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Studio monitors are critically important in recording because they let you hear exactly the recorded sound. However, even how pretty looking your studio monitor is, it will never sound really great and it can even destroy your entire project if what you have is – inaccurate.
The amazing recording studio does not actually depend on incredible studio monitors. Music engineers need the appropriate one. This is how the size matters. If you just ignore the size then expect to have a really messy recording. Most studio operators only have limited amount of space. But limitation should never be the hindrance of completion. [Read more…]
Have you ever wished that you have great studio monitors in a blink? Unfortunately, that’s never going to be the case. Because to make sure you really have the best, you need to make a test.
When you decided to buy studio monitors, there are a lot of hearsays to be heard. Hearsays like the great response width, amazing signal to noise ratio, good driver units, and excellent nominal output power as well as the magnet type. Well, what you hear can be right but such tittle-tattle will only be proven really right if you can experience it by yourself. [Read more…]
The battle between headphones and monitors arise in almost all home studio owners anywhere in the globe. This fight is full of uncertainties and misinformation. In fact, the endless discussion is so tiresome. These two seemingly works effective on mixing but the two truly creates big differences. And now you’re in a halfway of craziness thinking which one really wins. Let us help you determine what’s on the top and hope it’ll shed up some light.
Poor and inaccurate might be the headphones are but if all you have is a headphone, then don’t let that stop you from mixing. Renting is another head-breaking issue and buying high-end mixing equipment can sometimes be a burden but you can always make the best out of what you currently have. Bear in mind that when it comes to mixing, it’s not about what you use, how you use it matters most.
Advantages of headphone
A simple small gear like headphone becomes the subject of mixing and mastering on it becomes increasingly relevant. The mobility of music production equipment increase and headphones certainly has a role to perform.
- Noise prevention
Headphones are just within your reach. It allows you to make construction within it to give you a neutral listening environment. Headphones are always to the rescue. Purchasing high-density insulation or acoustic panels are such a financial snag. Headphones can help you obtain beyond just music. In just a few dollars you can gain entry into the world of professional mixing.
By having a good pair of headphone with the flattest frequency response and preferably, with the open-back shells protects your ears from disastrous sound pressure. Now, with headphones you don’t have to worry about analyzing your room and have the power to ignore room inaccuracies completely. Moreover, headphones allow you to hear detail in tracks that you may have missed with using speakers.
Disadvantages of headphone
The benefits above are undeniably comforting but there are some disadvantages as well. Being well-oriented on those bad sides can help you weigh things up before jumping on the trap.
- Crossfeed complications
- Translating errors
- Acoustic problems
If you think you can always get the desired accuracy, knowing the fact that it is not will change your mind. Yes, headphones make your ears wrapped but you still have to deal with cross-feed complications where there are moments you’re hearing some of the sound emitted by the other side of the headphone. This is somewhat like your left ear picks up some of the sound produced on the right so this can have a twist and negative effect on the brain.
Using headphones will not exclude you to experience environmental problems. If you mix with headphones you’re leaving one part of your studio room because how your mix sounds are expressed by the room around you. It is always easier to hear the frequency around you and how it reacts to its surroundings if you consider blasting it in your room, but headphones are not capable of it. Mixing with headphones only takes the most of your time.
Mixing on headphones is a tough job because it is not easy to judge the stereo width of a track especially when it is being pumped into your ears. However, when you consider a standard set of monitors you can hear the right channels in different proportions, this is why as you can see to normal studio environment – there are left and right speakers.
Studio monitors will help you avoid such time-consuming disadvantages and you’re going to be free from stress more often. Headphones are undoubtedly useful for checking details and they are considered as the zoom tool for audio but when it comes to serious mixing, they have nothing to do with it. You need the room around to win the fight.
Relying on headphones alone would drive you to make misjudged mixes easily. Too narrow stereo field is one of the most common mistakes leaving vocals overly dry. The best and fair judging effect can only be obtained through listening on a pair of studio monitors. You want to produce the track that sounds great and you can’t get such achievement without having equipment that is made to perform that job, the studio monitors.
