Studio Monitors – The Search for Perfection
How do you find the best home studio monitors?
Studio monitors are designed to give you a true picture of the audio you have recorded in your studio. As you review your work listening through this type of monitor, the sound may come across quite raw, less pleasant or uncomfortable. Keep in mind that musicians, producers, and engineers want something different. They need to hear the plain truth. They want speakers that do not embellish and also do not hide any imperfections. So this exercise will help you identify areas of your mix that could be improved. It will help you identify critical areas that would need to be adjusted in order to translate effectively to all other playback systems.
Prior to this point you have been working through your mix, adjusting and tweaking, and it sounds great – in the headsets. And then you listen to it somewhere else and it doesn’t sound anything like what you had just recorded. Difficult as it may seem, this is an opportunity to really hone your critical hearing skills to see which adjustments will be necessary to maximize its presence in playback for all other playback systems.
There is a very broad spectrum of monitor speakers in terms of performance, size and price. Generally there are two types of studio monitors for the small home recording studio setup – Nearfield and Midfield. Nearfield monitors are design to be positioned near the listener’s ears. Midfield monitors are intended to be placed further apart from each other and further away from the listener.
As you start your search for the best home studio monitors, it is important to note that studio monitors, with very few exceptions, are “active” or “powered” speakers. This means the power amplifier is built into the speaker cabinet. You have to connect it to a line source with a volume control – an audio interface or a dedicated monitor controller.
Equally important, if you have the opportunity, is to bring your own music to the dealer. The dealer wants you to have a positive listening experience. But what you want is to listen for studio monitors that reveal all the flaws and mistakes that you wish you would like to correct. If your music sounds great on the most revealing studio monitors will it sound great on any playback system.
Here are a few models to consider in your search for your recording studio monitor:
PreSonus Eris E3.5-3.5″ Professional Multimedia Reference Monitors
IK Multimedia Studio Monitor
KRK Studio Monitor RP5G4-NA
KRK RP8G3-NA Rokit 8 Generation 3
This is just a sampling of some of the great studio monitors out there today. Remember, this is your journey to the that Brilliant Sound you intend to create!