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Guitar Musician   e-zine     05/04//05

In This Issue:

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.

                                                                                                              Albert Einstein


Some Humor

  You will surely understand that I have certain needs that you, with your 54 year old body, can no longer supply. I am very happy with you and value you as a good wife. Therefore after reading this fax, I hope that you will not wrongly interpret the fact that I will be spending the evening with my 18 year old secretary at the Comfort Inn Hotel. Please don't be perturbed.  I  shall be back home before midnight."

When the man came home, he found the following  letter on the dining room table.

"My Dear Husband,

I received your fax and thank you for your honesty. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are also 54 years old. At the same time I would like to inform you that while you read this, I will be at the Hotel Fiesta with Michael, my tennis coach, who, like your secretary is also 18 years old.  As a successful businessman and with your excellent knowledge of math, you will understand that we are in the same situation, although with one small difference.

18 goes into 54 more times than 54 goes into 18.

Therefore, I will not be back before lunchtime tomorrow."


Click here for all products by Roland.

Roland DM10, DM20, and DM2100 Digital Micro Monitor Systems

Perfect for your digital workstation needs.

By Larry Kelly

Roland DM10, DM20, and DM2100 Digital Micro Monitor Systems By now, you've heard all about how important your monitors are with respect to the final mix. So, I'll spare you that. Instead, let's take a look at finding the right monitors for your setup and your budget.

If you're taking the time to read this, you've no doubt done at least some research, and are looking to equip your computer recording setup or standalone digital recorder with something more than those tiny satellites or desktop speakers you're currently using. Maybe you want to maximize the digital potential of your system. Or perhaps you do most of your mixing with headphones, which has a whole other set of disadvantages&namely, most people aren't going to listen to your final mix through the same medium. No matter what your current setup, you've decided it's time for a change. With the introduction of the DM series of digital micro monitors from Roland, you've got some truly viable and affordable options.

Micro, but mighty!
I'm always excited to try out products that claim to do more with less. Usually, they promise much more than they deliver. Upon taking the 10W per channel DM10s out of the box, I was impressed by their compact design and how they added a nice touch of professionalism to my home setup. Looks are nice but, as we all know, the proof is in the pudding; so I went ahead and hooked them up to the digital output of my soundcard.

One of the things I like most about these speakers is the presence of both digital and analog inputs&the 24-bit/96kHz digital side has both an optical and coaxial in, while the analog side has a 1/8" stereo jack as well as RCA inputs. The front-mounted controls are a great touch, both aesthetically and functionally.

I set the monitors on my desktop about three feet apart at ear level. This created a nice sweet spot for me in front of my display. I loaded up some songs that have always stood out to me as having amazing mixes, as well as a couple rough mixes that I had been working on. I immediately noticed that the bass response from the 3-5/8" LF drivers far exceeded the expectations I normally have for such compact monitors. The dual-ported design really maximizes the low-end reproduction, creating tight, punchy bass tones. The 2" HF drivers reproduce the higher frequencies with crystal clarity, taking full advantage of the optical connection I use.

Normally, all of my final mixes are done at my studio, where I can rely on the expensive monitor setup I have to deliver a factual reproduction of what's been recorded. I was blown away when I popped in my rough mixes. I knew how they sounded at the studio, and I couldn't believe that these micro monitors were holding their own against monitors that cost ten times as much. Now I was really excited to get to the DM20s.

The next step up in the series offers slightly larger LF drivers and a biamplified design. Dual transformers and power amps provide 20W to each monitor, and again, all controls are front-mounted for added convenience.

I immediately noticed that the DM20s offer a bit more low-end punch compared to the DM10s, thanks to the larger LF drivers and extra 10W per channel. The higher frequencies shimmer, and are reproduced with precise accuracy. At this point, I began to wonder if those late-night mixing sessions at the studio were going to become a thing of the past.

Need a little more for the bottom end?
Now came the DM2100 system, which has a subwoofer unit that handles the low frequencies, while the 3-3/5" satellites handle the upper ranges. At 80W, this system definitely had more bounce per ounce than its smaller siblings. The subwoofer draws 50W, and sends 15W per channel to the satellites. All of the electrical connections are on the back of the sub, while the audio jacks are on the back of the right satellite. As with the rest of the DM series, the audio controls are conveniently front-mounted.

I subjected the DM2100 to some bass-heavy material, and it kept up every step of the way. Despite its small stature, the subwoofer really rumbles, reproducing the low-end without drowning out the rest of the mix. The satellites perform as admirably, presenting the midrange and high frequencies as they were recorded. I finished up one of my rough mixes on this setup, then put it to the true test of trying it out on my home and car stereos. It sounded fantastic on both, and I was now a firm believer in the power of a good home setup.

For anyone setting up a home recording studio or using a standalone recorder/mixer, monitors are of the utmost importance if you want to take your projects through to the final mix. The folks at Roland have done a great job in creating a series of monitors that offer full digital capabilities, accurate reproduction, convenience, and above all an affordable price tag for the budding producer.


Features & Specs

  • 20W output (10W per channel)
  • 3-5/8" magnetically shielded LFD
  • 2" magnetically shielded HFD
  • Frequency response: 45Hz-35kHz
  • 2-way, bass reflex, black wooden cabinet design
  • 24-bit/96kHz digital optical and coaxial inputs
  • RCA and stereo mini analog inputs
  • Front-mounted controls
  • Dimensions: 6-3/16"W x 11-1/16"H x 7-16/16"D
  • Weight: R channel 8 lbs., L channel 5 lbs.
  • 40W output (20W per channel, biamplified)
  • 4-3/4" magnetically shielded LFD
  • 1-5/8" magnetically shielded HFD
  • Frequency response: 50Hz-22kHz
  • 2-way, bass reflex, black wooden cabinet design
  • 24-bit/96kHz digital optical and coaxial inputs
  • RCA and 1/4" stereo analog inputs
  • Front-mounted controls
  • Dimensions: R channel 6-3/4"W x 11-1/16"H x 10-5/16"D
    L channel 6-3/4"W x 11-1/16"H x 10-1/8"D
  • Weight: R channel 10 lbs., L channel 9 lbs.
  • 80W output (50W subwoofer, 15W x 15W left and right channels)
  • 6" active subwoofer
  • 3-3/5" satellite drivers with flat frequency response
  • 24-bit/96kHz digital optical and coaxial inputs
  • RCA and 1/4" stereo analog inputs
  • Front-mounted controls
  • Subwoofer dimensions: 9"W x 13"H x 12"D,
  • Satellite speaker dimensions: 5"W x 8"H x 6"D

For more info on ordering this product email us

Guitar Q & A

  Toughen Those Fingers Up!

Q I have been practicing for a month now as a beginner and my fingers are still not tough enough to practice longer than 1/2 hour at a time. Is this normal?


Great question because I know that a lot of beginners experience the same finger pain and think that they are not cut out to play the guitar and some even quit playing because of this.

All beginners have to develop calluses on their finger tips and this takes a few months of consistent practice to achieve. Unlike learning many other instruments guitar players have to go through this painful process to gain the pleasure of creating beautiful music.

Here's a bit of good news, after you attain calluses on your finger tips pressing down notes is a breeze. Because your finger tips are callused and hard just a light touch will create the notes sound.

Hope this helps!


Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House