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Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos

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Scott Clements
Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 10, 2013 at 9:59:07 am

Hi, Everyone.

I'm starting out as a freelance video editor. I've been cutting on a macbook pro and using Sennheiser HD 380 pro headphones to assist with finishing mixes for the web. However, I am painfully aware that this just isn't good enough. I'd really like to get some semi affordable speakers to make the audio presentation more acceptable. A friend who's quite knowledgeable about sound suggested I get the following:

-Self-powered speakers like Genelec 8020s

-M-Audio Fast Track USB Audio interface - 48 kHz - 24-bit

-a converter of some kind (phono to xlr/jack to xlr etc).

He said the Genelec's are decent, but pricey, however they do have a good reputation. I realise this isn't an ideal setup, but I think it's all I can afford right now. What are your thoughts on this? I'd be mixing in a non sound proofed environment, but one that is fairly quiet. I'm currently using Adobe Audition CS 6 for audio sweetening, but may venture into ProTools in the future, as I edit on Avid Media Composer.

Can anyone explain the difference between the Genelec 8020 A, B, C,, etc. What is the best one to get? Any good alternatives to the Genelec 8020s?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Ty Ford
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 10, 2013 at 12:28:35 pm

Hello Scott and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

This may help. http://www.community.genelec.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=146

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Scott Clements
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 10, 2013 at 2:28:18 pm

Thanks, Ty.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Trevor Dennis
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 10, 2013 at 9:47:18 pm

Scott, I found this thread after Ty linked to it on his Audio Bootcamp Facebook group page. I recently decided to get serious about how I monitor sound on my NLE system. Previously I'd been using a mid level Logitech 5.1 speaker system, but without the rear speakers, and plugged my phones into the system box using the mainboard audio.

After a lot of research, a USB DAC appeared to be the first step, and there are devices out there costing many thousands of dollars. I wanted to keep things under control, so opted for an Aune X1 DAC I paid NZ$277 for it, but I think they go for about US$150 (we tend to pay a premium for such items here). There is a lot of discussion on best way to feed these devices, but the consensus seems to be USB. You'll find some deeply technical information about jitter etc. if you hunt for it.

http://darklordreviews.com/2011/10/09/aune-x1-dac-follow-up-review/

Using the phones (HD280) it took me a couple of days to train my ears to hear the difference, but with the right source material, there is now very obvious improvement. More clarity and a sort of openness to the sound.

I swapped my Logitech speakers for a pair of used Mackie S5 near-field monitors, but there is a lot of choice out there. I thought hard about the smaller KRK monitors like the Rokit 5, but decided on price with a good deal on the Mackies.

All of the better smaller monitors seem to be bi-amped, and with a choice of inputs. I couldn't use the balanced inputs on the Mackies because I only had phono out from the DAC.

The combination of the DAC and Mackie monitors is little short of life changing. I had some clients here last night to preview a nearly finished video project, and they were giggling with excitement - and we are talking middle aged women here, and not teenagers.

Quite apart from a more meaningful editing experience, I'm rediscovering my collection of MP3 music getting more enjoyment out of it than I can ever remember in my 60 plus years. Something to do with the closeness of the speakers, with speakers designed to work just this way.

Of the NZ$700 I spent in total, the speakers would be far the most obvious improvement, but if I was offered my money back on the DAC, there is no way in hell I'd take it. Overall an investment I wish I'd made years ago, and not just from the point of view of video editing.

The other thing I've had to look at was ambient noise level, and while I have made significant inroads into reducing the noise from my big NLE system, I still have work to do there.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/


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Scott Clements
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 11, 2013 at 12:16:04 am

Thanks for the great feedback, Trevor. I'm a total newbie to all this, but I'm starting to get an understanding of it. The Aune X1 DAC does sound promising.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Bob Cole
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 11, 2013 at 3:34:42 pm

I was expecting a different kind of reply, given the title of the OP. Web videos are played back on very small speakers, right? Or perhaps headphones. Does that change the way we should be mixing and monitoring audio when creating them?

Bob C


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Ty Ford
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 11, 2013 at 3:56:45 pm

Bob,

EXCELLENT question! I had a music project recently in which the client came back wit the first test CD and said there was no low end in the mix. I asked what he was listening on. He said lap tops and cell phones.

The expected playback systems absolutely have to be considered and due to the huge variation of them, per above, you can't expect to please all people or systems all the time.

So, as it relates to this thread, what's the expected playback?

Regards,

Ty Ford

PS: I used a bit of "Ty Ford magic hooey®" to change the CD mix and the client was happy.

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Scott Clements
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 12, 2013 at 9:43:38 am

Expected playback is computer speakers, tablets and smartphones, however I believe that all projects an editor produces should sound as good as he can possibly afford to make them. My budget for audio monitoring hardware at this point is £400 - 500.00 maximum ($770 US max). I'd like to know the best set up I can get for that price.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Bob Cole
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 12, 2013 at 10:15:25 am

[Scott Clements] "I believe that all projects an editor produces should sound as good as he can possibly afford to make them"

I agree with your sentiment, and with your word choice: "should".

But they "must" be optimized for the speakers that the audience is using.


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Ty Ford
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 12, 2013 at 12:16:24 pm

Bob is correct, Scott.

