Should I get a set of basic speakers with a subwoofer, or a cheap pair of monitors?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by Tag4rce7, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Tag4rce7

    Tag4rce7 Noisemaker

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    Hi!

    I have a question to ask you guys, but before that, let me give you the context:

    I am a beginner bedroom producer (I'm producing for a little less than a year.) And at the moment I make my music using a pair of good regular headphones. They are not "monitoring" headphones but it's not really a problem for me because I'm not good enough yet to send my music to any label or stuff like that.

    **But**, I'm really tired of headphones. I quickly get hear fatigue, and I can't produce as much as I would like to without damaging my ears.

    So, since Christmas is pretty near from now, I told myself that it would be great to buy a pair of "cheap" speakers (My budget is around 180$)

    So now here's my question: Should I get a pair of "normal" speakers with a sub-woofer. Or really cheap monitors like the [Mackie CR](
    ) or the [M-Audio AV42](

    I know that in either case I'm going to need to change them at some points. But for the moment, as a beginner, I don't feel like spending 650$ bucks in a pair of Rokkits or Yamahas.

    Thanks for your answers, and sorry for the long message.
    Have fun with your music friends :)

    PS: Sorry for eventual bad English. I'm French :D
     
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  3. focusrite

    focusrite Platinum Record

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    What genre / style are you producing?
     
  4. Tag4rce7

    Tag4rce7 Noisemaker

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    Bassy EDM (Like trap or bass house)
     
  5. focusrite

    focusrite Platinum Record

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    Your ears are getting tired from straining to hear the bass. Get a subpac and sonar works headphone calibration. You won't need to have your heaphones on max anymore :boombox:
     
  6. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    Get decent audio interface and decent monitors.

    edit: But rather save money in order to buy good gear that you will stick with. It's usually not what you have/use/own, but how well you know your monitors. If you have good monitors from the start, and you stick with them, the better your mixes will become.
    Many people mix on the (IMHO) shitty and horribly nasally sounding NS10s, but if you know them you know them (after years and years of using them).

    Oh, and also get your room fixed acoustically.

    (I have Munro Sonic The Egg 150)
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
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  7. donniekq

    donniekq Member

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    Don't buy anything at the moment. Save up a little more and buy a decent pair, as Baxter said. Decent interface + decent monitors (USED) > crap ones (NEW) in my book. Of course, consult someone you know who knows about the stuff if you decide to buy used gear.
    As for the cheap 2.1 systems... The budget you've got is maybe 1/3 the money I'd ever consider paying for a sub only - it's so not worth it. There's no way you could do anything related to music with them, except maybe hear how your mix would sound on a system like that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  8. mlb4sheaz

    mlb4sheaz Ultrasonic

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  9. rickbarratt

    rickbarratt Producer

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    buy crap and you'll buy multiple times
    save up buy something actually good. and it will last you.
     
  10. Enoch007

    Enoch007 Kapellmeister

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    Look, it's a damn fact it's not the speaker that determines how good of a mix you dish out. Yes, sub end is something that cannot properly be monitored unless you have a system that can accurately reproduce those frequencies. But you will NEVER be able to accurately mix those frequencies unless the room you are monitoring in is acoustically sound. Get your room right first, meaning bass traps, diffusers, mixing position, tuning, clouds, the whole shebang. Then go out and get a pair of speakers you can afford, something that can at least go down to the 1st audible octave since you are primarily producing EDM, and make sure it's a pair you can enjoy listening to for hours on end. Thriller for Gods sakes was mixed 75% on a pair of Auratones, Deadmau5 used Rockits for his 1st major release, Skrillex used Rockits too for awhile. I've seen No Manas using the new JBL line along with a sub and his stuff sounds pretty good. He works in a small bedroom too. But he also has that room treated right... if you listen to anything I've just said, please get your room right first. Cheers!!
     
  11. e-minor

    e-minor Platinum Record

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  12. Dalmation

    Dalmation Kapellmeister

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    2 * leads:

    The Behringer - Truth series are quality & low budget, with good reviews.
    Rokkit - has a new 'mini' series that are quite cheap.
     
  13. donniekq

    donniekq Member

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    But, of course, no one actually treats the room first, unless their budget is way more. Everyone buys monitors and the interface, and realizes what the problem is on their own. It's the same thing with almost all the things concerning sound. You get interested in headphones, you go to a forum, ask around, people tell you not to buy XXXX because they're too bass heavy, and you go and buy the bass heavy ones because you think you will lack bass. Then after a while you sell/gift them and buy new ones. These mistakes do cost a lot, but making them is also a part of the process.
    Being that budget limited will not get your room treated alongside the monitors. Getting monitors is a start, and compared to getting a shitty 2.1 system, it's a great start. And as time goes by you will start noticing how your room affects the sound and in a while you'll get it treated. What's most important is practice - listening and working all you can. If you had all you thought you needed to have to make good music, you would know you don't need that much to make good music.
     
  14. Tag4rce7

    Tag4rce7 Noisemaker

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    Thanks everybody for taking the time to answer.

