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#395633 - 07/30/13 11:45 PM What is special about "Studio Monitors"?
snazzed Offline
local

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 201
Subject says it all really. I'm getting into Voice Over acting and I'm planning to build a Home Studio in my Garage... once I've proven I can make money doing it.

Of course I'm an audio nut and already have an Axiom HT system but everyone in recording has "Studio Monitors". What is so special about them and why wouldn't I go with my favourite speaker company for recording?

Thanks
Snazzed
_________________________
M22, VP150, QS8 <--all v2
Sub: Outlaw LFM1-Plus
Denon AVR1910, Panasonic Plasma 50" S2

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#395637 - 07/31/13 01:36 AM Re: What is special about "Studio Monitors"? [Re: snazzed]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10395
Little if anything is "special" about them. What's generally wanted is an accurate speaker(although a mediocre speaker to match what consumers might be using is sometimes employed) that fits the space available in the studio. A much higher proportion of them(compared with "home" speakers)are self-powered. But an accurate speaker is an accurate speaker, and the M22s can serve very well.
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#395640 - 07/31/13 09:16 AM Re: What is special about "Studio Monitors"? [Re: snazzed]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10904
Loc: Central NH
I have a sound booth here for voice over actors and the certain number of cheapo clients that think "Frank in the mail room should do it, he has a real deep voice!". I've also had singers, though there's not enough room in there for any accompanying instrument except a harmonica or kazoo.

I don't disagree with JohnK in theory, but would like to offer a little contrast.

I assume you'll be doing your own editing and processing? I would start with a good set of headphones. There's really not a lot of argument in how the 'phones will allow you to hear detail easier than speakers. Depending upon the isolation you have from the rest of the world, it can also help get you past the Harley Davidson going by outside or the kids getting tired of hearing your voice repeating the same phrases over and over as you edit for plosives or sibilance.

I DO use powered "monitors" (Mackie 824s) for a few reasons:

- They don't require a separate amp or receiver and there's never an issue of "inappropriate settings" changing the sound

- They include proximity settings which can counteract the speakers sitting closer to walls or corners and having a higher bass output due to the boundary effect. Yes, this is contrary to the point I just made

- My Mackies have deeper bass extensions than M22s, M3s or M2s. While at first glance that seems superfluous as being deeper than vocal range, you still need to hear everything to ensure that there isn't a level of rumble under your voice. In other words, though the M22s are known to be flat, you really would have to combine them with a sub and therefore deal with all the bass management stuff and sub locations, etc. By time you buy that sub and receiver, you're into the same price range as a good pair of "monitors". Easier to have a bookshelf-sized speaker with a capability to be flat to 40Hz...or, as mentioned above, headphones.

- Even if you DID set up M22s and a sub and a receiver in such a way that you feel 100% confident that they represent the recording...not more nor less.... there is still something to be said for using what's often considered a standard when you're in business and expected to have a level of professionalism.

My computer video monitors are calibrated. If a client gets the final image and says "it looks a little red", I can ask them (nicely) if their monitor is calibrated accurate, because mine is. Now, that's not to say that I can't reduce the red if it makes the client happy. But they now understand that what was done here was done with professional, calibrated equipment, and maybe that $60 store brand monitor isn't the better reference.

In other words, you're going to be charging money and understood to be the professional here. When your clients play back your VOs on their computer speakers, or their Bose Wave Radio or in their car and think you've got a bit too much "Announcer Bass" or it sounds a bit thin, don't you really want to tell them that the editing was monitored with "XX Brand" of Studio Monitor or "XX Studio Headphones"?

Correct or not, perception matters.

I love my Axiom speakers and the Axiom company. But you can have my Mackies when you pry them from my cold....oh, you know the rest.

Hey, look everyone! I think I made my first helpful post of 2013!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#395641 - 07/31/13 09:56 AM Re: What is special about "Studio Monitors"? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4477
Loc: Marion, IA
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Hey, look everyone! I think I made my first helpful post of 2013!


