Digital Audio Recording
(My friend is in blue;
I am in black.)
so what i am sayin is that come august it is time cause i have like three years of sounds swimming in my head.
I like collaborating with you. I enjoy writing tunes, and my tunes are good I think, but I also love arranging pieces into a whole. So anybody with a bunch of half finished songs is my friend. Plus we both like to produce, so there's no problem there. And I've become a pretty good musician on that electric piano. My acoustic guitar playing is decent enough. Neither of us has great rhythm, but we can sample beats, or just let it be arhythmic.
i have been sampling some sonic youth drums from SISTER.. they are way sorta dull and not very much like rock drums.. more tribal real cool.. i am experimenting with stretching the beats in ACID.
That sounds cool.
this is my plan and i would love to put some stuff together with you and i am serious cause i keep sayin i am going to do stuff and it doesn't get done. OK now i am stoked and hyped.
I'm sure game. Mike's music has taken a very serious bend. I think he has something in his head that he spicifically wants to accomplish. But I still like the pop and the fun and the spontenaity. I like surfing the process with my head up. If I wind up where I thought I would, great. If I take a turn and wind up somewhere else, even better. I'm game to do it, so I hope it works out.
yes, this is similar to my approach. I have become even more serious about music then i was when i was younger (probably cause i am not as stupid as then) . And music seems to have a lot to do with God. I remember us recording that one instrumental that had a sonic youth lick throughout it. i remember us discussing god and mike or someone made a comment about how the spirit must of been there while we recorded that. That always sticks in my head.
speaking of what your were saying about mike...sometimes i create stuff that i want to sound a specific way.. sometimes i just go and let the work take me where it will... the latter is funner.. both are rewarding
Buy "Lifeforms" by the Future Sound of London. Or go to Blockbuster and listen to it. It changed my life. Let me know what you think of it. It's still pretty techno, but in a good way.
i have read several sidenotes in magazines about them... i will go for it.
The local college here has a good radio station that plays Future Sound of London and other really great stuff... i love all that stuff.. some of it is semi-ambient with the dance beats and all... and i have heard some great compositions that really got my ear...i hear a lot of collaged music that is really cool. the stuff i hear on tulane's station reminds me that there is a lot of great sorta underground stuff going on ... in all sorts of styles.
The cool thing about FSOL to me is that their tunes are really catchy.
Brian Eno has some cool production, but his tunes aren't really that great
(with a few exceptions). FSOL tunes are great.
yeah i know what u mean.. "catchy" can keep your interest, eno seems to study his work through the creation of it.
Hey, here's something that sucks about pro-tools -- there's no digital input meters. So you have to set your input level on your source equipment. You can monitor the input level meters in pro-tools, but you have to set the level based on the volume of your sound source (like your tape player going in, or whatever). Do you understand what I'm saying? I asked Andy, "where is the control panel to set the input peak volumes" and he said "There isn't one." I guess that's not so bad. You can still set the individual track volume levels for output. It just seems weird.
yes, i understand. you would not want to set your levels digitally. when you input a source you are recording into a finite number of bits (usually 16 bits). you try to fill these bits up as much as possible without going over 0db or you will get digital distortion. if you could set the levels digitally then the computer would have to do some math to the signal to add volume (which would make the digital word length more than 16 bits) and then dither down to 16 bits when it is put on the hard drive. It would not be the original signal then. You always want an original signal to work with. In the old days, they recorded to tape the same way.. with very little processing to tape. They always added processing during mixdown.. not everyone does this but it keeps you from screwing up your original stuff... you may want to change it later... revise the mix... add or subtract more effects. If you need more level into your computer you may need a small mixer or just use you 4 track for like a microphone preamp or a line level preamp. If this is a level problem i will help you solve it.
hope that technical stuff made sense. you basically have 16 bits to fill up with your analog sound that is coming into the analog to digital convertor. so basically the digital input is all the way up and you must turn your signal down if it is too loud. if it needs more volume, then you need to add something that will amplify the signal into the analog to digital covertor.
I get it about pro-tools. That makes sense totally. I'm so busy tweaking low-tech, that I'm not really interested in accurately preserving the original sound. I hope it does get tweaked. I understand also about loss is transfering between analog and digital. I've always known it was different. That's why I always want my final source tape to be analog. Because I'm anal about that. Right now, my level is too high. But it's not coming from my mixer, just from the back of my stereo system. I can fix it.
just rememeber you can do anything you want... this is often how cool new engineering tricks are thought up... all that stuff i said is just knowledge... doesn't mean you have to do things that way... helps you to problem solve.
