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mackie hr824

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  • mackie hr824

    anyone out there using these? i am thinking of adding some monitors to my studio space (a vast 4'x'4' closet that my drums are packed into) and have been checking these out online. they were recommended to me by a recording engineer friend.

    i plan to go check thes eout in person soon but i thought i would check in with the experts first. a search didn't yield any references so perhaps i will be the first expert?

  • #2
    How the h&ll do you play those things in a [email protected] closet??

    Curious minds want to know!


    • #3
      Originally posted by HolShot:
      How the h&ll do you play those things in a [email protected] closet??

      Curious minds want to know!
      i suggest starting by loosing about 30 lbs ...

      honestly, i do wish i had a bit more space but this set-up is working out pretty well. it certainly rewards good technique and economy of motion, and it unclutters the rest of our small apartment nicely. i can just fit my five-piece kit, rack, 3 cymbals, hihat and throne ... and still close the door. i actually wired in an outlet so i have a light and juice in there. now i just need some ventilation - after 2 hours of practice the groove is not the only thing getting funky in the joint.

      [This message has been edited by digitsone (edited October 22, 2001).]


      • #4

        [This message has been edited by digitsone (edited October 22, 2001).]


        • #5
          I work in a Pro audio shop. I haven't tested the 824's very much but what I hear from our customers and my colleagues is that the 824's tend to make your music sound a little nicer than it really is. Check out the passive Dynaudio BM6's, I think they're very good monitors for a reasonable price.

          Music was my first love...


          • #6
            I'm not sure I agree with that assessment. Obviously impressions will vary, but IMO these monitors have the flattest frequency response of any monitor under $1K each. I would classify them as extremely colorless. In other words, what you hear is what really exists. I was never an active monitor fan until these.

            For V's, if you are using the onboard TD-XX effects only, you might well want to add some "color" and not go with faithful flat reproduction (I certainly would).

            That said, the Mackies are most certainly overkill for a closet. Although they can be optimized for use near or against a back wall, the four foot square space is going to cause sound reflections (even with nearfield monitors) that are going to totally screw with the amazing sweet spot that these monitors have. Suggestion: Alesis makes monitors for a fraction of the price, and the difference should be all but indescernable in a 4' X 4' space. Another suggestion, if I may, if you have not viable alternative to the closet, line it with some good acoustic product (like Auralex) wherever you can spare the inches away from the wall. This will improve the sound you get out of anything (besides headphones) tremendously. For under $100 you should be able to make more of a difference than throwing another $1000 into the speakers themselves. Now if you have a great acoustic space to work with, the Mackies are more than many if not most home studios will ever need.


            • #7
              thanks, pieter and dr. k, for the input. i wasn't sure if the small space of my "studio" was going to be an issue but i was guessing it might.

              in terms of soundproofing, do you guys suggest something such as the studiofoam wedges - something that will absorb the sound? i am pretty ignorant about acoustic so i'm not sure whether i need to absorb, diffuse, etc. the walls are standard dry-wall housewalls with one concrete exterior wall, all covered in a [email protected] latex paint.

              i'll check out those alesis and dynaudio monitors now. thanks for the direction.


              • #8
                Gotta agree with the Doc on this one, too. I've worked with the Mackie 824's quite a bit, in a couple of different studios, and they are pretty much the ****. Rapidly becoming a studio reference standard in the industry. Very flat, colorless, and will show up some of the typical mixing foibles (too much hi treble, too much low bass, not enuff mid) with even modest recording gear.

                And yes, they are certainly overkill for a 4 X 4 space... I'm not sure that you'll find many monitors that won't be. Lots of time & money goes into designing control rooms for mixing, finding and suppressing resonant frequencies, reflections, etc. In your case, I'd stick with something that falls easily into any home recording budget, for 1/4 or so what the Mackies cost.

                Just my $.02,


                Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by digitsone:
                  ...in terms of soundproofing, do you guys suggest something such as the studiofoam wedges - something that will absorb the sound? i am pretty ignorant about acoustic so i'm not sure whether i need to absorb, diffuse, etc...
                  Assuming that you don't want to rebuild the walls due to cost, or can't because its an apartment (and I think it would be an inherently flawed approach to spend too much on a 4 X 4 space given the construction in the first place), let's keep it reasonable. What you are going to be fighting is the sound bouncing all around so quickly that the frequencies get jumbled before your ear interprets the original bad-ass sounds you are producing. These reflections will almost certainly render even the best speaker very disappointing in a room this size. What you mainly want to do is absorb. The most cost efficient way to do this is probably acoustic foam. Go with a product specifically designed to absorb sound, like the Auralex egg-crate looking stuff or equivalent. Put as much of it in there as you care to or are willing to spring for. If you don't want to spend the money to cover every inch of the walls, have at least a four foot band going all the way around at a height where the speakers will be pointing right at the center of that foam section on the opposing wall(s). Then take any additinal pieces and spread them out evenly above and below that on the walls until you are out. If you choose to cover every inch even better, but you can always add more later if you are on a budget, or if you desire even more improvement later on. The rule of thumb is as you would expect, thicker usually is better, and usually costs more.

