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Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790626 11/17/11 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Ooops. Dang versions of Kontakt. Anyway, yes gears. And there is a section called "insert effects" hopefully? In there one of the effects is a 3-band EQ.


There is nothing in there like that.

I am running version 4.2.4.5316 of the Kontakt Player.


Don

Casio PX-S1000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790632 11/17/11 01:57 PM
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3-bands will not even be close to enough for what you are wanting to do. You should be looking for 10 or more bands. I wouldn't be starting with the bass either. The overall tonal nature of the piano resides in the middle frequency range. If you can get that halfway pleasing to your ear, then you can add bass and high treble with less chance of ending up with a denatured sound. Start with your speakers fairly close to you, get the sound right, then you can start moving them back further into the room and see whether any odd things start to happen within your room. I wouldn't assume that you will have particular trouble with your room, but it is quite possible. .

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790637 11/17/11 02:00 PM
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I don't believe it is possible to achieve gvfarns goal just using an equaliser.

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
spanishbuddha #1790645 11/17/11 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
I don't believe it is possible to achieve gvfarns goal just using an equaliser.


Given that so far he has only mentioned a 3-band EQ so far, how could you possibly conclude anything? You have to try things before dismissing them.

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790647 11/17/11 02:15 PM
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Well, sometimes you know something won't work without having to try it.

For instance, I knew before walking to lunch a little while ago that crossing the street while traffic was zooming by at 50mph was not going to work. So I didn't try it.


Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis
Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790657 11/17/11 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
..
I've tried several sets of computer speakers (crap), KRK RP8 with a 10S woofer, M-Audio BX5, and now Behringer 3031a. The best sounding of the lot was the KRK situation--though the Behringer is quite similar--but the piano sounded much better through the headphones than through any of these. Studio monitors sound detailed but harsh and cold. And while they seem to have a lot of detail, somehow I can hear the sounds of the resonating soundboard and other such things much easier through headphones.

Isn't the difference between studio monitors and headphones mostly about the former having a flat response, while the latter is tuned to sound good?


The big difference between headphones and speakers is that with headphones ALL (yes, 100%) of the sound goes directly to your ears. But with speakers almost all the sound goes some other direction. You ear is a tiny arget compared to the walls and ceiling and floor. Most of a speaker's energy simply misses your ear then hits one of those "room boundaries" and is reflected maybe multiple times and then finally gets into your ears. What you hear with speakers is a combination of the tiny bit of sound the happens by luck to make a bee-line to your era plus al the other sound that is modified and delayed by room boundary reflections.

So, no matter how much you spend of speakers it is wasted if the room itself is not good. If the goal is headphone-quality sound from speakers then the place to put your effort and some money is into room treatment. People don't like to hear this and typically ignore this advice because it required conciderable mental effort and some cost. But it is the only way. Look at every recording studio and see if they don't make this their #1 priority. Many studio are even built such that no two surfaces (walls, ceilings floors) are parallel.


You can go the other way. I don't really like the "speakers that sound like headphones" idea. Go 180 degrees the other way and make your goal that your DP should should like an acoustic piano. An Acoustic sends it's sound out 360 degrees and most of the sound your hear is reflections. A concert audience hears almost ZERO direct sound. It is nothing at all like headphones. To get this from your DP you want speakers that don't aim the sound at the piano player but into the room. Set them up like a home stereo


Many years ago when home HiFi first because available there was a debate between audiophiles about which was best
(1) "They are here" meaning the band, (a jazz combo in those days) sounds like they are playing in your living room or
(2) "You are there" meaning while you sit on your sofa the sound is the same as you would hear at the concert venue.

The debate never ended. Back to your problem. I think you were asking how to get a "you are there" sound from studio monitors. My suggestion was to give up and go for a "they are here" sound.

If you do want the headphone like sound from monitors then you need to make the dead very, very "dead" Use absortion pannels on the walls, a rug on the floor, fusion on the ceiling bring the monitors out from the walls about 18" (at least) and toe them in to face you and make sure the tweeters are are ear level. Lastly have a buddy walk around with a mirror held flat to the walls and ceiling and mark the spots where the mirror lets you see a speaker. make sure those spots are covered with anything other than blank drywall. Use a bookcase, sound pannels or whatever. The "mirror trick" is the absolute minimum you have to do to get that sound you want. These are the primary reflection points, kill them.

