Other Console Functions – Monitoring Sound

Monitors, or speakers, are an important part of any studio. After all, monitors are how you evaluate and listen to a sound. You need to be familiar with both the speakers and the room in which you are working. Although some larger commercial studios still have “Big” speakers, most studios stick to midfield and nearfield monitors. In fact, most home and smaller studios have only nearfield monitors. Nearfield monitors are placed on the console bridge or on speaker stands very near the console. They typically have a woofer in the 5″–8″ range and a small tweeter. I prefer two pairs of nearfield monitors.

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One pair that emphasizes the midrange and another pair that scoops out the mids, emphasizing the lows and highs that make it easier on the ears for long listening sessions.

You don’t need the most expensive pair of monitors to mix successfully. You just need to be extremely familiar with your speaker’s frequency response. The same can be said for the room.

You don’t have to have a perfect acoustic space to mix in but you do have to be familiar with its sound.

If you know that your control room cancels out bass frequencies, you won’t add more bass because you are familiar with the amount of bass you should hear in a typical mix when mixing in that particular space. Listen to a lot of music in the room you will be mixing in. It will help you get to know how things sound in the room.

It’s a good idea to listen to mixes on different speaker systems.

In addition to listening on your main speakers, you may want to reference mixes on an old school jam box, headphones, surround sound system w/subwoofer, or your car. The car is a very common place to listen to mixes because most people listen to more music in their cars than anywhere else. Many musicians prefer to hear the mixes in their own cars since they are familiar with the sound quality and EQ settings.


This often


gives them confidence that the mix meets their expectations.

Monitoring on different systems can help you determine if your mixes will translate on multiple speaker set-ups and not just your studio monitors.

You may even want to reference your mixes on computer speakers or ear buds since many people now listen to music this way.

You would hate for your dance mix not to have kick drum in it when people are checking out a mix online.For the best, stereo image monitors need to be properly placed.

A traditional way to setup speakers is to make a triangle with equal distance between each point and sit at the point of the triangle.

This is known as the “sweet spot.” Make sure you point the speakers inward at approximately 60-degree angles. Otherwise, the stereo image won’t be properly represented. If you set your monitors too close to each other, the stereo field will be blurred. If you set your monitors too far apart, the stereo image will have a hole in the center. In terms of height, try and make sure that your tweeters are at ear height.

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