                  Shop around. Some manufacturers sell "room kits" with lots of assorted products, but I suspect many of these will give you too much of some items and unnecessary stuff as well. However if you look at going that route figure your square footage and see if one of those fits the bill without unacceptable waste. As for diffusion, if it doesn't push past your designated budget, some corner diffusers, in a room this size especially, would be helpful and/or some where the walls meet the ceiling if you really want to get fancy. Your ceiling could have a couple of diffusers too, but regular foam would be O.K. I wouldn't go nuts. Your results will improve dramatically with just a relatively basic application, but double the investment won't necessarily equate to double the reward. You will only be able to do so much given the dimensions and underlying construction. However, I think that some sort of acoustic treatment will be needed to get it tolerable.


                  • #10
                    thanks guys, for the advice. one last question - given my circumstances, is trying to us monitors an inherently foolish idea to begin with. it would be a shame to take on this soundproofing project (which seems within my financial means to do properly) and find that my headphones sounded better all along ...


                    • #11
                      That's the rub. Headphones may very well sound "better" to you even in a great acoustic space. Most headphones tend to "color" sound a bit. Good monitoring headphones don't much. But in either case, the sound gets to your ears with no reflections or distortions and at the right balanced time.

                      I would suggest that if you have never listened to your e's through speakers, you do so prior to going to all this trouble. Through speakers they will sound very different. You will find that the levels and sounds of the drums appear to sound different, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. As the distance from the sound source (speaker) increases, the likelihood of phase problems, cancellation, noise, reflection all increase. A soncic maximiser and other outboard gear (as well as a good acoustic environment) can help to offset this. You do have a slight advantage in being so closed in. You can get near field monitors and put yourself in their "sweetspot" and avoid some of these pitfalls provided that you kill the reflection problem sufficiently.

                      I'd recommend this. Get a TD-10 with a lot of low low (kick) and a lot of (highs)cymbals in a music store and ask to play those sounds (a short recorded sequence will do) through some reasonably priced nearfield monitors. Do not let them process or eq the sound with anything, just send the signal to the monitors bypassing all external effects. Stand between them at the distance you will be sitting from them in your closet. Point them at you. This is as good as it will get. You should notice that the sound is still quite different than what you hear in your phones. If you like it well enough, your decision is made. If not, outboard gear can improve it, but then you are talking a lot more investment and well beyond this thread.

                      If you don't play for others, there is little practical reason to use anything but phones other than personal choice. However, there is nothing like those dBs and that thump. A bass shaker can add a really cool effect even with phones, but some folks just feel it important to hear it from speakers. That decision is purely preference, but headphones are really a lot less trouble and $ for the excellent results they provide.

                      DO NOT spend a bunch of effort and $ trying all this before you listen carefully to your e's through speakers however. I do not want to hear later that your headphones sounded better and you wasted money, and that I'm partly to blame. Hear them through speakers and understand what you will be getting best case scenario, then make your decision.


                      • #12
                        As the good doc says, do all the comparisons, then make your decision.

                        Just be sure that your decision is to go with the headphones!

                        Look, here's your opportunity to go out and buy the best headphones on the market, if you want, and still feel that you are saving tons of money. Because you are!

                        Trust me, to get the kind of sound that will compete with headphones out of speakers, you have to spend a lot of money and get big, big speakers. Big, big speakers that are built to handle the kind of torture that E-drum sound reproduction will put them through. The Mackies are truly great little speakers, but I doubt if they would hold up to what any of us would put them through.

                        Also, one of the best attributes of E-drums is the ability for near silent practice, at any time of day. Why give that up?

                        'Phones all the way!
                        Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance


                        • #13
                          gingerbaker speaks the truth and also points out something crucial that I didn't stress. The Mackies, and other studio type monitors aren't designed to do this kind of thing full time. When mixing, you can bring the signals all into a comfy headroom zone before turning things up loud. You will be wanting to listen at a sufficient volume to cause peaks that may well quickly damage fine speakers. You will want bass thump and you will challenge a studio monitor from the start. As much badmouthing as the PM-3 has taken, it really might be ideal in your situation, if you insist on going the speaker route. It puts out waaaaayyyyyy more than you will ever need in there and is designed to accommodate the right frequency range over extended time. That and some foam might come in under what one (1) Mackie costs, never mind two. Personally, I've never seen any $600+ headphones, but my Sonys (I have mainly 7506s for the studio 7509s for mixing/mastering, but prefer 7506s for e-drumming) are hard to complain about at under $200 for the more expensive of the models I own.


                          • #14
                            guys, thank you all for the outstanding, informed advice! excellent points all. i'll let you know which route i end up going - and don't worry, doc, i don't hold others accountable for their suggestions, especially when solicited!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dr. kildrum:
                              If you don't play for others, there is little practical reason to use anything but phones other than personal choice. However, there is nothing like those dBs and that thump.
                              That is more than enough reason for me. There is something very satisfying about moving air. Surely Fartnokker can testify to that.

                              But to be honest, headphones just don't do it for me. I mean, my 7506's sound great, but they just don't give me the same kind of excitement as the speaker. Even late at night I sometimes choose to put the speaker on low volume instead of using the phones (the low-cut filter on the SRM450 comes in handy for this). Plus the phones always start to hurt my ears after a while.

                              Of course there are plenty of people who do prefer headphones. IMO for a very small room the headphones are probably the best option.

                              [This message has been edited by ufotofu (edited October 24, 2001).]
                              Roland TD-20 v1.08, various v-drums and v-cymbals, Yamaha KP65's, Axis pedals, Gibraltar hardware, Mackie 1202/SRM450 (pre-china)