Personally i'll record effects into the hard drive... i dont care... but it is helpful to know why the programs are set a certain way.
Incedentally i have an event Darla system and its input level is set also. there is a way to set levels on some stuff (like the protools 888 input/ouput module) but most of the time you are setting an analog level (that is on the system itself) just like you do at the source. ok nuff said
i will try to tell you a little more about this stuff... it seems like it should all be pretty intuitive.. but it really isn't... there is a myth that digital preserves your sound... its is true to a certain extent but any time you do any digital processing you are probably throwing away extremely tiny bits of information (because of dithering and truncation)..... i could go on and on....
(you probably dont want to ask me questions like this in person unless you are ready for Nyquist theory 101) but really, i'll try to keep it simple
Here's something to ponder. Why am I more bothered by digital audio than I am by digital video? I've finally boiled it down to this. The way the human eye interprets light is a pretty digital conept. It breaks it down early on at the eye level and sends it to the brain representationally from the very beginning.
The human ear is different, though. There's that little drum and drum head. It's more a whollistic analog experience. Sure, when it gets to the core of the brain, I guess it gets broken down into parts. Anyway, when you represent video, it's in parts. Even film is ultimately projected in parts. When you broadcast sound , a big speaker is vibrated. The whole thing is vibrated. It's more analog. So all that to say, I think analog is a more natural audio storage and playback medium than digital is.
Even though a casette tape is just magnetized parts, with analog recording, if you overdrive the meters, you still get some fuzzy version of the source sound. With analog recording, it's like your recording equipment is an instrument. If you overdrive the force on a piano string, it gets blurry, but it's still the same note. With digital recording, if you overdrive it, it just farts. There's no real relation to the original sound. It's just like, "does not compute." I'm curious to hear what you think about all this, since you know more of the technical details than I do.
so much has been written on this subject that it is not funny. basically an analog machine is not that different from a digital machine. an analog machine lines up little particles of iron on the tape to look like a spazzed off sine wave (which is music). A digital machine samples the spazzed off sine wave and stores as bits, just like the analog machine does. Analog machines are actually less accurate than digital machines. Digital machines have a set amount of dynamic range whereas analog machines can sort of cheat because they can go into a soft sort of clipping (overdrive) before it starts to sound too bad. Analog machines start to clip softly when you exceed their dynamic range... basically , digital machines have better technical specifications (higher dynamic range, very little wow and flutter) but analog machines just sound more musical (smooth) especially on rock type music.
Many classical engineers love digital because it can reproduce low level sounds without the hiss that comes with analog.
So.. Analog machines are proven to color sound more than digital recorders and most people like this. pretty much what you put into a digital machine is what you get out.
That makes sense.
as to being more natural... i thought that same thing until i heard people explain the technicalities of the two. digital is unforgiving. it records it into a rock hard format. analog tape changes over time and starts to play differently as the tape slowly looses its magneticity.
i guess i dont know whether one or the other is more natural.. they are both man made... they sound different... and they require different approaches to recording (as many engineers have found out in the last ten years).
you know when i listen to that damn BECK ODELAY album i could swear its recorded on analog... but it is recorded with pro-tools hardware using opcode's studio vision software. one thing the dust brothers said about this recording is that they record everything and then spend a lot of time making it feel more organic! These guys used all sorts of cheezy equipment to get old sounds (sounds fun!!)
It's funny, because when someone says digitally recorded, what does that mean?
what i mean is that vocals, guitar, bass, and a lot of drums were recorded into the digital relm. then it was mixed digitally and burned onto cd. you know it sorta doesn't mean anything tho cause it all ends up on disc anyway.
I know one track on "where it's at" is just a needle on the end of a record looped. So I think the cool thing is to just mix the two (digital and analog). Start off with Rebirth, and then put it on a four track. Start off with a microphone recording of barking, and then tweak it on a mac. That's what seems fun to me. Maybe I'm mental, but totally digital seems too sterile to me. The funny thing to me is, even a synthesized saxophone sample on a keyboard was still probably recorded through a microphone at some point in the process.
well in this sense everything really starts out going thru microphone amps, compressors, and other analog effects before it gets to the hard drive or digital tape.
