Are Studio Monitors Worth It In The Untreated Room? – 7 Tips

Are Studio Monitors Worth It In The Untreated Room? - 7 Tips | integraudio.com

This article will cover some of the basics of both monitors and acoustic treatment and when you should think about getting them.

We’ll also talk about what considerations you need to have before purchasing equipment. What size and how much power do you need on them to fit your room correctly. And of course, if it’s worth it to spend your budget on them.

Are studio monitors worth it in the untreated room?

You don’t want to prioritize getting monitors when your room hasn’t been through treatment. There are lots of frequencies that you won’t be able to experience and other problems. However, once you’ve done a little bit of treatment, they are an essential tool to have.

There is no rush to get monitors. You need to set your priorities straight. If your headphones aren’t good enough, they should be your next purchase. However, if you want to do more mix/master types of jobs, you need to get some.

Even so, you will eventually need to buy a set of monitors. And for them to properly work, you’ll need to do some adjustments, like eq-ing your room, a little bit a treatment, etc. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to use them without a pro-level studio.

Though you can look at things from a different perspective – if all you want is just to make music that you like and have fun, without sounding pro, then yes, monitors are still better than any other speakers in your room and will be a better choice.

For this purpose, we recommend checking the budget options in this post. 

7 Tips To optimize Your monitors within an untreated room

You can and need to do many things to use monitors in a room properly. But, if you are going to use them in a room without much treatment, you should remember the following:

  • Calibrate your room
    There are many VSTs that will help you understand how frequencies work in your room and how they react with each other. Using them is crucial for the use of monitors, as you’ll be able to know where you’re having problems and how to counteract them. This software will also help your monitors sound better inside that room; as the calibration will spot problematic frequencies, it will also spot which ones have a longer decay (which we don’t want). Once you know which frequencies to attack, you’re set.
    Check out this article if you are looking for the best software to calibrate your room.
  • Frequency response:
    Monitors have a specific frequency response, which is how that piece of equipment reacts to different frequencies. When buying gear for mixing you should keep this in mind, as having a linear frequency response will help you hear what’s on the recording more clearly. This will also significantly affect your mixing, as you will be able to fine-tune those details faster, removing the need to go back and forth from speakers to headphones constantly.
  • Compare mixes:
    If you want to understand how to use your monitors inside your room correctly, you should listen to various mixes with them. Compare your projects with some pro mixes to help you understand what frequencies you need to be aware of. Doing so will better your mixing process. If you try out different setups, it will help you understand your monitor’s frequency response.
  • Compare with headphones:
    The next thing you should do is compare a song you like and that you’ve heard a lot with both your monitors and your headphones; this will help you tell if you have a problem with frequencies canceling each other out
  • Isolate your monitors:
    To eliminate unnecessary noise, you should separate your monitors from your table. Because if you don’t, your desk will vibrate, generating extra frequencies and making your sound poorer.
  • Use low volumes:
    Keeping your volume low is an effective way to properly hear without sound bouncing unnecessarily. It will also tire your ears less, so it will be essential for long mixing sessions. That being said, it’s not the best to use your monitors at max power, as it might damage them, but if you want to know more, check this article that talks about that.
  • Form an equilateral triangle:
    You need to form a triangle with your monitors and ears in the middle, leaving space behind you. This way, the sound goes directly to your eardrums before it bounces. Helping you hear more clearly and not giving much space for frequencies to bounce around before you hear them. For reference, take a look at the picture below.
    On top of that, be sure to keep them at the height of your ears so that you’ll be able to hear all the frequencies it provides.

Source

Can monitors be too big for a room?

Yes, monitors can get too large for your room. Think about what a big monitor gives you, compared to what you need in that room. On top of that, keep in mind that untreated rooms have lots of problems with low frequencies. So that will make some higher-grade monitors a problematic fit.

It will be a big problem having equipment that can go down to 30 Hz in a square room without any bass traps. And monitors have a better capability of reproducing low frequencies the bigger they are. So there’s a delicate balance between not going so big that it’ll unbalance your sound and getting some better quality lows.

What size should monitors be in an untreated bedroom?

