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Author Topic: The present and future of monitoring  (Read 20360 times)

ted nightshade

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2005, 11:56:09 am »

I agree that monitoring is a big, big issue! Critical!

But- I am inclined to believe that a lot of stuff sounds awful today just because of all the processing. Every process and every processor degrades the sound, no matter the quality.

A lot of processing is done for geeky engineer reasons that do not serve the music. Most of it is unnecessary.

Mastering engineers are EQing stuff that's already been EQ'd to try to get it back to where it might have been if it had just been tracked flat and well.

In my experience, really well tracked unprocessed stuff translates extremely well, and processing is very, very tricky to get to translate.
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seriousfun

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2005, 05:52:15 pm »

Rader Ranch wrote on Mon, 10 January 2005 15:48

i've tried to critically listen to CD's to get used to Dolby certified dub stages....trust me, that's the last thing you want.

seriousfun wrote on Mon, 10 January 2005 14:43

Don't you think it's funny that the film and video industry has trade organizations that specify requirements for (video and projection) monitoring, and every facility pretty much adheres to them? Yet, for the better part of a century, the music industry has let engineers work at every stage of the process with their choice of monitors, most of which lack some obvious range of frequencies, dynamics.

Should we license audio facilities, requiring that their monitor systems at least have the frequency and dynamic response of their acquisition and deliver systems? Will natural selection lead the surviving recording studios to this conclusion?




...scott rader



Scott, I guess I wasn't clear...

I was talking about video monitoring, not audio monitors in video facilities.

But I wasn't really talking about the video monitors themselves, but the industry standards, the accepted practice, that was agreed to by and tremendously benefits the film/video industry.

Using NS-10s for serious work, for example, would be equivalent for a broadcast engineer judging the picture that was going to the transmitter using a consumer TV that didn't do blue very well - he knew it was there but just couldn't see it, he could see how the blue was appearing by the way the reds were modulated...doesn't that, objectively, sound a little silly?

My point is that goal number one should be that all monitoring should be done on a monitor system which matches the range of acquisition and delivery. Meaning, since our microphones/recording systems can record from 20 Hz to 20k Hz, and our delivery systems (CD) can get them to consumer playback systems, the first and foremost goal should be to have a monitor system (speaker system) that plays accurately from 20 Hz to 20k Hz.
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zetterstroem

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2005, 07:22:03 pm »

"But- I am inclined to believe that a lot of stuff sounds awful today just because of all the processing. Every process and every processor degrades the sound, no matter the quality."

yeah..... and if you can't hear what you're doing you make the wrong choices!!

"I agree with what you are saying, but the price but the coast of a monitoring system where one can be really certain of what's been monitored is imo a whole bunch higher even than $10,000. To me highend options start around $20,000 and go easely till $80,000"

i don't agree entirely.... of course really high end stuff is expensive but you can really get great sounding speakers for less.

the problem is that prices is exponentially proportional (whoa.. big words) with quality! i think the good stuff is avialble for $2000 (excl. amps) if you know where to look (and maybe give a hand yourself) then you can optimize from there with better crossover components/wires and such (tweaking is essntial).

but to get us back on track....

the object of this topic/post was to question the current trend in speakers... integrated amps Sad /aludomes'n'ribbons  Mad /passive radiators Embarassed and so on.

what should we do.... can we do anything?
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Daniel_Dettwiler

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2005, 07:35:44 pm »

Quote:

i don't agree entirely.... of course really high end stuff is expensive but you can really get great sounding speakers for less.



Of course. I should have specified more presicely, I think that if you are looking for a extreemly acourate mid- / farfield monitoring system, that can reproduce a linear frequency response from about 15 hz to 25 khz or greater and deliver all dynamics to reproduce acuratly even the dynamic of a big orchestra without any distortion in the highfrequency domain and that has a superior impulsresponse, also in the bassdomain, then I believe my prices I wrote for highend systems are correct.  

But certainly for a nearfield system the price is a lot more down, and if you don't need a high maximum spl then certainly one can find great speaker for less money.

Daniel Dettwiler
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zetterstroem

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2005, 07:43:06 pm »

dd

i agree...
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ammitsboel

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2005, 07:59:21 pm »

Daniel_Dettwiler wrote on Wed, 12 January 2005 00:35

I think that if you are looking for a extreemly acourate mid- / farfield monitoring system, that can reproduce a linear frequency response from about 15 hz to 25 khz or greater and deliver all dynamics to reproduce acuratly even the dynamic of a big orchestra without any distortion in the highfrequency domain and that has a superior impulsresponse, also in the bassdomain, then I believe my prices I wrote for highend systems are correct.


Well, this i believe is where people fall of the track most of the time when they are auditioning monitors.

...how do you determine these facts? I know that some of them can be measured but is all the methods of measurement ok for audio(program material)? And do people just believe that the rest of the speaker will take care of itself as long as these parameters is ok?

What I've learned is that if you are in doubt don't trust the data!

Best Regards
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Daniel_Dettwiler

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2005, 05:41:59 pm »

Quote:

Well, this i believe is where people fall of the track most of the time when they are auditioning monitors.

