How Do You Hook Up Studio Monitors?

How Do You Hook Up Studio Monitors?

Do you believe that a single studio monitor is sufficient for your needs? If so, reconsider. Most home studio owners only invest in one nice set of powered reference monitors. How do you hook up studio monitors? However, it would help if you were working on at least two sets of speakers: your primary near-field monitors and a pair of modest, inexpensive desktop computer speakers to hear your song and how it will sound in public, the actual world outside the four walls of your comfortable studio (mini monitors). By using two monitors, you can hear your tracks through a less expensive home audio system, a television, or computer speakers, as opposed to the precise, costly studio reference monitors’ accurate and “flat” sound.

Add an Analog Monitor Control Box

How do you hook up studio monitors? Naturally, your audio interface likely has just one set of monitor outputs. Where do I connect a different set of speakers in light of this? The answer is to upgrade your system with an analog monitor control box. The stereo mix from your audio interface is linked to this box, where it is divided (multiplied) into many monitor output routes that can each be transmitted to a different monitor destination (including headphones).

The Mackie Big Knob and the PreSonus Monitor Station (costing about $300) are two of the most well-liked products on the market.  These devices are all made to fit on your desk and enable ergonomic monitor control, making it simple to move between them while remaining in your “sweet spot” (the listening position between your monitors that sounds the best).

Near-Field Monitoring

Near-field monitoring aims to minimize the influence of the surrounding environment on your listening position. While it’s crucial to optimize your room’s acoustics (a subject for another blog post),  an excellent near-field setup can significantly lessen the amount of room tone you would typically hear if you were situated outside the sweet zone further from your monitors.  How do you hook up studio monitors?

Most modern, well-made studio reference monitors have frequency fine-tune knobs that let you adjust the response of a speaker to best suit your listening situation. For instance, you could reduce your monitor’s low-frequency response by a few decibels to account for a space that unfavorably highlights low frequencies.  A monitor can be separated from the surface it is sitting on using speaker isolation wedges made of foam (like the Auralex MoPAD) or more sophisticated isolation supports made by IsoAcoustic. This prevents the speaker from transmitting sound to the surface in a way that might impair your hearing.

Choosing the Right Speakers

How do you hook up studio monitors? Here are the speakers now. Remember that the low-frequency output of your monitors is based on the size of the low-frequency drivers (the woofers). You’ll hear more bass in your mix as the woofer size increases. Therefore, stick with a 6-inch woofer or, more significantly, for your main displays. I believe that monitors with 8-inch woofers offer the optimum enclosure-size-to-bass-output ratio for your money.

However, for most music production applications, having the bass in your face is better than having it under your seat or to the side of your workplace. Of course, you may add a subwoofer to supplement monitors with modest woofers. On the other hand, the woofer in your mini monitors (like the Alesis M1 Active 320 or Avantone Pro Active MixCubes) should be 3 to 4 inches. Additionally, the mini monitors should be self-powered like your primary monitors for convenience and quality.

Monitor Placement

A compelling speaker arrangement is essential for monitoring. Make sure your speakers stand up at the same level as your head for the best near-field monitoring you can get. When standing between your speakers in the best way, your head and the two speakers should make a triangle with three equal sides. The mini-monitors can be positioned right inside your primary monitors. How do you hook up studio monitors?

To prevent any potential low-frequency contact with the actual structure of your room, place the speakers as far away from any walls as you can. Never force your speakers against a wall or shove them into a tight space. Remove anything that might prevent a direct sound channel from the speakers to your ears, such as stuffed animals and plastic figurines (I’ve seen this done). Additionally, keep an eye out for any reflective materials that might be just beneath the monitors (like a giant mixer or a laminated countertop), as these could cause high-frequency reflections to bounce off and contaminate your sweet area.

Enjoy Real-World Sound

How do you hook up studio monitors? Using your primary monitors, you may generate a clear image of how your mix will sound in the real world without leaving the studio., and studio-quality headphones (like the Sony MDR-7509 or Ultrasone Proline 750). You won’t ever need to leave your sweet spot to switch monitors if you have a competent controller. 

How do you hook up studio monitors? The only challenge is remembering to get up occasionally and use the potty now that you have all this control at your disposal. But if that’s not motivational enough, many a Grammy-winning mix engineer has been known to leave the studio and go down the hall to hear how their mix sounds from an entirely new angle. It does work, believes it or not.

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