Having helped many people build their first home studio, there seems to be a trend amongst budding EDM producers that you want a big, noisy system for maximum bro power and bragging points if you can break the neighbours’ china with your sub. We’ll help you avoid some of the easy pitfalls in choosing your monitors.
First of all, don’t buy KRK. This brand of monitor is designed for DJs. They’re a big, heavy, bassy mess that dubstep and hip hop sounds great on, but they are not accurate. The second series of these monitors are the most popular and the worst problem makers and while the third revision is an improvement, it’s still too inaccurate for its price. Remember, you want something as accurate as possible. If your monitors have overstated bass, you’ll overcompensate for that in your mix, to make it sound good in your home studio.
Consequently, when you take your track out to perform, you’ve mixed all of the bass out of your track.
In terms of cheap monitors, the Yamaha HS8 do a great job without a huge price tag. They’re bright in the top end, similar to a JBL, but only $399 as opposed to the JBL’s $899. They have a decently flat frequency response, and while not having as much bottom end as some of the higher brands, will give you the best bang for your buck if you’re on a budget.
Right in the middle of the range is the Behringer B2031A. Behringer have always been one of the cheaper brands on the market, but since buying Klark Teknik and Midas, they have been doing some very accurate studio monitors, while still keeping that low price point. These monitors are best for trance, breaks, and drum ‘n’ bass. The silk tweeter goes up nice and high without getting too sandy, and you have enough bass representation to keep the bottom end tight and smooth. The Behringer Truth B2031A retails for $635 per pair.
Finally, the Event 20/20 Bas are the best studio monitors you can buy for under a grand ($799). Famously good for bass music, the 2020s have been popular with R&B artists since the mid ‘90s. They have a deep, smooth, low end response, without being overstated or muddy. Also, they really excel at bringing up the mid ranges to be on spec with the tops and bass, which is something most entry level two way monitors struggle with. If you produce with these monitors, your track will sound good on anything.
And most importantly, if this is your first speaker purchase, don’t think these will be performance speakers. You will want high volume noise makers when you go gigging, but keep your studio monitors at home. All too often people ask me for a speaker that will be good to produce with, and to perform with, but they are two different tools for two completely different jobs. Also, when you head down to Kosmic to have a listen for yourself, bring some music you know really well, and if possible bring a lossless version (wav, aiff or flac). The guys down there will plug it in to the speaker wall for you, so you can make the best decision for your style.