Anything between 5” and 6.5” will do the trick if you have a standard, medium-sized square room. Keep in mind that you could go higher if your space is too ample. On the contrary, if your room is pretty tiny, you should keep it between 5” or 4”. But with a standard square room, those sizes are a great fit.

When talking about power, aim between 40 – 50 W. You won’t need more, except if you plan to give them another use. But for purely studio sessions, this will suit you best. You’ll have plenty of power for some loud mixes, and they will sound good at low volumes.

Are small acoustic enhancements worth it?

Yes, they are worth it. Having little bits of foam or soft absorbing material will get you a long way towards bettering your acoustic treatment. You don’t need to think only of rock wool panels; everything absorbs or reflects sound. With a bit of creativity, you can get some good results.

As a basic rule to keep in mind, hard objects reflect sound, and soft ones absorb it. We’ll need to absorb in this case, as we don’t want unnecessary bounces around the room. You can use anything from foam to a mattress. Be creative and find those spots where you need to cancel reflections.

Remember that a typical square room is not the ideal shape, to begin with, as it will bounce a lot. But many studios have walls that are parallel to each other. And this is because, with some strategically placed sound absorbers, you can get a great sounding room.

And so, with some minor but well-placed adjustments, you will be able to get your home studio a better, less bouncy sound.

What do I need to do to use monitors in my home studio?

You only need to have two plug cables. The ones you probably have sitting around will work just fine; once you have them, ensure that your monitors are turned off and plug them into your audio interface. Just be careful to plug your right line out to your right monitor, and the same goes for your left side.

Of course, there are many other ways to use them, but that’s just the easiest one. But, if you need to, you can have a console; this will help you be able to not only use your monitors when mixing but also to play with fellow musicians easily. You need to plug your phone’s output into your console and plug it’s main out to your monitors.

However, If your primary concern is mixing, keep it simple and don’t add too many different processes to the signal; that will work best.

Final thoughts

As we discussed, monitors are essential when working in every studio, be it a pro one or a home studio. However, you need to keep your priorities straight. It’s like with microphones; you shouldn’t buy an excellent mic if you have a terrible audio interface.

With monitors, you should think just like that; there’s no point in getting a good set of monitors if your headphones are bad and you don’t have a treated room.

Even so, if you are slowly buying your first pieces of equipment and making your way towards a better-sounding room, you should consider getting some monitors. It will boost your mix’s quality, improve your workflow, and make it easier to work with multiple people in the same room.

Related Readings:

Monitors vs Studio Headphones For Mixing & Mastering

How Do I know If My Studio Monitor Is Blown? (How To Fix & Avoid That)

Do You Need Music Amplifier For Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones?

Top 12 NearField Studio Monitors On Any Budget

Readings that you may like: 

DAW Related:

Best DAWs For Musicians Available (With FREE DAWs)

How To Develop DAW Software?

What’s The Most CPU Efficient DAW? – 5 DAWs Compared

How To Make Music Without Using A DAW?

Pro Tools Guide: How To Use AutoTune & Pitch Correction?

Ableton Review: Is It Worth The Money? (Cons & Pros)

Logic Pro X Review: Is It Worth It? (Cons & Pros)

How To Use Auto-tune & Pitch Correction In Cubase?

How To Fix Ableton Crackling, Crashing & Freezing? Step By Step

 

Plugin Related:

What Are Audio Plugins? Different Types of Plugins Explained

What Are The Best Tools To Develop VST Plugins & How Are They Made?

Cost of Developing Audio VST Plugin: Several Factors (With Table)

VST, VST, AU and AAX – What’s The Difference? Plugin Formats Explained

Complete Guide To Noise Gate – What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It?

How To Clip My Drums? Here Is How & Audio Teasers (Before/After)

 

Complete Guide To Limiter: How To Use It (+ Best Plugins & Analog Limiters)

Mixing With Reverb: How To Add Life To Your Mixes

Linear Phase vs Minimum Phase EQ – Full Guide

Difference Between LUFS, RMS & True Peak Loudness Meters

How And When To Use Algorithmic And Convolution Reverb In Your Mix?

