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Monitoring at my studio

2011-08-28

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When I started working on digital audio in the late 90s, I almost immediately drifted towards working on real-time processing in Max for multi-channel generative sound installations.

Audio production was never part of the syllabus while I was studying composition at the Grieg Academy, and I’m mostly self-taught, although that includes lots of reading up on books, manuals, online resources, attending to mailing lists and forums, and other kinds of online and face-to-face exchange.

My workflow seems to differ quite a bit from the common workflow involved in standard studio productions. I guess that is partly due to my ignorance of how to do stuff “the right way” (assuming there is one), but also that my work is targeted towards a different way of working on and experiencing sound/music.

Still, for some years I have been interested in learning more about standard studio work, including recording, mixing and mastering, in order to see if there are principles and techniques that could extend and enhance my own work.

I have just started reading Mixing secrets for the small studio by Mike Senior, and it is instantly gratifying. I’ve just made a Max patch for listening to low frequency sine tones.

It’s apparent that my studio monitors (a pair of Genelec 8040A) are not really capable of dealing with frequencies below 40 Hz. Furthermore it is clear that the frequency response at my studio is far from flat up to at least 400 Hz. It might be well worth checking out if this can be improved with some acoustic treatment.

The B&W 602 S3 speakers that I mostly use for installations don’t seem to kick in until I reach 55 Hz, but from there onwards the frequency response seems more flat than the Genelec, although attacks are much less pronounced. I suspect that the more flat frequency response might be due to the automatic speaker setup procedure of the Denon receiver that use a mic and test signals to adjust delay time, gain level and EQ for each of the speakers. I have not yet found a way of controlling these settings of the receiver manually.

The patch can be downloaded here.

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