Refresh your knowledge about the basics of studio monitors, learn why KRK is so great, and opt to win over $21,000 in prizes! Interested in music production? Read along young padawans, this article is all you need.
What on Earth is a studio monitor anyway? And why do I need one? Did Keith Richards really snort his dad’s ashes? At one point or another, we’ve all had such existential questions. We’ll try to address them all to the best of our capacity.
First things first, studio monitors are speakers designed to reproduce a flat, “objective” sound, delivering a signal as close as possible to how it was recorded. Traditional speakers and headphones on the other hand, including audiophile, hi-fi solutions, are all built to enhance sound in some way or another, embellishing it to create the best, and most exciting experience possible. Imagine the picture settings on your TV.
When you’re creating music, you don’t need your speakers to “beautify” your recordings. On the contrary, you need accurate tools to expose all the flaws in your sound so you can address them properly, ensuring that what ends up appearing in the final product is exactly what you intended.
Studio monitors come with a caveat though, their efficacy greatly depends on their placement, not only in relation to studio space but to the listener. Investing in a good pair of studio monitors only to position them improperly is like buying a Ferrari to compete in off-road racing.
We know you’re dying to know what’s all that jazz about Keith Richards, but for now, let’s go over a few tips to properly set up your studio monitors:
Find a balance between the size of your room and the size of your monitors. Having a big monitor in a small room will give you all sorts of unwanted reflections and weird artifacts. Huge monitors are only recommended for really big studio spaces.
Don’t put them directly on the desk, and never put trinkets on them! The surfaces in contact with your monitors will transfer and reflect the sound, effectively altering it. Monitor isolation stands, in whatever shape, form, or configuration, are highly recommended, if not a necessity.
Don’t use cheap, battered cables! Being stingy and reckless with your cables is a decision that ends up being noticed in your sound quality. Always be sure you’re using well-maintained, high-quality cabling.
Height matters. Acoustic experts advise that the halfway point between the woofer and the tweeter should be placed at the same height as the listeners’ ears.
The magic triangle. Your monitors must be placed in such a way that an imaginary equilateral triangle is formed between the speakers and your head. In other words, the distance between your monitors must be equal to the distance between you and each monitor.
The 38% rule. Your monitors should be firing across the length of the room, not across the width of it. Additionally, if you measure the length of your room, the ideal position for the listener should be at 38% of the total length. This will help you set up your monitors neither too close, nor too far from the back wall.
Acoustic treatment. Once you get your monitor position ironed out, you will have the reference to where to place the acoustic treatment within your room, meaning, where to put the ceiling cloud and your acoustic panels.
For more than three decades, KRK has developed some of the most beloved monitors in the music industry, used by famed mixers and producers in iconic albums of all genres. Their distinctive yellow-painted cone has become ubiquitous in rock’n’roll documentaries and industry interviews.
“Here I was in Capitol Tower, in the Blue Note offices,” legendary producer Don Was recalls, famous for working with The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, among others, “and I walked by Rodney Jerkins’s office, —one of the great R&B producers of our era— and the music coming out of his office was sounding so great… whatever he’s doing in there I want that.
“So the next day Annie Lennox was coming in to play the final mixes of an album called Nostalgia… and I wanted it to sound great for her. So we surreptitiously broke into Rodney’s office and took his KRK’s.”
KRK has three lines of monitors that suit all budgets and stages in a creator’s career. Every version comes in various sizes.
Their Classic Series is renowned for delivering a natural, balanced response with low distortion and superior stereo imaging. Capable of smooth, pristine, articulate highs, with loads of headroom and low distortion. Built-in limiters prevent any unexpected peaks from damaging the speakers if you get overly enthusiastic with the volume. Along with the optional high and low-frequency boost modes, the Classic Series comes with options for a flat response, allowing for more critical listening which should help you produce more accurate mixes.
“KRK makes a variety of superior studio monitors that align perfectly with my workflow; the brand’s solutions are ideal for both professional and home studio applications,” explains Latin GRAMMY Award-winning mixing and recording engineer Nicolas Ramirez, “Not only do they sound spectacular, but they are also very budget-friendly. I especially love that I can use KRK’s Audio Tools app to adjust the monitors to best suit each unique environment I work in. Overall, deploying KRKs is easy. You don’t need any amplifiers for them to sound good — they are amazing on their own.”
- 50 watt, 5″ active studio monitor / Self-powered. Amps matched to drivers; no external amp hassles.
- Custom bi-amped, class A/B amplifiers / Provide high headroom and low distortion.
- Heavy-duty enclosure / Durable.
- Front-firing port / Allows placement flexibility (i.e. near walls) without interference from a rear-firing port.
- Dedicated low and high frequency level adjustment controls / Allows you to optimize the monitor’s response to better match the room acoustics and the user’s personal preferences.
- 5″ glass aramid composite woofer / Rigid and lightweight driver for optimal sound quality.
- 1″ textile soft dome tweeter / Smooth high frequency response with excellent HF extension to 34.5 kHz.
- Bass extension to 46 Hz / Excellent low frequency response for such a compact monitor.
- Universal connectivity with XLR, 1/4″ TRS, and RCA inputs / Interfaces with just about any mixer and/or audio interface.
- Volume control / Allows you to fine-tune your overall monitoring level.
