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Why settle for steamed broccoli on the menu when you could have exquisitely aged rib-eye steak? Unless you’re vegetarian, of course. In which case, eating meat would be out of the question. But, broccoli?
There are at least a thousand other non-meat options on the menu you could get instead. The dining experience you would get from both meals would be worlds apart.
You might be wondering where we’re going with this.
Studio equipment comes in all shapes, sizes, and different levels of technology associated with it. Some would be the equivalent of broccoli (we really dislike it – can you tell?) while others would be considered the delicious steak.
Old school recording gear is great and all and will get the job done. But, using modern studio equipment consistently delivers mind-blowing results that you just don’t get with any other method.
This becomes even more apparent when you use state of the art monitors to mix and master your recordings. Here are a couple of the modern studio equipment benefits that make modern monitors a must-have for all your production needs.
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Modern Studio Equipment – Why You Need Great Studio Monitors: Translatability
If you’re new to the world of music production and are not completely sold on why you need high-quality studio monitors, well, you’re in good company.
Your main argument is – Why bother mixing on monitors seeing as how the majority of music-lovers out there listen to mixes on commercial stereos, laptop speakers, car radios, and consumer headphones?
Let’s be clear on one thing from the get-go. Skipping this step of the production process is an absolute faux-pas. The one thing you always have to remember is that you’re not mixing for the studio. You’re mixing for the translatability of your tracks.
You want your mixes to sound great out in the real world when listeners hear it on conventional speakers. Otherwise, what’s the point of doing it at all?
If the deep sound of the monster drum or the fat bassline you laid on the track doesn’t come through the regular laptop speakers or car stereo, what’s the point of having it there in the first place?
It means that your music won’t have the impact you intended for it to have, meaning there won’t be anything memorable about it. It will just fade away into oblivion, and you’ll have just wasted unimaginable amounts of time, effort, and resources recording what you thought would be a musical masterpiece.
This is just the first of many benefits that come with using high-quality studio monitors. Keep in mind that when we say “high-quality,” we’re referring to the ability of a set of monitors, to relay the sound of a recording in the most accurate way possible.
It shouldn’t be enhanced, boosted, or embellished in any way to make it sound “better.” You’ll understand why in a moment.
They Help You Catch All the Hidden Nuances in Your Recording
It is no doubt the most important benefit of using sophisticated monitors. At this point, you already know the difference between studio monitors and regular consumer speakers.
Listening to a recording on consumer speakers doesn’t paint the whole picture. Besides, you can always adjust the equalization curve to modify the sound quality based on what you like. Whether or not it “sounds good” is subjective.
Now, this is quite okay from a consumer standpoint. But, from the perspective of a music producer… not so much.
Remember, not everyone who listens to your recording will do it on a set of high-end stereo speakers. If it is used in a TV commercial, not everyone will listen to it on a sophisticated home theater system.
The majority of the listening population will probably hear it on some average (dare we say – crappy) speakers. So, how can you be sure that it translates well across the board?
State-of-the-art monitors like the M-Audio BX5 help to identify, fix, and compensate for any flaws that emerge in your recording before you release it to the world. This works to ensure that it translates well across your intended listenership.
They Uncover Exaggerated Mid-Range Frequencies
Studio monitors work like a charm to uncover exaggerated frequencies, particularly those in the mid-range. It is a common issue that producers run into when mixing their recordings through high-quality studio monitors.
More often than not, the low-frequency response is poor, while the higher ranges are completely muted. So, what you end up with is a bloated midsection.
Only top-of-the-range studio monitors like the KRK RP7 can highlight such issues, allowing you to dial-down the mid-range frequencies and enhance the lower and higher frequency response.
The irony is, if you listened to the same, unedited mix on regular speakers or average studio monitors, you might not even notice the difference. Once you fix that issue, however, you can rest easy knowing that your recording will sound a lot better regardless of the device it is played on.
They Allow Users to Make EQ Tweaks
Active monitors, which cost substantially more than their passive counterparts, allow for user-adjustable equalization tweaks. These come in handy when matching the monitor speakers to the room.
They Are Easy to Upgrade
The issue with lower-end monitors is how hard it is to upgrade them when the time comes. If you need to change to a higher level of monitoring, you will have to switch out the integrated amplifiers and speakers and replace them with their upgraded versions.
You’re better off investing in a superior quality studio monitor with higher specs that you won’t have to upgrade after a year or two. It’ll save you money in the long run.
The Future Is Here
To get the best results from your studio monitors, it’s always a good idea to mix your recordings in a non-reflective room. Regardless of whether or not you use modern studio equipment, some degree of acoustic treatment is necessary to accurately detect any errors in your mixes.
So, invest in a great set of monitors, insulate your room sufficiently, and you’ll be able to catch all the flaws in your recordings. Don’t skimp on them. Remember, cheap is expensive.
Are you looking for the best budget studio monitors that don’t compromise on quality? Check out our blog for our 8 top picks.
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