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Studio speakers

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And the setting up,thereof!

Being,as there is,very capable folk here who are well into their studios and tricky-assed gear and being one who mostly stumbles in the dark in such matters,I have a question.

My son has lent me a pair of M-Audio speakers (M3-6) and as I have no dedicated/treated recording space,I wonder if I may ask some pointers to make best use of the damn things.

Because of my constrictions I always record and mix using headphones (KRK KNS8400) so I have attempted to set up the speakers as close as I can to what I hear on the cans. I used Peter Gabriel Mercy Street as a reference track.

The first thing I did was to place the speakers distanced in an equilateral triangle,in relation to myself. The sides of the triangle are about 4 ft. I can't really alter this.

I set the speakers at a height where my lug holes are roughly between the tweeter and the woofer (do they still call them that?  ;D)

I then began to use the EQ on the back of the speakers to get as close to the cans as possible. (I didn't move anything much)

What do you experts think,should I just go back to the cans and forget about speakers,since the room is never gonna be treated.

In addition and in general,do knowledgeable folk hear areas for improvement in my mixes. Are they toppy,bassy or shrill? I always aim for a full/clear sound,but I'm never really sure if I always get there. I do play the results on a range of different players and to my ears nothing seems badly out of whack.

All replies welcome and carefully considered,just don't get too technical on my ass,because,Yanno I bore easily and stop listening!  ;D

Whato @Skub - I'm a bear of little brain (as Whinny the Pooh once said) when it comes to technicalities like this, like you I let me lugoles do the talking, I do 99% of my work under my cans (AKG Q701 - they are very flat) and only pop the mix though my JBL L46's (also very flat) if I'm unsure of something, such as a slap bass EQ in a busy mix, but then I'll go back under the cans to fix it.

I use my speakers for confirmation, a 2nd opinion if you will, not reference, that takes you down a potentially divergent yet recursive path...sounding better on the monitors, then what do you do, stop using the cans?

It sounds like you've got your placement right, Are you happy with how they sound? Do you think you'll be forever changing the mix based on what you hear in 2 different references?

Personally I think your production sounds fine, and have never heard anything that jars, and if you are happy with your prod and your process, then give em back to your Son.

Hope this helps...

Yo @cowparsleyman.

Thanks very much for taking the time to answer. The way you utilise your speakers and cans seems logical to me and a method which gives a fairly instant frame of reference. That's what I'll do for the next while.  :)

I hear/read so much of studio bods stating that recording/mixing on headphones is a no no,but we all have to work in the given spaces we have,so we adapt and make the best of what we have.

I am reassured if someone as clued in as yourself is able to produce very polished work using cans,then there is hope for me.

Once again man,I appreciate your time and helpful comments.  8)

@Skub -You're very welcome Davy, here's a couple more things...(You'll know all this anyway, but maybe for other considering it)

Under really good cans you don't hear any colouration from the room acoustics, dogs barking outside, an open window bleeding noise from outside.e. it's a constant environment.
The Stereo soundstage is close and very often exaggerated, which can be a help rather than trying to pick out stereo placement, my cans do this, and I'm glad of it.
Effects can be very subtley used, as I tend to do with LVox.
If you need to alter the proximity effect from a track, or if you want to use a de reverb plugin like SPL deverb, or proximity EQ it's much easier to do under cans.
You can listen really loud, or really quiet
You don't wake the others with noise
You get into the groove

The only time I'd rather have speakers over cans is when a bunch of you (a band + Producer or mixing engineer + Producer )are discussing a song...

With my production, a small part of it lies in the fact that I can hear every sound under my cans, and position it EQ, verb and soundstage wise where I want.

the only thing I would say is that Open Back Cans give a much more 'real/flat' sound, not very bassy at all, I only use my closed backs for tracking and drumming...

Do what your ears tell you Davy...(Others might feel differently about it, this is just my approach)

Hope it helps.

your mixes always sound fine Skub..if it aint broke..don't fix it...innit!!! :) :) 8)


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