#1
Ok, so I've been thinking of getting some studio monitors for both casual listening and getting into music production so I'm thinking of getting a pair of Adam A5Xs. I'm not sure what else I need to hook these up though...

Do I need an interface? Is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ideal?
Do I need to purchase extra cables too?
Anything else I should consider?
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
Last edited by Emperor's Child at Apr 11, 2014,
#2
Quote by Emperor's Child
Ok, so I've been thinking of getting some studio monitors for both music production and getting into music production so I'm thinking of getting a pair of Adam A5Xs. I'm not sure what else I need to hook these up though...
You sure?
I mean it's not like they're bad, but have you heard a pair of drm8 mkIII?
Or a pair of HS7? Or a pair of HS8?

I mean, in person.
It makes a huge difference, and you generally don't wanna buy stuff that's made to emit and/or process sound unless you heard it first if it's worth that much money.
Quote by Emperor's Child
Do I need an interface? Is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ideal?
Do I need to purchase extra cables too?
Anything else I should consider?
Yes you need an interface.

The 2i2 would be ideal for stuff, though you didn't really specified what you exactly wanna do, so what do you exactly wanna do?
Are you gonna record stuff?
If so, what are you gonna record and how much at the same time?
What's your budget for this setup?
Where will you put this setup?

Yeah you'd need the cables to connect the interface's output to the monitors' inputs.

Depending on what you're gonna be doing you may wanna consider something else, but again, you didn't really say what you're gonna.

So, what are you gonna be doing exactly?

Ow yeah, and you may wanna consider asking this kinda stuff in the recording forum, people there know more about this stuff than people here.
This section is more about strictly guitar related gear 'y know.
Amps, pedals, strings, picks...
Name's Luca.

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#3
Quote by Spambot_2
You sure?
I mean it's not like they're bad, but have you heard a pair of drm8 mkIII?
Or a pair of HS7? Or a pair of HS8?
I'm well aware of the Yamahas but I'm also aware of their ability to make bad mixes sound terrible and great mixes sound okay. As I'm looking for something to use to listen to music as well the Adams are probably a better compromise no?

With regards to interface, I do want to record albeit with a digital modeller where I can connect direct (next thing on the shopping list) so I guess I only want something really basic. I might want to record vocals at a later date though.

I could try the recording forum but I guess I'll try here first.
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
#4
I'll repeat the question emphasizing the important parts.
Quote by Spambot_2
You sure?
I mean it's not like they're bad, but have you heard a pair of drm8 mkIII?
Or a pair of HS7? Or a pair of HS8?

I mean, in person.
It makes a huge difference, and you generally don't wanna buy stuff that's made to emit and/or process sound unless you heard it first if it's worth that much money.
Still you haven't stated your budget, that was kinda important y' know.
Also what operating system will you be running?

'cause the thing for what you wanna do would be an apogee duet 2.

If you're on a pc a music streamer HD plus a mackie onyx blackjack would do.
Or just the onyx blackjack if you're low on cash.
Or you can get the music streamer HD/II+ and a pod HD pro to use as a modeler plus audio interface for whatever mic you'd be recording.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#5
Unfortunately, there's nowhere around here that I can test listen to monitors. I've been hesitant to give a budget because I'm somewhat prepared to spend as much as I need but don't want to buy more than necessary. To add to that, I didn't want to purchase a mixer for the moment. That can all be done digitally right?

OS is Windows 7.

So would I need an Apogee Duet 2 and a Music Streamer HD? Is the Streamer an interface between the PC and monitors? So what does the Duet do and do I need it if I'm using the USB interface of a modeller?

I'm such a noob at this.
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
#6
Quote by Emperor's Child
I'm well aware of the Yamahas but I'm also aware of their ability to make bad mixes sound terrible and great mixes sound okay. As I'm looking for something to use to listen to music as well the Adams are probably a better compromise no?

I'm honestly baffled by people saying that the Yamaha HS series makes music sound bad. They don't make music sound bad, they let you listen to what the music SHOULD sound like.