- System-optimized auto-limiter / Prevents unexpected peaks from damaging the speakers and provides consistency and clarity at high volumes.
- Foam isolation pads on bottom / Protects the surface the monitors are sitting on and provides isolation for improved clarity
- 101 dB Max Peak SPL
The new ROKIT G4 line is the latest generation of the best-selling monitors in the world. The enclosure and front-firing port have been re-designed to offer remarkable low-end extension and accuracy. Revamped fluid mechanics inside the enclosure result in consistent air pressure behavior regardless of volume, delivering a clear, dynamic output. Probably one of the most versatile and sonically accurate monitors right now in the market, it features a DSP-driven Graphic EQ with 25 settings to help you set it up with your acoustic environment.
“I love my ROKITs!” boasts Los Angeles-based producer and jazz musician David P. Stevens, “I’m constantly producing music from a wide variety of genres, and these give me clarity and accuracy. They’re also so consistent; the way that my mixes sound in the studio is the way they’re going to sound in my car or in my headphones. The artists I work with are always amazed when they hear their music coming back through these monitors, and it’s just another factor that makes the ROKITs so great.”
- Built on 30 years of monitor innovation. Scientifically re-engineered from the ground up.
- Premium components and an all-new design means your mixes will be precise and reliable no matter the music genre.
- Matching driver design made with Kevlar© that ensures sonic integrity across all frequencies.
- DSP-driven Room Tuning with 25 visual graphic EQ settings for improved accoustics.
- Efficient Class-D power amplifier that drives the speakers evenly at reduced operating temperatures and improves audio integrity.
- Built-in Brickwall Limiter that automatically engages to protect the system.
- Low resonance enclosure for minimal distortion and colorization.
- Scientifically tuned front-firing port offers accurate and exceptional low-end extension.
- Scientifically tuned front-ported cabinet extends accurate and tight bass reproduction and allows flexible monitor placement.
- Accoustic iso-foam minimizes vibration for improved clarity.
- Rotatable tweeter and mid-range module allows for flexible positioning.
The V Series 4 studio monitors are designed for audio production applications where accurate reproduction is critical. These monitors produce incredibly smooth mid-range definition without any colorization, plus they give out a pristine high-end with a tight, controlled low-end. The V series also features 49 different EQ configurations to adapt to almost any environment imaginable. The V series also features a solid aluminum front baffle and an EVA foam pad that serves as a built-in stabilizer that improves transient response and imaging.
“We’re currently deploying KRK V8s in our studio for playback and also as reference monitors,” says Joep ‘Jim’ Smeele of the Dutch EDM duo Sick Individuals. “Over the years, the classic sound of KRKs has remained constant in all the brand’s studio monitor offerings, and our ears have come to trust their sound. It’s always a lot of fun to create music with KRK.”
- 1″ KRK custom designed Kevlar® tweeter 8.”
- KRK custom designed Woven Kevlar® woofer.
- Optimized front ported bass reflex enclosure design.
- Bi-amped Class-D amplification.
- Acoustic and desk loading condition correction.
- Low Frequency EQ’s.
- Mid and High Frequency EQ’s.
- 49 different DSP driven EQ presets give you superior control for room/desk correction.
- Precise input level attenuation switch.
- Standby, ground lift, input sensitivity, and logo LED selectors.
- Optional protective grille included for mobile broadcast applications.
- Friction lock, Neutrik combo (XLR and TRS) connector Robust EVA foam pad for non-skid and acoustic isolation Universal threaded mounting bracket points.
KRK also offers the free KRK Audio Tools App, a powerful aid that will help you come up with the ideal studio setup. The professional suite includes five analysis-based components to configure your monitors to suit the acoustics of your particular environment.
Any purchase of a KRK studio monitor will make you eligible for a chance to win a fully equipped KRK home studio valued at $6k+! Not only that, customers can also win up to $250 worth of KRK accessories, including a quality pair of KRK headphones! All in all, KRK is giving away over $24k in prizes! Enter here to WIN!
“Here’s the thing about speakers,” says rock legend Don Was, “You got to have something that sounds great, sounds inspiring, and that’s also accurate. That’s the thing that I find appealing about the KRK speakers.”
Ok, ok. In case you’re still wondering, yes, Keith Richards did admit to snorting his father’s ashes.
How to WIN:
- Promo begins at 9.00am AEST, June 1st, 2022, and concludes at 11:59pm AEST, June 30th, 2022.
- To be eligible, you must purchase a KRK Systems Classic 5″, 7″ or 8″ Studio Monitor, ROKIT G4 5”, 7”, 8” 10” Studio Monitor or V Series 4″, 6″ or 8″ Studio Monitor from an authorised Australian KRK reseller.
- After your purchase, you must fill THIS FORM.
- Qualifying models include some of the most used monitors in the industry: KRK-CL5G3, KRK-CL7G3, KRK-CL8G3 KRK-RP5G4, KRK-RP7G4, KRK-RP8G4, KRK-RP103G4 KRK-V4S4, KRK-V6S4, KRK-V8S4 Please note: This promotional offer is available on purchases of Black models only.
- One entry can be made per qualifying KRK product purchase.
- Prizes will be drawn on at 12pm July 14th 2022 at 40 Kent Rad, Mascot NSW 2020. Winners will be notified via phone call and email on July 15th 2022.
- You can find here the full terms and conditions of the promotion, including a detailed prize breakdown.