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How to find good monitor speakers

2021-10-13 20
We can also notice the performance of your output audio on these different speakers, which is very interesting.

Obviously, the clarity of the overall sound allows you to better distinguish the sounds of all instruments, so you can better decide what kind of processing should be done to this piece of audio, whether it is equalization, compression or other processing methods. Surprisingly, in this way it may be able to more accurately guide you to use more subtle forms to set the effect processing, for example, when using a compressor to reduce the distortion of the sound as much as possible, or just do it in the equalizer +/-2dB operation. Because you can easily recognize and feel the subtle changes in sound. Even like the start time and release time settings in a compression effector, you may not be able to tell it at all in cheap speakers, but you can hear them clearly in professional monitor speakers.

Another thing we need to pay attention to is the relationship between the frequency response of the monitor speakers and the final original audio output (especially when it is not linear). For example, although ordinary subwoofer speakers can please our ears when we work and enjoy music, especially if you are a person who likes to listen to heavy bass, then it will make up for your lack of music in low frequencies. On the contrary, a pair of relatively neutral monitor speakers provide a relatively flat sound response (although its sound may not sound so good), it will eventually guide you to downmix, for the entire frequency range, both It is relatively fair.

After understanding why we should choose professional monitor speakers instead of ordinary household Hi-Fi speakers, let us take a closer look at some technical related issues, which is the key to finding a good pair of monitor speakers. The first is the difference between passive monitoring (two speakers driven by a power amplifier) and active monitoring speakers (power amplifier and speakers are integrated). Of course, active monitor speakers are widely recognized as the standard for professional studio monitor speakers, but is this just for convenience? Or is it because there are indeed some optimized designs?

More differences in technology and sound waves are in how active monitor speakers and passive monitor speakers spread the sound under two different power drive modes. In other words, it is the problem of the woofer and tweeter. In the passive monitoring setting, the sound signal is first amplified, and then enters the passive circuit, which separates the sound signal into two different frequency bands (high frequency and low frequency), and transmits them to the woofer and tweeter respectively. In contrast, a good active monitor speaker with a built-in amplifier will first use an active circuit to separate the signal frequency band into two parts, and then amplify them separately, and finally send them into the speaker.

Although the design is somewhat complicated, this built-in amplifier approach can often better represent the intersection of the woofer and the tweeter. However, a pair of poorly designed passive speakers usually have huge holes in the most important 2kHz frequency band in the downmix, which can cause some fatal problems, especially when adjusting the snare drum and vocals. In contrast, a pair of well-designed active monitor speakers can accurately reflect the audio at the crossover position of the treble and bass, helping you to get the mid-frequency audio information in the downmix in more detail. Of course, you can also set the bass and treble sound shaping controls (adjust the related drivers) to help you better adjust your monitor speakers in different acoustic environments or according to your personal preferences.

How to find good monitor speakers

In addition to the differences in the electronic components, the materials used in different amplifier drivers and the design of the speaker cabinet itself are also very different. Woven Kevlar's woofers are designed to pursue the original KRK speaker design concept. They are sturdy and durable, and have faster sound response than ordinary paper cone woofers, and this approach is adopted by more and more manufacturers. Germany's Adam also developed their ribbon tweeter amplification technology following this concept. In theory, it can provide faster high-frequency response. All manufacturers are now also in the cabinet design, trying to make more round, remove unnecessary diffraction distortion, and finally continue to promote the development of monitor speaker production technology.

Best low frequency
In the entire monitoring system, in addition to the monitor speakers on both sides, adding an additional subwoofer in the middle part can bring a certain degree of improvement to our monitoring effect. The improvement that the subwoofer system brings to us includes two aspects: on the one hand, it allows us to more clearly understand the low frequency bands we need to hear clearly (especially in the frequency band below 60Hz), but also, more and more desktops Type of small monitor speakers (such as Genelec's 6010 speakers), also really need a subwoofer to accurately show the bass frequency range for us when mixing. However, in terms of infrastructure, is a subwoofer really that necessary?

There is no doubt that although some cheap bass systems may also cause some messy problems in low frequency issues, the placement and positioning of the subwoofer is indeed very effective for analyzing low frequency sounds below 60Hz. Many subwoofers can be wired to your main monitor speakers. In other words, the audio signal you control (or monitor downmix signal) will first enter the active subwoofer, and then enter the two main monitor speakers. This connection is because you can pass a low-pass filter on the subwoofer side to reduce a given frequency point (usually about 80Hz), and then high-pass filter the signal to the main monitor speaker, so that they can The sound frequency bands will not overlap each other.

make a choice 

Considering the above factors, I think you have enough information to understand the monitor speakers, and know how to find the right "perfect" monitor. However, to make the final decision, you always need to use intuitive reaction to balance the comfortable and musical output provided by the monitor speakers and the technical design concept. The sound of the monitor speakers may affect your whole Work process. But the interesting thing is that your personal preferences will always play a big role in the final decision. Perhaps in someone's eyes, the XX speaker is perfect for monitoring, but in another person's eyes, it is completely useless for work.

When you test and comment on a set of monitor speakers (whether in a stereo store or in a recording studio), you need to spend more time paying attention to their individual qualities, rather than making a hasty choice quickly. A speaker with good sound transmission can not only help you hear the details of your own recorded sound, but also let you hear every detail in the commercial song that has been made. Even better, if you have been working with monitor speakers, it can always affect all your work processes, including recording, downmixing or mastering.

Obviously, you need to carefully ponder and evaluate the points we discussed earlier. For example, in terms of frequency response, try to let the monitor speakers analyze a variety of different mixing works to see if it can clearly analyze each sound. For example, whether the low frequency is clear enough and high enough quality, rather than simply having a deep low frequency sound, and the high frequency should not be too high. Of course, you should also spend the same time and energy to look at the sound response of the mid-frequency part: whether there is obvious overlap in the sound, whether the vocal part is clearly distinguishable, and see if the monitor speakers are obstructing or helping you find some sounds easily The part where the frequency bands are crowded with each other.

Never-ending journey

Even if you have chosen a monitor speaker that you like the most, the pursuit of a good listening environment is still endless exploration. Even if you buy the best monitor speakers, they need to be placed in the right place to play their best role in a good acoustic environment. Therefore, it is worthwhile to explore the listening environment. It can help you optimize you. The performance of the new monitor speakers. Although sometimes the sound changes produced by different placements are very subtle, in the end, the benefits of improving your audio output quality and improving the sound field environment will be greater than the time and money you spend.
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