Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Pro Tools Software > Tips & Tricks

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-31-2017, 11:01 PM
adam79's Avatar
adam79 adam79 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 597
Default Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

I was reading about how to calibrate monitors to a K-Meter.. here's the recommended procedure per the article:

"To calibrate your monitors, choose a K-Scale and then play a single-channel, full-spectrum pink noise signal at 0 dB on that scale. From your listening position, use an SPL meter (with a C-weighted, slow response) to measure the loudness. Tweak your monitor gain until the SPL meter reads 83 dBSPL. Then, repeat the process for the other channel. Make a note of your calibrated monitor gain for future reference. Then, if desired, repeat this process for the other K-Scales."

This method requires an actual piece of hardware that measures SPL, right?
I don't own a pair of monitors at the moment; I've been mixing with headphones while I save up for a decent set of monitors.

Is it possible to calibrate headphones as well? If yes, I'm guessing that a SPL-Meter plugin would work best.. any suggestions on a free one (SPL-Meter plug)? I've been having trouble finding one.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-01-2017, 05:02 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Soprano State (NJ)
Posts: 16,666
Default Re: Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
I was reading about how to calibrate monitors to a K-Meter.. here's the recommended procedure per the article:

"To calibrate your monitors, choose a K-Scale and then play a single-channel, full-spectrum pink noise signal at 0 dB on that scale. From your listening position, use an SPL meter (with a C-weighted, slow response) to measure the loudness. Tweak your monitor gain until the SPL meter reads 83 dBSPL. Then, repeat the process for the other channel. Make a note of your calibrated monitor gain for future reference. Then, if desired, repeat this process for the other K-Scales."

This method requires an actual piece of hardware that measures SPL, right?
I don't own a pair of monitors at the moment; I've been mixing with headphones while I save up for a decent set of monitors.

Is it possible to calibrate headphones as well? If yes, I'm guessing that a SPL-Meter plugin would work best.. any suggestions on a free one (SPL-Meter plug)? I've been having trouble finding one.
It's almost impossible to properly calibrate headphones. I seem to remember some company that does that but you have to send them your cans. No plugin will help that I know of. Sweetwater has a relatively inexpensive SPL meter here: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...iABEgIMi_D_BwE

Mixing on headphones - not that good of an idea. It's difficult at best to get a mix that will translate well if at all to other systems doing so. There's plenty of good inexpensive monitor speakers out there. JBL LSR305's are pretty decent: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LSR305 at $298 the pair.
__________________
Jack
See profile for system details
iMac dead & retired as of 11/4/17

QAPLA!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-01-2017, 08:29 AM
adam79's Avatar
adam79 adam79 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 597
Default Re: Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
It's almost impossible to properly calibrate headphones. I seem to remember some company that does that but you have to send them your cans.
You're thinking of Sonarworks Reference 3. They have two versions, one for speaker calibration and the other for headphones. They have a list of supported headphones that have an accuracy of +/- 3dB. If you send them in, the accuracy get's way better, something like +/- 0.9dB. Not exactly sure what the accuracy rating is referring to tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
Mixing on headphones - not that good of an idea. It's difficult at best to get a mix that will translate well if at all to other systems doing so. There's plenty of good inexpensive monitor speakers out there. JBL LSR305's are pretty decent: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LSR305 at $298 the pair.
Tell me about it! I'm currently saving up for a pair of monitors; they're at the top of my priority list. Not only is it hard to get a mix to translate, that's been done thru 'phones, but it's hard to demo plugins with them.

The JBL LSR 305's definitely seem like the best bang for the buck. The Yamaha HS5's are a bit more expensive, but still in my price range (barely). From all the stuff I've read on monitors, the best size is 6-6.5", but for some reason manufacturers only make 5 and 8" sizes. Yamaha makes the HS7, which is 6.5", but it might be too expensive.

What are your views on buying used monitors? It's definitely the cheaper route, and I could probably get a better quality monitor.

Thanks,
-Adam
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-01-2017, 10:16 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Soprano State (NJ)
Posts: 16,666
Default Re: Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
You're thinking of Sonarworks Reference 3. They have two versions, one for speaker calibration and the other for headphones. They have a list of supported headphones that have an accuracy of +/- 3dB. If you send them in, the accuracy get's way better, something like +/- 0.9dB. Not exactly sure what the accuracy rating is referring to tho.



