What's ok to use as synth speakers?

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
Tiger Jackson
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:14 pm
Gear: Ensoniq ESQ-1, Microkorg, Yamaha DX100, Fizmo

What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by Tiger Jackson » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:26 pm

Ive read that the synth will blow out normal computer speakers, would some powered speakers like studio monitors, such as some mackie mr8's be safe to use?

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5206
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by madtheory » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:39 pm

If you're gonna be synthesising, then you need to hear what you're doing properly.

Computer speakers won't blow up (unless you have them stupidly loud), but they don't sound very good. The MR8 are pretty good but if you have the budget, go for the HR824. They're very accurate monitors, probably the most accurate in their price range, bar none.

Combine that with a bit of cheap room treatment (e.g. stack rockwool rolls in each corner, maybe make panels for the mirror points) and you'll have great sound- which is a lotta fun!

User avatar
cornutt
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:03 am
Gear: 6th
Location: Rocket City USA
Contact:

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by cornutt » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:58 pm

One thing I would generlly avoid is guitar amps. They typically can't handle the bass response of a synth; it will damage the speakers. The high end of a typical guitar amp isn't all that great either.
Switches, knobs, buttons, LEDs, LCD screens, monitors, keys, mice, jacks, sockets. Now two joysticks!

zoomtheline
No Longer Registered

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by zoomtheline » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:24 pm

Sort of related: But I was asked something similar by someone and Got me thinking that you will never actually hear the true sound of your synthesizer, ever.

*obviously*

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5206
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by madtheory » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:52 pm

That's just hi-fi nutjob talk. It is definitely possible to mix something so that it sounds the same on various systems. I've worked in a Munro room, and a domestic room that was very well acoustically treated. Absolutely wonderful to mix in, and to hear your favourite albums in. You immediately experience the passion in a great vocal performance, for example. That's the truth.

Both rooms happened to have PMC IB1S. Awesome.

Image

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5206
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by madtheory » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:57 pm

Here are those rooms.

The Munro designed one:
http://www.middlewalk.com/imagebrowser/ib_p002_0_17.jpg

And the domestic room. This is an old pic, those speakers are the old Celestions:
http://www.soundsound.ie/wp-content/upl ... 80x403.jpg

zoomtheline
No Longer Registered

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by zoomtheline » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:02 pm

Not talking about mixing. Just that anything that amplifies your synth's sound will colour it to a degree so you will never hear the intended sound from the circuits. Of course this is pointless talk as even the designers couldn't hear the true sounds when designing the architecture in the first place.

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5206
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by madtheory » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:41 pm

I gave mixing as an example to demonstrate the fallacy.

User avatar
fh991586
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 973
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:20 pm
Real name: Francis
Gear: Roland JX3P, D50, U220, MVS1, JP8080.
Korg Kaossilator, Monotrons, MicroKorg, M3R.
Yamaha Motif Rack.
Midines
Location: French Canada

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by fh991586 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:47 pm

If you just want to play and have fun listening to the sound of the music, almost anything will do (including computer speakers, providing they don't come from the Dollar Store). I simply use some Roland's Microcube suspended from my ceiling, and it fits my needs: affordable, sturdy, polyvalent, and with the possibility of adding some effects if desired. Of course, if you want to act as in the big league, you can laugh at me and spend tremendous amount of $ to get the ultimate setting...
Considering parting away from:
-Roland TR707
-DSI Mopho

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:25 am

zoomtheline wrote:Not talking about mixing. Just that anything that amplifies your synth's sound will colour it to a degree so you will never hear the intended sound from the circuits. Of course this is pointless talk as even the designers couldn't hear the true sounds when designing the architecture in the first place.
The designers designed them to be played back through acceptable full-range amplification so what you're hearing is the 'true sound'. There's no Platonic ideal of the true synth sound that we only hear approximations of, there's just what we can hear.

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5206
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by madtheory » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:30 pm

Nice one Stabs. I really gotta read them Greeks.
fh991586 wrote: polyvalent
Huh?

And I still maintain that if one spends as much on speakers as on one good synth, you will have more fun. :)

edit: just did a forum search for polyvalent. Totes LOLzers! ;)

User avatar
fh991586
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 973
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:20 pm
Real name: Francis
Gear: Roland JX3P, D50, U220, MVS1, JP8080.
Korg Kaossilator, Monotrons, MicroKorg, M3R.
Yamaha Motif Rack.
Midines
Location: French Canada

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by fh991586 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:26 pm

I meant versatile: I thought polyvalent had the same meaning in English than in French (sorry). I also use them as outdoor amps for movie screening in my backyard in the summer.

Please tell me which speakers can be pinned to the ceiling only with metal hooks (Microcubes have a strap), and I'm all ears. It's really better than my first setting when they were at my feet (definitely a no-go) because of a lack of space. Now I can also play cds (or my computer's music) all around, since it flows over the objects in the room!
Considering parting away from:
-Roland TR707
-DSI Mopho

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5206
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by madtheory » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:15 pm

Well your English is a lot better than my French :)
fh991586 wrote:Please tell me which speakers can be pinned to the ceiling only with metal hooks (Microcubes have a strap), and I'm all ears.
Any speakers, as long as you add a "strap-on"? ;)

Tiger Jackson
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:14 pm
Gear: Ensoniq ESQ-1, Microkorg, Yamaha DX100, Fizmo

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by Tiger Jackson » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:16 am

fh991586 wrote:If you just want to play and have fun listening to the sound of the music, almost anything will do (including computer speakers, providing they don't come from the Dollar Store). I simply use some Roland's Microcube suspended from my ceiling, and it fits my needs: affordable, sturdy, polyvalent, and with the possibility of adding some effects if desired. Of course, if you want to act as in the big league, you can laugh at me and spend tremendous amount of $ to get the ultimate setting...
Yea i really just want to play and have fun. Im not doing any mixing just yet. So it'd be ok to use just some bookshelf speakers or something? I've heard that the high bass and frequences of synths blow out speakers, but it's ok if i'm not trying to do some room-shaking bass and expecting them to hold together?

Don T
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 296
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:28 pm
Real name: Don
Gear: Roland SH-09, Korg Polysix, Moog Rogue, Realistic MG-1, Paia Fatman, Korg Monotron, and of course, my main instrument: Trumpet!
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: What's ok to use as synth speakers?

Post by Don T » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:50 am

Tiger Jackson wrote:
fh991586 wrote:If you just want to play and have fun listening to the sound of the music, almost anything will do (including computer speakers, providing they don't come from the Dollar Store). I simply use some Roland's Microcube suspended from my ceiling, and it fits my needs: affordable, sturdy, polyvalent, and with the possibility of adding some effects if desired. Of course, if you want to act as in the big league, you can laugh at me and spend tremendous amount of $ to get the ultimate setting...
Yea i really just want to play and have fun. Im not doing any mixing just yet. So it'd be ok to use just some bookshelf speakers or something? I've heard that the high bass and frequences of synths blow out speakers, but it's ok if i'm not trying to do some room-shaking bass and expecting them to hold together?
Why not use a really nice pair of headphones?
Don Taylor

Master of no trades, practitioner of many.
(Basically, this means I know just enough about a lot of things to get myself in real trouble)

Post Reply