Difference Between Active EQ, Passive EQ and Dynamic EQ

 

Headphones & Studio Monitors:

Do headphones get worse with age?

Monitors vs Studio Headphones For Mixing & Mastering

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 

Does Heat Damage Headphones?

Are Noise-Canceling Headphones Good For Music Production?

Can Headphones Break in Cold Weather?

Why do headphones & cables get sticky?

 

Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss?

How Do I know If My Studio Monitor Is Blown?

Side Effects Of Sleeping With Your Headphones On

Do You Need Music Amplifier For Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones?

Do Headphones or Earphones Damage Your Brain?

Can Headphones or Earphones cause Deafness or Toothache?

FarField, MidField & NearField Monitors – Their Uses, Pros & Cons

 

MIDI & Synths:

Should I Buy A MIDI Keyboard Or Synth? (Are Synths Worth It Anymore?)

Why Is Audio Gear So Expensive? (Especially Synths)

Top 12 Synth Brands – Analog, Digital & Modular Synth Manufacturers

11 Tips How To Choose MIDI Keyboard 

Should I Buy MIDI Controller Or Keyboard? Cons, Pros & Tips

 

Guitar/Amp Focused:

Can I Put Nylon Strings on a Steel-string Guitar?

Do Electric Guitars Sound Good Unplugged?

Buying Your First Guitar: 2 Things To Know

Are Tube Amps Worth It? (Tube vs Solid-State Amps)

How Often Does A Guitar Need a Setup?

Can I Play Classical Guitar On A Steel-String Guitar?

 

How often guitar necks need reset?

Can You Play Two Guitars Through One Amp?

Can a 6 String Bass Be Tuned Like A Guitar?

Can I leave My Guitar Tuned Down a Step? Yes, But Is It Safe?

Should I Learn 4, 5 Or 6 String Bass Guitar & Why?

How To Know If your Guitar Amp Is Broken?

How To Fix Distorted Bass Guitar Sound?

 

Do Fender Guitars Appreciate In Value?

Should You Put Stickers On A Bass Guitar?

How Acoustic And Electric Guitars Are Made?

Is Electric Guitar Too Loud for an Apartment?

Does a Preamp Improve Sound Quality?

If I Learn Acoustic Guitar Can I Play Electric Guitar?

How Many Hours A Day Should You Practice Bass Guitar?

Do I need an AMP/DAC To Run Bookshelf Speakers?

How to Record Electric Guitar Into Logic Pro X?

Do headphones get worse with age?

 

Recommended Gear:

Top 12 NearField Studio Monitors On Any Budget

Top 10 Midfield Studio Monitors For Home Recording

Best Biggest Studio Monitors (FarField Monitors)

Top 10 Guitar Pickups for Low Tunings 

Top 10 Analog Compressors For Mixing & Mastering (On Any Budget)

Top 12 USB Audio Interfaces Under 150$, 200$, 300$ 400$ (Any Budget)

 

Top 12 Hardware Equalizers (Analog EQs For Mixing & Mastering)

Top 6 Analog Hardware Limiters 

Top 6 Solid State Bass Amps (On Any Budget)

Top 6 Ribbon Mics On Any Budget (For Vocals, Drums & Guitars)

Top 6 Cheap Dynamic Mics For Vocals Under 50$, 100$, 200$ & 300$

 

Top 6 Chorus Guitar Pedals (On Any Budget)

6 Best 61-Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

9 Best 49-Key MIDI Keyboards Under 100$ & 200$

Top 5 Best 25 Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

Top 12 Acoustic Drums (Best Kits/Sets On Any Budget)

 

Plugin Roundups:

Genre Focused:

Top 10 EDM Plugins  (And 10 Best FREE Plugins For EDM)

Top 10 Plugins For TRAP Beats (And 5 Best FREE Trap Plugins)

20 Best Plugins For Rock Musicians (+ 6 FREE Plugins)

Top 14 Trance Plugins (Uplifting, Tech, Progressive, Vocal, Dream, Hard)

Top 10 GOA & PsyTrance Plugins (Best Psychedelic Trance Tools)

