Be a Supporter!

Monitors?

  • 664 Views
  • 25 Replies
New Topic Respond to this Topic
G9
G9
  • Member since: Dec. 21, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 07
Blank Slate
Monitors? 2008-02-27 00:05:26 Reply

What do you guys use to monitor and ultimately master your tracks? I went over to musicradar.com, site of the UK's Computer Music mag, asked if headphones were adequate and got a decisive "no". The headphones I had in mind were the Sennheiser HD280's.

joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 02:53:34 Reply

At 2/27/08 12:05 AM, G9 wrote: What do you guys use to monitor and ultimately master your tracks? I went over to musicradar.com, site of the UK's Computer Music mag, asked if headphones were adequate and got a decisive "no". The headphones I had in mind were the Sennheiser HD280's.

people who outright tell you that you can't monitor on headphones are just lemmings trying to mimic what is currently trendy to think about the subject. besides the obvious absence of the haas effect assisting in localization of stereo sounds, there are virtually no scientifically explainable reasons why headphones cannot be used for overall mixing purposes.

in fact - there are a huge number of reasons why headphones can and logically should be more accurate if you "learn" on them instead of speakers. Here's a few very obvious reasons:

- there are no terrible phase/colorations discrepancies that occur over the crossover points that normal monitors always will deal with (because DUH there are no cross-overs)

- there are no phase problems due to driver alignment on different planes and/or azimuths and horizons

- they don't suffer from room modes or eq spikes occurring from diffraction/reflection off surrounding objects and walls

- there is no issue of stupid designs of the cabinets resulting in even more measurable eq spikes stemming from the common non-flanged cheap square box designs

- many cheaper monitors are ported - also a poor choice when quality is the main priority because it increases distortion and resonance by using the standing waves of the box itself as an amplification method - stupid idea? yes. makes speakers louder? oh yes. Remember - volume is not synonymous with quality (as most speaker builders would have you believe - bunch of crap)

- there is less THD and general distortion and interference that can occur with headphones/heaphone amps because the amplification levels are so much lower

- there are much less materials involved so the cost/quality ratio leans towards providing much much better deals than speakers

- transients are more detectable and hence general track trouble-shooting and fault finding are much easier with headphones

- they don't disturb neighbors or require measurement mics for proper setup

- they represent lower frequencies and sub harmonics much better

that said - i'll just say one more thing (and take in mind that I really don't care and I'm not trying to gloat about me, just proving a point about headphones and this "stigma" that's attached to them):

I have yet to get ONE single negative comment about any of the past 7 mixes (not the nature of the song in terms of composition, just the MIX) that I've done and showed to a good deal of people on a particular forum (not here) on my akg 701's. In fact - every single comment has almost always been about how clear and balanced it sounded and how amazing the mix was. That said - headphones are not the issue here - it is only the people who try to mix with headphones for a few hours, throw their hands up in frustration and just give up.

If you are going to buy headphones - don't buy a crappy set of $100 ones. Go straight for the best. I'm serious - don't even think about skimping here if you are really serious about what you do. Pick up at least a pair of akg 701's or senn 650's and try to get a pair of Audio Technica W5000's if at all possible. Then - get a decent enough single channel headphone amp (A REAL ONE - not one of these stupid pieces of crap put out by samson or behringer or rane or whoever - i'm talking about something in the realm of a wooaudio 3 or littledot V - something actually good). Last of all after getting that stuff...i'd get a dedicated stand-alone D/A converter. You can usually find some good Chinese brands that have pretty impressive build quality and will be a big upgrade from most any consumer audio interface you might already have.

If you are going to get speakers - I would suggest this: do the room treatment thing (the cheap way - don't buy the expensive as hell pre-fab stuff), don't get ported speakers, get monitors with at least 8" woofers and don't bother with a sub unless you are going to buy a measurement mic and tune your room as well. It's just too much of a PITA to quell some of those room modes you get from the sub.

etc. etc. etc.

Nav
Nav
  • Member since: Jan. 6, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 17
Audiophile
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 08:42:58 Reply

Ummm...

I use some shitty speakers for "tweeters" and a bass guitar amp as a "woofer".

