GUIDE TO
THE
A S p e c i a l P r o m o t i o n a l P u b l i c a t i o n F r o m I n t e n t M e d i a
BROADCAST INTERNET ...
www.audiomedia.com June 2014 03
Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com CONTENTS
> Commercial Director
Darrell C...
MONITORING
BEFORE launching into a view of the
loudspeaker itself, the key features of the
environment into which it is to...
www.audiomedia.com June 2014 05
Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com MONITORING
power amplifiers and large-ex...
MONITOR METHODOLOGY
WITH EXPERIENCE designing studios
for artists and labels including Mark Ronson,
U2, Coldplay, Spitfire...
08 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014
MONITOR METHODOLOGY
a big effect on the low frequency...
DYNAUDIO PROFESSIONAL
10 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014
Chosen by Ear
BM mkIII Series
T...
www.audiomedia.com June 2014 11
Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com DYNAUDIO PROFESSIONAL
AIR Control – Conf...
EVE AUDIO
EVE Audio of Germany is going places fast:
from its establishment in 2011 it has made a
strong and positive impr...
www.audiomedia.com June 2014 13
Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com EVE AUDIO
INFORMATION
EVE Audio
Roland S...
GENELEC OY
14 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014
Smart Active Monitors -
Designed to Adapt
...
www.audiomedia.com June 2014 15
Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com GENELEC OY
INFORMATION
Genelec Oy
In Eur...
KRK
1. Vocal clarity with extended bass response
Many manufacturers compromise the midrange frequencies in order to
delive...
www.audiomedia.com June 2014 17
Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com KRK
INFORMATION
KRK UK distributor:
Focu...
PMC
BASED in Luton, England, PMC is a leading manufacturer of
precision reference monitors for discerning audio profession...
analogue and AES3 digital inputs are accepted, and are combined
to feed the subwoofer system, as well as being passed thro...
PSI AUDIO
Quality – Technology – Experience – Coherency
Designed and manufactured at our Yverdon workshops in Switzerland,...
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INFORMATION
PSI Audio
HQ
Relec...
PRESONUS
ERIS SERIES HIGH-DEFINITION STUDIO
MONITORS
When it’s time to replace those cheap
‘computer’ speakers with seriou...
Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com PRESONUS
discover fine nuances of your music that can’t
be reproduced by...
24 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014
PRESONUS
ERIS
ERIS KEY FEATURES
4.5-inch (E4.5)/5.25-...
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INFORMATION
[]PreSonus Audio El...
TANNOY
26 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014
Reveal the Details of Your Mix
Tannoy has an i...
www.audiomedia.com June 2014 27
Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com TANNOY
INFORMATION
TC Group
Sindalsvej 3...
EXPERT WITNESS
HEADPHONES are an essential tool for
recording studios. Having spoken with a
variety of recording engineers...
www.audiomedia.com June 2014 29
Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com AUDIO-TECHNICA
AUDIO-TECHNICA’S M-Series...
KRK
KRK Systems is one of the world’s most
respected manufacturers of studio
reference monitors.
Mixing and even mastering...
ULTRASONE
ULTRASONE, founded in 1991, is located
close to the Alps in South Germany and
specialises in headphones. Day-to-...
The International
Audio Guide series
from Audio Media
Each International Audio Guide focuses on an important
pro-audio pro...
Audio Media Monitors Headphones Guide 2014
Audio Media Monitors Headphones Guide 2014
Audio Media Monitors Headphones Guide 2014
Audio Media Monitors Headphones Guide 2014
Audio Media Monitors Headphones Guide 2014
Audio Media Monitors Headphones Guide 2014
Audio Media Monitors Headphones Guide 2014
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Audio Media Monitors Headphones Guide 2014

  1. 1. GUIDE TO THE A S p e c i a l P r o m o t i o n a l P u b l i c a t i o n F r o m I n t e n t M e d i a BROADCAST INTERNET AUDIO MULTIMEDIA POST PRODUCTION RECORDING I N T E R N A T I O N A L E D I T I O N In association with:Produced By: Monitors & Headphones 2014 ©LesCunliffe-Fotolia.com
  2. 2. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 03 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com CONTENTS > Commercial Director Darrell Carter darrell.carter@intentmedia.co.uk > Editor Jory MacKay jory.mackay@intentmedia.co.uk > Group Head of Design & Production Adam Butler adam.butler@intentmedia.co.uk > Production Executive Jason Dowie jason.dowie@intentmedia.co.uk > Designer Jat Garcha jat.garcha@intentmedia.co.uk >>> CONTENTS >>> MEET THE TEAM > 4 Monitoring Commandments > 6 Monitoring Methodology > 10 MONITORS: Dynaudio > 12 MONITORS: Eve Audio > 14 MONITORS: Genelec > 16 MONITORS: KRK > 18 MONITORS: PMC > 20 MONITORS: PSI Audio > 22 MONITORS: PreSonus > 26 MONITORS: Tannoy > 28 Headphone Essentials > 29 HEADPHONES: Audio-Technica > 30 HEADPHONES: KRK > 32 HEADPHONES: ULTRASONE The contents of this publication are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or in part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care is taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this publication but neither NewBay Media nor the Editor can be held responsible for its contents or any omissions. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Publishers or Editor. The Publishers accept no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, or artwork. © 2014 NewBay Media. All rights reserved. Welcome to the 2014 edition of the International Guide to Monitors & Headphones, an overview of the monitor and headphone market for the audio production professional. Bring up the subject of monitoring with any producer, engineer, or recording professional and you’re bound to get more than an earful back (no pun intended). That’s because what we hear, obviously, defines what we create. Our ears are only as good as the sound that is getting to them. So whether it’s the box, the magnetics, the materials, the electronics, or even just the room they’re in, the term ‘reference’ is never used lightly among those who rely on accurate and natural voicing, spot-on transients, and that little, indefinable ‘something’ special during their day-to-day of audio production. Within the pages of the 2014 International Guide to Monitors & Headphones we’ve put together promotional articles from 10 of the world’s leading monitor and headphone manufacturers detailing the ethos and design choices that go into producing these critical audio production components. We’ve also included informative articles from some of the top studio designers and monitor and headphone aficionados who will help you create the perfect monitoring sweet spot, or choose the right set of studio cans for your application. Looking for tips on setting up your studio? Level Acoustic Design founder Chris Walls runs us through his process whether you’re in music, mastering, film, or any other area of audio production, while White Mark managing director David Bell gives us five of his steadfast rules of monitoring. What about headphones? Do you need open or closed back? How much should you spend? And what sort of features should you be looking for? We get these answers and more from the CEO of headphone specialist retailer HeadRoom. So if you’re in the market for new monitors or headphones, or just want to see what’s new and interesting, this Guide is here for you. This Guide, along with the others in the series (DAWS & Plug-ins, Theatre Sound, Microphones, Broadcast Audio, and Consoles) are Audio Media projects and are designed to help you navigate your way through the swaths of products available. Formoredetailsvisitwww.audiomedia.com Jory MacKay, editor. AUDIO MEDIA (UK) Audio Media is published by Intent Media London, 1st Floor, Suncourt House, 18-26 Essex Road, London N1 8LN, England. www.audiomedia.com Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7354 6001 www.nbmedia.com >ADVERTISER INDEX Advertiser Page Dynaudio 2 Genelec 9 Neumann 7 PreSonus 36 PMC 31 Tannoy 35
  3. 3. MONITORING BEFORE launching into a view of the loudspeaker itself, the key features of the environment into which it is to be placed must be understood. This piece is not the place for a tutorial on the acoustic properties of enclosed spaces but the salient issues should be set out, such that a context for the following remarks can be established. Important aspects of the room to be considered are its modal response and the fundamentally different relationship it has to the differing regions of the frequency response it is to be asked to support during audio reproduction. The key influence can be very heavily simplified to the observation that: all spaces that are enclosed by walls will have a series of modes, perceived as maxima and minima in sound level at given frequencies. These modal effects are spatially distributed within the space as a direct result of the geometry of the room’s boundaries. The distribution across the frequency spectrum of these modes, and their Q, are affected by the shape and the structure of the room boundaries and there is only so much that can be undertaken to alter this using acoustic treatment, once the space within it has been defined. The way that the room volume interacts with frequencies within it as they vary over the audible range varies. The effect of the low frequency response of a room is limited in the range below the fundamental frequency relating to its principal axial dimension. Above this region the response is principally affected by the modal response of the room until a value is reached, relating to the RT60 of the space and its volume, known as the cut off frequency. Above a value, roughly four times the cut off frequency, geometric reflection combinations are the fundamental mechanism of effect that the room has on the sound within it. Between these two figures, the room affects the sound in a mixture of ways including geometric reflection combination and modal effects. As the frequency rises within the space, the modal density increases and, as the upper frequency figure is approached, their effect becomes minimal. And so, to the requested Commandments, or fundamental observations: 1. Choose the right monitors Simply put, a loudspeaker should be selected that will give as wide a frequency response as possible at a consistent level to suit both the room in which it is to be used, and the use to which it is being put. Dispersion characteristics should be considered as a fundamental aspect of the performance of the monitor. There are arguments for a restricted dispersion angle and others for a wide spread but, whichever is selected, this aspect of the performance should be even with frequency as far as is possible. Uneven dispersion will result in a great disparity between the on axis (and possibly perfect) response and the off axis energy that is poured into the room which, in turn, can result in a serious disparity between the reverberant field characteristics and those of the direct field. A loudspeaker is the fundamental interface between the recorded sound signal and the user who is assessing it. Thus, the monitor chosen must perform across a range of frequencies at a level that is compatible with that at which the user wishes to work. In Dolby-licensed post-production environments this is set out carefully, depending on the approval level sought, so that consistency is achieved across studios and cinemas the world over. Music users must ensure that their frequency response and level requirements are realistic when auditioning possible monitors. Consider the topology of the units you wish to audition. A pure approach to monitor design, avoiding ported enclosures to give ‘enhanced’ bass response, can be likened to the search for the pure signal path in the electronics. High- 04 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 Monitoring Commandments David Bell, managing director of acoustic and technical design firm White Mark, gives us his five steadfast rules for getting the most out of your monitors. Tony Germano’s Studio One in New York White Mark managing director David Bell