Tell me about it! I'm currently saving up for a pair of monitors; they're at the top of my priority list. Not only is it hard to get a mix to translate, that's been done thru 'phones, but it's hard to demo plugins with them.

The JBL LSR 305's definitely seem like the best bang for the buck. The Yamaha HS5's are a bit more expensive, but still in my price range (barely). From all the stuff I've read on monitors, the best size is 6-6.5", but for some reason manufacturers only make 5 and 8" sizes. Yamaha makes the HS7, which is 6.5", but it might be too expensive.

What are your views on buying used monitors? It's definitely the cheaper route, and I could probably get a better quality monitor.

Thanks,
-Adam
Sonarworks only calibrates for frequency response - not K-system metering. Huge difference.

There is no one 'best size' for monitors, only what's fit for your space. IOW you don't need monitors with a 10 inch woofer in a small home or bedroom studio. Just as a big time studio won't have monitor speakers with a 5 inch woofer for their main monitors - they might have them as a check monitor but they would also have something with a much larger woofer and a LOT more power (probably a 3 or 4 way system).

For a small home system the LSR305's or even the LSR 308's (max size) would be good.

Yamaha makes some good monitors as well and the HS series seems to be a relative of the old NS10 monitors which if you could get a good mix on those it was pretty much guaranteed it would sound good anywheres.

Note that good monitoring will only get you good results in a well-treated acoustic space. Pay attention to that as well as monitor placing. Google is your friend.

Lastly I would NOT buy used monitors - you don't know how hard they've been used/abused. Hit speakers loud enough and long enough and you could end up with a stuck woofer cone/voice coil assembly (had that happen). Speakers do change over time and usage - ask any electric guitar player worth his/her salt. In my experience they tend to mellow out.
__________________
Jack
See profile for system details
iMac dead & retired as of 11/4/17

QAPLA!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-01-2017, 05:47 PM
adam79's Avatar
adam79 adam79 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 597
Default Re: Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
Sonarworks only calibrates for frequency response - not K-system metering. Huge difference.
Ya, the topic kind of took a left turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
For a small home system the LSR305's or even the LSR 308's (max size) would be good.

Yamaha makes some good monitors as well and the HS series seems to be a relative of the old NS10 monitors which if you could get a good mix on those it was pretty much guaranteed it would sound good anywheres.

Note that good monitoring will only get you good results in a well-treated acoustic space. Pay attention to that as well as monitor placing. Google is your friend.
I figure that I'm going to have the monitors I end up choosing for a longtime.. it's been hard enough saving up for this pair. With this in mind, it would make sense not to just jump at the first decent budget monitor.

From the research I've done (just reading articles, forum posts, etc.. no actual auditioning), the LSR 305's seem like the best bang for the buck, and they also get great reviews.
Then comes the HS5's, which are a bit more pricey. Of these two monitors, people always seem to love one and hate the other.

Moving a step up, the Equator D5's and Focal Alpha 50's seem amazing; I haven't had an opportunity to try any of the four monitors I just listed. Come to think of it, I've only tried/owned one pair of monitors since I began mixing.. a pair of M-Audio Bx5's, 10-15 years ago.

Should I hold onto my cash until I can afford monitors with a 6-6.5" woofer? I've read many an article/post praising 6.5" woofers for their better bass response, as well as overall tone.

I was also reading about Focal changing the Alpha to a front loaded port design, which tightens up the bass response.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-02-2017, 05:18 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Soprano State (NJ)
Posts: 16,666
Default Re: Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
Ya, the topic kind of took a left turn.



I figure that I'm going to have the monitors I end up choosing for a longtime.. it's been hard enough saving up for this pair. With this in mind, it would make sense not to just jump at the first decent budget monitor.

From the research I've done (just reading articles, forum posts, etc.. no actual auditioning), the LSR 305's seem like the best bang for the buck, and they also get great reviews.
Then comes the HS5's, which are a bit more pricey. Of these two monitors, people always seem to love one and hate the other.

