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Monitor Speakers

October 13th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

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Monitor Speakers

If you are putting together a home recording studio, you already know there are a million different equipment choices to make. From microphones to preamps, compressors to interfaces... your head is probably already spinning. This article will offer a few tips for selecting the right monitor speakers for your studio. Be sure to check out my other articles for tips on other equipment, too.

First consider your budget. This is a big part of picking your monitors. Typically, a set of "pro" monitor speakers is going to be pricey. Probably in the $1000 range for anything really high quality. If you have that kind of money, go ahead and splurge on whatever sounds good to you. Most of my readers will probably have a smaller budget. My first set of monitors cost exactly $250 and they worked great for my uses. Decide how much money you can spend, then move on to the next step.

Monitors can be either active or passive. Active speakers are self powered. Passive speakers require a separate power amp. These days, most people choose active speakers and I would highly recommend it. There's no need to fiddle around with extra rack gear when most good monitor speakers are self powered. Plus the added cost of a power amp can put you over budget.

Driver size is the next consideration. Many pro engineers recommend an 8" monitor. These speakers provide enough low frequencies for you to put together a good mix. I also enjoy 8" monitors, but it isn't always within your budget to get them. Something smaller will usually work well enough for a recording hobbyist. My first set of monitors had 5" drivers. They didn't put out a ton of bass, but they did have a selectable bass switch on the back. This allowed me to decide how much or how little bass I wanted. I also placed the monitors in the corner of my mixing room to help build up additional bass frequencies. That little trick really helped out my mixes.

Have you found a few speakers in your price range with a good size driver? Now it's time to have a listen. Head down to your local music shop and try to find the speakers you picked out. They should have a pretty good selection. Listen carefully to each pair of monitors and compare the sounds. Your ear will naturally point you in the right direction. If a set of monitors stands out to you, fits your budget, and will provide a large enough driver... your work is done!

Behringer MS40 Monitor Speakers

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