  4. 4. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 05 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com MONITORING power amplifiers and large-excursion bass drivers have made this more possible than in past times and consideration should be given to the transient response and phase effects around the driver/port summation that allow the ported enclosure to work. Listen to fretless bass or similar sounds and check that pitch and tone are maintained down to low frequencies and not sacrificed for ‘punch’ and measurable output extension that is not musical. 2. Put the monitors in the right place Monitoring exists as the result of the loudspeaker and the listener combining with their environment. Placements of both the loudspeaker within a room and of the observer are fundamentally affected by the modal at low frequencies and by reflections from room boundaries at higher frequencies. Thus, all steps should be taken to assist the loudspeaker to give off its best by mitigating the adverse effects caused by placement. The loudspeakers should be positioned to minimise reflections from their immediate surroundings. Nearfield monitors should be placed to minimise multi-path effects from a console or work surface; free-standing mid- field and even soffit-mounted units should be adjusted in position to reduce comb filtering from reflection paths via the walls, ceiling, floor, and equipment. Height, particularly, can be used to great advantage to maximise path difference lengths between direct and reflected sound from such surfaces as the console/ work station, equipment racks behind the engineer and the floor. Care taken to observe the variation in response as free field mounted loudspeakers are moved can reap great benefit in minimising the colouration produced by reflected multi-path interference. Soffit mounting of monitors is the best solution for minimising reflection-originated colouration. It should be well known that, as frequency drops, the loudspeaker outputs energy in a progressively increased solid angle until, at low frequencies, the energy emitted to the rear and sides is close in level to that which radiates forwards. Correct soffit mounting prevents this energy from reflecting with any time delay and, thus, colouring the perceived sound at the listening position. 3. Support the monitor units correctly A fundamental mistake made by many users is in the support of the loudspeakers in the position in which they are to be used. In common with every aspect of studio design, resonance should be avoided at all cost. It is noticed, time and again, how edit and composition workstations are set upon tables, with the small or medium-sized loudspeakers set either side of the screen. While this can be fine, a swift knock on the table surface will reveal the resonant nature of the usually lightweight units and it is a fundamental truth that the sound radiated by the table when struck will match the absorption characteristics that the surface is applying to the loudspeaker. Many smaller monitors try hard to eke out as much bottom end as possible and it seems pointless to just throw this away with uncontrolled low frequency absorption into the supporting structure. An example to illustrate this comes from a studio that called us in to look at a poor bass response from a pair of midfield monitors they were using. They had a client who had recorded and mixed a number of tracks on his own monitors which he had positioned over the meter bridge and, when these were submitted for mastering, they were found to be deafeningly bass heavy. Upon measurement, the suck out was not in evidence when the main monitors were in use, nor when the small nearfields were tried. The client was asked to reproduce the set up used for the sessions and he brought in a pair of Unicol TV stands, which he positioned overhanging the console. The midfields were duly mounted upon them and a massive loss of bass became immediately obvious. Removing the stands and placing the loudspeakers on the very substantial meter bridge restored the bass immediately. 4. Set the monitors up to the best of your ability (or the availability of budget) If possible, a competent engineer should set up the monitors in the room in which they are to be used. If free field mounting is used, the moving of the loudspeaker, even by very small distances, can cause significant changes in response and it is easiest to accurately assess this using instrumentation. Soffit-mounted units are best placed to avoid these problems and the designer should have positioned them to minimise any problems at the drawing stage. A competent measurement system should be used for all but the lowest cost monitors as the expenditure necessary for this process to be undertaken is limited and the benefits obtained far outweigh the effects of oxygen-free cabling, gold interconnects, and esoteric stand geometries, all of which often appear higher up the priority list. Failing this, listen to familiar programme material and perform adjustments of position until the result is what is expected. 5. Apply GENTLE frequency response correction As described above, the listening environment affects the performance of the monitors in a number of ways. The modal response of the room will cause peaks and troughs in any response, and some reflections will do likewise, and there is no point in trying to equalise these out. If repositioning of the monitors or listening position is possible, then this should be tried. The remaining anomalies should be minor and are the characteristic features of the room. If the room has been designed properly these will be spread out evenly across the relevant parts of the frequency range and cause no noticeable effect. The use of a parametric equaliser to adjust the loading of the monitor in the room volume and topology is important. DSP units designed for use with the loudspeaker system chosen can also offer delay and phase correction and these adjustments should only ever be undertaken by the supplier or their nominated expert. The tuning of the monitors is a process thought unnecessary in times past, the claim being that a linear monitor and a linear room should just fit together and be ‘right’. The adjustment of a monitor/room interface, taking into account all of the above, is important. The room/monitor interface is complex and gentle tuning is part of its correct optimisation. Free standing monitors at Extreme Music in London
  5. 5. MONITOR METHODOLOGY WITH EXPERIENCE designing studios for artists and labels including Mark Ronson, U2, Coldplay, Spitfire Audio, MTA Records, and more, Level Acoustic Design founder (and former Munro Acoustics principal acoustician) Chris Walls is a man who knows a thing or two about setting up your space. Here, we ask the man himself to put together his tips and tricks for setting up monitors for a number of applications. You’ve got a new client who wants you to design a control room, which will be used primarily for music mixing – what’s your first step in creating an optimal monitoring environment? We can assume that any good quality studio monitor will have a nominally flat frequency response when measured in a free-field (i.e. anechoic conditions) so the aim of the design is to retain that accuracy when the monitors are set up in the studio, while at the same time creating a comfortable acoustic environment in which to work. This means achieving the right balance between sound arriving at the mix position directly from the monitors and sound arriving after one or more reflections from room boundaries or equipment. In practice this is usually achieved through careful geometric design of the studio and by introducing acoustic treatment to the space. So the first step is to establish what equipment and monitors will be installed in the studio. From here we can lay everything out and, if space allows, design the geometry to minimise strong early reflections at the mix position. Then we can design acoustic treatment to deal with prominent room modes and provide the desired acoustic response. It is important to find the best spot for the mix position in terms of the room’s modal response. You want to avoid it being right in the middle of the room as many room modes have a node in the middle of the room, meaning that there will be very little sound energy at several bass frequencies. A good starting point for the mix position is around one-third of the way along the axis that the speakers are firing along; the modal distribution is normally pretty good at this point. How much does monitor choice affect the design? It can have a big impact; at one extreme you have flush- mounted ‘main’ monitors, which essentially dictate the geometry and layout of the front third of the studio. The size, mounting conditions and design principle of the monitors will determine things like the optimum listening distance, position within the control room and the type and positioning of acoustic treatment. The fundamental aim of the design remains the same, but the tools that you use to achieve it can be affected by the choice of monitor. What about monitor placement – can you give us a rundown of how to create the perfect monitoring sweet spot? The left and right monitors should be aimed at a point slightly behind the mix position; exactly how far behind depends on the type of monitors and the size of the room, but 300- 450mm tends to work well for small to mid- sized control rooms. The position of free-standing monitors has Figure 1 multiple interference dips Finding the Sweet Spot Whether you work in music, post, games, or any other discipline that requires accurate listening, your ears are only as good as the sound they are receiving. Acoustician and Level Acoustic Design founder Chris Walls talks to Jory MacKay about how to create the best listening environment for your mix. 06 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014
  6. 6. 08 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 MONITOR METHODOLOGY a big effect on the low frequency response due to interference from reflections from room boundaries, especially from the wall behind the monitors. At a certain frequency related to the distance between the monitor and the wall, the reflected sound will arrive back at the monitor 180° out of phase and cause a cancellation. In smaller rooms it is common to see these interference dips from the rear wall, rear corners, side walls, and ceiling all within a few tens of Hertz of each other, leading to a deep, broad dip in the frequency response. Figure 1 shows a monitor frequency response exhibiting three distinct interference dips relating to the rear wall, corner and side wall reflections. I hasten to add that this isn’t one of my studios! The acoustic treatment can help to reduce the magnitude of the interference dip by absorbing some of the incident sound, but you can further improve things by optimising the loudspeaker positions. One way is to move the monitors close to the wall, thus shifting the interference to a frequency where the speaker is radiating more directionally, and to a frequency that can be more effectively absorbed. This will also result in an increase in the monitor’s low frequency efficiency so you will normally need to apply a bit of low end roll-off to compensate, which is a feature that most active monitors provide. Figure 2 shows how the low frequency monitor response can be improved in a small control room by optimising the loudspeaker position in this way. Alternatively, you can move the monitors further away from the room boundaries to shift the interference dip lower in frequency. Depending on the monitor, it might be possible to move the interference dip below the low frequency cut-off. However that will normally mean being 1.5m or more from the boundary, which is not practical in many control rooms. The next thing to consider is the acoustical symmetry about the mix position. Ideally a control room will be absolutely symmetrical left-to-right to ensure that both monitors ‘see’ the same acoustic environment. This dramatically improves the stereo image. Strong side wall reflections can pull the stereo image off to one side so, again, it is important to consider monitor directivity and design the treatment to deal with potentially problematic reflections. Are there any examples from projects you’ve worked on that you can use to highlight the differences? I designed two similar-sized control rooms next door to one another, one with flush- mounted monitors and the other with stand-mounted monitors. The studio with stand-mounted monitors required significantly more absorption at the front of the room to deal with boundary reflection interference, which resulted in a shorter decay time. Both rooms have good, flat