Friday, March 16, 2012

Round Up Of Best Monitor Speakers

Monitor speakers; There are many different kinds, ranging from 50.00 to 5,000.00 , But what does the home studio need, one that is on a tight budget? In this post I will give you the advice and look at some monitors that are great for the price, and what they are for.
The main monitor speakers are your ears, LOL, the next ones are called near field monitors, near field monitors are the ones you will use most and are the work horse of all monitors. They are called Near Field, because you have them place as you would your normal PC speakers, only at a 45 degree angle, and near you, one on each side of your PC monitor. You can get USB near fields, Passive, meaning you will need a separate Amplifier, and The other is power d, non passive, these have their own power supply, these are the best and most common for home studio monitoring. 
I will show a few pitches and give my recommendations on which ones are the best value for your money

These are 100.00 for both, they are powered, and they are USB, very simple set up and has a great sound. Alesis M1 speakers have been around a long time, the pic is the newest one they offer, I tell you, for 100.00 these can not be beat.

I will say for 100.00 bucks these monitors are a close second, if not a tie for the number one monitors I recommend for the price range. 50 watts strong, crisp, clear, perfect, and also self powered. M-Audio products are outstanding, all most everything they put out is great. These monitors for the price are mind blowing and a must have, OK I guess I would make these my number one pick hands down. It is nice to have the headphone inserts on the monitors, for late night recording, but you must have a good pair of headphones, headphones are also monitors, very near field LOL. in your head.
A very good pair of headphones will cost around 50.00 there are some great ones in this price range, the best for a pro sound run around 100-150.00. There are many kinds of headphones, open back, DJ style, Closed back, Sound Isolation, extreme Isolation. Sony MDR series are the best in a cheap range, a great cheap pair is 30.00 aprox MDR-v150, I use a pair of them every day for general use. AKG has a real good pair many home studios use and they are around 40.00. You can pay 2,000.00 for top level headphones, PLEASE, forget these ones, dear lord, come on man were talking a home studio, that will give pro results for pennies on the dollar here. Have 1,500 bucks for headphones? below is a pic of such a pair, yes they are mind blowing, but also a WMD on your wallet. Go to Guitar centers web site, these are the top ones in the price range, and take a look at the specks, nuff said.

Note: headphones should NEVER be used for a final mix down and never, ever used at the mastering of your audio, never . Headphones, good ones, can be used to make music, not mixing audio recording, but extreme isolation headphones are for live sound mixer use in a noise y place, I also use extreme Isolation headphones when recording , so no one in the house is bothered and I can hear only the music and not the local dogs barking. I live in the desert, in the middle of nowhere and it is quiet a small town of 900. I just moved to a smaller place, tanks to no work and a bad economy , I live in SO, Cal, so all in CA know how bad it is , I moved just recent, the small neighborhood is as loud as N.Y. City sometimes, the military base uses the main street we live right off of, trucks, and many, many trains, so out in the middle of the Mojave desert, outside of Barstow, CA little Yermo is a very, very noisy place, so I need extreme Isolation headphones, also darn dogs all over the place and of late they have destroyed my vocal tracks, my videos I do, etc, I hate dogs LOL.
The next step up, in price, and the best bang for your buck is double the price 200.00 you do get what you pay for in audio, but there are products like the ones I have blogged on that can make pro recordings at home for cheap. My first pic for the next level is without a doubt.

Alesis wins again, and at 200.00, these baby's will as I say, blow your mind, these are big, big step up from the 100.00 near fields, they are also  Powered and LOUD. If your on a real tight budget, these can be used in the final mix and mastering and can serve as your only pair of speakers needed, aside from a sub woofer, a sub woofer is a must, esp. depending on your style of music, sub-woofers are not cheap, they run 500.00 plus for good ones, there are some very good sub-woofers in a 50.00 PC speaker system I have used, and I even mastered with this 50.00 set, the two small monitors have pristine sound, plug into your sound card and can shake the windows. I had an individual woofer, bass monitor I bought used and it was the best, I paid 60.00 off Greg's list in Seattle, so look around, go used and save 50 to 75%. why not?
Next we move on to what are called studio reference monitors, these have a very specific use, in a pro studio and at home, it gives extreme exactness of sound, are used to set up a pristine mix and give the real sound of any given instrument or vocal, they are also used in room acoustics and studio design, as reference to the sound of the room, and thus can be used to tune a room.
For the pro home studio, these are what I have always used for my final mix and master, never had any of the big bad boy monitors I used while working in a pro studio. The home studio does not need the super bad boys, and why? only someone with equal speakers would hear the great sound these give off, post production work, music for film, yes you need such speakers and quality surround speakers for film post production, and a 100% pro mastering studio, were talking home people, play these big top dollar speakers, you better have your studio set up, designed to perfection or they would be of no use. Room acoustics are everything no matter what, at home baffles, and foam reflectors you mount on the walls is all that is needed. 

1,100.00, these are the very best pro monitors you should have if you do your won mastering, these I used and were my main go to guys, the older model, If you master your own audio, and you should, why ? you are making pro recordings at home, it used to be called the black or dark art science of the audio recording stage, why? so few had any idea what so ever how to master audio. All you need is T-Racks, a Tube emulator mastering plug in or Nomad blue tubes mastering plug ins and use the presets and your now a master, It is almost that simple, in time, over time you will learn how to fine tune T-Racks and other tube emulator VST plug ins, but the presets of these plug-in are a great start point, and less complicated than my Waves plug in bundle that cost over 4K.
Most pro sequencers and even cheap ones like Mixcraft 5, 69.00 the best of the best and would be all in one package you would need to make 100%  pro recordings at home. Stay in the analog realm as long as you can, use analog out gear, or analog emulation plug ins, all the way to the mastering stage, many table top 8 tracks, 4 tracks, pro sequencer software like Sonar, are all digital and they sound it, use analog and digital, but stay with analog emulators like the final stage in mastering using T-Tracks and you will have a pro sounding product, with practice. The best equipment in the world will not make you a great home recordist, just as a lot of effects do not make a great song, a great song is a great song without any fancy audio work and pad sounds, it should sound like a great song when played on one guitar or one piano, a great song, is a great song, a great recording is a great recording, and can be done at home for pennies on the dollar.

Next post I will have a video with a tutorial on using Crystal sound engine, the best free audio recorder on the planet, so keep your ears fresh, take a break every 15 to 20 minuets, this is a must and you will have fresh ears to make your pro recording at home for pennies on the dollar.

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