Top 7 Plugins For Dubstep (With 10 Best FREE Effects & Synths)

 

Top 20 Synthwave Plugins (+ 11 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 15 Plugins For Techno, House, Electro, Tech House, UK Garage

Top 6 Plugins For Latin Music  (And 4 FREE Tools)

Top 12 Plugins For Hip-Hop (+ Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 7 Plugins For Game & Film Scoring  (+ 6 Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 10 R&B And Pop Music Plugins & KONTAKT Libraries 

30 Best Free Plugins For DnB, EDM, IDM & Experimental Music 

 

EQ Plugins

Top 12 Free EQ Plugins For Precise Mixing & Mastering

Top 9 Mid/Side EQ Plugins  For Mixing & Mastering (+ 2 Free Tools)

Top 7 Graphic EQ Plugins  (With 3 Best Free EQs)

Top 7 EQ Plugins For Mastering In | And Best FREE Mastering EQs

Top 6 Passive EQ Plugins (Klevgrand, SPL, UAD, Waves, IK Multimedia)

Top 11 Plugins For Making Metal (Best Guitars, Drums & Effects)

 

Metering:

Top 5 Audio Metering Plugins (LUFS, RMS, LRA, True Peak)

Top 6 Spectrum Analyzer Plugins  – Spectral Analysis Tools

Top 6 Oscilloscope Plugins To See The Waveforms

Top 5 Key Detection Plugins & Software  (+ Best FREE App)

 

Kontakt Libraries

20 Best Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals)

Top 7 Drum Libraries For KONTAKT (And 4 Freebies)

Top 7 Trap Music Kontakt Libraries (And Best Lo-Fi Kontakt Library)

Top 7 Metal & Rock Kontakt Libraries (Best Guitars & Drums)

Top 10 Guitar Libraries For Kontakt (Acoustic, Electric, Bass & Freebies)

 

Top 7 Trailer Scoring Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

20 Best Free KONTAKT Libraries For Various Instruments

Top 9 Piano Kontakt Sample Libraries  (And 5 Best Free Pianos)

Top 10 Percussion KONTAKT Libraries  (And 3 Freebies)

Top 7 Kontakt Libraries For Horror & Thriller Scoring (No VSTs)

 

Audio Restoration, Calibration & Utility:

Top 6 Noise Reduction Plugins (And 3 Best Free Tools)

6 Best Audio Restoration Plugins & Software 

Top 7 Phase Alignment Plugins To Fix Your Bass & Drums

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 

 

Instrument Plugins: 

Top 6 Vocoder Plugins (Effects & Synths + FREE Vocoder)

11 Best Rhodes VST Plugins (AND 5 Free Rhodes Plugins)

Top 12 Randomizer Plugins Including FREE Plugins

Top 6 Kick Drum Plugins (Best Kick Designer Tools)

Top 12 Woodwind Plugins (And KONTAKT Libraries)

Top 10 Double Bass Plugins (Best Upright Basses)

Top 5 Strings VST Plugins (AND 4 Best Free Instruments)

 

Top 6 Sampler Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Classical Guitar Plugins & Kontakt Libraries (And FREE Guitars)

Top 7 Wavetable Synth Plugins 

Top 12 Sub Plugins (Best 808 & Bass Tools For Massive Low End)

Top 10 Plugins On PluginBoutique (And 7 Best Free Plugins)

Top 11 Plugins On Plugin Alliance 

Top 7 Acoustic Guitar Plugins (And 4 Best Kontakt Libraries)

 

9 Best Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies)

Top 6 Electric Guitar Plugins (Best PAID & FREE Picks)

Top 10 Arpeggiator VST Plugins (Best Synths, MIDI Effects & Tools)

Top 10 Modular Synth Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Choir Plugins & Sample Libraries (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

11 Best Percussion & Drum VST Plugins (And FREE Plugins)

 

Top 8 Piano Plugins (Best Sounding Pianos & 5 FREE Piano Plugins)

Top 6 Organ Plugins Ever Made  (And 3 Best Free Organs)

Top 14 VST Plugins For Beginners (And 9 FREE Plugins)