frequency responses but the flush-mounted speakers have greater bass extension due to the increased efficiency from being mounted in a wall. Another interesting point is that, while the isolation shells for the two studios are virtually the same size, the studio with stand-mounted monitors has 25% more useable floor area as space wasn’t eaten up by a huge wall to house the monitors! Are there any differences when working with mastering clients? Mastering studios tend to use large stand-mounted or free- standing monitors so there is almost always a boundary interference notch to deal with, and the studios on the whole are slightly more live than tracking or mixing control rooms. Historically this is to reflect the conditions in home listening environments, though I suppose this is becoming less and less relevant now that listening is predominantly on headphones. Are there any industry-wide standards that you follow, or is your work done on a case-by-case basis? Film mixing studios have to fulfil certain acoustic requirements relating to frequency response and reverberation time in order to attain Dolby certification, so there are clear pass/ fail performance criteria for these studios. There aren’t really any equivalent standards for studio control rooms. Probably the closest thing is the EBU specification for listening rooms which sets out recommendations for frequency response, decay times, and early reflections. While it is by no means an industry-wide standard, the parameters and values it specifies are broadly in line with some of the more commonly used approaches to control room design. My approach varies job to job depending on the equipment, monitoring, available space, and budget, but the aim of achieving a nominally flat frequency response and comfortable working environment is a constant. What about working with film clients? Are there additional concerns when dealing with a surround set-up? Most control room design principles are based on the assumption that sound energy is flowing from one end of the studio to the other, and the geometry and acoustic treatment are designed with this in mind. When moving from stereo to surround monitoring you suddenly have sound sources sending energy in other directions, so you end up with more absorption to deal with reflections from the surrounds, which results in a slightly ‘drier’ acoustic. Let’s say you’ve got a client who, like most these days, does a bit of everything – how would you go about setting up their monitoring system? I would try to understand as much as possible about what the client does and how they work. If there is a particular function that accounts for most of the work and income then the design would probably be biased to those monitoring requirements. I have often found that people ostensibly working in surround are only really doing critical work in stereo, with the surrounds simply providing a bit of reverb. In these cases the design would prioritise the performance of the left and right monitors. When a studio is genuinely going to be used to monitor in different formats then I design it with the client’s most complicated and onerous monitoring requirement in mind; this ensures that simpler formats also work well. www.levelacousticdesign.com Figure 2 example of optimising monitor position to reduce boundary interference effects
  7. 7. DYNAUDIO PROFESSIONAL 10 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 Chosen by Ear BM mkIII Series The Dynaudio Professional BM mkIII series near-field monitors and the BMS II-series precision subwoofers are made by hand in Denmark using only the finest materials and hand- crafted drivers. The result is incredible consistency and performance across the entire line. These monitors perform to their true potential with innovative stand technology. Each monitor arrives in your studio paired with its own IsoAcoustics monitor stand that allows each monitor to ‘float’ in free space. Now you hear an authentic and uncolored sound which eliminates energy transfer to surrounding surfaces: bass frequencies becomes tighter and overall imaging is enhanced. The strategic partnership between Dynaudio Professional and IsoAcoustics gives you a complete monitoring solution of superiorquality. It is a fact that monitor selection by blindfold testing is increasingly common among audio professionals, and Dynaudio Professional Air and BM series are chosen this way again and again by leading post, film, broadcast and recording studios. BM Compact mkIII The BM Compact mkIII is a premium quality, small- format near-field monitor. With an ultra-high dynamic range, it hits well above its weight class thanks to intelligent design. Using ultra lightweight aluminum wire and aluminum voice coils in its handcrafted drivers, along with a Class D amplifier the BM Compact mkIII provides outstanding performance. BM5 mkIII The BM5 mkIII is the next generation of the tremendously successful BM5A mkII. With greater SPL, broader frequency and power response compared to the previous model, its ultra-high dynamic range and hand-crafted drivers deliver performance superior to many larger, more expensive monitors. BM6 mkIII The BM6 mkIII builds on the success of the BM6A mkII design, re- voiced around Dynaudio’s next-generation waveguide. Designed and often chosen as a bridge to mid-field, its small size belies its ability to deliver high SPL and broad frequency response, while the hand-crafted drivers deliver superior performance. BM12 mkIII The BM12 mkIII expands on the legacy of the classic BM12A design. Re-voiced around Dynaudio’s next generation waveguide, the BM12 mkIII has been designed around highly efficient hand-crafted neodymium drivers, providing faithful transient response and an SPL of 123 dB for larger listening environments. BM14S II & BM9S II The Dynaudio tradition continues in the new II-series subs, delivering premium, professional sound quality and performance. Dynaudio Professional II-series precision subwoofers are made in Denmark using hand-crafted drivers that have made Dynaudio the industry standard in studios the world over. The BM9S II is specifically designed to complement BM Compact mkIII and BM5 mkIII monitors, adding extended bass in smaller mixing and recording environments. The BM14S II is a precision subwoofer designed to complement BM6 mkIII and BM12 mkIII monitors, adding extended bass in mid-sized mixing and recording environments.
  8. 8. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 11 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com DYNAUDIO PROFESSIONAL AIR Control – Configuration and Installation Software The AIR Control software gives you complete editing, saving and preset- based recall of room adaptation DSP, precise timing and SPL calibration, bass management and monitor control in AIR systems configurations spanning 2.0 to 7.1. The AIR Control application for Mac and PC allows you to carry out advanced calibration and alignment of your AIR monitoring system. The software provides access to advanced tools and features inside AIR monitors and subwoofers including timing and SPL calibration and parametric EQs for each monitor. AIR Control lets you define and store custom setups and presets with selective parameter locking, and a special measurement mode provides EQ line signal out from selected monitors. AIR Control runs on Mac, PC and Windows-based tablets, and will be available free of charge June 2014. Choosing by Ear Monitor selection by blindfold testing is increasingly common among audio professionals so we asked talented media professional, writer and editor, Paul Mac, to provide both an overview of current professional practice and a practical guide to choosing by ear for aspiring professionals. We encourage you to Choose by Ear. Download the full guide (PDF) here: dynaudioprofessional.com/choosing-by-ear Volume Box Volume Box provides level control for Dynaudio BM Compact mkIII and BM5 mkIII desktop monitors with unprecedented precision and ease. Volume Box’s unique quality is that absolutely no audio flows through it. It focuses solely on precise volume control information. The result? Perfect tracking. small studios to OB vans on up. AIR Remote AIR Remote is a dedicated hardware remote control that ensures convenient daily operation. You get instant access to all significant operation parameters such as global volume, reference levels, preset recall as well as solo and mute status for each monitor. When working with wide dynamic range audio, it is essential to control volume at the latest possible stage to assure maximum resolution at all times. The AIR Remote gives you this control with low noise, perfect tracking across multiple channels, and the ability to control the level regardless of the condition of the surrounding equipment. There are three storable reference levels, presets, and mute/ solo functionality, too. AIR Series AIR is a complete and networked solution for critical monitoring. Chosen by ear, you’ll find Air in the world’s leading broadcast and production studios. Stereo to multichannel, analogue to full digital path, Air is consistent, reliable and transparent. INFORMATION TC Group Sindalsvej 34 DK-8240 Risskov Denmark T: +45 8742 7000 F: +45 8742 7010 E: info@tcgroup.tc W: www.tcgroup.tc W: www.dynaudioprofessional.com TC Group is the worldwide distributor for Dynaudio Proffesional.
  9. 9. EVE AUDIO EVE Audio of Germany is going places fast: from its establishment in 2011 it has made a strong and positive impression manufacturing cost-effective active monitor loudspeakers with DSP control. From the SC204 two-way at one end of the range to the larger new three-way SC3010 and SC3012, all models use Class D amplification together with the company’s signature Air Motion Transformer (AMT) high frequency driver. There’s also a range of subwoofers, four TS models featuring passive radiators as an alternative to conventional ports. Audio Media caught up with Roland Stenz (managing director) and Kerstin Mischke (sales and marketing), at their Berlin headquarters to find out more about the company’s success story and philosophy. Recent developments With so many loudspeaker manufacturers, what separates EVE monitors from the rest? Roland Stenz: They are amazing! (laughs). I think it’s important for a customer to buy from a company that can offer, beside the product itself, a complete range so they see there is real experience in making loudspeakers, and that it’s not, say, an electronic component company making cheap speakers as an additional business. I think customers like specialised companies with specialist tools such as our anechoic chamber, and we see this in our sales. What’s been happening over the last year? RS: We’ve made a big step forward to larger loudspeakers. We now have two main monitors, the SC3010 and SC3012, using a completely new set of drivers developed here. This includes a larger AMT with significantly lower distortion and higher sound pressure level, which helps when designing bigger monitors. Smaller drivers have distortion level limits when used at lower crossover frequencies, but our new AMT can cross over as low as 1.5kHz and has distortion of only 0.2% or better. The new mid and low frequency drivers have a similar level of quality: the the 10in woofer in SC3010, for example, can move plus or minus 10mm, the 12in in SC3012 can move plus or minus 15mm! The new monitors are suitable for larger music recording and mastering and also film studios where a bigger setup is needed. Technical background Why is Digital Signal Processing (DSP) important to EVE? RS: In the analogue domain we have to deal with wider tolerances – for example, even the best capacitors are 5%, resistors are a better situation with 1% tolerance, but potentiometers can be up to 20% and you have to decide where to place the range of greatest accuracy; with DSP you don’t have these tolerances on the electronics side. Incidentally, all our DSP is programmed here in Berlin. Of course, by the nature of mechanical systems we have to deal with the tolerances of the drivers, but we adjust every speaker to a normal curve and allow a variation of no more than 0.5dB. I wanted to combine the usability of an analogue studio monitor with more modern DSP technology: this means you can switch off 12 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 Progress and Consolidation EVE Audio has had a busy year adding to the upper end of its extensive range of active loudspeakers, while continuing to build on early success.
