Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
True but what you don't want are monitors with dips in the response because they can cover up problems.
My experience has been that there are monitors you can learn and monitors that you simply can't. For this reason I always choose from among the ones used by people whose work I respect. I also have a strong preference for sealed cabinets and a strong dislike of passive radiators.
Yeah, you don't want monitors that are un-flat enough to be inaccurate. But my point is that frequency response flatness isn't even the best
criteria for a monitor, much less the only
criteria. It's a popular number because it's easy to measure, and measurements sound scientific and thus enjoy the benefits of the Appeal to Authority fallacy.
I think it's much more important to find monitors whose sound doesn't grate on you, get the basic room issues under control, and then learn THOSE monitors in THAT room. And that's why reference material is so important! You know how the reference material makes you feel, and what its details and balances are. If I'm mixing and I start to doubt my relative position, I can just throw on Wilco's Sky Blue Sky
or the Flaming Lips' The Soft Bulletin
or Fleetwood Mac's Rumours
or some other record that I know intimately and love, and know how things SHOULD sound. Then I can go back to my mix and grok it relative to that known quantity. In this case, choice of monitors is FAR less important than choice of references.
The big problem with small, inexpensive two-way ported boxes (most budget speakers, including budget studio monitors) is that they're blurry and harsh, and lack fine detail. Sweetness, detail, and precision require expensive drivers, sturdier cabinets, and sometimes exotic designs. But mixing doesn't require either comfort or massive detail. It's about balance, and even cheap speakers can present that. Excellent mixes can be done on just about any speaker actually sold as a studio monitor, no matter how cheap (and likewise, bad mixes can be done on any studio monitor, no matter how expensively, and much more easily than excellent mixes!). So when buying budget speakers, it's just about finding something that isn't too annoying to listen to for a few hours at a time, within the available budget and whatever convenience kismet provides. "Best" doesn't enter into it, any more than debating which fart smells best.