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Cans versus speakers

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  • Cans versus speakers

    This has been asked before and i even had a go at answering it a while ago, but i can't find any definitive answers ...

    Calling all you sound experts ... When i play my TD12 with Vexpress kits through my Fostex studio headphones i'm in total heaven, i hear every nuance, nothing is lost, BUT when i go through my Behringer mini mixer, nearfield monitors and matching sub it sounds like a tin can being kicked in an alley (well not quite as bad as that he he)

    These are TR5 nearfield, biamped, flat response speakers with a matching sub 100w each,

    The MP3 player sounds great through them but the kit sounds crap.

    My own thinking is that headphones are very dynamic as the emitting frequencies are basically strapped to your head whereas with speakers the frequencies become airborn and bounce.

    What do you think? are Vdrums destined for practise through cans only? needing a talented soundman to pull out those nuances in live or studo situations or use a miked acoustic kit?

    Ok we have the threads but lets get some fresh perspectives from current members how does yours sound? why is one crap and another so fantastic that i even think i'm getting better at playing ha ha i'm even embarassed to let anyone hear me play through these monitors. I give em my cans and plug in a spare set if they wanna hear me.

    Would a huge PA equal headphones.?
    Last edited by daveybabes; 07-20-08, 09:38 AM.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by daveybabes View Post
    needing a talented soundman to pull out those nuances in live situations or use a miked acoustic kit?
    I guess I'm not really the right man to talk about headphones versus studio monitors versus PA-speakers. But I'm quite sure when you play live, it 'll sound totally different through PA-speakers as through your studio monitors...

    Stijn
    'lectric drumma
    Roland TD-20, Hart Dynamics 7.6, 2 x PD-7, extra PD-7 and Hart Snare laying around, Vic Firth Dave Weckl signature sticks, Axis A-longboards double pedal, Sony MDR-CD780 headphones and not enough inputs.

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    • #3
      It is a whole lot easier and much cheaper to get a relatively uncoloured reproduction through headphones, Dave. There's a multitude of reasons why but you have mentioned one of the major factors already, sound reflection.

      I've spent 25 years tweaking the design of my studio monitors and have spent more money on those and the amplification that runs them than most people spend on a deposit for a house!! ..... and I still hear things on my AKG K240M headphones that I sometimes miss on my monitors!
      The one thing that limits the reproduction of my monitors the most at present is the room they are in. I have spent ages positioning bass traps, mattresses, furniture and other damping material to get the room sounding as neutral as possible but I am ready to move house to get it right. The simple fact of my current location is that the room is basically a box with parallel walls, roof and floor and that is always going to be a limitation because it creates what is termed 'standing waves'. They are resonances that occur at certain frequencies and their harmonics, based on the distance between the walls, roof and floor and are nearly impossible to completely eliminate.
      My next studio space will be purposely designed for recording, mixing and mastering with non parallel walls, roof and floor and will have properly planned surface treatments. Only then will I begin to be able to get accuracy from my studio monitors that rivals my headphones.

      Having said all that, the treatment I have done to my room at present with mattresses, furniture placement and bass traps has made a MAJOR difference to the sound and has made things quite useable. If you can get yourself a couple of second hand mattresses and a couch, you'll find they will make a major difference too. If you go that route, expect to experiment with placement in the room for best results.

      Edit - another thing that will make a big difference is to get your monitor speakers as close to you as you can when you are playing. That will help to minimise the effects of room reflections.

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      • #4
        Good answer, thanks SP i know you have spent a lot of money on studios.
        WEBSITE - http://www.diamondelectronicdrums.com/
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        • #5
          Originally posted by daveybabes View Post
          Good answer, thanks SP i know you have spent a lot of money on studios.
          You're welcome Dave. Hopefully my suggestions spark some ideas for you.

          As for finances.... some people spend money on a fancy car and a nice house.... I drive a 300 dollar 'get me from a to b' car and I pay rent. My dreams are somewhat different to those of the vast majority and I spend all my income on bringing my dreams to life

          There is a famous movie where two very cool guys said, "We're on a mission from God" and they drove a cheap (but way cool) car and they paid rent (sort of!!)...... they were also asked in that movie, "Who do you think you are? The Beatles?"
          They knew who they were

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          • #6
            SP, I'm wondering what your opinion is on those Bose surround systems with only 2 speakers (+ bass) that "place" the sound in your room? I never heard them, but am a bit sceptical on that kind of stuff actually.

            And I don't mean to hijack this thread Daveybabes!


            Stijn
            'lectric drumma
            Roland TD-20, Hart Dynamics 7.6, 2 x PD-7, extra PD-7 and Hart Snare laying around, Vic Firth Dave Weckl signature sticks, Axis A-longboards double pedal, Sony MDR-CD780 headphones and not enough inputs.

            Comment


            • #7
              And exploit the Fletcher-Munson curve by turning your monitors up loud! Heh. Although that may sound a bit facetious, it is a serious suggestion. The psycho-acoustics changes dramatically going from headphones to speakers and cranking the volume helps to compensate.