I used to own a pair of top of the line Adam S2As and bought a pair of Yamaha HS80Ms as a "second" pair to them... I ended up selling the Adams because the Yamahas worked a billion times better for me. They are FAR less fatiguing, they extend much lower in the bass, while not being hyped, and they accentuate the mids everywhere that I'd want them to. I would rather listen to music on my Yamahas than any other speakers I own. They do not make anything sound bad.

Now, I've tried the Adam A5X and A7X... they are improved from the versions they replaced, but I've still not been too impressed. They seem to get a ton of praise on the internet, and I honestly have no idea why. They're not bad speakers, by any stretch, but they're also not worth anywhere close to their price tag - The A7Xs are better than the Yamaha HS8s, sure, but they're A LOT more, too. Oddly enough... the last time I tried A7Xs, I put them up against a pair of Dynaudio BM5As, which catch a lot of flack on the internet - they ate the Adams for breakfast - and they're half the price.

Quote by Spambot_2
I'll repeat the question emphasizing the important parts.
Still you haven't stated your budget, that was kinda important y' know.
Also what operating system will you be running?

'cause the thing for what you wanna do would be an apogee duet 2.

If you're on a pc a music streamer HD plus a mackie onyx blackjack would do.
Or just the onyx blackjack if you're low on cash.
Or you can get the music streamer HD/II+ and a pod HD pro to use as a modeler plus audio interface for whatever mic you'd be recording.

Why?

Both of those have built in A/D & D/A converters, buying an audiophile D/A converter box is a total waste of money for what he wants to do. There's utterly no reason to be spending money on external conversion in this budget range.

Quote by Emperor's Child
Unfortunately, there's nowhere around here that I can test listen to monitors. I've been hesitant to give a budget because I'm somewhat prepared to spend as much as I need but don't want to buy more than necessary. To add to that, I didn't want to purchase a mixer for the moment. That can all be done digitally right?

OS is Windows 7.

So would I need an Apogee Duet 2 and a Music Streamer HD? Is the Streamer an interface between the PC and monitors? So what does the Duet do and do I need it if I'm using the USB interface of a modeller?

I'm such a noob at this.

You don't need a mixer. Ever.

No - the Apogee only supports Mac, you can't use it on your OS. You don't need the Music Streamer. If you're using the USB interface of a modeler, you don't need anything. You already have A/D conversion (analog to digital) and you have D/A converters (digital to analog), which is where you'd plug your monitors into. The only thing you gain by buying an interface and running it through there is (arguably) better D/A conversion, and microphone preamps, which you won't be using.

Since you're using a modeler, there's no way around using its built in conversion, so using an interface on top of it just adds another layer of conversion. This isn't necessarily bad, but it can get confusing very quickly.

Honestly, I see no reason to buy anything other than what you already have. Your modeler is your interface. If you don't intend to ever record anything through a microphone, don't waste money on anything else.
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#7
Don't I still need something to connect the monitors to the PC and the modeller to the monitors?
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
#8
Quote by Emperor's Child
Don't I still need something to connect the monitors to the PC and the modeller to the monitors?

What modeler are you using? It doesn't have XLR or 1/4" stereo outs?
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#9
Quote by MatrixClaw
Why?

Both of those have built in A/D & D/A converters, buying an audiophile D/A converter box is a total waste of money for what he wants to do. There's utterly no reason to be spending money on external conversion in this budget range.
Together with the pod hd pro it kinda was a half joke because he didn't write his budget, the seriously serious thing I was suggesting is the onyx blackjack.
Though even a used streamer II will most likely sound better than the blackjack (I compared it to a 2i2 and it did sound quite better) so if he can find one for a good price...
Quote by MatrixClaw
You don't need the Music Streamer. If you're using the USB interface of a modeler, you don't need anything. You already have A/D conversion (analog to digital) and you have D/A converters (digital to analog), which is where you'd plug your monitors into. The only thing you gain by buying an interface and running it through there is (arguably) better D/A conversion, and microphone preamps, which you won't be using.
Well theoretically yes, but unless the modeler has a digital data interface he'd need an audio interface, hence the blackjack suggestion.
He could be using a pod and that'd be alright, but who knows?
Is he using a zoom multistomp or a digitech istomp or whatever else modeler without usb/firewire connectivity?
Then, are all of the modelers with usb/firewire connectivity able to act as bidirectional, full featured audio interfaces?
And then again, how do they sound?

