What speakers to recording studios use?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by EdNichols, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    I would think that these would have to be very good to reproduce what the artist originally intended. Does anyone know what brands some of them use?
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well yes and no... Studio monitors are veyr flat responsed, and are really made for the perfect sound environments of Recording studios.

    With that said, I also prefer studio type monitors for sound duties even in my home. But good cases can be made, to not use them as well.

    The most inexpensive speakers I have seen in fairly high end recording studios are JBL s38's.


    Best of luck with your search, let us know what you decide to get.
     
  3. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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  4. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

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    Westlake Audio is used in some high-end studios. M&K is popular with movie studio mixing rooms (George Lucas uses this brand as well as B&W).
     
  5. Ray_C

    Ray_C Stunt Coordinator

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    I do a lot of sound design for films, and in just about every recording studio I've been to that handles sound editing/mixing for film, there are at least a pair of Yamaha NS-10's. These have almost no bass response whatsoever, but for editing and mixing dialogue, they are king...again, used mainly for the editing phase for their accuracy. Music sounds like crap through them, but for listening to subtle nuances in effects, they are hard to beat.
     
  6. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I've been in some nice recording studios that use Genelecs that sound great. But as mentioned above many will argue these don't sound great in home environments. I happen to agree with this opinion. Most studio monitors are meant for near-field listening (often being only a couple feet or less from the speakers).
     
  7. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    I've always heard about JBL like John.
     
  8. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    Ray & Seth

    I never thought about the fact that the speakers would have to be very close to the listener based on the layout recording studios. I guess they wouldn't have the same needs as someone who is looking for a home speaker.
     
  9. Ray_C

    Ray_C Stunt Coordinator

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    It depends on what stage of production the particular monitor maybe used for. For mastering, they might be looking to use high-end audiophile speakers. I've seen pics of studios with the huge top-of-the-line B&W Nautilus speakers, whereas others that I've beento have large JBL monitors mounted several feet away. But many times during the earlier stages of production (especially for movie effects), you need to listen to things microscopically, hence the near-field monitors. Many times they have both in the same studio. The final film mixes I've been involded in have always been done on a mixing stage thats at least the size of a small movie theater, with large monitors appropriate for theater playback.
     
  10. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    Quite a few are still using Realistic Minimus 7's. Well known for their accuracy - to the point that if your system has flaws, they'll be revealed and *everything* will sound bad.
     
  11. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Some other pro monitor speakers used are from TAD, PMC and ATC. Three very good brands that cater to both the pro and home markets, TAD less so than the other two.

    Avalon Acoustics also now makes a pro monitor speaker that has been well received by studios and audiophiles alike.
     
  12. Mike^C

    Mike^C Stunt Coordinator

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    Makers of fairly standard near-field monitors include some familiar names like Yamaha, Tannoy, JBL and some names more synonamous with music production gear like Mackie and Event. Like folks above said, the biggest difference is these are near field monitors which sit a few feet away from the producer. Check out the monitors and desks at this link:

    Click

    See how a desk is layed out? You'll have your monitors on each side with your mixing console in the middle and most likely a computer monitor on top with racks of processors up and down the sides. A producer wants a nice flat sound and since its near field, you really dont care about attributes like soundstage.

    Interestingly enough, self-powered monitors are also fairly plentiful in music production. While they never took off in home theater (like the Paradigm 90Ps and Martin Logan I think?) for whatever reason, they are definately in use for production.

    Many times though, a studio will have their monitors plus an array of "normal speakers" to see how the mix will sound in a normal environment like your house. In a studio I was in, they had everything from a large club-like JBL to small little boombox cubes. This was a smallish studio though. Nicer studios will have the higher end hifi stuff like B&W etc etc.
     
  13. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    Mike,

    I tried looking at your link and it brings up a web site called Musicians Friend.
     
  14. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Here is what the studios used for the movie "Matrix Revolution"

    Dynaudio

    Pretty interesting setup with PC software control.
     