  10. 10. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 13 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com EVE AUDIO INFORMATION EVE Audio Roland Stenz, Managing Director Kerstin Mischke, Sales and Marketing EVE Audio GmbH Ernst Augustin Str. 1a 12489 Berlin Germany T: +49-30-6704 4180 F: +49-30-6704 4188 E: info@eve-audio.com W: www.eve-audio.com UK distribution Nova Distribution Trading Ltd Phil Skins Unit 36 88-90 Hatton Garden London EC1N 8PN England T: +44 (0)20 3589 2530 E: sales@nova-distribution.co.uk W: www.nova-distribution.co.uk US distribution TruNorth Music and Sound Inc. 101 Omer DeSerres Unit 103 Blainville, QC J7C0C9 Canada T: 855.878.6668 F: 514.360.5765 E: sales@trunorthmusicandsound.com W: www.trunorthmusicandsound.com an EVE monitor using the main studio power switch and no data will be lost, something our customers have told us is important. Why does EVE use Class D amplifiers? RS: The quality of Class D has improved in recent years. We did a lot of blind testing, and found that going beyond personal preference people couldn’t tell the difference with the type of amplifier or whether the speaker was analogue or digital. You can see the advantages of a Class D design with things such as heat dissipation, which is important in a studio, and power supplies where there’s no need for a big transformer. Having said that, you also have to take care that the right Class D design is used. How is equalisation implemented in EVE loudspeakers? RS: We use a sensible emulation of analogue filters and adjust them to work with the driver design. We avoid an FIR combination to keep delay times short – if someone is sitting between the speakers and someone else has headphones and we have a 20-50ms delay, not a good idea! What is the significance of the Air Motion Transformer in your designs? RS: This type of driver can reproduce high frequencies without a feeling of stress. The impedance curve is flat, and you don’t have resonance peaks because there’s no voice coil: traditional high frequency drivers can have peaks in the 18-22kHz range, and this affects the sound so high frequencies are present but there is an additional stress factor - it sounds more metallic than it should. The next step for EVE What does the future hold for EVE Audio? Subwoofers Roland Stenz: We have four models, 7in, 8in, 10in and 12in. The most important thing about them is the use of a passive radiator on the underside so we don’t have bass reflex ports. With the passive diaphragm we can reach lower frequencies without port noise. The subwoofers have a stereo input and outputs for the satellites, together with an LFE input and an LFE Thru. All functions, including sub and system volumes, crossover frequencies and sub phase, are adjustable from the front of the sub and via remote control. You can also switch between unfiltered satellites where they are running full-range and filtered satellites with the sub-woofer by pressing a button on the remote control – a good function if you want to check your mix in both modes. The marketing viewpoint Kerstin Mischke: Soon after we first came to the market we managed to find distribution partners in 45 countries, so we’re already at a really high level. We still have some parts of the world, the Middle East and mid and South America, where we’re still looking for distributors but all the rest is now covered. Our products are seen to be well made, with someone, Roland, behind them with experience both in manufacturing and as a user. We want to make something that is user-friendly and great sounding, and I believe it’s this that has brought our sales to a level we did not expect, where things have gone so fast in such a short period of time. RS: There’s always room to improve and plenty of things to do, and we’re thinking about the broadcast sector and also new product development. Can you say more about the proposed new products? RS: I can only say that, of course, I have a lot of ideas. I do have guidelines for the next four years, but I can’t say too much about them at the moment. Kerstin Mischke: The range of speakers we have at the moment is definitely not the last! SC407 at the University of Northampton (UK) The TS112 control panel
  11. 11. GENELEC OY 14 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 Smart Active Monitors - Designed to Adapt Genelec 1237A and 1238A Smart Active Monitors are Designed to Adapt to the listening space they are placed in. In this article, Genelec’s Christophe Anet and Aki Mäkivirta describe the features of these new professional three-way monitors in more detail. PROFESSIONAL audio customers repeatedly voice the dilemma of production work happening in smaller control rooms, with tighter budgets, yet with increasing requirements for the highest audio quality. Today’s recording and mixing environments are much smaller than they used to be and such rooms behave unevenly at low frequencies. Additionally because of the varying types of audio production, most rooms need to be reconfigured for a new type of production during the day or after a week’s booking. In order to address such challenges, and based on the highly successful active three-way models, 1037A and 1038A, Genelec releases two new three-way Smart Active Monitors (SAM™), the 1237A and 1238A. This expansion to the SAM product line combines in a single package Genelec’s experience in the design of three-way systems with their state of the art AutoCal™ and Genelec Loudspeaker Manager (GLM™) control network technologies. The new models are now available for shipping. Three-Way for Performance For 35 years Genelec has manufactured highly efficient, low distortion three-way systems with proven accuracy and reliability for the most demanding applications. Three-way designs are the optimum, in many ways, as they allow selection and optimisation of individual driver characteristics (linearity, output capacity, directivity) for a well-defined, suitably narrow frequency range. Crossover frequencies can be selected ideally based on the acoustical constraints defined by drivers and the enclosure characteristics. Featuring not only outstanding electro- acoustic designs, the new SAM 1237A and 1238A integrate into the listening environment by automatically compensating any detrimental room influences. The end result is a highly precise monitoring system with very neutral sound characteristics and excellent imaging accuracy. Key to the critical reproduction of Genelec Smart Active Monitors for professionals – Designed to Adapt
  12. 12. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 15 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com GENELEC OY INFORMATION Genelec Oy In Europe: Genelec Oy Olvitie 5, 74100 Iisalmi, Finland T: +358 17 83 881 F: +358 17 81 2267 E: genelec@genelec.com W: www.genelec.com In the US: Genelec Inc. 7 Tech Circle, Natick, Massachusetts 01760, USA T: +1 508 652 0900 F: +1 508 652 0909 E: genelec.usa@genelec.com the midrange frequencies is the proprietary midrange driver designed and hand-made in the Genelec factory in Finland. Advanced Directivity Control Waveguide The revolutionary Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW™) technology greatly improves the performance of a direct radiating three-way monitor. The 1237A and 1238A DCWs have been designed to match the frequency responses and directivity characteristics of each transducer. This results in excellent flatness of the overall frequency response for on and off-axis listening positions. The consequence of the improved directivity control is reduction of reflected sound energy at the listening position, translating into significant improvement of the sound stage imaging. Smart Active Monitoring Smart active monitoring adds a layer of intelligence to monitors. Both 1237A and 1238A are members of the Smart Active Monitoring (SAM) family of products and can be easily combined with all other monitors and subwoofers in the SAM Series. SAM monitors are connected with a dedicated Genelec GLM control network which allows adjustments of all aspects of monitor settings and full system control while sitting at the main listening position. It enables aligning monitors and subwoofers in terms of level, timing, and equalisation of room response anomalies. All of this is done automatically but can also be fully configured by the end user. Naturally, SAM monitors can also be set up to be operated without being connected to a control network as all the individual settings can be stored inside each monitor. Amplifiers and Signal Processing New power amplifier technologies are used in both 1237A and 1238A models. Two highly linear, low noise Class D amplifiers power the woofer and midrange drivers. The inherent benefit of Class D technology is high efficiency and minimal heat dissipation. A Class AB amplifier powers the tweeter. This tweeter amplifier design is based on Genelec’s earlier designs, used and tested for 30 years in larger three-way main monitors. This low noise, high bandwidth Class AB amplifier is fully implemented using discrete electronic components. All professional audio sources can be directly connected to 1237A and 1238A ensuring the cleanest signal path to the monitoring equipment. The analogue input is converted for digital signal processing and reproduction. Direct monitoring of digital audio in the AES/ EBU format is also supported up to a sampling rate of 192 kHz and with full 24-bit resolution. Digital audio is sample rate converted to ensure perfect synchronization with all sources. An AES/EBU thru output is provided, enabling daisy-chaining to more monitors. The digital and analog audio signals are internally processed at 96 kHz sampling frequency. There is a true 48 kHz wide electronic audio path from the input to the output. New Integrated Amplifier Module The 1237A and 1238A both feature the new advanced RAM-L (Remote Amplifier Module) amplifier. In the standard configuration the RAM-L is mounted on the back of the enclosure. The RAM-L amplifier unit can easily be removed from the monitor’s enclosure and mounted into a 19 inch rack requiring a 3U high rack space. All mechanical hardware to perform the rack-mounting is included in the monitor package. Sustainable performance Since the very beginning Genelec’s design philosophy has been emphasising sustainability and environmental values. Conservation of natural resources and efficient use of materials and energy in all levels of manufacturing, shipping, and during the product lifetime are essential to us. All our products are manufactured under the same roof in Finland allowing us to select environmentally efficient solutions, designed from the start for long life time and low carbon footprint. All components in the 1237A and 1238A have been designed for long service life. All parts are serviceable. Easy change-of-module principle guarantees fast service turn-around time whenever service is needed. Both monitor models also support Genelec’s Intelligent Signal Sensing (ISS). The ISS circuitry puts the monitor to a low-power sleep mode when not in use, and as an input signal is detected, waking the monitor immediately on again. ISS low-power mode removes all electronic stress inside the monitor, stops heat generation, and contributes to the longevity of the products, in addition to saving electricity. All Genelec SAM Series active monitors and subwoofers provide uncompromised sound quality and precise imaging also in acoustically challenging environments, a benefit obtained through the Smart Active Monitoring concept pioneered by Genelec. Genelec 1237A and 1238A are the latest three-way monitors added to Genelec’s range of professional monitoring products utilising DSP technology. They are already shipping, so you can place your order through Genelec distributors today Technical specifications of Genelec 1237A and 1238A
  13. 13. KRK 1. Vocal clarity with extended bass response Many manufacturers compromise the midrange frequencies in order to deliver lots of bass. KRK’s sonic response gives you both: vocal clarity and low-frequency extension. Check it out yourself and listen your favorite vocal piece that includes a bass guitar. Notice how the KRK presents, in detail, all the vocals and midrange audio, as well as the notes of the bass guitar. 2. Clean, tight bass reproduction Everyone loves clean, tight bass reproduction. This is achieved with the proper tuning of the woofer, cabinet and port; otherwise, you’ll experience muddy bass. Grab a kick drum demo and notice how the KRK produces low end that is punchy, tight, and well defined. 3. High sound pressure levels – without distortion Some monitors play loud, but distort at higher SPLs. At KRK, we believe if it isn’t clean, it isn’t true at any volume level. That’s why you’ll find precision limiters, matched to our amplifiers in every speaker, designed to maintain distortion-free sound and balanced response. So turn up any KRK speaker, and hear not just loud, but hear clean. 