#1
Hey guys- I scooped up some new studio monitors today


They are the JBL LSR308s (8-inch woofers). Previously, I have been working with KRK Rokit 5s and a Seismic Audio 10in sub-woofer. I noticed with the KRKs alone, I wasnt getting nearly enough low end information, and I would always overdo it on the bass. The sub helped me a lot with that. I also had issues with getting vocals seated right- the volume was just always wrong. The stereo image with the KRKs I think made it deceiving and I would constantly have to cross reference many sources to get it right.

Anyways- with the JBLs, I have found that they make it much easier to get everything clean and seated from the low-mids up to the highs. They are very clear sounding, and seem to be pretty flat for the most part. They definitely are not flattering on music, that is for sure. If I add a typical smiley-face boost filter in post with my rme babyface, then they are actually a great listening experience.
Unfortunately, I am a little disappointed with their low-end extension. It seems I am still having problems mixing below 80-100hz (I picked up working with a song that Ive been messing with and nailed everthing except the bass; I was still way overdoing it, and I had to correct it by using those Koss headphones you see on the left speaker). They have a rear port on the back for the lows- I notice if I walk back there and put my ear to that, I can hear what I'm missing but then I'm not getting the rest of the spectrum.

I will give the speakers the benefit of the doubt for now- my room isnt really treated (although, I would have thought that this would have exaggerated the bass more, not dulled it)- but also they are brand new and haven't broken in at all yet. Additonally, I havent CRANKED them so much. I know running the volume really high can bring the bass out; but I usually find it much more accurate to mix at low-medium volumes with good results. Anyway, let me know if you have any questions or ideas-

Also, here is the track that I have been mixing and revising with the new monitors- https://www.dropbox.com/s/8t95g9ox8c963ni/The%20Hero%20%28HD%20-%20redone%20vocals%29.mp3?dl=0
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#3
Quote by diabolical
Nice, congrats, glad to hear you got rid of the KRKs.


Thanks- but Ive gotta be honest.. the JBLs dont seem to be as revealing and dont translate as well as i hoped they would have. The bass extension just isnt there- I'll think I have good, tight low end with the bass guitar, and then ill cross reference on some headphones and itll just be way too much- I really cant say how much better they are than the KRKs; im thinking of returning them.
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#4
YOu have to blast them on for about 20 hours so the speakers will break in first.
I would look at speaker stands, monitor absorption pads something like these:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Alctron-epp05-monitor-speakers-shockproof-sponge-pad-shock-absorption-mat-shock-pad/909636418.html (I use two thick books on each side, old Linux manuals and college books are perfect for that) to get them at ear level. Maybe it is also time to look at your room and see if you might need some treatment, bass traps, etc., or maybe you just need a sub.
#5
Quote by diabolical
YOu have to blast them on for about 20 hours so the speakers will break in first.
I would look at speaker stands, monitor absorption pads something like these:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Alctron-epp05-monitor-speakers-shockproof-sponge-pad-shock-absorption-mat-shock-pad/909636418.html (I use two thick books on each side, old Linux manuals and college books are perfect for that) to get them at ear level. Maybe it is also time to look at your room and see if you might need some treatment, bass traps, etc., or maybe you just need a sub.


If my room was so poorly treated though, wouldnt I be getting excess loose bass right now from standing waves ect? Also, I understand that i am probably getting some reflections from highs, but its nothing like a bathroom or ******* lol- it is pretty subtle. Im just surprised at how much bass it seems like Im missing, since the speakers low response is supposed to be down at 37hz (the odd thing is, my seismic audio sub goes down to 37 or 38 but seems to have way more low end)

Edit: it really seems like Im missing a lot of information from basically 100-120hz and below, which is really the same issue I had with my KRKs (again, its suspicious that Ive had this issue with two different speakers, but I dont see how my room could really worsen the bass in that way). I noticed with my KRKs that if I did a heavy boost in the low end in post, things generally started to sound more realistic. For example, when I play guitar through my monitors with an amp sim, like Revalver, it sounds terrible (in headphones it sounds amazing); when i do a heavy low end boost, it starts to actually resemble the sound that I get from my tube amps & 4x12 cabs- theres something going on here

