join

The Great White Studio Monitoring Conspiracy

Brandon Drury —  January 16, 2012 — Leave a comment

Studio-Monitoring-Conspiracy

Just for the record, you don’t hear Paul999 mention NOT needing a piece of gear too often. His console, preamp collection, hardware collection, mics, and outboard effects rival many big time studios. What Paul999 has going for him is he ditches any audio recording tool that doesn’t do the job. That means he’s skeptical of toys that are expensive, but hangs on to the ones that are very special to him. Like most of us, he started out with a meager setup using gear from Presonus, Behringer, and M-Audio.

It’s not that common for those who write about high end recording equipment to actually use his ears.

So check out Paul999′s mega blog:The Studio Monitor Conspiracy!

—-

Paul999 is also a hell of a bass player!  Keep an eye out for his video documentary from beginning to end of him tracking a rock tune.

Brandon

Saved Comments


doug hazelrigg – 01-17-2012, 11:11 AM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

The “purist” in me tends to look askance at any setup that uses ARC, because it doesn’t actually fix the problem (the problem being time-domain issues, instead of frequency issues). However, I’ve heard great mixes done of those sorts of setups, so maybe I need to rethink that. My thinking is that “whatever works” is the right way to approach this subject — if he gets better mixes using a HiFi, then more power to him.

Three Cee’s Avatar
Three Cee – 01-17-2012, 04:16 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

This is a great blog. I asked myself the very same questions. The telling issue is that even with the best studio monitors the Pros say that they have to learn the monitors to get good mixes. I also have nearfields and midfields. I use Stereo Speakers to check my mixes and came to the same conclusion. I think the key is to know the speakers and being able to interpret what they are telling you about the mix. The people listening to your mixes will listen on a variety of speakers in a variety of rooms. As long as you stay away from the major flaws a mix should translate well. Over time I have learned what to do to make the speakers I use give the mix an acceptable quality for all systems.

cporro’s Avatar
cporro – 01-17-2012, 04:23 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

it sure took me a while. but i’m coming over to “ear are gear”. maybe i’ll do a post on that. you know andy wallace is going to kill it on just about anything. even your cheapo pro-sumer stuff.

i’d like to make a motion for people to stop spending as much time looking, drooling, and obsessing over gear. that time is better spent logging the ear-hours mixing.

the ear-brain is pretty awesome. it can correct for so-so rooms, so-so monitors.

my take on ARC is it can’t be used to stop your room from ringing. you can eq out some 100hz and the ring will be less prevalent. but so will any quick 100hz sound….like your kick. oops. so it’s best for fine tuning once the room is treated.

paul999′s Avatar
paul999 – 01-17-2012, 05:50 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

Wow!. I’ve been overwhelmed by the responses by this blog. I appreciate the props Brandon.

IMF OnSite Recording’s Avatar
IMF OnSite Recording – 01-19-2012, 10:36 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

You’ve brought good insight to this phenomenon, Paul, as I have debated dishing out $1000 or more on a pair of monitors. I am just so used to my Sony ss500′s that I tend to know when it’s the speaker exaggerating something or if its the track itself that needs an EQ tweak. I really feel like I would have to reteach my ears if I was buying a new pair of monitors. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Nanowire’s Avatar
Nanowire – 01-20-2012, 01:59 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

Thanks for pointing to the blog. I have been thinking about replacing my Audix HRM2s with something that would be a more known brand. Now it looks like I will hang on to them.

dudermn’s Avatar
dudermn – 01-21-2012, 07:01 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

I think I made a few posts arguing the use of studio monitors….especially that embarrassing video of my studio . But good article, can’t wait to see his bass chops.

Ken J’s Avatar
Ken J – 01-23-2012, 04:36 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

I was not impressed with the article. Clearly the article is base on self opinion and not true facts. I also found that Paul uses the pick and chose method from known facts twisted to suit his needs. Very creative writing but there are many unproven facts to the article. I’ll stick to quality monitors, proper room design and room treatments. 30 years as a professional audio engineer has taught me different then what Paul has stated.

