You should know the difference between active or passive monitors before setting up your studio and which set best suits your needs. Active speakers have built-in amplification and usually require less space, while passive monitors make use of an external amplifier. Many larger studios use passive monitors. It can also be expensive to purchase separate amplifiers and speakers. The well constructed, better sounding speakers and amplifiers tend to sit in a higher price range but you can often find good deals on used equipment on the Internet or at your local music store.
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Things you need
- Studio monitors
- Stereo Amplifier
- Mixing board
- Speaker cables
- Patch cords
Go online or to your local music store and try to buy the best amplifier and speakers you can afford. For a home studio, you will want "near field" or close up monitors.
Make sure the amplifier has an output of twice the rated wattage of the speakers, i.e., a 300-watt amp for speakers rated at 150 watts. This allows for headroom.
Ensure that you purchase connecting cables of the proper gauge, i.e. 22 to 24 gauge for the amp input and 16 gauge and above for speakers. Check the owner's manuals for specifics.
Mount the amplifier inside a mounting rack or set it in an area where the airflow will not be blocked, as this may cause your amp to overheat.
Place speakers in positions conducive to proper audio performance, preferably in a triangular pattern away from any walls. You may also want to soundproof the front and back walls.
Connect the amplifier to the mixing board via patch cord or to your PC or Mac via firewire and speakers to the amplifier via the speaker cables.
Record some music and adjust the sound levels accordingly. Ensure the amplifier is not clipping, or distorting, and that the speakers don't rattle or distort.
Play the music back over other sound systems such as a home stereo or boom box and get a feel for how the music sounds compared to your monitors. This will help you adjust your equalisation to get the best sound possible.
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