The major restrictions of your intended playback systems dictate that, at some point you come to terms with the laws of physics and acoustics and modify your "studio quality" audio for best effect.

Using equipment with full spectrum sound at the final stages will only cause you pain, grief, and an unhappy ending. That, in no way, should prevent you from spending your hard earned dollars on monitoring which may be better than you have now. Just don't use it to make judgements about your final product. What do you have now and what's your room like?

To get more on this, head to the woodshop and read up on articles about "mastering for iTunes" and other info like this: http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2012/02/24/147379760/what-mastered-for-i...

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Scott Clements
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 12, 2013 at 12:28:13 pm

What I have now is pretty terrible. Simply, my Sennheiser HD 380 pro headphones and the built-in speakers on my macbook pro. One day, I'd love to have a proper mixing studio, but I'm currently editing in a medium-sized, non sound proofed room on the top floor of a home in a quiet residential area. I want to figure out what is the best set-up I can get for my current location and £500.00 budget.

I never paid too much attention to sound before, but I've really become excited by Adobe Audition CS6 and since I'm moving into Avid and using its RTAS plugins as well, I'd like to start familiarising myself with Protools.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Ty Ford
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 12, 2013 at 1:02:08 pm

OK. Because of your environment, you want to use "near-field" monitoring. Near-field simply means you want the monitors close to you to avoid involving room acoustics as much as possible.

Placement is very important. The two monitors should be set up in an equilateral triangle with the position of your head. So maybe a meter or maybe a little more. You can be a little farther away from each monitor than the monitors are from each other but not much.

You also need the monitors at the same height as your ears and angled in slightly so that they point at your ears. That usually means you need to get something to put the monitors on to raise them to the proper height.

You need a clear shot from the monitors to your ears. The monitors can't be behind the computer monitor. And hanging them on a wall or working with them with you faced into a corner will change their response. It's best to have them free standing so they don't interact with nearby surfaces.

I haven't had a lot of time to listen to a lot of inexpensive monitors, but the Event 20/20 series seem to do well. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/186039-REG/Event_P8N_20_20bas_Monitor...

These little Fostex don't have much in the way of power or full fidelity, but they may help you as you try to dumb down your audio for your intended playback systems.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/669392-REG/Fostex_6301BE_6301B_10W_4_...

Maybe take a few CDs you know VERY well and head out to a local store. Listen to the CDs and find a system that reproduces the sound that makes sense to your ears.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Scott Clements
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 12, 2013 at 2:35:49 pm

Thanks, Ty. That's great advice.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 13, 2013 at 9:03:44 am

I'm biased because I actually use Genelec 8020's - I got a deal from HHB a couple of years ago which saved me £100 off list (check out their web site from time to time).

I do think you need to have speakers that let you hear everything that's there because if there is a lot of, for example, LF noise/rumble on your recordings you need to know about it in order to deal with it otherwise you'll get odd distortions and not know why.

But I also have a pair of Behringer MS16 powered speakers and some cheapies that I got from Maplin, and I use those for judging what it'll sound like in the "real world".


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Scott Clements
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 13, 2013 at 10:25:56 am

Thanks, Andrew. I'd love to know what you use for a DAC. One of my friends who is in audio post suggested the M-Audio Fast Track USB Audio interface to go along with the Genelec speakers.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Ty Ford
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 13, 2013 at 2:18:19 pm

Andrew,

Yes, I agree completely about using monitors to hear things that may cause problems. You also need monitors to tell you what the actual playback problems will do.

Unfortunately, I can't find 8020 for the price Scott wants to pay. I'd have offered that my Event Opals were just the ticket, but the money's not there. Still, even with them (or my legacy JBL L100) you need to use test mixes to understand how much of your mix won't make it through lap top or cell phone speakers. (and what to o about it)

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Bob Cole
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 13, 2013 at 3:00:10 pm

I once had to edit a piece on a laptop, on location, for a corporate show. It featured a music clip that had been supplied to me. It sounded great on the laptop, but when we played it back on the ginormous speakers, it was horrible. And there was nothing I could do about it.

But I did learn to look at the waveforms of supplied music clips after that. This one was almost a solid black line - totally compressed and limited rather than having a nice range of peaks and valleys.

And - it sounded just fine on the laptop!


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Ty Ford
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Apr 13, 2013 at 3:33:40 pm

yup!

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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David Hines
Re: Speakers for A Video Editor Finishing Web Videos
on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:50:27 am

Yup, you need to check your mix in what \are likely to be the final product playback conditions. While it's true that starting with good quality will play out, to some extent, in the end, I find this is mostly true in the original tracks. Crappy mic technique is forever; there is not such thing as "fix it in the mix", really (all fabulous remastering tech included, there is a limit). Solid, reliable habit, but has a limited effect upon the end listener's experience.

It might be apocryphal, but it's an instructive anecdote anyway... Supposedly, back in the early seventies when studio lock-outs lasting several weeks was normal by big dolllar acts, among them was Stevie Wonder. He and his crew would, supposedly, check studio mixes by taking cassette dubs out to their respective cars in the lot and listen. Majority vote of good sound in those cars determined the final mix.

Also, those awful Auratones were in pro studios for a _long_ time for good reason.

-- TRG7, San Francisco


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