Unit 25: Assignment 1 – The Specification of Recording Equipment

Review 1

KRK Rokit 8 G3  vs.  Yamaha NS-10

Probably the two most iconic and recognisable near-field studio monitors around. The KRK Rokit’s distinctive yellow ring woofer up against the white coned NS-10’s. They both have their highs and lows (no pun intended) which will be highlighted in this review.krk-rokit8-g3-970-80

To kick off, the Rokit 8’s 1″soft dome tweeter delivers high frequencies up to 35kHz. These loudspeakers have a large port hole located on the front of each unit that give them a great bass response, enabling them to pump out  low frequencies around 35Hz. You can adjust it to + or – 1dB using the rear panel knob. The price tag of £398 (for a pair) reflects these capabilities. You can’t deny we’re all temped to ramp up that bass every once in a while, and KRK know that. Thats why they’ve fitted a foam panel to the bottom of each cabinet to decouple them from the surface they’re sat on and reduce diffraction distortion (no need to buy separate isolation pads).yamaha_ns10m_main

 

On the other hand, the Yamaha NS-10’s produce a flatter, more standard sound – which is better for perfecting mixes without having to compensate for the booming low end of the Rokits. The NS-10’s are known to be slightly mid-heavy, so if your looking to get right into the nitty gritty details of your track, they wont let you down. But the detail and
trustworthy sound comes at a cost. Your looking at around £500 for a pair of second hand ones. They are not in production any more so this price could increase.

The third generation ‘8’ model is the largest of the three Rokit two-way monitors – maybe a little to big for a bedroom setup, but with the great audio quality they wouldn’t go a miss in a professional studio. KRK say that their front firing bass ports reduce boundary coupling to allow flexibility of positioning, basically you don’t have to be a sound engineer to get the most out of these monitors. The ease of use shouldn’t go unmentioned for the NS-10’s either, with only binding post connectors at the back they are easy to set up and use. That being said, these monitors are passive, therefore, will require an amplifier to supply power to them so bare that in mind before purchasing a pair!

yamahans10fig4

Yamaha NS-10 Frequency Response Graph

To conclude, the NS-10s have earned their place in studios around the world thanks to the revealing mid-range response they produce (see right). As the saying goes, if your mix sounds good through the NS-10’s, its will sound good on anything. If production is your main focus, the NS-10’s should be in your toolkit.

krk-rokit-8-frequency-response

KRK Rokit 8 Frequency Response Graph

In comparison, with the flat frequency response and a little extra bass (see left), the KRK Rokits would be the ultimate DJ essential as you’ve got an even balance of frequencies that prevents clashing when mixing two or more tracks. As well as this, the rumbling low end has the power to send any kick drum right through you.

 

 

Tech Spec Comparison

KRK Rokit 8 G3                       Yamaha NS-10

Frequency Range           35Hz-35kHz                            60Hz-20kHz

System Type                    Active Studio Monitor         Passive Studio Monitor

Configuration                 2-way                                       2-way

Power Output                  100W                                        120W

LF Components              8″ Woofer                               7.1″ Cone

HF Components             1″ Soft Dome                          1.4″ Soft Dome

Weight (1 speaker)        12kg                                          6.3kg

Bibliography:
Curwen, T. (2014, Febuary 12). Music Radar Tech. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from Music Radar: http://www.musicradar.com/reviews/tech/krk-rokit-8-g3-594056
Home Recording. (2012, April 07). Home Recording Forum. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from Home Recording: http://homerecording.com/bbs/general-discussions/mixing-techniques/krk-rokit-8s-vs-yamaha-ns-10s-340936/
KRK Systems. (2011). KRK Rokit 8 G3. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from KRK Systems: http://www.krksys.com/krk-studio-monitor-speakers/rokit/rokit-8.html#
Sonicstate. (2016). Sonicstate Studio. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from Sonicstate: http://www.sonicstate.com/digital/model.cfm?modelID=1483
Yamaha. (1994). Yamaha NS-10M Studio Monitor Speaker System. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from Yamaha: http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/Documents/ProAudio/ns10ms.pdf

 

Review 2

Shure SM57  vs.  Electrovoice MC150

ev_mc150The industry standard SM57 dynamic microphone boasts a frequency response of 40Hz to 15kHz, very similar to that of the dynamic MC150 (pictured left) at 30Hz to 15kHz. The low-frequency response is increased the closer the mic is placed to the sound source, so bare that in mind when recording your bass lines. The slight difference between the two microphones is the manufacturers intentions. The SM57 was designed for producing a clean reproduction of acoustic sounds in the professional studio whereas the MC150 was designed with the vocal entertainer in mind. This being said, the MC150 should not be ruled out for studio use.pp_card

The MC150 and SM57 both feature a cardioid polar pattern system (pictured right). This engineering ensures maximum sensitivity in one direction and therefore, is less susceptible to feedback which could come in the form of other instruments or simply room ambience. So for the perfect recording, it is best to point the microphone directly at what you want to record. Both the sensitivity of the MC150 and the SM57 is -56dB.sm_57_10_cols

 

Both microphones lean slightly towards vocalists. The SM57 (right) has a pneumatic shock-mount system to reduce handling noise and is extremely durable under heavy use (because we all know the neglect a microphone can go through when in the hands of a cocky lead singer). Despite a lot of effort put in to ensure the longevity of the SM57, quality has not been compromised. It can be said that the SM57 will give a crisper, truer sound compared to the MC150.

