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How to choose the right monitor speakers for your studio

2021-04-21 382
In my opinion, monitor speakers should be the most important equipment in your studio. Many musicians spend too much time struggling with microphones, preamplifiers or other equipment, but they are very casual when dealing with monitor speakers. This approach is wrong! Equipment such as microphones and preamplifiers are also very important, but think about it, what do you do in the recording studio? -Recording, processing audio tracks, mixing, mastering post-processing, etc., and these tasks are all done according to the sound you hear from the monitor speakers. So your monitor speakers must be very "fine", which means that they should be able to faithfully restore your audio signal and cannot render too much sound.

What if your monitor speakers are not "fine" enough? Your soundtrack and mixing will be inaccurate. The soundtrack effect you may hear from your monitor speakers is pretty good, but if you play it again with the MP3 player in your car or a friend, You will find that the sound has all changed. If your monitor speakers gain low frequencies, the audio track you make will sound imaginary on the player due to the lack of low frequencies. In the same way, if your monitor speakers have a heavy mid-frequency, when you play the sound track you made in other places, the mid-frequency will seem to be cut off. If the monitor speaker itself sounds very dark and the high frequency is insufficient, you will add too much high frequency to your sound track, and eventually your work will sound particularly sharp and harsh in other places.

Passive vs active
There are two main types of monitor speakers, active and passive. Passive monitor speakers need an external power amplifier because there is no amplifier circuit inside. On the other hand, active monitor speakers contain amplifier circuits and sometimes even crossovers. The frequency divider can divide the signal into different frequency bands such as high frequency and low frequency (and sometimes intermediate frequency), and the signal of each frequency band will eventually be sent to different amplifier units and speakers in the speaker. Compared to a speaker that sends all the signals to the same amplifier and speaker, the sound of this speaker with a crossover will be cleaner. A 2-way monitor can divide the signal into two bandwidths and has two crossover units: one is a woofer or a low-frequency driver, and the other is a tweeter. Or a high-frequency driver. A 3-way monitor can divide the signal into three bandwidths. It has three gainers, one gain low frequency, one gain high frequency, and one gain intermediate frequency.

It seems that the more crossover units are better for a monitor speaker, but is it because of this? Because each additional crossover will increase the complexity of the amplifier design, for monitor speakers with crossovers, it is very difficult for multiple gainers to work together in coordination-especially It is within a relatively close distance from the speaker. Therefore, we rarely see monitor speakers with more than three frequency bands in the recording studio. In fact, the common monitor speakers on the market are dual-band.

How to choose the right monitor speakers for your studio

How far is the location?
This is a classification based on the purpose of use of speakers or the designed listening distance. Far-field monitors are designed for use distances of ten feet or more. They are usually large and have low power. Generally in commercial recording studios, these behemoths are placed on the wall. We generally rarely have enough space to place these things in our homes.
Mid-field monitors are designed to have a listening distance of 6 to 10 feet, and their size is not particularly large, and they are generally designed with 3 frequency bands. If your recording studio has enough space, you can consider using mid-range monitor speakers. Compared with smaller monitor speakers, mid-range monitor speakers will have better frequency response and better bass performance. outstanding.
Near-field monitor is one of the most common monitor speakers in home recording studios. Their design listening distance is generally 3 to 6 feet. Their advantages are also obvious. The small size and volume level make it especially suitable for home-style recording studios. Another advantage of it is that they are designed to be close to each other so as to reduce the impact of the space on the sound acoustics. This is very important for those rooms where the acoustic conditions are not so good.

Big or small?
Large monitor speakers will have better bass sound, especially those equipped with large speakers. Another thing to pay attention to is the power issue. For example, bass players usually use higher-power bass speakers to match the sound of the guitar. This is also exquisite. Compared with the mid-to-treble, the bass requires more power on the speaker. Achieve a more appropriate volume.
However, modern technology makes it possible to emit more bass from smaller speakers. One of the ways for speaker manufacturers to improve the low frequency is to design an inverted port in the speaker unit. Its function is to reflect the sound waves from the back of the speaker into the human ear. If the inverting hole is designed properly, the sound waves in the back will be reflected to strengthen the sound waves in the front, so that the bass can be boosted. In this way, the small volume monitor speakers can have the same outstanding performance as those large volume speakers on the bass.
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