Good small monitor controller.

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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by Wonks »

No, he's just sell more advertising space. :D

Each reviewer would have a fixed starting price for their review, with £2 taken off for every word they wrote to promote brevity. Too many words and the reviewer ends up paying SOS.
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by ef37a »

Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Review, Pilot now set-up, it’s completely transparent, it works, review over.


Think of how many ads we could get in the mag if all my reviews were that short... :bouncy::think:


NO!!!! Many are too short as it is. I cannot think of it now but there was a review of something quite high end and complex last year that was dismissed in less than a page.

Might I have the temerity to suggest "quantity" often triumphs over "quality"? Or, if not "quality" certainly 'depth'? And, compared to many 'skinnies' I buy occasionally, SOS magazine is STUPIDLY cheap! Another quid is surely justified especially if it means reviewers can take just a bit more 'time'?

Dave.


Sometimes there’s not a lot you can say, beyond it meeting certain personal requirements, and it sounding sort of "OK" and most gear these days "is" sort of OK there aren’t any real turds, do you remember those "stereo" radios in the 70’ that were just one speaker with two cardboard tubes going to a couple of fake grills? we need more stuff like that to liven things up!

:D


"Liven things up"!? Sound on Sound is a serious 'professional' audio magazine. That does NOT mean dull, the various contributors put in their own 'bits of business' and make it eminently readable, for me at least. The very LAST thing they should be doing is 'pimping it up' and dumbing it down' to pander to a more general ("dipsey/hip") reader group.

That, seems to be a disease afflicting 'meeja' of all kinds , see my bash at the BBC bosses.

In fact I would personally like to see it get even "duller" in a way! I would like more reviews to be longer, more in depth. Post some basic but useful specifications or, where none are given as happened in the current issue, make a 'not good enough' point about the lack.

One change of style I would applaud (and might be what you mean Tony?) is a rather more robust and opinionated comment of certain products. It was I think two issues ago that a very basic, 2 in 2 out +SPDIF (not ADAT mind!) was featured and was three times the cost of anything with the same specification. That I thought needed a firmer "Why the **** would anyone pay THAT for THIS? But, I know full well, been told before, that such 'knocking copy' is a bit of a minefield.

Hugh has told me a few times (INfinite patience has the doc) that they are not really set up or can afford to do professional test very often. I accept that but wonder if that extra quid would help?

Dave.
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by James Perrett »

ef37a wrote:Hugh has told me a few times (INfinite patience has the doc) that they are not really set up or can afford to do professional test very often. I accept that but wonder if that extra quid would help?


I'd guess it is more a case of transporting Hugh to a parallel universe where there are more hours in the day as (I think) he's the only reviewer with the test gear needed. However, Phil Ward's speaker reviews also contain plenty of measurements.
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by Arpangel »

ef37a wrote:
"Liven things up"!? Sound on Sound is a serious 'professional' audio magazine. That does NOT mean dull, the various contributors put in their own 'bits of business' and make it eminently readable, for me at least. The very LAST thing they should be doing is 'pimping it up' and dumbing it down' to pander to a more general ("dipsey/hip") reader group.

That, seems to be a disease afflicting 'meeja' of all kinds , see my bash at the BBC bosses.

In fact I would personally like to see it get even "duller" in a way! I would like more reviews to be longer, more in depth. Post some basic but useful specifications or, where none are given as happened in the current issue, make a 'not good enough' point about the lack.

One change of style I would applaud (and might be what you mean Tony?) is a rather more robust and opinionated comment of certain products. It was I think two issues ago that a very basic, 2 in 2 out +SPDIF (not ADAT mind!) was featured and was three times the cost of anything with the same specification. That I thought needed a firmer "Why the **** would anyone pay THAT for THIS? But, I know full well, been told before, that such 'knocking copy' is a bit of a minefield.

Hugh has told me a few times (INfinite patience has the doc) that they are not really set up or can afford to do professional test very often. I accept that but wonder if that extra quid would help?

Dave.