4. Precise imaging from defined sweet spot Place yourself in the sweet spot and listen to any demo selection: now notice the crisp defined image and depth that’s being provided. See how you can hear each vocal and instrument where the recording engineer placed them. Even if you move your head off axis you will notice the sound character remains consistent and you don’t lose either side of your mix. 5. Clean high-frequency extension Some monitors boost high-frequencies or use gimmicky tweeters to achieve what appears to be superior high-frequency reproduction. The result often is a harsh high-end that quickly becomes fatiguing particularly at high volumes. Listen to the KRK monitors at any SPL and note the high frequencies are crisp, clean and don’t overwhelm the rest of the audio range. A studio monitor is a tool used to aurally ‘measure’ the changes in an audio path. Any seasoned recording professional thinking what makes a great studio monitor will likely give you the same answer: “Accuracy, transparency, flat response, and the truth.” In other words…honesty. Simply put, recording engineers want the electrical signal entering their monitor to be reproduced mechanically by the transducers and they want this to occur without any deviation or compromise to the original signal. Professionals depend upon their monitors to deliver their artistic vision in a way that will translate as accurately as possible to a variety of audio mediums. All KRK studio monitors lines, independent from their price point, are designed with expertise, detail and passion to meet each of the requirements stated above and be judged the best monitor in its class. ROKIT Generation 3 KRK ROKIT studio monitors have been the popular choice for accurate, near-field monitoring for more than one decade. KRK’s new ROKIT Generation 3 continues the legacy of performance ROKIT’s have become known for. So whether you’re just starting out in desktop recording, or you’ve already laid down a few thousand tracks, give a listen to the ROKIT Generation 3 line of monitors and experience a performance and accuracy that raises the bar once again. KRK’s ROKIT G3 (Generation 3) powered studio monitors offer professional performance and accuracy for recording, mixing, mastering and playback. The system consists of a 1” soft dome tweeter and 5”, 6” or 8” glass-Aramid composite woofer. It delivers high frequencies up to 35 kHz, vocal clarity and extended bass response. The proprietary bi-amped, class A/B amplifier delivers SPL up to 109dB (RP8). The ROKIT waveguide is designed to ensure detailed imaging in the listening position. The front-firing bass port reduces boundary coupling to allow flexible positioning in the room while the engineered surface reduces diffraction distortion. Multiple input connections and LF/HF-tuning options ensure the ROKIT G3 will easily integrate in any system configuration. “…it seems that KRK has succeeded in producing a studio monitor that sounds much more expensive than it is, and will surely be a popular choice for recording engineers, DJs, live sound-mixers and audio enthusiasts.” (Mix Magazine 2013 KRK ROKIT G3) “The G3 exceeded the G2’s legacy in every way. It maintains the larger- than-average sweet spot and excellent frequency separation.” (Electronic Musician 2013 KRK ROKIT G3) 16 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 Behind Great Music KRK Systems is one of the world’s most respected manufacturers of studio reference monitors. In their state-of- the-art design facility, KRK engineers create products that deliver a natural and balanced spectral response with low distortion and superior imaging. With KRK monitors, recording engineers and artists hear every nuance of the audio being reproduced. Regardless of your musical style, genre, or particular mixing needs, KRK reference Monitors will deliver all the benefits you expect from a studio monitor. Based on the feedback from world-class producers all over the globe, here are just a few differentiating aspects, which make KRK an industry standard when it comes to mixing, mastering and recording:
  14. 14. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 17 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com KRK INFORMATION KRK UK distributor: Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd. Windsor House, Turnpike Road High Wycombe, Bucks HP12 3FX, UK T: +44 (0) 1494 462 246 E: sales@focusrite.com KRK Systems, Inc. Gibson Brands, Inc. 309 Plus Park Nashville, TN 37217 T: 1-800-4 GIBSON E: service@krksys.com W: www.krksys.com® The popular ROKIT Line expands with the RP (ROKIT Powered) 10-3 three-way mid-field. The ROKIT RP10-3 is a mid-field three-way monitor system in a compact form factor and at a breakthrough price that delivers loud and accurate sound reproduction to satisfy professional needs. The RP10-3 will suit commercial facilities as well as space and budget conscious private studios. The ‘pro-studio’ appearance of this monitor will visually impress, and the high SPL output makes it capable of handling challenging high-dynamic tracks for all genres of music. “The strength is in the mids and upper mids. Voices, violins, winds, were all nuanced and distinct, and even massed brass sections didn’t lose transparency.” (Recording Magazine) “I was surprised by a very good, contoured bass response, precise stereo imaging, and needle-sharp mid-range response.” Studio Magazin (Germany) KRK ROKIT Powered 10-3 VXT Series Whether you are making critical mixing decisions or need to capture the stable nuances of a unique sound, you will quickly discover that the VXT Series is as precise about your work as you are. The VXT Series features key design elements that continue to make the KRK sound a studio standard. The VXT Series has been designed to present the true nature of the audio material without coloration or enhancement. The domed tweeter (for fast transient response) and the woofer design (with its stiffer, lighter Kevlar cone for low distortion and extended low-end) are vented to remove heat and reduce the effects of power compression, enabling the VXT monitors to maintain their sonic signature. With uncompromising attention to detail that includes tamper- resistant switch covers, integrated Omni Mount support and more, the VXT Series is an outstanding choice for a broad range of monitoring applications. So when you use a VXT powered monitor, you can be confident that you get the most accurate reproduction of your mix. VXT’s diffraction- limiting curved surfaces, seamless crossover, and KRK’s trademark yellow Kevlar woofer provides superior audio imaging, outstanding transient response, and amazing detail. For over 20 years, KRK has mastered the art of recording monitors, and the VXT is the culmination of this art. Listen for yourself, and believe! Exposé E8B Utilizing state-of-the-art components to achieve a level of clarity and sonic accuracy that is unprecedented, the Expose E8B is the flagship of KRK’s product line. With its stunning, highly functional enclosure featuring thick, non-parallel, internal walls that eliminate standing waves, and magnetic shielding for use in close proximity to video monitors, the Expose E8B elevates KRK’s reputation as a manufacturer of premium studio reference monitors to an entirely new level. Subwoofers For additional low frequency extension, consider adding one of KRK´s three Subwoofers. There are numerous reasons (room size, speaker size, musical content) when extra low-end is required, KRK powered subwoofers are the perfect choice when you need to hear what is happening at frequencies below the capability of the studio monitor. With various features such as integrated Bypass Footswitch Control allowing you to engage and disengage the subwoofer from the audio path and provide full-range audio to your recording monitors for use with a standard latching 1/4 inch mono footswitch, or integrated limiters for protecting drivers and amplifier, or the variable crossover to perfectly match the subwoofer to the main system. All this is where the performance of KRK family of subwoofers shines. Visit us at www.krksys.com to find out why our focus is your mix!
  15. 15. PMC BASED in Luton, England, PMC is a leading manufacturer of precision reference monitors for discerning audio professionals and audiophiles. The company’s products, which include active and passive models, use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass- loading technology (see box), cutting-edge amplification, and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without colouration or distortion. With a history and reputation lasting over two decades, PMC remains one of the few audio-related manufacturers to have been awarded an Emmy® for its technical excellence, and has customers at the very top of the pro audio, broadcast, and film industry worldwide. Its customers range from musicians and composers, professional audio equipment companies, and recording studios at one end of the audio production chain, to record companies, broadcasters, Internet service providers, and discerning listeners at the other. In the limited space available in this pro-audio-orientated guide, it would be impossible to give an overview of the company’s entire consumer and professional passive and active ranges. Instead, we’ll look at two of their most recently released active ranges: the new two-way twotwos, and the IB2S-A three- way midfields. twotwo™ Series Like the IB2S-A, the twotwo series of reference-grade monitors combines PMC’s low- distortion ATL™ bass-loading technology, digital inputs and signal processing, and active Class-D amplification; but presents these features in the form of three nearfield two-way speakers (the twotwo.6, twotwo.7, and the recently released twotwo.8) and the recently released twotwo sub1 subwoofer. All three models in the twotwo range share the same core design and features, as well as the same tonal transparency and neutrality. The model number refers to the approximate size (in inches) of the bass driver. The larger two models have a greater cabinet volume, offer more bass extension, and a higher possible maximum SPL, and are therefore better suited to use in medium-sized rooms where more power and dynamics are required. The onboard DSP engine, derived from that employed in the larger IB2S-A, optimises the crossover and the response of the drivers, maximises dispersion, and provides non-invasive protection using modelled excursion limiting. The built-in Class D dual-amplification system builds on the amplifiers developed for PMC’s powered range, delivering 50W to the tweeter and 150W to the bass driver, and producing high-resolution audio with plenty of headroom and detail. One design aim was to make the twotwos as easy to set up in a rehearsal or hotel room with a phono cable and a laptop, as it is to drive them on the meterbridge of a digital console in a pro studio; to this end, connections include analogue phonos and XLRs, as well as an AES3 digital input, which will handle all sample rates up to 192kHz. All three models in the twotwo range are designed to be used vertically or horizontally without compromising stereo imaging or tonal accuracy. There is no need for a separate horizontal version of the speaker for use as a centre channel, or in environments where horizontal use is a necessity for height reasons. This makes the smaller models in the range well suited to nearfield monitoring of music and speech in situations where space is at a premium. Despite only being launched in autumn 2012, the twotwo is already an award-winning success with high-profile users including producer Kid Harpoon (Florence And The Machine), renowned mix engineer and producer Spike Stent, and Red Bull Studios, among many others. The newest addition to the twotwo range is the twotwo sub1, an ultra-low distortion, active subwoofer that can be used in a 2.1 configuration with twotwo series monitors to gain extra bass extension and headroom. Additionally, it can be used to reproduce a low frequency effects (LFE) channel in a surround monitoring system. The electronics include an audiophile Class-D power amplifier with DSP-based filtering and bass management functions. Balanced stereo 18 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 PMC: Precision Reference Monitors, Trusted by Discerning Pros Introducing the latest high-resolution Active ATL™ designs with analogue and digital inputs; the last word in flexible, transparent monitoring. PMC’s twotwo.5, twotwo.6, twotwo.8. and the new twotwo sub1
  16. 16. analogue and AES3 digital inputs are accepted, and are combined to feed the subwoofer system, as well as being passed through to the analogue and digital outputs for connection with other devices. IB2S-Active The stand-alone IB2S-Active offers discerning users the attributes of PMC’s large ATL™ reference active monitors, such as the flagship BB5 XBD-A, but in a more compact form and with an AES3 digital input built in as standard. They are the ideal monitors for high-end reference monitoring and mastering applications. The DSP-tuned, Class-D powered cabinets provide a controlled, high- resolution, low-frequency response from the three drivers, all of which are designed in house and manufactured to strict tolerances. The bass units in the cabinets, which are identical, feature the 10- inch carbon-fibre/Nomex™ piston drivers from the earlier IB1S and IB2S speakers, while the IB2S-A cabinet features the highly respected hand- built 75mm fabric-dome driver to handle the mid-range, and the 34mm soft-dome tweeter from the flagship BB5 XBD-A. 960W of independent, audiophile-quality power is available to each active master cabinet: 200W for the high-frequency and mid-range drivers, with 560W directed to the LF driver for extended, low-distortion precision monitoring all the way down to 20Hz. The IB2S-A features user-adjustable HF and LF shelving filters, per-channel ±8dB input level trims, an AES3 digital input, and the ability to adjust the input sensitivity of the balanced analogue inputs from +4dB to +20dB. The EQ, level trims, and analogue/ digital input selection settings may be adjusted from a distance with an RJ45- connected remote supplied as standard. The three-way IB2S-A master cabinet may be purchased as a speaker in its own right, or together with the single-driver XBD bass cabinet. This forms the IB2S XBD-A system, with the XBD cabinet providing +3dB of additional LF headroom and a more even in-room LF response. Last year, the IB2S XBD-A was used in London by film score composer Thomas Newman while he created the soundtrack to the James Bond 50th anniversary film Skyfall, now the most successful British film of all time. PMC’s Signature Bass-loading Technology – ATL™ All PMC loudspeakers are Advanced Transmission Line™ (ATL™) designs incorporating sophisticated cabinet construction, PMC- designed drive units, and patented absorption materials and techniques. The ATL concept has existed in loudspeaker engineering for many years, but under the guidance of PMC’s co-founder and Chief Engineer Peter Thomas, the theory has been refined and honed to a very advanced level, outperforming the many sealed and ported speakers available on the market today. In a PMC ATL design, the bass driver is placed at one end of a long tunnel (the transmission line), which is heavily damped with absorbent acoustic material. This is specified to absorb the upper bass and higher frequencies that radiate from the rear of the bass driver. The lowest frequencies, which remain in phase, then emerge from the large vent at the end of the line, which essentially acts as a second driver. One advantage to this approach is that the air pressure loading the main driver is maintained, thus controlling the driver over a wide frequency range, which in turn significantly reduces distortion. A spin- off from the lack of distortion is that the upper bass and mid-range detail is not masked by harmonic distortion residing in the very low frequencies. The result is PMC’s characteristic transparent mid-range and fast, attacking bass notes, all reproduced with great clarity. A further advantage of the transmission line approach is a cabinet that produces a higher volume and greater bass extension than a ported or sealed design of a similar size, even if identical drivers are used. Moreover, as the loading on the main driver is maintained at all volumes, the frequency response also remains consistent regardless of listening level – a most important attribute for professionals whose hearing is their most precious tool. Benefits of ATL™: www.audiomedia.com June 2014 19 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com PMC INFORMATION PMC Limited Holme Court Bedfordshire SG18 9ST UK T: +44(0) 870 4441044 F: +44(0) 870 4441045 W: www.pmc-speakers.com IB2SXBD-Active PMC’s BB5 XBD-A monitors at Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, plus horizontal twotwo.6s in an LCR arrangement
