Professional advice on monitors and room treatment

Hi there, I need some professional advice! I am looking to buy some studio active Monitors which produce Original uncolored sounds. I have been recommended Focal and Dynaudio but I would like to know your opinion about these or is there anything else better for Mixing and Mastering.
Please look below at my signature line it will give you some idea about my studio setup. Thanks.

Have you acoustically treated your room?

What jimmys69 said.

If you don’t treat your rooms first, meaning taking care of early reflections, room modes and bass resonance to lay out a few, it’s meaningless for any type of studio monitors in your room no matter how expensive and flat-sounding they are.
A good rule of thumb is investing in your room the amount you’ve spent on your studio monitors. 1:1 ratio.

Here’s a quick and introductory guide to treating your room.
I’m sure there are numerous guides out there that you can check out.

FIY, especially when you’re trying to master a track, according to a many mastering engineer, an ideal ceiling has to be at least 16 feet (5 meters) with an asymmetrical, rectangular room that’s larger than 20m². These are professional grade standards, so don’t sweat it too much though.

Assuming that you’ve taken care of your room, it all comes down to your budget, type of music you’re trying to produce.

Great link van!

I am sure about the ratio tho. I myself have spent near $2000 on rock wool treatments, but I have 3 isolation rooms as well as my mixing room. I am now building a 13X15’ vocal isolation room that will likely be another $800 in Roxul, but that is a different situation.

The monitors I rely on the most I payed $300 for the pair. Event TR8’s. I am looking to upgrade soon but I did learn early that room treatment is basically the most important and cheapest thing you can do to improve the quality of product. If the room sucks, well…

Well, there’s no such thing as a perfect room… at least that’s what I learned. So it’s a matter of knowing the flaws and strengths of both your room and your monitors.

As you may know rockwools or fiberglass panels do nothing below the 200Hz range. Too much of it can actually make your room worse for a mixing environment because it deadens the mid-range sound spectrum. It needs natural reflections for you to mix properly.

Here’s a David Pensado seminar with a renowned acoustic engineer. Check out the comments too.

EDIT: here’s a fixed video link since they removed the YouTube link.

If you’re trying to take care of the bass responses in your room, tou may want to look into membrane bass traps.

And here’s a guide to making membrane bass traps, which was an immense help for me. Planning to make them this fall.

No my room isn’t acoustically treated I am thinking of doing something but I cannot afford to spend a lot on this as this is just a hobby I am not in music professionally so please suggest what I can do in a moderate price range.
Any how the question about studio monitors still remains I am looking to spend approx. £600 on a decent pair.

Well, you mentioned mixing and mastering above. So if you’re aiming to do both of those things, the type of speakers won’t matter since your room is not ready.

You need to know your room measurements as well. If it’s under 20m², don’t bother buying anything over 6 inches since it will not handle bass responses very well.

Also, you have to specify what type of music you want to mix & master because every speaker has its genre-based merits.

If you’re bypassing everything else and thinking budget only, anything in that price range would do. Literally.

Focal, KRK, Yamaha, Behringer, PreSonus, M-Audio, ESI, ADAM you name it. They’re all fine in that price range.

Asking for professional advice will mean that the issue of room treatment is central. I can remember the astonishment I felt when I placed bass traps in the corners of my studio. I could not believe the difference. You might think about some really high end headphones if you can’t afford to treat the room. A friend of mine who is living with his parents has found this to be a useful, if temporary alternative.

I have Dynaudio… They are good but they have ports. Regardless to what anyone says, the use of a port to extend the bass response will introduce port noise. This noise isn’t in your recording but will be in the room, especially when the volume is cranked. You’ll hardly notice it on good designs but it often gets in the way when focusing on lower frequencies, balancing the bottom end of the mix. Ports also introduce a tiny time delay, again hardly noticable but it is there.

