#1
I'm reading through the semi-famous Why Your Recordings Sound Like Ass thread, and a few posts in the author mentions the great importance of having accurate monitors (often at the expense of having "good sounding" monitors. Currently I'm using a pair of Phonic S710's and a Turtle Beach X12 headset. I have a pair of Scarlett headphones that came with my interface, but they sound kind of tinny and favor the high end quite noticeably so I don't really use them.

Should I invest in new monitors? Got any reccomendations? If I have to get something new I'm really looking to spend as little as possible.
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#2
Your speakers are designed to be PA speakers not recording monitors. There is a huge difference in design characteristics including a quality crossover (if any) and the cabinet design itself which in this case is meant to work as a PA floor monitor. Good quality studio monitors are really important. I spent several years using what was fairly decent home stereo speakers for the time (Acoustic Research 2AX+). I thought my mixes sounded great on them but they sounded horrible when played on any other system. Until I got a real set of real studio monitors (JBL 4408) my mixes were really terrible. I now use Behringer Truth 2031A and an old pair of Hafler M-5 monitors and am very pleased. My mixes now translate well to other systems.

PA speakers are voiced differently than a set of good pair of flat studio recording monitors.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jul 26, 2016,
#3
Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes - you need proper monitors.

Here is the analogy I like to use. Imagine you are a painter and are trying to paint a landscape. You are wearing those really funky cool aviator glasses where everything looks yellow, You paint your landscape all nice and bring it and show it around to people - people who are not wearing the funky cool yellow aviator glasses - and they're all like, "WTF, dude? You droppin' acid before you paint?" And you're all like, "Wadda ya mean... It looks fantastic." And then you look at the painting through accurate lenses and then.... "Oh...."

Speakers, like lenses, need to be deadly accurate.

However, this comes with a caveat.

You've taken off the funky aviator glasses with the yellow lenses... But you've got smoke from a camp fire near you, the sun is in your eyes and you mostly can't see squat, you're in a screened in porch, so your vision is somewhat obscured by the screen....

You still have difficulty painting accurately.

You need to treat your room. This eliminates the acoustical distractions that occur, and those distractions will - without fail - affect how you mix,and do so for the worse.

When I moved houses and set up my studio in a new room, with the exact same gear I was using only days before, I couldn't mix to save my soul. I found that depending on where I was in the room, the bass was either too loud , or almost absent in the mix. Where was the right place for my chair? Who can tell? Was it because of the wood paneling that basically made my room a series of empty wooden boxes forming a rectangle around my workspace? Surely. Haha.

The good news is that you can make your own acoustic treatment (and for God's sake, not using egg cartons) for fairly inexpensively and without any real advanced handy-skills.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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#4
There are some producers that are known to work with raggedy monitors, old boomboxes, etc. It is good to always have something quality though as reference. Room acoustics also play a big role how your monitored sound will come out, so sometimes splurging big $$$ on monitors doesn't solve the problem if the room acoustics are horrible.