  17. 17. PSI AUDIO Quality – Technology – Experience – Coherency Designed and manufactured at our Yverdon workshops in Switzerland, the latest generation of PSI Audio speakers is the culmination of more than 35 years of development guided by a thorough understanding of acoustics. We strive to deliver the most coherent sound and design across the whole product range. In order to achieve this compatibility between models, the transfer function must be the same, not only in frequency response but also phase which is our speciality. At the heart of our speaker performance is an electronic design based on two unique technology concepts – CPR and AOI. The CPR system consists of multiple all-pass filters Each all-pass filter acts in a specific frequency range in order to obtain a wide area of Compensated Phase Response generating a constant group delay. A speaker system represents the reference tool of every sound engineer. An accurate transient response enables fine tuning of reverb effects during mixing and positioning of the sound in the stereo or surround field. The CPR system by PSI Audio enables extremely accurate and superior surround sound image and a much improved working environment. A unique advantage provided by the CPR, thanks to the perfectly accurate phase response, is to enable a user to mix different models of PSI Audio speakers in a surround system. Not only will the PSI Audio surround system sound much more accurate and therefore provide a superior working tool, but it can also introduce significant cost and space savings when investing in a new monitoring system. The AOI circuitry joins the transducer and the amplifier into a perfect couple The AOI system detects the velocity of the moving coils. This detection is used in a filtered feedback. The goal is to adjust the damping rate continuously across the whole frequency range. The AOI system featured in PSI Audio speakers enables more superior impulse behaviour than traditional amplifier designs. During the movement of the coil, the AOI circuitry seamlessly adapts the amplifier’s output impedance to ensure ideal acceleration of the membrane needed to reproduce the desired impulse. When using sub woofer technology in surround sound systems, the importance of a monitoring system that has pure reproduction becomes essential. With AOI, PSI Audio monitors feature a highly accurate impulse response, and reduce the coloration of the transducers. For these technical innovations and sound precision reasons, more and more producers and engineers world-wide are choosing PSI Audio as their reference monitor. Please visit our website www.psiaudio.com for more information, detailed graphs and specifications. 20 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 Precision Sound Image Our vision is to be globally recognised as pioneers in precision audio combining innovation, creativity and technology. An impressive impulse behavior due to the combined technologies of AOI and CPR
  18. 18. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 21 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com PSI AUDIO INFORMATION PSI Audio HQ Relec SA Z.I. Petits-Champs 11 a+b CH-1400 Yverdon-les-Bains Switzerland T: +41 (0) 24 426 04 20 F: +41 (0) 24 426 04 51 E: info@psiaudio.com UK distributor: Emerging Ltd T: +44 (0) 118 402 5090 E: sales@emerginguk.com W: www.emerginguk.com The Router & Bass management enables you to use the full potential of the unique compatibility and coherence of the PSI Audio line. Advantages summary: The new PSI Audio R&B 8A, router and bass management Pixelsound is a modern structure using A21-M for recording and mixing, A25-M and sub for mixing & mastering and A14-M for general purposes. A25-M and 3 subwoofers A225-M were the ultimate choice for mixing and mastering live music in stereo and surround at the RSI, Switzerland. Find all our distributors and much more on www.psiaudio.com Follow us on www.facebook.com/ psiaudio
  19. 19. PRESONUS ERIS SERIES HIGH-DEFINITION STUDIO MONITORS When it’s time to replace those cheap ‘computer’ speakers with serious two-way professional studio monitors, you’re ready for Eris™-series monitor speakers. The Eris series has the back-panel acoustic-tuning tools you need to tailor their sound to your room environment and musical genre. You end up with mixes that sound good everywhere, not just in your studio. These ultra-affordable, two-way monitor speakers deliver very accurate response, with a tight bass and very clear upper end. They can also be user-adjusted to the acoustic space, allowing you to create a more accurate listening environment or to simulate different common listening environments – a feature not typically provided by studio monitors in this price point. With Kevlar™ low frequency transducers, low-mass silk-dome tweeters, responsive Class AB amplification, and professional acoustic- adjustment controls, the compact Eris series is an outstanding value in its class. Eris speakers include RF shielding, current-output limiting, over-temperature protection, and subsonic protection. The Eris E5 and E8 have individual balanced XLR and quarter-inch TRS input connections, in addition to unbalanced RCA inputs. The E4.5 provides quarter-inch TRS, stereo 1/8-inch, and RCA inputs. Users can make several types of custom adjustments. A three-position Acoustic Space switch controls a shelving filter at 800Hz that provides three attenuation points, allowing you to control the bass response relative to the wall proximity of your speakers. A High Pass switch sets the low-frequency cut-off. You also get continuously adjustable High Frequency and Mid-Range controls. This combination of controls lets you create a linear response for accurate monitoring. Sceptre Series CoActual Studio Monitors The first time you hear Sceptre™ Series CoActual™ two-way studio monitors, you’ll 22 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 PreSonus Studio Monitors PreSonus offers two series: Eris and Sceptre. Eris monitors offer excellent performance for budget-conscious project studios, with features normally reserved for more expensive monitors. Sceptre employs advanced coaxial technology and DSP to affordably achieve high-end sound quality.
  20. 20. Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com PRESONUS discover fine nuances of your music that can’t be reproduced by conventional designs. The Sceptre’s panoramic soundstage, clarity, fine detail, and stunning dynamics will astonish you. This exceptional performance is the result of an advanced coaxial design by Fulcrum Acoustic’s Dave Gunness that works integrally with a 32-bit, 96kHz, dual-core processor running Fulcrum Acoustic’s TQ™ Temporal Equalization technology. Gunness was also responsible for final tuning and voicing of the Sceptre monitors. TQ employs multiple, fully addressable, Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filters. This approach requires advanced algorithms and subtle, sophisticated transducer design, which is why such systems have, in the past, been limited to very high-end systems with external processors. Yet Sceptres are an affordable investment for project-studio owners – a first for DSP-controlled, TQ-based systems. These systems are biamplified: Each transducer is powered by a 90W RMS, Class D power amp with an internal heat sink. All Sceptre monitors have balanced XLR and quarter-inch TRS line-level inputs, with A-taper level control and feature acoustic ports. Sceptre monitors include controls that enable full integration into any studio enviro nment. A four-position Acoustic Space switch controls a shelving filter centered at 100Hz, with four attenuation settings so that you can account for the bass response relative to room dimensions and speaker placement. A High Pass Filter switch sets the 24dB/octave filter’s low-frequency cut-off. A High Frequency Driver Adjust switch adjusts the tweeter’s overall level. The Sensitivity control ranges from +4dB to -10dB. All Sceptre Series monitors offer RF shielding, current-output limiting, over- temperature protection, and have internal power supplies with IEC connectors and power switches with on/off LEDs. An amplifier ‘soft start’ feature eliminates popping on power-up. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 23
  21. 21. 24 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 PRESONUS ERIS ERIS KEY FEATURES 4.5-inch (E4.5)/5.25-inch (E5)/8-inch (E8) Kevlar™ low-frequency transducer 1-inch (25 mm; E4.5/E5) /1.25-inch (32 mm; E8), ultra-low mass, silk-dome, high-frequency transducer 25W (E4.5)/80W (E5)/130W (E8), Class AB; E5 and E8 are biamplified Front-firing acoustic port for superior bass-frequency reproduction Midrange (±6dB, continuously variable), HF (±6dB, continuously variable), High Pass (Off, 80 Hz, 100 Hz), and Acoustic Space settings (flat, -2dB, -4dB) for accurate mixing contour RF interference, output current limiting, over-temperature, transient, and subsonic protection Optimised, resonance-suppressing internal bracing Balanced quarter-inch, stereo 1/8-inch, and unbalanced RCA inputs (E4.5); balanced XLR/quarter-inch, and unbalanced RCA inputs (E5/E8) 100dB (E4.5), 102dB (E5), 105dB (E8) maximum continuous SPL
  22. 22. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 25 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com PRESONUS INFORMATION []PreSonus Audio Electronics 18011 Grand Bay Court Baton Rouge, LA 70809 USA T: +1 225 216 7887 F:+1 225 926 8347 W: www.presonus.com/products/ studio-one United Kingdom & Ireland Source Distribution (UK distributor) Unit 6, Pembroke Buildings Cumberland House Business Park London UK NW10 6RE T: +44 020 8962 5080 F: +44 020 8968 3218 E: sales@sourcedistribution.co.uk W: www.sourcedistribution.co.uk Germany & Benelux Hyperactive Audiotechnik GmbH Neukirchner Str. 18 65510 Hünstetten, Germany T: +49 (6126) 95 36 50 F: +49 (6126) 95 36 569 E: info@hyperactive.de W: www.hyperactive.de SCEPTRE KEY FEATURES CoActual technology combines time-correction and point-source design for symmetrical soundstage and micro-definition imaging Unique coaxial transducer integrates 8-inch (S8)/6.5-inch (S6) midrange driver and 1-inch (25 mm), horn-loaded HF transducer with Coaxial Speaker Coherence Alignment 32-bit, 96 kHz, dual-core, active floating-point DSP provides critical Temporal Equalization™ with multiple FIR filters Acoustic-tuning controls: HF Driver Adjust (Linear, +1dB, -1.5dB, -4dB); Acoustic Space settings (Linear, -1.5dB, -3dB, -6dB); High Pass filter (Linear, 60, 80, and 100 Hz, 12 dB/octave slope 180W Class D biamplification with internal heat sink RF shielding, current-output limiting, and over-temperature protection Balanced XLR and quarter-inch TRS line-level inputs with A-taper level control Amplifier ‘soft start’ feature eliminates popping on power-up Brushed-aluminum faceplate 109dB (S6)/116dB (S8) maximum continuous SPL Internal power supply with IEC connector Power switch with on/off LED SCEPTRE
  23. 23. TANNOY 26 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 Reveal the Details of Your Mix Tannoy has an impressive legacy in the studio monitoring world. The new range of Reveal Studio Monitors draws upon decades of experience in loudspeaker design to produce an incredibly transparent listening experience – without breaking the bank. Three different sizes – same great sound The three monitors in the new Reveal lineup include the ultra-compact 4-inch, a versatile 5-inch and an extremely powerful 8-inch model, all of which have been voiced by Tannoy’s resident speaker guru, Dr. Paul Mills. He has driven the design of everything from amplifier sections to active crossover filters, woofers and tweeters – leading to results that are, quite simply, unheard of for this class of monitor. Ample amounts of power, in combination with custom- designed super-efficient woofers, allows for impressive and precise bass performance. Expertly tweaked crossover- filters ensure optimal timing between the custom designed drivers. This produces an incredibly wide stereo field – a massive sweet spot – allowing users to move around in their workspace without losing the stereo imaging of their mix. Now others can sit in during mixing sessions while maintaining a precision listening experience for everyone. Aux Link: Studio On The Go Included with each monitor, is a 16’ / 5 meter Mini Jack cable. This allows you to plug directly into the AUX Link of your monitors quicker and easier than ever before. Whether you’re mixing on the go or just listening to some of your favourite music from your mobile device, it’s simple to connect.