One of my friends is really down on sampling and looping, but he plays a Korg synthesizer with all of these sampled sounds. I pointed out to him that all he was really doing was specifying the pitch to a tone someone else has already made. But he was unable to even receive the concept.
its funny what people percieve to be the truth about analog.
I think why Odelay is so impacting is that they turn up some sounds that in a concert would be quiet, and they decreases some sounds that in a concert would be loud.
So you have this real loud record hiss in the foreground, and this wailing, overdriven saxophone distortion in the background real low. I think that's one thing those dust brothers have a feel for, I guess I'll call it psychedelic audio perspective. It's like having a poster of a bug the size of a skyscraper. You know it can't be true, but it's presented to you in such a concrete way, that your senses are still forced to process it. That's what the Odelay CD does.
in one word: compression... to be more specific Joe Meek compressors... they color the living ____ out of the signal.. sorta like adding analog tape effect and then going to digital where it is preserve very well. Joe Meek was this skitsophrenic guy in england that built his own equipment... he sorta invented the compressor (i think.. or he had a major impact on the use and idea of them) he killed himslef or something.. anyway there is this guy named Ted Fletcher who started building his stuff again.. dust brothers love them.. the other peice of euipment that is used on that album is a Sansamp guitar preamp. this thing makes awesome 60's buzz guitar (and anything else you want) they are both analog peices of gear. even the sansamp adds a sorta compression. sorta smooths everything out. they supposedly used the sansamp on bass, vocals, drums. samples ... they fuzzed up alot of stuff.
on the other hand steve albini uses only analog equipment. he buys expensive equipment to keep the recording very clean.
Its like they are working on opposites sides of the spectrum but trying to achieve the same thing (sort of) (trying to achieve rock and roll sound with impact).
I like both producers a lot.
steve does not use compressors at all. he uses these cool microphone techniques and room ambiences to make everything really full. he is quite awesome... i am listening to PJ Harvey's Rid of Me right now... you can here the whole room really well. he uses Coles ribbon mikes alot. these things are ultra smooth.
There is a way to get those fuzzy sounds onto your hard drive recording system (which is what you have along with your four track). you can use a compressor or you can overdrive a stage before the convertor (you just got to keep that stage's volume low so it doesn't overdrive the convertor).
compressors have really come back into the recording scene because of digital. analog recorders sort of naturally compress (sometimes with a little fuzz if you are pushing it) the signal because of the nature of the medium. A compressor squishes the signal within a certain dynamic range. I know they sound scary but they are really a weird type of volume control that also has a sort of strange sound also (some are really transparent tho, you can barely hear them working) I have come to learn that most of what we hear in rock today has a lot of compression in it. it is also used as an effect... i will show you one day with my WAVES digital compressor what it does to the reverb noise on those SISTER drum samples.. it is really weird.. whats even cooler is that compressors are still mostly analog... and i think they will stay that way..
I'm curious to hear your Sister loop. I guess I shy away from compressors because there is impact in having vocals way low through a whole song and then having them come up naturally because the person's voice gets loud.
i look at compressors as an effect/tool... they can be overused as anything can. they are ultimately what causes alot of popular commercial stuff to sound commercial.
Without compression, the timbre of the voice matches the volume. The reason all my 4-track stuff sounds 4-track and unprofessional is because none of it is compressed. I almost gaurantee it. But that's one way to an original sound.
yes, i agree.. i like garage-made recordings alot. they have an honesty to them. alot of engineers/producers use compression to get that radio sound. it is like a sugar addiction. they are fooling themselves everytime they record. but this doesn't mean i dont want a compressor... there is some wacked out effects that you can get with them. i'll show ya one day.
I love my Rhodes, because it's so freaky right off the bat going in.
cant wait to record/hear it. i like my crappy yamaha cheeze synthesizer. it sounds best thru the distortion pedal.
to sum up... analog is analog.. digital is digital... they sound different.. people are making digital programs sound more and more like analog (thank God).
