Top 5 Monitor Controllers
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Since monitoring is one of the most important aspects of music production, we’re going to look at the 5 best monitor controllers for your home studio. I realize that the term home studio is very subjective, as it could refer to configurations ranging from laptops to consoles.
These are by no means the latest or most sophisticated monitor controllers available. Instead, they are tried and tested recommendations based on my experience with the studios I’ve worked in and the different artists I’ve collaborated with.
Everybody has different requests when it comes to music. While little home recording setups even need talkback, it is important to be aware of what is available and why some products are preferred to others.
Heritage Audio Baby RAM
The Baby RAM is a passive desktop monitor controller. Like all things Heritage Audio, the design combines quality components, analog signal pathand one retro sensibility.
It’s a perfect monitor controller for those who are still discovering the world of sound. Also, a solution when you run out of office space. The vintage Console Neve the look may not be for everyone. However, the big red tiered pot makes it easy to precisely control your monitoring levels.
Overall, the feature set gives you all the essentials like mono, weak and mute switches. The Baby RAM provides uncolored signal path a tan affordable price.
PreSonus V2 Listening Station
With the success of first generation model, it makes sense to find the Monitor Station V2 in this list. Presonus hasn’t changed much in the pattern between the two versionsbut there is a some features which distinguished them.
The layout has changed slightly with the main source and speaker select buttons placed on either side of the LED meter. On top of that, features like Phono aux input have been replaced. Instead, you now have SPDIF and one mini jack input for mobile devices.
There is also no longer the possibility of using a external talkback micso you will have to deal with integrated a. Otherwise, it’s the same trusty centerpiece with two I/O paths, four headphone outputsand support for three sets of monitors.
MC Designer 2.1
Another manufacturer with a long history, Drawmer is known for creating quality analog studio equipment. At first glance, the MC 2.1 is rather tanky and its front panel layout may not be the most convenient.
However, it has transparency signal path and all the Features you would expect in a monitor controller pro. The MC 2.1 provides a mono and three stereo speaker outputswith of them individually controlled headphone outputs.
The integrated conversation microphone works on headphone channels and there is another mono talkback output. The unit is also rack mountable, making it easy to integrate into any scale of the audio setup.
SPL 2 control
The 2Control can be more expensive than most home studio users wish it were, but SPL is a proven solution high end manufacturer so it comes with the territory. Here, the design philosophy is much more functional and minimalist.
The 2Control gives you exactly the Features required for control with precision your monitoring levels. Surely that’s better than bombarding you with features you never actually use. The fact that all I/O is XLRexcept for the two headphone outputs just shout professional audio of the lag.
Plus, you get the unique ability of SPL cross feed function to simulate your monitoring environment when using headphones. There are no talkback circuitbut Entrance 2 allows you to switch between -10 and +4dBUand there is a wideband mono output which is perfect for a Mixcube.
Dangerous Music Monitor ST
When Dangerous Music assembled the Monitor ST, there had to be something in the water. Upon its release, it instantly became the gold standard of monitor controllers.
The level of R&D which entered the ST monitor is extremely meticuloustaking decades of design ideas and create something really innovative. The price is terrific for an item that many would consider a peripheral studio tool. However, the Monitor ST is designed to be the master piece of your workshop.
Whether you buy it for the amazing analog circuits or the extended routing and connectivity optionsyou probably won’t regret it.
More monitor controllers:
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