Huge wall of text incoming, TL;DR version on the bottom
I had some questions regarding reference monitors. I am looking at getting a pair, but I live in Alaska and I have found exactly 0 pairs for sale here, new or used. It appears I will have to order some online, and the shipping will cost me damn near as much as the monitors will, depending on which pair I get. I’m going to have to make sure I get a pair that i’ll be happy with, because that’s a huge investment, and it will be too late to change my mind once I pull the trigger on a pair. I have been producing on headphones for a long time, and with the free time i’ve had as of late, i’ve finally got an album close to finished that I am happy with for once. I have had just about every popular pair of headphone under 500 bucks but the ones i’m using currently, and that have the flattest response i’ve found, are the AKG q701s. As much as I love the q7s, I don’t think I’m doing myself any favors going through the whole process with headphones like I always do. I just moved into a new house, and now that my noise output isn’t as much of an issue, I think that I really need to mix down the whole album on a real pair of monitors. Before I even consider a pair I have a few things I need to sort out.
-Do I need a sub? I have noticed that many people selling monitors attempt to pair them with a sub. Rokits, Yamahas, etc have their own model sub that go with the monitors. I wanted to get a pair of 8" monitors because I thought I wouldn’t need a sub if I did, but I see that the sub is often sold together even with the 8 inch. If that’s the case, why do people buy the 8 inch at all? from what I understand, the bass is deeper, and clearer with the 8 inch versus the 5 inch cones, but why bother with that if you are going to get a sub anyway? Something I have read, is that a sub needs to be calibrated in order to get proper functionality in line with your monitors. That could be a whole can of worms in itself… I know that some people don’t use a sub, so I’m not even sure if I need one.
-Do I need an audio interface for monitors? from what I have read, everyone seems to be plugging their stuff into an interface. I might need to get one anyway, in order to record electric guitar, and make it easier to have my devices connected in one place, but the microphone I use is USB. From what I understand, it also helps lighten the load on the sound card? shrug… Monitors I was looking at had a 1/4 inch jack, so if I was going to use them without an interface, I guess I would need to put a 1/8 converter on them, which might be a problem also.
-I’m concerned about acoustic treatment of my room. The room i’m going to be occupying for my audio equipment is a pretty huge room, something like a U shape and a total of about 450 square feet maybe. It’s like 25 feet wide, with an A frame ceiling (It’s the loft room). The only position available to me to put my desk and monitors is going to be in one of the corners. I assume that bass traps, foam, all that kind of stuff, if needed, would be totally wasted on a space like that. Does anyone have any experience mixing in a huge room with slanted ceilings?
-I’m not sure which monitors to get. After reading tons of forum threads, articles, and reddit posts, over several months time, I still don’t have any clue which ones would suit me best. I think that any pair I get will be something my ears will get used to, and I’ll eventually be able to mix properly on them once I have experience with them. Based on some things i’ve heard, and my price range, some that have looked like possibilities to me were the Yamaha HS8s, the KRK RP8G3-NA Rokit 8 Generation 3s, and the JBL LSR308s. My price range is pretty flexible, as I have some money set aside for this, but I was hoping to spend under 1,000 or so for my first pair, especially factoring in that shipping will be so much, although I wasn’t sure if I was going to be getting a sub or not.
Very sorry for the huge wall of text… TL;DR…
-Do I need a sub even if i get 8s? If it is recommended to use a sub, why get 8s at all if it’s only for bass definition? Is there any other benefit to having bigger cones?
-Do I need an audio interface? Is it recommended to use one even if I’m just using monitors for now?
-Do I have to worry about treating my huge room? If so, how could I even go about it, being a weird shape, and being stuck in the corner?
-Which monitors do you guys recommend? What do you think of the ones I listed?
Thanks so much for any input, sorry for the massive read, and sorry if some of my questions were stupid / uninformed. Theres so much to know about all of this, and I know so little, despite having been a bedroom producer for the last 15 years. I guess I just have a weird way of doing things, and I was in a pretty tight spot for a long time as far as noise level / income. I hope that I can learn something, and maybe someone can help steer me in the right direction. Thanks for reading!
Huge wall of text incoming, TL;DR version on the bottom
you don’t need a sub, 8s are fine. ive got a sub, but not for producing, only for joy. there is no possible way to get an accurate represantation of what a big soundsystem would do at your home. edit>: its all experience
also what you mentioned, its a pain in the arse to even properly set it up. bigger cones=means going lower and also going a bit louder.
you will need an audiointerface to connect to your computer obviously if you buy active monitors (ones with a inbuilt preamp-the rokits for example) otherwise if you buy passives you will need an amplifier
i didnt do anything to my room and it’s alright for me, i dont know anybody personally who did treat their room. maybe if one of those internet sound specialists would come here they would facepalm and tell me how i’m wrong-i dont care.
any monitors are WAY BETTER than no monitors, the ones u listed are fine. just get the nicest deal
Yup, surfing his answer to add that as long as you stick to a decent mixing eqing and such while producing you don’t need to turn your room into the perfect mastering studio, I know quite a few people who are know doing gigs pretty much everywhere and most of them aren’t mastering professionals. They know how to produce their thing the way they want and get “close” to a correct mix and tone so they can send a good draft to the mastering studios who then know what to do with it without stripping its soul from any tune.
Except if you do it out of pure passion, really you’ll just need a good pair of speakers audio interface and your producing gear to make great tunes. (and time/effort/blablabla)
edit: oh ok didn’t read everything. So you’ve been producing for 15years and wonder if you need an audio interface ?
you’ve been producing on headphones this all time ?
What do you expect from this ? Just a hobby or maybe more ?
In this price range I found that the Yamaha HS serie is quite the most neutral (maybe Adam too)
I quite differ about the sub though, since i had mine even if my room is not properly treated I really have a better understanding on any lows and the rendering on other devices such as headphones and car or hifi tends to proove my mix has gotten much more balanced in this range, I quite love it.
Awesome responses, exactly what I was hoping for, and once again sorry for the massive essay. Yeah, i’ve been doing it for a long time, but I just haven’t been doing it as more than a hobby for the first ten years or so. I’ve had interfaces before, and that was to record live instruments, I just wasn’t sure if I would need one. I suppose,thinking more about it, that I really should get another one, so scratch that question.
Mostly what I am curious about, is how sound behaves in such a big, oddly shaped room? Acoustic treatment would be quite a task in this place. Also, why would I bother getting 8inch cones instead of 5s, if I’m going to get a sub anyway? Will getting a bigger version of a monitor affect anything other than the bass?
Thank you guys for the responses, much appreciated!