The importance of studio monitors in a home recording studio setup is frequently emphasized. Are studio monitors necessary for producing tracks? For recording, studio monitor speakers are not necessary. Quality closed-back headphones are almost always used for monitoring instead of speakers when recording. When mixing, studio monitors are more crucial because it’s crucial to hear all frequency ranges clearly and accurately. Speakers are rarely used during recording; instead, headphones are. We typically record using headphones for the simple reason you don’t get bleeding into the microphone. Why does that matter?
Bleed into the microphone when recording
Consider adding a lead vocal to some already recorded drums, bass, and guitar. You record yourself singing into the microphone after playing the bass, guitar, drums, and other instruments over the speakers. The issue is that the microphone will capture some of the bass, guitar, and drums being played over the speakers in addition to your singing. The sound coming from the speakers and entering the vocal mic is called “bleed.” This is the main reason recording is done with headphones most of the time. The Sony MDR-7506s are my go-to recording headphones, and I’ve worn a pair while tracking numerous parts over the years. Many reputable studios all over the world favor them as well.
Recording without microphones
Bleed is unimportant if there is no microphone being used in the recording. No matter how loud your speakers are, the sound will never make it onto the guitar recording; for instance, if you DI a guitar into your audio interface and record using an amp sim. A microphone cannot pick up the sound. It is acceptable to use monitor speakers while recording in this scenario. While recording, having the most accurate sound from your speakers or headphones is optional. To be in time and tune, you need to be able to hear the music you are playing along with. After completing your recording, getting an accurate sound is far more crucial when you move on to the mixing stage.
We use studio monitor speakers for what reason?
So why exactly do we use studio monitors? Why not merely utilize standard stereo or hi-fi speakers, laptop speakers, Bluetooth speakers, etc.? Mixing your music is the most frequent task that studio monitors are used for. It is crucial to hear an accurate representation of your music when mixing, as well as to hear each frequency present. This enables you to balance the many instruments in your song wisely.
Using studio monitor speakers for mixing
Theoretically, a decent set of studio monitor speakers enables us to…
- Decide what needs to be quieter or louder.
- Listen for what is obscuring the mix and what is overpowering it.
- Find out which EQ ranges need to be boosted or cut.
- Recognize any areas where multiple instruments are vying for the same space.
- Observe volume irregularities that compression can fix.
- But there might be a problem. Not the speakers themselves but rather the setting in which they are used.
Mixing on headphones
Mixing while wearing headphones is debatable. You won’t have to look far on the internet to find someone advising against doing it! The issue with mixing while wearing headphones is that they must accurately represent the sound. If you stop to consider it, all of the sound coming from your left headphone goes into your left ear, and the same is true for your right. However, this is not the case with speakers because some of the sounds from the right speaker enter your left ear and vice versa. Headphones, therefore, give you an inaccurate impression of the stereo field.
Are studio monitors necessary for producing tracks? Without studio monitors, recording is perfectly acceptable. To monitor while recording, headphones are typically used. In a well-treated room with studio monitors, mixing is best done. On the other hand, if you are careful and take frequent breaks, mixing can be done on headphones.