I've got them pretty much in sync, but its all really muddy. I want to get some Sennheiser HD280 Pros sometime.

war-spawn
war-spawn
  • Member since: Apr. 23, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 04
Musician
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 09:58:41 Reply

I use FL FX or Adobe Audition to master my tracks. =D


TdM / Cannibal Brigade / The Silent Minority / NUG Ventrilo Mod
Cyrez Tha War Spawn

BBS Signature
dirtydigital
dirtydigital
  • Member since: Jan. 8, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 10:03:24 Reply

Check your mix everywhere you can. Leave mastering to the professionals.

Nav
Nav
  • Member since: Jan. 6, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 17
Audiophile
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 14:38:57 Reply

At 2/27/08 10:03 AM, dirtydigital wrote: Check your mix everywhere you can. Leave mastering to the professionals.

Hm not always. Learning to master can really improve your mixing, because you know what to expect when you send it off to be mastered. I always try to do a decent master of my tunes. Fruity Limiter, coming with FL8, will make it a lot easier (and cheaper) to do a master than before, because you don't need any expensive Waves software to do it.

InsaneSmilie
InsaneSmilie
  • Member since: Nov. 23, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 23
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 16:06:05 Reply

At 2/27/08 12:05 AM, G9 wrote: What do you guys use to monitor and ultimately master your tracks? I went over to musicradar.com, site of the UK's Computer Music mag, asked if headphones were adequate and got a decisive "no". The headphones I had in mind were the Sennheiser HD280's.

Actualy I whould generaly say that headphone make better moniters than speakers as long as you got good set of headphones. The only place where headphones don't make great moniters is in a live setting, and even then for a DJ or electronic artist (or anyone who use a cue for something) the headphones are still more preferencial.


WUML Lowell 91.5 FM - Real Underground Radio

BBS Signature
DavidOrr
DavidOrr
  • Member since: Oct. 22, 2005
  • Online!
Forum Stats
Member
Level 27
Musician
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 16:22:50 Reply

At 2/27/08 02:53 AM, joshhunsaker wrote:
people who outright tell you that you can't monitor on headphones are just lemmings trying to mimic what is currently trendy to think about the subject. besides the obvious absence of the haas effect assisting in localization of stereo sounds, there are virtually no scientifically explainable reasons why headphones cannot be used for overall mixing purposes.

in fact - there are a huge number of reasons why headphones can and logically should be more accurate if you "learn" on them instead of speakers. Here's a few very obvious reasons:

While, I definitely agree that people seem to have some sort of uneducated disgust for mixing on headphones, I wouldn't go as far as saying that they'd be more accurate to mix on. The main problem I've found with mixing with headphones is that each ear has one speaker dedicated to it, an only one speaker. With monitors, you've got a left and right speaker, but each ear obviously will pick up sound from both. Tracks mixed on monitors tend to have more depth. I think there's a legitimate reason that the majority of pro-level engineers prefer monitors over headphones.

But, what's equally important is that you make sure you get your music on a variety of systems. Obviously you'll want to hear it on (ideally) both high quality monitors and headphones, but it's extremely important to listen to it on consumer-level systems. Most studios have a few sets of monitors so they can hear their mixes on a variety of systems.

I personally do the majority of my mixing on a pair of Yamaha HS50M monitors. A pair of them is only $400, and I'd consider them upper entry-level. Yamaha puts out some really nice monitors for the price. Whatever you get, it's really important to hear the monitors or headphones you're thinking about purchasing before you go and buy them, because what sounds good to one person may not sound good to you.


BBS Signature
G9
G9
  • Member since: Dec. 21, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 07
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 18:19:54 Reply

At 2/27/08 04:22 PM, DavidOrr wrote: While, I definitely agree that people seem to have some sort of uneducated disgust for mixing on headphones, I wouldn't go as far as saying that they'd be more accurate to mix on. The main problem I've found with mixing with headphones is that each ear has one speaker dedicated to it, an only one speaker. With monitors, you've got a left and right speaker, but each ear obviously will pick up sound from both. Tracks mixed on monitors tend to have more depth. I think there's a legitimate reason that the majority of pro-level engineers prefer monitors over headphones.

Good point.

I personally do the majority of my mixing on a pair of Yamaha HS50M monitors. A pair of them is only $400, and I'd consider them upper entry-level. Yamaha puts out some really nice monitors for the price. Whatever you get, it's really important to hear the monitors or headphones you're thinking about purchasing before you go and buy them, because what sounds good to one person may not sound good to you.

