DJing with studio monitors is possible? What is the distinction?
Studio monitors have long been associated with sound engineers and are crucial to the recording, mixing, and mastering processes. Although they appear to be similar to regular speakers, are they appropriate for DJing?
Studio monitors are not intended to fill an entire room with music at a much broader angle, in contrast to PA/DJ speakers, which are specifically made to hurl out sound at considerably louder decibels.
For DJing, studio monitors can be used. It's not the best solution, though. Studio monitors have a flat audio response that produces audio that is incredibly clear but has a lower bass output. DJs require stronger bass. To obtain the impact you might anticipate from the song, you might need a matched subwoofer.
This post will explain why studio monitors are a worthwhile investment, regardless of whether you are already mixing and seeking for new speakers or you already have studio monitors and are starting to DJ. Let's start now.
Studio monitors versus DJ speakers
DJ/PA speakers frequently have the purpose of increasing the bass or bringing out deeper tones in the mids and highs to increase or intensify audio levels. However, studio monitors are designed to maintain all frequencies flat and not even slightly amplify the sound. For more accurate mixing, you obtain a cleaner, more accurate sound.
DJ speakers are designed with a fixed frequency setting to amplify or distort specific sounds, altering how a sound is perceived. When playing back audio, a studio monitor uses a flat frequency response and doesn't amplify any frequencies, such the bass or treble ones in the sound wave.
Studio monitors are "active" or "powered" speakers, whereas hi-fi or DJ speakers are frequently referred to as "passive" speakers (implying they need an external amplifier), meaning the power amplifier is built directly into the speaker cabinet.
You're less likely to blow up your speakers because the amplifier and speaker were designed to function together specifically. Studio monitors are a safer choice for stable, dependable sound, but not so good for hearing the bass during mixing, since all the crossover components (including the amplifiers, drivers, and speaker enclosures) come together.
One final distinction: the majority of DJ speakers are made to amplify music over the entire space. Studio monitors are more discrete; they were designed to solely emit sound for a brief period of time to prevent any nearby objects from muddying up any frequencies.
Manufacturers invest a lot of time creating DJ/PA speakers that have rich bass, high frequencies, and midrange frequencies to improve sound quality. Studio monitors, on the other hand, prioritize a flat response and do not boost the system's volume to preserve the actual rate.
We DJs don't care about a track's exact frequency or overall sound, thus the quality of these studio monitors is useless to us.
Nearfield or reference monitors are other names for studio monitors. They are designed to be placed on the producer's studio desk a few feet away from him or her so that he or she, and no one else, can listen to the music being produced or recorded and hear every nuance.
Not only are they not designed to play loud music throughout a room, but playing loud music through them over an extended period of time can also harm them.
It is more beneficial to use the proper tools for the job and resist the urge to use studio monitor speakers for purposes other than those for which they were designed.
Purchasing quality DJ speakers is a great investment if you gig frequently or want to do so. It will enable you to accept engagements on short notice, and the fact that you are outfitted with the appropriate gear will make you appear more professional, which will result in more gigs.
The Primary Differences Between DJ Monitors and Studio Monitors (article)
Benefits of DJing with studio monitors
I once read the following concerning studio monitors:
You can virtually make anything work on any speaker arrangement if you can make it sound decent on studio monitors.
Where "any speaker system" refers to headphones, budget computer speakers, and potential gigs.
As a DJ, there are a few specialized settings in which they may be used, such as:
- You want the noise level to be as low as possible because you live in an apartment or dorm. You want the sound escaping from that room to be as quiet as possible, both in terms of loudness and bass. Additionally, you can place your speakers at the appropriate ear level (which indicates speaker stands or shelves on the wall if you stand up to DJ).
- You are on a very restricted budget and are certain that you will soon compose your own songs.
Because of how evenly the answer is distributed, beware—you will trash your mixing. Every flaw will be audible to you, and even the smallest error will be far more noticeable than you might anticipate. When I can, I frequently playback a set on my monitors, and what I discover never ceases to astonish me.
In essence, it will paint a very clear picture of what you ought to and ought not to do. It is a fantastic tool.
