I'm just finishing up a new 16' x 25' screening room & project studio. The space will serve both as a small 7.1 screening room as well as 2.0 video/music/sound project studiio.
The picture below shows the current state as I finish up planning on the acoustical treatment. You can see my stack of Roxul rockboard 60 2'x4'x4" panels that will be wrapped in black felt. I am working with JWL at RealTraps on the acoustic treatment design. I'm also using temp furniture until I decide the seating layout that will work best.
The HT equipment:
- Sony vw90es 1080p SXRD projector
- 115" wide 2.35:1 format screen 1.1 gain
- Yamaha RX-A2020 receiver
- (7) JBL Control 5 Pro studio monitors
- Bic PL-200 sub
- (2) Dell u2711 monitors
- (2) Yamaha NS-10m studio monitors
- Hafler power amp
- MOTU HD Express - HDMI video & audio output
Because I have a relatively tight space, i needed to find a barrier friendly sound system solution.
I came very close to buying an active sound system either a Blue Sky System One or JBL 6325. However, I never stopped looking for a passive setup because I had not wired the room for AC and balanced signal to the monitor locations. Then I got to talking with the folks at Blue Sky regarding their passive I/ON speakers and using them with a top end HT receiver. At $900 each, the I/ON speakers were still a little more than I wanted to spend right now for (7) speakers. As I continued to research passive studio monitors, I came across the JBL Control 5 pro monitor series. In many ways these JBL monitors are similar to the Yamaha the NS-10M monitors I use for 2.0 monitoring but with a bit more low end and more mid field friendly.
I was looking for either a sealed or front ported design. I was also looking for something with flat performance for better production mixing. The JBL Control 5 monitors rated down to 75hz with front porting, ended up being a very barrier friendly design and ready to live with the Dolby 80hz crossover spec. They are doing well in this mid field set up. Even now, without acoustic treatments, the system post YPAO calibration sounds very good. I can hear the low end is muddy and there is a little too much broad spectrum reverberation in the room, but that will all go away once I get traps and early reflection panels in place.
My old sound system was built around Paradigm Atom v3 speakers. They were pretty good but their rear porting was never gonna work in this new space. However, I was able to use/adapt their MB-60 speaker wall mounts for use with the JBL monitors.
Aside... I had to consider how I was going to get 7.1 audio out of my MacPro for surround mixing/monitoring. I have a Focusrite Saffire 40 for audio I/O which was one way to get audio out, but that would have tied up the interface for other production routing and would have been a bit of a pain to integrate with a (-10) HT setup. Some kind of AC3 encoding in the Mac would have been one solution but encoding/decoding monitoring really needs to be built on some more $$$ options. How could I get HDMI 1080P video and 8 channels of HDMI audio out of the Mac and into a HT receiver? Solution: MOTU HD Express.
The HD Express is a great little box and an awesome solution at only $500. I can use the HD EXpress with Final Cut Pro and Logic 9. The HD EXpress will work with lots of video/audio tools... except Pro Tools.
In the case of Pro Tools 10HD, I can use the HD Express for 7.1 HDMI audio output but I have to use my old Black Magic Intensity Pro for the video. Good thing the vw90es has (2) HDMI inputs so one can be dedicated to the black magic connection. Nobody was sure if the MOTU PCIe card and Intensity Pro PCIe card could live on the same PCIe buss, well they can and I have not had any problems yet.
I hope to complete the acoustic treatments in a couple of weeks but for now the new setup is rocking big time.