Music Gear News

At Gear4music.com we update our news channel daily to ensure you always get the latest and most important music news.

A Beginner's Guide to Studio Monitors

What are studio monitors?

Studio monitors are loudspeakers that allow musicians to hear what they have recorded in precise and accurate detail. They sound very different to commercial hi-fi speakers, which are designed to produce more attractive bass and high sounds as opposed to giving an accurate reflection of what has been recorded. Studio monitors are able to handle the finer details of programming songs to a high standard, something which hi-fi speakers are generally not capable of doing.

What makes a good studio monitor?

A typically good studio monitor will offer a reliable and consistent response across the breadth of the volume range. Speakers described as flat, accurate or uncoloured should give a precise version of what is recorded, while consumers may wish to be wary of products that offer any artificial exaggeration of frequencies.

The key to monitoring successfully is often thought to lie in understanding how the mix translates to other listening conditions. Even the best monitors may sometimes add a bit of 'colour' to the sound, but they will do this far less than other speakers. Cheaper monitors often create sounds that are too heavy on bass and highs and it is important to consider this and produce your music to such specifications.

What kind of monitor do I need?

Customers should probably bear in mind exactly what they want from their studio monitors before deciding which ones to buy. Medium size desktop monitors, for example, are considered to be good for hip hop tracks or pop songs, while a subwoofer assisted 2.1 system goes well with the production of songs and soundtracks. Larger monitors, up to 5.1 systems, are for those requiring lots of power, with monitors featuring woofers of eight inches or higher recommended for recording rock bands.

Monitors available on the market

One of the cheapest available studio monitors is the Behringer 1C Studio, which costs £38. The product boasts "an ultra-linear frequency response ranging from 60 Hz all the way up to 23 kHz", with full-range output and low distortion. It is designed to be used in home recording studios and as part of surround-sound systems.

Higher up the price range is the Genelec 6010A Studio Monitor for £330. It also comes in a pair and is designed for use with close proximity listening applications and computer sound systems. The speakers are compact and connect easily to mp3 players, preamplifiers and computer sound cards.

At the top of the range is the Genelec 1037C 3-Way Monitor, which costs £2,399.99. It is designed for moderate-sized control rooms and is capable of producing high quality frequency balance and stereo imaging in challenging acoustic environments.

What else should I consider when buying studio monitors?

Those looking to buy studio monitors may wish to consider what accessories they might need to go with them. Cables that are specific to the input needed on the unit they want to connect to could be a necessary additional purchase, as could a product such as the Studio Monitor Speaker Stands for £39.95. Soundcards could also be important, with these ranging in price from the £59.99 M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 Soundcard to the £686 RME HDSP AES-32 PCI Soundcard.

Posted on 27 Apr 2009 12:19 to category : Tips and advice

Related Music News

thumbnail

Gear4music social media competitions | terms and conditions of entry

7 Nov 2018 10:12
thumbnail

Update available to improve performance and fix bugs.

15 May 2015 07:00
thumbnail

Shure recently discussed how guitarists can achieve great results when recording at home or in a small project studio. We took a look and picked out our favourite points.

25 Jun 2014 14:15
thumbnail

Recreate the Brazilian carnival atmosphere at your World Cup party with our Samba instruments.

19 Jun 2014 09:46
thumbnail

Some people could find the prospect of recording an electric guitar quite daunting, but musicians and engineers in fact have many options open to them.

3 Sep 2009 16:01
thumbnail

Musicians who record at home to produce demos or professional quality recordings can build up a vast array of equipment to come up with their ideal sound. However, it is not just the instruments themselves that can determine how a recording turns out, as the engineering and production can potentially make or break a track.

26 Jun 2009 17:18

Recent Music News

thumbnail

Here at Gear4music we have a great relationship with Zildjian Cymbals and this year we were lucky enough to be invited to the factory and headquarters over in Norwell, Massachusetts, USA.

1 Jan 2020 15:09
thumbnail

The new HeadRush Looperboard offers both looping and creative tools, making it more akin to a complete production device in a box. Welcome to the future of looping performance.

18 Apr 2019 15:00
thumbnail

Have you entered yet? Win a MV88+ Video Kit from Shure, worth nearly £200! Competition closes Tuesday 16th April, so don't miss out.

12 Apr 2019 16:35
thumbnail

The 2019 Record Store Day is a collaboration of over 200 independent record shops across the UK on the 13th April. To celebrate, we've put together some fantastic bundles to get you started on your vinyl journey.

10 Apr 2019 08:27
thumbnail

Looking to get started in music? You've found the right place. Native Instruments' newest additions are the perfect tools to kick start your creativity. Read more in our 2019 roundup guide.

9 Apr 2019 15:48
thumbnail

Omnisphere has been updated to version 2.6. This flagship software now features even more creative tools and support for over 65 hardware synths!

3 Apr 2019 16:35