Stan_Halen’s Avatar
Stan_Halen – 01-23-2012, 04:58 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

And before Columbus, everyone thought the world was flat!

Stan_Halen’s Avatar
Stan_Halen – 01-23-2012, 05:06 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

It looks like you are brand new to this Forum, Ken J. Despite your qualifications, if you are going to walk through the proverbial front door and cut Paul at the knees, why don’t you provide a thoughtful rebuttal to what you disagree with? Paul is a legend on this Forum, and VERY well-respected! This Forum is dedicated mainly to the Home Recording community, and I think Paul was trying to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking rather than “by the manual” for those of us that cannot afford top shelf equipment and million-dollar soundproofed studios.

IMF OnSite Recording’s Avatar
IMF OnSite Recording – 01-23-2012, 05:27 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

Bottom line is you need to not have CRAP speakers and you need to know them… otherwise you might as well be putting a kids puzzle together in the pitch dark.

venuestudio’s Avatar
venuestudio – 01-23-2012, 06:17 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

Home speakers, pro monitors, they are all built to be accurate. Some designs do a better job than others but they are all purpose built to sound good at a price point that makes money. There is little difference between the Focal systems built for home and the ones for studios other than an on board amp in the studio version. The NS10s were a good design. Their problem was the flat response was unpopular in home audio circles. But engineers found that the flat response meant their mixes translated to more systems outside the studio and so they found their home on console bridges. Abbey Roads uses B&W 800D home speakers for mixing and mastering. Duntech Sovereigns are well heeled home speakers that are revered by mastering houses. Home speakers are used more often in the studio than studio monitors are used in the home. So it’s not about home speakers verses studio monitors, it is about accuracy and the ability to translate. The name of the game is trust. If you can’t trust what you are hearing, your screwed. People spend their hard earned money on good monitors, whatever they may be, so they don’t have to guess.

Ken J’s Avatar
Ken J – 01-23-2012, 07:27 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

Quote Originally Posted by Stan_Halen View Post
It looks like you are brand new to this Forum, Ken J. Despite your qualifications, if you are going to walk through the proverbial front door and cut Paul at the knees, why don’t you provide a thoughtful rebuttal to what you disagree with? Paul is a legend on this Forum, and VERY well-respected! This Forum is dedicated mainly to the Home Recording community, and I think Paul was trying to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking rather than “by the manual” for those of us that cannot afford top shelf equipment and million-dollar soundproofed studios.
Well Stan, I may just take you up on your idea to do a formal rebuttal. I’m also not cutting on Paul. His opinion is valued as much as the next person. I just disagree. My education and experience tells me different. Just my opinion as the article was his. I fully understand that the forum is dedicated to the home studio user. In fact my wife and I recently move into a new home where I am planning a home studio where I can do some work from. I loved my old home studio because of the size. This one will be about 1/3 of the size. It will be somewhere in the neighborhood of about 9X16 feet. It’s not going to have all the bells and whistles of a downtown pro studio but will fit with what I need and want to do.

Actually you don’t need a million dollar studio to get reasonable to professional results. I have worked with many home studio owners who using budget gear get great results. You actually can’t tell that it was done in someone’s basement. Today’s gear is a far cry better then what was as little as five years ago and prices have not gone up that much on the lower budget gear. However the quality has vastly improved. You can get great results out of what many pros would call junk gear. I recently posted a song called Crystal Cave for review in the bashing area. The mix down was done outside the box on a Behringer MX9000 mixer using M-Audio BX8 monitors in an acoustically corrected room of my own design. My old home studio. The audio interface was a Motu 24i/o and sequenced in Cubase SL1. Talk about an old version of Cubase LOL! As you can see the gear used was what we would say is not top of the line but is reasonable for a home studio. It’s not always the gear that makes a song sound good. It’s the room, your monitor chain, and most important, how you tweak that gear. Remember if you can’t hear the problem, you can’t fix it.

Ken J

Ken J’s Avatar
Ken J – 01-23-2012, 07:39 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

Quote Originally Posted by Stan_Halen View Post
And before Columbus, everyone thought the world was flat!
That would be everyone in the “known civilized world” of Europe and Asia. Many of us Native Americans knew different. Our brothers the Mayans had that one figured out long before Columbus busted his GPS and crashed into our lands. There went the neighborhood.

