Tim Latham

Chosing monitors for your studio

Monitors: The ears of your studio.
A question that’s often asked when someone is putting together a recording studio or mixing studio is what monitors they should use. I think your monitors are the most crucial piece of gear in your studio. They need to be comfortable to listen to, but more importantly, they need to be accurate. I use Genelc 1031a’s because they “fit my ears”. That is to say that I find that when I take mixes out of my studio they sound as good as they did in the studio. You can have all of the best plugins in the world and the best analog compressors built, but if your speakers aren’t telling you the truth, the results of all of the time you spend mixing records might be misleading. While most speakers in every price range are pretty accurate in the higher frequencies, the achilles heel of all monitors are the bass frequencies. Some have too little and you’ll end up adding too much bass to your mixes and some are the opposite giving you a false sense of low end.

Spend time at your local music store listening to your favorite mixes on different speakers. Remember, expensive doesn’t always mean better. There are some very affordable self powered monitors that sound really good. A lot of this is a matter of taste. Find a pair to use in your recording studio that translate to the real world. Next installment: your studios acoustics and how they relate to your choice of speakers.

Posted on October 25, 2009.
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