Last edited by ChrisA; 11/17/11 02:44 PM.
Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790663 11/17/11 02:48 PM
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To get a good "they are here" sound, it would seem that nearfield monitors are not the optimal solution, then, right? Hi Fi speakers and an amp, then? High end computer speakers? Powered bookshelf speakers? I assume reveb should be turned completely off.

It seems like the "what are the right speakers for my digital piano in a home environment" question comes up all the time on the forums, and I don't see real good answers. The most common suggestion is near-field monitors. But I don't think they sound particularly like an acoustic piano in my environment. To me, headphones are closer.

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790668 11/17/11 02:59 PM
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I have the same problem than gvfarns with my Yamaha S90-ES and a pair of Yamaha MSP 5 studio monitor speakers. In fact, I was looking for an economic EQ hoping it could help. Anybody has experience with the Behringer MINIFBQ FBQ800 equalizer? It has 9 bands. Would that be enough to get some decent sound? Would you recommend any other (economic) equalizer that doesn't take too much space or any other solution? Playing with the equalizer on the keyboard I managed to improve the sound (to my taste, at least, I understand this is quite subjetive), but not as much as I'd like.

Thanks.

Btw, just in case this helps others: I currently have the speakers on the floor and I read that's really bad and they should be at the ear-level (which is something I also want to fix).

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
Brent H #1790686 11/17/11 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Brent H
Well, sometimes you know something won't work without having to try it.

For instance, I knew before walking to lunch a little while ago that crossing the street while traffic was zooming by at 50mph was not going to work. So I didn't try it.


Thanks for taking a comment based on the reasonable and extending it to the unreasonable. Very valuable contribution.

There is a reasonable chance that the OP could shape the EQ to be more to his liking. Why dismiss it before he's given it a good go? Or have we reached the point where we just say, "don't try it, it won't work", no matter what? And then compare it to our ridiculous scenarios about crossing the street...

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790705 11/17/11 04:10 PM
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What he asked about won't work. You can not EQ a pair of inexpensive monitors and make them sound like good headphones. Period. Will not happen. So given that is what he asked about several of us are saying the answer is no.

If he had asked instead, "Do you think I will like my speakers better with some EQ?" my answer would be to try it and see. But that ain't what he asked.

Some questions, the correct answer is no. This was one of those questions.


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Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
Brent H #1790711 11/17/11 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Brent H
What he asked about won't work. You can not EQ a pair of inexpensive monitors and make them sound like good headphones. Period. Will not happen. So given that is what he asked about several of us are saying the answer is no.

If he had asked instead, "Do you think I will like my speakers better with some EQ?" my answer would be to try it and see. But that ain't what he asked.

Some questions, the correct answer is no. This was one of those questions.


Fine, if you want to get bogged down in technicalities, no you won't get these monitors to sound exactly like headphones. But come on, use a little imagination! It's certainly worth learning how to use a decent EQ to improve your sound. There's a good chance he could be much happier than he is now. I don't need to take everything literally and define the limits of a discussion so strictly like you do, but if it gives you a sense of moral rectitude to do so, be my guest...

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790720 11/17/11 04:33 PM
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gvfarns said, to start the thread

Quote
Isn't the difference between studio monitors and headphones mostly about the former having a flat response, while the latter is tuned to sound good?


The answer is no, that is not the difference between headphones and studio monitors. The sound is not determined by EQ curve, that is just one factor no more important than several others.

Quote
If so, then I could theoretically tweak the sound on my computer (within Kontakt, when playing Galaxy) in order to make my monitors sound as good as headphones, right?


Not at all. No software tweak will make speakers sound like headphones. Once again, the answer is no.

Quote
I've considered buying higher end monitors, but I'm not convinced that they won't just be flatter and more analytical, without sounding better. Maybe Hi Fi instead of studio monitors would be the solution?


Yes, and then no. He is correct to be convinced that "flatter" sounding monitors still will not sound like headphones. But no, HiFi monitors don't sound like headphones either.

Quote
So my questions:

1. Is it possible tweak an EQ in order to make studio monitors sound better, like headphones? Has anyone done this?

2. Does anyone have a set of speakers or monitors that makes their DP sound better than it does through high quality headphones? Let's not worry about price for now.


