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  #21  
Old 09-08-2016, 02:29 PM
take77 take77 is offline
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

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Originally Posted by Cutlerbri View Post
I think it's ideal to mix on monitors (real studio monitors, not computer speakers) and headphones both. And when you get a mix you like take it to another playback source like your car stereo or a device.
Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defier View Post
I would think headphones to your ears would sound too close for the sound.
Monitors would give me a sense of space/panning...

- Why are you guys going to headphones instead of monitors OR do you guys use both?
It's definitely good to use both.
I just don't want you to be like the guys we see on Youtube who welcome us to their "production studio" and have the monitors sitting directly on top of a study desk at chest level.
The point of monitors is to take advantage of the accurate frequency response and stereo imaging they provide.
But they do not accomplish this alone.

You need to set them at the right height and distance from each other to form a perfect triangle and then you sit in the "sweet spot".
Also, they need to be "de-coupled" (I'll let you research that).

In an untreated room, frequencies are bouncing all over the place cancelling out some frequencies or making others resonate more strongly.
Then you end up under/over-compensating for the bass or lack thereof.
Then you listen to your mix somewhere else and it has too much bass or too little.

There are many factors to consider when setting up a home studio.

My whole point in suggesting over-ear headphones is so you don't spend money on something you can't use to the full.
Over-ear headphones can provide a tamed representation of your low end and instrument levels without the influence of the room and desktop reflections.
The imaging will be there with a good pair. You'll hear the amazing detail of a pro mix that would otherwise get washed out in an oblique room.

In order to use quality monitors to the full you'll need to count the accessories into the cost. (See my first post.)
So try to plan your "monitoring" purchase as a complete package.
It is by all means OK to get your monitors first and the rest of the essentials in stages. You can elevate the monitors with sturdy books for starts.
But over-ear headphones will sound more controlled in an uncontrolled environment.

Right now you just want to hear yourself, make music and enjoy the sound. Hence the recommendation of headphones.
And then just use your speakers when you need to let your ears rest from the direct sound.

Like I said, I'm not a mixer. I don't have the complete package either. But I really enjoy how the VI drum kits sound more like I'm in the studio through over-ear headphones.
And I've become familiar with how my favorite albums sound through my main pair.

Happy music making!

Last edited by take77; 09-08-2016 at 05:55 PM.
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  #22  
Old 09-08-2016, 05:13 PM
Defier Defier is offline
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by take77 View Post
Exactly.



It's definitely good to use both.
I just don't want you to be like the guys we see on Youtube who welcome us to their "production studio" and have the monitors sitting directly on top of a study desk at chest level.
The point of monitors is to take advantage of the accurate frequency response and stereo imaging they provide.
But they do not accomplish this alone.

You need to set them at the right height and distance from each other to form a perfect triangle and then you sit in the "sweet spot".
Also, they need to be "de-coupled" ( I'll let you research that).

In an untreated room, frequencies are bouncing all over the place cancelling out some frequencies or making others resonate more strongly.
Then you end up under/over-compensating for the bass or lack thereof.
Then you listen to your mix somewhere else and it has too much bass or too little.

There are many factors to consider when setting up a home studio.

My whole point in suggesting over-ear headphones is so you don't spend money on something you can't use to the full.
Over-ear headphones can provide a tamed representation of your low end and instrument levels without the influence of the room and desktop reflections.
The imaging will be there with a good pair. You'll hear the amazing detail of a pro mix that would otherwise get washed out in an oblique room.

In order to use quality monitors to the full you'll need to count the accessories into the cost. (See my first post.)
So try to plan your "monitoring" purchase as a complete package.
It is by all means OK to get your monitors first and the rest of the essentials in stages. You can elevate the monitors with sturdy books for starts.
But over-ear headphones will sound more controlled in an uncontrolled environment.

Right now you just want to hear yourself, make music and enjoy the sound. Hence the recommendation of headphones.
And then just use your speakers when you need to let your ears rest from the direct sound.

Like I said, I'm not a mixer. I don't have the complete package either. But I really enjoy how the VI drum kits sound more like I'm in the studio through over-ear headphones.
And I've become familiar with how my favorite albums sound through my main pair.

Happy music making!
Hey there take77,

Thx for this great post... Read it and understood.

It makes total sense. I will pursue all that as I truly enjoy composing.

Thx again. Defier.
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  #23  
Old 09-08-2016, 05:16 PM
Defier Defier is offline
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

Thx to everyone for their posts and explanation, description and experiences.
It will help many other readers.

My last question to you all...

Lowering my Dbs to negative 10 seems to help clipping but headset/speakers volume must be raised to hear the composition.

- Is reducing the faders to -10 Dbs a good thing or not needed?

