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Author Topic: Am I nuts?  (Read 5609 times)

idlabsmusic

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Am I nuts?
« on: January 10, 2015, 09:14:02 am »

Hi guys,

I'm an audio professional in Pittsburgh, PA specializing in mixing and production.  I have a medium sized room (23 x 12) and I'm currently monitoring with a pair of ATC SCM25a's.  I love them. 

Recently I had a hugely successful client/friend of mine offer to buy me a new pair of monitors for the express purpose of listening loud.  Really loud.  I've watched him crank the bigs to the max at a few top notch studios in LA, so i know he really enjoys punishing his eardrums.   

My initial thought was a pair of Barefoot MiniMain 12's.  Seem like they would really fit the bill and work in a near field setting as well.  However, the artist is in a bit of a rush to get something in place and the MM12's won't be available for a month.  By then he'll be on tour and likely not interested in buying me 20k worth of speaker. 

That led me to the ATC 150's as I can get my hands on them much quicker.  As well as an offer from my studio designer friend to come to town and help me tune things eventually. 

Here's is my concern.  With the size of the 150's, it won't be practical to also use the 25's.  Suddenly I'll be mixing on mid fields in a room that is likely somewhat too small for them.  And that scares me.  A lot.  I've been mixing on near fields for many years and mixing is my bread and butter.   

At this point, I won't be looking this gift horse in the mouth, so I'm wondering if anyone has any exp mixing on mid fields in a less than huge room and how that's gone for them.  Or exp with the 150's in particular and whether they will accomplish the mission for the client of basically taking off his head with immersive sound.   

Thanks all!

-E
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Tim Halligan

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2015, 01:04:41 am »

Your client may want to monitor at ear-bleed levels, but do you?

If you have a system that you currently like and know well, why would you want to compromise that to satisfy one client to the potential detriment of all of your other clients?

I'd be more tempted to get a kick-ass headphone rig that can do the punishing levels just for him...


HTH

Cheers,
Tim
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idlabsmusic

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2015, 08:54:48 am »

Your client may want to monitor at ear-bleed levels, but do you?

If you have a system that you currently like and know well, why would you want to compromise that to satisfy one client to the potential detriment of all of your other clients?

I'd be more tempted to get a kick-ass headphone rig that can do the punishing levels just for him...


HTH




Cheers,
Tim


Because


A) he's my most successful and loyal client

B) going above and beyond for my clients has kept me in business for the last 12 years

I don't think a pair of ATC 150's can be described as a  'detriment' to anyone, though I do want to hear other people's experience with mid field monitors in a room of my size so I can prepare myself as much as possible. If in fact I find the adjustment too difficult I always have the option of setting up the 25s when he leaves and going about my business in the manner I've been used to.

-E
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Jim Williams

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2015, 12:46:34 pm »

I'd do as I always did, walk out of the room during abusive SPL's. Client is happy, your ears live to listen another day.
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Tim Halligan

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2015, 10:41:14 pm »


he's my most successful

That's not relevant.

and loyal client

That is.


B) going above and beyond for my clients has kept me in business for the last 12 years

Cool.


I don't think a pair of ATC 150's can be described as a  'detriment' to anyone, though I do want to hear other people's experience with mid field monitors in a room of my size so I can prepare myself as much as possible.

I agree that the speakers in and of themselves wouldn't be a detriment. My point was that you are contemplating a significant change to an established and known monitoring environment, which would take time to learn. I'd suggest that the duration of the learning curve would be longer than your successful client's session before he goes out on tour...so the next client...or two, or three, or more...is put in the unfortunate position of you not being completely "in tune" with your room...to their detriment. Possibly.

If in fact I find the adjustment too difficult I always have the option of setting up the 25s when he leaves and going about my business in the manner I've been used to.

Now you're talking.

As to Jim's point...that is indeed valid, until the point where the client wants you in the room with them to make changes at the ear bleed level.

The loudness war doesn't exist solely in the music industry. I have heard of film mixers stopping playback during mix sessions of loud movies after a certain period in order to protect their ears. It annoys the hell out of directors, but the director is in that mix room for a week or so every two years, whereas the mixers are in there every damn day, and those guys have every right to protect the only asset they have.

If your client wants you in the room during earbleeding playback, I still think the brutal headphones option is a valid approach.

Best of luck.

Cheers,
Tim
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Jim Williams

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2015, 11:45:42 am »

As to Jim's point...that is indeed valid, until the point where the client wants you in the room with them to make changes at the ear bleed level.

