• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Home stereo speakers as near-fields?

Rich_S

Member
Messages
433
I'm trying to put together a small home studio for me & my son on the cheap. I just realized that I have a set of Infinity Primus 160's sitting around. (Here's a link to the current equivalent, the Primus 163.) I bought them about 6 years ago as bookshelf speakers for my home office, but haven't been using them since we moved. Since I ran with without a sub, I opted for the 160 with its 6.5" woofer, rather than the smaller 153.

Anyway, what's "special" about speakers intended for studio use, that separates them from these normal home stereo/theater speakers? Is there some good reason the 160s won't work as near-field monitors?

While we're on the subject of pressing stereo equipment into studio service, what about using stereo receivers to power monitors? I have two nice-ish 50 w/ch models from which to choose: a late-'80s Yamaha RX-530 and a massive late-70's Pioneer SX-650.
 

madhattertcm

Senior Member
Messages
181
I recorded and mixed this with pretty much home stereo speakers: http://cdn.craize.net/puppets.mp3

I can't speak about your speakers specifically, but the bottom line will always be this: if you're familiar with how those speakers sound in terms of how they compare to other speakers, and how other songs sound through those speakers, then you can mix appropriately with those thoughts in mind. This is the case with any pro studio monitor too though. Just be sensitive to what you're listening for.
 
Last edited:

Modulator

Member
Messages
2,731
Studio monitors are designed with a flat frequency response (they don't neccesarily sound "good" like home speakers). Home speakers can have exaggerated low end and hi end, like a scooped EQ, or other non-flat frequency response. If it sounds good flat, it should sound good on any system, but if you mix on speakers that emphasize a frequency range, like a boosted low end, it will not have the low end when played on other systems. At least that's my understanding.
 

DANOCASTER

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,295
yep... it's all about KNOWING the speakers and how things are suppoed to sound on them

the classic Yamaha NS-10M was a "home" speaker until Bob Clearmountain started mixing w/ them and everybody took notice ;)
 

oldhousescott

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,881
Monitor speakers are usually comprised of better components - drivers and crossovers - and are designed for nominally flat frequency response in the near field. Consumer speakers are usually more hyped in their response in the low and high frequencies. They are also designed for a wider listening angle and farther listening distance.

All that to say, consumer speakers are not ideal for monitors. However, since you already have them, if you can train your hearing to their response, you might as well use them. The receiver/amps can be used as well. Set the tone controls flat, or use the tone bypass if it has one. Use the Aux or Tape input. Better still, if it has preamp out/power amp in connectors, go to the power amp ins. The input level will be wrong for pro-level equipment, and the inputs will be unbalanced type, but you can fudge it on the cheap, especially if you're using line outs from the computer or a basic USB interface.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,363
isn't a big part of this just comparing your mixes to known "good-sounding" albums on those speakers? you at least get a ballpark idea of what might be missing or overly hyped.
 

NashSG

Member
Messages
3,726
I think with music and home recording, go with what you got until what you have isn't getting the job done. It's better to just make music with what you got than not waiting for some other piece of equipment.

That said, I think having a decent set of studio speakers is a pretty big step in a home recording studio. I know my mixes didn't translate all that well until I got my set of Yamaha's back in the late 90s. As it was put to me by a local studio guy I knew when I was getting started doing home recording about monitors, recording with inaccurate monitors is kind of llike doing carpentry with a yardstick that's always measuring a bit off.

Getting the bass levels right is the trickier part of mixing and that was the thing that would be all over the place when I did my early recordings with my home stereo. It's even still the thing you got to watch even with a set of decent speakers.

A trick I learned from the same engineer that does help on keeping the bass frequencies or say key details to fit in a mix is learning to mix at different volume levels. I got a couple of different notches in my software and mixers where I will change the volume for comparison listening. Bass or detail elements that ride right when the volume is pulled way back seem to work even better when you get it loud. It kind of keeps from those surprises when you take something that sounded cool in your home studio and certain details dissapearing at low levels on say ear buds.
 

painfulltruf

Active Member
Messages
83
I think with music and home recording, go with what you got until what you have isn't getting the job done. It's better to just make music with what you got than not waiting for some other piece of equipment.

That said, I think having a decent set of studio speakers is a pretty big step in a home recording studio. I know my mixes didn't translate all that well until I got my set of Yamaha's back in the late 90s. As it was put to me by a local studio guy I knew when I was getting started doing home recording about monitors, recording with inaccurate monitors is kind of llike doing carpentry with a yardstick that's always measuring a bit off.

Getting the bass levels right is the trickier part of mixing and that was the thing that would be all over the place when I did my early recordings with my home stereo. It's even still the thing you got to watch even with a set of decent speakers.

A trick I learned from the same engineer that does help on keeping the bass frequencies or say key details to fit in a mix is learning to mix at different volume levels. I got a couple of different notches in my software and mixers where I will change the volume for comparison listening. Bass or detail elements that ride right when the volume is pulled way back seem to work even better when you get it loud. It kind of keeps from those surprises when you take something that sounded cool in your home studio and certain details dissapearing at low levels on say ear buds.
You nailed it.
 

KrisHayes

Member
Messages
326
yep... it's all about KNOWING the speakers and how things are suppoed to sound on them

the classic Yamaha NS-10M was a "home" speaker until Bob Clearmountain started mixing w/ them and everybody took notice ;)
Bingo!

You can mix on anything so long as you know what you're hearing!
 

cmath

Member
Messages
164
You can mix on anything if you know your speakers BUT for tracking sometimes you need stuff to handle a loud kick and snare and bass guitar with ease and without distortion.You need headroom and clarity.
 






Trending Topics

Top Bottom