As for all this bass trap talk. I doubled up some high density rigid fiberglass panels for 8", wrapped some fabric round, no frame, in the corner 2 panels high, some Pringle tubs for feet, it’s a high ceiling. The fabric is thicker than my wall absorption so probably reflects more high end. All my wall panels have gaps, wood frames, the gaps are important. Spray painted inner toilet rolls (yes, really!!!) does the trick, cut for 4". The weight of the panel, stringed to the wall, picture hook style keeps them in place.

my type of music Dance ,Trance & new age. Recently I create my new music in Cubase8.5 witch I mix & master on my Studio Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO - 250 Ohm and audio technica ath m40fs

No matter how thick the fiberglass or rockwool you stack, it will not take care of the bass (which is considered below 200Hz). It’s scientifically proven that it does little to nothing for the frequencies below 200Hz. I think the lowest is 125Hz and no less.

What you need is a membrane bass trap which takes care of sub-sonic frequencies depending on how big and how deep the trap is.

I’ve linked some info on that above if you’re interested.

If you’re doing dance music, which is almost always bass and kick-heavy, KRKs or ADAMs are a popular choice.
KRK Rokit 6 is a great choice depending on how big your room is. If not, go for ADAM A5X. A7X is overkill IMO.
KRK Rokit 4 is also a very renowned pair of studio monitors, and some say it’s even better than the Rokit 5’s.

I’ve never had the chance to listen to any of the Dynaudio series, but I’ve heard they’re also a leading brand in the professional audio business. I’m pretty sure you won’t go wrong with their budget line-up.

Like I’ve said, within your price-range, any monitors will do since they’re pretty much standardized nowadays.

Also, I’ve listened to your music. Strictly speaking from an industry-standard perspective, your music isn’t loud enough but alas, your bass is over-powering. Which means your studio headphones aren’t generating the necessary sub frequencies you need to hear and therefore you’re overcompensating. Headphones are mainly for post-mix checkups, unless you’re very skilled at what you do.

Lastly, it seems like your highs (6~16kHz) are a little too pronounced which means your mids will be masked by all the highs in comparison. Cut the highs a little and your mids will come alive.

I didn’t care for the focals I had , very expensive and weak low end for the price, Very happy now with my Adams, check them out, I am not in my studio and for get the model number but they are the large size with ports. the adams give me great translation, what I mix is what I get. I just have
My back wall behind the monitors fully covered
And the wall a the end of my studio 50 % covered.

Acoustic treatment is important but a minimal amount or none will do especially for non professionalbut some of the replies here are way overblown.

What’s important is translation. Knowing how to get translation.

You want the sound to translate to a smaller system and keep integrity.

Therefore if you don’t have bass traps, be sure to not over cut low end with EQ, once you play on a small system the boomy sound won’t be there as much.

Yes, I’ve researched a lot into it myself and i’ll be checking out those links. I’ve likely seen the Pensado vid already but there’s that many i forget. I’ll check it out again…

I will point this out though… A lot of what we are inspired by, were made in project studios not featuring membrane bass traps.

Glad the adams are working out for you. :slight_smile: It is awesome when gear clicks with your style. :mrgreen:

Curious… what focals are you referring to? I mixed on Solo6s for years and they were the best translating speaker I had ever mixed on. I didn’t have to check my mixes on other systems. They had plenty of bass too. I now mix on focal trio6 monitors and these are the absolutely best I have mixed on in my life.

The solos and trios I found particularly flat. Especially the trios (40-40kHz ±1db) . It can be a little misleading if your other listening environments are bass-heavy. If the bass sounded louder in the mix in the studio, it sounded really loud and out of balance on other systems. The solos’ bass response was extremely clean and accurate. They got a lot of praise for that.

I haven’t heard any other focals except the focal twins.