Dave, I know it’s difficult sometimes, to know if I’m joking or not, and a lot of other people here have this problem with me I know, but in this case no doubt, I was joking, I used to love Hugh Ford's reviews in the Studio Sound magazine, you can’t get much drier, and more serious than that, great.
I’m with you, don’t dumb down, it’s up to the reader to keep up to speed, but Studio Sound was definitely aimed at "engineers" whereas SOS is a cross between a musicians mag, and an engineers mag, has to appeal to both, and all in between, and not all musicians, me included, are primarily engineers, if at all, so a bit of leeway is required I guess.
I find SOS "interesting" if I’m to be honest, just like I found Studio Sound interesting, like music technology in general, as an electronic musician I’ve always found it interesting, but I’m like a lot of noobies on here in a way, my technical knowledge is still, very limited.
I’m not expecting SOS to pander to the lowest common denominator, in fact, the resasin this place is so valuable is because of the high standards of the people that run it, that help us out, ultimately.

:)
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by ef37a »

Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:
"Liven things up"!? Sound on Sound is a serious 'professional' audio magazine. That does NOT mean dull, the various contributors put in their own 'bits of business' and make it eminently readable, for me at least. The very LAST thing they should be doing is 'pimping it up' and dumbing it down' to pander to a more general ("dipsey/hip") reader group.

That, seems to be a disease afflicting 'meeja' of all kinds , see my bash at the BBC bosses.

In fact I would personally like to see it get even "duller" in a way! I would like more reviews to be longer, more in depth. Post some basic but useful specifications or, where none are given as happened in the current issue, make a 'not good enough' point about the lack.

One change of style I would applaud (and might be what you mean Tony?) is a rather more robust and opinionated comment of certain products. It was I think two issues ago that a very basic, 2 in 2 out +SPDIF (not ADAT mind!) was featured and was three times the cost of anything with the same specification. That I thought needed a firmer "Why the **** would anyone pay THAT for THIS? But, I know full well, been told before, that such 'knocking copy' is a bit of a minefield.

Hugh has told me a few times (INfinite patience has the doc) that they are not really set up or can afford to do professional test very often. I accept that but wonder if that extra quid would help?

Dave.


Dave, I know it’s difficult sometimes, to know if I’m joking or not, and a lot of other people here have this problem with me I know, but in this case no doubt, I was joking, I used to love Hugh Ford's reviews in the Studio Sound magazine, you can’t get much drier, and more serious than that, great.
I’m with you, don’t dumb down, it’s up to the reader to keep up to speed, but Studio Sound was definitely aimed at "engineers" whereas SOS is a cross between a musicians mag, and an engineers mag, has to appeal to both, and all in between, and not all musicians, me included, are primarily engineers, if at all, so a bit of leeway is required I guess.
I find SOS "interesting" if I’m to be honest, just like I found Studio Sound interesting, like music technology in general, as an electronic musician I’ve always found it interesting, but I’m like a lot of noobies on here in a way, my technical knowledge is still, very limited.
I’m not expecting SOS to pander to the lowest common denominator, in fact, the resasin this place is so valuable is because of the high standards of the people that run it, that help us out, ultimately.

:)


Ok Tony, you have explained that very well and it seems SOS mag' has just about the right balance for you? (I, on the other hand would prefer less "synth" and more technicals!)

Reviews will always have a huge personal content. How a device performs and what it can, and probably more importantly CANNOT do will always be subject to the personal 'MO' of the tester. But, things like operating levels, noise, crosstalk, distortion CAN be measured. Now, as said, few reviewers have the time of facilities to do those tests but the figures should be available from the makers of the kit! When they are not readily available the fact should, IMHO be flagged up very prominently.

It will be argued of course that modern gear usually has impeccable specifications and performs well about the baseline needed for most users but. We need to have the numbers else how can anyone ever check and compare?

Dave.
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

James Perrett wrote:I'd guess it is more a case of transporting Hugh to a parallel universe where there are more hours in the day as (I think) he's the only reviewer with the test gear needed. However, Phil Ward's speaker reviews also contain plenty of measurements.


It's not really a case of money, or even test gear. It's a genuine difficulty in finding people with the knowledge, training, and interest to be able to perform the technical testing as well as write an operationally informed review. These are, apparently, a rare combination of skills.
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by Arpangel »

ef37a wrote:
Ok Tony, you have explained that very well and it seems SOS mag' has just about the right balance for you? (I, on the other hand would prefer less "synth" and more technicals!)

Reviews will always have a huge personal content. How a device performs and what it can, and probably more importantly CANNOT do will always be subject to the personal 'MO' of the tester. But, things like operating levels, noise, crosstalk, distortion CAN be measured. Now, as said, few reviewers have the time of facilities to do those tests but the figures should be available from the makers of the kit! When they are not readily available the fact should, IMHO be flagged up very prominently.

