Want to know the difference between a good sound engineer or producer and an average one? Often it can be as simple as a quality set of studio monitors. Studio monitors are the speakers that allow you to hear every nuanced detail of your track, so that you can mix and master to perfection.
There a range of different studio monitors available, suited to a range of needs and functions. Check out all the details below to ensure your making the most of your studio time.
Active studio monitor speakers are one of the most popular choices when it comes to selecting the best studio monitors for your home or professional space. An active monitor has the amplification built in to the speaker, and they can be easily configured with existing studio setups without the need for amplifiers or crossovers.
In layman’s turns, usually the bigger the speaker, the more bass response you are going to have. That’s why active monitors come in sizes all the way up to 15 inches, for the bass hungry producer. Some of these systems sound just as good as speakers that have dedicated subwoofers. However, it isn’t all about size. As you know, in the studio you aren’t always wanting to make the walls shake. Some of the most cutting edge speakers are tiny powerhouses, that may not boast the sheer bass of the larger alternatives, but still deliver on crystalline quality.
If you are looking at the nitty gritty, active monitors come in a range of wattages ranging from the 50 watters perfect for the bedroom studio, right up to the 500 watters that are designed to rattle bones. There are also opportunities to daisy chain monitors for wider listening capabilities. The good news is that it is very possible to get a great set of active studio monitors on just about any budget, if you know just what features are important to you.
At the end of the day, active studio monitors are all about allowing you to hear every detail of your tracks so that your listeners will never pick up on something that you have missed. They give you the ability to fine tune your output and act as a superiorly honed set of ears.
Different types of studio monitors available
Powered and Passive Monitors
The first thing you need to decide about your studio monitors is if you are going to go for the powered (active) monitors or unpowered (passive) monitors. Active monitors are now the most popular choice because they are designed with active crossover and built in amplification, making them an all-round simpler option for most studios.
Subwoofers are now a staple of many modern studios, especially for surround-sound production. If you add a subwoofer to your standard studio monitors, you get the benefit of monitoring in 2.1 stereo. This gives you more low-frequency range and much fuller monitoring powers.
Monitor Management and Headphones
The most cutting edge studios will use multiple monitors to hone mixes, so making use of a studio monitor management system can help to simplify the switch between sets. A high-grade set of studio monitoring headphones is also essential to hearing your mix in uninterrupted clarity. Most monitor management systems come with a quality set of headphones.