  24. 24. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 27 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com TANNOY INFORMATION TC Group Sindalsvej 34 DK-8240 Risskov Denmark T: +45 8742 7000 F: +45 8742 7010 E: info@tcgroup.tc W: www.tcgroup.tc Reveal 402 –Small Speaker, Unparalleled Punch It’s easy to get fooled by the compact size of Reveal 402, but the clarity and punch emitted from these tiny boxes easily rivals 5” and 6” models in the same category. The source of this big monitor sound is a super-efficient 4” woofer and ultra-precise 3⁄4” tweeter, making the Reveal 402s the go-to monitors for anyone concerned about space and portability without having to sacrifice true studio feel. Reveal 502 – A New Standard for Power & Detail Whether it’s Pop, Rock, Jazz, Hip Hop, Electronic music or Metal, the 502 remains unbiased and provides the brutal honesty that’s crucial for studio production – it reveals the details of your mix. With a powerful 75 Watts of output and pristine sound, Reveal 502 is sure to become the reference standard for its class. Reveal 802 – The Ultimate Lover of Low End For anyone mixing hip-hop or bass-heavy electronic music, Reveal 802 is the ultimate near-field monitor. It’s got all the love for the low-end that a modern producer needs while still keeping the mid and high-frequencies crystal clear. The custom 8” woofer and 1” tweeter use a finely tuned active crossover filter to tell you exactly what is going on in your mix. Combine this with a new 100 Watt bi-amp module and you get rock solid bass at any volume… Golden Ears A living legend, Dr. Paul Mills has been with Tannoy for nearly 30 years and is responsible for the acoustic design of all Tannoy residential loudspeakers, including the unparalleled sonic flagship, Kingdom Royal. As the company’s Director of Residential Products, Engineering, he’s truly a man with an impeccable sense for sound. His work embodies the renowned Tannoy experience; exclusive voicing and premium aural characteristics. Legendary Music Tannoy is one of the oldest and most prestigious audio brands in the world. It has had a presence in the audio industry for almost a century, beginning with the Tulsemere Manufacturing Company in 1926. Its rich history is ingrained into every loudspeaker it produces. Since 1947 Tannoy studio monitors have been the staple of recording gold, playing an integral part in the creation of some greatest music in the world: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Jason Mraz, and Jay Z, to name just a few.
  25. 25. EXPERT WITNESS HEADPHONES are an essential tool for recording studios. Having spoken with a variety of recording engineers, producers, mastering engineers, and musicians, I’ve learned a few key aspects about headphones or questions I always ask when somebody is looking for their first pair or for a pile to fill their studio needs. I’ll start off by covering what I consider to be the three main concerns when choosing headphones for your studio. Open vs. Closed Headphones? This is the first big question to answer and it’s a relatively simple one. If you will be recording sounds with a microphone such as acoustic guitar, voice, or drums you’ll likely want closed headphones. Closed headphones help to keep sound from leaking out and getting into your mic feed. If you’re recording or producing music using direct input or software-based instruments this is not an issue. If you’re only mixing or mastering music and don’t need isolation then you can use open headphones. It is usually easier to get more natural, accurate sound from an open headphone than from a closed headphone of similar design. This is not always the case as we have heard a few open design headphones that sound worse than good quality closed headphones. Ultimately it depends on how much attention the manufacturer paid to sound quality vs. cost/ style/comfort, etc. Durability Studio headphones need to be durable and repairable. Many well-respected studio cans these days have removable cables and replaceable ear pads and headbands. Some manufacturers such as Sennheiser go so far as to make almost all parts replaceable. All of the headphones we have listed in this guide offer replaceable cables and parts. Sound Quality You would think I would have put this as the first criteria but the truth is if your headphones don’t work or break often you’ll be making less music. The quality of sound you get from a headphone depends on many different factors including design and price. Entry-level or Low-cost Headphones When outfitting a studio with headphones for the whole band it’s helpful to keep the cost per unit down. Right at the $100 mark, the Shure SRH440 is a great sounding headphone providing plenty of isolation for recording with microphones. They also sound good enough to be used as the only headphone for those on a budget. For a small increase in price stepping up to the Audio-Technica M50x will get you a little more natural and accurate sound and a few extra cables included in the package. At the higher end of entry-level headphones we often recommend the Shure SRH840 which provides more comfortable ear cups, fuller bass response, and an extra set of earpads. Mid-priced Headphones If you want the best bang for your buck without compromising your mixing or mastering abilities we recommend the Sennheiser HD600 and HD650 as well as the AKG K712. These are open style headphones providing very natural and accurate sound. A nice mid-priced closed headphone is the Shure SRH1540. While it leaks a little more sound than your standard closed headphone, it isolates enough to be our top recommendation for tracking in the studio. High-end Headphones On the extreme end of the spectrum we are seeing a lot of new products from all the known manufacturers. From Sennheiser we have the HD800 ($1,499), possibly the world’s best headphone, its open design with angled driver and proprietary ‘ring radiator’ driver yield the widest soundstage and precise details of anything we’ve heard. AKG released the K812 this year offering its signature sound in a more refined package. A newcomer to the audio world, Audeze released its LCD-X in 2013 delivering planar magnetic headphones with a luscious, dynamic, and very linear bass response. If you’re looking for the top of the line in closed headphones the Fostex TH-900 and Audeze LCD-XC are sure to delight the ears of any musician or engineer. Headphone Amps A word on headphone amps. Why would you need such a thing? A headphone is really just a set of miniature speakers. Behind every headphone jack is a miniature power amplifier to drive headphones. Sometimes the manufacturers put this in as an afterthought or simply don’t pay much attention to the headphone output. If you’re considering investing in a high-end headphone you should consider pairing it with a dedicated headphone amp to get the most out of it. High on our recommended list is the Grace Design m920. While it costs more than any headphone we’ve mentioned this could be the centre of your production and serves many purposes other than just an amp. The m920 includes a digital to analogue converter with all standard connections, switchable inputs to act as the heart of your monitoring centre, and can be used as a preamp for your main speakers. Also included with the m920 is a Crossfeed setting which is meant to more closely simulate the sound of speakers, reducing listening fatigue. If the idea of Crossfeed is appealing to you, also consider the SPL Phonitor which offers a customisable crossfeed to suit your listening tastes. 28 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 The Principle Importance of Studio Headphones Specialist headphone retailer HeadRoom CEO Jamey Warren gives us the whys and wherefores of headphone purchasing. Expert witness Jamey Warren is the CEO/president of HeadRoom, a dedicated headphone retailer for over 20 years. www.headphone.com
  26. 26. www.audiomedia.com June 2014 29 Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com AUDIO-TECHNICA AUDIO-TECHNICA’S M-Series professional monitoring headphones have long enjoyed a reputation for accurate and well- balanced tonal response, making them ideal partners in the studio or on location. Updated for 2014, the new M-Series models take cues from the sound and proprietary design of the company’s acclaimed ATH-M50 professional monitor headphones and the new ATH-M20x, ATH-M30x and ATH-M40x deliver accurate audio and outstanding comfort, perfect for long recording sessions (wherever they’re taking place) and live sound applications. The M20x, M30x and M40x all feature 40mm drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminium voice coils, as well as a circumaural design that contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments. The ATH-M50x (featuring 45mm drivers) has the exact same sonic signature as the original ATH-M50 and adds refined earpads and three detachable cables. The Flagship M50x The original ATH-M50 has been praised by leading audio engineers and journalists worldwide, and now the ATH-M50x sees the addition of refined earpads and three detachable cables (a 1.2m-3m coiled cable, 3m straight cable and 1.2m straight cable). From the large aperture drivers to sound isolating earcups and robust construction, the M50x provides an unmatched experience for the most critical audio applications, including recording, broadcast, DJ, live sound and personal listening. The ATH-M50x is available in black, white (ATH-M50xWH) and limited-edition blue (ATH-M50xBL). Seen on the heads of everyone from r’n’b superstar John Legend (his Live In The Studio video series with The Roots) to live monitor and front of house engineers Pablo McCarte (Aloe Blacc, Deap Vally), Stuart Macaulay (Rudimental) and Ben Hammond (Deaf Havana), the M50x continues the evolution of a studio heavyweight. Feature-packed M40x The high-performance ATH-M40x professional headphones are tuned flat for incredibly accurate audio monitoring across an extended frequency range. The studio experience is enhanced with superior sound isolation and swiveling earcups for convenient one-ear monitoring, and professional-grade earpad and headband material provides exceptional durability and comfort. The collapsible design offers space-saving portability and storage, and the headphones come with two detachable cables (a 1.2m-3m coiled cable and 3m straight cable). Engineered with pro-grade materials and robust construction, the M40x excels in professional studio tracking and mixing, as well as DJ monitoring. M-Series Monitoring Headphones Get 2014 MakeoverAudio-Technica’s well-respected M-Series professional headphones have been improved this year, with the whole range now sharing a true family identity. Affordable Performance The sonic characteristics of the M40x and M50x are shared even by the less expensive models in the new M-Series line-up. The M20x and M30x bring tonal accuracy and comfort to a cost-conscious audience while still delivering exemplary build and wearability. Both sets of headphones combine modern engineering and high-quality materials to deliver a comfortable listening experience, with enhanced audio clarity and sound isolation. Tuned for highly detailed audio, with strong mid-range definition, these versatile monitoring headphones are ideal in a variety of situations. Designed primarily for studio tracking and mixing, the M30x also offers added features for increased portability, making them a great choice for field recording. Both the ATH- M20x and ATH-M30x feature a convenient single-side cable exit with a permanently attached 3m cable. INFORMATION Audio-Technica Ltd Unit 5, Millennium Way Leeds LS11 5AL E:sales@audio-technica.co.uk T: 0113 277 1441 Audio-Technica’s recently updated ATH-M50x monitor headphones The M-Series range now shares the same sonic characteristics of the flagship M50x model
