Do i need a studio monitor controller?

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Paul French lyrics

How a studio monitor controller can streamline your workflow.

If you’ve been following us throughout this month’s monitoring content, a recurring theme that you hopefully picked up on is the importance of workflow and efficiency and what that all means in. the context of the home studio. Taking a refined and thoughtful approach to monitoring is, for many self-recorded artists, one of the first real “light bulb” moments on their path to creative freedom in the home studio, but by no means is it. case the latter.

Keep in mind that when I say “creative freedom in the home studio” I am not talking about freedom in composition or even in performance either – it is entirely up to you. What I’m talking about is having the relevant workflow to execute these creative ideas, from start to finish, as originally intended (and in a way that ensures none of the finer details are only lost in translation when read in the real world.)

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It’s as much about process and logistics as it is about audio quality and it goes without saying that the implications of studio layout and organization on musical creativity are enormous, subtly guiding our habits and guiding our decision-making. in a way that we are not always. completely aware of.

Traditionally, this was the allure of the commercial recording studio – a purpose-built, acoustically reliable facility, where efficiency and ease of workflow were absolutely paramount.

In these kind of professional environments, the studio is seen less as a canvas and more as a sophisticated network of integrated systems and optimized workflows, designed to allow maximum creative impetus to the artistic end. Equipment is acquired based on how smoothly it can be integrated into the larger system and the comparative time to the sonic reward that one purchase is likely to yield over another.

For those who operate the control room, the end goal is simple, to have as many of the inner workings of the studio accessible with the push of a button or the turn of a knob as possible, with the lion’s share of studio equipment. being permanently patched in and accessible at all times from the listening position. That’s why the classic studio features something like the cockpit of a Boeing 747, the irony being that a more streamlined workflow actually requires the acquisition of more (not less) material.

It is in this context that dry peripheral items like patch bays, switches, remotes and monitor controllers are so popular. They are the vital tactile link that connects all of these disparate workflows in a simple and straightforward way.

While the idea of ​​having separate control and live rooms, a 48-channel Neve console, and colorful and coveted outboard racks and racks might be a distant chimera for most, a universal workflow. One simple thing that we can all borrow from the professional studio world is the gradual integration of several monitoring options into our playback system, and to have those options patched and easily controlled from a single, transparent operations center.

British company Drawmer has long been at the forefront of these studio peripherals, and the brand’s excellent MC and CMC product lines have become a true industry standard for this type of control interface.

Building on the stellar reputation of the coveted MC Series (a product line known for its incredibly accurate and critical output capabilities), the new CMC range takes that same circuit and applies it to a range of desktop options. bespoke, perfect for the mature home studio setup.

cmc2 drawmer monitor controller

With 2 balanced stereo jack inputs, plus a 3.5mm jack for your smartphone / MP3 player, with variable level control for your reference tracks, the compact CMC 2 monitor controller is, as the name suggests, a Agile introductory model that takes very little in terms of physical footprint, but has great I / O flexibility.

Supporting two sets of stereo monitors plus a subwoofer (each with individual switches so you can turn them on in any order), the CMC 2 has enough outputs to meet your ever-growing monitoring needs, at as you move further and into an increasingly sophisticated listening set up.

The CMC 3 takes it one step further, with the ability to switch between three different monitor pairs plus a mono sub or single Auratone, etc. It also combines multiple headphone outputs and a built-in talkback mic, perfect for communicating with talent, for when you inevitably start looking to introduce some separation into your sonic forays. Key mix control functions such as Phase Reverse, Mono, Dim & Mute are also included, in turn allowing maximum control at the listening position.

One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of on-board monitoring circuitry found on cheaper interfaces or low-end monitor controllers is the likelihood of unwanted staining from what is supposed to be a extremely precise and impartial component within the studio chain.

Drawmer prides itself on incredibly accurate and transparent output, using active components designed to faithfully reproduce the audio signal while eliminating many of the problems often associated with less expensive passive circuits. This means that if your monitors, room, and converters are up to the task, you can be sure you’re working from as precise a vantage point as possible, and it’s that kind of professional “measure twice.” , cut once “which really saves you time and gets you lost in the more cerebral, creative and fun elements of music making, is where we come back to this notion of” creative freedom “in the studio.

Going into a recording or mixing situation with a shot (preferably one rooted in science and logistics) always provides a much better platform for creativity than making a million blind A / B comparisons on a single set of monitors (only so that these ideas then fall apart the minute they’re played out of the studio). This is where a setup with multiple monitors (and a simple, reliable monitor controller) can offer so much to the budding engineer.

The ability to be able to verify mixing decisions across multiple playback devices with the push of a button, and to be able to toggle between different options for things like panning, working at full frequency, and the inevitable problematic medium sharpening and chiseling. frequency range is something that is vital to maximizing the potential of your studio.

While on paper this might not seem as romantic a prospect as acquiring a new synth or effect, an investment in monitor controllers will always inevitably yield better results from whatever. you choose to integrate into your workflow afterwards. To have such a solid foundation to work on is truly invaluable.

Products like the Drawmer CMC line truly put “control” in “the control variable” by providing a seamless, audible touch interface for all of your monitoring requirements now and in the future, and in that regard, they constitute a logical and utilitarian step towards ultimate freedom. in the recording studio.

Check out the Drawmer range of monitor controllers here.


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