Using powered computer speakers as monitors?

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by dnrg, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. dnrg

    dnrg Guest

    I really don't have the funds for a good pair of powered monitors and
    I'm wondering if anyone here has used powered computer speakers
    hooked-up up to a mixer in a pinch?

    I know proper monitors are better, but they're many multiples of the
    price of a good pair of computer speakers. I'm just a hobbyist,
    really, and imagine comparing the sound on the speakers, and, say, a
    good pair of headphones might give enough variation. A friend of mine
    tells me *all* speakers color the sound and not to worry so much about
    using monitors.

    I suppose if I were in the business of making a living from selling my
    music (unlikely since I like producing obscure experimental electronic
    music; hardly commercial) then I'd be a fool not to invest in proper
    monitors. But since I create music for my own pleasure only, I'm
    looking for cheaper solutions to $400/pair monitors.

    What about using a receiver and a good pair of passive stereo
    speakers? Any suggestions on good speakers that would cost under USD
    $150/pair?


    Thanks very much.

    - Dana
  2. dt king

    dt king Guest

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "dnrg" <dananrg@yahoo.com>
    Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.synth,rec.audio.pro
    Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2003 1:44 PM
    Subject: Using powered computer speakers as monitors?


    > I suppose if I were in the business of making a living from selling my
    > music (unlikely since I like producing obscure experimental electronic
    > music; hardly commercial) then I'd be a fool not to invest in proper
    > monitors. But since I create music for my own pleasure only, I'm
    > looking for cheaper solutions to $400/pair monitors.
    >
    > What about using a receiver and a good pair of passive stereo
    > speakers? Any suggestions on good speakers that would cost under USD
    > $150/pair?
    >


    If you're making experimental electronic music for fun -- me too -- you can
    use anything you want. I understand Yamaha MSP3 Active Studio Monitor goes
    for about $150. The Edirol MA-5A Active Studio Monitors are quite a bit
    cheaper, about $50.

    I use a pair of Sony closed earphones. Quite frankly, a good pair of
    studio monitors is wasted on me.

    dtk
  3. Paul Ward

    Paul Ward Guest

    I can understand the desire to save money, but you've got to appreciate that
    the speaker is the last link in the chain - and EVERYTHING you do will be
    enhanced, or spoiled, by them. Personally I'd try to save money elsewhere
    and get something decent that will do a good job, and last many, many years,
    rather than skimp on what is possibly the most important part of the
    recording process.

    P.

    "dnrg" <dananrg@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:c1888d06.0308170944.513025e4@posting.google.com...
    > I really don't have the funds for a good pair of powered monitors and
    > I'm wondering if anyone here has used powered computer speakers
    > hooked-up up to a mixer in a pinch?
    >
    > I know proper monitors are better, but they're many multiples of the
    > price of a good pair of computer speakers. I'm just a hobbyist,
    > really, and imagine comparing the sound on the speakers, and, say, a
    > good pair of headphones might give enough variation. A friend of mine
    > tells me *all* speakers color the sound and not to worry so much about
    > using monitors.
    >
    > I suppose if I were in the business of making a living from selling my
    > music (unlikely since I like producing obscure experimental electronic
    > music; hardly commercial) then I'd be a fool not to invest in proper
    > monitors. But since I create music for my own pleasure only, I'm
    > looking for cheaper solutions to $400/pair monitors.
    >
    > What about using a receiver and a good pair of passive stereo
    > speakers? Any suggestions on good speakers that would cost under USD
    > $150/pair?
    >
    >
    > Thanks very much.
    >
    > - Dana
  4. I don't recommend using your stereo system/receiver for an amplifier. I
    tried this about 10 years ago and got a blown tweeter for my trouble.

    The problem is that home stereos are designed for a constant volume signal,
    much like what's on the radio or on a CD. When you play a synth, you are
    going from zero volume to full to zero thousands of times. The stereo system
    amp doesn't handle this well and can lead to a blown speaker.