My opinion is that digital will be better than analog somedays. the cool thing is that you will have something that sounds like analog but you wont have to deal with all the crap of analog (hiss, wow and flutter, lots of maintenance)
for my final chapter.... i heard a 3M 2'' (tape width) 56 (model number) 16-Track about three years ago. it was built in 1978. Mitch Easter used 24 track versions of these machines. IT sounded so killer and full.. it had bass out the butt. no lesson here.. just that there is only one company (studer) that makes a analog machine (A827) any more ... but all these old machines are still around and people use the hell out of them... and their are killer deals on 1'' eight tracks everywhere. Then you gotta buy tape... allign the damn thing... etc etc..
one day i will end up with a 16-track analog definitely.
I think ultimately, you listen to something and see how it sounds. It's not like you can say "this is always good or this is always bad."
I can say I generally don't like the way a certain effect is used by most people, but it doesn't mean I couldn't find a good use for that effect in certain circumstances.
it just gets old turning on the damn radio with the all this same sounding sorta rock band crap. its amazing what the record companies have put ou since alternative has become top 40. like i said tho, i can turn on the college radio station here and not be let down... there are people using lo-fi and semi pro equipment that aren't thinking about their equipment and recording good tunes... if they get popular the record company pushes them to make that glossy commercial sound.
Analog just tweaks and glitches in more interesting ways (in my limited experience). And since that's all I'm after, I like it. I spend half my time trying to get some sort of ambient hiss into my mix, rather than trying to keep one out of it. But I do like the way Odelay sort of incorporates the two. Clean weirdness.
the cool thing about digital is that you can make it dirty or smooth or whatever... you cant make analog cleaner if you need to... analog is usually easier to make sound good. you know i really dont give a crap... but i got to know how the medium works so i can work effeciently
you know... i am going to some this up for ya....
i will buy digital stuff at first cause its cheap, reliable, and it spits out what you put in. there are all these products to give you that analog sound for digital, so great, i will use these products when i want that effect. i didn't really grow up using analog multitrack recorders so its not like i have to relearn the recording process in digital. i am learning digital because that is pretty much what i have.
someday i will buy an analog multitrack (i get the money) and i will learn how to allign heads, budget for tape cost, etc etc etc...
what i am sayin is that it doesn't really matter ... you can get the effect you want with equipment you have if you fiddle with it enough.... you want hiss into your digital recording... take an output on your 4 track... turn the volume all the way up with nothing playing... you got hiss... record it into you computer or whatever and get onto the next track.
don't listen to people that talk about sterile, cold, lifeless digital.. thats all marketing crap to get you to buy that Really Nice Compressor that make your digital vocals sound oooh soooo smooooth. Its just like all this hype going on with Tube gear lately ...where you hear people say they want a Tube microphone preamp so they can warn up the vocal track before it gets recorded digitally....MARKETING BULL___.. in the old days (pre 80's) they didn't want warmth out of gear... they wanted clarity, headroom (term used to describe a peice of gear that wont distort), and good musical frequency response... its funny cause now they want the complete opposite.. all cause marketing... i will show you examples of all this ___ in a magazine one day.... Many old timers on rec.audio.pro always laugh at people want warm equipment cause most of the old tube amps were very clear and didn't distort easily (they had a lot of headroom).
in the end, it sounds like what it sounds like.
there is a tube microphone preamp by ART that uses a funky tube circuit that is not usually how tubes are used in circuits. it uses a low plate voltage to get this distorted mushy sound. An Old Timer that knows circuit design said that this circuit would be equivalent to a vintage tube circuit with several blown parts (in other word its broken and would distort easily)... but people have been convinced that this mushy distorted sound is that "warm" sound they need... (i know i want it sometimes)
i say let people argue about this stuff while i make cool music..
I'm glad that you are tracking all the technical stuff. I think philosophically I am weird. I'm into miniaturism. So it's like I'm into those small japanese banzai trees. Maybe that's because those are the only trees that will grow in my yard and I've learned to like them. But then if a big tree grows in my yard, maybe I don't need to chop it down, maybe I just need to analyze it and incorporate it's deisign into my banzai tree pruning. I've been into intentionally limiting myself because I've found that with too many options, it's easy for me to lose focus.
I minimalize and deconstruct things too. makes design alot easier. My wife hates it.
Plus, when things are crappy equipment wise, it makes me focus and work extra hard to push out something decent. (The banzai tree is the 4-track, the big tree is pro tools, in case you didn't get that).
equipment is equipment to me. it does what it does.
