6 TIPS FOR MONITORING STUDIO (PART 2)

Nearfield monitoring

In addition to having a larger system available for occasional reference, a pair of small, often single driver speakers often used to get an idea of what the mix sounds like the team playing low end. The standard for this used to be a model from Auratone, but today any speaker will. Learn more at Soldier Studio

Traditionally, engineers use to make mixtures under way to check their cars in the stereo car environment where many people first hear songs on the radio. These days, that experience of the first contact would be more likely to be in a set of headphones, so you have a couple of practical headsets is also recommended a good pair of high-end (which will probably be available anyway, as they’d be necessary for monitoring), and a set of headphones, a sense of what the music will sound like all those people who go through life glued to their MP3 players.

Monitors assets or liabilities

Monitor speakers are available in two varieties active and passive. Traditional controls are only passive speakers, which requires an external power amplifier. More common today, active monitors have built-in closet (s) amplification. In theory, if a speaker is active or passive should have no direct effect on the quality or tonal balance, but passive speakers, which all other things being naturally equal will be a little less expensive, requires a bit more effort by the buyer to match an amplifier with proper specification and power.

Most studio monitors small-and-medium today are active, and usually bi-tri-amplified or integrated with separate amplifiers for the woofer and tweeter (and midrange, if applicable). This approach often provides the best feeding option for the design, and ensures proper correspondence between the amplifier and speakers, freeing the buyer from having to deal with considerations such as impedance and power handling. Above all, a set of powered speakers is probably the best way to go these days for studio monitors (live is something else, but that is not our concern here).

The small range: speaker placement

Low-frequency problems are often the biggest problem facing the intimate environment studies. Waves (also known as room modes) inconsistencies in the bass response in different frequencies plague all the smaller and medium-sized rooms, and on top of this, the particular location of the monitor speakers, anywhere, can give in a response inaccurately low. When a project is mixed, often the decisions about balance and EQ take more to compensate environment and questions of the speakers, which for reasons to be addressed made to issues in the mixture itself, not the listening environment. These elections then cause the mix sound worse on other playback systems, again, so the mixture travels poorly.

One aspect of this is placement the speakers is always lower, and small unequal, to boot when monitors are placed next to a limit room, as against a wall, rather than being independent, as the top of the console. Studio monitors can be designed to deliver better performance, more accurate in one position or the other, and if the placement options are predetermined, for any reason, you should check to see if a particular pair is designed to offer the best sound in that medium. Many speakers offer switchable EQ filter to compensate the placement: the entire space would be for the overhead console, placing independent, while half the space would optimize the response of the wall arrangement. Although it may be tempting to misuse of these options to increase the bass response of a smaller speaker, it would be at the expense of accuracy refer to Tip # 1!

The Very Low-end: Subwoofers

Most monitors small to medium size, 5/6 to 8 woofers have a bass response that tends to roll somewhere between 80-90 Hz 50-60 about (higher for minuscule speakers satellite). If you feel your monitors sound great but are a bit too low-shy, and do not give a sufficiently good reference for what the lower end of the mix looks like in larger systems, putting up the EQ bass, or pushing a console-top design against a wall are not real solutions. Instead, the best option would be to add a subwoofer to increase the bass response of the main speakers, adding in the lowest octave, usually below 80 Hz. Most sandwiches are power, and include connections to the main speakers, along with the crossover to re-route the low frequencies to the sub.

Since low frequencies are directional or hearing aids can not say where they’re coming subwoofer from one works well with a stereo pair of monitors. The placement is not critical for the stereo field goes, but the submarine should be placed in the recommended room (standing, wall, corner) which will provide more accurate response low-end location. And remember, is a sub-woofer, not a serious booster should not add to that is low, and there should be adding at frequencies less than missing the pair of the main monitor!

Wrap-up

And that (small) note, I’ll conclude this piece. The choice and the establishment of studio monitors for more neutral sound, accurate is probably the most important thing that any engineer or producer can do, so this is an area in which one just does not pay to cut corners. Having an optimal monitoring environment will make everything sound better, not only in the study itself but for listeners around the world who’ll be enjoying your music productions!