    Computer speakers will work, but they're not optimized to be transparent. In
    other words, after mixing your cranking tune in your studio, it might sound
    very thin or boomy in the car, other people's stereos, or a boom box.
    However, if you are aware of the deficiencies of your computer speakers, you
    can mentally compensate for this while mixing and produce fine mixes.

    -Brian


    "dnrg" <dananrg@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:c1888d06.0308170944.513025e4@posting.google.com...
    > I really don't have the funds for a good pair of powered monitors and
    > I'm wondering if anyone here has used powered computer speakers
    > hooked-up up to a mixer in a pinch?
    >
    > I know proper monitors are better, but they're many multiples of the
    > price of a good pair of computer speakers. I'm just a hobbyist,
    > really, and imagine comparing the sound on the speakers, and, say, a
    > good pair of headphones might give enough variation. A friend of mine
    > tells me *all* speakers color the sound and not to worry so much about
    > using monitors.
    >
    > I suppose if I were in the business of making a living from selling my
    > music (unlikely since I like producing obscure experimental electronic
    > music; hardly commercial) then I'd be a fool not to invest in proper
    > monitors. But since I create music for my own pleasure only, I'm
    > looking for cheaper solutions to $400/pair monitors.
    >
    > What about using a receiver and a good pair of passive stereo
    > speakers? Any suggestions on good speakers that would cost under USD
    > $150/pair?
    >
    >
    > Thanks very much.
    >
    > - Dana
  5. Mike Rivers

    Mike Rivers Guest

    In article <c1888d06.0308170944.513025e4@posting.google.com> dananrg@yahoo.com writes:

    > I really don't have the funds for a good pair of powered monitors and
    > I'm wondering if anyone here has used powered computer speakers
    > hooked-up up to a mixer in a pinch?


    They're OK if you just want to know that something was recorded, but
    if you want to hear what was recorded, and how, you'll need something
    better than powered computer speakers.

    > I know proper monitors are better, but they're many multiples of the
    > price of a good pair of computer speakers. I'm just a hobbyist,
    > really, and imagine comparing the sound on the speakers, and, say, a
    > good pair of headphones might give enough variation.


    If you're a hobbyist, then it's perfectly OK to use whatever you have
    on hand or what you can afford. However, you have to accept the fact
    that you have no reason to complain that your recordings don't sound
    as good as commercial recordings. There are many reasons why they
    won't, but not being able to accurately hear what you're doing every
    step of the way through the project is the most important one.



    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers - (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    In article <c1888d06.0308170944.513025e4@posting.google.com>,
    dnrg <dananrg@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >I really don't have the funds for a good pair of powered monitors and
    >I'm wondering if anyone here has used powered computer speakers
    >hooked-up up to a mixer in a pinch?


    I do it, but not in a pinch. I want to hear everything through
    good headphones, dry monitors, a good stereo, a cheap stereo,
    computer speakers and car speakers.

    >I know proper monitors are better, but they're many multiples of the
    >price of a good pair of computer speakers.


    Even "good" computer speakers are a 4" driver in a little plastic box.
    They can sound good and they are better than nothing. But they won't be
    better than a goood pair of headphones.

    >tells me *all* speakers color the sound and not to worry so much about
    >using monitors.


    That's true, but a good pair of monitors makes no effort to do so. A
    stereo system might be more fun, actually. Consider the dynamic range
    and the frequency range of a piano though. If I were considering
    computer speakers, I'd get big ones with a subwoofer. Before I did that
    though, I'd scrounge for a receiver and some decent home stereo
    speakers. Even a crappy stereo (think, average 1980's kenwood), is
    going to be way better than computer desktop speakers.

    >looking for cheaper solutions to $400/pair monitors.


    I consider my monitors to be part of the instrument. But, I'm also
    a serious piano student, and my keyboard rig has to pull duty for
    my hobby as an amateur rock musician as well serving as a piano for
    serious practice.

    >What about using a receiver and a good pair of passive stereo
    >speakers? Any suggestions on good speakers that would cost under USD
    >$150/pair?


    Yeah! Think, "yard sale".

    --
  7. >>I know proper monitors are better, but they're many multiples of the
    >>price of a good pair of computer speakers.