Top 9 Drum Machine Plugins (And Groovebox Plugins)

4 Best Banjo Plugins (Best Banjo Instruments)

 

The 5 Best Ukulele Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

Top 13 Synth Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Synths Plugins)

Top 13 Sequencer Plugins  (Synth, MIDI & Step Sequencers)

The 10 Best Multi-Effect Plugins (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 12 Plugin Bundles For Musicians (Synths, Mixing & Mastering)

 

 

Processing & Sound Design:

8 Best Lo-Fi Plugins (PAID & FREE)

Top 11 Plugins For Mixing Vocals  (For Home Studio)

Top 12 Saturation Plugins (Best Mixing & Mastering Tools)

Top 6 Pitch Shifter Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Pitch Shifters)

Top 6 Chorus VST Plugins For Musicians (And 3 FREE Plugins)

 

Top 6 Limiter Plugins For Precise Mastering & Mixing

The 8 Best Filter Plugins For Precise Cuts & Boosts (+ 5 Free Filters)

6 Best Autotune Plugins To Improve & Enhance Your Vocals

Top 10 Transient Shaper Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 7 Enhancer Plugins (For Bass, Drums, Vocals & Harmonics)

 

Top 6 Flanger Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Flanger Emulators)

Top 7 Phaser Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Phasers)

Top 10 Plugins For Mixing Drums (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 7 Bitcrusher Plugins (And 4 Best FREE Bitcrushers + 3 Bonuses)

Top 6 Plugins For Voice-Over & Dialogue Cleaning (Post Production)

Top 10 Stereo Imaging Plugins (Best Old & Modern Picks)

 

Top 5 Multiband Limiter Plugins 

Top 7 De-Esser Plugins For Better Vocals (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives)

Top 6 Chord Generator Plugins That Inspire Melodies (+ FREE Tools)

7 Best Exciter Plugins For Mixing & Mastering

Top 7 Channel Strip Plugins (And 2 Best Free Plugins)

 

Top 11 Distortion Plugins (And 4 Top Free Plugins)

Top 5 Comb Filter & Resonator Plugins | Melda, Kilohearts, Tritik

The 7 Best Vibrato VST Plugins | Audec, Audiority, Melda

The 7 Best Tremolo Plugins | Eventide, Melda, SoundToys, Kuassa…

The 7 Best Harmonizer Plugins | Eventide, Melda, Aegean Music

7 Best Sidechain Plugins (VST, AU, AAX) | Xfer, Cableguys..

 

Top 10 Noise Gate Plugins (And 6 FREE Free Gate Tools)

The 6 Best Ring Modulator VST Plugins | KiloHearts, Melda

7 Best Autopan VST Plugins | CableGuys, Melda, Waves, Soundtoys

The 6 Best Frequency Shifter VST Plugins

Top 11 Granulizer Plugins For Future Sound Design

29 Best Sound Design VST Plugins

 

Compressor Plugins

Top 11 Free Compressor Plugins (VCA, Vari-Mu, FET, Digital)

Top 7 Multiband Compressor Plugins (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 5 Diode-Bridge Compressor Plugins 

Top 6 Mastering Chain Plugins: Complete VST Solutions 

Top 10 FET Compressor Plugins 

The 7 Best VCA Compressor Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 11 Mastering Compressor Plugins (And 2 FREE Plugins)

Top 10 Opto Compressor Plugins For Transparent Sound

The 7 Best Vari-Mu Compressor Plugins (And 2 Best FREE Tools)

 

Reverb & Delay Plugins:

Top 12 Reverb Plugins (And 5 FREE Reverb Plugins)

The 6 Best Spring Reverb VST Plugins | AudioThing, GSi, u-he, Eventide

Top 12 Delay Plugins For Music Production In (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 10 FREE Delay Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

The 10 Best Convolution Reverb Plugins 

 

Amps & Preamps:

Top 10 Guitar Amp Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Simulators)

Top 10 Bass Amp Plugins (And 5 Best Free Simulators)

Top 9 Preamp Plugins (For Vocals, Guitars & More!) + Free Preamps

Don`t copy text!
Scroll to Top