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Choosing the right studio monitors doesn’t have to be a tricky process. Here are five tips to help you buy the right studio monitor.
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Keyword(s): studio monitors
A decrease in the cost of recording equipment, like studio monitors, has made setting up a home recording studio easier and more cost-efficient.
Whether you want to save money or take back control of your recordings, you need the best studio monitors.
Studio Monitors: Common Features
The best studio monitors share some common features that help them stand out from the crowd. Before you purchase your next pair of studio monitors, you want to choose carefully.
First, you want accurate studio monitors so that you can hear your recordings better. The right mixing monitors can also help you when you go to edit your recordings.
There are a few other factors to consider when choosing the best studio monitors for you.
1. Size and Placement
When shopping for the best monitor speakers, you have to consider their size and placement. If you have a small recording studio, you won’t have space for large monitors.
On the other hand, you might want a larger pair if you have a dedicated recording space.
The size of your studio monitors compared to the size of the room can affect the accuracy. If your monitors are too big or too small, you won’t be able to mix the music as efficiently.
You also should think about where you plan to put your studio monitors. The best place to put studio monitors is so that they create an equilateral triangle with you. A triangle will give you the best stereo sound for editing and mixing your recordings.
When setting up where you will listen, you can use the 38 percent rule. You sit 38 percent of the distance from one of the walls and position your monitors from there.
2. Power and Input Signal
The right power and signal can make for accurate studio monitors. To get the best sound, you need consistent power.
Not only can the amount of power affect the volume, but it can also impact the dynamic range available.
More dynamic range means the monitors can handle more input. If you record drums or other potentially loud instruments, you need that dynamic range.
Some of the best studio monitors also have higher wattages. With that extra power, you can hear more of the details of your recordings. You’ll also have more headroom for loud music peaks, like a kick drum.
Another thing to consider when it comes to power is the division of the input. Options for this include:
A single-amp monitor includes one speaker. However, bi- and tri-amp monitors have dedicated speakers for either low frequencies or low, middle, and high frequencies.
Bi-amp and tri-amp studio monitors are usually more accurate because they differentiate certain frequencies. The different speakers inside can process those frequencies more easily than a single-amp monitor.
3. Drivers and Materials
While the sound is the most important part of studio monitors, certain features can affect the sound. Studio monitors use a variety of materials, from aluminum to paper.
The right materials can affect the sound quality that you get. You also want to consider the materials and their quality when looking at the price.
An expensive pair of monitors with cheap materials may not be worth it. On the other hand, you might also be skeptical of a cheap set with more expensive materials as there might be other problems with the monitors.
Of course, you can learn a lot about the quality and durability of monitors based on their materials. However, you should also consider the drivers. Choosing the right drivers can have a big impact on sound quality.
You should focus on how the drivers can help you get the best sound quality when mixing your recordings.
4. Passive vs. Active Systems
You should also consider whether your dream studio monitors have a passive or active system. Both options have pros and cons, so you should consider each.
If you choose a passive system, you’ll need to use an amplifier along with the monitors.
Passive systems have a long history in the recording industry, so they can be a great option. However, the extra gear can be a turn-off if you have a small studio.
In that case, you can consider an active system. Active studio monitors include an amplifier within the monitors.
You don’t have to worry about setting up and connecting an amp to your monitors. It can be nice to have that when you don’t want to deal with too much equipment.
If you’re new to recording, an active system should serve you well. Active systems are easier to set up and use, and you don’t need a ton of space.
However, if you want more control over the amplifier, you can choose a passive system. Then, you can select the right amplifier to work with your studio monitors.
In some cases, you may need to get a separate subwoofer. A subwoofer can help your monitors handle the lower frequencies.
If you record a lot of bass or other low instruments, a dedicated subwoofer will help. Subwoofers can extend the low-frequency range from 45 to 50 Hz down to 20 Hz.
While some studio monitors have built-in subwoofers, they aren’t common. For a home recording studio, you shouldn’t expect to find a monitor with a subwoofer.
So if you plan on working with low frequencies, you should consider investing in a subwoofer. Like with monitors, you will need to consider the size of your space so that you can choose the right equipment.
One Step Closer
After you buy the best studio monitors for you, you can set them up. With the right pair, you’ll be able to hear your recordings and edit them.
Even if you’re new to recording, you can still invest in the right equipment. Having that gear can make the entire recording and mixing process much easier.
You can create amazing recordings from the comfort of home with a pair of studio monitors. If you have a small budget, check out our reviews on affordable monitors to learn more.
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