If your client wants you in the room during earbleeding playback, I still think the brutal headphones option is a valid approach.

Best of luck.

Cheers,
Tim

Yes, I've used the cans, usually on the head during loud playback as ear protection. Sometimes I didn't even plug them in. If a client insists on damaging your hearing, insist on ear protection. I wouldn't go shooting without ear protection, a high SPL monitor system over 8 hours can be just as damaging. No client could pay me enough to damage my ears.
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Tim Halligan

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2015, 09:56:09 am »

Yes, I've used the cans, usually on the head during loud playback as ear protection. Sometimes I didn't even plug them in.

Or that.

I was meaning get the brutal cans for the client. He can set his own level and punish himself as much as he pleases at that point, and the OP gets to mix in his own room in comfort...not agony.


No client could pay me enough to damage my ears.

Indeed.

Cheers,
Tim
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Fletcher

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 02:38:13 am »

We always did guitar overdubs in the control room at "blistering levels".  The guitar players loved it because with the right lighting we could make it feel like a "stage" experience and got some amazing performances that way.

However, while the guitar player often liked it 112-118 in the control room -- me?  not so much.  We had large boxes of the E-A-R [squishy little yellow] earplugs so everyone else in the control room wasn't going to get injured.  I also had a set of 28db "gunshot protectors" [the ones they use at target ranges] for me and the assistant.  The "gunshot protectors" are great in that application as they're easy to get on and off your head when you need to communicate with the guitar player [and can be conveniently stored on your thigh].

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

kirkhawley

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2015, 02:14:15 pm »

A set of HD280's sitting there on your desk looks perfectly innocent and cuts the level down drastically when you slap em on in a emergency.

-Kirk
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Dinogi

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2015, 07:23:23 pm »

When the ear is subjected to extremely loud sounds it causes the two main muscles (the stapedius muscle and the tensor tympani muscle) in your middle ear to contract. This not only lowers the sound level reaching your cochlea, but also drastically limits the frequency sensitivity of  your hearing. Long story short... using hearing protection will actually make your hearing more accurate by allowing those muscles to stay more relaxed. It also lowers the possibility of damaging the three ossicles bones in your middle ear. If you use the same type of hearing protection over time your brain will adjust to compensate for the affect they have on your perception of sound. If you must subject yourself to damaging SPL's for your clients sake, get yourself to a doctor and get fitted for prescription earplugs. Wear them until you get used to what they're doing to the sound. Once the tiny hairs in the cochlea are damaged they are gone forever. Google some pictures. It's gross. It looks like a shriveled up nasty mess. If the ossicles bones are damaged your also pretty much screwed. You've invested too much time, money and talent into your craft to put yourself in that kind of peril. ....dino
I'm not a doctor... I just put them on TV
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I'd trade everything I own now for a good sounding room and a bucket of 57's.

Jim Williams

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2015, 12:37:55 pm »

Once I did an album for some LA guys, it was "Felony". Joe Spry used a custom Rex Bogue guitar (Mahavishnu double neck) me and Rex built in 1977.

He use a Marshall Major amp, 200 watts like Hendrix had his last year. It was very loud and many parts were cut in the control room. The playback was loud enough to get full on Hendrix feedback in the control room monitors. Yes, I used ear plugs, but that was fun.
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reejakhan

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2015, 01:03:39 am »

We always did guitar overdubs in the control room at "blistering levels".  The guitar players loved it because with the right lighting we could make it feel like a "stage" experience and got some amazing performances that way.

JSantos

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Re: Am I nuts?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2016, 06:48:49 am »

We always did guitar overdubs in the control room at "blistering levels".  The guitar players loved it because with the right lighting we could make it feel like a "stage" experience and got some amazing performances that way.

However, while the guitar player often liked it 112-118 in the control room -- me?  not so much.  We had large boxes of the E-A-R [squishy little yellow] earplugs so everyone else in the control room wasn't going to get injured.  I also had a set of 28db "gunshot protectors" [the ones they use at target ranges] for me and the assistant.  The "gunshot protectors" are great in that application as they're easy to get on and off your head when you need to communicate with the guitar player [and can be conveniently stored on your thigh].

I had a session with a drummer once and he wanted this as well. But hey, it gets the art done.

Seriously though, ear-bleeding levels aren't justifiable. Ear protection will always be a must!

Peace
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