...how do you determine these facts? I know that some of them can be measured but is all the methods of measurement ok for audio(program material)? And do people just believe that the rest of the speaker will take care of itself as long as these parameters is ok?

What I've learned is that if you are in doubt don't trust the data!

Best Regards


Not sure if I understand entirely what you mean (my english is limited)

I am not at all looking to any technical details. I have seen speakers with near identical frequency response, that soundet totally different.

I think that with my expirience and hearing system I am absolutely capable to judge any monitor. The deph of field information is extremly important to me, and most speakers can not deliver this information consistent over the whole frequency response correctly. Mostly the deeper the frequencies, the more colapses the depth of field and image. Also over the freq. respons where the crossover takes part, the image collapses often.

Also I look how good a Singer it self become manifested in the phantom middle. Do I hear it as there was a 3rd speaker in the middle, of is it smeared, and not to be located as one point...

Most tweeters distore very hight frequencies just a little. I am very allergic to this.

Are those qulities still there when I listen loud, and are they all still there when I am listen very soft is also important to me.

Daniel Dettwiler
www.ideeundklang.com
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ammitsboel

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2005, 06:10:58 pm »

Daniel_Dettwiler wrote on Wed, 12 January 2005 22:41


Not sure if I understand entirely what you mean (my english is limited)

I am not at all looking to any technical details. I have seen speakers with near identical frequency response, that soundet totally different.

I think that with my expirience and hearing system I am absolutely capable to judge any monitor. The deph of field information is extremly important to me, and most speakers can not deliver this information consistent over the whole frequency response correctly. Mostly the deeper the frequencies, the more colapses the depth of field and image. Also over the freq. respons where the crossover takes part, the image collapses often.

Also I look how good a Singer it self become manifested in the phantom middle. Do I hear it as there was a 3rd speaker in the middle, of is it smeared, and not to be located as one point...

Most tweeters distore very hight frequencies just a little. I am very allergic to this.

Are those qulities still there when I listen loud, and are they all still there when I am listen very soft is also important to me.


You have some good points there, but still i think that they are too specific.

At some point we are all "allergic" to some specific things, but i believe that it's not a good thing to reject a speaker on a too specific ground, because what if this speaker has more quality on the other parameters than the speaker without this specific "fault".

I think that in general people listen approx. the same way, but what i think is the reason why so many engineers choose "bad monitors" lies in their disability to listen to a speaker in a wholeness instead of comparing specific and basically unimportant parameters.

What makes music is not so much how the Lows, Mids or Highs sound, what makes music is how it all plays together.

And it scares me every day that there are recording and mixing engineers that relies on speakers that are unable of reproducing the beauty of the music people with good systems hear...
so how do the engineers then make truly good and musical mixes if they can't hear it?  

Best Regards

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Daniel_Dettwiler

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2005, 07:07:27 pm »

Quote:

You have some good points there, but still i think that they are too specific.

At some point we are all "allergic" to some specific things, but i believe that it's not a good thing to reject a speaker on a too specific ground, because what if this speaker has more quality on the other parameters than the speaker without this specific "fault".

I think that in general people listen approx. the same way, but what i think is the reason why so many engineers choose "bad monitors" lies in their disability to listen to a speaker in a wholeness instead of comparing specific and basically unimportant parameters.

What makes music is not so much how the Lows, Mids or Highs sound, what makes music is how it all plays together.

And it scares me every day that there are recording and mixing engineers that relies on speakers that are unable of reproducing the beauty of the music people with good systems hear...
so how do the engineers then make truly good and musical mixes if they can't hear it?


I totally agree with you entirely. Basically all that is important to me is, as you say it, how it all plays together, how it can reproduce the beatuy of music.  Will I hear a group of musicans, feel that they had pleasure while playing, or do I just hear some blurred tones trying to be something...

However if I find a speaker, that I totaly forget that I am sitting between two speakers and where I would not think, that the sound is coming from only the two speakers  when I close my eyes, then mostly that speaker is superior in all the things I wrote in my last post. Or in other words, if I can not close my eyes and enjoy to a music performance, mostly several of the points mentioned are not good in that speaker.

Daniel
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Roland Storch

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2005, 04:26:35 am »

ammitsboel wrote on Wed, 12 January 2005 23:10


I think that in general people listen approx. the same way, but what i think is the reason why so many engineers choose "bad monitors" lies in their disability to listen to a speaker in a wholeness instead of comparing specific and basically unimportant parameters.




I think the reason why many engineers choose "bad monitors" are:
1. They never heard a real good ones.
2. Some believe bad monitors are good for mixing and think, if I can make a mix sound good on a bad monitor it will sound better on better speakers (a often heard argumentation from NS-10 users).
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Roland Storch

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2005, 04:45:19 am »

Back to the first question, the presence and the future of monitoring.

A lot here agree that there are many consumer loudspeakers having a better performance than so called pro monitors at similar price level.