Yeah, I was looking at that pair as well.

At 2/27/08 02:53 AM, joshhunsaker wrote: If you are going to buy headphones - don't buy a crappy set of $100 ones. Go straight for the best. I'm serious - don't even think about skimping here if you are really serious about what you do. Pick up at least a pair of akg 701's or senn 650's and try to get a pair of Audio Technica W5000's if at all possible. Then - get a decent enough single channel headphone amp (A REAL ONE - not one of these stupid pieces of crap put out by samson or behringer or rane or whoever - i'm talking about something in the realm of a wooaudio 3 or littledot V - something actually good). Last of all after getting that stuff...i'd get a dedicated stand-alone D/A converter. You can usually find some good Chinese brands that have pretty impressive build quality and will be a big upgrade from most any consumer audio interface you might already have.

That sounds complicated as hell. What exactly do the headphone amp's and d/a converters do? In addition, out of this list (I know you already suggested one) which is the best (assuming it's the one you listed?)?

Overall, thanks for the responses!

Anima-Theory
Anima-Theory
  • Member since: May. 9, 2005
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 29
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 19:17:08 Reply

If you get an awesome pair of headphones, they can almost be better than really good speakers


Book of Anima 22:32 " Do not profane my awesome name. I must be acknowledged as awesome by the Newgrounders. I am the LORD of music, who makes you awesome."

BBS Signature
dirtydigital
dirtydigital
  • Member since: Jan. 8, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 20:50:21 Reply

--Yea learning to master at home is good but, if you have a budget you should pay to have it done on real gear.Paying for mastering is something I have never been able to afford but wish that I could.

loogiesquared
loogiesquared
  • Member since: Apr. 15, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 20:56:13 Reply

Insignia
Headphone w/ .mp3 player.

I also use my TVs Dolb 5.1's

joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-27 21:09:08 Reply

@ G9
well - i'm going to assume that you might want to stay in the $100 or so range for right now. The build quality of the Audio Technica line is undoubtedly very good - I would of course skip the "studio" line and go for at least their entry level reference pair:

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headph ones/c1b3fd0d9212f780/index.html

If you want to reach a little beyond that and save yourself the upgrade trouble later on - I would try for the akg 701's. They are fantastic. You can usually find a pair for about $250 on ebay. I know that might seem a little steep right now - but learning to mix on phones as detailed as those will give you a definite edge over other people's mixes...

Now a dedicated headphone amp is also a must if you really want to experience the music as you are mixing. A very very good headphone amp will provide you with a much more accurate representation of the original recording or whatever you might be listening to by drastically reducing distortion occurring due to amp non-linearities at high volumes (cheap op-amps like the headphone jacks you find in your mbox or creative audigy breakout box use crappy integrated circuits to provide amplification to the headphones. This means the sound is normally very low-bandwidth, uncontrolled, muddy, and distorted far before you turn the dial all the way to the maximum gain). Even if you were to take a measurement mic and correct for all the malformations in the frequency range with an active digital equalizer - you still would be left with the horrific amounts of distortion and non-linearities that plague most all cheap op-amps. This is why a dedicated headphone amp is always a good idea. Would you power a pair of Adam passives with a Sherwood home theater amp? Not unless you wanted your speakers to sound terrible.

Some people get tripped up about the whole "ruler flat frequency response" thing. Just because you can measure the frequency response of a speaker or pair of headphones and it is "flat" doesn't mean that it is actually going to accurately represent the nature of the waveforms themselves in a typical performance. For example - an amplifier with an absolutely terrible slew rate may measure "flat" in a test with white noise, but if you were to audition it against a "colored" t-amp with rap music, it would likely sound like garbage. Why? Because music is much much different than white noise or sine sweeps. It's the equivalent of testing to see if your soldiers are battle ready by having them attack stuffed dummies on a mock battlefield. You'll never actually know how they will fare in a real combat situation the same way a bunch of specs. on a speaker, amp or piece of electronic equipment will never actually describe what it sounds like.

