KRK is giving away $30,000 in prizes this June! To celebrate, let’s find out about the yellow-coned icon that dominates the studio.
Since its introduction, KRK has brought high-quality, professional-grade audio monitoring to studios across the world. For a long time, accurate studio monitors were only possible in massive hi-tech professional recording studios.
As music technology became more accessible, there was a need to bring monitoring home, and with KRK that need was finally fillable. Today, KRK Systems has been behind great music for almost 35 years. From being a part of countless hit music productions, to spending time with incredible artists and earning the praise of studio pros like Jacquire King, Spike Stent, and Dave Jerden.
To understand KRK’s climb to the top, look no further than the monitors themselves. Let’s talk about monitors and how they work, analyse three of its current powerhouse models: the Classic, the ROKIT G4, and the V-Series 4. Plus, we’ll give you the lowdown on how you can win your own fully-stocked KRK home studio!
Why are studio monitors important?
Simply put, monitors are speakers that allow you to ‘monitor’ the audio from your studio projects. But make no mistake, they are different to your consumer-grade hi-fi speakers. Studio monitors are typically made from more robust materials to withstand the rigours of the studio and prolonged use.
They’re also meant for analysis, whereas domestic stereo systems are tuned for listening pleasure and often boost high-end and low-end frequencies. Studio monitors are designed to provide a flatter frequency response, meaning mixers can make accurate decisions.
The size of the monitor makes a massive difference in the frequency response. Monitors with smaller drivers are less capable of reproducing low frequencies, but this makes them perfect for nearfield positioning (close to the engineer).
The larger you get, the further away you can position monitors (midfield or soffit-mounted). This setup provides more accurate stereo imaging and a more ‘natural’ response across the frequency spectrum. With this configuration, it’s traditionally appropriate to set up an equilateral triangle with the two monitors and your head at each corner.
But beware: the further you get away from the listener, the more acoustic treatment of the room comes into play. Ideally, your monitors and your room will work together to form the best possible environment for mixing.
The Classic line of monitors encapsulates the ethos of KRK: user-friendly, versatile, and competitively priced.
The Classic comes in three sizes: Classic 5, Classic 7, and Classic 8. Across the range, it features glass aramid woofers, 1-inch textile soft dome tweeters, and Class A-B amplifiers. Connection is simple, yet comprehensive, with unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR inputs.
There are intuitive volume and EQ settings, with low-frequency shelving at 200 Hz across the range and high-frequency shelving at 2.6 kHz for the Classic 5, 2.3 kHz for the Classic 7, and 2 kHz for the Classic 8.
The biggest differences in performance will depend on which size you go for. The Classic 5 is a nearfield specialist. Bottoming out at 46 Hz, you won’t get a lot of sub-bass information, but if you’re yearning for mid-range and high-end detail, it’s an ideal choice.
Got a little more room to play with? The Classic 7 fills bigger spaces with more power and bass. It allows you to focus on additional mix details, while giving you more scope to place the monitors further away from your listening position.
Classic 8 reaches all the way down to 35 Hz, meaning you can feel the woof of the kick drum right through your chest. Upsizing means you can also place these monitors in the midfield and take advantage of more natural stereo imaging.
ROKIT Powered G4
The ROKIT Powered G4 series takes versatility to a new level. With four sizes, customisable DSP-driven tuning options, and an advanced enclosure design, it elevates the art of monitoring from the home studio to the big leagues.
Powered by super-efficient Class D amplifiers across the whole range, these monitors have enough punch to pin you to your seat, but with enough dynamic nuance to ensure that you don’t neglect the subtle details of a mix.
The real showstopper in the ROKIT Powered G4 series: the onboard LCD visual EQ. There are no less than 25 settings to help compensate for the inconsistencies in your studio’s acoustics (trust me, there’s no such thing as a perfectly flat room!). The KRK Audio Tools app is also there to help with the task of matching your monitors to your listening environment and ensuring the most consistent performance in your mix room.
This feature, coupled with the fact that you have four sizes to choose from — 5-inch, 7-inch, 8-inch, and a thumping 10-inch model (which dives deep into the sub-frequency range) — means you can be confident in your mixing decisions in your own space, or anywhere you decide to set up the ROKIT G4.
V-Series 4 is KRK’s premium offering and a culmination of three decades of speaker design. Created in collaboration with hundreds of industry-leading mix engineers, the V-Series 4 is intended to be a first-choice reference monitor for professionals.
Sporting Kevlar woofers and tweeters across 4-inch, 6.5-inch, and 8-inch models (titled V4, V6, and V8 respectively), you get an incredibly accurate transient response whether you have the monitors on your desk, or on stands in the midfield zone.
There are 49 DSP-enabled EQ settings across the V-Series 4, meaning you can take these monitors on location and then bring them back to your mix room without making any compromises on consistency. Its built-in EVA foam pad allows you to position them with ease on the desk or on stands while maintaining transient response and stereo imaging accuracy.
How to win a home studio!
As mentioned earlier, for this month only, KRK is giving away $30,000 in prizes, including a complete home studio package valued at over $6,000! So how do you win?
Simply purchase one of the monitors mentioned above from the Classic Series (Classic 5, Classic 7, and Classic 8), the ROKIT Powered G4 Series (ROKIT 5 G4, ROKIT 7 G4, ROKIT 8 G4, and ROKIT 10 G4), or the V-Series 4 (V4, V6, and V8), to go in the running.
So what does a $6,000-plus studio package look like? Pretty damn impressive. Here’s the rundown:
- MacBook Pro Laptop: the industry-standard production powerhouse that’s at the heart of countless studios.
- Ableton Live Standard: an innovative and endlessly creative digital workstation that can be tailored to suit any workflow.
- Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 audio interface: there’s a reason you see these everywhere — they’re easy to use and offer rock-solid reliability in recording, production, and mixing.
- Shure MV7 Podcast Kit: get the perfect mic to kick off your podcasting career — along with a Manfrotto tripod, and an XLR and USB cable to hook it up to your rig, any way you like.
- Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 MIDI keyboard controller: an incredibly versatile and slick keyboard MIDI controller that aims to be the hardware hub of your digital workflow.
- KRK KNS 6402 Headphones: The 6402 headphones are the perfect complement to your monitoring setup and a perfect way to maintain mix accuracy when you’re on the go.
- KRK ROKIT Powered G4 5-inch Studio Monitors: of course, no dream studio is complete without KRK monitors. Win the studio and you’ll get two monitors from the iconic ROKIT Powered G4 Series.
- KRK S8.2 Subwoofer: the monitors above will be more than enough to cut it in most studios, but if you need that extra kick in the bottom-end, this KRK subwoofer will make sure you feel it.
- Hosa STX-105M 1/4″ TRS to XLR cables (x 5): humble as they are, cables are the lifeblood of any studio. Therefore, you’ll get all the cables you need to make the connections between all your new gear.
You gotta be in it to win it. Head over to JANDS for all the details.