Speakers for Backing Tracks?

Discussion in 'Studio & Stage' started by Mole351, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Mole351

    Mole351 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    120
    Hi all. I'm looking for the best solution that would allow me to play guitar to backing tracks. Mostly playing at normal room volumes (not CRANKED but to silent either) and mostly from my phone or computer. I'm thinking decent computer speakers? I'm not sure the difference between those and studio monitors. I'd like to be able to record down the road if that makes a difference.

    My first idea was to get a decent inexpensive powered speaker to standalone and set up by my amp.

    Thoughts/ideas? Honestly not looking to spend much over $100 if can help it...
     
  2. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,954
    Likes Received:
    1,804
    I used computer speakers and or a small bookshelf stereo system as my backing track system for years it works fine computer speakers can be a bit ;( lacking sometimes but are OK at lower volume.
    My present set up is much nicer and pair of used wedge monitors and a used Berienger power mixer total cost $200 and it kicks as at any level I also use it to feed Protools you can also mic your amp an play at even lower levels and sound cool because everything is mixed together

    [​IMG]IMG_2815 by

    [​IMG]IMG_2812 by

    [​IMG]IMG_2811 by
     
    Mole351 likes this.
  3. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenf├╝hrer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,489
    Likes Received:
    2,169
    Honestly, for $100, you're not going to get anything you'll want to record other than maybe for YouTube. That said, computer speakers can be really good -- I paid $59 for a set of these Genius 2.1 speakers several years ago, and they're fine. That said, if I had to do it today, I'd probably get the Mackie CR3 monitors that appear to be on sale everywhere today, or maybe these or these. Or perhaps even these if you like red.
     
    Mole351 likes this.
  4. Mole351

    Mole351 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    120
    Thanks for the info.

    I can spend a bit more than $100 if it gets me a more long term solution - just thought I remembered seeing decent powered speakers for under that in the past. I like those Mackie CR3's...hell could probably swing the CR4's. And once into recording (down the road) would be mic'ing amp most likely. Not looking to do anything terribly professional
     
  5. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenf├╝hrer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,489
    Likes Received:
    2,169
    I don't actually have experience with the CR3s, but since I often play baritone or seven strings, I'd want the additional bass that the CR4s or a 2.1 would (probably) have. This is my personal preference, it probably wouldn't be heard on a YouTube video, so I'd probably get the CR3s and a sub if I could swing it.

    Depending how much higher you'd be willing to go, I listen to the Equator D5 monitors all the time, I got them for $300, I believe they've gone up to $400. They are just far and away the best at their price point.

    Alternatively, you may want to visit your local Guitar Center and see what used monitors they have -- there are a lot of good ones, Alesis M1 actives are good, there are a couple other Mackie monitors, I like KRKs, but the best one is the V8, I believe, and I doubt those ever come down that low.
     
    #5 Dusty Chalk, Nov 24, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    Mole351 likes this.
  6. Mole351

    Mole351 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    120
    Looks like I can get a pair of JBL 305's for $200...am seeing only great things about those? Probably don't want to go too much more than that cost-wise
     
  7. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,211
    Likes Received:
    1,497
    I recently got a set of JBL 5" powered studio monitors, that I can run through my USB interface (Focusrite Scarlett). If you've got the cash to push around, it's a rig that will serve you well as a recording and mixing platform down the road, at least getting started. And you could probably score a similar rig even cheaper with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
     
    Mole351 likes this.
  8. Mole351

    Mole351 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    120
    In the interim I assume I'd be able to hook up to them up to my iMac for just playing backing tracks through as well?

    I like the Mackies because they are easy from that regard, and the 4" even have Bluetooth to play from my phone. But then wouldn't be as good for recording down the road methinks...
     
  9. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenf├╝hrer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,489
    Likes Received:
    2,169
    Yeah, those JBL 305s, a lot of people have them and are happy with them. Not sure about the hookup, I'm not familiar with your iMac. I do know a lot of Mac laptops only have Lightning these days, so just make sure before you buy. It's a legitimate question -- my Equators only have balanced inputs, so I needed to get a special cable made. I'd see what you have for choices before committing a dime.
     
  10. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,211
    Likes Received:
    1,497
    I'm not familiar with the Mackie speakers, so I can't say for sure whether they would work for recording. But they would be great for playing backing tracks, as long as you don't have a raging loud amp.

    The main thing about studio monitors is they're designed to have a very full range and accurate sound reproduction, which will help you fine tune mixes, tone and EQ when you get into home recording. So, whether the Mackies can do that too, I'm not sure. I used a set of stereo speakers as monitors for a while, and when I switched to true monitors, it was a night and day difference. A lot of things I had recorded using the stereo speakers for monitors, I would listen to the recordings on another source, like in the car or a pair of headphones, and for one reason or another my tone was junk. Turned out to be that the stereo speakers couldn't reproduce the full frequency spectrum that I needed to really dial in my tone, especially regarding mic position.

    The downside to the JBL's, and probably a lot of similar monitors, is that you'll need a USB interface to support them. They use either a TRS or an XLR cable to feed signal to them, and most laptops don't have that capability on their own. Maybe there are some that can hook right up to a laptop though, I haven't looked around. I would recommend at least something using a USB connection, as most headphone jacks probably won't support the sound quality you want for monitoring. And I suspect that anything using Bluetooth would not work for recording, as there's often a time lag on them, and again, not full frequency response.

    I'll save you the rest of my "home studio" rant, which I give often around here, but suffice to say it will help you make improvements in leaps and bounds as a player, and be useful for songwriting and demos, and who knows, maybe someday finished recordings. Of course, if the budget for that is a little much for you right now, some laptop speakers to practice with are still a great tool. But if you can swing it, the interface and monitors will do that and more. If you snag some on sale or used gear, you could easily get a basic rig for under $500. Just depends on your budget.
     
    Mole351 likes this.
  11. Mole351

    Mole351 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    120
    Thanks again. What is a decent but inexpensive (relatively) USB? Is the focus rite scarlet 2i2 ($150) worthy?

    Sorry for dumb questions - really delving into new territory here...
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice