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Old 11-07-2012, 03:44 AM   #1
W4RP1G
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Cheapest studio monitors that will get the job done?

Basically, what would you recommend for someone who just wants to do some decent mixing on a tight budget?
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:46 AM   #2
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How tight?
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by lemurflames
How tight?

hmmm...not sure. I can save towards a goal, but right now I just wanna know what are the cheapest monitors on the market that will get the job done. Does that make any sense?
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:07 AM   #4
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It's generally agreed that to get something usable as proper monitors you have to spend a few hundred dollars. If you're on a tight budget, you should consider using headphones - Sennheiser make some good ones at a low price.

You'd still need a way to play your mix out loud for comparison, but that can be done using a standard set of decent PC speakers or even by plugging into the aux input of a stereo system.

It's not the same as proper monitors, but it gets the job done for people on a budget.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:35 AM   #5
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I use audioengine a5+. These are awesome speakers for the price. Not exactly studio monitors but very good quality and has a flat EQ I believe. Look at the reviews of them. Don't know if this is of any help, but then again it might be. They serve me very well
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:35 AM   #6
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Headphones - ATH-M50 $110 - $160

I have no experience with speakers.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:47 AM   #7
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I have a set of Shure SRH440 headphones. They are pretty awesome, but I'm not fond of using headphones, and I've read that headphones aren't ideal for mixing.

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Originally Posted by mitch311
I use audioengine a5+. These are awesome speakers for the price. Not exactly studio monitors but very good quality and has a flat EQ I believe. Look at the reviews of them. Don't know if this is of any help, but then again it might be. They serve me very well

Thanks, I'll give that a look.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:50 AM   #8
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ESI Near05's. My prefered model is out of production, but the newer ones are slightly better. Best clarity I've heard from monitors, surprisingly smooth EQ, but with less bass response at higher volumes.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:04 AM   #9
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I am also looking for a cheap monitor which I can use with my interface around 100$ - 200$.
I have good Sennheiser headphones but I also want to play without headphones sometimes
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:40 AM   #10
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At a low budget, the best advice I have is to buy an audio switcher and get some decent headphones (I use Sennheiser HD201's), some cheap hi-fi speakers, as well as iPod earbuds and simply listen to your mix through each source and get it to sound good through all three.

The problem with cheaper monitors, particularly if you're new to mixing, is that you often end up mixing to your monitors, which not everyone is going to be listening through. Your best goal is to get the mix to sound good through a decent pair of monitors, some basic speakers, and iPod earbuds (if they sound good through these, then you've got half of your audience covered); this way, the mix should be relatively balanced and sound good through most systems. I often take around my latest mix and play in every sound system I have, including my car.

Of course, you'll never be able to get a perfect mix across wildly varying systems, but get close, then tweak it with a pair of monitors. This is just one school of thought, the other option is to get good monitors and become familiar with how they sound, so that you can tell what your mix actually sounds like, but this takes experience and half-decent equipment.

Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zooloo99
At a low budget, the best advice I have is to buy an audio switcher and get some decent headphones (I use Sennheiser HD201's), some cheap hi-fi speakers, as well as iPod earbuds and simply listen to your mix through each source and get it to sound good through all three.

The problem with cheaper monitors, particularly if you're new to mixing, is that you often end up mixing to your monitors, which not everyone is going to be listening through. Your best goal is to get the mix to sound good through a decent pair of monitors, some basic speakers, and iPod earbuds (if they sound good through these, then you've got half of your audience covered); this way, the mix should be relatively balanced and sound good through most systems. I often take around my latest mix and play in every sound system I have, including my car.

Of course, you'll never be able to get a perfect mix across wildly varying systems, but get close, then tweak it with a pair of monitors. This is just one school of thought, the other option is to get good monitors and become familiar with how they sound, so that you can tell what your mix actually sounds like, but this takes experience and half-decent equipment.

Good luck!


I'm not good with this sort of stuff, but what are hi-fi speakers? Are those monitors?

I can do what you say, I have some expensive headphones and ear buds, and I good car stereo. I just need some better monitors than the $30 PC speakers I currently use. Do you have any recommendations?
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jacques-Henri
Actually, the best thing you can do is get a really crappy pair of earbuds ; if your mix sounds good through that, it'll sound good through anything


F**k me.

Is this advice from experience, or from mere conjecture combined with a loosely applied platitude?

W4RP1G - hi-fi speakers are what you would normally connect to your stereo. They are generally tailored to "bring out" features of your music. You know, the "thumping bass" and the "searing and sparkling highs." The problem is, in order to achieve that, they must be, by definition, inaccurate.

Monitors are designed to be as flat as possible. Most consumers don't want this, because they describe how they make their music "bland" or "uninteresting" or even "dull."