Anyway. That's kind of an important piece of the puzzle to square away or else really none of this stuff makes sense (people think it's too esoteric). The last part (or the first more appropriately) of this chain that relays the signal to your ears is of course the D/A (digital to analog converter). There are top end D/A boxes that cost over 10 grand - and for good reason. The stage that actually converts a digital signal into an analog voltage can cause a lot of problems if the 0's and 1's are not turned into their respective analog waveform counterparts in a near-perfectly synced manner. Just the same way a LCD clock regulates time by applying electricity through a bar of quartz to cause it to mechanically oscillate after which the oscillations are converted to a digital signal that controls the read out of the time - an audio card's D/A converter needs a reliable way to output those 44 thousand samples per second at an even rate so that each of them are evenly spaced. The circuitry on most consumer audio card's use cheaper D/A converters that aren't perfectly stable and will actually output measurable discrepancies of the periods of time between one pair of consecutive converted samples and another pair of consecutive converted samples. This is basically a form of distortion or waveshaping. I personally bought this particular unit:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ZERO-24-192-DAC-D-A-
CONVERTOR-HEAD-FI-AMP-BRAND-NEW_W0QQitem Z230226479030QQihZ013QQcategoryZ14978QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

It's coming from China and they just had a bunch of typhoons or whatever so it's not here yet but it actually comprises a D/A converter with a very decent and high-powered headphone amp. It has a toroidal power transformer (low-noise), a D/A capable of decoding 24bit/192khz signals, very good quality components, switchable optical and coax ins , and (of course) a line out which is run through it's own preamp (not tapped to the variable headphone out). This would be my personal recommendation to kill two birds with one stone because from what I've heard - this model compares against event the benchmark DAC-1... you can see for yourself even how clean and well thought out the layout of the circuit boards are.

G9
G9
  • Member since: Dec. 21, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 07
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 00:00:27 Reply

Thanks for the very long post.

Well, let's consider higher-end models... not staying within the $100 range. What would you recommend then?

These headphone amps and D/A converters all sound a little too complicated for my level of production. I'm pretty sure that you're one of the few users here in the community that understand and frequently use that kind of gear.

Well, I'll just give you my preferred setup. I won't have much space at all, so it's pretty slimline and on-the-go:
Line 6 TonePort KB37 --> MIDI controller and audio interface
Headphones

And that'd be it, really. With that kind of setup, where would the headphone amp and d/a converter be hooked up to?

jarrydn
jarrydn
  • Member since: Jul. 15, 2002
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 10
Artist
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 00:17:26 Reply

Seriously, everyone listen to John. He fucking knows, man.

I'm fed up with speakers. I'm going to have to set up too many bass traps in my studio to deal with the low end EQ spikes, that I'm seriously considering going for headphones for my main mixing duties and only using my speakers as a passing reference.

But even with bad monitoring, if you check your song out on 5 - 10 different systems, and it sounds good on all of them, chances are it will probably sound good on anything.


audio / bbs troubles? drop me a PM

BBS Signature
jarrydn
jarrydn
  • Member since: Jul. 15, 2002
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 10
Artist
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 00:26:45 Reply

At 2/28/08 12:17 AM, jarrydn wrote: Seriously, everyone listen to John.

Errr, Josh ;)


audio / bbs troubles? drop me a PM

BBS Signature
joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 04:38:28 Reply

At 2/28/08 12:00 AM, G9 wrote: Thanks for the very long post.

Well, let's consider higher-end models... not staying within the $100 range. What would you recommend then?

These headphone amps and D/A converters all sound a little too complicated for my level of production. I'm pretty sure that you're one of the few users here in the community that understand and frequently use that kind of gear.

Well, I'll just give you my preferred setup. I won't have much space at all, so it's pretty slimline and on-the-go:
Line 6 TonePort KB37 --> MIDI controller and audio interface
Headphones

And that'd be it, really. With that kind of setup, where would the headphone amp and d/a converter be hooked up to?

The D/A converter itself you would use in conjunction with the digital outs on your consumer card. The beauty of that is it doesn't matter how cheap or awful the sound card may be (or audio interface) that you already have - if you run the digital out to the optical or coax in on the standalone D/A converter there is no difference in quality between the 0's and 1's being piped through that line than if you had a card that cost 5 million dollars with optical out (audio) because it's all the same 0's and 1's until it is buffered and converter to an analog signal by the D/A.