Moving a step up, the Equator D5's and Focal Alpha 50's seem amazing; I haven't had an opportunity to try any of the four monitors I just listed. Come to think of it, I've only tried/owned one pair of monitors since I began mixing.. a pair of M-Audio Bx5's, 10-15 years ago.

Should I hold onto my cash until I can afford monitors with a 6-6.5" woofer? I've read many an article/post praising 6.5" woofers for their better bass response, as well as overall tone.

I was also reading about Focal changing the Alpha to a front loaded port design, which tightens up the bass response.
As I kind of said before there's nothing magical about a 6-6.5 inch monitor woofer. Sure it may have a bit more bass extension but the real difference between that size and a 5 inch isn't that much. In a less than perfect room you won't ever notice the difference. My thoughts - go for the LSR305's and see how you make out with them and later on if you think you need more bass then add a subwoofer with proper bass management. Monitors shouldn't have much of a tone themselves to speak of. You want neutral as best as is possible.
__________________
Jack
See profile for system details
iMac dead & retired as of 11/4/17

QAPLA!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-02-2017, 12:26 PM
adam79's Avatar
adam79 adam79 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 597
Default Re: Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
As I kind of said before there's nothing magical about a 6-6.5 inch monitor woofer. Sure it may have a bit more bass extension but the real difference between that size and a 5 inch isn't that much. In a less than perfect room you won't ever notice the difference. My thoughts - go for the LSR305's and see how you make out with them and later on if you think you need more bass then add a subwoofer with proper bass management. Monitors shouldn't have much of a tone themselves to speak of. You want neutral as best as is possible.
The JBL LSR305's have always been at the top of my list ever since I started looking into monitors.
I've gotten conflicting advice about 6.5" woofers. Some say they're the perfect size, especially for bass response, while others claim that there isn't much of a difference between 5" and 6.5".
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-02-2017, 01:49 PM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Soprano State (NJ)
Posts: 16,666
Default Re: Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
The JBL LSR305's have always been at the top of my list ever since I started looking into monitors.
I've gotten conflicting advice about 6.5" woofers. Some say they're the perfect size, especially for bass response, while others claim that there isn't much of a difference between 5" and 6.5".
How many times do you have to be told - there's nothing magical about 6.5 inch woofers and no such thing as a perfect size for a woofer. Size doesn't always matter
__________________
Jack
See profile for system details
iMac dead & retired as of 11/4/17

QAPLA!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-02-2017, 04:05 PM
adam79's Avatar
adam79 adam79 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 597
Default Re: Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
How many times do you have to be told - there's nothing magical about 6.5 inch woofers and no such thing as a perfect size for a woofer. Size doesn't always matter
Ha. I'm just saying what I've read. "Perfect" was the wrong term. Maybe perfect for a bedroom size room.. but apparently not.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-02-2017, 06:11 PM
jjnssn jjnssn is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 529
Default Re: Monitor Calibration for K-Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
Ha. I'm just saying what I've read. "Perfect" was the wrong term. Maybe perfect for a bedroom size room.. but apparently not.


From my experience room acoustics matter more. My Genelec 8250's still require a good amount of adjustment via the GLM software. And my room is treated.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
__________________
____________________________________________

W10 Pro / X99 / E5-1650v3 / 64GB ECC / nVidia P1000 / ASUS TB3 AIC
PT HDX1 / OMNI / HD IO 16x16 / 11R / Kontakt Kontrol S49 / Artist Transport and Mix / UAD OCTO Satellite, Apollo Twin MKII &, x8P Thunderbolt

[Late 2013 10.14 MacBook Pro]
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question about calibration meter level. MindDead Pro Tools HDX & HD Native Systems (Mac) 11 11-09-2015 02:05 PM
Question - 003 and VU meter Calibration upperoom 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac) 7 10-28-2010 08:17 PM
Dolby Media Meter calibration? houser Post - Surround - Video 9 09-16-2010 08:44 AM
Monitor Calibration daustin777 General Discussion 1 01-23-2005 09:53 AM
Monitor Calibration KamaSutra77 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac) 2 07-09-2001 08:12 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:49 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com