He said he'd like to record stuff using mic's in the future, so a pre or two would be nice to have around.
Quote by Emperor's Child
1. Unfortunately, there's nowhere around here that I can test listen to monitors.

2. I've been hesitant to give a budget because I'm somewhat prepared to spend as much as I need but don't want to buy more than necessary.
1. It's your money, but I really think it'd be worth to go a little further than "around there" and have a listen to how the things actually sound.
Like, would you buy a guitar without trying it before?
Would you buy an amp without trying it before?
Would you buy a car without trying it before?
Same answer applies to this.

2. you reeeeeeeally have to define what's necessary for you, because you could do it all with reaper and ITB amp modelers and a fast track mobile pre and a pair of cheap bose speakers, and it would work indeed.
For just starting out I wouldn't even spend that much money on monitors, who knows if you'll really get into the thing and you will really put the monitors to use in the future.

Anyway, what equipment do you already have?
Like, brands and models and stuff.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#10
I use a Presonus USB ($60 used), some KRK5 monitors (about $100 ea), and a cracked version of Sonar. Works great.
#11
Quote by cGoEcYk
a cracked version of Sonar
Bro, do you even https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/announcement.php?f=33&announcementid=150 ?
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#12
Yamaha HS8 is quite good, I also preferred it over the Adam. It has that NS10 "quality" - sound like cardboard but if you get the mixes good then you're well.

Audio interface - I'd go with PreSonus Audiobox which also comes with their audio software.
#13
Quote by Spambot_2
Together with the pod hd pro it kinda was a half joke because he didn't write his budget, the seriously serious thing I was suggesting is the onyx blackjack.
Though even a used streamer II will most likely sound better than the blackjack (I compared it to a 2i2 and it did sound quite better) so if he can find one for a good price...

But... why?

The music streamer stuff is hifi equipment for audiophiles, it's not for recording. With the money he'd spend on a separate converter box, he could just invest in a better interface, that will have better A/D and D/A conversion, as well as better mic preamps and more I/O.

Maybe I just don't understand why you'd buy a $150 interface and then use a $180-$450 converter box with it... when you could just buy a better interface, that will have far more features and sound better for $300-600.

Quote by Spambot_2
1. Well theoretically yes, but unless the modeler has a digital data interface he'd need an audio interface, hence the blackjack suggestion.
He could be using a pod and that'd be alright, but who knows?
Is he using a zoom multistomp or a digitech istomp or whatever else modeler without usb/firewire connectivity?
Then, are all of the modelers with usb/firewire connectivity able to act as bidirectional, full featured audio interfaces?
And then again, how do they sound?

2. He said he'd like to record stuff using mic's in the future, so a pre or two would be nice to have around.

1. He already said he's using the USB connectivity on his modeler. Sure, we don't know what it is or the quality of it, but all modeling devices have A/D and D/A converters... they wouldn't work if they didn't.

2. At a later date, though. No need to spend extra money if he's not sure he'll continue with recording. Also - if he's using one of the new PODs, they have microphone inputs. Don't think they have phantom power, and I'm sure the preamps are nothing to write home about, but they should do fine for a beginner.

Quote by Spambot_2
1. It's your money, but I really think it'd be worth to go a little further than "around there" and have a listen to how the things actually sound.
Like, would you buy a guitar without trying it before?
Would you buy an amp without trying it before?
Would you buy a car without trying it before?
Same answer applies to this.

2. you reeeeeeeally have to define what's necessary for you, because you could do it all with reaper and ITB amp modelers and a fast track mobile pre and a pair of cheap bose speakers, and it would work indeed.
For just starting out I wouldn't even spend that much money on monitors, who knows if you'll really get into the thing and you will really put the monitors to use in the future.

Anyway, what equipment do you already have?
Like, brands and models and stuff.

1. I'd argue that it might actually not be the best idea for an inexperienced "engineer" to go to a store and listen to monitors. Their ears haven't developed and thus, they will usually end up picking the ones that sound best, which is not a good thing. There's a reason why the KRK Rokit series sells so well - because they're cheap, and thus market directly to beginners, and sound great for listening. Unfortunately, they are also bass heavy, have a rolled off high end and a clouded midrange... everything you DON'T want for mixing.