    Just one more thing: I'm producing bass music, in a... Let's say 3x4 metres room. If I buy monitors. How big should they be? Do I need to considere buying a subwoofer to be able to mix my sub frequencies properly?

    Thanks :)
     
  15. Evorax

    Evorax Rock Star

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    If you're really that commited to your music and you consider it a necessity, then yes! Sorry to get so late on the topic, but yeah.. it's worth it to wait some more time and "train" with what you have now until you get your decent monitoring setup. Believe me that cheap monitors not only are less accurate, but they're also harsh and will get fatiguing really quick. Don't you wanna mix with headaches, don't you?
    So the best bet is to sacrifice yourself for some more time and do what's right. Go for a decent pair when you can afford it. Buying something cheap now would mostly waste your money, especially if you're serious about your music and that you'll going to release the songs exclusively straight out of your room.
    Cheap monitors are suitable mostly for songwritting / brief productions / digital piano needs.

    You should also consider room treatment later on, that would improve your monitoring enviroment and overall accuracy.
     
  16. Tag4rce7

    Tag4rce7 Noisemaker

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    First, Thanks for answer :)
    Yeah I understood all this. You guys were all very clear about this :bleh:
    My only last problem is that I don't know what size of monitors I should look after. I listened to monitor comparison and stuff. The 5 inches speakers all sounds either high-passed, or really muddy in the low mids. And at the same time the 8 inches sounds awesome (especially the Yamahas ones) but my room is small and peoples told me that I could create weird reflection problems.

    I'm really lost right now. I know I should save my money to buy decent speakers. But I have no idea of what speakers I should buy and of how much I should save...
     
  17. Evorax

    Evorax Rock Star

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    Get the Yamaha HS8 and the HS10 subwoofer in case you wanna be full-range. There's some "room control" buttons at the back of the HS8 (in case you won't buy the subwoofer) which allows you to bring down the lows in order to compensate for the standing waves problems that people told you about small rooms or bad placement. I'd go with the sub even on 8" monitors in a small room (with the crossover point on the sub set pretty high), there will be more impact, better representation of the lower freqs, the monitors will have to struggle less on the lows which they can't generate as a sub would anyway and once you set up the crossover point on the sub, the setup will be on point with your needs even in a smaller room.

    Believe me, you'll do fine with the 8". P.S. Highs are smoother and packs less hiss on the HS8 than the old rev HS80M though, so make sure you go with the new version.
     
  18. Pipotron3000

    Pipotron3000 Rock Star

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    I think the "node" of the problem is you can't push sub freqs 2.1 in a small untreated room...and you need money to treat a room.

    So my answer to this "node" :
    -avoid subwoofer, because any ".1" it is going to make things worse to set and listen to in a small untreated room
    -buy second hand, because it is easy to know if a tweeter and a woofer is working or not ;)
    -you think a small 5" woofer cut low end ? Yes, itdo :D But on the other side, you can concentrate on eveything else. Get that kick punch, mids, highs right. And finish (i said FINISH only) your mix on headphones to get the low end/high end balance right.
    You can compose and do most of the mix operations on speakers. And so, your ears are fresh to do speakers/headphones "swaps" for final balance.
    From an old fart : good headphones for final mix touches/balance are better than untreated room...especially with a subwoofer :D

    And about "decent" speakers, your main problem is you are killing your ears by composing and mixing on headphones. So buy any good enough second hand speakers, do most of your music on them, and use your regular headphones as "double check".

    To know witch monitors to buy second hand, check online comparisons from previous years. Or check well known bang for the bucks lines, like Rokit or Fostex.
    Those are just advices. Final decision is up to you ;)
     
  19. dondada

    dondada Producer

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    if you are up to spend about 300 on speakers
    get jbl 305
    test them at your home. for this small of a room they should be enough even in the lower register

    since you are a beginner and don´t know yet what kind of gear you would want
    don´t spend too much on high end gear
    to be precise
    it doesn´t make sense to buy, for example, a big fat rme (or small) since you arn´t too shure what external gear you want
    like fx, guitar pedals, or little synths or drum machines. (i mean how much i/o do you need) how manny speakers, mics)

    most of the gear you would want to buy used anyway

    daw, monitors, room, inerface
    is a normal progression, since by the end you know what you want, and hopefully you apreciate it all ;)
     
  20. donniekq

    donniekq Member

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    My advice would be 5s. Yeah, bigger ones might sound 'better' they would be more pleasing to listen to - they would have more lows, but those lows aren't really room friendly. You'd have to invest a lot more to get 8s to sound precise in a room that small, and you're not buying audiophile speakers to enjoy the listening expeience, your're bying a tool. The problem is you can't listen to the monitors at your space, and the 8s will sound better in the store. But if you brought 5s and 8s to your untreated room, I believe I know what you'd pick.
     
  21. U-Kadian

    U-Kadian Ultrasonic

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    Some advice I can give you is to stay away from the BEHRINGER MS16 (Self Proclaimed) Monitor Speakers... you wouldn't want to use them on your Home PC... Just saying.. any Audio Tech guys wanna go head2head on this one? :rofl:some more advice i can give i will post it here just no time right now.. I'm out..
     
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