For many studios, a single microphone and one pair of headphones or speakers isn’t nearly enough. Cross-referencing, or checking on multiple listening systems is a valuable and an often overlooked part of the creative and mixing processes. Fortunately, as studio technology has advanced, more tools have become available to address the conundrum of using multiple systems. In this article we’ll take a brief look at and introduce you to some popular accessories.
PreSonus Monitor Station V2
You may not need all the features this device boasts. It allows you to switch back and forth between multiple (up to four!) headphones sets and monitors in a solid and trustworthy unit. We’ve been happily impressed with the clarity of the sound with this little unit. This is a great and reasonably priced addition to any home studio.
Very attractive, functional, and practical if you are looking for an efficient way to access and tune multiple monitors. We wish it were a bit smaller form factor, however. If we had to recommend one change, it would be making the main knob out of metal. It feels less robust as a unit than the PreSonus Monitor Station.
Mackie Big Knob Series
The Big Knob is pretty useful (and widely used) as the most common central hub for audio routing in your studio, but scratchy potentiometers (the circuit and knob controls) really leave a lot to be desired. We’ve also heard of many people having to get another because the switches started shorting out. Despite problems, some swear by these and they definitely work well when you get a good one. Perhaps quality control is the main issue.
Dangerous Music MONITOR ST
OK, this thing is incredibly expensive compared to the other units we’ve discussed so far, but we think it’s really worth the price if you can manage it. It’s a wonderful unit and it looks AMAZING. We like being able to have a second channel that you can turn on and off on both the headphones and the main monitors. Overall, if you’re looking for something that sounds great, is easy to use, and will do just about anything you want, this is the product for you! It looks like a spaceship control deck.
What studio devices can’t you live without? Let us know your favorite peripherals in the comments below!