I guess the more equipment I have, the more I'm responsible to know. But to me, the recording process has always been as much about self-discovery and philosophical exploration as it has been about what your tape sounds like. So that's why I like being the big fish in my little pond. If I move into a bigger pond, I have to learn more. And as a hobbyist, maybe I don't want to learn more. But I think my aversion to professional recording equipment has very little to do with the quality of the sound they produce. It's more a personal, philosophical, hobbyist sort of thing. My brother is always pointing this out to me.
there is nothing wrong with this at all. i share this philosophy in a different sort of way. i keep up with equipment so i can buy the best for my money.
But I am trying to grow. If it really is about the sound (as it's supposed to be) then I need to be open with what I'm doing. That's why I really want to collaborate with you. I know after having done it, my world will have been expanded, and I will have more stuff in my little tiny pond with which to tweak. My mind, though, is this. This is like a personal philosophy for me and technology -- I used to just download every single thing off of the net. What I wound up with was all of this software that I hadn't even evaluated. (I still have macromedia flash and dreamweaver sitting on my hard drive right now waiting to be learned.) So I made a rule -- until I have looked at and used what I've downloaded, I'm not going to download any more.
That's sort of the way I am with recording software. I can't wait to incorporate pro-tools into a project. Once I do, I know it will change my world. But I'll never just adopt something without owning it or making it a part of what I'm doing. Does that make sense?
You have a nice reality going on with your equipment.. consider yourself lucky to not be all consumeristic and like. I feel the same... i haven't begun to get out of my euipment what potential i know it has.
My mind about pro tools is to use it this way. I record a 4-track song on the 4-track (maybe using a sampled drum loop [I have that Roland sampler, you know] to keep me on tempo). The rest of the tracks would just be miked instruments, voice, whatever. Then I mix that down to 2 tracks. Then I put those 2 stereo tracks on pro-tools (but I also leave those 2 tracks on tape). Then I use those 2 stereo tracks on pro-tools as like a giant click track or guide track. I add about 14 tweaky, weird sampled tracks to synch up with, accompany, and embellish the original two tracks. Then I mix the 14 new tracks, drop out the 2 original tracks, and put the 2 track tape (with the original 2 tracks on it), back into the 4 track. Then I dump the 14 new pro-tools tracks in stereo onto the 2 remaining tracks of the original tape. Then I mix all 4 final tracks down to 2 track, and that's my tape.
This method insures that the original 4 tracks (the 4 that became 2) will be second generation quality, and will thus sound glued together and more degenerated (but they will never have been digitized). Yet the new 14 tracks (the 14 that became 2) will be first generation, and have a digital source at that. So the contrast, I hope will be fulfilling. Plus that's 20 different stereo locations, baby. A 20 track recording. The only glitch might be to get the 14 new tracks to synch up with the 4 old tracks. What do you think?
yes.. this is your only problem ..the syncing.. i say just mix them all digitally in pro.tools and then go directly to cassette.
I've thought about that. I guess I'll just see. Maybe I'll try it both ways and see which I like better.
Anyway, when I do the above trick, I always set my second mix-down to 4 tracks at normal speed. (You have to, because the tape you pull out of your tape deck that has the first 4 tracks on it will always be at normal speed, and that's the one that winds up being your final 4-track master.) The only catch is that you can't use noise reduction on your final mix, because the noise reduction in the tape deck and the noise reduction in the 4-track are different.
Let me try explaining it again. I mix the first 4 down to 2, and leave noise reduction off on the receiving tape deck. And then take those 2 and put them back into the 4-track at normal speed with noise reduction off on the 4-track. So on the first mix-down from the 4-track, noise reduction and increased speed are both on on the 4-track, but noise reduction is off on the receiving tape deck. Then the second time around, everything is regular speed, no noise reduction.
My final 2 track master never has noise reduction, because when I dub that master to make the tapes that I'm going to give to people, I find that having a non-dolby master makes the dubbed tape sound better. And I dub without noise reduction. I'm used to what my levels need to be to work this. I always hit my master tape kind of hard and kind of trebbly, because in the transfer it will lose a little volume and a little crispness. So I guess I'm used to making up for analog deterioration.
