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Redline Monitor - how does it work?

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7536 posts since 3 Feb, 2003, from Finland, Espoo

Postby bmanic; Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:54 pm

I just tried the demo and I'm pretty impressed! By far the most useful "makes headphones viable for mixing" tool I ever tried. Sure, it doesn't make your headphones sound like speakers, at all. The distance knob is pretty useless in my opinion and only smears the phase in a weird way.

However, the phantom center and sound stage really do work in a subtle way. The most immediate thing I noticed, after tweaking it to my liking (65 or 70 degrees with center -2dB), was that I had an easier time hearing dynamic changes. Compressors and other subtle dynamic effects were easier to set. For instance, Bootsie's TesslaSE is easier to hear what it does when the Redline Monitor is on the masterbus.

This is very much like speakers. Dynamic changes are easier to hear so my guess is that it'll be tremendous help in setting volume levels of various sources. I also had much easier time using a mid/side eq and equalizing the stereo signal the way I wanted it.

I have not yet confirmed my initial impressions by doing comparisons in the studio but I will do so next week.

IMHO this is currently the best "fake speakers" thing on the market (I've tried all I've found) because of the way it seems to help one make correct decisions when it comes to dynamics. It does not sound at all like speakers in a room which is a GOOD thing, in my opinion.

EDIT: oh I forgot to mention that it seems to be critical of what headphones you use. I tried it now on my basic sony earbuds and had a very hard time hearing any change, then I tried it with AKG-271s and there was a noticeable change in the way I perceived dynamics and finally on the AKG K701's the difference was pretty big. So in short, the more accurate your headphones are (frequency and impulse response), the better this thing seems to perform.

"Remember the iLokalypse June 10 - June 22 2013 - Dominus"
146 posts since 21 Jan, 2004

Postby 007; Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:39 pm

I agree with Bmanic, this one really works. It was not difficult to mimic my monitor setup. Great!
6179 posts since 17 Oct, 2007

Postby Optomadic; Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:21 pm

Can't wait to give this a go!

Good to hear 112db is still churning out the plugins ;).. Wish I could remember my login now :dog:..
stay juicy!
dj! (112dB)
201 posts since 22 Jan, 2009, from the Netherlands

Postby dj! (112dB); Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:46 am

K-Slash wrote:
djex wrote:
K-Slash wrote:Juts a question, not about Redline Monitor, but about the Redline Equalizer.

Does it adds harmonic content like analogue processors while boosting frequencies or does it work like all the "classic" software equalizers ?

The current beta version (which of course you don't have access too :hihi:) doesn't but there is a good chance such a feature will be added before the release.


-- dj!

Yeah, that's GREAT :-o.

If it's included on the v1.0, I will for sure drop my money, if it sounds good ;).

By the way what will be the price range :oops: ?

A bit off-topic by now, but we haven't established pricing for it yet. Probably more expensive than Redline Monitor and cheaper than Morgana, but that's a "probably". Not very helpful, I know. ;)

-- dj!
Morgana | Redline Series | Big Blue Series
1692 posts since 9 Jul, 2006, from Paris, France

Postby K-Slash; Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:10 am

Thanks dj!.

I'll be looking forward to it.
6179 posts since 17 Oct, 2007

Postby Optomadic; Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:53 am

Had a chance to test this on my older ATH-M50's. It offers very clean, precise and tight image control! Works very much like a hardware equivalent, set it forget it and keep working :tu:. When I extend beyond .5m dist it gets a tad tinny in those particular cans.

Now that its got 'my ear' I'm compelled to retest the distance with a much better pair of closed backs and even a set of in-ears (not buds) after. Be interesting to see how far the field can be extended ;)..

Excellent design on 112db's part. So far seems worth the price if you consider how much the hw equivalent would cost.
stay juicy!
dj! (112dB)
201 posts since 22 Jan, 2009, from the Netherlands

Postby dj! (112dB); Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:02 am

Good to hear that! It is well possible that less-than-perfect headphones result in less-than-perfect sound from Redline Monitor. As bmanic remarked in his "almost review" above the frequency & impulse response of the headphones appears to play an important role in achieving good results--once more you pay for what you get. :)

To be honest we mostly developed it on relatively high-end headphones with a Sony MDR-7506 being the cheapest pair. You wouldn't try mixing on a pair of $100 speakers either... right?

Would you? ;)

-- dj!
Morgana | Redline Series | Big Blue Series
6179 posts since 17 Oct, 2007

Postby Optomadic; Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:27 am

No I usually use that grade for pre-produc and recording only. I never mix with hp anyway ;).

