When it comes to purchasing a pair of professional recording studio monitors, there are several things to consider. With so many options available, ranging from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands, it can be difficult to find the right fit for your needs and budget. In this blog post, we will discuss four rules to keep in mind when making your purchase.
Know Your Goals:
Before buying anything, it’s important to identify your needs and why you are looking for studio monitors. Even if you are a beginner, you may know what your problems are and what solutions are available. Understanding your purpose and budget before you start shopping will make it easier to find what you can afford. If you’re unsure, seek advice from experienced professionals who can evaluate your settings and budget and offer suggestions on which models would work best for you.
Identify the Speaker Driver Size and Power (Wattage) You Need:
The purpose of a studio monitor is to reproduce detailed playback information across a wide sound dynamic range that is as “flat” (non-emphasized in any spectrum of frequencies) as possible. Low-cost studio monitors may not be efficient or loud enough when it comes to power wattage, resulting in distortion and low-quality sound. The size of your studio monitors and their drivers also matters. If you are mixing in the near-field (3 ft or so), then products offering a 5″ or 8″ 2-way design about 100Watts total should be reasonably sufficient overall.
Set the Right Expectations:
It’s important to understand that studio monitors are not meant or designed to improve the sound of your audio files. Instead, they are designed to be accurate and reveal problems in the audio that need to be fixed. This allows the listener to identify issues, if there are any, and correct them. Another thing to keep in mind is that studio monitors are not designed to hype the bass response. Remember, “Flat is where it’s at.” So, no hyping of any of the frequency spectrum is the main goal, otherwise, you’ll never accurately hear back what you have recorded.
In conclusion, by identifying your goals, finding a monitor style and size that will work best in your studio environment, and understanding that what you’re looking for is a system that will honestly reveal what is being or what has been recorded so that you can be sure each track sounds as it should. Finding the right studio monitor should be a fairly clear task with many solutions available at different price points within the pro audio product market.
In addition to these rules, there are several other factors to consider when purchasing studio monitors. One important factor to consider is the room acoustics. The acoustics of the room where the monitors will be used can greatly affect the sound quality. If your room has poor acoustics, it can lead to an inaccurate representation of the audio, even with high-quality monitors. To address this issue, you can consider using room acoustic treatments such as bass traps, diffusers, and sound-absorbing materials.
Another factor to consider is the type of monitors you need. There are two main types of monitors: active and passive. Active monitors have built-in amplifiers and can be connected directly to your audio source. Passive monitors, on the other hand, require an external amplifier to be connected to your audio source. The type of monitors you need will depend on your specific needs and budget.
Lastly, it’s important to consider the warranty and customer support that comes with the monitors. Make sure to read the warranty details and check for customer support options before making your purchase. Having a good warranty and customer support can give you peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable source of support
in case anything goes wrong with your monitors.
In addition to these factors, it’s also important to listen to the monitors before making a purchase. Many music stores or recording studios have listening rooms where you can test out different monitors and hear the difference between them. Take advantage of these opportunities to listen to different monitors and compare the sound quality, response, and overall feel of each one. It’s important to note that what sounds good to one person may not sound good to another, so it’s essential to listen to the monitors yourself and make a decision based on your own preferences and needs.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that studio monitors are not just for recording and mixing. They are also used for mastering, which is the final stage of the audio production process. Mastering is the process of fine-tuning the final mix and preparing it for distribution. So, it’s important to have a good set of monitors for mastering. Mastering monitors should be neutral and accurate, allowing you to hear the details in your audio and adjust as necessary.
In conclusion, purchasing a pair of professional studio monitors can be a daunting task, with so many options available and factors to consider. However, by keeping these rules in mind and considering the other factors mentioned above, you’ll be able to find the right monitors for your needs and budget. Remember, your monitors are a long-term investment, so take your time, do your research, and make sure you choose a pair that will serve you well for years to come.