Back to sunny7:

If you are not going to do a lot of treatment, you may want to consider smaller sized monitors and a sub. Having a separate sub that you can move around will enable you to be able to somewhat “work” with the existing room acoustics because you will be able to move the sub to a location of the room where it sounds best. It will help tame speaker boundary interference (monitor speakers close to a wall, rear ported speakers near a wall or wall corner causing bass boost and erratic bass behavior) as the low frequencies from your main monitors will not be radiating as much out of mains. It will also extend the response so you can hear the low-freqs in your dance/trance music. Also, a cheap way, if you already have one laying around, is to throw a fluffy couch in the room to help absorb some of the excess sound.

Dynaudio bm5s and a sub perhaps? not sure if they are still around… I’ve heard them in someones CR and was surprised. Not colorless, but for the price…

PreSonus Sceptre S8? My supplier raved about them.

Any chance you can bring some home and listen to them in your room? Monitors are such a personal choice. Have some reference tracks together to audition on the monitors you demo.

Oh the twins Nuce, I think out of my price range which is capped at 900 ea monitor , I had the small focals

Try to get the best monitors you can afford and build/buy some decent room treatments. At minimum Bass Trap the corners and cover your 1st reflection points (including the ceiling above your mix spot). You can always add more treatment in the future. Having the acoustic treatment in place will make the listening experience much better.

I went through a few “cheaper” monitors configs before finally making an investment in a set of EVE SC307’s (three-way monitors). I couldn’t be happier, lows/mids/highs are very tight and the stereo imaging is amazing.

*But “Headlands” mentioned something very important in a prior post; the SC307’s can be overwhelming depending on your room size. For a smaller room (less than 225 sq/ft or 21 sq/meters) EVE SC305’s would be a better choice. Check Eve Audio’s webs site FAQ section, they have a room size guide for each of their products.

Room treatment and good monitoring are CRITICAL. There is NOTHING more important. No compressor, no converter, no EQ, no plugin, none of these compares with the importance of your ROOM, and MONITORS. NOTHING is more important.

If you want to do professional mastering - prepare to invest HUGE amounts of money and time - your room had better be AMAZING… your monitoring system had better be AMAZING… otherwise, you will not get the results you’re wanting. If you’re not prepared to go down that road (it could be VERY VERY expensive - many mastering facilities are custom-built specifically to address the issue of room acoustics), just hire a professional mastering engineer and be done with it… You can still probably make good mixes yourself. There is some great advice in other people’s posts here… treat your room for sure… get the best monitors you can… really try to nail the midrange in your mixes (200Hz to 4khz) - make the midrange AWESOME… it’s the most important. The highs, and especially the lows will be impossible to nail perfectly, but the mastering place can probably help some with that.

Cubase is great for mixing and production… if you want to get into mastering, buy Wavelab. Wavelab 9 is incredible for mastering and editing work…

Keep in mind though - the pros have amazing rooms - and amazing monitors. To compete with them, you need the same tools. Sadly, it’s just not possible to compete with them 100% unless your rich… You can still do a “good” job though. Just do the best you can, and move on to the next project… don’t waste time endlessly trying to perfect one project. Too many people do that - get hung up on one thing like it can’t be released until it’s perfect. BAD IDEA. Do the best you can, and move on.

Lastly, I read somewhere above someone said “there’s no such thing as the perfect room”… I disagree… well, maybe PERFECT is not attainable, but I guarantee you - the world’s best productions are coming out of rooms that are REALLY REALLY REALLY close to perfect - with EXCELLENT world-class monitoring…


Hi all, thanks I have read all of your replies and I have decided to acoustically treated my studio which is really important for me to do now! Anyhow today I physically went to check out the monitors myself I thought Dynaudio would be amazing but it was complete opposite, I really like Adam 7x because the sound throw and punch is really clear & good but after a while the sales adviser pointed me to Neumann KH 310A but there wasn’t time to go into it as the store was closing but I’m going back tomorrow. Please guys give me your honest opinion about this monitor as its much more $$$$$ than I was expecting to spend so I don’t want to jump in at the deep end without doing the proper research! Thanks.