It does have a kind of a pro-sumer feel to it though :D.
stay juicy!
20 posts since 23 Jan, 2009

Postby Steelhead; Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:09 am

Hi, dj!
Just couple of questions.
1) What kind of headphones (close, (semi)open) is best to use with this plugin? I guess the answer will be "open" because they give that sense of "air" but I have only AKG 240S and cannot compare myself.
2) You said to had tested plugin with many different headphones. Any preferences among them for the best result achieved? Are there some HP characteristics (such as imaging, frequency response and so on) that are vital for good plugin work results?
BTW, distance control indeed is very subtle and has some strange phase problems. I've listened to several tracks and in cases of hard guitar panning to left and right there was effect similar to phase cancellation.
287 posts since 12 Jun, 2005

Postby megadeth; Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:40 am

I'm going to test your tool now ;)

About headphones, i think open ones are the best because you already get a little "ambiance" and phase cancellation like on HP

A second hand HD600 with headphone amp can do marvelous things ;)

And always use the mono button to test phase cancellation ;)
If bass is very good in mono with headphones, but got phase cancellation in real room...your room sucks :D

Phase cancellation is due to acoustic in this case
I don't speak about mix quality, just phase ;)

If i was aware like i am now about my acoustic troubles like -12dB hole in the bass spectrum near 80Hz, i would have bought an HD600 with an amp ;)

Unlike a lot of ppl think, a mix is better with tools like redline monitor with good headphones and amp than with good nearfield monitors and shitty room acoustic ;)

Just try a slow 20 Hz - 200 Hz sweep at medium gain with free MDA TestTone in your room and if you hear some big holes and bumps : you're dead, your room sucks like mine ;)
And if you want to cry more, listen to the same sweep with your headphones : near perfectly flat ;)

That's what a lot of ppl don't understand : headphones are hard to master but they are a LOT flatter than the best speakers in a shitty room...and a lot cheaper if you consider buying nearfields AND treating your room ;)

Do the above test and you will see if you got massive troubles with bass, the most sensitive part of the acoutic ;)

And the only solutions are :
- changing to a better room
- Bass traps

I'm waiting to change my room,so i will stick to headphones and multiple listening environnements and supports ;)

Another trick :
you can help the stereo field effect and bass response by placing them a little forward and lower of your ears
916 posts since 4 Aug, 2004, from Ain't tellin' ya...

Postby benjamind; Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:02 pm

Sorry, but no pair of headphones, I don't care how good they are, will ever replace a pair of decent nearfields, even in an acoustically compromised room.

For checking bass, headphones are phenomenal for that job, but for the rest of the mix, nearfields are pretty much essential.

Sure, it's possible to mix on headphones. Beyerdynamic DT880 are good for that, as are AKG 701, but also consider Ultrasone Proline models, the Pro900 model is great for judging bass. These do bass better than most subwoofers.

Little Black Dog - 2008-Present
287 posts since 12 Jun, 2005

Postby megadeth; Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:16 pm

I will remember your opinion and keep checking my mixes on my nearfields (apart bass) and bass on headphones ;)

DT880 (modded sometimes) is a reference for headphone roundups and i love the AKG too :D

Clean, dynamic and good stereo field, like nearly all AKGs ;)
81 posts since 23 Feb, 2007, from Belgium

Postby Zsolt; Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:37 pm

Could you check compatibility with Zynewave's Podium? Yesterday I inserted Redline Monitor demo on the master buss in one of my projects and mixed a bit with headphones. It was nice and a lot better than without the plugin, but when I closed Podium I got a blue screen. When I tried to open that project today, it said the project file was corrupt; so I've lost a LOT of work because of this (4 songs; 1 was mixed already). I really don't want to try inserting it again to recreate it and lose everything again, so maybe you should check this out. Thanks

Mushy Mushy
8412 posts since 6 Sep, 2008

Postby Mushy Mushy; Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:12 pm

This is an absolutely fantastic tool...

At first I didnt like it. The bass and lower mids seemed to dissapear.
But after switching it off I realised how muddy and boomy the bottom end was previously. Obviously a major contributor to the fatigue I use to experience.
Switched it back on and everything just seems so precise now...

And I can almost see the music dancing on my nose now.
My monitors will still be my main source of mixing obviously.
But now i'm more than happy to be working on headphones.

Now where's that credit card :D
20 posts since 30 Oct, 2006

Postby Eddie(Soulseekers); Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:43 pm

I have ikmultimedia ARC and that is supposed to be placed in the last insert of my masterbus just like Redline Monitor my question is am i to reference my monitors with ARC on or off?
I'm assuming on since ARC is taking the room out of my mixes and I'm trying to get that same sound in my headphones is this correct?

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