Personally, I have a fantastic PC speaker system and Studio Monitors (Tannoy Reveal 502). (Altec Lansing ADA995). When I'm producing, I use Studio Monitors, and when I'm DJing, I use an Altec Lansing.
Studio monitors also have the advantages of being portable, having outstanding sound quality, and not requiring a separate amplifier.
All speaking agencies desire accurate and thorough speakers. The notion that studio monitors sound worse is absurd and has likely been exaggerated by manufacturers for marketing purposes.
I'm almost positive that the Yamaha NS-10, which was designed as an audiophile bookshelf speaker, is where the concept originated. But it fell short. They did a great job with the midrange, but the highs were stiff and there was no genuine low end. Due to its detailed midrange, they were rebranded as studio monitors, and a lot of people fell in love with them. However, they didn't actually sound as good as the time's superior audiophile speakers.
- Buy no KRK Rokits. Despite all the buzz, they aren't really all that wonderful. They are adequate, but for a same cost, you may purchase soundier studio monitors (like the JBL SLR305).
Despite being highly recommended speakers for home producers, in my opinion, the KRK Rokits do not deliver "unforgiving accuracy" in the same way. The bass is simply strange; they're slow, they obscure details, etc. They can sound good in the appropriate environment. However, not to the "unforgiving accuracy" that some Redditors genuinely refer to.
The Drawbacks of DJing with Studio Monitors
Studio monitors are designed as near-field devices, meaning their audio focus is constrained to a very small angle.
The "sweet spot"
In order to utilize your monitors well, they must be carefully set up, and you would need to stand or sit in a specific spot to hear them properly. They are also built to have a "sweet spot." DJs frequently move around while performing, rather than sitting or standing still in a "sweet spot."
Just glance at page 4 of the Rokit manual. The instructions for placing your speakers are fairly thorough. I don't believe it would be wise to use one such you are considering as your only option.
The DJ controller and studio monitors should be placed in the front third of the space. Peak frequency reflection accumulation will be lessened if this is done.
The left and right sides of the system configuration should be evenly spaced from the left and right walls. In turn, this will result in a consistent mid- and low-frequency response and maintain stereo imaging.
When using studio monitors, you should also keep heavy objects (such lamps or decorations) away from the studio monitor and listening position as well as any position where your ears are closer than one meter (3 feet) to any wall.
Two studio monitors should be placed around one to one and a half meters (3 to five feet) apart and pointed at the listening area at a 60-degree angle.
An equilateral triangle will be formed by equal distances from both sides. The level of the left and right studio monitors must match.
All of this suggests that the ideal speakers for DJs are the exact opposite of what studio monitors are.
Keep in mind that studio monitors are made specifically for one person to listen to them if you must use them for DJing. Never use them for a gathering.
If not, investing in a 2.1 Speaker system similar to those found in PCs is 100 times better. I heartily advise new DJs to purchase the Logitech Z623.
It will easily outperform everything else in its pricing range at only $120 for 200W and a subwoofer. Even for tiny house gatherings, it is quite loud. You may plug it into this PC speaker system without using strange adapters because it features RCA and 3.5mm inputs.
The Verdict: Can DJing Be Done With Studio Monitors?
You may, but only if necessary. Since studio monitors are made for audio professionals and critical listening, they react differently than DJ speakers. They provide cleaner, better sound than PA/DJ speakers by highlighting audio imperfections.
Additionally, a studio monitor handles certain aspects of audio production in a different way than a PA speaker. Your personal audio experience is improved by a standard speaker's use of an amplifier and other audio control mechanisms.
Any speaker's main goal is to increase the frequency's amplitude. It is crucial to understand that different speakers will have different constraints on their output. The original sound wave is enhanced in frequency and modified by a studio monitor to increase the sound wave's range.
In my honest view, you should never get studio monitors for DJing unless you are very certain that you will also work as a music producer.
There are many different types and sizes of DJ speakers and studio monitors. The most typical audio output device in most homes is an ordinary speaker, while a studio monitor is used for back-end production.
Depending on your spending limit, a professional DJ speaker can be had for $100 or more. But if it's your first, I'd suggest something reasonably priced. Additionally, you may use a standard DJ speaker to enjoy the music at home.