Speaking of monitor speakers, many people may have heard of them in the field of professional audio, and they are still very unfamiliar. Monitor speakers used to observe, monitor, control, and adjust sound are not just speakers with excellent quality. They are also audio quality monitoring equipment for recording, mixing, audio transmission, or any other high-standard applications.
So, what is the role of monitor speakers? How to choose? What should be paid attention to in use?
1. What is a monitor speaker?
The monitor speakers are used for monitoring in the production of audio programs in listening rooms and recording studios. It has the characteristics of low distortion, wide and flat frequency response, clear sound image, and little modification of the signal, so it can truly reproduce the original appearance of the sound.
Monitor speakers are not very optimistic in the civilian field. On the one hand, most people like to listen to the exaggerated and modified sound of the speakers. On the other hand, such speakers are too expensive. *One aspect is actually a misunderstanding of the monitor speakers, thinking that the monitor speakers are rational and have no flavor (we often say that the sound is dyed and dyed). In fact, we should consider this issue from the sound source as a starting point. If the recording level is poor, even the singer is not that good, the sound of that kind will definitely not sound good when played with monitor speakers. On the contrary, if the singer level and recording work are very good, then what if such music is played back using monitor speakers?
Obviously, monitor speakers are trying to faithfully restore the ideas of the music producer, and what you hear is what he wants you to hear. Of course, no equipment can achieve the restoration of the disease, but they are pursuing the goal of avoiding sound staining and distortion under large dynamics as much as possible.
What is the difference between a reference monitor speaker and an ordinary monitor speaker? It not only needs to be stable, reliable, and widely accepted by people, but also must have known and controllable characteristics and performance, so that the recording engineer can clearly grasp it in a specific listening position The frequency response shown on the above, and the curve can be calibrated flat enough. Only in this way can it be called a reference monitor speaker.
General speakers have their own characteristics. For example, some of the sounds are sweeter and some are more refreshing, but as a recording monitor or users who require the reproduction of the original sound, this is unacceptable, so they will use monitor speakers. Generally more expensive than speakers of the same level.
Second, the origin of near-field monitor speakers
About not many years ago, sound engineers and producers still mostly relied on large speakers embedded in the wall to monitor when recording, and the finished work was re-listed with cheap home speakers or car speakers to make *correction.
Because at that time, the recording engineers thought that if the sound from these low-quality speakers would be good, then the finished product should be played on the radio, or we can hear the business broadcasts everywhere on the street. There is no problem. In other words, use low-quality speakers to simulate actual listening situations.
Later, for convenience, the recording studio began to use small and cheap speakers, and put them on the meter bridge of the mixing stand, so that the sound engineer could switch between the built-in large speakers and such small speakers at any time. Comparing speakers, sound engineers have gradually become more and more dependent on this small speaker, and this small and cheap speaker is the predecessor of the near-field monitor speaker.
Since the recording studio has used a large number of such small speakers, the monitoring habits have also changed, from the previous large wall-mounted speakers for recording and mixing, to using wall-mounted speakers for recording and small speakers for mixing. sound. Although large speakers are better than small speakers in terms of frequency response and positioning, there are still some sound engineers who believe that the advantages they have discovered from small speakers will always replace large Hi-Fi stereo speakers one day.
Facts have proved that they are not wrong. Today we can see that most of the albums are done with this improved small speaker, which is the so-called near-field monitor speaker, and the large in-wall speaker is only used occasionally. Put it on the producer, or use it after the album is finished for the * review. The roles of the two have been subtly swapped.
The famous speaker designer Ed Long is the first person to explain the reason for this role swap. Long's observations and explanations are:
The location of the near-field monitor speaker is closer to the sound engineer. In other words, the amount of sound that enters the ear directly (Direct Sound) is much more than the amount of sound that enters the ear (Reflect Sound) after reflection from the wall or floor. The design avoids the fuzzy sound caused by environmental reflections, that is, they can better express the details of music, and because their sound pressure (SPL) is usually lower, it can avoid hearing fatigue caused by long-term listening.
From this we can know that the sound engineer can hear superior and clear music only when he sits in the "near field" range of this kind of speaker. So the so-called near field monitor speaker, its name actually describes when listening to this kind of speaker. Basically need to pay attention to.
Third, how to choose near-field monitor speakers
There are several prerequisites for a near-field monitor speaker, such as flat and wide frequency response (Flat Frequency Response), linear phase characteristics (Linear Phase Charastics), and the ability to withstand instantaneous high peak levels. Ideally, it should There is also a protection circuit (Protection Circuit) to avoid injury caused by abnormal conditions. There are many different near-field monitor speakers on the market that meet the above conditions, but they are different in degree. Looking at their specifications (Specifications) can narrow the range of your choice. Pay attention to some of their characteristics when looking at them:
1. Does it have anti-magnetic function?
2. Does it have a bass reflex hole or a closed speaker?
3. Active crossover or passive, the frequency of the crossover point?
4. Is the tweeter cone-shaped or dome-shaped?
5. Is the woofer unit one or two, and the size of the unit?
6. Two-way crossover or three-way crossover?
7. What is the average sound pressure value and withstand sound pressure?
8.Peak power and output power?
9.Frequency response curve
10. Self-provided power amplifier or external type?
The above selection points can provide you with some reference when making purchases, of course, it all depends on the purpose.