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Studio and pro vs home gear

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  • Studio and pro vs home gear

    http://www.behringer.com/MX602A/index.cfm?lang=enghttp://www.broadcastwarehouse.com/ma...er/308/product be more expensive than e.g. a home gear Sony Super Audio CD-player http://www.electromania.be/hifi/sacd...dio-cd-speler?

    OK, if you go Marantz home gear, you go even cheaper for Super Audio CD-players... But I just wonder, why would that simple Pro CD-player be more expensive than a home Super Audio CD-player? You could call it "brand" of course, but the same goes for e.g. Denon: http://www.zzounds.com/item--DENDNC615

    Or is it just plain stupid to buy rack-mount pro stuff for home use? Just thinking, if you would go with active studio monitors instead of a home stereo amp with passive speakers, you need some kind of mixer anyway (at least, I think), so why not take rack mounted stuff all along?

    Let me know your thoughts please.

    Thanks!


    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.

  • #2
    All good questions Stijn,

    You can get some studio quality equipment nowadays for prices comparable to home hi-fi gear and, generally, pro gear is designed to handle extended usage and/or will be more rugged to survive life on the road.

    Behringer offer some good prices, but I've heard from some others that quality control is a problem. I can vouch for the Yamaha analog mixers - very good quality and reasonably priced - I have the MG16/4 mixer and I'm very happy with it.

    If you have a TD-20 I would look at a Digital Mixer and you could use the SPD/IF interfaces or the analog inputs.

    Powered monitors normally have built in crossovers and matched amps so they are a good option for a flat frequency response and a self contained system. If you go for unpowered monitors and a power amp you need to be a bit cautious as power amps draw a lot of current and have large fans and heatsinks so they tend to generate a bit of noise and heat.

    I have a no-name CD player and it is fine - you won't find a great deal of difference in output quality between the cheapest and most expensive CD players (as long as they have a line level output) - so you can save some money there.

    Rack mounting is great - I think a 19" half height road case rack is the best thing for your gear - you can top mount the mixer and put most of your other gear in the rack itself for protection / ease of transport and sound proofing. They just don't look very pretty sitting in the living room......


    That's my 2c worth - I'm sure you'll get some other good opinions from the forum.

    Comment


    • #3
      Forgive me if I go off topic a little, I had a hard time following the original post.
      It sounds like you want to record at home though.

      Studio gear is great but high in price.
      The thing is you can have that same high end gear in a home studio but you wont get that great sound the pros do since you dont know how to get the most out of the equipment...that takes time to learn.

      For home recording I suggest staying away from analog mixers and such, they are not needed anymore since interfaces are out. PreSonus makes some great units and M-Audio has top notch vista driver support.
      With software (sequencers) today, they offer high end software based FX plugins which sound great. Once you put audio though an interface it is in digital format and you want to keep it in the format so you dont get any glitches. Sending audio out the interface and into rack mount gear will turn it into analog audio, then back into digital again and running cheap analog gear will only destroy your sound in the end.
      Mix "in the box" by using software plugins in your sequencer when it comes to FX.

      When it comes to making a CD, any desktop CD burner will do the trick, I use one from my old Dell....(seems to work better than the DVD/CD combo unit on my new PC)

      Active monitors are very popular in smaller studios...mostly due to price. With passives you need to run a high quality power amp which doesn't color the sound. In the end, passives are higher in quality and color the sound less, but once again...you pay more for that.

      A lot of studios run computers and interfaces these days. Analog setups are high in price to start and I think the sound from a digital computer setup sounds great. For home studios I suggest sticking with a computer setup, just about any desktop PC will work off the shelf, even a $300 one.

      Tweaks guide in my sig will walk you though everything about recording, I suggest reading though it.
      Last edited by weldman; 09-09-08, 05:46 AM.
      Dave
      Sonic Orb Studios
      My Youtube

      My kit is custom running 10, 12, 14" toms, a 12" snare, 2 crash, 1 ride, 1 splash, and dual kick drum all plugged into a
      Roland TD-6V module which runs MIDI to Superior Drummer 2

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.d-mpro.eu.com/index2.php?...Pid=131&brand=
        '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


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hercules View Post
          I'm sure you'll get some other good opinions from the forum.
          That's what I was hoping for... I've got my mind set on trying some monitors, if I only just knew what really justifies the price difference between e.g. a Sony SuperAudio CD-player, and a "normal" rack-mounted e.g. Denon CD-player, where the Denon is the more expensive one - with less features...


          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


          • #6
            hey Stijn,

            Check the specs of the CD players on their websites - look at s/n ratio and THD (total harmonic distortion) and Wow/flutter figures and compare them.

            As per my previous email, I really don't see any value in paying heaps for a CD player. As long as it plays the CDs you want and has a remote so you can start/stop the tracks from behind your kit then a cheapie is good enough. You could consider a DVD player as most of them are compatible with CDs and you get the bonus of being able to play DVDs. I've seen DVD players as cheap as $50 in Australia.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hercules View Post
              Check the specs of the CD players on their websites - look at s/n ratio and THD (total harmonic distortion) and Wow/flutter figures and compare them.
              Thanks. But what are those s/n ratios, THD and wow/flutter figures? When are they good, when not...?

              Thanks!


              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


              • #8
                well if its more for just listen to music though and patching your drums though I would get some 8" woofer monitors such as some KRK RP8s
                You may want some standard speakers instead of monitors though. The monitors sound "boring" as they are not coloring the sound at all. This means they are great to mix songs on however they are not too fun to listen to music though all the time... For that I have some standard speakers setup with an amp/receiver combo.