Thx, Defier.
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  #24  
Old 09-08-2016, 05:49 PM
take77 take77 is offline
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

You bet Defier!
I'll let the other forum members answer your last question.
As I have learned so much from them.

Kindest regards,
Mikey

Last edited by take77; 09-08-2016 at 06:00 PM.
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  #25  
Old 09-08-2016, 06:48 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defier View Post
My last question to you all...

Lowering my Dbs to negative 10 seems to help clipping but headset/speakers volume must be raised to hear the composition.

- Is reducing the faders to -10 Dbs a good thing or not needed?
Reducing faders? I hope you mean reducing the preamp gain, but I suspect now you are not understanding what is going on here with signal flow, preamp gain and pre/post fader metering.

You do not want to clip the ADC on input, and (very important with low-cost interfaces) also do not want to be driving the cheap/nasty sounding (if pushed) mic preamp hard. So you manage the preamp-gain to set the input level, *not* the Pro Tools playback fader on that track. Aiming for around -20 dbFS input is a fine starting point. With modern low noise/high dynamic range 24 bit ADC and Pro Tools and 32/64-bit floating point processing you can add lots of digital gain later if needed.

You should not be in a situation where you are adjusting inputs (preamp or recording track playback faders) to adjust absolute volume. That is what the volume knob on your monitor controller/interface is for. Read up on how to calibrate monitor levels with pink noise, and get them somewhat in that ballpark. Lots of folks make mistakes with crappy low-end low-power monitors trying to drive them to get "loud" and they sound like crap. If your monitors can't deliver good volume you have to accept that and work at lower output levels.

Find a good basic book on audio engineering and read up on gain, ADC, digital mixing, monitor sensitivity/SPL, monitor calibration etc. The Pro Tools 101 book may be a good start for the more Pro Tools side, and there are many others... (a good more technical book is "Handbook for Sound Engineers").
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  #26  
Old 09-08-2016, 10:55 PM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by take77 View Post
And I've become familiar with how my favorite albums sound through my main pair.
This is one of the most important points in this thread. You need to have some reference mixes that you like and know by heart how they should sound. Use them to judge monitors/headphones and to compare your mixes when you're uncertain.

Oh, and I assume people already know that headphones are not ready out-of-the-box -- they need to be "burned in" by using them for awhile. So if you buy a fancy pair of new headphones, it's counterproductive to just start using them right away. Leave a playback loop on for a couple of nights and you'll have a better pair in a week.
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  #27  
Old 09-09-2016, 05:37 AM
Defier Defier is offline
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
Reducing faders? I hope you mean reducing the preamp gain, but I suspect now you are not understanding what is going on here with signal flow, preamp gain and pre/post fader metering.
Exactly, need to understand this for sure.

- So should all my faders be set to the same levels and I just adjust the individual virtual instruments faders in their own UI?

Anyway, lots of learning here for sure...

Thx, Defier.
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  #28  
Old 09-09-2016, 06:06 AM
Defier Defier is offline
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

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Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
This is one of the most important points in this thread. You need to have some reference mixes that you like and know by heart how they should sound. Use them to judge monitors/headphones and to compare your mixes when you're uncertain.

Oh, and I assume people already know that headphones are not ready out-of-the-box -- they need to be "burned in" by using them for awhile. So if you buy a fancy pair of new headphones, it's counterproductive to just start using them right away. Leave a playback loop on for a couple of nights and you'll have a better pair in a week.
Great points here JFreak.

Thx. Defier.
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  #29  
Old 09-09-2016, 07:47 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defier View Post
Exactly, need to understand this for sure.

- So should all my faders be set to the same levels and I just adjust the individual virtual instruments faders in their own UI?

Anyway, lots of learning here for sure...

Thx, Defier.
No. The trite answer is the faders should be set at the correct place to get the level of that track in the mix you want. They control what signal level is playing back "from that track on the tape machine(or via the monitor path)" and going into the mixer. Not what signal level is going into the tape machine track in the first place. Thinking about signal flow on a real analog console often helps with Pro Tools... have a read about them if not sure.

What fader level is correct? That's for you to set to get what you want. But you don't set record levels there, you set them in the preamp or DI etc. Put record track meters in pre-fader mode so you see the actual levels changes in pre-amp gain is giving at the converter.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 09-09-2016 at 08:02 AM.
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  #30  
Old 09-09-2016, 11:26 AM
Sugarnutz Sugarnutz is offline
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Default Re: Do I need new speakers for Pro Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defier View Post

- Is reducing the faders to -10 Dbs a good thing or not needed?

Thx, Defier.
The biggest difference between a $100 interface and a $3000 interface is the amount of level it can take. Keep yer' levels lower and you won't clip yer' mic pre, AD converter or yer' plugins fer' that matter. All's good in the world at that point. Let the mastering engineer jack the final levels if needed.
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