How many use sub-woofers?

Xdrummer

New member
How many of you use sub-woofers and what made you decide it was worth the cost/effort?

I mostly record country/alt-country and some "pop" - but I don't really do any tracking/mixing of "urban music" - so I'm not convinced I would benefit in my studio.

I currently mix using a few different sets of near-field monitors. I know how they translate to other systems and when I listen to mixes in the car or on various "consumer" systems I do not perceive that the low end is sitting poorly in the mix - so I think I am doing OK without a sub - - but I've like to know how others view and or utilize subs in there mixing process.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
I have M3-8s and I think subs would be overkill. I use subs in the living room 5.1 system. I have a sub on the Companion 3s in the kids' room. I listen on both to make sure my mixes are good in those conditions. I also listen on a Galaxy 5 with and without buds. It's all part of the process. If the mix sounds good on the Bose and the Samsung internal speakers, it's usually ready.
 

Chili

Site Moderator
I have Bose bookshelf speakers that I supplement with a sub and Event ALP5s that I don't supplement with a sub. If I were to get 8" studio monitors, I would not use the Bose/sub nor ALP5s.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
I have a sub on my 5" Tannoys and none on my JLB 305's. That works well for me because the Tannoys really don't get down there very well and they need a sub for sure. The JBL's get down there pretty well but the low end is is still higher than where I can go with the sub and the Tannoys. That works well for me because I've found that I don't need a lot of other references. Just switching between those two does it for me. So........if your room can translate bass well and you set the proper crossover point for your system........you can get quite a bit of benefit from a decent sub.
 

Raz Klinghoffer

New member
What made me decide getting one, is back in the days when I sent songs for mastering the engineers used to tell me I have a big problem with my low end that I probably can't hear.
 

Jake_JW

New member
I've never used one as I've always had small rooms (or small ish) as mixing spaces - never been convinced that adding more bass was the solution, even when my monitors were smaller ones in the previous room.
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
No subs for me. My monitors go down pretty low and I'm happy with that. Also, I don't want to run the risk of getting a over-representation of the bass in the mix and as a consequence, have it ultimately not represented enough.
 

Bobbsy

Boring Old Git
Not at present--my monitors have 12 inch bass drivers.

In the past though (at work, not my home set up) we had Genelec monitors in some of our edit suites and there we used the matching Genelec subs. These were set up with the right filtering and crossover to make the sound fairly seamless. FYI, one of the reasons for this was that it was essential to have monitoring down to 50Hz to check from problems on material that arrived via satellite or landline--earth/ground related problems were far too common for comfort.
 

Btyre2013

New member
the neumann kh810a is a monster, can't afford a sub for my kh120's, the only reason is my current room isn't good enough, without the right room it's just not worth it.
 

witzendoz

Senior Member
The sub thing depends on what the size of the monitors you have are. My mains do not have a sub, however I have a pair of NS10's as well and I have a sub with them (just a personal choice thing), the sub is actually barley on, but the extra low extension is good for picking up any low end mess.

The sub was set up by running frequency sweeps so that the low end transition was smooth between the sub and the NS10's, then by checking it out listening to my favourite albums of all music types for a few days, the mixes sound good on all other systems, home stereo, car stereo, earphones, etc, so it must be set up right, and mastering houses don't seem to have any problems with my mixes according to the feedback I ask for.

The sub thing for me was during a period when I was working on electronic dance music a lot with my old band, now I use it for everything.

Alan.
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
I have a sub on my home theater/home mastering setup. I let the surround receiver do the crossover processing but I set the level and the delay/phase with the sub's controls. It's pretty easy to switch between 5.1, 2.0 and anything in between, but for audio production I generally use 2.1 and check in 2.0. I don't do anything serious with the center channel on because it's not a great match for the other speakers.

But subs are tricky. You don't want to exaggerate the bass, you just want to extend the LF response as close to 20Hz as possible.

Getting the transition between the mains and sub isn't as easy as it would seem. If the polarity and phase aren't correct you can end up with a hole at the crossover frequency.

Subs are super sensitive to placement, especially in small rooms. A few feet difference can drastically change the pattern of acoustic nulls and peaks.
 

mixsit

Well-known member
I have SPTech/Aether Audio Continuum AD's - good to about 35 or so before they really start falling off. On a tracking playback once- basics' up nice and hot I stopped dead because I heard what I thought had to be the low freq wave of a distant detonation passing through the house.
He had just bumped' one of the QTC-1's on his kit apparently :)
Nope. No sub :)
 

Xdrummer

New member
First I want to thank everyone for their comments and opinions!!!

I think bouldersoundguy has really hit on the key concerns I've had which has prevented me from buying a sub (and after all your comments, I believe has convinced me for the genres I work in - that I would not really benefit from a sub)

At this point the various reference speakers I'm using do seem to allow my mixes to translate well to various audio systems. After mixing I test a CD in my car and my wife's car, the stereo system in my rec. room and the system in our family room and lastly on a small portable "all in one" device in our kitchen.

I find that after all that cross checking, I'm normally satisfied with the mix - unfortunately I also find that by that point I am completely sick of hearing whatever song I'm mixing:D

But subs are tricky. You don't want to exaggerate the bass, you just want to extend the LF response as close to 20Hz as possible.

Getting the transition between the mains and sub isn't as easy as it would seem. If the polarity and phase aren't correct you can end up with a hole at the crossover frequency.

Subs are super sensitive to placement, especially in small rooms. A few feet difference can drastically change the pattern of acoustic nulls and peaks.
 

ashcat_lt

Well-known member
I have my Yamaha monitors sitting on top of a pair of Yamaha subs. It's probably overkill, since I think the monitors themselves are supposed to go down to like 60Hz, but I do like having the extra octave below, and once I dialed in a bit of mid-bass EQ I feel like the way the amps and speakers share the low end helps keep it clean and true. It really did make a difference in my room.
 
Top