If you’ve spent time in the studio, you likely have spent countless hours listening to mixes on studio monitors. Since your listeners and fans are going to listen to your music through headphones, their car speakers, home speakers, or however they prefer and not on the same studio speakers you used, it may seem that most studio monitors that are good enough are just that - good enough.
However, you must keep in mind that a good mix not only sounds good in the studio, but translates well to everyday listening equipment such as headphones and car stereos. In album mastering, striving for this high level of translatability is part of the goal. And as such, it is of utmost importance to be able to hear the intricacies of your music while mixing; that’s where having good speakers comes in. They will let you hear everything, good or bad, from excessive frequencies in certain instruments to levels that aren’t quite right. Listening to your mix on your favorite earbuds or non-professional speakers will not make these little things as apparent, and the last thing you want is for your song to be released into the world only to realize that the bass is actually way too loud.
What qualifies as a good speaker is ultimately what fits your particular needs, and of course your budget. But generally speaking, here are three things you should look for in a studio monitor.
1. Power. Monitor speakers generally don’t require as much power handling as PA speakers, but you should still have enough headroom to cover your control room or listening space without the speakers distorting. You also need to consider how far away the speakers are going to be placed from your mixing desk, as this will also affect the power needed.
2. Transparency and EQ Options. It’s important for the speakers to accurately reproduce your mix with little to no distortion, and having the option to adjust speaker voicing on-the-fly while leaving the mix untouched can be a useful option while working in the studio, as you quickly and easily adjust the speaker to compensate for your studio’s acoustic properties, such as the monitor being close to a wall.
Carvin Audio’s SRS8 Studio Reference Monitor comes with a LOW frequency attenuator that allows the user to quickly change the low frequency balance. This active, 130-watt speaker is also biamplified for clear, accurate reproduction of bass and treble frequencies.
3. Frequency Response. It’s essential that your studio monitors can handle the full frequency range of your recordings, from the sub-bass to the cymbals. While these specs don’t necessarily indicate how the speaker will sound, they will give you a good, general idea of the speaker’s range.
What do you look for in a studio monitor? What is your preferred way of listening back to your mixes? Let us know in the comments below.
The SRS8 active bi-amplified studio reference monitor is simply one of the best near-field monitors on the market today. The SRS8 accurately reproduces multi-track recordings, surround mixes, mastering mixes, etc. with pinpoint precision, which makes it easy to get your best mix possible.
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