It's the same principal to a beginning guitarist or a beginning driver:

A new guitarist is not going to be able to distinguish between the Marshall JCM800 and an MG. They're just going to look at the price tag of the JCM800 and assume it's the better one and/or they're going to look at the price tag and instantly decide they're going to go for the MG, because it's far less expensive and still says Marshall on it.

A new driver is going to buy based off of how it feels when they sit in it, how easy it is to use and how it looks. They will be biased by a parent's opinion on brand and they will instantly dismiss competing brands. They have no idea what the difference between a 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder is, other than it has 2 more (unless they've taken some kind of auto class). Most first-time drivers aren't going to be looking at gas milage, torque, suspension, etc... they just want the pretty one that's going to impress their friends.

2. This is definitely solid advice. I sure as hell know that I wouldn't have spent $1100 on a pair of Adams monitors as my first foray into recording. Spend some time mixing on some desktop speakers you already have. Not ideal, but you may end up hating the process of recording, or finding out it takes too much time for you to do it much, and spending that kind of money on something you're not going to use much is silly.

Quote by diabolical
Yamaha HS8 is quite good, I also preferred it over the Adam. It has that NS10 "quality" - sound like cardboard but if you get the mixes good then you're well

Really? My HS80Ms definitely don't sound like cardboard and also don't sound anything like NS10s, either (and I'm totally fine with that)
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#14
Quote by MatrixClaw
But... why?

The music streamer stuff is hifi equipment for audiophiles, it's not for recording. With the money he'd spend on a separate converter box, he could just invest in a better interface, that will have better A/D and D/A conversion, as well as better mic preamps and more I/O.
The bold part I think I'll never get the sense of.

My idea regarding that advice though is that TS wrote he would be mostly producing stuff, and if he actually does get a pair of good monitors, the next step in order to faithfully reproduce what's in the computer is a good converter if ya ask me.
That's the best converter I've come across for the money, so...

Quote by MatrixClaw
Maybe I just don't understand why you'd buy a $150 interface and then use a $180-$450 converter box with it... when you could just buy a better interface, that will have far more features and sound better for $300-600.
Because I can't think of really high quality small interfaces outside apogee's, and he doesn't need a big one.
In big ones though the money will go on more features as much if not more than in better converters and pre's and more outputs and similar stuff, so I think that'd be a more cost effective way to spend more money on the high quality hardware he's more in need of.

Quote by MatrixClaw
1At a later date, though. No need to spend extra money if he's not sure he'll continue with recording. Also - if he's using one of the new PODs, they have microphone inputs. Don't think they have phantom power, and I'm sure the preamps are nothing to write home about, but they should do fine for a beginner.
A fortiori (this is the only transation I found :P), a good DAC would be the first thing to invest on after the monitors, already having an ADC good enough and wanting to produce stuff more than to record stuff in my opinion.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#15
I should stress that I'm looking for monitors that can function reasonably for casual listening too. Currently, I have some really terrible, tinny hi-fi speakers (anything is an upgrade). The sound I get out of my Audio Technica M50s is much better.

So to start off... Apogee and cables? I may have gotten a bit confused.
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
#16
No. Apogee gear is Mac-only.

Answer the question about what modeler you're using please, otherwise everything we suggest is purely speculation.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#17
Oh yeah, my bad. I haven't fully decided whether to go the POD HD/11R/AXE FX route yet. What differences should I consider for each of those?
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
Last edited by Emperor's Child at Apr 12, 2014,
#18
Quote by Emperor's Child
I should stress that I'm looking for monitors that can function reasonably for casual listening too. Currently, I have some really terrible, tinny hi-fi speakers (anything is an upgrade). The sound I get out of my Audio Technica M50s is much better.

So to start off... Apogee and cables? I may have gotten a bit confused.


To be honest with you, I haven't been able to get as good results on anything as the NS10s which sound like sh*te but if you're serious about the doing the job. I find the HS series to be close although bit better sounding but they do reveal the mix issues just as well. I'd suggest trying them out in a music store if you can so you'd see the difference. I wasn't impressed by the Adam, although every review told me I should be.
JBL LSR4326P might be worth a look, these sounded really good to me.