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Thread: Cheap speakers for PAN stereo techniques

  1. #1
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    Cheap speakers for PAN stereo techniques

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    Hello,
    I'm recording mostly classical music.
    Equipment :
    Stereo AKGS 414S pair
    Stereo NEUMANN KM 184 pair
    Soundcards
    Focusrite Clarett 4 Pre
    Babyface Pro

    On Mac os High Sierra - Macbook Pro but have many other computers - Windows, Linux, etc.

    I have two pairs of Sennheiser headphones and for the last two years have been recording and mixing and all with no worries.

    Some of my collaborators have made a (good) point that for the PAN stereo and changing the virtual "space" in between the two channels I should have a set of actual speakers.

    I'm really not willing to invest to much now for one reason, my studio is too small (just big enough to record maximum 3 musicians).

    I intend to invest in a bigger studio in the future but I am severely cramped for space now.

    So even if not the best (as I can do all the fine editing with the headphones as I always have) any ideas for speakers that are small, with an actual JACK as I would feed them through my sound cards and not too expensive?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  2. #2
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    JBL LSR 305

    On sale right now, for around 200$ a pair.
    MB Pro, FF400, MKH816, AKG C451-C1/CK8, NT1, B5, MD21, Korg RC168, DEQ830, ADA8000...

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    Maybe the Avantone MIXCUBE-PM
    Mini Reference Monitor, Single

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    Thanks for the suggestions! A good samaritan - my student - GAVE me speakers. How nice.

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    You'll find your old projects sound quite different through the speakers - it will take a while to adjust - well worth playing some of the old projects you know really well, and getting used to how they sound, so you can transfer to the new monitoring gently. My guess is you will find your headphones tracks sound too dry or too wet, and spacial positioning will change. A good example would be a headphone mixed quartet. On your speakers you will find their placement squashed from where headphones suggested they were. If in the headphones you had a clear spacing, you could find the 2nd violin and the cello VERY close. Speakers are more 'real', and work more like your ears do in the sound space. Forwards and backwards in headphones often requires treatment to make a real difference, usually reverbs with more delay and reflections - which can then sound odd on speakers. Subtle stuff, but if you listen carefully you will hear the differences, and can compensate.

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    Thanks so much Rob. Indeed my assistant who actually has his own label, and is a rock musician at the base does all his mixing via speakers. He was the one that caught me "red handed" for the problem of stereo PAN. So that really must be true. I sort of abandoned mixing, editing on speakers as I figured so few people listen to my music on speakers nowadays (up to 5000 on Spotify which certainly is compressed and listened to over smartphones and such). But you are correct. Producing an actual CD with high quality audio produced by fine audio equipment merits better mixing.

    Thank you again.

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    Generally, mixes done on speakers translate to headphones better than the other way around. One exception is hard panned low frequency audio. But if you're recording live with multiple mics you aren't likely to have that problem.

    The main difference is the lack of cross bleed in headphones. That is, the left ear hears absolutely zero from the right speaker (and vice versa). The result is that center panned audio is deemphasized relative to the hard panned audio.

    If your space is cramped and you end up too close to your speakers you could easily end up creating an arrangement that has some of the same deficiencies as headphones plus the downsides of speakers. I would still use speakers, but it may take some repositioning and/or treatment to get the most out of them.

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    Now another question. I can't get the "stereo PAN" option in my channel strip in Logic. The only options I have are
    1 - Pan
    2- Binaural Pan

    Yesterday I had three as in the following tutorial and for the life of me do not know why this option has dissapeared = capture-d-e-cran-2018-03-13-15-51-45-jpg

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    The pan options may be affected by whether the track has a stereo or mono audio file in it.

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    Picture worth...capture-d-e-cran-2018-03-13-16-48-41-jpg

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