Yay! Only took until day 212 of the year, 58% of the way into the year. Pick up the pace just a little and you might have another one yet by year's end. grin

On another related note, I had no idea after all of these years that you had an audio studio like that. I always knew you as Mr. Photographer (haven't seen much from you lately on that either, but I'm already at attempt #2 to derail a thread that I didn't mean to derail).
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http://ht.buol.us
M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers

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#395642 - 07/31/13 10:45 AM Re: What is special about "Studio Monitors"? [Re: snazzed]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4079
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: snazzed
Subject says it all really. I'm getting into Voice Over acting and I'm planning to build a Home Studio in my Garage... once I've proven I can make money doing it.

Of course I'm an audio nut and already have an Axiom HT system but everyone in recording has "Studio Monitors". What is so special about them and why wouldn't I go with my favourite speaker company for recording?

Thanks
Snazzed


The main differences is studio monitors should be voiced differently than regular speakers because they are for near field listening. This is done in the crossover. Professional studio monitors are for the most part self-powered (but you can get passive versions). Good studio monitors will also have a treble shelving switch to accommodate for different applications.

So there can be quite a bit of difference between the two.
_________________________
I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#395659 - 07/31/13 07:39 PM Re: What is special about "Studio Monitors"? [Re: snazzed]
Hellcommute Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/23/12
Posts: 148
+1 to what Mark says.

It is important to note that once you get serious about audio in a business sense, professional studio monitors are the way to go. A huge improvement they have over passive speakers with a receiver/amp is that they are already powered and that part of the signal chain is omitted. It is not only solving a reliability issue for the hardware, but for the process itself and the ability to rule out strange issues in the process.

It should be noted as JohnK mentioned, that usually 2 sets of "monitors" are used as a stink check. The guys I have talked with usually go with Mackie for the A speaker and Yamaha for the B. Basically a good one and a meh one. Different brands are a good idea to see if the mix plays well across a variety of loudspeakers.

If you are into this kind of stuff then "Gearslutz" forum is for you. http://www.gearslutz.com/board/

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#395662 - 07/31/13 08:18 PM Re: What is special about "Studio Monitors"? [Re: snazzed]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10904
Loc: Central NH
Another point that I missed this morning is the pro connections...i.e., XLR.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#395663 - 07/31/13 08:39 PM Re: What is special about "Studio Monitors"? [Re: snazzed]
whippersnapper Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 92
Loc: Montana
Another point that maybe didn't get emphasized enough is that studio monitors are generally designed for near field monitoring, as mentioned by BlueJays above. They are intended to be as accurate as possible when listened to in the sweet spot of an equilateral triangle from a very close position. They are often designed as mirror images of each other. The intent is that, since room reflections are difficult to control, you want to be so close that those reflections become insignificant and all you are hearing is only and exactly what's being recorded.

Most home speakers, OTOH, are designed to include the sound of the room in their character. They are intended to sound "warm" or "sweet" or "bright" or "clean" or some such. Using such speakers to mix music will often lead to surprising results when a mix that sounds "just right" on them is played on something else somewhere else.
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Music is the best -- FZ

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#395666 - 07/31/13 09:09 PM Re: What is special about "Studio Monitors"? [Re: whippersnapper]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4079
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: whippersnapper
Another point that maybe didn't get emphasized enough is that studio monitors are generally designed for near field monitoring, as mentioned by BlueJays above. They are intended to be as accurate as possible when listened to in the sweet spot of an equilateral triangle from a very close position. They are often designed as mirror images of each other. The intent is that, since room reflections are difficult to control, you want to be so close that those reflections become insignificant and all you are hearing is only and exactly what's being recorded.

Most home speakers, OTOH, are designed to include the sound of the room in their character. They are intended to sound "warm" or "sweet" or "bright" or "clean" or some such. Using such speakers to mix music will often lead to surprising results when a mix that sounds "just right" on them is played on something else somewhere else.


Studio monitors also use special waveguides to control dispersion, the "sweet spot". You also see a lot more front ported studio monitors than what you see with bookshelf speakers which are usually rear ported. Bass coupling from the rear port is not ideal IMO if your mixing.
_________________________
I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#395669 - 07/31/13 09:41 PM Re: What is special about "Studio Monitors"? [Re: snazzed]
snazzed Offline
local

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 201
Is there anything that Axiom customers don't know?

Thanks for all the info! I'll stick with my Studio Headphones until I get to building a booth.

Thanks guys!
Snazzed
_________________________
M22, VP150, QS8 <--all v2
Sub: Outlaw LFM1-Plus
Denon AVR1910, Panasonic Plasma 50" S2

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