A set of studio monitors are always reasonable and a better option for listening to that last. However, you can still use both headphone and monitor in the recording. These two always have a good partnership. It is perfectly possible to write a track on headphones and then check it on your monitors for the final stage.
Always mind the detail of your mix. Headphones can help you perfectly on panning, reverb and delay effects of the mix over those loud speakers. You just have to increase the wet levels of your plug-ins so that the effects will have the chance to translate more effectively. Know what to mix on headphones and know what to leave on monitors as well. Don’t forget that mixing involves a trial and error process so, manage your expectations.
The headphone is capable of correcting an error in the tracks. This simple thing has an ability to set aside clarity and isolation from acoustic coloration. It can fix distortion, pops and clicks problems easily. It performs dynamic signal processing as well. However, headphones also have limitations. They are not so good for tone-shaping processes because the frequency response of the sound, either from the distance of the source or the properties of space differs.
This is where you should leave all those limitations to studio monitors. Why? For various reasons. Studio monitors have exceptional capacities and abilities that any kind of headphones can’t provide. Headphones can be used as a mixing tool substitute. Take note: they can only be used as a substitute. They are not perfect for serious mixing. So, who would win in the fight? Well, studio monitor sounds better than headphones but you need them both.
One of the most common complaint found on any popular recording forums is the mixes don’t translate. If you are recording a song, spend hours in mixing yet it still sounds completely different this is because of one plagued issue – different set of speakers. The cure? Select accurate studio monitors.
There are hundreds of questions about the product but we are summarizing them into the most common five that will surely give you some really important hints before taking a purchase.
1. What are the most essential and desired factors that should be thought of buying a monitor?
Buying a monitor is one of the most crucial decisions every recording studio possessor might experience. Well, shed up some light and consider the following factors.
- Flat frequency response
You don’t want studio monitors to always lie to you, don’t you? A pair of monitors that have flat frequency response will not boost or cut certain frequencies. So, flat studio monitors will give you a clean slate for you to build good mixes. You may go for cheaper monitors because they are tending to be less flat than those expensive ones. The flatter, the better.
- The size
How big your studio monitors should be? Most engineers recommend for bigger monitors. The bigger the monitors the better low frequencies reproduction. The lows of the sound can be the problem when it comes to mixing. The monitor size must correspond to the room size. This is how the size matters.
- The type
Passive and active are the two types of a studio monitor. Bear in mind that passive monitors have an independent power amp while active monitors have its own one being packed with. Understanding the differences between the two can help you make a wise purchase decision.
- Power system
Not all studio monitors have the same power system. This factor should not be underestimated because power handling can really affect sound quality. If you go for more power, you will get clearer and louder voice.
2. Is it possible to connect a studio monitor directly to my laptop without any studio interface?
For direct to the point answer, it is yes. All you need is a cable. Remember that most studio monitors have cable wires along with it. Just use the unbuilt Mac audio out with a splitter lead is it is for noncritical listening. However, to take a digital signal from the MB pro, you will need an extra converter with SPDIF input.
3. How important the frequency range is and what is an ideal frequency range?
The frequency range or response is useful to trick potential customers. It seemingly speaks a lot about the manufacturer’s curiosity. But when it comes to monitoring quality, the frequency range is near to nothing. The best frequency range is the tightest. Ideally, it is -inf Hz to inf Hz (negative infinity Hz to infinity Hz). It all depends on how it was measured.
4. Can a monitor be connected to an external sub- woofer directly ? How ?
With a subwoofer, you can reach the lower frequencies that your studio monitors can’t. It is necessary to produce great music. See first if there are some options on the external sub and monitor to connect directly together. If your monitor has outputs to go into your sub then all you need to do is to connect them. If not, you need an interface. An audio interface allows you to connect various kinds of signals and outputs variety of signals as well.
5. What makes studio response different from all other speakers?
If you care about how your mixes translate, look at good sets of nearfield monitors. It will give you a great reference point to your mix. Good placement and position of monitors will provide you a better response than any other speakers.
There are a few things you may want to look into. Choosing between ported and sealed enclosure speakers also matters. Sealed enclosure monitors produce more accurate and tighter bass response than those ported ones. The frequency range or flatness should also be considered. How low the bass goes and the error margin can affect the quality of the sound being produced.