Thursday, 31 May 2012

How to choose the right Studio Monitors for your home studio.

Picking the right studio monitors can be tricky, especially as there are many brands of different quality, and the fact that there are many factors to consider that will influence how they sound in your studio.
The first thing to do is take a good look at the layout and structure of your studio. How many reflective surfaces do you have? Do you have acoustic panelling or acoustic treatment? How big is the room? These are very important factors to consider, as any one of these can result in you having a great sound or not. Most people, when choosing monitors, always tend to go for the larger speaker size, which is incorrect. Depending on the speaker type, most large monitors have very punchy bottom-end frequencies, and depending on the room-type, these will be complete over kill. The last thing you need is bass/mid/high frequencies finding their way into, or colouring your mix. Generally this is because of how frequencies dissipate, or not, in your studio. Ideally you want a dead sound in your studio, with the help of acoustic treatment, panelling or sound proofing. It helps to get rid of any unwanted frequencies in the space, and your mix.
This all makes choosing your monitors a little easier, as you know what sound needs to be reproduced in your studio hereafter. Try to find monitors that have a very wide frequency spectrum, have punchy low/mid frequencies and clear highs. You don’t ever want a monitor that is “muddy”, you just need them to be clear and audible, where you can hear every element of the mix. The best thing to do is to take a mix that you have done, and actually test out the monitor before purchase, as this will give you a clear indication of what you are looking for (as only you as the engineer/producer will know what you want). Salesmen always try to give you what they think is right, but only you can decide that, be careful. Remember if it sounds good, and you can hear every element of your mix, regardless of what other people think, then the monitor will suit your purpose.
There many great brands of monitors out there, noticeably KRK, Samson and Adams. Obviously some are very affordable, and others are very expensive. It really depends on what you need, that suits your budget. Here are some ideas to get you going:
KRK VXT Series
KRK Expose Series
ADAMS Studio Monitors
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