    >
    >Even "good" computer speakers are a 4" driver in a little plastic box.
    >They can sound good and they are better than nothing. But they won't be
    >better than a goood pair of headphones.


    Mixing on headphones is completely different to mixing on speakers, be
    they good or bad.

    Haven't you got a hi-fi system? Plug through to that.
  8. Rich Wilner

    Rich Wilner Guest

    dananrg@yahoo.com (dnrg) wrote in message news:<c1888d06.0308170944.513025e4@posting.google.com>...
    > I really don't have the funds for a good pair of powered monitors and
    > I'm wondering if anyone here has used powered computer speakers
    > hooked-up up to a mixer in a pinch?
    >
    > I know proper monitors are better, but they're many multiples of the
    > price of a good pair of computer speakers. I'm just a hobbyist,
    > really, and imagine comparing the sound on the speakers, and, say, a
    > good pair of headphones might give enough variation. A friend of mine
    > tells me *all* speakers color the sound and not to worry so much about
    > using monitors.
    >
    > I suppose if I were in the business of making a living from selling my
    > music (unlikely since I like producing obscure experimental electronic
    > music; hardly commercial) then I'd be a fool not to invest in proper
    > monitors. But since I create music for my own pleasure only, I'm
    > looking for cheaper solutions to $400/pair monitors.
    >
    > What about using a receiver and a good pair of passive stereo
    > speakers? Any suggestions on good speakers that would cost under USD
    > $150/pair?
    >
    >
    > Thanks very much.
    >
    > - Dana



    I mixes for 2 years through an onkyo reciever and a pair of boston
    CR-7s. I made some pretty good recordings of local bands with that
    combo and made enough money to reinvest into the studio, and
    "upgraded" to active KRKs (V8's?) thinking the most important link in
    the chain was the monitors...even if you have crappy mics, you can
    compensate if you can hear what's going on accurately, right?

    After 6 months of being pissed off at how shitty the KRKs sounded, i
    sold them and bought back a pair of CR-7s. I now have a pair of
    HR824s and i love them, but nothing leaves my control room without
    geting checked on the bostons.

    hands down, boston makes the best sounding speaker for the money and
    they last forever. you'll have a hard time finding them on ebay, at
    least i did, because i think people just hold on to them. But if you
    can nab them, i would do it. should be about 150 used.
    good luck and have fun.
    Rich

    Rich
  9. dnrg

    dnrg Guest

    Anyone know if I can use Creative Labs 6.1 surround sound computer
    speakers with a regular mixer? I know the sound won't be terrific, but
    it's within budget for now.

    I think the surround-sound speakers have a three-ringed 1/8" plug, so
    I'm wondering what would happen plugging one of those into a Y-adapter
    to two RCA plugs for the mixer and or two 1/4" jacks. Would only some
    of the speakers in the system output any sound?


    Thanks.

    - Dana
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    In article <c1888d06.0308210848.42f7af66@posting.google.com>,
    dnrg <dananrg@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >Anyone know if I can use Creative Labs 6.1 surround sound computer
    >speakers with a regular mixer? I know the sound won't be terrific, but
    >it's within budget for now.


    It won't really be a problem, but you're only going to get 2 channel
    sound. Keep the gain low on your mixer, and you should be fine.

    Just use a Y-adapter, to RCA plugs to the tape out on your mixer, if you
    want to be sure you've got the right level.

    Right now I'm looking for a pair of stage wedges that can also work as a
    stereo for my home studio. I've considered an Alesis power amp and a
    pair of Behringer wedges. Is that a lame idea, or can it work?
    --
  11. dnrg

    dnrg Guest

    fishbowl@m0x0.conservatory.com () wrote in message news:<_S61b.29639

    > It won't really be a problem, but you're only going to get 2 channel
    > sound. Keep the gain low on your mixer, and you should be fine.
    >
    > Just use a Y-adapter, to RCA plugs to the tape out on your mixer, if you
    > want to be sure you've got the right level.


    Thanks Fishbowl.

    - Dana

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