Anyway, is that totally confusing, or is it elementary? Tell me some about my noise reduction strategy. Is it right or wrong? The way I do it just seemed best to me after trial and error.
i say screw noise reduction completely and keep it simple (NR takes away from high frequencies). heres how i would do it....1) make a song on the 4 track... 2) mix down from 4 track directly into pro-tools.. 3) add as many sampled tracks as you like...4) mix down from pro-tools to cassette deck or 4 track if you want to add more stuff.
this way you are not going in and out of 4 track and cassette deck a million times. On #3 if you want more analog sound you can run into the 4 track and out to pro-tools without the 4 track even recording to get some of that distorted 4 track sound if you want. (i sorta do this alot.. especially on guitars)
That makes sense. I'd have to run it through some pre-amp thing anyway, in order to set my levels.
dont be afraid of the pro-tools mixing.. it is good stuff. that dbx crap on your 4 track is crap pretty much.
you know... you really should do what you are comfortable with... its your process.. and it gives you your own unique sound... but maybe my perspective will give you some ideas... a lotta engineers say that the less you process your signal ... the cleaner the recording will be... but sometimes you dont want a clean recording ... or you are getting an interesting effect with your setup... matters what you want...
i know what you mean about having a system and constantly changing the way you do things on it... damn waste of time...
the bottom line is to produce the art... we will talk about this stuff when we are in process... but we will not let it slow us down ... it seems to slow everyone else down
I'm glad to hear your perspective on noise reduction. I've thought as much, but I just wanted to make sure.
I'm also concerned with lack of hard disc space, particularly for long ambient songs. I might have to get a qwest drive and clear a lot of stuff off my main hard drive to make room. My hard drive is only 1.2 Gigs. I don't know if that will be a problem or not. I'll just have to play with it all and see.
yess.. this is one of the biggest problems with hard drive recording... trying to find a way to archive your wav files. I currently have an almost full 1.2 gig drive also... my next buy is definitely a hard drive.. they have gotten real cheap so i may can get a 3 or 4 gig for like $180. still i have been looking at a Iomega Ditto tape backup... it is fairly cheap and the tapes are not too expensive... you may know more about tape backup than i do.
[Note: I've since acquired a 3 gig external hard drive, but it was more than $180.]
There is a band called Velour 100 that is really cool. They don't have a bass player, but it sounds great. I have experimented a lot lately arranging without a bass (since I sold my bass, actually). My keyboard has massive low end tones, and I love having low frequencies that aren't so "bass line" oriented. It makes everything more ambient and less "rock and roll." It's so funny, but you can get the deepest sounds out of something as cheezy as a wal-mart toy drum or something. A lot is in the eq.
I've got my yamaha 4-track and my brother's tascam 4-track. The awesome thing about the yamaha is that dang equalizer. I just record everything flat, and then tweak the whole eq in mixdown. It is fun setting the left speaker mostly bass-y and the right speaker mostly trebly, and then panning trebly stuff to the bass side and bass stuff to the treble side. It makes the whole thing more organic. That equalizer has saved many a cheezy, plinky source tone. It's like the most powerful effect I have ever used.
you know.. i like some of the drums you recorded once.. i think you eq'd them with that equilizer... they sounded great... cool deal...
I have this cheezy yamaha synth my dad bought me. i have been running into my mackie.. eqing the hell out of it.. and then recording it for bass also. i still dont really like the bass sounds it i get from it, i would rather have a bass guitar... may be i need to push it a little.. it has a cool drum machine tho... i use a squencer with it... i run it thru guitar effects boxes alot too
.. i am going to work on some stuff when i am finished with this letter
I know when we collaborate we will focus on the project and not the tools. I hope we'll keep our sense of humor, because I think losing that can kill something very quickly. We'll probably just tweak a lot, and then figure out what we did later.
cool... my priority is being productive. tweaking is fun.. just gotta know when to stop.... this is gonna be fun for sure
One thing I've taken to doing that's really helped is I'll mix down a trial version, and then drive around in the car and listen to it for a few days. I'm used to what my wife's car stereo sounds like and what my car stereo sounds like. So if it sounds good in both cars, it's a keeper. If not, I make notes about what needs to change, I've kept my original levels written down, and I just go back and change. That's been a great tool for me.
this is great.. you have a reference monitoring system.. this is a good tool that you have realized... good job. i check stuff with my bose home speakers and my sony headphone (which have tons of bass) . they are completely opposite of each other.. so i try to get in the middle..... many a many great engineers contend that the most important peice of gear in their studios is their monitors... cause you gotts to hear what it sounds like!