Edit 2: is there a good reason why I shouldnt just buy some car speakers and enclosures and mix on those? I use the car speakers in my jeep as my final reference and generally if my mix sounds good on those, it translates really well to most other mediums as well. I can buy the exact kit for like $220, plus two 6x9 cabs for another $20. They respond from like 30hz to 30khz. Really, what is the drawback?
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Last edited by Watterboy at Feb 29, 2016,
#6
What about tuning on the back of the speakers? I remember my studio JBLs had some tuning options on the back to calibrate with the room. They were the higher end range than the ones you have but probably they've put that on your model as well?
#7
Quote by Watterboy
If my room was so poorly treated though, wouldnt I be getting excess loose bass right now from standing waves ect? Also, I understand that i am probably getting some reflections from highs, but its nothing like a bathroom or ******* lol- it is pretty subtle. Im just surprised at how much bass it seems like Im missing, since the speakers low response is supposed to be down at 37hz (the odd thing is, my seismic audio sub goes down to 37 or 38 but seems to have way more low end)


I've no idea but it seems like you're in the same boat with 2 different speakers, so most likely it is your monitoring position or just the room itself. Maybe you're too close to the wall or corners? I had bass missing when I was too close to a corner in the room I am in, moving back a foot fixed it.

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Edit: it really seems like Im missing a lot of information from basically 100-120hz and below, which is really the same issue I had with my KRKs (again, its suspicious that Ive had this issue with two different speakers, but I dont see how my room could really worsen the bass in that way). I noticed with my KRKs that if I did a heavy boost in the low end in post, things generally started to sound more realistic. For example, when I play guitar through my monitors with an amp sim, like Revalver, it sounds terrible (in headphones it sounds amazing); when i do a heavy low end boost, it starts to actually resemble the sound that I get from my tube amps & 4x12 cabs- theres something going on here


Seems to me it is your room acoustics, that's just not normal.

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Edit 2: is there a good reason why I shouldnt just buy some car speakers and enclosures and mix on those? I use the car speakers in my jeep as my final reference and generally if my mix sounds good on those, it translates really well to most other mediums as well. I can buy the exact kit for like $220, plus two 6x9 cabs for another $20. They respond from like 30hz to 30khz. Really, what is the drawback?


Again your room acoustics probably, but noone says you shouldn't do it
I run my mixes through my PC speakers and for a while I used a 2nd pair of speakers that I was really familiar with from my bookshelf system days. Now, if my home stereo sounds good and my studio monitors sound good, the mix is good to go.
Those speakers are overhyped for bass and highs, usually they have a smiley face curve built into them. Just keep checking your mixes on the Jeep speakers, the mastery will be when you can make them sound good on your new monitors and jeep speakers, then you would've cracked it.
#8
I've been reading through the threads on Sound on Sound forums and the one thing they constantly bang on about is room treatment. They place so much emphasis in fact that I was advised not to bother changing my make-shift setup unless I invest in treatment first. The site is worth a visit, although a lot of it is way too technical for me.
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#9
Quote by RubberSoul54321
I've been reading through the threads on Sound on Sound forums and the one thing they constantly bang on about is room treatment. They place so much emphasis in fact that I was advised not to bother changing my make-shift setup unless I invest in treatment first. The site is worth a visit, although a lot of it is way too technical for me.


As Paul White would say (their editor): One can't have too many duvets

Check their Mix Rescue section, they do this all the time:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb11/articles/studio-sos-0211.htm
#10
Wow, so I am really buying into the room acoustics thing now. I plugged my guitar into my interface and was just playing around and moving the speaker in different places. THis is ridiculous. In my normal speaker position (about 1.5 ft off of the wall) the sound is very hollow sounding and completely missing any bass/low end. I moved the speaker up about another foot so it is hanging over my desk and it sounds completely different. There is low end and the hollowness is completely gone. It still doesnt sound "amazing", but this one foot makes a complete difference. I wish there was some way I could objectively show you guys the difference in sound, its insane. The pics below show the two locations, the first being where I usually have my monitor when I mix (sounds BAD), the second, I was just messing around.

P.S. the JBLs do have shaping features on the rear for high and low filters. Even with the +2 filter, the sound is terrible in picture 1 and has no bass.

