Mixing Tips: Focusrite VRM Box

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Focusrite
VRM Box
List Price: $99.00
www.focusrite.com

Mixing is all about perspective: how well you hear and understand what a song needs and how that song will translate once it leaves your mix environment. The Virtual Reference Monitoring Box from Focusrite is designed to help those who are headphone-bound to get an idea of what their mix might sound like on different speaker systems and even in different rooms altogether. Mixing with headphones can be a manipulative ordeal especially when using standard laptop or motherboard audio hardware. With a simple USB or S/PDIF connection and software installation, any system can be upgraded to higher fidelity headphone monitoring system and weighing in at a mere 4.3 ounces means the VRM Box is designed to travel and setup on the fly. Having the quarter-inch headphone jack and the large volume control on the top of the box are nice touches. The software is made up of three different environments: The Bedroom, The Living Room and The Studio. Within these rooms, choose from a variety of speakers that range from top of the line all the way down to a flat screen television. Try out the British Studio monitors to hear your mix with serious low end or move to the Japanese White Classic monitors for a sound reminiscent of NS-10s. Learning the differences in monitors as well as the environments allows you to evaluate the holes in your mix although some monitors seem to be more useful than others. You might even come away with a mix that doesn’t sound like it was mixed with headphones.

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