              And if you think going from cans to nearfields is bad, wait till you go to PA speakers!

              SP and I should compare cars. Mine is so beat to hell it is embarassing!
              sigpic

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              • #8
                lectric drummer, you can hijack away, it's all interesting stuff, you know i'm never serious, seriously! yep those bose towers are supposed to be the dogs naughty bits, replacing PA's on stage mmm i was speaking to a Bose sound installer just last week and he said they do exactly what they say on the tin.

                Michael you are the spirit of Brando (not the physical) a true renegade i just turned the modules master out to 3/4 pushed the gain on the mixer to 3/4 and gently turned the main mix out volume up and these beasts have just come alive! i turned bass mid and low to a neutral setting and turned up the sensitivity on the sub a little, the babies are rocking, oh my! keeping in mind if they were also placed correctly in a triangle shape with me at one point in the sweet spot? i think we are sorted Brando old bean if in doubt whack it up. I think i was a bit scared to turn em up. It was like driving my (quite cheap) car in 1st gear. needed to open her up.

                Yep SP renting would be a step up for me he he i live with my 70 year old mum and feel like a teenager again at 40, she's the only 70 year old i know who likes heavy rock (whitesnake, rainbow, deff leppard) drinks, smokes and has a good right hook

                You know? that's 581 posts? when i first came here i knew absolutely nowt about drums, learnt a bit now. Superb!
                Last edited by daveybabes; 07-20-08, 01:31 PM.
                WEBSITE - http://www.diamondelectronicdrums.com/
                YOUTUBE CHANNEL - http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbVB...?feature=guide
                FACEBOOK me at ... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...83235555050736
                :eek: ...
                Showcase 1 - http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=253
                Showcase 2 - http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=354

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by daveybabes View Post
                  i'm never serious, seriously!
                  LOL!
                  Originally posted by daveybabes
                  yep those bose towers are supposed to be the dogs naughty bits, replacing PA's on stage mmm i was speaking to a Bose sound installer just last week and he said they do exactly what they say on the tin.
                  Err... I was actually refering to their home cinema surround system with only 2 speakers and a sub... But now I think of it, I do think the system you refer to kinda does the same. Don't they act like monitors and PA at the same time too?


                  Stijn
                  'lectric drumma
                  Roland TD-20, Hart Dynamics 7.6, 2 x PD-7, extra PD-7 and Hart Snare laying around, Vic Firth Dave Weckl signature sticks, Axis A-longboards double pedal, Sony MDR-CD780 headphones and not enough inputs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 'lectric drumma View Post
                    SP, I'm wondering what your opinion is on those Bose surround systems with only 2 speakers (+ bass) that "place" the sound in your room? I never heard them, but am a bit sceptical on that kind of stuff actually........
                    To be honest, I am not a big fan of them. They are OK if you are really pressed for space but I find their mid range to be really artificial. IMHO, they are trying to milk too much from the non directional properties of low frequencies. There is a limit to that and the Bose systems never quite got around the laws of physics.
                    Originally posted by Michael Render View Post
                    And exploit the Fletcher-Munson curve by turning your monitors up loud! Heh. Although that may sound a bit facetious, it is a serious suggestion. The psycho-acoustics changes dramatically going from headphones to speakers and cranking the volume helps to compensate.

                    And if you think going from cans to nearfields is bad, wait till you go to PA speakers!
                    Good point on the old loudness contour trick
                    SP and I should compare cars. Mine is so beat to hell it is embarassing!
                    LOL I hear you my friend
                    Originally posted by daveybabes View Post
                    ........Yep SP renting would be a step up for me he he i live with my 70 year old mum and feel like a teenager again at 40, she's the only 70 year old i know who likes heavy rock (whitesnake, rainbow, deff leppard) drinks, smokes and has a good right hook

                    You know? that's 581 posts? when i first came here i knew absolutely nowt about drums, learnt a bit now. Superb!
                    Your mum sounds like a pretty cool woman!
                    I agree with you about the resources on this forum too. Even though I have been involved with electronics for a long time, the information shared throughout this place has been fundamental to my kit obsession..... did I say that out loud just then?.... I don't have an obsession!!!
                    Originally posted by 'lectric drumma View Post
                    LOL!

                    Err... I was actually refering to their home cinema surround system with only 2 speakers and a sub... But now I think of it, I do think the system you refer to kinda does the same. Don't they act like monitors and PA at the same time too?


                    Stijn
                    PA systems and most home cinema systems typically have relatively low crossover frequencies for the subwoofer and tend to be quite effective. The higher up you go with the crossover point, the less ability you have to place the sub away from the main speakers and not notice its position.
                    The THX cinema specifications for subwoofers are 80 Hz LPF with a 24 dB per octave slope.
                    Some PA systems have higher crossover points sometimes up to 200 - 300 Hz but these systems are generally arranged in a stack (or 'array') so all speakers are placed in the same position.

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