Looking for the best studio monitor speakers for your DAW home recording studio in 2020?
The are quite a few choices when it comes to studio monitor speakers. This article will help you choose the best set for your needs.
The choices are active or passive speakers. Active powered speakers have amps built-in that boost the volume of your music signal. Passive speakers do not and require a separate amp. I personally like using active speakers. No amp needed.
If your setup is in an average sized room, 100 watts is plenty. You'll even do well with 75-watt speakers. 100-watt speakers will blast out 120 decibels at half volume.
Under 90 decibels is the recommended monitoring level for your initial mixing and mastering. 105 decibels is the max you should go to prevent hearing loss.
Note: Monitor at 105 decibels or higher for only short periods of time, under 30 minutes a day, to prevent hearing loss. And not a continuous 30 minutes!! Take a break, at least, every 5 minutes when monitoring at high volume levels.
BEST ACTIVE STUDIO MONITORS
Below are a few different speaker sets that will work very well.
When using 6-8 inch near field monitor speakers, it is an absolute MUST to have a decent sub woofer. Monitors this size give out very little bass. 50hz is non-existent, and 100hz is very weak. You'll be lost when mixing your low frequency instruments. A nice sub woofer will compliment the speakers above and allow you to hear every frequency range in your music.
If your speakers are connected to your audio interface, then you'll have to use the DAW software on your computer to control the volume. With the Presonus Central Station, you can connect up to three different sets of speakers and control the volume with wired remote. This unit allows you to quickly scroll through different sets of speakers with the touch of a button. You can also connect a cd player, iPod, etc. to the system. It's a complete audio and speaker control system. Very nice!
Note - In addition to the good speakers, pro sound engineers like to connect a cheaper set of speakers to the system, to hear what the music will sound like to the average listener (since most don't have $1,000 speakers).
In this video I do a quick A/B comparison of a few songs. In my audio mastering secrets video series, I get a lot more in-depth into exactly what you are trying to achieve sonically for your genre/style of music.
So, what is the best room size for audio mastering in your DAW home recording studio? Technically, you can properly mix or master in any room size.But, I believe a smaller room is better than a very large one for someone who's just starting out. And when I say smaller I mean closer to 12'x15' than to 20'x30'.I've mixed and mastered songs for a number of years in a 20'x30' room.It took me a few days to get used to it, but after that I could do it.
This article discusses what is the reverb effect in music and how to use it?The reverb effect is used to simulate space. When reverb is applied to a dry vocal or instrument track, it will sound like it was recorded live in the space size that was selected on the processor. Common space size options include a small room, vocal plate, large hall, etc.
This article discusses what is the chorus effect in music and how to use it? The chorus effect makes a single audio track sound like a group. It achieves this by taking a single instrument or vocal track, multiplying it, and then slightly detunes each newly created track. The result is a fuller lush sounding audio track.
What does mastering do to a song? Your main goal in audio mastering is to replicate the sonic qualities of a well professionally mastered commercial song, in the same genre and style as the song mix you are working on.
Why do songs need to be mastered? I've seen this question on the Internet many times.The answer I always see is "Because all songs on the radio have been professionally mastered, yours should be too."This is a true fact, but not an answer.
I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.And also before they started making very high quality plugins.
Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS. Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes. During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released. It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!
Would you like to know how to master a song or how to master your own music? So many people think just making the volumes the same level for every song is "mastering" their CD. Well, mastering is a lot more than just that!