Pic 1

Pic 2


It seems my proximity to the speaker makes a huge difference (which I guess implies that my room is messing up the sound a LOT). Theres a huge difference between a six inches away and 2-3 feet

Edit: so yea, I just confirmed that if I sit with my ear like 6-8 inches from either monitor, the sound is incredible. I can actually hear why people say they dont really like KRKs (theres a lot of bass for such a little guy, but the highs are kind of washed out or overly smoothed out). The JBL definitely has more clarity in the mids/highs, and has more lows even though it is rear ported and I have the volume pretty low right now. This is great though. I guess I do need some serious treatment. I wonder if my glass desk messes with it at all too?
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Last edited by Watterboy at Feb 29, 2016,
#11
Glass desk - that's like a gong, isn't it? Cover it with a table cloth to test. I think you need to raise your speakers up, I think the way you have them the lower speaker points at your belly, it should be pointing about chest level. So use books for that.
Reason why I like books - because they're acoustically separated and act as a cushion, think of all the pages that are separate from each other, or buy acoustic damper - I sent you a link before in previous post.
#12
Quote by diabolical
Glass desk - that's like a gong, isn't it? Cover it with a table cloth to test. I think you need to raise your speakers up, I think the way you have them the lower speaker points at your belly, it should be pointing about chest level. So use books for that.
Reason why I like books - because they're acoustically separated and act as a cushion, think of all the pages that are separate from each other, or buy acoustic damper - I sent you a link before in previous post.


I put a sort of thin wool blanket over my table and I have my speakers sitting on that, but it didn't really do much either way. Im attempting to do another mix down tonight, but I have my speakers literally 6-10 inches on either side of my head at a slight angle. Im not blasting the volume, but I am sort of trying to simulate that whole "immersed/buried in sound" feeling I get when I listen to music in my car. I am finding though that even with this configuration, I seem to be losing about 3-5db of low end below 100-150 hz somewhere. I have the +2 low filter enabled on each speaker, and I am also doing a low shelf +3 starting at 150hz in my RME Total Mix in post so I can hopefully catch muddiness and excessive bass down low. The mids and highs seem crystal clear though, I think. Ill report back tomorrow. If this fails, I may return the speakers and invest in some serious sound treatment
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#14
I'm not sure it would apply to a glass top desk but it's worth mentioning. I read an article a few years ago about "audio coupling". It happens when the furniture you have your speakers sitting on become part of the sound. When the speakers vibrate they vibrate whatever you have them sitting on and your desk or console stand or whatever you have your speakers set on can become part of the speakers sound. It can also happen when a sub woofer is used and placed under a desk that vibrates at high volume and creates extra bass notes. In my case I thought my speakers were manufacturing unrealistic bass notes when I was mixing. It turned out to be the vibration of my desk that was causing the extra low tones. I bought some Auralex speaker isolator pads and placed them under my speakers thus isolating them from the desk. It solved my problem immediately.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 1, 2016,
#15
Quote by diabolical
Any particular reason you went with these speakers? I'd the Yahama seems to be more unforgiving and easier to mix on.


Because all the mids and highs seem to be working out pretty well with these- its the lows that seem to be massively affected by my room conditions- there is a drastic change in sound as my ear moves from 2-6 inches to 6-10inches and then 1ft+ away from the speaker. After I get 1 foot away, it seems like its not reliable at all. Its crazy because reflections arent obvious in my music room- its not like it sounds like a bathroom / tiled room. I have carpet on my floor and sheetrock walls, and its about 15' long x 12' wide or so. I do have a bunch of guitar gear in the room also, like 412 cabs, amps and guitars on the wall. Im really not sure what direction to go
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#16
Quote by Rickholly74
I'm not sure it would apply to a glass top desk but it's worth mentioning. I read an article a few years ago about "audio coupling". It happens when the furniture you have your speakers sitting on become part of the sound. When the speakers vibrate they vibrate whatever you have them sitting on and your desk or console stand or whatever you have your speakers set on can become part of the speakers sound. It can also happen when a sub woofer is used and placed under a desk that vibrates at high volume and creates extra bass notes. In my case I thought my speakers were manufacturing unrealistic bass notes when I was mixing. It turned out to be the vibration of my desk that was causing the extra low tones. I bought some Auralex speaker isolator pads and placed them under my speakers thus isolating them from the desk. It solved my problem immediately.