In the best case scenario - you would run the optical (or coax) out on your current sound card to an outboard D/A which you would then use the line level outputs on to feed a headphone amp which you would connect your headphones too. Naturally - it seems a little crazy if you've only ever plugged your 1/8th in jack into the small hole on the front of your computer to listen to or make music.

The ebay ZERO D/A converter I previously posted a link to simplifies this in a way (or gives you more options depending which route you take) by incorporating an onboard high-quality headphone amp that you can plug your headphones directly to (eliminating the need at least for a dedicated headphone amp). As you can see from the size of the amplification stage for the headphone out on that particular model - it is not the typical cheesy integrated circuit as it provides a huge amount of gain (more than enough to deal with the relatively low impedance of say the akg 701's). In this case, you can use the headphone out provided on the unit until you save enough money to purchase a major upgrade to say the LittleDotV which I mentioned which utilized a dual-mono (it's essentially a dual mono-block design! with 2 toroidal power amps - heck yes!):

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/review-
little-dot-mkv-dual-mono-solid-state-hea dphone-amplifier-289765/

it runs for $299 plus shipping - so it makes sense to hold off one or more of the upgrades until you've gotten comfortable with your setup and can afford it.

Of course, the first step in all of this is simply to get the headphones as those are main priority if you are without them. You absolutely cannot go wrong with the akg 701's. Most people that I've heard from prefer them to their senn 650 counterparts (even though the senn's are almost always more expensive) and I've never regretted dropping $250 on them up to this day. Ever. I mixed on the akg's initially for a few days and then just tried (for fun) to do a piece on my old pair of Fostex T50RP's (which were no slouchers to be sure - they list for $180 themselves...overpriced of course but nonetheless) and was blown away by how gritty and dank they now sounded in comparison. I mean the difference in details, depth of the "soundstage" (audiophiles seem to love that word a bit too much), and ability for instruments to now be precisely placed in actual points in space was phenomenal. Honestly - I can never go back to using a pair of $100 phones for mixing now - it would be a complete joke to me and the first thing I would do if they somehow broke would be to buy the same or better.

The second question is how much do you want to spend beyond that? The amount you can put up beyond the initial $250 for the phones (and time period that you feel you might upgrade again within) should really be what determines your purchase of the headphone amp and d/a. I would check before doing anything else to determine with any existing set of phones that you might have kicking around (grab or borrow the best set you can find though) whether or not the quality of the headphone output on the Line6 might be sufficient. The way you would do it would be to check it against the cheesy output of the 1/8th inch jack on your computer's built in or cheapo soundcard's headphone output and play a song you know really well a number of times on both mediums. If you notice a big difference in quality over the computer's inboard card's headphone output - then the Line6 might work and you can probably hold off on plunking down an extra $300 for a headphone amp or an extra $200 for an external D/A & headphone amp combination. IMHO, you're going to be making some sacrifices at one stage or another depending on which elements you currently invest the money in but I would say the best bang for your buck if you are unsure about any of this would just be the same combo I have (I have been doing research on this stuff for years to get an idea of how this all should best come together for an ideal setup - so I'm pretty confident in the recommendation), namely to grab a pair of AKG 701's and the ZERO 24/192 DAC/headphone amp (and to get them both off of ebay).

If you can only spend $250 though - get just the headphones for now and run them through the dedicated headphone out on the Line6 controller. Safest way to go and will still give you amazing results. Right now - I'm only using my 701s through my mbox's headphone output and still the sound is crystal clear.

joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 04:54:17 Reply

forgot to mention that if you were to purchase a headphone amp later (and had bought a stand-alone D/A combo headphone amp earlier), you would still use the D/A of course - just connect it through the line level outs to the headphone amp's line level ins (both will almost always be rca plugs - no need for the signals to be balanced if they are running less than a meter - which is usually the case).

I'll give you a few links to what some stand-alone d/a converters look like:
Poth Audio DAC
Roksan
another cool D/A headphone amp combo unit (Audio Technica)

You might also be able to pick up this little beauty for under $150...which would be a steal. It's a tube headphone amp - and would be a big step up from the headphone output on your keyboard controller. Just food for thought though. No need to buy it all at once. Here's another nice one as well (more expensive).

jarrydn
jarrydn
  • Member since: Jul. 15, 2002
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 10
Artist
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 05:24:01 Reply

At 2/28/08 04:54 AM, joshhunsaker wrote: You might also be able to pick up this little beauty for under $150...which would be a steal. It's a tube headphone amp - and would be a big step up from the headphone output on your keyboard controller.

