Monitor Calibration Question

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Monitor Calibration Question

Post by CaseyCayce »

I’m struggling with monitor calibration and need some direction. I’m using KRK Rokit-8 monitors that have a HF Adjust and LF Adjust on the back. Those adjustments have little effect on this issue I’m posting. I have a pink-noise track in Pro-Tools that gives an EQ reading of a normal, steady, slightly ascending slope from low end to high end. Using a measurement mic, I’m getting an EQ out of my monitors with a distinct low-end drop, like an HPF is being applied. The signal is going straight out of Pro-Tools through my Presonus 32R for this test, totally dry. As a second test, I loaded the pink noise file into iTunes on my Mac, disabled the iTunes EQ, ran it out of the headphones jack and into the KRKs, getting the same results.

I’m not so thoroughly versed on monitors, but my expectation is that they’re supposed to give me back exactly what’s coming out of my system, am I correct on that? If I mix based on the HPF curve of these monitors, aren’t my mixes are going to come out more bottom end than I want?

See the linked image for the source and monitors EQ readings:
https://www.caycecookbook.com/Monitor-Analysis.jpg

Could use some help on this one.

Thanks.
CaseyCayce
Posts: 3 Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:21 am

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by blinddrew »

Virtually all monitors exhibit the low frequency drop off that you're seeing on your graph. KRK say the 8's go down to 40Hz but that's only half the specification, for that to really mean anything they need to say what range is. So a full description might say 40Hz to 20kHz at +/- 3dB. That would tell you that the frequency response in that range doesn't vary more than 3db from unity.
As it is, at 40 Hz your measured response is about 4.5dB down, which isn't bad at all. :thumbup:
When dealing with the real low end, you either have to spend many thousands of pounds for extensive room treatment and very serious monitors, or you just get some nice headphones and check the low end on that.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16554 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by The Red Bladder »

There is a saying in German - "Wer viel misst, misst Mist!"

Translation - Those who measure a lot, measure crap.

It is a mistake to obsess over speaker linearity because (1) That is not the most important aspect of a speaker (2) The room is not linear (3) Your ears compensate for differences relative volumes.

1. Other things like distortion and response rates affect the way you hear music more than linearity. If you can find a waterfall plot for those speakers you will see that like all small ported speakers, they ring at various frequencies - usually around the bass and the X-over F.

Have a read through this lot - http://dt7v1i9vyp3mf.cloudfront.net/ass ... wq9mLf1t0=

2. Unless you have something like the giant anechoic chamber that Daimler-Benz uses to test truck noise in Stuttgart, your room will be all over the place. All rooms are!

3. Your ears and your brain are constantly compensating for differences in what you see and hear and feel. So even if you had perfect speakers in a perfect room, you would still change your perception of what you hear and the relative volumes of the various frequencies.
The Red Bladder
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2733 Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:00 am Location: . . .
 

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

I'm on an away day and typing on a phone in a car (from the passenger seat) so this will be brief.

Pink noise should display as a gently falling frequency response (reducing hf at -3dB/octave) or a flat line, depending on your graphical settings.

It definitely shouldn't rise at hf as shown in your graph. I suspect either that your source is white noise not pink noise, or maybe you have a weird display mode (frequency scaling) in your fabfilter settings. Edited to add: some fabfilter versions have a tilt function. Check yours is set to portray pink noise appropriately.

Taking that into account, your mic measurement looks pretty good with a decent low end response for those speakers.

There is a high pass filter in the system, BTW, its formed by the lf roll-off of the bass driver combined with the effect of the cabinet.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 32413 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by RichardT »

Those look like very good results to me - pretty flat down to 60Hz and as Drew says, not too far down at 40Hz. Don't worry!

As Drew says, to get decent bass below that, you need a well-treated room and expensive monitors - or a sub-woofer. Depending on your room, though, a subwoofer might or might not not have a beneficial effect!

To work with the bass end as it is, the best thing is to use reference tracks so you can compare your mixes with them.

And if you can stretch to cost of using a mastering engineer, they can help balance your bass, as long as it's in the right ballpark before you send it to them, or give you feedback on your mix if it's not. Although I have a reasonable monitoring system, it can't hold a candle to my mastering engineer's.
RichardT
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1349 Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am Location: London UK

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by The Elf »

Just leave your speakers as they are and learn what they tell you. No speaker is perfect - it's how you react to what they tell you that matters.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17282 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by Martin Walker »

I agree with the others that this response is good. However, I couldn't resist replying to The Elf's comment

The Elf wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:15 am Just leave your speakers as they are and learn what they tell you. No speaker is perfect - it's how you react to what they tell you that matters.

The loudspeakers say "No" ;)

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 18326 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by The Elf »

:lol::thumbup:
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17282 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by MOF »

I'm on an away day and typing on a phone in a car

I had to laugh at this, if you’d said this thirty years ago it would have made no sense; similarly I find it amusing to see people apparently talking to no one. Mobile phones, don’t you just love ‘em?
MOF
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1760 Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 12:00 am Location: United Kingdom

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by MOF »

No speaker is perfect - it's how you react to what they tell you that matters.

And neither are headphones unfortunately.
MOF
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1760 Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 12:00 am Location: United Kingdom

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by blinddrew »

MOF wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:25 pm
No speaker is perfect - it's how you react to what they tell you that matters.

And neither are headphones unfortunately.

True, but you can at least take the room out of the equation.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16554 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Monitor Calibration Question

Post by The Elf »

blinddrew wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 6:00 pm
MOF wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:25 pm
No speaker is perfect - it's how you react to what they tell you that matters.

And neither are headphones unfortunately.

True, but you can at least take the room out of the equation.

Spot on.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17282 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.
Post Reply