Yep.

OP, go get some auralex mopads. Use them to decouple the monitors from your glass desk and angle them towards your ears. THEN you'll really notice a difference.
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#18
So I moved my shit today so it is in a different location of the room (pointing long ways instead short ways), but it didnt really help. Im still missing something in the lows that is fcking me over when Im trying to mix bass guitar properly, and also makes my electrics sound a little weird (im still guessing its in the 100hz area).

My room dimensioms are 10x13 and its 7 ft tall (except for one portion on the left side that is like 6.5ft tall). Heres a pic:

Here are two snaps for how my new setup looks. Its at the far side, opposite of the bump out:



Edit: actually, this is kind of interesting. I redid two of my mixes last night, both of which had either too much, too little or uneven bass- when i checked it on a pair of earbud monitors before bed, it sounded like i fckd the bass up worse; but in my car, the low end was perfect. Im wondering if its the sub-bass, like less than 50hz, that i was hearing in the earbuds. Not sure, but i was pleasantly surprised with the result (still wasnt perfect, but not bad)
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Last edited by Watterboy at Mar 2, 2016,
#19
I had a bit of a breakthrough- I ran a bunch of tests with room eq wizard (I didn't go crazy with calibrations and I could really only test with a shure sm7b); however, I very consistently saw some 10-25db dips in the low-end with the jbls, usually somewhere between 60-100hz, or both, and then again somewhere around 160hz; it said that there was 180 degree phase shifts at those points.

I reset up my KRK Rokit 5s, and goddamnit, the bass response was much flatter. It said there were phase issues at those same frequencies, but there were slight 3-5db boosts instead of total nulls. Im assuming the fact that the KRKs are front-ported (vs the JBLs which are rear), the KRKs can deliver more consistent bass in a poorly treated room. The KRKs dont extent as low as the JBLs, but the bass seemed more clear. The KRKs had some nasty scoops and phase problems around 2-3k, 5-6k and 9-10k ish regions. Im wondering (hoping) those issues could be fixed with some easier methods of sound treatment (i.e. foam panels at reflection points) perhaps. I may return the JBLs this weekend- they are problem better speakers in general, but I think the KRKs perform better in my (new) environment
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#20
How much longer do you have in the return window? I think you're expecting miracles from new equipment and you're looking for solutions in all the wrong places.

Spend more time with the speakers, it's not their job to make your mixes better, that's your job. You need to learn the new monitors the same way you need to learn your way around a guitar with a different scale fretboard.

You should really just add some simple pieces of room treatment and spend more time with the new speakers.

Buying things won't make your mixes better, but buying things and learning (through spending time) how they affect your mixes will make you a stronger engineer who can create better mixes more quickly.
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#21
Quote by Sid McCall
How much longer do you have in the return window? I think you're expecting miracles from new equipment and you're looking for solutions in all the wrong places.

Spend more time with the speakers, it's not their job to make your mixes better, that's your job. You need to learn the new monitors the same way you need to learn your way around a guitar with a different scale fretboard.

You should really just add some simple pieces of room treatment and spend more time with the new speakers.

Buying things won't make your mixes better, but buying things and learning (through spending time) how they affect your mixes will make you a stronger engineer who can create better mixes more quickly.


I think I still have a couple weeks. Its not that Im haphazardly buying new gear expecting my mixes to magically get better; but I identified issues with my previous set up that was keeping me from hearing accurately what I needed to hear. I rearranged my room to try to get proper wall spacing for myself and reduce bass deflections, but none of that seemed to help with the responsiveness of the JBLs; however, it seemed to work wonders for the KRKs, which dpesnt surprise me because they are front ported.

Id love to keep the JBLs, but whats the use if the only way I will be able to hear them totally properly is if I spend at least a grand to sound treat my less-than-stellar studio. The KRKs arent perfect, but they seem to be operating better in a non-ideal environment.
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Last edited by Watterboy at Mar 3, 2016,