November 12, 2012

In the Studio with Miles Walker: Yamaha Studio Monitors

We sat down with mix engineer Miles Walker at Parhelion Studios and we talked about everything from how he mixes tracks to the gear he uses in his studio. If you are not familiar with Miles, check out our interview with him.

In this video Miles goes over the reasons he uses the Yamaha NS10 studio monitors. For Miles, as well as most people that do studio production, its all about how well you know your monitors and how comfortable you feel when mixing. When using passive monitors like the NS10s, its often difficult to find a quality amplifier that can power passive monitors and many companies have abandoned passive studio monitor systems and replaced them with active studio monitors.  The Yamaha HS80 studio monitors are a great example of an active studio monitor that works great for production.

What studio monitors are the best for your production? Which studio monitors do you use? Which studio monitors are you looking to upgrade to? Gives us some feedback and we can talk about it in the comments below.



Hey guys it’s Miles Walker I’m here at my studio Parhelion in Atlanta, Georgia. Come on in and let’s take a look at some of the stuff I’ve been working on. Inside the studio we’ve got a couple of the records we’ve worked on. Rhianna’s last album “Loud”. Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”. Over here we have Wiz Khalifa and it was great working on your boy on black and yellow black and yellow. Did some records with Beyonce and her “Sasha Fierce” album. Here we go into the studio and let’s see what we’re doing today.

Many years ago when studios were set up HiFi was still the common norm so it was pretty common to have passive speakers and a really high end amplifier. Well as amplifiers became less expensive and still excellent in sound quality, a lot of speaker manufactures began making active monitors. Putting it right in it makes it a lot easier for the user they can just plug in the audio, turn it on and be ready to go and not have to worry about calibrating the amp, checking the impedance, the right speaker cable and all this stuff and they still sound fantastic. It’s really out of fashion to use passive speakers and if you’re looking for an old amp it can be harder than you think because a lot of people aren’t making them anymore.

Active is definitely the norm. Yamaha themselves recognized that passive speakers fading out they needed to keep their current market base and a lot of people are so familiar with this NS10 sound so I believe they came out called the HS80 that has an active version. They use a cheaper component than the Bryston 4B but not cheap in quality just cheap in price point so a lot of people are able to get that familiar NS10 sound on a budget of around 600 dollars on a piece or a pair versus 4,000 dollars for the Bryston amplifier and the NS speaker, which isn’t made anymore so it’s impossible to get one anyway. NS10s when paired with the Bryston amplifiers are notoriously not great speakers. It’s just a speaker that you’re comfortable with and you know the way it sounds. It is quite flat so nothing’s accented overly high or overly low, especially overly low. The physical component of the speaker won’t let it get lower than 80 Hertz at the lowest so I pair them also with a small sub-lifer so for the urban music that has really low kicks and the 808s I’m able to hear what’s going on in the uber low end but they’re on a switch so it’s not full range and I can turn it off and on as I need them because a lot of the time I’m familiar with the low end even if you can’t hear it just because of the way the speaker moves. Sometimes I mix by sight by just the way the speaker’s pumping which is weird but what are you going to do.