  15. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I was surprised at the number of recording studios actually using the Radio Shack (yes, you read that right) Realistic Minimus 7s as studio monitors. Not bad for a $60.00/pair of speakers (the price I paid for my pair).
     
  16. Robert AG

    Robert AG Stunt Coordinator

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    For film music scoring, usually Genelec or Tannoy, positioned in front of the mixing console. The Mackie HR-824 is the current darling of the film sound editing industry. I personally would not recommend speakers intended for studio use to be used in the home. They are quite literal in their presentation, and will display the sound for what it is, warts and all. This is not necessairly what a home user wants.
     
  17. Mike Carter

    Mike Carter Agent

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    Well as a professional drummer who used to live and play in LA and Nashville I have seen and used the following brands.
    Tannoy
    JBL
    Westlake
    Eggleston (Bob Ludwig masters with these)
    Yamaha NS10m
    B&W Natulis...very few
    Genelic
    KRK
    Mackie
    Energy

    Out of this list I saw Tannoy and JBL the most for the bigger monitors and Tannoy and Yamaha for near field. Genelec is also highly used for near field too.

    Go out and by some copy's of Mix magazine. You might find it a Books A Million, Barnes and Noble but if not try Guitar Center or Sam Ash or your local independant musical instrument store. Go listen to some professional studio monitors!
     
  18. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    The 2 nearfield monitors you see at pretty much all recording studios (on top of the console) are:

    Genelec 1031a
    Yamaha NS-10m (recently discontinued)

    The 1031's sound great, are hyped and flattering. The NS-10's really don't sound "good." They got popular and quickly became a standard, like the 1031's did. The NS-10's are used because if you can make a mix sound good on them, it will sound good on most other speakers. So, when engineers mix a song, they reference back and forth between those 2 speakers as well as the "mains", which are the huge speakers in the wall, for a low-end reference.

    In addition to those 2, there are lots of other monitors that are used. These include KRK, Tannoy, ADAM, JBL, Mackie, etc, etc.

    There are some points to make:

    1. It's extremely rare for the artist themself to give direction as to how they want something to sound in the mix. That is up to the engineer and the producer.

    2. Engineers mix in front of consoles in acoustically treated control rooms, on nearfield monitors that usually aren't flat response. The practice is "learning" how a monitor translates to other speakers and then using it as a tool.

    3. There are mastering studios where mastering engineers "sweeten" the mix while listening back on a variety of speakers. Generally speaking, the speakers at a mastering house are more hifi-ish. e.g. B&W is a really common brand. Also seen are Dunlavy, Legacy Audio, etc, as well as some esoteric brands that are often just large, honking speakers w/ tons of drivers.



    So, while it may seem like a good idea to get some pro monitors to hear the music "like it was intended," that's almost an impossible task. You're talking about music that was mixed behind a console using whatever nearfield speakers the mix engineer likes, then mastered on another set of speakers by a different engineer.

    You could get a pair of Genelec 1031's and set them up in your living room, but I'm guessing you won't like the result. They'll sound hyped, and they'll really bring out the sibilance on a lot of material. You *really* won't like NS-10s if you get a pair of those.

    Some of the newer monitors are flatter response. This seems to be the big selling point of Mackie. You may like the sound of those. I have a pair of the HR-624's, and they sound great, while not being too hyped. But I use them as a tool. I don't think I would use them for music listening all the time. Although, I can say that I do hear many things on them that I don't hear on regular hifi speakers or in my car. But the same can be said about really good hifi speakers. Speakers can become detailed to the point of distraction sometimes.

    What do I recommend?? Try out some pro monitors and see what you think! In the end, there is no right and wrong. Find a pair of speakers that you like the sound of your music collection on and listen to the music!
     
  19. Mike^C

    Mike^C Stunt Coordinator

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    All very interesting responses, I'm learning some new stuff too [​IMG]

    Ed, yup, Musicians Friend is the online version of the local Guitar Center here. I just was lazy and linked to the front page but it was to give you an idea of whats in the audio production world.
     
  20. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    [rant]KUDOS! Aboulutely the best advice.[/rant]
     

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