Stan_Halen’s Avatar
Stan_Halen – 01-23-2012, 07:59 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

Great, let me start over. Nice to meet you Ken J. I kind of went into guard-dog mode a little while ago. I can see that you have a lot to bring to the Forum, and have your reasons for your opinions. Thanks for sharing your home studio adventures, this is already encouraging information for me, as I’m sure it is for others.

You may be interested in this thread regarding the Maya: the end of the world

brandondrury’s Avatar
brandondrury – 01-24-2012, 12:58 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

i’d like to make a motion for people to stop spending as much time looking, drooling, and obsessing over gear. that time is better spent logging the ear-hours mixing.
I love the concept. The only problem I’ve found is when I start actually trusting my monitoring is when I get in trouble. The second I feel I don’t need to listen to reference material is the second I NEED to listen to reference material.

After a week of staring at RTA graphs that I’m struggling to find meaning in, I’m starting to believe that my listening tolerance is gonna swing by LARGE amounts 3 hours later. I had a band working me HARD on a mix. For whatever reason, it didn’t occur to me to reference the mix with other tunes. By the end of that 10 hours it wasn’t even me mixing any more. I’m not sure who it was.

Anyway, I’m thinking that constantly referencing material, as often as every 5 minutes is the solution for me.

I think maybe the implication is flat monitoring should mean you never need to reference another mix again. I don’t think that’s gonna happen. The flat nature of high end monitors (in theory) also means you can get away with being a little bright on them, for example, and they won’t complain much or at all. Play that mix on a bright stereo and you have a problem.

I cranked my sub way up and that seems to be helping. I’m noticing that when I reference most mixes I like aren’t giving much 50Hz to the kick. Most of the energy is closer to 100Hz. I wasn’t hearing that when Room EQ Wizard told me I have very flat response under 100Hz. Turning the damn thing up has improved considerably.

Ken J’s Avatar
Ken J – 01-24-2012, 05:12 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

Quote Originally Posted by Stan_Halen View Post
Great, let me start over. Nice to meet you Ken J. I kind of went into guard-dog mode a little while ago. I can see that you have a lot to bring to the Forum, and have your reasons for your opinions. Thanks for sharing your home studio adventures, this is already encouraging information for me, as I’m sure it is for others.

You may be interested in this thread regarding the Maya: the end of the world
Well Stan, the party is at my place for the end of the Mayan calendar. The theme will be “Holy Crap! The World Is Over” or Holy Crap! We Missed The End Of The World.” Depending on the events that take place. Any way it goes, bring your own lawn chair. Plan on staying the entire weekend. I’m not going to let something like the end of the world screw up a weekend party. December 21, 2012 is a Friday!

Stan_Halen’s Avatar
Stan_Halen – 01-24-2012, 05:46 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

Sounds like a plan! Maybe call it Mayapalooza?

Huub’s Avatar
Huub – 01-26-2012, 04:20 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

I think paul999 has a nice set of teeth. Did he ever really play in a movie ? Can he bite of my leg ?
No serious, what a bunch of crap. Buying expensive preamps and mics without caring about how they really sound.
When I bought my Event Opals it was like ” oops, that’s what all those big guys are hearing all the time!”
I kept my KRK’s to function as CRAP speakers.

yoseftux’s Avatar
yoseftux – 01-29-2012, 09:49 PM
Report Post
Edit
Reply

You’ve got the old school guys in Tweak’s old house talking – I say let em laugh.
They do say one thing that I think is true, that some of the posters are missing the point. Paul spent years training his ears, and got to the point where he could break the rules. The point is you have to know the rules you’re breaking before you can break them intelligently, and that there’s no substitute for an experienced ear.

 

Brandon Drury

Posts Twitter Facebook Google+

Brandon Drury quit counting at 1,200 recorded songs in his busy home recording studio. He is the creator of RecordingReview.com and is the author of the Killer Home Recording series.
join

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation.

Leave a Reply