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Control Room Acoustics: How to Test Your Speakers and Listening Space

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This is an excerpt from Getting Started with Music Production, published by Hal Leonard Books. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


Investing in good speakers and setting them up properly may be the most critical investment in producing good recordings but is often the last thing people think about when they're starting out, a situation that has been made more prevalent by the increasing use of inexpensive earbuds to listen to music.

Your primary pair of speakers should be as neutral as possible, meaning that they should have a flat frequency response that doesn't exaggerate or cut the amplitude of frequencies across the spectrum. This will give you the most accurate impression of the choices you're making when applying EQ to affect the tone of your mix. You may wish to get headphones and an additional set of inexpensive speakers so that you can test your mixes on a variety of systems. If it sounds good on the cheap speakers, it means you're ready to see how well your mix works in the wild, in a variety of rooms, and inside cars.