The tranny on that had better be pretty well isolated XD

Does it have balanced outputs?


audio / bbs troubles? drop me a PM

BBS Signature
joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 10:17:36 Reply

At 2/28/08 05:24 AM, jarrydn wrote:
At 2/28/08 04:54 AM, joshhunsaker wrote: You might also be able to pick up this little beauty for under $150...which would be a steal. It's a tube headphone amp - and would be a big step up from the headphone output on your keyboard controller.
The tranny on that had better be pretty well isolated XD

Does it have balanced outputs?

no - just rca.

joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 10:19:28 Reply

At 2/28/08 05:24 AM, jarrydn wrote:
The tranny on that had better be pretty well isolated XD

Does it have balanced outputs?

oh, wait - do you mean the tube amp or the keyboard controller?

jarrydn
jarrydn
  • Member since: Jul. 15, 2002
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 10
Artist
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 19:11:04 Reply

At 2/28/08 10:19 AM, joshhunsaker wrote:
Does it have balanced outputs?
oh, wait - do you mean the tube amp or the keyboard controller?

The tube amp ;D


audio / bbs troubles? drop me a PM

BBS Signature
joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 19:55:43 Reply

At 2/28/08 07:11 PM, jarrydn wrote:
At 2/28/08 10:19 AM, joshhunsaker wrote:
Does it have balanced outputs?
oh, wait - do you mean the tube amp or the keyboard controller?
The tube amp ;D

unbalanced line level outs.

Syntrus
Syntrus
  • Member since: Dec. 18, 2005
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 10
Musician
Response to Monitors? 2008-02-28 21:10:56 Reply

Big old high quality speakers when i'm making my radio show


Syntrus keeping it real with fake computer music since 2006
The Madness of Kid Triangle

BBS Signature
G9
G9
  • Member since: Dec. 21, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 07
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-03-09 22:19:23 Reply

This may sound stupid as hell but for speaker monitors, do they connect to each other, with one wire connecting to an audio interface, or does each speaker have its own individual wire that goes to 2 ports on an audio interface?

joshhunsaker
joshhunsaker
  • Member since: Nov. 14, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Monitors? 2008-03-10 05:55:12 Reply

At 3/9/08 10:19 PM, G9 wrote: This may sound stupid as hell but for speaker monitors, do they connect to each other, with one wire connecting to an audio interface, or does each speaker have its own individual wire that goes to 2 ports on an audio interface?

This simply depends. Some smaller monitors (like the Edirol MA-15) have a built in D/A converter and the stereo amplification is done only inside 1 speaker and then routed to the other via speaker level output (probably rca connection). Many club speakers that you have extra output jacks that allow you to connect several speakers to one amp in parallel. Most typical powered monitors accept either balanced (+4dbu), unbalanced (-10dbu), or even sometimes a 0dbu setting from the preamp or audio interface. This means that with most professional quality monitors (powered) you see, they all have individual inputs (mono) for each speaker and set or individual amplifier. Many times there are even then individual amplifiers in each cabinet for each driver. It may be bi, tri, or (in extreme cases) quad-amped - normally units with dedicated amps per drivers are much higher quality because they can be band-limited in terms of the frequencies they have to deal with meaning there is much less distortion on output for similar levels of amplification (meaning you are likely to have less THD with a tri-amp design three 30 watt amps as a opposed to a single [has to be the same circuit design of course] amplifier running at 100 watts powering all three drivers).

Of course, passive monitors are almost always connected in a non-serial fashion (meaning one is not connected through the other but they are both connected the same way to the amplifier). This is just because it makes very little sense to take an already amplified signal (to speaker level) and run it to the same box or speaker as is powered by the other channel, only to have another jack or set of speaker connectors linking it to the speaker that you really need it to go to. There is no "processing" of any sort going on in passive boxes so there is no need to run any more channels then are being used for the drivers themselves into the cabinet. You just hook it up like your home theater system. You sound card/audio interface send it's output to your Alesis or Yamaha or Nady or whatever stereo or set of mono amps and then the respective amplified channels go out to the speakers they are supposed to be representing in your DAW (left as opposed to right...which is naturally determined by where you are sitting in relation to the speakers).