What is the reason for this?
Is it that the manufacturer of pro monitors have the wrong approach (like looking too much for so called pro features like filters, wave guides, ...)
Or is it really that we pro audio guys do not demand good sounding monitors and prefer good looking measurments?

Intersting is: Manufacturer with really good pro monitors are often successful in the high end consumer market as well (PMC, B&W, Quad, Dunlavy, Harbeth).

(this also is true for electronic components: Daniel Weiss - Medea, EAR, Balanced Audio Technology, EMM Labs-Meitner, Audio Research, dCS, ....)
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Level

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2005, 04:48:02 am »

I still have a major problem with folks "thinking" the NS10 is a "bad speaker" They simply are not professional audio engineers and probabaly the cause of the "problems" we have of late.

It has a "shit load" of good going for it in many ways.

Too much misinformation out there actually.

1. It is dynamically accurate from 70hz to 16K from 50dB to 100dB

2. It is not as ragged in response as people make it out to be.

(real curve is in attachment)

3. If you hate the speaker, your mix is screwed up and you need to get busy and work to make it right.

I have had enough of the NS10 bashing. All you are doing is exposing you need NOT to be in this business.

If it is that bad, then the total art as we know is skewed so far as to no one at all is close and this is pure bullshit to think that.

Mixes got worse when folks abandoned them. Bass thin and pain, bring on more, I can use a huge curve and get you back someway or somehow...my Clients feel I am doing it right..and no, I don't use them but I did in mixing for 11 years and NEVER had a complaint.

Someone needs to get over themselves. NS10's are damn good tools and are not nasty, the mixes that sounded nasty on them were nasty..big time. If you cannot get them sounding good, perhaps you are totally in the wrong field and I dare say, responsible for some of the bullshit we have to put up with as art.

I am a nice guy and I am humble. I do feel certain people need to be horse whipped to wake up and smell the fresh cut grass.

You folks should really get a'hold of this post, if you don't, you are more of the problem than any solution. I do mean it.

I can't sit here and tell you any different. Learn!

Enough of the lies and foolishness.

If it sounds bad on NS10's...brother, it is bad, "period".

Get over yourself and learn. Please, for the arts sake.
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Roland Storch

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2005, 05:38:51 am »

Did i push the wrong buttom?

Sorry, i should not have mentioned the NS-10. They are really good tools - and i was able to do good mixes with them in different studios.

Sorry, I don?t want to change this thread in another NS-10 battle.

The question may be changed a little regarding the future of monitoring.
Are the manufacturers able to offer new monitors which are good tools and show you a nasty sound if the mix is nasty but also all the beauty of the music if the mix is great?  Imagine a big classical orchestra performing great in a great hall.
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seriousfun

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2005, 02:11:50 pm »

Level wrote on Thu, 13 January 2005 01:48

...

Someone needs to get over themselves...I am a nice guy and I am humble. I do feel certain people need to be horse whipped to wake up and smell the fresh cut grass.

You folks should really get a'hold of this post, if you don't, you are more of the problem than any solution. I do mean it.

...


Well, This grumpy messsage sounds like you got up on the wrong side of the bed today, and this contradicts your experience and contribution to the industry.

Any reasonable person has to admit that there is a 50/50 split in this industry over NS-10s, and that this discussion sometimes cuts across logic, science, and asthetics. This issue is also in no way off-topic to the original poster's question.

*****************

Chasing the moving target of lowest-common-denominator consumer playback (audio/video/whatever) can be a losing game unless it is restricted to the QC stage, and even then the industry should have some common practice. This is where Auratones, NS-10s, boomboxes, car stereos, etc., are useful and essential, but IMO are not acceptable for production.

I agree that a speaker system for mastering purposes or critical exhibition probably has to cost a lot of money (this is obviously a relative term). A production system that from the realities of economics probably won't cost US$20k still can play reasonably flat from 20-20k Hz with 85 dB SPL + 20 dB of headroom, yet (again to agree with the OP) most music production is done with speakers that are either like NS-10s but not NS-10s, like Augsbergers but not Augsbergers, like 4311s but not...yet they still don't fill the basic need.

In an industry that is in a perpetual transition stage, we are in a particularly wild transision stage. We can acquire and deliver sounds with much more accuracy (and less fighting with noise and distortion) than ever before, yet we have to deliver the same stuff for both lower-fidelity playback than ever before in our lifetimes (bad webstreaming), higher-fidelity (SA-CD, etc.) and have it be effective for every listener. Speakers have to be respected, and I agree that they have been ignored/misusterstood/poorly-chosen.

I don't know that, for critical audio production work, we can choose a speaker for its beauty, but I know we must choose it to agree with our version of the truth.

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Glenn Bucci

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Re: The present and future of monitoring
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2005, 04:09:37 pm »

Just like mic pre's, eq and compression units, all speaker company's have a color and personality of their own. So you choose the one that sounds best to your ears which is subjective of course. Once you are used to them, you can make a good determination on how they will sound in boom boxes, and high end speakers.  I heard the MAckie's and I preferred the Tannoy's. Why, I just liked the what I heard a little more. There is no right or wrong answer.
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