Money wise, the SM57 is priced at £91.50. The MC150 fetching for less than half of that. To conclude, I would suggest the MC150 for live stage performances as it has an on/off switch as a muting option. The SM57 deserves space in the studio as its quality is unprecedented.

 

Bibliography:
Electro-Voice. (1994). Electro-Voice MC150 Specification Sheet. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from Manualslib: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/43474/Electro-Voice-Mc150.html
Electro-Voice. (1992). MC150. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from Textfiles: http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/STARINMANUALS/Bosch%20-%20EV/Archive/MC150.pdf
Rochman, D. (2014, August 11). Multi-Pattern Microphones: What, Where and How? Retrieved October 11, 2016, from Shure Blog: http://blog.shure.com/multi-pattern-microphones-what-where-and-how/
Shure. (2016). Shure Products SM57 Microphone. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from Shure: https://www.shure.co.uk/products/microphones/sm57

 

Review 3

Toft ATB 32  vs.  Mackie M32.8

atbrearatb32a-largeThe traditional eight-bus analogue recording console that is the Toft ATB has 32 channels (each with six aux sends and a four-band EQ), 8 monitor returns, 8 mix busses and 8 stereo aux returns. These offer the user endless capabilities in their mix. The ATB’s EQ component is regarded as one of the best sounding equalisers on the market. On the back of the unit, you are spoilt for choice in terms of routing capabilities allowing you to integrate outboard gear into your recording setup (see above). Not only that, the Toft ATB 32 can also be used as an in line console by routing it back from your computer to the same channel input. This allows you to adjust your EQ after recording. The Mackie console takes this feature one step further and includes a flip switch, which determines wether the signal is sent to the tape bus (to record) or to the main mix bus (when mixing) – no re-wiring required! The Toft features a master control section, normally found on more expensive consoles, that has all the necessary controls for perfecting your mix and recordings.The ATB 32 is made up of conventional components rather than the increasingly popular surface-mount, which makes it a whole lot easier to service and maintain.

mackie-32-8The Mackie M32 8 (right), released in 1993, is well known for its superb sound quality, mainly due to the low-noise/high-headroom mic preamps on every channel, crucial in order to retain the sonic qualities of your recorded signal. The console consists of 32 channels and 8 busses. The unit features 6 stereo aux sends and returns, extensive routing capabilities, as does the ATB, and lots of outputs for easy multi tracking. The ‘musical’ EQ (meaning it has tone as apposed to a more clinical sounding EQ cut) boasts hi and lo shelving, parametric hi-mid, and sweepable low-mid EQ – as well as a low cut filter that allows you to eliminate mic thumps and room rumble from your mix.

To conclude, the ATB 32 is an under rated console and is outstanding for the price and without much to complain about. The Mackie M32 gives a slightly better quality audio output, proven by the fact that they have been used by more artists, groups, composers, and production facilities than any other brand.

 

Bibliography:
Andertons Music Co. (2016). Mackie M32.8 32 Channel 8 Buss Mixing Console. Retrieved November 06, 2016, from Andertons Music Co.: https://www.andertons.co.uk/p/M328/studio-mixers/mackie-m328-32-channel-8-buss-mixing-console
Mackie. (2016). Mackie M32 8.Bus. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from Mackie: http://mackie.com/sites/default/files/products/8bus/index.html
Pro Audio Europe. (2016). A Guide To Analogue Mixing Consoles. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from Pro Audio Europe: http://www.proaudioeurope.com/info/funky-junk-guides/guide-analogue-mixing-consoles
Robjohns, H. (2008, Febuary). Toft Audio ATB24. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from Sound On Sound: http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/toft-audio-atb24
The Recording Revolution. (2015, June 15). Your Audio Interface Has Clean Mic Preamps (Which Is Neither Good Nor Bad). Retrieved October 11, 2016, from The Recording Revolution: http://therecordingrevolution.com/2015/06/15/your-audio-interface-has-clean-mic-preamps-which-is-neither-good-nor-bad/
Toft Audio Designs. (2014). Series ATB32. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from Toft Audio Designs: http://www.toftaudio.com/atb32.html

 

 

 

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