It will be argued of course that modern gear usually has impeccable specifications and performs well about the baseline needed for most users but. We need to have the numbers else how can anyone ever check and compare?

Dave.


Did you read Studio Sound Dave? the older editions? Hugh Ford used to maintain an unbiased attitude I think, regarding technical reviews, although his attitude was very "old school" shall we say, from an engineers point of view, and I mean that with the greatest respect, as Kenny Everett would say!

:thumbup:
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

My formative teenage years were heavily influenced by Hugh Ford's wonderfully thorough Studio Sound reviews, and I learned a great deal from reading those over the years which definitely gave me a helpful leg-up when I eventually reached the BBC's Engineering Training courses.

While I share Dave's interest and enthusiasm for accurate tech specs, and abhor the increasingly casual approach some manufacturers take to providing this information, I also recognise that the base-line standard, even for low-budget gear, is generally superb and often better than the typical professional standards of the 70s and 80s.

When I learned to drive in the late 70s quite a lot of contemporary cars struggled to cruise on motorways at 70mph. No one today needs specifications to be confident that any modern car could do that with ease. The same is true of modern pro-audio gear. For example, even for low-budget gear the noise and distortion figures are an order of magnitude lower than anything available in the 70s. So the focus now is generally much more on features and usability than technical performance -- just as it is when choosing a new car.

Of course, there still are some situations where the technicalities are more relevant and critical, and it is right that we should evaluate those critically. But testing the EIN and THD figures is a largely pointless exercise for any half-decent interface these days.
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by Mike Shand »

Ok Tony, you have explained that very well and it seems SOS mag' has just about the right balance for you? (I, on the other hand would prefer less "synth" and more technicals!)


I have to agree. It may be my imagination, but there seem to be more and more synth reviews, in which I personally have no interest.

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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Sound On Sound magazine has always carried reviews of relevant synths and keyboards, but there are rarely more than one or two in a typical issue amongst more than 30 other reviews... and sometimes there are none! ;)
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by James Perrett »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Of course, there still are some situations where the technicalities are more relevant and critical, and it is right that we should evaluate those critically. But testing the EIN and THD figures is a largely pointless exercise for any half-decent interface these days.


And yet, over the last few months you've reviewed both surprisingly good, and surprisingly disappointing mic preamps. For those of us who would like a bargain, it would also be good to know whose specs we can trust and who are somewhat over-optimistic at the bottom end of the market. For instance, I know that the preamps in my portable interface are noisier than they could be but is there anything better under £100?

I know that I'm asking for something that isn't possible at the moment but I'm just thinking of various hi fi reviews I've read in the distant past where bargains were discovered.
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by Sam Spoons »

ef37a wrote:Sam, the BKP is indeed flawed, the input resistance of the ring input is low at 1k and can therefore cause distortion with some sources. As you say, the output is not even close to balanced but AFAICT there is a 'cold' signal.

Other than those flaws, the box works very well and if it seems to satisfy your requirements I would suggest you get one and simple make NE5532 buffers for the inputs and a pair of symmetrical outputs ? The LM4562 will be even better, lower noise and greater drive capability though I doubt you would hear any difference.

Lot less trouble than a 'New Wheel'?

Dave.


That could still be the case, I'm still pondering. Maybe I'll make a mute and output/mono switcher to prove the concept, the volume control is the least important part TBH as the master fader is always available.
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by shufflebeat »

Sam Spoons wrote:Maybe I'll make a mute and output/mono switcher to prove the concept, the volume control is the least important part TBH as the master fader is always available.


At the risk of spoiling a perfectly good project, could this be another job for a remote button on a wireless number pad patched to mono and mute on ye olde meisterbus?
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Re: Good small monitor controller.

Post by Sam Spoons »

I bought one as a remote for Reaper on your advice, I'm ashamed to say I haven't yet got it working (it's a good idea and is definitely in the to-do list though). But, don't forget I am using a X32 Compact as the hub of my studio and, basically, want to run the monitor speakers and mono grotbox from the control room outs (for a more analogue like workflow) and be able to mute them without muting the desk's headphone outputs (so I can monitor through the speakers when tracking unless there is a mic involved) so a hardware controller between the desk and monitors is the simplest, most analogue, solution.

FWIW I could probably do it with some creative routing and muting on the desk but feel more comfortable with a switch...

Actually I suspect it may be yet another delaying tactic to get me out of actually recording something :blush:
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