Answers.

1. Better? Maybe. Everyone's better is different. Like headphones? Not a chance. Can't be done.

2. In my opinion there has never been a speaker made that will sound better to me than an HD595. Apples and oranges. If you like headphone sound better than anything else you've heard you will not find it by buying more expensive speakers. You'll get it by wearing headphones.

P.S. And conversely, if you enjoy listening to speaker more than you do headphones you won't duplicate speaker sound by buying more expensive headphones. And to repeat, it is not an EQ difference in any case.


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Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790734 11/17/11 05:00 PM
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Thanks for the info, guys. You've answered some of my questions very well.

Let's change the parameters of the question a little, so they are more specific and possibly useful.

I notice that if I record a song to wav, then play it back on my computer in the other room using Logitech x-230 speakers ($30) the sound is more pleasing--though less detailed. And I've already expressed my appreciation for the sound through the HD 595's.

Could one tweak the EQ on studio monitors to sound like a cheap, though well-liked, set of computer speakers, albeit with greater performance. In essence, can one warm up the tone using an EQ?

If so, what should the EQ curve look like to be more similar to this? And would Hi Fi speakers have achieved more or less that pleasing tone without EQ tweaks, with superior performance in other areas?

Bottom line, given what you know about my preferences from the above, what set of speakers would have been optimal (my monitors are still brand new and returnable)?

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
ChrisA #1790855 11/17/11 07:51 PM
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+1


Regards,
Bob

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Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1790916 11/17/11 09:57 PM
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The question of studio monitor vs hi-fi for digital pianos is pretty much always answered with silence it seems. I think people who use speakers with their piano either use studio monitors OR Hi-Fi (including computer speakers) but generally not both.

But the question of whether you can make studio monitors sound like hi fi seems like one that someone might have an answer to. Cross your fingers, bbent.

In the mean time, I think I'm sending these studio monitors back. Neither them nor computer speakers is truly satisfactory, but at least the latter are generally cheap. smile

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1792179 11/19/11 05:52 PM
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Well, I bought some moderately high-end computer speakers and tried them out in the room. Zero clarity in the bass, missing all the mids, and the highs were only ok. Overall the sound was very artificial and sounded like it was coming out of a tin can. Tried a couple of different types of speakers and they were all about the same.

Then I tried out my monitors again, for kicks. They were incomparably much better than anything else I was messing with. I think at the end of the day:

1. My piano room is acoustically horrible. I need to treat it, and maybe move away from the wall and the corner of the room a little bit.

2. I *might* have unrealistic expectations of speaker quality. Darn headphones set the bar really high.

So I guess I'll keep these monitors and return everything else. Instead I'll try and treat the room and continue messing with the EQ. Some day I'll come back to this question and spend a lot of time (and money) to find the optimal speaker solution.

Last edited by gvfarns; 11/19/11 05:53 PM.
Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1792300 11/19/11 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Some day I'll come back to this question and spend a lot of time (and money) to find the optimal speaker solution.


And I am going to begin my quest for the fountain of youth so I will still be around when you do. smile


Don

Casio PX-S1000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
gvfarns #1792585 11/20/11 01:59 PM
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Here's a piece of advice I've read on a studio monitor forum - "Your're monitors will sound only as good as your room does" (not exact quote, but it was something of the sort). Why does an acoustic piano still sound good in any room, but software pianos don't?


old Gaveau upright & Kawai CA63; previously Korg SP250
Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
Bogs #1792645 11/20/11 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bogs
Why does an acoustic piano still sound good in any room, but software pianos don't?

But, they don't!

Re: Making studio monitors sound as good as headphones. EQ?
Bogs #1792721 11/20/11 04:53 PM
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APs need a good room too. However, they might be a little more forgiving. I think the reason is because APs emit sound in all directions. So yours ears will pick up more of the direct sound waves no matter where you are in the room. With a DP and directional speakers, you will pick up more direct sound waves the closer you are to the triangular "sweet spot"; the farther you are away from the sweet spot, you get more indirect sound bouncing off the walls. Sound bouncing off the walls is a problem for APs as well but not as radical since the sound source is emitting evenly in all directions. Also, with APs there really isn't a sweet spot. Or, you might say you can be anywhere in the room and still be in the sweet spot.

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