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I think the word "monitor" is used to mean different types of speakers in different contexts. It can mean the speaker that a musician listens to on stage, so that he can tell what he sounds like and (hopefully) how he sits in the mix. In a professional recording studio, it can mean tracking monitors, mixing monitors, or main monitors. And in home audio, it generally means a stand-mounted speaker (what used to be called a "bookshelf speaker").

Tracking monitors and main monitors are usually designed to be listened to from either up close or far away, so the designer pays attention to both the first-arrival (on-axis) sound and the reverberant (off-axis) sound. Mixing monitors are usually listened to in the nearfield, so the on-axis sound is what matters. Only the first-arrival (mostly on-axis) sound matters for a stage monitor, and for the home audio monitor both the on- and off-axis responses matter.

For sound reinforcement, the off-axis sound matters a lot, because it is the off-axis sound that dominates the reverberant energy in the room, and most of the sound that most of the audience hears is reverberant energy. We'd rather not have a big discrepancy between the on-axis and off-axis sound; a classic example of what can go wrong when the two are dissimilar is the on-axis "icepick effect" you get from a 4x12 guitar cab.

In my opinion it's quite feasible for the same speakers to be used for a home studio and for small-venue gigs. A few years ago I built a pair of speakers for one of my keyboard-player sons that he uses for composing and gigging, and he has mixed dozens of albums on them. The speaker was actually one of my home audio models in a prosound-style enclosure, with beefed-up crossover components.

Last edited by Duke LeJeune; 04/06/13 03:31 AM.

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I had the speculation, why so often even acoustic classical pianists do excessive wide body swinging movement by playing.

Whether that they may capture by this some more extra sound perspectives from the instrument? Organ player do this not so often, which observation would support this.

If true, it stresses out the importance of the engineering multidirectional (and multi-depths!) sound pespectives.

Otherwise this would only mystify a questionable habit.

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Originally Posted by Temperament
I had the speculation, why so often even acoustic classical pianists do excessive wide body swinging movement by playing.

Whether that they may capture by this some more extra sound perspectives from the instrument? Organ player do this not so often, which observation would support this.

If true, it stresses out the importance of the engineering multidirectional (and multi-depths!) sound pespectives.

Otherwise this would only mystify a questionable habit.

Well this is going OT, but I struggle with timing and rhythm, and have developed a habit of moving my trunk, rather than tapping my foot, as a way of keeping time. Not excessively though. I just don't know how some players keep good time and rhythm whilst maintaining a statue like pose. Must be in the head? Or hidden twitches. smile

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You you thought of trying a set of Bi-Amp Monitors like the Rokit RP5 or RP6. Fantastic Sound from these baby's! Adjustable gain. High Low Pass Filters. Excellent choice for around £250-£400 dependant on which ones you go for!!


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For those who don't remember how it started with studio monitors, at some point in the development of the home studio market during the last decade, as making music was becoming easier and easier, some took and repeated ad lib this motto willing that "studio monitors is the most important piece of gear you can buy in your music making process", and then everyone started to think indeed that was all well required to produce their horrid electro nonsense. The market exploded, and while it might be a good idea for a commercial producer to try and listen his music on various speakers to get an idea of how it would sound in your kitchen radio once aired, many forgot the real deal about speakers : they come last, after the amp, after the source, after the musician, after the notation after the idea of the composer, and this for a very good reason which is the music is not in the speakers at all (but in the air the move eventually when it happens.)

Hence what do you get with the usual 4-6 inches woofers studio monitors set, when it comes to amplifying a piano, more or less the same physically compressed boxy sound that won't be able to render the idea of the cabinet of a piano. At most they sound like a good bookshelf stereo, and it is not that much at all for up to 500 or 1000 of your current western currency.

This is why, at the opposite of what so many electro nonsense "producers" do, if you can't afford 10 or 12 inches woofers, or bigger, or a real piano, you would probably be happier with a pair of older bigger cheaper hifi speakers hooked up to a decently sized amp (to give an idea of what this is, have a look at the cabinet DP amp power, it is not very much and it suffices for the purpose to play the instrument even more loudly that it would acoustically sound.)

Or at least if you want to keep a small form factor imprint on your furniture, take the average bookshelf hifi speakers, or even a multimedia kit, or small public address speakers, and don't pay 4x the price of that, because you won't get a neutral sound (the sound of your DP is all but neutral, and you know anyway what a piano sound like, and you actually admitted to compromise on that when you choose a DP over an acoustic), and to start with, the neutral sound according to what DP sampling engineers through what idea of neutral sound of what monitor makers design engineers? Because these monitors all sound their own way, the same way as your hearing ability is unique as is the morphology of your skull, etc.

But to amplify a DP for a public, you need keyboard amplifiers, they are heavy, expansive, they usually cannot reproduce sounds higher than 15-17kHz or lower than 80-100Hz, but they are very sturdy and can accept great charges without breaking.

Or, make your own experience with studio monitors and go spend hours on them listening to your favourite records in mp3 trying to convince yourself you "rediscover the music" through these monitors of yours that cost you an arm and a leg and "that sound extremely balanced and neutral"...

For that's what we all happened to do at some point indeed, just before we started to have a closer look at that darn music making market phenomenon.

(and there are some nice electro nonsense stuff to listen to after all)

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Some nice points, Silent Way.

It amazes me how cheapo mini drivers can command a high-price simply by virtue of the monitor moniker.

And oh! how special! They are ultra-directional ... precisely what we don't want! Yes, I want to pay 4x more for that! smile

And they're neutral! I'll have to change my EQs to suit that blessed characteristic. Sign me up.

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I used monitors for the longest time, but recently switched to QSC K10s. I really like them because they have great clarity but provide a much more dynamic experience than near fields. I run my Vintage Vibe 64, Jupiter 80 and Kemper Profiling Amp through them and they work great for each application.


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I recently bought HK Audio Lukas nano 300 and it's really fantastic with pianos both at home and in small clubs.
Very high quality and easily transportable.

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For working at my PC to listen to music and to play around with pianoteq I have Alesis iM1Active 520USB monitors. They are cheap and cheerful and work fine.

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Originally Posted by theJourney
For working at my PC to listen to music and to play around with pianoteq I have Alesis iM1Active 520USB monitors. They are cheap and cheerful and work fine.

This has a built in audio interface 16 bit only, 44.1/48 Kbps and HeapPhone Outputs. How good they are? What if the driver are not compatible with future OS? OK, cost only 220 EUR.

I Use Genelec 8020B Monitors, occasionally with a sub + edifier PC Sound system (crap in comparison, but added to the Genelecs helps to take away some of the tiring directional effects of the Genelecs). I Intend the Genelecs to combine with my CA65 (to come soon).

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