Studio Monitors are built to reproduce sound samples at flat, accurate sound signatures. Using a Studio Monitor will help an artist pick up on errors made visible on a louder, accurate-sounding speaker. Every speaker and headphone is built and tuned differently. In order to get through to all listeners and maintain tonal accuracy across different headsets / speakers, studio artists need to hear their audio samples without any preset audio configuration / colouration. Regular consumer headphones have preset configurations - some are bass-heavy, while some prefer clearer mids - which when used in a studio setting can muddle the evenness of the audio sample. For this reason, artists use Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones, which sound neutral and flat.
Active Studio Monitors have a built-in amplifier and simply need an input signal. Conversely, Passive Studio Monitors, on the other hand, require an external power amplifier with speaker outs. These monitors are generally near-field (for close-quarters listening) but are also available in mid and far-field monitors used for film scoring and large-scale applications. We recommend near-field, medium-sized monitor speakers for a home studio.
What alternatives can be used instead of studio monitors?
The best alternative to studio monitors is a pair of studio headphones that has a good frequency response to reproduce the audio being listened to accurately.
Do I need specific pieces of gear/accessories to ensure proper sound reproduction from my monitors?
The reproduction of sound primarily falls on the monitors but the type of audio interface, monitor controller or cables (balanced/unbalanced) also play an important role in the reproduction.
Where in the room should my monitors be placed?
Most importantly, studio monitors must be placed away from walls or corners, and ideally should be at least 8 - 12 inches (20 - 30cm) away from the wall. Most studio monitors should not be placed horizontally as it may degrade the stereo image. The monitors must create an equilateral triangle with the listener and the tweeter must be ideally placed at the same height as the listener’s ears.
What can / should I send to my stage monitors?
The general use of a stage monitor is to let the performer on stage hear themselves and whatever else you would like as a reference.
What is the difference between a studio monitor and a speaker or PA Speaker System?
Speaker Systems are primarily built for amplification and feel-good listening. This means, PA Speaker systems also have some level of colouring to their audio output. Since studio artists require a flat response sound for recording, mixing and mastering, speaker systems are not recommended for studio use.
What is the price range of Active Studio Monitors?
Active Studio Monitors start from AED 350 and can go upto AED 20,000 in the professional models.