re: low-end nearfields, alesis vs. m-audio - opinions?
on Jan 5, 2006 at 12:21:03 am

Thanks I appreciate the response!

~Brant

/wish I could afford Genelecs
//am not sure how to pronounce "Genelec"


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TommyGee
Re: low-end nearfields, alesis vs. m-audio - opinions?
on Jan 27, 2006 at 9:54:52 am

a very good idea is to get a "rat's arse" speaker. The smaller, nastier the better. Plunder an old cassette deck or some such, and send your signal/monitoring to this. You can then assess the "lowest common denominator". Pro mastering has a lot to do with this - "making it sound good on someone's cheap car stereo" I used to have a little wooden box with a range of 4 of these cheapies, which i could toggle between. The first was a 4 inch, then a smaller, until the PC-internal speaker 2incher. If you can hear the dialogue in that thing, then you've done well. Also beware too much/too low bass. And these little guys help show this. compression is your friend


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