                As for CD players, I truly believe higher prices = better sound quality when it comes to audio equipment. Get a good name brand.
                Dave
                Sonic Orb Studios
                My Youtube

                My kit is custom running 10, 12, 14" toms, a 12" snare, 2 crash, 1 ride, 1 splash, and dual kick drum all plugged into a
                Roland TD-6V module which runs MIDI to Superior Drummer 2

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Stijn,

                  Sorry about that - I tend to fall into acronyms because of my job...

                  S/n = signal to noise ratio.
                  - basically it is the difference in level (decibels) between the loudest part of the recording and the noise floor. Higher number in dB for s/n is better. You should expect to see a figure above 80dB for a CD player.
                  - It is sometimes confused with a similar term called dynamic range which is simply the difference in dB between the softest and loudest passages.

                  THD = total harmonic distortion.
                  - you normally see a figure stating s/n ratio with a THD percentage. Your ears will start to rebel when THD exceeds .5% thus smaller % THD is better.

                  Wow and flutter is an old term that applied more to turntables but is still relevant to the CD media which relies on reading a spinning disk.
                  - it describes the ability of the drive motor in the device to control the speed of spinning accurately
                  - you will hear differences of 1% quite distinctly as a pitch change, so smaller number is better once again.

                  Remember when checking out equipment that you can't listen to something in one location and then go and compare it to another device in a different location as your ears tend to "colour" the memory of the sound, so you need to compare the devices side by side to get an accurate result.

                  Hope this helps.

                  ...you will note that weldman and I have quite different opinions on your questions, which is always the way with audio setups and not at all unhealthy - your best judge is your own ears.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Some good posts here guys. Just one thing, and I'm being pedantic here Hercules, is your reference to wow and flutter.
                    That really isn't relevant to CD players. The data from the disc is loaded into a buffer which is then read by the rest of the circuitry to do the conversion back to an audio signal. Since the data from the disc is buffered first, any wow and flutter from the spin motor is irrelevant. What is relevant is the 'jitter' of the main system clock which controls the entire data stream and conversion process. 'Jitter' is the digital world equivalent of the old analog 'wow and flutter' term. In simple terms, jitter is the diversion of the system clock from it's center frequency. In an ideal world, the clock frequency should not vary at all.
                    The effects of poor jitter figures are predominantly a smearing of the stereo image and lack of definition, particularly in high frequency content. Jitter is typically significantly worse in cheaper players and, along with other factors, contributes to the 'harsh' and 'brittle' characteristics of cheap digital gear.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi SP,

                      Nice to hear from you again - hope the finger is better.

                      Thanks for the info - I tend to live in the analog world sometimes (being an old bugger....)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hercules View Post
                        Hi SP,

                        Nice to hear from you again - hope the finger is better.

                        Thanks for the info - I tend to live in the analog world sometimes (being an old bugger....)
                        ..an old bugger? What do you call old?
                        Like you, I tend to have an affinity for the analog world. That is where my roots lie.... analog tape and razor blades..... I still remember playing around with out of phase speakers (between left and right positive terminals on a stereo amp) to create a quasi surround system from SQ encoded material. Fun days

                        My knowledge of digital systems came from my training in electronics. I once had a job repairing hifi gear and that included CD players.

                        I'm not quite sure what you mean about my finger though. My paws are fine =^.^=

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey SP - I though I was the only one who remembered how to do simulated quadrophonic !!

                          In case anyone on the forum is interested, you can hook up your unpowered backing speakers to play the "out of phase" signal and produce a really interesting "quadrophonic" effect:
                          1/ connect the earth (black) from the each speaker to it's respective hot (red) on the amp
                          2/ run a single wire to from the hot (red) on the left speaker to the hot (red) on the right speaker)
                          The play a CD (or record if you remember those things) that has a lot of effects (Alan Parsons stuff is good for this) and listen to all the out of phase signal. If you hit the mono button everything out of phase disappears.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks guys for the great responces so far.

                            Originally posted by weldman View Post
                            well if its more for just listen to music though and patching your drums though I would get some 8" woofer monitors such as some KRK RP8s
                            You may want some standard speakers instead of monitors though. The monitors sound "boring" as they are not coloring the sound at all. This means they are great to mix songs on however they are not too fun to listen to music though all the time... For that I have some standard speakers setup with an amp/receiver combo.

                            As for CD players, I truly believe higher prices = better sound quality when it comes to audio equipment. Get a good name brand.
                            http://home.snafu.de/adam-audio/studio/ (anyone experience with them?). Also, don't studio monitors and high-end hifi-speakers try to achieve the same in sound?

                            Thanks!


                            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


                            • #15
                              IMHO, as a professional engineer, I find the more accurate and uncoloured the speakers, the better for both mixing and listening enjoyment.
                              When I'm mixing a project, I will listen to the mix on cheapo speakers as well just to make sure the mix translates well on average speakers of the kind many people will listen on. I still do all my main work using my studio monitors in order to be sure I am getting the results I expect and not compensating for speaker inaccuracies (that is something you DON'T want when you are recording and mixing).

                              My studio monitors also form the heart of my hifi and home theatre listening too. They are FAR more accurate than typical hifi speakers and I personally find it much more exciting to listen to the music rather than listen to the speakers (hopefully that makes sense!!)
                              Many typical hifi speakers are designed to artificially boost the top and bottom end in order to instantly appeal to the average Joe in the shop. However, they can quickly become fatiguing to listen to in the home when the music starts to resemble the inaccuracies of the speakers rather than what the engineer and artist intended.

                              So, considering you want to use these speakers for both listening enjoyment and recording / mixing, my advice is to go for the most accurate studio monitors you can afford.

                              Comment

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