  27. 27. KRK KRK Systems is one of the world’s most respected manufacturers of studio reference monitors. Mixing and even mastering on headphones is gaining traction. Mobile musicians can’t always tote monitor speakers around, and with so many people using earbuds and headphones, it’s essential to keep the playback medium in mind. Also, headphones eliminate room acoustics issues with home studios, and premium headphones cost less than premium speakers. However, not all headphones are created equal. Many “hype” the low-end, high-end, or both. But even with accurate headphones, music doesn’t sound the same on headphones as on speakers. The sound is in your head, not in front of it, and there’s no channel crossfeed. What’s more, your mix has to sound great on living room speakers, cheap ear buds, on the dance floor, or in the car. Can mixing with headphones help accomplish that goal? With the KNS Studio Headphones you can enjoy the same KRK engineering and innovation when being on the road travelling, when portability, and the use of superior isolation from the surrounded environment is required. The KNS series are designed to provide what KRK has been delivering for 25 years: sonic accuracy, transparency, and consistency. And, with KRK you are assured that what you hear is true, whether the source is on the console or on your head! KRK Headphones provide a precise listening experience that takes you from personal studio to commercial studio to on- the-go track evaluations – and they allow you to evaluate and enjoy your music with the consistent voicing philosophy and honest reproduction top producers, studio musicians, performers, and engineers have come to trust. Whether you are listening to some tracks, or tracking your next recording, the KNS series gives you the famous KRK sound in an extraordinarily comfortable closed-back around-the-ear design with highly isolated surround pads. KNS Headphones give you accurate reproduction of your music or mix and will help you achieve just what the artist intended – especially when the artist is you. A Pro Looks at KNS Headphones We asked Craig Anderton, who has reviewed multiple headphones in the past, to give us his comments about the KNS8400 because he has been using them on all his recent projects. “Initially, I was shocked at how suitable the KNS8400 headphones were for mixing. I compared the KNS8400 to my other headphones, and it bested all of them. It doesn’t hype the bass, so I had to acclimate to the KNS8400’s response; but after mixing with the KNS8400 headphones for a while, I noticed several other details. Although the bass isn’t “forward,” it’s extremely well defined. Picking a bass line out of a busy mix is easy, and the bass response is consistent (no “response holes”) down to the lowest bass ranges. Headphones that hype the bass fool you into thinking there’s more bass in the mix than what is really there, so I had to be careful not to “undermix” the bass. With the KNS8400’s accurate low end, that’s not an issue. Perhaps the biggest surprise was a wider soundstage, which I think in this case relates to the transient response. More accurate attacks define stereo field positions better. Also a noticeable attribute was the real comfort – I didn’t feel like the headphone was a clamp. And for those who wear glasses, I found the headphones “glasses-friendly” when they sit on your head. Probably a lot of the “comfort factor” is due to the “memory foam” pads which easily mold to the head’s shape, resulting in superior isolation. During recording this offers a huge benefit, as it minimizes ‘bleed’ into the microphone. For the artist another useful add-on is the integrated volume control. Of course, the KNS8400’s design isn’t for everyone because the typical consumer doesn’t mix or master sound over studio monitors – they want a bigger-than-life listening experience. That’s fine, but not for mixing. If I had to sum up the KNS8400 in a single sentence, I’d say it provides a studio monitor experience in a headphone format. I wish I’d discovered these headphones years ago, but better late than never.” “The lack of high-end hype is appreciated for long or loud tracking sessions, and the bottom end is slightly plump without being too ‘poofy’ or having ‘one note bass’ syndrome. Their clarity, isolation, low-weight, fold-ability, and comfortable ear pads make an ideal headphone experience.” Pro Audio Review “Expect excellent isolation from the KNS 6400 closed-back ear cups for superb listening privacy in any setting and zero leakage into the mic during recording or vocal work. Highly recommended, well priced headphone for recordists, mixers, and personal monitoring of all music genres. The KNS8400s offer nuanced tonal balance and clear timbral transparency at all frequencies. Low-end bass response is robust and full but with controlled impact while the uppermost highs remain present and brilliant without glare or screech.” Headphone.com “For people who feel that headphones isolate the two sides of the stereo image unrealistically, the KRKs will be something of a revelation. Both phones are incredibly light – 7.4 and eight ounces – and this light weight greatly extended the comfortable listening period. These headphones provide a noticeably different listening and sound staging experience than other headphones in their class, one that’s likely to win over musicians from some other headphones costing much more.” Recording Magazine 30 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014 Headphones for Educated Ears The KNS Series of Headphones from KRK INFORMATION KRK UK distributor: Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd. Windsor House, Turnpike Road High Wycombe, Bucks HP12 3FX, UK T: +44 (0) 1494 462 246 E: sales@focusrite.com KRK Systems, Inc. Gibson Brands, Inc. 309 Plus Park Nashville, TN 37217 T: 1-800-4 GIBSON E: service@krksys.com W: www.krksys.com
  28. 28. ULTRASONE ULTRASONE, founded in 1991, is located close to the Alps in South Germany and specialises in headphones. Day-to-day commitment leads to explicit expert knowledge and makes Ultrasone one of the leading developers and manufacturers of headphones throughout the world. Constant development leads to high-quality pro headphones equipped with the latest technologies and beneficial accessories. Ultrasone’s Technologies Are Unique Ultrasone invented the inimitable S-Logic™ Natural Surround Sound and Ultra Low Emission technologies, thus integrating safer hearing aspects without neglecting the latest technologies. The consideration of all these aspects is fundamental for modern headphones. S-Logic™ Technology Unique? Yes! Revolutionary? Definitely! The patented S-Logic™ technology is described as ‘Natural Surround Sound System’. No other digital surround system can compare with this standard. The sound of normal headphones will sound direct and even on both sides, while the S-Logic™ system pushes sound around your head. It appears as though you are listening to speakers metres away. Even at very low levels, this spacious sound allows you to hear and listen to each and every individual sound. And on top of that, the S-Logic™ technology does not require additional equipment! How does S-Logic™ work? S-Logic™ sends music around your head, not just into it, because this technology uses decentralised driver positioning. Did you know that you use and need the outer ear for your three-dimensional understanding to define the direction and distance of where a sound comes from? Instead of hitting the inner ear directly, with S-Logic™ the signals are reflected off the surface of the outer ear in different directions before entering the auditory canal, to create a natural three-dimensional sound. S-Logic™ is the only headphone system that includes your entire sense of hearing. S-Logic™ does not change your personal hearing, but it intensifies it for your individual needs and listening pleasure. S-Logic™ doesn’t need artificial echo, digital sound processing, or cross over run time delay. You can hear the sound just the way the sound engineer has mastered it. Safer Hearing S-Logic™ allows at the same time a reduction of sound pressure levels at the eardrum by up to 40% (3-4dB). This may reduce the risk of hearing damage while ensuring hours of fatigue-free listening. Ultrasone – S-Logic™ Plus S-Logic™ Plus is the newest advancement in the S-Logic™ Natural Surround System, squeezing the BIG S-Logic™ soundstage found in our PRO series headphones into the more streamlined ear-cups of select HFI & DJ models. S-Logic™ Plus profits directly from innovations developed for our flagship Edition range, the ultimate headphones for critical listening. This sophisticated new technology combines precision dampening with micro-acoustic reinforcement, allowing driver, bufferboard, and spatial parameters to complement one another in an optimal manner. So, the acoustically redesigned ear- cups of these new models and their tonal fine-tuning result in a most neutral sound impression with more vivid perception of voices and instruments Ultrasone’s ULE- Technology Most headphone drivers produce low-frequency magnetic fields as they convert an electrical signal into the acoustical signal that we hear as music. Ultrasone has developed a special MU-Metal shielding that we call ULE (for Ultra Low Emissions) to reduce this radiation by up to 98%, compared to conventional headphones. This technology has withstood the test of international review and is recommended by technical surveillance organisations. Ultrasone originally developed ULE-technology for professionals, since they spend half of their lives in headphones. Professional Sound Quality & Accessories The highest sound quality is guaranteed due to high profile technologies and high-class materials. Naturally, Ultrasone headphones offer accessories desired by professionals to support day-to-day needs in the studio or on the road. The headphones are placed in a safe transportation box together with accessories such as extra detachable cable and extra earpads. First Choice For Professionals Specialist In Headphones INFORMATION Ultrasone Take a closer look at our website. The options are yours to explore. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Ultrasone team any time. W: www.ultrasone.com E: Infodesk@ultrasone.com 32 June 2014 The International Guide To Monitors and Headphones 2014
  29. 29. The International Audio Guide series from Audio Media Each International Audio Guide focuses on an important pro-audio product line, giving independent articles followed by in depth advertorials, covering the history and current range from the leading manufacturers in their field. Available now: 2014 International Console Guide 2014 International DAW & plugins Guide 2014 Live Sound & Theatre Guide 2014 International Monitors & Headphone Guide Later in the year: 2014 International Microphone Guide 2014 Broadcast Audio Guide 2015 International Console Guide Contact me today to discuss your requirements and to make sure your company is represented. Darrell Carter Tel:+44 (0) 20 7226 7246 e-mail: darrell.carter@intentmedia.co.uk

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