What Do Studio Monitors Do? (2 Things You Should Know About)

The equipment that is used in the process of recording and the post-production process after a recording is made is vital to the quality of the overall product. Among the most important aspects of the studio gear is studio monitors. If you are new to the process of recording, you may be wondering what studio monitors do and why they are so important?

Studio monitors provide a flat frequency response for accurate audio production. Regular speakers are optimized to make audio sound good, while studio monitors are optimized to highlight any flaws in the audio so that the track can be mixed and mastered to sound good on any speakers.

Studio monitors are essential equipment for any studio, regardless of the size or budget of the studio. Whether the studio is used for producing music, recording, or even mixing audio for movies or television, a good set of studio monitors is crucial to any recording setup.

Let’s learn more about studio monitors to identify the true importance of this type of speaker.

What Do Studio Monitors Do?

To the uninitiated, studio monitors may appear to be simple, regular speakers, but the truth is that there is far more to these speakers than what is visible from the outside.

studio monitors
Studio monitors are specialized speakers with high audio fidelity and flat frequency response. They are used in recording studios.

Studio monitors are a set of specialized speakers that are designed specifically for use in recording studios and other professional audio setups. This type of speaker is unlike conventional commercial speakers because they are designed to have a flat frequency response, as well as high audio fidelity.

This phrase may seem confusing, but this is the primary purpose of speakers like this. Regular Hi-Fi or stereo speakers are designed to have pleasing audio playback by boosting or cutting certain frequencies, creating a more “commercial” sound from the speakers in a way that makes them ideal for playing mastered music.

By contrast, studio monitors are designed to provide a flat frequency response and a more dynamic sound floor. This means that there is no particular frequency that is boosted, removed, or altered to create a more pleasing playback experience.

studio monitors
Studio monitors do not boost, remove, or alter any particular frequency. This makes it easier for producers to identify distorted, unbalanced, or unwanted sounds.

This flat frequency response means that studio monitors are ideal for mixing and mastering recorded audio, as they make identifying any distorted, unbalanced, or unwanted sounds and frequencies very simple.

Regular speakers are made to make music sound good, and studio monitors are designed to highlight any flaws in music so that they can be altered before the track is distributed and to make mixing the audio well as simple as possible.

Are Studio Monitors Worthwhile?

If you have any kind of recording setup at home, or if you are considering putting a recording set up together, you may be wondering if studio monitors are a worthwhile part of the setup?

After all, studio monitors are very expensive compared to other speakers, and they are more challenging to use and set up. Are these speakers really worth buying and using in your own setup?

studio monitors
Studio monitors are expensive compared to other speakers – but they are worthwhile if you want to produce high-quality audio.

The truth is that studio monitors are worthwhile for all studio setups, especially if you want to produce high-quality audio that is mixed and mastered well.

Without using studio monitors, it is impossible to create an unbiased mix, and it is impossible to master well. This is because when mixing or mastering through regular speakers, the bias of the speakers will be how you mix and master.

mixer mixing table
Studio monitors allow you to craft an unbiased mix in the studio.

This means that the mixed and mastered audio will sound good on the speakers that you have, but it will not sound good on any other type of speaker. If you want to produce audio that sounds good on every type of speaker, then you need to use studio monitors.

Studio monitors are more expensive than other speaker types, but they are worth the investment; without these speakers, it is impossible to produce audio at the quality that you want it to be.

Are Studio Monitors Necessary For Beginners?

We have established that studio monitors are important for all studio setups, but are these speakers necessary for beginners with small home studios?

Studio monitors are expensive, and they may not seem necessary at the beginning, but they are good equipment for beginner producers and engineers.

studio monitor
Studio monitors are a good idea, even if you are a beginner producer or engineer, since they can help to train your ears.

The reason why these speakers are recommended for even the smallest beginner studios is that using these speakers will train your ears to respond to the sounds and frequencies that only these speakers can produce.

This means that using studio monitors right from the beginning of the learning process will train your ears to be better at mixing and mastering without having to re-learn what to look for in. a mix or while recording or mastering.

It is possible to make music or produce audio recordings without studio monitors, but it is far better training and skill development to use studio monitors right from the beginning.

studio monitor
Even if you can only get low-quality studio monitors to start with, they are still better than ordinary speakers.

Even some lower-quality or more affordable studio monitors are better than using regular speakers. There are some more affordable monitor models on the market that will do a good job of providing a flat frequency response for audio production, and this makes using studio monitors more accessible to beginners.

Even if you have to waylay the acquisition of certain other pieces of gear, buy some studio monitors right from the beginning so that you can learn what it means to hear true audio and mix well.

Are Studio Monitors Good For Everyday Use?

The fact that studio monitors can be so expensive and are so specialized leads many to wonder if these speakers are suitable for everyday use or can they only be used for audio production?

The truth is that studio monitors are not optimized for producing pleasing audio. The way these speakers are designed and optimized makes them great for production, but they will highlight any flaws in music or any other audio that you may use the speakers for.

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bookshelf speakers
When listening to music for everyday enjoyment, you will probably want standard speakers instead of studio monitors.

Studio monitors can be used for everyday situations and audio playback, but they will not produce a sound that is as pleasing as you may want it to be.

This is the unfortunate reality of using studio monitors, but if you want the best speakers for audio production, there is no other way.

Conclusion

Studio monitors are designed for producing a flat frequency response in audio for creating the best mixes and masters possible. These speakers are made to highlight any unwanted or unbalanced frequencies so that the audio can be improved for distribution.

Without a good set of studio monitors mixing, mastering, and other elements of audio production become very difficult and almost impossible to do well. If you have a recording setup and are wondering if studio monitors are necessary, the answer here is always yes.

You can learn all about the cables you need for studio monitors here.

You can learn about studio monitor stands (and why you should use them) here.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studio_monitor
https://medium.com/@casciomusic/studio-monitors-101-2da3fa9bc4e9

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