But consider the analogy I always use for this. You've got a pair of those funky shades with the yellow lenses that makes everything look like a bright sunny day - even when it isn't. Wear those glasses and go outside and paint a picture of a landscape - the trees, the water, the sky, etc. Looks fantastic, right? Now take the shades off. Looks pretty f**king hilarious, actually, doesn't it? Those blue trees and the green sky and the whatever-colour-that-is water. Well, is it any wonder? How can you choose colours when you can't see them accurately? That is like mixing on stereo "hi fi" speakers.

Now, just because your headphones are expensive doesn't mean they're any good for mixing. Sure, those $300 Beats by Dre headphones sound really kick@ss when you're listening to hip-hop. You know why? Because they boost the sh!t outta the bass to give you that "slammin' bass" and then they peak the highs to give you those "sparkling highs." Sound familiar? You betcha. Want some yellow shades to go with those?

Probably the cheapest monitors I would look at would be the Behringer Truth series. By all accounts, they're really pretty decent, as long as you get them with 6" or better drivers. You certainly won't get better for the price, I don't figure. Yeah, you're not going to walk out for less than about $400 for the pair. But seriously, spending any less than that is like spending $100 on a mountain bike and expecting to actually go mountain biking. Oh, sure, it *looks* like a mountain bike, but aside from that, good luck with that.

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
Probably the cheapest monitors I would look at would be the Behringer Truth series. By all accounts, they're really pretty decent, as long as you get them with 6" or better drivers. You certainly won't get better for the price, I don't figure. Yeah, you're not going to walk out for less than about $400 for the pair. But seriously, spending any less than that is like spending $100 on a mountain bike and expecting to actually go mountain biking. Oh, sure, it *looks* like a mountain bike, but aside from that, good luck with that.

CT


I will second the Behringer Truth line. Despite their reputation, they got these right. I have the B3031As and they're worth every penny
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:05 AM   #14
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Listen to axemanchris. Jacques-Henri clearly doesn't know what he's talking about! I was going to respond in a fit of rage before chris summed it up.

I wouldn't buy Alesis M1s (they haven't been mentioned yet, but they are cheap and you'll probably stumble across them) - I have them, they sound fine, but have had a couple of faults that were a bit annoying to sort out and still haven't been entirely fixed.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:54 AM   #15
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The axeman strikes again with his real-world analogies

Seriously though, what Chris says is the truth (or should that be Truth (c) Behringer 2012? ) and if you mix on earbuds you fully deserve the mix to sound like turd, flying from your speakers and slapping you round the face for making such a poor decision.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by DisarmGoliath
if you mix on earbuds you fully deserve the mix to sound like turd, flying from your speakers and slapping you round the face for making such a poor decision.

That said, checking a mix that's nearing completion on them can be a good idea. I've heard some mixes that sound great on monitors but the second they're anywhere else I want to poke holes in my speakers/headphones/earbuds/etc.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:32 AM   #17
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That said, checking a mix that's nearing completion on them can be a good idea. I've heard some mixes that sound great on monitors but the second they're anywhere else I want to poke holes in my speakers/headphones/earbuds/etc.

Translation issues are worth checking, yes, but depending on the genre I certainly wouldn't make or break the decision to bounce a project based on translation to earbuds (particularly for something like classical music or jazz, where the majority of the audience demographic are likely to be more audiophile in nature, and listen on something of higher sonic quality).
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:20 PM   #18
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Another vote for Behringer Truth serie. Particularly B2030A that I own. Behringer may have bad reputation but these things are dead FLAT, detailed nearfield monitors with no obvious coloration. Propably because they are clones (surprise surprise) of some old Genelec model that I do not remember. Anyway they have been very favourably reviewed several times in magazines and my ear agrees, they do their job as monitors as they should.

Only their bass extension is left to be desired, it rolls off fast after 60hz so subwoofer support is recommended.
B2031 model apparently has more bass but I heard it has too much of it. Cant really say because I havent heard it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MaaZeus
Another vote for Behringer Truth serie. Particularly B2030A that I own. Behringer may have bad reputation but these things are dead FLAT, detailed nearfield monitors with no obvious coloration. Propably because they are clones (surprise surprise) of some old Genelec model that I do not remember. Anyway they have been very favourably reviewed several times in magazines and my ear agrees, they do their job as monitors as they should.

Only their bass extension is left to be desired, it rolls off fast after 60hz so subwoofer support is recommended.
B2031 model apparently has more bass but I heard it has too much of it. Cant really say because I havent heard it.


I've got the B3031A's (the most expensive they've got), the bass starts rolling off around just under 50hz
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:50 PM   #20
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I've got the B3031A's (the most expensive they've got), the bass starts rolling off around just under 50hz



Different speaker from B2031A. Extension may not differ, but I remember people saying it has strong midbass bump and therefore preferring the B2030A which is flatter.
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