Studio speakers

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Have you ever wondered what recording studio engineers use for monitors? I'll tell you - probably nothing you'd have in your home or system. For the most part they are anything but high-end.

A few loudspeaker manufacturers proudly show us their products in the studios and mastering rooms of the world, but this is done for advertising and does not represent what the real world speakers are - Genelec, JBL and brands you wouldn't consider in a high-end setting. Yet we high-end people judge the work mastered on these less-than-high-end speakers on a daily basis.

I remember speaking with Keith Johnson of Reference Recordings asking what he uses and was surprised to learn he has some home brew designs that work for him. As Keith told me "you'd hate them in your listening room" but they work for Keith.

If I were to build a studio to record music I'd make my control room setup an identical copy of my listening room. Think about it for a moment. What if you could have live musicians playing in the next room and a control panel connected to your high-end setup. The control panel could set levels and tonal qualities of each microphone feed such that when you were done, you'd have the finest sound your system was capable of.

I remember "back in the day" when Dave Wilson was into recordings. He actually designed the Wilson WATT loudspeaker to be his recording monitor and later turned it into a company that made loudspeakers. They are certainly high-end.

I probably will never have the time to build my recording studio, but it sure is fun to dream.

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Paul McGowan

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